TRAVEL

These Under-The-Radar Greek Islands Are Perfect Definitions Of Paradise

06/04/2015 04:30 pm ET

You've heard of Santorini and Mykonos, but these destinations aren't the only highlights among the more than 200 inhabited islands off the coast of Greece.

The lesser-known Greek islands are also bursting with culture and beauty. Most of them attract fewer tourists, so visitors have more freedom to enjoy turquoise water, lush hills and pristine architecture without thousands of other humans crowding around to do the same. Here are five islands worth a visit -- or a permanent stay.

 

1. Syros

Music echoes all over Syros: Visit the opera house on the coast, the open-air cinema and plenty of concert settings. Syros is known for its intricate neoclassical architecture. Of course you can dive in the water or go for a hike, too.

 

2. Amorgos

Amorgos strikes a perfect balance between adventure and relaxation. After hiking to the shipwreck in the cove, wander island paths to churches with stellar sunset views. Mouros Beach has an impressive collection of sea caves to snorkel.

 

3. Astypalaia

So much adventure; so little time. Historic landmarks abound on Astypalaia, like a real-deal Venetian Castle and numerous churches to explore. Take a boat cruise, trek into a cave, go mountain biking, or simply kick back at the beach.

 

4. Kastellorizo

Near the coast of Turkey sits an island of colorful mansions and homes. Take a hike through the hills for postcard views of Turkey's coastal towns. Limited roads and cars means plenty of space for strolling from cafes to shops to the medieval castle on a hill.

 

5. Andros

Andros is a natural paradise that'll leave everyone impressed. Trickling waterfalls and sandy beaches contrast with picturesque windmills and low-key nightlife options. Sailing and windsurfing are big here, too.

 
Myrto Damaskou contributed to this post.
 

 

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