The country of 227 islands, home to some of the cleanest beaches bounded by some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean basin, Greece is bound to surge in popularity further this summer, especially now that more nonstop flights from the States have been added.

If you’re thinking of popping ’round, but the prohibitive prices of jam-packed Santorini and party-devastated Mykonos are making you balk, this new Which? research has offered us insight into what are some of the cheapest island getaways in the Hellenic Republic.

Including laid-back gems that are yet to succumb to the hordes of tourists, these 3 islands are where you’ll get the best value for money traveling Greece this summer:


A Young Couple Of Tourists Admiring The View Of A Small Beach In Lefkada, Greece, Southern Europe

Greece’s Ionian Sea is best known for resort islands like Corfu and Zakynthos, but these can be exceedingly pricey to visit in the peak season, not to mention the crowds of seasonal visitors: luckily, there is a much more affordable off-beat alternative in Lefkada.

It has its sisters’ gorgeus Maldives-like white-sand beaches, including the landmark Porto Katsiki, a narrow sandy stretch wedged between tall cliffs and turquoise waters that rivals Zakynthos’ world-famous ‘Shipwreck’ beach in beauty, and quaint fishing villages as picturesque as Corfu’s.

Aerial View Of Lefkada, An Island In Greece, Southern Europe

A small island covering an area of 117 square miles, with a population of just over 21,000 people, and a comprehensive road network reaching all of the key sites and towns, including the capital (also called Lefkada), where the hotels and beach clubs are centered, it is perfect for a sunny escapade.

It is incredibly affordable, also, with a one-week stay costing an acceptable $1,156 per person, including accommodation, transfers, and intra-Europe flights to Lefkada (Aktion Airport) – you can’t fly from the U.S. to the Greek islands anyway, so a stopover in Athens or other major European hub is required.


Aerial View Of A Beach Area In Thassos, An Island In Greece, Southern Europe

Moving down the list, we have the northernmost of the Greek islands, a stone’s throw away from the country’s Macedonian mainland, and a tight-knit community of 13,000 locals that’s incredibly welcoming to foreign visitors (who are fortunately not coming here in droves).

Thassos is renowned for its wine, easily distinguishable for its apple aroma, boundless marble that was used to build temples and monuments across Ancient Greece as early as the 7th century B.C., and sleepy, centuries-old villages resting amid verdant hills.

Sandy Beach Bounded By The Turquoise Waters Of The Mediterranean Sea In Thassos, Greece, Southern Europe

Its beaches are just as striking a sight, with virgin white sands that unfold along warm, teal-colored seas and only a limited number of boutique beachfront hotels and family-owned guesthouses to accommodate guests, giving them a greater sense of exclusivity.

It probably helps that the only way to reach Thassos is via ferry from Kavala Port, with the nearest major international airport being 95 miles away in Thessaloniki – but hey, it’s the remoteness that renders it so charming, and $1,066 for the entire week is too-enticing a deal to ignore.


Historic Church In Kalymnos, An Island In Greece, Southern Europe

Officially the cheapest tourist island in Greece according to the latest survey, Kalymnos is an unheard-of Aegean gem located halfway between the much-more popular Kos, which hosts nonstop flights from all over Europe, and Leros, connected to Athens by a nine-hour ferry.

Strangely enough, Kalymnos is one of the most affluent islands in Greece, known nationally for its well-developed sponge-making industry and high GDP per capita, but its affordability may have something to do with the fact it is not on the average tourist’s radar.

Historic Port Town Of Pothia In Kalymnos Island, Greece, Southern Europe

You know how it goes at this point: a limited number of hotels and guesthouses, crowd-free sand-and-pebble beaches, plenty of rugged hikes leading to historic churches perched atop hills, and a postcard-ready small capital (Pothia) that serves as the main gateway.

This 17,000-people-strong island can only be reached by ferry, usually from neighboring Kos, and based on the Which? findings, slow-living in Kalymnos for a week will only cost you $1,047 for the week – harborside seafood meals, ferries and accommodation included.

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