I've written guidebooks about Greece for 15 years. Here are the hidden-gem locations you've been missing.

I've written guidebooks about Greece for 15 years. Here are the hidden-gem locations you've been missing.
  • As a guidebook writer, I've had the opportunity to explore Greece's hidden-gem locations.

  • Instead of visiting the most-crowded islands, I recommend checking out Rhodes, Symi, and Hydra.

  • I also love visiting the Peloponnese region, often referred to as an island within the mainland.

When travelers think about Greece, they probably think of hot spots like Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos.

But with popular places like Athens posed to be one of the top summer-travel destinations in 2024, many tourists will want to escape the crowds and visit the country's lesser-known spots.

Fortunately, I've spent 15 years writing guidebooks about Greece so I know a lot of great hidden gems.

Here's where I recommend visiting to get a flavor of authentic Greece, far from the well-trodden paths.

Rhodes sees about 300 days of sunshine each year.

Cobblestone streets and old buildings lined with plants.
Rhodes Old Town was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.Murat An/Shutterstock

Rhodes was one of the first island destinations I explored for my guidebook work. The island is easy to reach from Athens, as it's accessible by ferry or plane.

Admittedly, the island does get busy with all-inclusive crowds who come to relax on the many beaches. But the part I really fell in love with was Rhodes Old Town, also known as the Medieval City of Rhodes.

Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, this medieval city can also get pretty busy in summer with cruise visitors. That's why I recommend traveling in the spring or fall. Luckily, the island has about 300 days of sunshine a year, making it a great place to visit in any season.

I never get tired of the views in Symi.

Colorful houses built into a mountain on the water. There are boats docked in the water.
I always have my camera ready when I arrive in Symi Harbor. Rebecca Hall

When I take the ferry into Symi Harbor, I always make sure I'm out on the deck with my camera ready. I never get tired of the view of the colorful Venetian-style mansions tumbling down the hillside.

Although the island isn't famous for its beaches, it has some gorgeous swim spots. I recommend visiting Nimborio, a small sheltered cove with a narrow strip of sand surrounded by vegetation — and the occasional goat.

Hydra features the world's largest herd of working equines.

Donkeys with saddles in a town with cobblestone streets. There are colorful houses on a mountain in the background, and a boat docked in the water on the right.
Donkeys and mules help Hydra locals transport household goods. Sergii Figurnyi/Shutterstock

I love Hydra for several reasons, mainly because cars and motorcycles aren't allowed here. Instead, the island features the world's largest herd of working equines, who help to transport luggage and goods.

As soon as you step off the ferry, you'll be greeted by the horsemen who line their animals up to transport your luggage to your hotel.

Hydra doesn't have many sandy beaches, but you can swim directly off the Spilia bathing platforms along the coastal path next to Hydra Town.

I also recommend checking out the town's many fashion and jewelry boutiques, which stock local Greek designers.

The Peloponnese region offers a beautiful mix of mountains and beaches.

An aerial view of the houses by the water in Nafplio, Greece. There are also mountains in the background.
Nafplio is one of my favorite places in the Peloponnese region.Florian Augustin/Shutterstock

Sometimes referred to as an island within the mainland, the Peloponnese region is surrounded by water. It connects to the mainland at two points: the Corinth Canal and the Rio-Antirrio Bridge.

This stunning area has a mix of mountains and long stretches of beautiful beaches.

My favorite place to visit is Nafplio, which is a two-hour drive from Athens and the country's original capital. While there, I recommend visiting Bourtzi Castle, which was built in 1471 on a tiny island off the Nafplio port.

Read the original article on Business Insider