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Avoid the Crowds on These Tranquil Greek Islands

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The island of Agathonisi, Greece. Credit: Henrik Bach Nielsen/CC BY 2.0

How would you like to visit a beautiful Greek island inhabited by fewer than 200 people? Some of the islands we are about to look at have so few people, that the mode of transportation is by donkey, not taxi! They may just be for you, if you really need to get away.

Here are some tranquil Greek islands to visit while traveling in Greece


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Marathi. Credit: Tanya Dedyukhina/ CC BY 3.0

This is the island to visit when you want total seclusion from the rest of the world and to return to the natural beauty of unspoiled Greece. Marathi has only five inhabitants!

This enchanting island is located east of Patmos, just off the Turkish coastline and has an untouched coastline four kilometers in length.

It was inhabited by the Emilianos family back in 1977, who created a small hotel and restaurant for visitors who stop by the island during the summer months.


Irakleia, an island with a population of only 141 inhabitants, is perfect for tourists wishing to explore nature and history.

The island is 17.795 square kilometers (6.87 square miles) in area and it is located between the islands of Naxos and Ios; it can be reached by ferries from Athens, Naxos and Paros. This small island may have only just over 100 inhabitants, but it can boast of something big — the biggest caves in the Cyclades!

Besides this, the island has a rich history and has been inhabited from early antiquity as evidence of many mysterious rock paintings on the island date back some 5,000 years!


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The Greek island of Donousa. Credit: Av-fuzzy/CC-BY-SA-2.0

Want to visit a small island? Check out the island of Donousa which has only 167 inhabitants and an area of 1.375 square kilometers (about half of one square mile).

Donousa, located between Naxos and Amorgos, is one of the smallest islands in the Cyclades. It can be reached by ferry from Piraeus or by boat from Naxos or Amorgos.

This island remains unspoiled by tourists and has little means of transportation — which means that when you are on Donousa you can simply walk around and enjoy the beaches, most which are accessible by foot. Just pack an umbrella, since the beaches on this island are not organized and have no tourist facilities.


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The Greek island of Agathonisi. Credit: Henrik Bach Nielsen/CC BY 2.0

Relax on a secluded beach and escape all the tourists this summer by visiting the Greek island of Agathonisi. This small island is located in the northernmost point of the Dodecanese archipelago in Greece.

A 1920s census showed that the island had only 80 inhabitants at that time, most of whom were farmers and shepherds. Nowadays, there are still just 185 inhabitants on the 13.5 square kilometer (5.21 square mile) island.

Many people come there for the secluded beaches, and to visit the two quaint villages on the island called Megalo Chorio, or “Big Village,” and Mikro Chorio, meaning “Small Village.” The Municipality of Agathonisi includes an archipelago of uninhabited offshore islets including Glaros, Kouneli, Nera, and Psathonisio.

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