Best Low Budget Summer

Destinations in Greece

 

 

The Small Eastern Cyclades Islands

This is a cluster of both inhabited and deserted islets between Naxos and Amorgos. Their unspoilt landscapes and exceptional beaches, mainly on Pano and Kato Koufonissi and Donoussa, make them ideal holiday spots for nature worshipers.

Iraklia (95 inh.) is a small fertile island with lovely beaches and translucent water. It has two caves, the more interesting being the cave of Polyphemus the Cyclop (Ai Giannis), which is among the largest in the Aegean. Its spectacular chambers measuring 2,000 sq. m in area contain stalagmites and stalactites of amazing beauty, as well as a little lake. Also with a few permanent residents are Donoussa (120 inh.), Pano Koufonissi (230 inh.), a former pirate haven, Kato Koufonissi (5 inh.) and Schinoussa.

All enjoy very good beaches. Amongst the uninhabited islands, Keros is the best known as having been one of the main centres of the prehistoric Cycladic civilization; the others are Antikeros, Dryma, the 3 Makaries and Daskalio. The main islands have regular ferry connections with Naxos, Amorgos and Piraeus.

 

 

Kythira | Ionian Islands

Although Kythira is one of the most  beautiful islands, its tourist development is still in

its infancy. You will be enchanted by the old  traditional villages, now mostly  abandoned to the ravages of time, the  medieval castle at Hora with a view of  Kapsali and to sea, the greenery  alternating with ravines and the peerless beaches with crystal-clear waters.

Kythira will definitely not disappoint you, particularly if you take the trouble to explore. The best place to stay is in the southern part (Hora, Kapsali, Livadi) and take short trips from there to the delightful hamlets of the interior. Read more

 

 

Serifos | Cyclades

A lovely island with 1,400 inhabitants. The dazzling white Hora perched on the ridge of a hill above the port is its main attraction, while there are exquisite white chapels scattered about the ruins of its Venetian castle.

 

The rocky coast is punctuated with small bays, the trees sprouting from its ravines streak the bare slopes with green ribs. Other sights include the Taxiarches monastery near the village of Galani, the 10th c. Byzantine church of the Panagia and the Cyclops cave at Koutala.

Serifos has no really spectacular beaches, but the coves round the island, mainly in the east, from Livadi to Agios Ioannis, or north-west at Sykamia, are more than just pleasant.

 

 

 

Tinos | Cyclades

The holy island of Orthodoxy, where every August on Assumption Day thousands gather to make the pilgrimage to the Evangelistria church. Tinos has more than 40 villages today, about 1000 country churches, founded on slopes and hilltops, more than  1000 dovecotes, while masterpieces of local architecture and tens of derelict windmills are found in its gullies and valleys.

The scenery is lined by thousands of kilometers of dry stonewalls that make the landscape visually unique.

Tinos is full of superb examples of vernacular architecture and has produced a great number of notable sculptors, marble carvers and painters. Must visit the Costas Tsoclis Museum in Kambos , the Tinian Artists Museum in Tinos town, the Giannoulis Chalepas  and the Marble Crafts Museum in Pyrgos. Among the island’s most characteristic features are the ubiquitous dovecotes which surround its charming unspoilt villages, such as Panormos, with its many marble craftsmen. The monastery of Kechrovouni, one of the largest in Greece, a masterpiece of Cycladic architecture.

The best beach in Tinos are  Agios Ioannis Porto, Agios Sostis, Agios Romanos and Kionia you will find many other spots for a swim especially on the south-west coast from Stavros to Agios Ioannis and around the areas of Panormos and Kolymbithres to the north-east. Read more

 

 

Ikaria | Northern Aegean

The is­land took its name from Ik­ar­os, who plunged into the sea when his wax wings start­ed to melt af­ter flying too near the sun. It was known in an­tiq­ui­ty for its min­er­al springs (spas at Agios Ky­ri­kos and Ther­ma) and for its wines. In re­cent years more and more vis­i­tors are dis­cov­er­ing the is­land’s for­mid­able beau­ty and crys­tal­line seas. In some of the moun­tain vil­lag­es, one must adapt to the lo­cal rhythms of every­day life, since the is­land­ers seem to sleep most of the day and stay up all night. Agios Ky­ri­kos, the is­land’s cap­i­tal and main port, is with­in walk­ing dis­tance of many beach­es apart from the good town beach, while oth­ers are ac­cess­ible by caique. The sec­ond port, Ev­di­los, on the north coast, is built on a prom­on­to­ry and has nar­row al­ley­ways and bloom­ing court­yards. Up on the moun­tain are the vil­lag­es of Mes­sar­ia: Ak­a­ma­tra, Daf­ni, Ste­li and Pet­ro­pou­li, with won­der­ful views over the Ik­ar­ian sea. See the Byz­an­tine cas­tle of Nik­ar­ia in the vil­lage of Ko­si­ki and vis­it the lush moun­tain vil­lag­es of Mav­ra­to, Ox­ea and Mil­e­o­po. There are oth­er love­ly vil­lag­es to be seen on the Rahes pla­teau as you con­tin­ue on to the fish­ing port of Ar­me­nis­ti. Pret­ty beach­es line the coast; among them de­light­ful Na with its riv­er and its ruins and Me­sak­ti. In or­der to en­joy the swim­ming even more, you can es­cape on a caique to quiet­er beach­es. It is al­so worth tak­ing a short trip to the is­land clus­ter of Four­ni, about an hour from Agios Ky­ri­kos, where there are oth­er good beach­es.

 

 

Astypalaia | Dodecanese

 

A fine spot for a peaceful holiday, Astypalaia’s architecture is more reminiscent of the neighbouring Cyclades. The charming Hora is well worth a visit, with its imposing Venetian castle lived in from the 13th to 15th c. by the Guerini family. Don’t miss the lovely scenery around the Monastery of Agios Ioannis with its spectacular view, gardens and mini waterfall. The best beaches are in the south part of the island.

 

 

Lefkada | Ionian Islands

Lefkada is connected to the mainland by two bridges which cross the narrow channel separating them. It is a mainly mountainous island, with a great deal of natural beauty, areas abounding with plane trees, historical and archaeological sites, as well as beautiful, verdant islets opposite the cosmopolitan port Nydri.

These include the famous Skorpios, the property of the late shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis, Madouri, with the mansion of writer Aristotelis Valaoritis, and Meganissi, with its three caves. In one of these, the Papanikolis cave, the famous submarine of the same name concealed itself during World War II.

The island has pretty villages, like Agios Nikitas, and is not lacking in outstanding beaches, including the popular Porto Katsiki, with its white sand and turquoise waters, and Egremnous, where, although the beach is difficult to get to (250 steps), the sea is superb.

Worth visiting is the 13th c. Venetian fortress, next to the man-made canal, and the  waterfalls in a gorge in the village of Rahi, 5 km from Nydri.

Read More: Best things to do and see in Lefkada

 

 

Ios | Cyclades

Ios (inh. 1,450) has plenty of facilities for its crowds. It became a legend in the 70s, a hippy’s paradise with lots of bars, beach bars, nudist beaches and an exotic nightlife. The Hora is picturesque with its 14th c. castle, cubist houses and small churches. Local tradition maintains that one of the graves found in the archaeological site in the vicinity of Plakotos was none other than Homer’s. On an island renowned for its beaches, the best are Mylopota, the string of sandy coves at Manganari bay and in the north-east (Tris Klissies, Louka, Kalamos) and Psathi, with its engaging taverna on the hill above.

 

 

Parga | Epirus

 

A ro­man­tic small town 68 km north-west of Pre­ve­za, set in a pic­tu­resque en­vi­ron­ment, whose charms in sum­mer are less ob­vi­ous be­cause it is over­run by Greek holiday-makers. Take a stroll through the back streets and vis­it the med­ie­val dis­trict and cas­tle. Caiques leave for the beach of Plat­ys Gia­los tou Val­tou and go up-riv­er against the cur­rent to the an­tiq­ui­ties and Nec­ro­man­deio at Ach­e­rous­sia.

 

 

Skopelos  | Sporades

Beau­ti­ful Sko­pe­los Town (Ho­ra, 6,500 in­hab­i­tants) has the most dis­tinc­tive ar­chi­tec­ture of the Spo­rades; its slate roofs, half-timbered upper floors and white walls are less aus­tere but very sim­i­lar to those found in near­by Pe­lion.

The is­land is well-wooded and fa­mous for its many charm­ing church­es and fas­ci­nat­ing mon­as­ter­ies. Take a stroll around the town’s cob­bled streets, climb up to the Kas­tro neigh­bour­hood with its splen­did view, and vis­it the lo­cal pot­ters’ work­shops. The coun­try­side in­land is al­so worth a look with its char­ac­ter­is­tic two-storey stone cot­tag­es. And spend at least one day ex­plor­ing the beach­es and vil­lag­es along the one and on­ly road con­nect­ing Ho­ra with Glos­sa, an un­spoilt hill vil­lage at the oth­er end of Sko­pe­los. Al­though the beach­es are noth­ing com­pared to those in Skia­thos, eve­ry year more peo­ple find they are an ad­e­quate com­ple­ment to the is­land’s pleas­ures.

Schinoussa

Pano Koufonissi

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