Greece is flooded with tourists each year, hoping to experience the beauty of our country, catch a glimpse of the ancient world, and melt into its sandy beaches.

Yet, with over 6,000 islands, most still lie under the radar of the touristy buzz. Tucked away between the more popular destinations like Mykonos and Santorini you’ll find unique islands boasting incredible architecture, natural wonders, and culinary creations that few tourists get to discover.

If you want to experience the ultimate slow living lifestyle in Greece, these 4 islands are the perfect destination. They offer the serenity and escape from the busy crowds that you’ve been dreaming of.

What is Slow Living & Slow Travel

“Of all peoples the Greeks have dreamt the dream of life best.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The slow living lifestyle is a concept that has been gaining massive popularity in recent years, and with modern living constantly gearing towards efficiency, pacing, and stress, it’s easy to see why. 

Living slowly is about taking your time, and slow travel allows you to enjoy every moment of your trip. You don’t need to rush from one place to another, and it doesn’t matter if you take a few days more than planned or if you don’t visit the most tourist-hungry monuments. Time is yours to enjoy!

The art of a slower life is unique and remarkable, but it doesn’t mean the same for all. For some, it’s about total seclusion, while other urbanites might crave the island vibe but couldn’t imagine giving up their beloved coffee shops and bars.

One thing’s for sure – indulging yourself in slow tourism and mastering the art of living slowly will allow you to experience the depth and culture of Greece like never before; Connecting deeply with the environment, culture, and food and being truly present in each moment. Whether your vacation to Greece allows for a few days or a month, here are 5 of our favorite islands to enjoy the ultimate slow living experience: 

© Canva Library

1. Ikaria

Ikaria is one of the five blue zones around the world, which means that people here live peculiarly longer than the rest of the world. What’s their secret? Well, it’s not just about where they live; it’s how they live. 

Ikarians live at their own pace. They enjoy trekking the boundless mountains, drinking red wine, and feasting on the tastiest Mediterranean meals. The island has crystal-clear beaches, forested gorges, and beautiful scenery that entices visitors to explore its gorgeous countryside. 

If you’re looking for a place that embodies slow living, you could definitely learn a thing or two from the Ikarians. 

Photo by August Politis on Unsplash

2. Kythira

What makes Kythira so unique is its authenticity. It’s not overly developed or commercialized, and it offers a fantastic opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The island is well known for being the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love. Aphrodite rose out of the foam of the sea, and you can tell she’s left her mark on the place. Just ask one of the friendly locals to tell you about the lore, and you’ll surely learn something new.

You can spend your days hiking through the lush countryside and forests covering much of its landmass, gazing out into the breathtakingly beautiful landscape, fishing in its crystal clear waters, or even exploring the many ancient sites scattered throughout the island.

Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

3. Samothrace

This small island has all the charm of Greek culture but with nearly none of the touristy fuss. Samothraki spans 17 miles long, has 3,000 permanent residents, and has approximately 100,000 goats, producing some of the world’s most delicious cheese and a mouthwatering traditional stuffed-goat dish you shouldn’t miss out on! 

Every inch of the island is covered with evergreen forests, picturesque waterfalls, tangled trails, and freshwater springs with unique therapeutic properties. 

© Canva Library

4. Hydra

Hydra is the epitome of slow living. 

Located in the Saronic Gulf and just 2 hours from Piraeus port, it’s the closest island to Athens you’ll find on this list. It’s known for its picturesque streets, stunning architecture, inviting beaches, laid-back lifestyle, and quiet that the absence of cars and motor vehicles offers. 

That’s right! No cars are allowed on the island at all. If you need to get around, you can haul a boat taxi, walk or use a donkey! The people are amicable, and everyone is eager to help out. So don’t hesitate to ask a local about the best lunch spots!