Home to some of Greece’s most stunning archaeological ruins, these idyllic islands are worth rediscovering on your next visit.
Tiny, remote, and rugged, Folegandros appeals to escapists and old-fashioned romantics. Its main village, Chora (literally “town” in Greek — the name given to all Cycladic capitals), is built up to the edge of a 250-meter- high cliff; from here, you can access a number of good beaches via stone-paved donkey tracks or by little fishing boats departing daily from the port. Stay at the delightful family-run Anemomilos Apartments (doubles from US$260) in Chora, where most of the 16 self-catering studios afford spectacular views down to the sea.
The second largest of the Cyclades is discreetly affluent and unspoiled by mass tourism. Visited primarily by moneyed Athenians, Andros has just a handful of low-profile eateries and chic little art galleries, not to mention several fantastic beaches, notably Ahla, one of Greece’s most stunning. Stay at Ktima Lemonies (doubles from US$144); repurposed from the ruins of an old farm in the village of Lamyra, it’s rustic on the outside and country-house chic within.
Featured in Luc Besson’s gorgeous 1988 free-diving film The Big Blue, this under-the-radar island nonetheless remains blissfully unexploited — probably because it’s an eight-hour ferry ride from Piraeus. But its dramatic mountainous landscapes and laid-back atmosphere are hard to beat. In hilltop Chora, stay at Vorina Ktismata (doubles from US$180), whose five standalone suites are impeccably finished.
Naxos’s neighbor to the west, Paros is home to the picturesque fishing port of Naoussa and some lovely rural villages, all the more beguiling for their relative lack of tourist crowds. While there are plenty of quaint bed-and-breakfasts to choose from, the island’s smartest new lodging is the 48-room Mr & Mrs White (doubles from US$315), a contemporary Cycladic–style resort on the outskirts of Naoussa.
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“My Blue Heaven”).