Did you know Santorini attracts more than two million holidaymakers each year? We’re not surprised, to be honest. Just one look at those iconic white-washed alleyways on Instagram is enough to convince us we need to go on holiday there next…
While Santorini is one of the most beautiful and popular Greek islands, a huge influx of holidaymakers means the island’s infrastructure and resources are reaching breaking point. Even daily cruise passenger numbers decreased from 18,000 to just 8,000 this year to help alleviate the issue. It’s not all bad news, though. We’ve got plenty more unique places up our sleeve for you to discover on your next sun-kissed holiday. So if you want to beat the crowds, why not visit one of Greece’s lesser-known islands instead, like Samos? This place comes with 3,000 years’ worth of history, unbeatable hiking trails, and plenty of dreamy-looking architecture.
Life’s a beach
Samos is perfect for beach lovers. It boasts everything from long belts of sand to pebbly coves, so there’s something to suit everyone. One of the best beaches on the island is called Psili Ammos , which translates to ‘fine sand’ in English. Here, the powdery sands are perfect for families, and the calm waters are ideal for snorkelling sessions. Plus, you’ll get to chill out while soaking up vistas of Turkey in the distance. Bliss.
Take a hike
Thanks to Samos’ breadth of countryside scenery, it makes excellent walking territory. In the summer months, kaleidoscopic wildflowers cover the hills, so it’s really beautiful. If you feel like tackling a tricky trail, tie up your hiking boots and make tracks for Mount Kerkis, which stretches 1,400 metres into the sky. You’ll find it on the western side of the island, where narrow pathways lead you up through olive groves, and give you fantastic views of the ocean from the top. Fancy something more chilled? Follow one of the routes from Kokkari to Kondakeika, taking in pine forests, orchards and hilltop villages on the way.
Just like sultry Santorini, Samos is packed with cobbled lanes, white-washed churches, and gorgeous bays, making it a haven for photography lovers. We recommend snapping Pythagorion’s harbour front, which is home to dreamy sail boats bobbing in the water, and a pastel-coloured hillside. Pythagorion’s history is really interesting, too, dating back almost 3,000 years. Did you know this place is the home of legendary mathematician, Pythagorias? What a piece of pie…