Discover the Beautiful Hidden Gems in Greece You Can Visit Right Now!

Hidden places in Greece - ZAKYNTHOS, BLUE CAVES

Greece is a place of unique natural beauty, known for its stunning sandy beaches, beautiful blue skies, and iconic whitewashed landscapes. However, there’s more to Greece when it comes to the natural scenario of the country. In this article, we will show you some of the lesser-known, hidden gems in Greece that you should visit any time soon.

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Stunning Hidden Gems in Greece

Hidden gems in Greece

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There’s absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that Greece is one of the most beautiful natural and urban countries in the world.

White and golden sand beaches stretch out along the shorelines, and the beautiful blue skies cover every millimeter overhead, exposing the skin-tingling warmth of the Mediterranean sun.

However, while you may be tempted by all the typical destinations, like Crete, Santorini, and Mykonos, there are many who miss out on the hidden gems that can be discovered across the land.

hidden gems in Greece
Alonissos, Sporades.

If you’re willing to take a trip on the wild side and step off the beaten path, Greece is a wonderland of hidden secrets and majestic discoveries you’re not going to want to miss.

With this in mind, today we’re going to explore the very best hidden places Greece has to offer, showcasing what’s there, what you can explore, and why Greece should be at the top of your next vacation destination list.

The Deep Mani

hidden gems in Greece
Mani Peninsula.

If you’re heading down to the southern Greek coast, be sure to take your time checking out the wonderful Manu Peninsula.

Known for being one of the most remote and desolate mainland areas, there’s so much character to soak up here, it’s going to be hard to know where to begin.

Mani Peninsula is one of the most beautiful hidden places in Greece!

Most people will head into the Deep Mani, which refers to the southern part of the area, accessible by road, where you’ll find villages like the village of Gerolimenas.

This is an extremely picturesque fishing village that will make your heart ache with how beautiful it is.

hidden gems in Greece
Vathia, Mani.

There’re a lot of cave networks as well in this area, and if you’re looking for a really unique experience, then the abandoned village of Vathia has an atmosphere like no other.

>> Click here to find accommodation in the Mani Peninsula.

Lipsi Island, Dodecanese

GREECE - LIPSI ISLAND - PORT - BOATS
Port of Lipsi, Dodecanese.

The Lipsi Archipelago can easily be described in one word – breathtaking. Not to be confused with the inlet in Santorini that goes by the same name, this Lipsi can be found in the Dodecanese, right next to Patmos and Leros.

Sure, it’s a bit of an adventure in itself to reach, but it’s well worth taking the time to get there.

Within the archipelago, you’ll find over 40 small and uninhabited islands, all to explore at your own pace, as few or as many as you like, and there are few people who venture out this far, so the chances are you’ll have it mostly to yourself.

Just check out the white sand beaches of Aspronisi, and you’ll see why the people who have ventured out here call it a paradise.

hidden gems in Greece
Lipsi, the coast.

As the name goes, the only inhabited island in the area is Lipsi, which you can explore within a day on foot, and you’ll find a much calmer way of living here compared with the fast-paced lifestyle of modern city life.

It’s a very slow and traditional way of life that’s hard not to enjoy.

Where to Stay in Lipsi

I and my family have truly enjoyed this Greek destination. If you’re thinking about visiting, check out these places to stay, and remember to book in advance since there’s limited accommodation on the island.

  • Le Villette: Set 1.1 km from Lientou Beach, this property offers access to a terrace and free private parking. All units have a seating area with a sofa, a dining area, and a fully equipped kitchenette with various cooking facilities. Selected rooms also feature a balcony with sea views. There’s also a minimarket available at the villa.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.
  • Niriedes Villas: Surrounded by a garden, within 1 km from the main village of Lipsi, the traditional complex offers self-catering accommodation with views over the Aegean Sea and 500 meters from Lientou Beach. Villas open to private balconies or terraces and feature a living room and a fully equipped kitchen with a dining area. Lipsi Port is 2 km from the property.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.

The Melissani Lake Cave, Kefalonia (One of the best-hidden gems in Greece!)

hidden gems in Greece
Melissani Cave, Kefalonia.

If you’ve conducted any research in Greece already, you’ll have heard that Kefalonia is one of the most beautiful spots.

When you couple in a location known as the Melissani Lake Cave, you already know this will be a winning visit.

This is, as the name suggests, a huge lake cave that’s been named after the legend Melissani. She was a broken-hearted nymph who took her own life when the god Pan turned her down.

You can find this cave around 2 km outside of Sami, and the chances are you’ve seen it in lists of the most beautiful places on Earth already.

hidden gems in Greece
Melissani Lake.

Visiting here is a truly remarkable experience. You descend down into the underground passage into the cave, then hop on a boat to the center of the lake in the cave… Yes, the cave really is big enough for a boat.

The boat will take you underneath the hole in the roof that collapsed several thousand years ago.

Here you’ll see the Greek sunlight pour into the cave, creating an atmosphere quite unlike any other place on Earth.

With just the gentle splashes of the boat oars and the nature around, visiting this cave is nothing short of serene.

hidden gems in Greece
Spectacular views inside the cave.

The cave was actually quite a recent discovery, found in 1951. Research shows there are stalactites in the cave that date back over 20,000 years. Wow.

Easily one of the most visually stunning places on our list. You can visit it on a guided tour or on your own. This is a cave you’re not going to want to miss out on.

>> Click here to find accommodation in Kefalonia.

Papanikolis Cave, Lefkada

hidden gems in Greece
Papanikolis Cave.

Hand in hand with the lake cave above, another must-visit lake cave comes in the form of the Papanikolis Cave.

Lefkada is already famous for its beautiful scenery, including limestone cliffs and white sand beaches. And this is just one of many caves that dot the shoreline, although it’s by far one of the most captivating.

This particular cave is actually found a short boat ride away from Meganisi Island and gets its creative name from a submarine that hid there during World War II.

The cave has been a landing spot for many boats that would take refuge there during bad weather throughout history. Nowadays, it’s just a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

>> Did you know that you can check out the caves on a kayak at affordable prices? Click here to find out more!

hidden gems in Greece
Papanikolis Cave, in Lefkada.

The second-largest sea cave in Greece, the site is around 120m long and 60m wide.

The dazzling light bounces off the ocean waves in such a spectacular way, it could easily keep you hypnotized all afternoon. Yes, the waters are a little cold since they’re in the shade, but if you’re willing to take the plunge.

You can take your experience one step further by making your way to the sandy beach at the end of the cave.

Tourist numbers are few here, so don’t be surprised if you have it all to yourself during the quieter times of the year. Interested in a visit?

>> Click here to find accommodation in Lefkada.

Elafonisos, Laconia

hidden gems in Greece
Elafonisos Island.

Why does Greece name everything twice and after another place? You’ve probably heard of Elafonisi on Crete, the famous beach with pink sand that regularly tops the beautiful Greek beaches’ lists. Yeah, not that one.

If you head down to the most Southern Greek coast you can find a small island that also goes by the name of Elafonisos.

It is a small Greek island between the Peloponnese and Kythira and the beaches here are simply wow! Very similar to Crete’s version, but far less crowded and simply serene down there.

The island is small, only eight miles across, and is usually a tiny visiting place for sailors and those passing by on boats and yachts.

hidden gems in Greece
Simos Beach, Elafonisos.

There’s a little town here where you’ll be able to sample some of the locally caught fish, and that in itself is well worth the 15-minute ferry ride from the Gythio port on the mainland.

>> Click here to find accommodation in Elafonisos.

Karpathos Island

hidden gems in Greece
Apella Beach, Karpathos.

Rhodes and Crete are incredibly popular with tourists already, and while there may be few hidden gems to discover on these islands themselves, there is a vast discovery right under your nose.

The island of Karpathos. An island of itself is found right between Rhodes and Crete; it’s easily one of the most interesting places around.

It’s a small island, which is rather thin compared to others, but it’s home to some captivating cities and high mountain ranges— the perfect balance between stunning natural scenery and authentic, genuine towns.

Due to the location and lack of tourists, there’s also a very remote feel about venturing out to this island.

hidden gems in Greece
Pigiada Town, Karpathos.

The towns are amazing, and you can easily spend days soaking up the unique historic atmosphere, and the natural beauty will take your breath away, including the mountains and stunning beaches.

This island is a world away from the rest of the world. A much-needed sanctuary from modern life.

Karpathos is one of those hidden places in Greece that you won’t regret visiting!

>> Click here to find accommodation in Karpathos.

Vikos Gorge, Zagoria

hidden gems in Greece
Vikos Gorge.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit the Grand Canyon, but the US is too far away, or you’ve just wanted to see a much greener version of it, look no further than Vikos Gorge.

By far, one of the most striking and most dramatic valleys in Europe, it’s also one of the deepest.

Sure, the sister gorge Samaria tends to get a lot more attention from visitors, but that’s only because it’s on Crete, which is one of the main tourist islands.

This gorge is in the much-more remote northern part of Greece, which is far less visited, but just as beautiful.

hidden gems in Greece
Green landscape, Vikos, Zagoria.

If you’re heading to this northern area, then the gorge is well worth checking out, and you can hike freely as much as you like.

There are stone forests and small towns and villages to explore.

Although public transport options are limited, there are bus and transport services you can hire to get there and back as an excursion.

Click here to find accommodation in Zagoria.

The Mastic Villages, Chios

hidden gems in Greece
Chios Island.

By far, one of the least visited places on my list today comes in the form of the Mastic Villages. Found on the Chios island, you’ll need to take an internal flight to get there.

Once arrived, you’ll be treated to the very rare and unique sight of the medieval Mastic villages.

There are not many of these around nowadays!

hidden gems in Greece
Mesta, Chios

What makes this island just as special is the fact it’s the only place where Mastic trees grow, which themselves have very special healing properties in their resin.

Mastic or Mastixa used to be the island’s main source of income and wealth.

In fact, it was so valuable that the villagers even built defenses to keep out pirates and marauders who would try and take it.

There are 24 villages in total that can be found around the island. The best-preserved ones have to be Pyrgi, Mesta, and Olympia, so make sure you check these ones out!

Where to Stay in Chios

hidden gems in Greece
Geometrical patterns in the architecture of Pyrgi.

If you’re planning a visit and are wondering where to stay, I suggest you check out these places to stay in Chios:

  • Sea View Resorts & Spa: About 7 km from the island’s capital, the hotel is in Karfas, just 100 meters from the beach. It features a spa with massage services, an outdoor pool, and a gym. The self-catering rooms have a balcony, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a seating area. Relaxation options include an outdoor pool with panoramic sea views, a children’s pool, and a spa with a sauna, a gym, and a hot tub.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.
  • Grecian Castle Chios: Only 100 meters from Bella Vista Beach and 1 km from Chios Town, this place offers year-round accommodation and an outdoor pool with a sunbathing terrace. Some units open to balconies with countryside views. The in-house restaurant serves a rich American breakfast buffet and international and traditional cuisine for lunch and dinner. The hotel is 1 km from Chios Port and 2 km from the airport. Free parking is available
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Mount Pelion, Thessaly

hidden gems in Greece
View of Volos from Mount Pelion.

Also known as The healing mountain, the peak of Mount Pelion stands at a nice 5,000ft above sea level; this is a gem you’re not going to want to miss.

The mountainside is easily accessible covered with forests and is home to 24 unique villages.

Make your way around the mountain to experience all kinds of cafes and restaurants.

They’re surrounded by the most beautiful scenery, all of which are worth a visit in their own right.

Some venues will also give you the chance to take a step back in time to some of the more unique times in Greece’s history.

Down by the coast, check all the barricaded towns and villages that were once fortified to prevent pirates from attacking and looting the villages.

If you’re considering spending some time here, don’t miss the following places to stay in Volos:

You can even see the musket holes in the walls where people would shoot back! Just search for a few pictures of this mountain online, but be warned, as soon as you do, you’re not going to want to go anywhere else.

There’s even a ski resort near the top if spending winter in Greece is part of your plans!

Where to Stay in Pelion

hidden gems in Greece
Mount Pelion.

When looking for accommodation in Mount Pelion, check out these recommended places to stay in the area:

  • To Mpalkoni: Just 30 meters from the beaches of Parisena and Horefto, this traditional accommodation with Aegean Sea views offers a furnished balcony and a kitchenette with a mini fridge. The property facilities include a lush garden and a sun terrace with tables and chairs. A mini market, several restaurants, taverns, and café bars can be found 200 meters away.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.
  • Hotel Apartments Sikia: Amongst the olive groves of Kato Gatzea, this self-catered accommodation is 100 meters from the beach. All units include a furnished balcony, a kitchenette, and a dining space with a sofa. The hotel’s seafront tavern serves breakfast, fresh seafood, and traditional Greek dishes while drinks and coffee are served at the bar. There’s an on-site grocery, table tennis facilities, and a volleyball court. The lively village of Afyssos is 6 km away and Volos is a 15-minute drive.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Blue Caves, Zakynthos

hidden gems in Greece
Zakynthos.

If the gorge wasn’t reason enough to head north, then add the Blue Caves to your list. Kids love this particular destination, so this island can be a great place for a family vacation!

By far, one of the most popular and best-known visitor sites to the north of Greece, the natural limestone caves and archways here, interlaced with flowing oceans and calm sea currents, are truly remarkable.

Easily the best way to enjoy these sites for yourself is to hire a boat service whose captain can gently guide you through the limestone arches and around the coastline at your own pace.

This gives you enough time to feel relaxed and at peace alongside the calming waves.

The blue ocean here is unlike any blue ocean you’ve ever seen before, so don’t forget to take a camera.

Where to Stay in Zakynthos

hidden gems in Greece
Spectacular caves in Zakynthos.

These are some of the places I suggest on the island of Zakynthos, take a look!

  • Calypso Studios: Located only 50 meters from Ammoudi Beach, the family-run studios offer self-catering accommodation with a furnished balcony overlooking the Ionian Sea and only steps from the center of the village. Studios feature a kitchenette. The main town and port of Zakynthos are 15 km away. Free private parking is available near the premises.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.
  • Cavo Orient Beach Hotel & Suites: Located about 12 km from Zakynthos Town, the beachfront hotel boasts an outdoor pool and a sun terrace with an unobstructed sea view in Tragaki. It includes a sea-view buffet restaurant, a garden, and a children’s playground. Most units offer a balcony with sea or pool views, while some have a shared pool. A buffet breakfast is available every day at the hotel. Guests can enjoy their meals at the two restaurants or have a drink at the bar.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Diapontia Islands

hidden gems in Greece
(Dreizung – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Greece sure does have a lot of little islands waiting to be discovered. It’s amazing, isn’t it?

Millions of people travel to Greece every year in the hopes of finding a Mediterranean adventure.

However, they only stick to the well-known tourist full places everyone goes to. Why not spread your wings and find what other beautiful places Greece has to offer?

More specifically, why not head over to the Diapontia Islands?

This little cluster of islands is made up of twelve islands and islets (considering also the Albanian island Sazan. The better-known ones are Erikoussa, Mathraki, and Othoni (or Othonoi).  

Also known as Othonoi Islands, they are located in the Ionian Sea, northwest of Corfu. If you’ve been to or seen pictures of Corfu, then you’re going to be familiar with what you’ll find here. Just a much quieter, less tourist-full version.

Many people will travel to the main island of Erikoussa as a day trip from Corfu. However, next to nobody will stay overnight, nor will they head over to the other two islands.

This is a great way to see for yourself what Corfu would have looked like if there were no crowds.

Where to Stay in Corfu

CORFU

Make Corfu your base to visit the small nearby islands. These are some of the places I suggest:

  • Nina’s Luxury Apartments: Only 4.7 km from Pontikonisi, this is a recently renovated property in Corfu Town with quiet street views, parking on-site, and a patio. The apartment provides guests with a terrace, inner courtyard views, a seating area, and a fully equipped kitchen with an oven and a microwave. The apartment also has a barbecue and a garden.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Alternatively, you can also check out the best holiday homes in Corfu.

The Small Cyclades

hidden gems in Greece
Cycladic traits in Koufonisia.

If you want to explore Crete’s beautiful islands, but you don’t want to get caught up in all the tourism that goes on here, thus looking for a more genuine and authentic experience, then choose the Small Cyclades.

hidden gems in Greece
Kato Koufonisia.

Consisting of four main islands just off the coast of Naxos, if you’re into a little island-hopping adventure, then this is the adventure and a hidden gem for you.

You’ll find all the Greek standards: White sand beaches, gorgeous crystal-blue oceans, whitewashed rural villages and towns, and stunning natural scenery, all in a smaller, more convenient size.

The best place to stay when visiting the Small Cyclades is Naxos
>>Check this guide to Naxos’ best vacation home<<

hidden gems in Greece
Schinoussa, Bazaiou coast.

These islands, Donoussa, Koufonisia, Iraklia, and Schinoussa offer a more relaxed and traditional way of Greek life. There are plenty of walking trails to explore.

A few ferry connections to the islands make sure they’re not too difficult to access. If you want to sail from Naxos and visit these small islands, check out this tour.

Where to Stay in Koufonisia

If you’re looking for the best places to stay on this tiny island, keep in mind that accommodation in the area is very limited, therefore booking well in advance is the best suggestion I can give you.

  • Niriides Boutique Apartments: The Cycladic –style apartments are centrally located in Koufonisia, 150 meters from Ammos Beach. The elegant studios come with a kitchenette, a seating area, and a balcony with side views of the Aegean Sea or the courtyard. Guests are offered a free 2-way transfer from the port. Beaches such as Finikas, Fanos, Italida, and Pori are within a 10-minute walk.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.

The Blue Caves, Alonnisos

hidden gems in Greece
Caves, Alonnisos

The famous blue cave in Greece, this particular cave is in Alonnisos Marine Park. Unique to other caves, this one is a limestone triangle (okay, somewhat similar to the other caves) with beautiful blue waters.

As the sun moves across the sky, the water reflects the light onto the rock. This casts all manner of beautiful colors and spectrums out. Mother Nature sure does like to treat us from time to time.

Feel free to swim in these liberating waters and enjoy how clear they are. Seriously. You can see all the way down to the bottom in the right light, and it looks wonderful.

To complete the experience, why not stay in the beautiful old town of Alonnisos? The Chora was the capital of the island until 1965 when an earthquake destroyed many parts of the settlement.

Today, many old houses have been restored. You can stay in any of the whitewashed studios with terracotta roofs and blue balconies.

Where to Stay in Alonissos

hidden gems in Greece
Tourkoneri Beach, Alonissos.

Check out these recommended places to stay in Alinissos featuring excellent reviews:

  • Yalis Hotel: This 4-star hotel in the countryside of Alonnisos, right beside crystal clear beaches, offers free on-site parking and a swimming pool. All equipped rooms and suites come with a spacious seating area and a kitchen. It is only 5 km from the island’s main town (Chora) and only 2 km from Patitiri Harbor.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.
  • Pelagos Villas: Located in the area of Agios Dimitrios, this complex of traditional villas offers unobstructed Aegean Sea views within walking distance of Agios Dimitrios Beach. All air-conditioned villas come with a fully fitted kitchen including a dining area and a living room. Each unit has a spacious balcony with tables, chairs, and sun beds. Patitiri, the main town and port of Alonissos, is 15 km away. Free on-site parking is provided.
    Click here for more information and the latest prices.

Like most of the places listed, there are so few tourists who come out to explore this part of Greece.

Above all, it’s practically empty, meaning you can fully enjoy it how it was meant to be enjoyed. Which of these hidden gems in Greece would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments below!

Hey! Don’t Leave without Pining! Pin This Guide to Visit Greece Off-The-Beaten-Path!

Hidden gems in Greece

About the Author: Katherine Rundell is a travel writer at Coursework Help Service. She writes about Greece and many other beautiful places in Europe she loves to visit with her family. 


About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

1 thoughts on “Discover the Beautiful Hidden Gems in Greece You Can Visit Right Now!

  1. Julie says:

    A great blog a good trick I found take a GPS with you and have the gps take you on a walking tour we found things mst tour groups wouldn’t

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