Are you a nature lover and an avid hiker? Do you dream of exploring stunning landscapes while experiencing the rich culture and history of Greece? If so, the Greek islands offer endless opportunities for unforgettable hiking experiences.
Here’s a guide to the ten best Greek islands for hikers to make the choice easier! Are you ready to see the country’s most captivating trails?
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Hiking on The Greek Islands
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Let’s discover where to enjoy the most exciting hikes on the Greek Islands!
Thassos: the Untouched Beauty of Northern Aegean
Our first stop is the enchanting island of Thassos. First, you must know that tourists often overlook this hidden gem tucked away in the North Aegean Sea. The result? Thassos has become an ideal destination for peaceful and authentic holidays.
What you’ll love the most about the island is its diverse terrain. Think rolling hills, olive groves, secluded beaches, dense pine forests, and majestic waterfalls.
To top it all, you’ve got to check out the island’s highest peak. Mount Ipsarion will treat you to breathtaking panoramic views of the Aegean Sea.
The ascend to this peak alone makes Thassos one of the best Greek islands for hiking.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a beginner, you’ll find trails suited to all fitness and skill levels.
For example, you can hire a local guide to help you conquer the challenging peaks. And there’s always the option to opt for shorter treks that meander through the foothills.
Either way, you’ll get glimpses of the island’s natural wonders.
Skiathos: the Green Marvel of the Sporades
Skiathos, located in the Sporades group near Volos, is famous for its vibrant nightlife and marvelous beaches.
However, the island will also treat you with hiking opportunities galore, especially if you’re after untamed nature.
With 26 hiking trails totaling 200km, Skiathos is a hiker’s dream waiting for you to discover. One route you must take is the coastal path from Kanapitsa to Koukounaries.
This route takes you through leafy forests, unlocking breathtaking panoramic views of the Saronic Sea.
From Koukounaries, you can hike to the woodland monastery of Panagia Kounistra, one of the island’s most significant religious sites.
It’s the perfect chance to escape the crowds and lose yourself in the island’s serene landscapes.
Donoussa: A Hidden Paradise for Hiking Enthusiasts
If you’re seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Donoussa is the perfect choice.
Tourists often overlook this small island in the Cyclades archipelago, allowing you to see its unspoiled panoramas yourself.
Donoussa boasts pristine beaches with golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and several notable hiking trails that showcase the island’s primitive beauty.
One popular hike takes you from the main settlement of Stavros to the quaint village of Kalotartissa.
This 4.4km trek will reward you with dazzling views and the opportunity to feel the authentic charm of the island.
Another option is the path from Stavrós to the abandoned hamlet of Messariá, the village of Myrsíni, and finally, the picturesque beach at Livádi. What more could you ask?
Folegandros: Where Nature Meets Serenity
Folegandros is the perfect match if you’re looking for a rugged and undeveloped island with hair-rising scenery.
Located in the Cyclades group, the serene island offers a unique blend of natural beauty and traditional Greek charm.
Explore the island’s three main villages, including the capital, Chora, and discover its countless hiking trails.
Start in Chora and hike to the stunning beaches around Angali, or venture to Katergo and Karavostasis.
From here, walk to the nearby beaches of Agios Nikolaos and Fyra. Once there, enjoy the tranquility of the turquoise waters and secluded sandy shores.
Skopelos: A Green Heaven Waiting for You
Nestled in the Sporades archipelago, Skopelos is a green destination with unparalleled hiking potential.
Known as the blue-green island, Skopelos is notorious for its lush terrain, dense forests, and pristine beaches.
Even better, the island remains largely untouched by mass tourism, which means you get exclusive access to the island’s grandeur and tranquility.
And within that scene, you’ll get glimpses of the Mama Mia movie!
My favorite trails start from Ano Meria and lead to the island’s northwestern and southwestern coasts. Along the way, you’ll witness thrilling views and be able to discover hidden gems that will leave you in awe.
Crete: Ideal Destination for Hardcore Hikers
Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, beckons outdoor enthusiasts to explore its diverse terrain through hiking.
With a remarkable network of trails that wind through rugged mountains, breathtaking gorges, ancient ruins, and picturesque coastal vistas, Crete is one of Europe’s most popular hiking destinations and one of the best Greek islands for hiking.
The Samaria Gorge, for instance, is a stunning 13-kilometer-long canyon that cuts through the White Mountains in the westernmost region of Chania.
As hikers descend into the gorge, they encounter genuinely breathtaking scenery.
The trek concludes at the Libyan Sea, providing a sense of accomplishment and the opportunity to cool off in the crystal-clear waters.
For a more off-the-beaten-path experience, the E4 European Long Distance Path traverses Crete and offers a comprehensive journey through the island’s diverse landscapes.
This long-distance trail allows hikers to witness Crete’s rich cultural and historical heritage, passing through old villages, ancient archaeological sites, and olive groves.
Along the way, hikers may encounter hospitable locals proud to share their traditions and stories, enhancing the immersive experience of exploring the island on foot.
Crete’s hiking trails cater to various skill levels, from casual walkers to seasoned adventurers. The Lefka Ori, or White Mountains, present an enticing challenge for experienced hikers, with peaks over 2,000 meters above sea level.
Hiking in Crete is an immersive and enriching experience that boasts natural beauty, cultural heritage, and physical activity.
>> Read more: Complete Guide to Hike Imbros Gorge in Crete.
Andros: A Hiker’s Paradise with a Rich History
The island of Andros, located in the Cyclades, is a haven for hikers and history enthusiasts alike.
With its rich cultural heritage and distinct landscapes, Andros has hundreds of hiking trails for all skill levels.
The highlight? The island’s 300km network of narrow paths, many of which are ancient donkey tracks, allows you to explore its countryside, villages, and historic sites.
Start your hiking adventure from Apikia Village and follow the route to Gialia Beach, passing by sun-bleached ruins, ancient temples, and picturesque riverbeds.
For the more ambitious hikers, the 100km Andros footpath will take you on a journey from north to south, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to enjoy the island’s rich countryside.
Milos: A Volcanic Wonderland for Hikers
Milos, located in the Cyclades, is a volcanic island that boasts otherworldly scenery and rare geological formations.
You can choose between hundreds of hiking trails, from chalky white cliffs to secluded beaches. No matter where you are, you’ll quickly notice the island’s volcanic background and rugged terrain.
Take hikes to the Kleftiko Caves Lookout or the loop track from Plaka to Mandrakia and Sarakiniko for more inspiration.
These paths take you to beaches and coves that are inaccessible by car. That way, you’ll encounter hidden gems and uncover the island’s untamed wilderness.
Corfu: A Hiking Adventure in the Ionian Sea
Corfu, the largest of the Ionian Islands, is an extraordinary hiking retreat for nature lovers. Imagine a breathtaking 140-kilometer route, known as the Corfu Trail, that connects various smaller hiking paths.
This track takes you throughout the countryside, from dense olive groves to cliffs, lakes, and charming villages.
The verdict? If you have the time, join a multi-day trek adventure along the Corfu Trail, camping or staying in local guest houses as you go. Throughout the route, you’ll view parts of the island that tourists rarely see.
Stop at the beautiful beaches of Corfu, including the spectacular Paleokastritsa, for a refreshing swim or visit the ruined Monastery of Arkoudillas.
The Corfu Trail will give you unprecedented access to the island’s natural glamor and cultural heritage.
Spetses: A Serene Retreat for Nature Lovers
The island of Spetses, one of the best islands to visit near Athens, is nestled in the Argo-Saronic Gulf and offers a tranquil escape for nature and culture enthusiasts.
While known for its upscale atmosphere and vibrant harbor, the island is also home to vast woodlands and scenic hiking routes.
Venture outside Spetses town, and you’ll be surrounded by untouched scenery and awe-inspiring landscapes.
Hiking trails on Spetses cater to all ages and abilities, offering a variety of options for exploration.
One beautiful route is the circuit from Spetses town to Vigla, Gouri, and Ligoneri, which will reward you with gorgeous panoramic views of the Saronic Gulf.
Amorgos: A Secret of the Aegean
Amorgos, an island renowned for its dramatic landscapes and unique flora and fauna, is a dream come true for those who enjoy walks in a natural setting.
It’s genuinely one of the top Greek islands for hiking!
Known as the Blue Paths, Amorgos’ hiking routes offer sensational views of the Aegean Sea and take you through overwhelmingly beautiful terrain.
For example, attempt the island’s seven spectacular hikes, ranging in altitude from 300 to 821 meters. These tracks have been used since antiquity and offer a glimpse into the island’s rich history and natural allure.
Alternatively, follow the ancient “Old Strata” route from Chora to Langada and pass by the impressive Monastery of Hozoviotissa perched on a cliff face. Isn’t that scenic?
Conclusion: Where to Go Hiking on the Greek Islands?
As you can see, the Greek islands suit not only beach-hoppers but also hikers of all levels and backgrounds.
With their diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and breathtaking trails, the best Greek islands for hikers have something to offer every nature enthusiast, whether you enjoy a casual walk or are a well-seasoned hiking fan!
One question remains. Are you ready to climb the peaks of Greek islands and witness the Aegean Sea all around you?
Read more about the Greek Islands
- Greek Islands in April: Top Spring Destinations in Greece!
- Top Cheap Greek Islands for Budget Travelers
- Best Greek Islands in May: Where to Go to Beat the Crowds!
🛌 Suggested Accommodation in Athens:
- Budget: I recommend a stay in Athens Psiri Hotel, central and with top reviews.
- Mid-range: Stylish studio below the Acropolis in Plaka.
- Luxury: Coco-mat Athens BC offers comfort in a stunning location.
🗺️ More resources to book your trip to Greece:
- 🛫 Search for cheap flights with CheapOAir.
- 🛥️ Find convenient ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
- 🚕 Book airport transfer with Welcome Pickups.
- 🚘 Rent a car in Crete with Discover Cars.
- 📍 Join adventures and cultural experiences with Get Your Guide.
- Never leave without travel insurance Safety Wing.
- 💳 Carry the best credit card for travel with Wise.
Written by Dimitrios Tsevremes
Passionate about travel, spirituality, and sports, I have lived in 5 countries and traveled to more places than I have counted. Writing, for me, is a way to express myself and my creativity. Whether I write for my blog or a freelancing gig, I always fall in love with the process and often lose my sense of time. If you want, you can check out more about me and my work here.
Pin It: Best Greek Islands for Hikers!
About my blog:
I moved to Crete in 2016. During these years, I learned much about the island.
In Crete, I juggle being a solo mom, hosting culinary tours, and writing for several travel media.
I’ve written for Greek Reporter, published travel guides about Greece, co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete, and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.