Five forgotten Greek islands to visit right now – Telegraph.co.uk

Alonnisos

Skiathos and Skopelos are hardly the most overcrowded of islands but Alonnisos, their companion in the Sporades, builds in even more distance from the beaten path. Overarchingly agricultural, alive with vineyards and fig trees, it is also the centrepoint of Alonnisos Marine Park the largest such protected space in Europe, which encompasses six other islets (including Gioura, Kyra Panagia and Skantzoura), and a population of Mediterranean monk seals. A seven-night break at the three-star Atrium hotel, flying out of Gatwick (to Skiathos) on Sept 25, costs from 625 per person (including breakfast and ferries) through Olympic Holidays (020 8492 6868).

You can forgive Karpathos its relative lack of fame. While it may be the second largest of the Dodecanese, it sits almost equidistant between two big beasts of the Aegean, Rhodes and Crete, and is dwarfed in holiday profile by both. No matter. With its wildflower meadows, and a safeguarded space of its own (the Regional Marine Park of Northern Karpathos), it is a perfect place for simple strollings. Responsible Travel (01273 823700) sells an eight-day walking break that charts the island on two feet, from 697 a head flights extra. Olympic Air flies in from Athens.

Historical reputation deems this steep-sided Ionian outcrop the one-time home of warrior-monarch Odysseus although recent research (and its more majestic size) suggests that next-door Kefalonia may have been the mythological wanderers home. But if Ithaca was too little for a king and a court, it is ideal for unassuming late-season relaxation, whether in the nominal capital Vathy (within reach of the lovely Filiatro Beach) or more northerly Kioni. A seven-night stay in the latter at the Eleni Apartments, flying from Manchester (to Kefalonia) on Sept 26, starts at 762 per person, including ferry transfers and car hire with Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays (020 8459 0777).

Whip your eye across the map of the Aegean, and you may fail to notice Skyros a lost shard of the Sporades, adrift in the south of the archipelago. Skyros is lushly forested in parts, while hard and elevated in others, where the highest mountain Kochila hits 2,598ft, it revels in a version of Greece so classical that Achilles is supposed to have set sail for Troy from its shore. You can pick up a week in Antigoni, a two-bedroom apartment (reference 450910) on the east coast, for 817, arriving on Sept 26, via HomeAway (020 8827 1971) again, Olympic Air offers flights via Athens. Alternatively, if you can wait for 2021, Skyros Holidays (01983 865566) runs residential learning holidays on westerly Atsitsa Bay, and will begin its first week-long break of the year with a focus on yoga and photography on June 20. From 695 per person (flights extra).

Pressed into the shadow of the Peloponnese just five miles to the south of the peninsula Kythira has, until recently, been something of a tourism secret. Increasingly, though, British travellers are discovering its gentle beauty whether that be the ghostly ruins of the village of Paliochora, or the discreet arc of Kaladi Beach. A seven-night stay at the three-star Porto Delfino Hotel in Kapsali, flying from Gatwick (via Athens) on Sept 24, costs from 1,057 per person, via Cachet Travel (020 8847 8700).

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Five forgotten Greek islands to visit right now - Telegraph.co.uk

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