Beyond Santorini: 5 budget-friendly islands in Greece to bookmark for your next trip

·4-min read
budget islands in Greece
budget islands in Greece

From the beautiful sands of Santorini to the relaxing resorts of Mykonos, Greece has always been a popular holiday destination for people around the world. But these places are also notoriously expensive, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg each time you visit. Here are other budget-friendly islands Greece to put on your bucket list instead.

In the past few years, Greece has seen a surge in tourist activity. People from all over the world visit the country to witness its exotic landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and myth-laden ancient sites.

Greece has over 6,000 islands and each one, with its rich diverse cuisine and breathtaking sights, has something magical to offer. But, how does one find an island that is not overcrowded and super expensive during this time of the year? While Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini remain the top tourist hotspots, our curated list takes you to some budget-friendly islands in Greece that are easier on your pockets, and just as worthy of a visit. These affordable Greek islands have plenty to offer, from secluded, romantic beaches and nightlife spots to culinary experiences, there’s something for everyone in these spectacular underrated Greek isles.

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5 budget-friendly islands in Greece that you need to visit, outside of Santorini

Naxos: The largest, most peaceful Cyclade

budget-friendly islands in Greece
budget-friendly islands in Greece

Santorini and Mykonos are two of the most popular Cyclades in Greece, and this popularity has made them some of the most expensive and tourist-laden spots in the country all year round. Naxos – with its stellar restaurants and world-class museums – is an affordable alternative to these islands. The largest of all Cyclades in Greece, Naxos is known best for its delicious seafood and hospitable locals. Some of the island’s signature dishes include Garides Sakanaki (shrimps served with tomato sauce and feta cheese), Kitron ( a citrus-based liquor), and Sefoukloti (spinach pie). Its gastronomy scene makes it one of our favourite budget-friendly islands in Greece to visit this summer.

Other places to visit: The Temple of Apollo, Plaka Beach, The Archaeological Museum

Lefkada: The Caribbean of Greece

budget-friendly islands in Greece
budget-friendly islands in Greece

This island – located on the west coast of the country – is known as the ‘ Caribbean of Greece’. With 22 beaches, Lefkada offers impressive landscapes and avenues for water sports like kitesurfing and windsurfing. It’s also one of the most affordable places in Greece and serves as an excellent detour from the more crowded islands. Rachi, in the Exanthia village of Lefkada, is a restaurant that’s the perfect place for a relaxing evening and to watch the sunset. This rustic eatery offers an iconic view of the Ionian Sea and serves traditional local dishes and wine.

Other places to visit: Dimosari Waterfalls, Egremni Beach, Port Katsiki, Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni

Crete: Rich heritage and richer cuisine

crete
crete

Home to vibrant streets, pristine beaches, and buzzing cafes, Crete is the largest island in Greece. Its rich heritage and Venetian influence make it the perfect destination for those interested in learning about history and culture. Tourists can walk around the seaside city of Chania, soak up the sun on the Elafonissi beach, and marvel at the Venetian ruins in Frangokastello.

Other places to visit: The Venetian Harbour of Heraklion, Palace Of Knossos, Samariá Gorge National Park

Angistri: Water sports and serene beaches

angistri
angistri

An hour away from the city of Athens, the island of Angistri is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the capital. Known for its tranquil beaches and natural beauty, it’s the ideal spot for water sports like surfing and kayaking. Tourists can take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Aponisos beach or go scuba diving and snorkelling in Megalochori. The island is light on the pocket but heavy on the views, and so has earned itself a spot on our top budget-friendly islands in Greece.

Other places to visit: Megalochori, Skala Beach, The Church of Agioi Anargyroi

Chios: Rustic island immersed in the culture

budget-friendly islands in Greece
budget-friendly islands in Greece

The island of Chios, situated in the north of the Aegean Sea, is famous for its exquisite landscapes and local products. Its rich culture and heritage attract people from all around the world, who are left in awe of its local vine galleries and handmade gifts. The influence of Mastiha culture and traditional Mastiha cultivation is reflected in the day-to day-life of Chios. Tourists can enjoy the island’s famous drink, called Soumada, and enjoy the traditional pies and onion stew.

Other places to visit: Mirsinidi Beach, Mavros Gialos Beach, Chios Mastiha Museum

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