Backpacking around the Greek islands has been popular for decades and it is easy to see why. With a perfect mix of culture, beaches and great food, it charms visitors year after year. Hot days are a guarantee as are warm evenings to enjoy drinks watching the sunset before sampling some traditional food. Transport between the islands is easy to organise and you can see a variety of islands even if you only have limited time. You can rent scooters on most of the islands for around 10 euros a day which will enable you to explore and find remote villages and beaches that you may not find just by foot or public transport. Whether you’re a backpacker or you’re just looking for somewhere to enjoy your annual holidays, Greek Island hopping is hard to beat!
Whilst accommodation is not quite how it used to be with little old ladies lining up at the ferry terminals offering you rooms in their houses, you can still find some great traditional budget accommodation on the islands. If you look around and do some haggling you will find decent apartments for about 20 euros a night. You can also camp on most of the islands but if you are travelling in the peak summer months be sure to get a pitch in the shade or your tent may turn in to a furnace!
The food in Greece is great and there are a range of restaurants to suit all budgets. Some foods to definitely try are Kleftiko, Dolmades baklava and of course greek salad! If you are on a tight budget, you will be able to buy local food in supermarkets to get by. Sometimes the best dinners can be a selection of cold meats and cheeses with some freshly baked bread and a bottle of local wine!
There are so many places to visit it can sometimes be difficult picking where to go. Different islands will offer a different experience depending on what you are looking for. Below we have picked some of our favourite places to help you plan your route.
Santorini is great for many reasons but perhaps the best is the sunset views from the village of Ola. There are also eight wineries on Santorini where you can go to free tastings to sample the local wines.
Tilos is more mountainous than other islands and will suit those who are looking for somewhere to walk and see some beautiful flora and fauna. It is a small island and is situated between Kos and Rhodes.
Gavdos has somehow managed to remain remarkably untouched and is an incredibly relaxed and peaceful island. It’s main beaches Agios, Ionnis and Potamos are incredible and arguably the best in Greece.
This island is worth visiting alone for the beautiful Navagio Beach (sometimes referred to as shipwreck beach and smugglers cove). The beach is breathtaking and can only be reached by boat.
Mykanos has a faster pace of life than other islands and definitely earns its reputation as a party island. However, despite all this there are still many picturesque quaint little fishing villages to explore and it caters for the backpacker just as much as it caters for the package holiday makers.