The Best Greek Islands for Hiking and Nature-gazing

The Best Greek Islands for Hiking and Nature-gazing

Written by: melina on: February 11, 2022

Magnificent islands, countless summer destinations, options for all tastes. Greece is famous for its natural treasures. As a result, every summer, it is an attraction for tourists from all over the world. Are you and your better half fans of nature and alternative destinations? Are you also looking for the perfect place for your romantic vacation? Below you’ll find the best Greek islands for hiking and nature-gazing. 

Our country has impressive waterfalls, which offer a magnificent spectacle and are waiting for you to explore them. It would be a shame to not admire their wild beauty up close. So prepare your travel bag and choose the ideal place for you.

Samothrace

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Samothrace – credits: GoGri/Shuttestock.com

The island of Samothrace is famous for its natural landscapes and dense vegetation. Additionally, it has been associated with nature walks and complete relaxation in its countless idyllic landscapes. Therefore, there is no doubt is a supreme destination for your Greece honeymoon.

It combines the mountain with the sea and has the best Greek island beaches for couples. At the same time, its trademark is the remarkable waterfalls, gorges, pedestals, and hiking trails. It is impossible to leave the island without diving from the famous pedestals, the “natural pools” with crystal clear waters. 

The stream of Fonias, with its highest waterfall Klidosi, 35 meters high, is one of the most beautiful in Greece. As a result, the spectacle you will see reaching this point will impress you. It is accessible through a path, while the island has at least 100 pedestals.

Kythira

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Kythira – credits: Aerial-motion/Shutterstock.com

It is an island that generally does not resemble anything else in Greece. Kythira is located in the south of the Peloponnese. It stands out for its impressive beaches, outstanding natural landscapes, and exquisite local products. It also stands out for its turquoise waters and dense vegetation with the waterfalls and the pedestals.

Kythira is an island with a vast history, and it is worth visiting to admire its incomparable beauty up close. So, if you belong to those who like to explore nature, you should visit the Fairy Waterfall. However, it would be best to be careful because the route is a bit dangerous. 

Also, it would be a great idea to visit the Tsakonas gorge. The famous gorge is suitable for hiking, starting from Mitaton square. And in this case, the path you will cross will not be very easy. However, the spectacle you will see when you arrive will reward you.

Crete

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Crete – credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

Imposing Crete is the largest island in Greece and offers many options for those who choose it for their holidays. Crete is a place that combines everything. It has areas for relaxation, fun, and good food. 

In the north of the island, you can find big cities, such as Heraklion and Chania. Moreover, the southern part is famous for its beautiful landscapes and beautiful beaches. It is popular for its stunning coasts, idyllic setting, clear blue waters, and excellent Cretan cuisine. However, it is also an ideal choice for those who love to explore nature. 

A must-visit place is the gorge of Richtis, located in the prefecture of Lassithi. What’s more, on the north side, between Agios Nikolaos and Sitia, there is an impressive waterfall 20 meters high. The lush landscape and the aromatic plants create a unique atmosphere worth enjoying up close.

Rhodes

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Rhodes – credits: Philippos Phiippou/Shutterstock.com

It is the largest island of the Dodecanese and is a cosmopolitan destination with incredible natural beauty. 

Rhodes is one of the most popular destinations for both Greeks and tourists arriving in the country from abroad. It stands out for its impressive land and countless beaches. At the same time, it is offered for nature activities, good food, and traditional flavors. 

It has small, picturesque villages and many places full of green and rich vegetation, which gather many people. One such magical place is the Seven Springs and the tunnel that leads to a small paradise, located just 30 km away from the city of Rhodes. 

The springs gush water. The water becomes a river and eventually ends in a lake. This happens through an impressive tunnel that creates an extraordinary landscape.

Lefkada

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Lefkada – credits: Netfalls-Remy-Musser/shutterstock.com

The striking Lefkada is located in the Ionian Islands and is a popular destination every summer. It is popular for its unique luscious nature and fairytale beaches, with enchanting turquoise waters, golden sand, and fine pebbles. However, it is also a must destination for nature lovers and fans of water sports. 

The pole of attraction is the waterfalls of Dimosari. They are located just 4 km from the sea, in an area reminiscent of mainland Greece. What’s more, they are offered for exploration and hiking. 

The dense vegetation and the golden yellow colors that the leaves get from the plane trees are a treat. Additionally, in combination with the imposing rocks that sparkle, they create images that we are used to seeing in the movies.

Ikaria

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Ikaria – credits: NDT/Shutterstock.com

The island of Ikaria is full of dense forests and hidden beaches, coves, and cliffs. Activities such as hiking, walking, and cycling are pretty popular on the island. This is thanks to a network that passes through a magnificent composition of farms, lakes, and forests along the way. Ikaria is an island that fascinates its visitor. That happens because the contrasts that compose it create a magical atmosphere that is incomparable to anywhere in the country! 

Wild landscapes, cliffs, and high mountains, secluded beaches with clear blue waters. Moreover, permanently stormy shores, artificial lakes, and rivers, traditional settlements, unique forests, isolated monasteries. Lastly, people who keep their tradition. Who love their island, and who party and become one with the visitors dancing to the rhythms of Ikarian dance. Al these are what make Ikaria island so special.

People who forget the flow of time enjoy carelessness, relaxation, life. This is the Ikaria of myth and reality.

Samos

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Samos credits: Pawel Kazmierczak/Shuttestock.com

Samos of Pythagoras, Polycrates, and Aristarchus. Nature was generous with the island of Samos and endowed it with unique beauties satisfying all tastes. 

It is a “myth” island since antiquity, with many historical monuments. Some of them are Heraion, the largest surviving sanctuary dedicated to Hera, but also the only Eupalini Trench, an aqueduct tunnel 1,036 meters long, built in the 6th century BC. The latter is still admired by the world scientific community for its construction perfection. 

If you are fascinated by Greek antiquity, it is worth visiting Samos for its many historical caves. For example, the philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras lived in the caves of Kerkis before leaving for Croton in Sicily.

A tour around Samos will fill you with colors and aromas. You will encounter dense forests, fertile plains overgrown with olive trees. Additionally, you will find vineyards that give its famous products, oil, and wine. 

The island perfectly combines the mountainous landscape of its steep ridges with the many beaches, some with sand, and others with fine pebbles, others cosmopolitan, and others hidden and secluded. 

Its underwater landscapes are perfect for ecologists and passionate divers. Meadows of Posidonia oceanica spread all over the island, occupying a large part of the aquatic flora. 

In the already rich marine biodiversity of Samos are added the herds of dolphins and several appearances of the Mediterranean seal that enrich the marine life.

Amorgos

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Amorgos – credits: Kite_rin/Shutterstock.com

The island of light and poetry, Amorgos, stretches in the middle of the Aegean, hiding incredible beauties. With unique nature, high altitude routes, beaches with crystal clear waters, and an irresistibly picturesque town, it is ideal for romantic holidays full of ecological explorations. 

The flora in Amorgos is remarkable, with many rare endemic species. It is no coincidence that the island got its name from the amorgis plant. This plant is a type of flax from which the “aliko amorgides,” tunics of Amorgos, were made.

No matter how small it looks, Amorgos is not for once or for only a few days. Despite its only 121 square kilometers, it is long and narrow and suitable for interesting hiking routes and motorcycle rides. 

Wild landscape, and road routes that constantly move above the sea on an island with rocky and rough shores, will steal your breath. What’s more, the unforgettable sunset in Tholaria, its unique country, is one of the most authentic in the Cyclades. Another incredible sight is the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, which looks like a painting on the rock.

Donoussa

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Donoussa – credits: greeka.com

For many, Donoussa retains its wild, windswept physiognomy in a characteristic ancient, Cycladic landscape. The landscape is constantly changing within a small area of ​​about 13.5 sq. km. 

Golden beaches, giant cliffs, dense drylands, underwater caves, small ridges, reefs, and dry islands create a rich ecosystem full of small discoveries. Donoussa is characterized by many capes, coves, and cliffs that end at sea.

The island is an essential migratory passage for birds. The strong presence and nesting on the cliffs of Mavropetritis stand out. At the same time, in Skoulonisi, there is a small colony of Aegean gulls.

Nisyros

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Nisyros – credits: Tom Jastram/Shutterstock.com

Striking Nisyros is a beautiful island of the Dodecanese. There, lava, sulfur, minerals, and pumice have given it a unique appearance. Between Kos, Tilos, and the coasts of Central Asia, Nisyros is a sculpture of nature’s tectonic forces. Its morphology is mountainous and stony with minimal flat points. 

In the center of the island, there is a caldera with a diameter of 4 km. In addition, there is a sizeable hydrothermal crater, “Polyvotis.” It has a diameter of 260 meters and a depth of 30 m. The island’s volcanic soil is particularly fertile, thus contributing to lush vegetation. 

Around it, there are four islands, the largest of which is Gyali, followed by Pyrgousa, Pachia, and Stroggili.

Folegandros

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Folegandros – credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com

Like a small pearl of the Aegean where time seems to have stopped, Folegandros lies between Milos and Sikinos. ready to welcome the friends of tranquility and nature. Although it belongs to the category of non-cosmopolitan islands, it attracts many visitors worldwide.

Folegandros is a steep and rocky island with about 600 inhabitants, mainly engaged in agriculture and fishing. The spontaneity and warmth of the locals win the visitor from the first moment. Those also contribute to the uniqueness of the atmosphere that prevails on the island.

The wild landscape of Folegandros, its winding streets, and its charming Chora inspire every traveler by offering unforgettable images. Its Chora is actually one of the most beautiful Cycladic cities with the whitewashed houses enclosing the Castle of the area,

The island is suitable for continuous walks and tours from one end to the other. It has steep but beautiful crystal clear beaches, some easily accessible and others not.

Halki

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Halki – credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com

The island of Halki is the definition of quiet, relaxation. Additionally, it is the perfect place for walks in nature that will fully immerse you into Greek island life. 

It is one of the minor islands of the Dodecanese complex, with unspoiled beauties and crystal clear beaches. The island is a peaceful destination of 300 inhabitants with the one and only settlement, Emporio.

In recent years, Halki has been declared a “center of peace and friendship.” Young people and couples from all over the world visit the island every summer and organize cultural events.

Chios

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Chios – credits: Milan Gonda/Shutterstock.com

The island of mastic and wild tulip is endowed with the most colorful, fragrant spring of our country. It does so even though fate struck it with a big fire.

Chios is an affluent island in every way. Next to the Asian coast, it is characterized by a great diversity of landscapes, fertile land, and ecosystems. In those, many rare species of flora and fauna live.

To the north rises the forested, impressive Mount Pelinnaio. The central area boasts beautiful hills with phrygana and the famous Plain of Chios. Finally, to the south lies the Mediterranean vegetation with mastic trees. 

Its location off the coast of Central Asia, its geological history, topography, and isolation led to the evolution of unique plants and animals.

Kastellorizo

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Kastellorizo – credits: Foxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock.com

Megisti, better known as Kastellorizo, lies in the most southeastern tip of Europe. It is only two nautical miles from the Turkish coast. 

The island gained its official name, Megisti, -which means ‘the biggest’- because it is the largest complex of fourteen small islands, with Ro being the most famous.

The Romans and the Byzantines ruled the island, and then, in 1306, the Knights of St. John of Rhodes rebuilt the tall castle of the island with its high double walls and loopholes, making it one of the strongest fortresses of the Aegean. 

Apart from the great historical past, your Greek island vacations in Kastelorizo are perfect for unique ecological explorations. Here you can find the largest and most beautiful of the underwater caves of Greece and the Mediterranean, the Blue Cave. 

You can also find “Cave of Parasta” or “Fokiali” that stands out for the countless stalactites. It also attracts attention because of the thousands of wild pigeons that fly inside.

Gavdos

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Gavdos – credits: Georgios Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

The southernmost Greek island smells of wild thyme and is inspired by relaxation similar to the ’60s. It is the southernmost tip of Europe. 

About 50 people permanently inhabit the island of Gavdos, but this changes in summer. In the middle of the Libyan Sea, with crystal clear blue waters, enchanting beaches, and cedar forests, the island of Gavdos is a fairytale destination with rich natural beauty.

In fact, the beach of Ai Giannis has emerged as the second-best beach in the world by the Discovery Channel.

Now you know where to enjoy Greek nature at its best with your better half. Relax with nature-gazing as your tool. Don’t hesitate to explore the undiscovered treasures of Greece and experience the country in an unconventional way personal to you through our Greece honeymoon packages. Especially if this is your first couple’s vacation in Greece. Greece will happily surprise you!

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