The country of Greece has seen a surge in its tourist activity in recent years. People from all around the world are visiting the country to witness its exotic landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and myth-laden ancient sites. While Athens and Santorini remain some of the top spots, our curated list takes you to some other incredible and budget-friendly islands in Greece that are worthy of a visit.

Greece has over 6,000 islands and each one, with its rich diverse cuisine and breathtaking sights, has something magical about it. But, how does one find an island that is not overcrowded and super expensive during this time of the year? We have curated a list of the most affordable Greek islands to visit this summer and what each one has to offer. From secluded, romantic beaches and nightlife spots to culinary experiences, there’s something for everyone in these Greek isles.

Here are 5 incredible yet budget-friendly islands in Greece:

Naxos: The largest, most peaceful Cyclade

Santorini and Mykonos are two of the most popular Cyclades in Greece, which results in them being the most expensive and flooded with tourists all year long. Naxos, with its artisanal gastronomy 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 famous dishes of Naxos are Garides Sakanaki (shrimps served with tomato sauce and feta cheese), Kitron ( a citrus-based liquor), and Sefoukloti (spinach pie). The gastronomical advantage makes it one of our favourite budget-friendly islands in Greece to visit this summer.

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

Lefkada: The Caribbean of 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 is also one of the most affordable places in Greece and serves as an excellent detour from the more crowded islands. The Rachi restaurant, in the Exanthia village of Lefkada, is the perfect place for spending a relaxing evening and watching the sunset. This rustic eatery offers an iconic view of the Ionian Sea and serves Traditional, local foods, and wine.

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

Crete: Rich heritage and richer cuisine

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.

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

Angistri: Water sports and serene beaches

An hour away from the city of Athens, the island of Angistri is the perfect getaway from the hustle-bustle of the capital. Known for its tranquil beaches and natural beauty, it is 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 Skuba diving and snorkelling in Megalochori. It’s light on the pocket but heavy on the views, thereby earning a spot on our top budget-friendly islands in Greece.

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

Chios: Rustic island immersed in the culture

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 reflects 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.

Places to visit: Mirsinidi Beach, Mavros Gialos Beach, Chios Mastiha Museum

(All Images: Shutterstock)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India

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