From seafood to feta, these are the best Greek islands for foodies
One of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, Greece needs no introduction. But while many associate the country with ancient monuments, whitewashed buildings and the highly Instagrammable domes of Santoriniif you look beyond the usual tourism hotspots you will find hidden coves, quiet beaches and a thriving food scene
Despite the quiet years of the pandemic, Greek tourism has shown great resilience and demonstrated just how captivating this Mediterranean gem really is.
“We’ve had a wonderful 2022. After two and a half years which have been really difficult because of Covid, I think we’ve had a full recovery Greek tourism in 2022,” says Dimitris Fragakis, Secretary General of the Greek National Tourism Organization.
“Of course we have new challenges for 2023, but I think Greece will be there The five best countries for the demand this season and we’re optimistic that we’re going to have a really great season.”
How many islands does Greece have?
Greece is over 6,000 islands and islands to his name, with 227 inhabited. While some islands, such as Crete, Mykonos and Corfu have become very popular with tourists, while others are still a bit under the radar. It’s these islands which the Greek Tourist Board now wants to promote, with a focus on sustainability.
“sustainability is one of our major goals for the next ten years. I think that is one of our big goals for tourism and of course also one of the big goals in society,” explains Fragakis. “Because you cannot have viable tourism if you don’t protect your environment.”
Are there Michelin restaurants in Greece?
This strategy is already starting to pay off – in 2021 Greece was named the most sustainable food Aim in the world of Lonely Planet. Building on this success, the Greek Tourist Board has signed a contract with the Michelin guide also, which Fragakis hopes will bring more food tourists to the food capital of Athens and the surrounding islands.
“You know, the gastronomy and products from Greece are unique. We invest in this type of tourism, in fact a few months ago we signed a really important agreement with them Michelin guide to include Greece in the guide,” explains Fragakis.
“It’s really important for us because it’s high-end tourism, people can travel around the country and see our gastronomic products and the people who make them.”
Which islands in Greece are the best for foodies?
While you might want to photograph the Santorini sunsets or explore the ruins of Delos during your trip to Greece, Fragakis wants you to explore some of the country’s lesser-known spots islands.
“Our goal is to educate people about some travel destinations that they don’t know about because Greece are not just the well-known islands and the well-known travel destinations,” says Fragakis.
“Greece is a destination than one the whole countryall year round.”
Tilos, a small island in the Dodecanese group between Rhodes and Kos, is a lesser-known island that meets both food and sustainability criteria.
How is Tilos?
If you want a relaxing holiday on an island known for sustainability and featuring some great local foods then Tilos is for you. The island even won an EU award for its green energy transition and now has a hybrid power plant, using the power of wind and sun to generate its own energy.
Here is a large nature reserve where many rare birds can also be found, including Eleonora’s falcon and the European bee-eater. The island was once home to some even rarer wildlife – the last dwarf over 4,000 years ago elephants from Europe can be found here.
Nowadays the most touristic area of the island is the port town of Livadia, which lies at the foot of a Mountain. Here you’ll find restaurants serving some of Tilos’ most famous dishes, including oven-baked stuffed goats, pan-fried vegetable pies, and oven-baked pork with wheat.
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to try pouggakia, a traditional type of pastries that is filled with almonds and sesame.
What to eat in Donousa?
Donousa, the northernmost island in the Eastern Cyclades, is another island committed to sustainability, particularly in the food and beverage industry. Research from 2018 found this to be the case 45,000 plastic glasses were used on the island, but by 2019 that number had halved.
Named after Dionysus, the ancient Greek god of wine, the island is 13.65 square kilometers and is the perfect destination for wine hike among the fragrant wild herbs that line the rocky hills and mountains.
It is these herbs that make the food on Donousa so delicious. Most of the restaurants on the island are traditional taverns where you can find a mix of seafood and meat dishes on the side locally grown vegetables.
Be sure to check out Avli Donoussa, a restaurant which specializes in seafood, including sardines and calamari, as well as delicious dishes like feta in filo pastry.