Trips

The Best Islands for Hiking in Greece

Source: themediterraneantraveller.com
Written by Leo Klod

Greece is a country well-suited for hiking. It’s home to thousands of gorgeous islands with stunning landscape views, beautiful beaches, and majestic mountains. You will find scenic hiking trails on most islands in Greece, and it can be daunting to decide which island to go to for your next hiking adventure.

To make things easier for you, we’ve created a list of the best islands for hiking in Greece.

Santorini

Source: theculturetrip.com

When visiting the Greek islands, many people will immediately think of Santorini. With its rugged landscape, whitewashed villages, and beautiful beaches, Santorini is the perfect representation of a typical Greek island. And although it’s a popular destination for honeymooners, it also appeals to adventurous hikers. It has many excellent viewpoints, which you’ll come across during your hike.

The trek from Fira to Oia and back is one of Santorini’s most popular hiking routes. It offers some of Santorini’s most stunning landscapes, with clifftop views, picturesque villages, and historical sights. But if you want to venture off the beaten path, the trail towards Nae Kameni Volcano and Hot Springs would be a great idea. It takes you to the volcano and hot springs, two of Santorini’s most popular attractions. The Nae Kameni Volcano is active, although it has been dormant since the 1950s. After your hike, the perfect way to relax is to soak in the hot springs.

If you prefer a short and easy hike, take the path from Perissa Beach to Agios Georgios Beach. It’s a 3.2 km trail taking you to Santorini’s most beautiful beaches. Since it is well-paved, it’s easy enough even for families with little kids.

Mykonos

Source: hotels.com

While Mykonos is more famous as a party island and can get crowded during the summer, it’s still a fantastic island to visit if you’re looking for fun hiking adventures in Greece. You’ll find long stretches of solitude on the island, with trails taking you to secluded beaches, windmills, and a working lighthouse surrounded by breathtaking ocean views.

Families with kids can take the 2-km coastal path that leads to the island’s famous windmills. It begins at the white-washed square called Plateia Manto Mavrogenous. Head west towards the Old Jetty, taking the path at the harbourfront. You’ll pass through the old town of Hora, where you’ll see some boats bringing along some tourists. Continue towards Little Venice, where you can relax at the outdoor cafes before taking the gentle walkway towards the seven windmills.

If you want to venture away from the tourist crowds and into the countryside, take the 7-km path, starting at an organic farm called Mykonos Vioma to Fokos Beach, before reaching the stunning Mersini Beach, where you can relax with a drink on hand.

Athens

Source: britannica.com

When people think of Athens, they immediately think about the Acropolis or the Parthenon. While the city is famous for its historical sights, it also offers some of Greece’s best hikes. There are also some small cruises across the Greek Islands from Athens that you can book with Unforgettable Greece, making it the perfect hub to explore. Whether you’re looking for a short stroll around the bustling neighbourhoods or a path that takes you to the suburbs, Athens will have a hiking trail that’s perfect for you.

One of the most popular places to hike in Athens is the various hiking trails winding around Filopappou Hill. You’ll find many historical points and cultural interests along the way, including the ornate Filopappou monument dating back to 115 BC, built in honour of Roman commander Julius Filopappos, a famous commander during the Roman empire. Once you get to the top of the hill, you’ll see the magnificent views of Athens, including the Acropolis. The route is well-paved and should be suitable for hikers of all levels.

To explore a little further out of the city, head to the charming village of Tsagkarada in Thessaly, about three hours’ drive from Athens. It’s a fun hike all the way to Damouchari beach. If you’ve seen the famous Mamma Mia movie, you’ll recognise this beach, since this is where the Dancing Queen scene was filmed.

Crete

Source: hotels.com

Crete is the biggest of all Greek islands and is famous for its incredible scenery. Lying along the Mediterranean Sea, Crete is a fun place to hike, where you’ll find extraordinary beaches and historical gems along the path.

One of Crete’s most popular hiking trails is the E4 European Walking Path, a 500 km straight path taking you through the island and offering picturesque views of the sea. There are challenging sections along the way, including a coastal trail and an alpine path that could test your limits, but it’s worth it. This trail would be perfect for adventurous hikers looking for challenging hikes.

Another scenic hiking trail in Crete takes you to Samaria Gorge, one of the most popular attractions on the island. At 18 km long, the hike takes about four to seven hours, depending on your hiking ability. The trail will also lead you to Timios Stavros, the tallest peak in Greece. At 2,546 metres tall, it’s a phenomenal climb and a dream for many mountaineers.

Rhodes

Source: greeka.com

Rhodes is one of those islands made for walking. At 1,398 km, it’s the largest among the Dodecanese group of islands. There are different walking trails around the island, including those taking you through lush forests, mountains, and coastal paths.

If you prefer to walk along short-distance trails, take the 2.5-mile road to the Lindos Peninsula, starting at Lindos Beach. This path will take you through a scenic viewpoint that opens to the panoramic views of the bay and the peninsula. Some parts are a bit rocky, so wear proper hiking shoes. The walk should not take longer than an hour. At the end of your walk, take a refreshing dip along the Mediterranean Sea.

The Aghia Soula Forest Loop is another popular walking trail in Rhodes, which takes you through a lush forest with a slight uphill climb. Much of the way overlooks the gorgeous hillside views and the sea. It’s a 4.5-mile long walk with paved paths, ideal for beginners. As you walk through the forest, you could come across the Dama-Dama deer, a protected deer native to the island.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leo Klod

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