Mini-Guide to Anafi

Anafi, located near Santorini, is a tiny island with a slow-paced lifestyle and traditional vibe. Boasting a rugged yet serene landscape Anafi, untouched by mass tourism, is one of the most enchanting Greek islands that has kept its authentic character. 


Remote beaches, hills, monasteries, and Cycladic architecture highlight the skills of local craftspeople and unique archaeological sites; wander around the Chora with its beautiful churches, crisp white homes, flower-filled courtyards and traditional windmills in the background. Also visit the Monastery Zoodchou Pigis a little monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Kastelli, an ancient settlement located on the way to the monastery. 


Swim at the wonderful beaches including Agios Nikolaos, Mikros and Megalos Roukounas, Katsouni, Klisidi and the stunning coasts of Flamourou and Prasies. Anafi is known for its amazing trails and paths, and we suggest you climb the Monolith of Kalamos and enjoy the amazing view from the Monastery. Also, hike to the Cave of Drakontospilo (featuring stalactite and stalagmites), which can be reached only by footpath. 


Anafi is known for its traditional taverns that serve fresh seafood and dishes made from locally sourced ingredients (the herbs and honey here are a standout). The specialties of the island include Ballothia (handmade pasta), saffron breadXerotigana are fine dough leaves drizzled with honey and sprinkled with sesame or coconut, as well as Melitera which are sweet cheese pies made with local egg and mizithra (ricotta cheese). For the freshest seafood head to Anemos, Astrachan, or Liotrivi tavern, and for meat, mezedes and amazing sweets add Margarita, Steki, Petrino and Tholos to your list. 


For a cocktail or aperitif with a view head over to Apollon Blue Café, Argo Cafe Bar, or Madres Bar.


Ypseli Anafis Hive and Casa Di Namphio Villas and Suites are modern, and stylish and offer great views of the island; or if you prefer traditional apartment-style accommodation run by locals check out Dream Anafi, Ostria, Balcony in the Aegean, or Pelagos


Take a private boat cruise around the island, which will allow you to swim at the most remote beaches that are completely secluded and offer the utmost privacy. 

Getting There

You can reach Anafi from Athens by ferry, which leaves from Piraeus port about 3 times a week, the trip is around 10 hours. The closest airport to Anafi is Santorini and from there can take the quick ferry to Anafi, which lasts about 1 hour and 10 minutes. 

Top 5 Lesser- Known Greek Islands to Visit

If you want to avoid the crowds and the more popular islands (Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, and Rhodes) and are looking to experience authentic, peaceful, and captivating Greek islands, we have put together a list of the Top 5 Lesser-Known Greek Isles you should add to the list for your next summer visit to Greece. 


Located on the western side of the Aegean, on the edge of the Sporades, you’ll find one of the least developed Greek islands. Alonissos will entice you with its lush, green landscape, traditional architecture, stunning beaches, and a gorgeous little harbour that is pretty both day and night. This is the perfect destination for those looking for a laid-back getaway; offering rest and relaxation. Here you will find a wonderful Marine Park, featuring the Caretta caretta sea turtles and Monachus seals, and you can also hike around and discover lovely pine forests, dense vegetation, cedar trees, and wild herbs of all kinds.


Boasting spectacular azure waters and charming architecture, Paxos is one of Greece’s most beautiful islands. Located on the Ionian, it boasts some of the most stunning and exotic beaches in the world; as well as a wonderful natural landscape with lush vegetation. Combining a cosmopolitan feel with natural beauty, Paxoi is a Greek island that has been described by many visitors as a “paradise on earth”. Stroll around the main port Gaios, which features a lovely harbour, and the main town offers a wonderful range of shops, taverns, cafes, and charming villas. 


This mainly undiscovered island is a small and authentic destination located on the southeast side of the Cyclades. Untouched by mass tourism, Anafi is known for its raw, natural beauty. Boasting a “sparkling” main town, crystal clear waters, charming alleyways, historical churches, unique architecture, and interesting archaeological sites; visitors are able to unwind and soak in a Cycladic feel without the crowds. Although there aren’t many beaches, there are a few lovely ones to choose from including Agios Nikolaos, Katsouni, Klisidi, Roukounas, Flamourou, and Prasies.


Located in the Northern Aegean, this mountainous island boasts waterfalls, wild natural beauty, ancient history, and mysterious traditions. Great for those that love a bit of adventure, here you can challenge yourself with the mountain trails of Mount Saos or Fengari (the highest peak in the Aegean), take part in rafting, trekking, crossing gorges, as well as diving into magical waterfalls. There are also plenty of beaches including Therma, Karkani, Pachia Ammos- and make sure you take the boat across to Vatos- it’s well worth the effort.

Insights Greece - Top 5 Lesser- Known Greek Islands to Visit


If you are looking for a stunning island filled with charming villages, traditional local cuisine, adventurous activities, and breathtaking beaches surrounded by lush greenery- look no further than Thassos. This emerald green island escape is located in the Northern Aegean and offers visitors a wonderful range of boutique hotels, authentic local delicacies, great hiking trails, and rich culture and history. With a unique landscape that can’t be found anywhere else on the Aegean, Thassos is an ideal Greek island experience.


Next Cycladic Stop, Anafi

Philhellene photographer Mark Wilman, creator of a successful six-year project and book ‘Discovering The Beauty of the Cyclades’ describes his first discovery of Anafi.

Mark’s project has been presented by the British Embassy in Greece, the Greek Embassies in Rome and Tel Aviv and the Aquarium of Milan. His evocative photography and writing transport you to the heart of the Cycladic culture, landscapes and colours. And if you want to experience it for yourself, he is available to offer photographic tours. As a child, the Londoner with Caribbean blood went to Anafi as one of his first Cycladic island experiences, described here. This personal story about Anafi is the second in a narrative series created by him especially for In+Sights Greece that will run over the next few weeks.

Insights Greece - Next Cycladic Stop, Anafi

Discovering the Beauty of Anafi

Years had passed and still I stared over curling crests towards Anafi; Mount Kalamos, its towering monolith in white, reflecting light to where I stood in Lucas bay, that day, on Ios island. “Enough”, I thought, it’s time to go. “It’s been so long that I’ve said, no, but not this time, no, not this time.”

Heading back to Manganari on ancient paths as guide, I packed my inflatable, other belongings and sighed. The forceful waves of deepest blue were extra rough beyond Santorini, and though the ship plunged and soared – no way to get bored – I enjoyed myself serenely.

I slept in the port in a room by the water overlooking my boat now inflated and ready to sail. Next morning at seven, I awoke to a view as sweet as any I’d seen. “Like heaven unveiled”, I decided, and with petrol and cheese pie waved goodbye to the lady who owned the hotel.

Pachia was first then it was Makra, two islands not near but neither that far away. From south to north I travelled the sea to where the Monastery of Kalamiotissa sits atop the famous rock and looks out as far as the eye can perceive.

Insights Greece - Next Cycladic Stop, Anafi

Two anchors down from bouncing around, I entered and dived and felt more alive, but had to resurface for air. Above my head, birds galore were squawking to the extreme, so I left to explore elsewhere, somewhere I’d still never been.

First, there was Hora with its personal aura of complex historical charm. I crisscrossed its streets to where everyone meets high-up in the centre of town and from there I could see as far as a tree near a rock shaped much like a crown.

Next day, the spray from the sea was all over me as I navigated the island entirely, and happy I was to write it all down in my personal leather-bound diary.

Discover more of Mark Wilman’s Photography here