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Greek Island Hopping for youngsters: my personal experience

Gavdos ● Ios ● Koufonisia ● Mykonos ● Paros ● Schinoussa ● Tilos ● 25 August 2018
When you are young, you want to travel the world, to explore every corner of its small and big miracles. Greek Island Hopping is the best thing you can do in order to visit more islands in only one summer. Literally, a life is not enough to discover all the Greek islands, but you can have an unforgettable experience if you choose to break the waves in the Aegean Sea.

Are you wondering which islands to choose? Being a young traveler means you have multiple goals in your mind. You may find it difficult to know exactly what you want. But I can do it for you.  I have been on several Greek islands, and I can reveal you one thing: each island in Greece has something different to offer to you. Let's see what types of islands there are for youngsters. I recommend you some Greek islands according to my personal experience. Of  course, there are many more islands in Greece ideal for every kind of traveler. Bu you have to start from somewhere, right?

The good news is that to the most of these islands you can go on a budget with Greek Island Hopping Ferry Pass. You will pay the price of only one ferry ticket, but you can do multiple routes whenever you want with great flexibility. I know that these two characteristics are perfect for young travelers, who want to feel the ultimate freedom in their vacation!

Party vacation

First of all, there are two islands in the Cyclades, where you can do exactly what you want in your 20's. Partying all day!


The best asset of Mykonos is its nightlife, which makes it one of the most popular destinations for youngsters and students in Europe. High quality nightlife in elegant clubs and beach bars guarantees you extreme days. Partying in Mykonos is everywhere. At the beach bars or in Chora. The day begins after 11 or even 12 in the noon, because last night, everyone was having fun in a club until late.

After having breakfast, you can go to one of the numerous party beaches in Mykonos, such as Super Paradise, Paradise, Paraga or Kalo Livadi and stay there until late at night, swimming, dancing, flirting and drinking alcohol. Most people go then to their hotel, sleep and get rest until the midnight. Paradise Beach (Mykonos) is the beach with the best party scene in my opinion. Tropicana is a more casual beach bar by the sea. Tropicana gathers the young people of the island, who want to have fun and feel the vibes of one of the most amusing beach bars with music for every taste.The best out-of-town clubs are located in Paradise Beach. Cavo Paradiso and Paradise organise some of the wildest rave parties with world-class DJ's that are famous all over Europe. If you have been or want to visit Ibiza, it's time to rethink it. Mykonos is the new ultimate destination for young people in Europe that are willing to live extraordinary experiences.

Then, the party in Mykonos Town begins! My favorite first stop was Little Venice. There, you can drink a cocktail and warm up for the rest of the night. The bars here are usually calm on evening, but often, the amazing atmosphere creates parties out of nowhere. Next stop: Matoyiannia. Small bars and clubs with famous DJ's in the pebbled streets of Chora, where you can drink and dance in one bar and hear the music of another, make these streets the ultimate destination for bar-hopping until late in the following morning. Stroll around, and you will find many music bars, where you can spend unique moments with your friends and make new ones.

Super Paradise


Paros is the counterweight to Mykonos, and I recommend you for three main reasons: Naousa and budget. Naousa, Pounda beach and low budget.

Naousa Paros is the second town of the island and one of the best-preserved Choras in the Aegean sea. In spite of its cosmopolitan atmosphere and the vivid nightlife, Naousa has managed to keep its traditional and authentic character. White houses, small blue churches, cobblestone paths and a small port with colourful fishing boats make the scenery astonishing. Naousa is the centre of Paros nightlife, and you can party there until the dawn in one of its numerous bars at the coastline or in the paved, labyrinth-like streets. There, you will meet all the youngsters of the island, and if you have met someone in Mykonos, it is possible you will meet him/ her again in Naousa.

Pounda has the most famous beach bar on the island, which gets very crowded at summer. Basically, the beach bar of Pounda is the place, where all young people gather and have fun until late at night. World class Dj's organise super parties there, but if you want to spend calmer moments, you can just lie on the sunbed and sunbathe. You can also spend some hilarious moments with water sports, such as kite or wind surf.

Paros has significantly lower prices than Mykonos. This is why the island has many students and young people, while Mykonos has -the last years- older people. You can combine both islands, but it is better to stay more days in Paros, if you want to spend budget vacation. Hotels, hostels, drinks and food are much cheaper, and you can save money! 

Alternative vacation

Many young travelers seek for alternative vacation on the Greek islands. They want to do free camping, be in contact with nature and spend precious moments on the beach with their friends. I have been on three islands of this kind, and I am sure you will adore them!


Tilos is the ultimate Greek island for backpackers thanks to Eristos. Eristos is a famous beach of Tilos, where the former mayor put years ago external public showers and trash cans in order to attract the fans of free camping. Since then, Tilos is the favourite destination of students and backpackers. It is a small island near Rhodes and an unexplored low-budget summer destination. This is why you will meet there youngsters from all over the world! Don't miss it! If you think that Tilos is located far away from Athens, you can do what I have done: visit for some days Rhodes and then go to Tilos, which is located nearby. You can also go to other islands in a short distance, such as SymiChalki or Kastellorizo.


Before going to Gavdos, I didn't even know it existed. This tiny island, which is located to the south of Chania, this unspoiled paradise between Crete and Africa, was for me only a name, the name of the southernmost point of Europe. If you want to experience the ultimate freedom and total relaxation away from mass tourism, away from the crowds, then Gavdos is your place. Forget everything, forget modern civilisation and get lost on this island, which has as a trademark some goats and a chair on the top of a cliff, overlooking the Libyan Sea. The main beach of Gavdos is the beach of Ai Giannis (=Saint John), an impressive beach with cedar trees, dunes and soft, thick, golden sand. On this beach, rackets and every kind of noise are forbidden. You will see there only peaceful young people, with their guitar singing, laughing and having fun. On this beach, something else is also prohibited: the swimming suits. Ai Giannis is a nudism-friendly beach where all people feel free to be naked and experience the ultimate connection with nature. There isn't any funnier moment than playing with the huge waves, which sometimes show up in the sea, and becoming a company with your new friends, the other off-the-beaten-track travelers, who sleep near you on the beach. In Gavdos, you can find only a few rooms to let, but the island and especially its main beach is a famous spot for free-camping, which is the most popular form of accommodation there.


Schinoussa belongs to the island complex of the authentic Small Cyclades. It is perfect for those seeking something different, wildness and extreme beauty. Dry landscape, great hospitality, unspoiled scenery and emerald waters make Schinoussa a paradise where you can explore something really unique, an authentic part of the Greek islands. The structures are undeveloped, so be prepared to walk, since there are no taxis, no car rentals, and roads are minimal. However, by walking, you may explore the fantastic coastline of the island and feel like an explorer in a yet undiscovered place, where this small discomfort is part of the authenticity you can experience there. Schinoussa is also the meeting place of the free-campers in the Cyclades.

Combination of both

Or you may be just like me. You may want to combine both types of vacation: party and peace, crowds and authenticity. Don't say it is impossible. I have been on some islands that prove the opposite. 


Ios is the ultimate island that proves you are wrong if you think that partying and relaxation can't be combined.The Chora of Ios is the meeting point of all people that want to have fun and enjoy the nightlife. Ios became the island of entertainment when hippies coming from Crete visited this untouched island n the 1980's. Since then, the Chora of Ios is the best spot for night-out. Bars and clubs with all kinds of music, from jazz and rock to pop and folk Greek music, transform the capital into a huge party scene, where people drink, dance, flirt and have fun until the next morning. The narrow, cobblestone streets of this picturesque settlement get crowded mostly with young people and teenagers.The clubs have an exquisite atmosphere that makes the island the next best thing in wild summer nightlife. Most of them open after midnight and keep the fun until the dawn.

On the other side, some beaches of Ios, like Manganari, are hidden gems, lost paradises to relax, sunbathe under the warm sun and forget everything that worries you. You can spend your whole day there, and then enjoy the nightlife of the Chora. I found it truly amazing!


Koufonisi is a tiny island, in which every beach is within walking distance. You can forget everything by just lying on the beaches Italida, Pori, Foinikas and Fanos, with the turquoise waters of the sea and the golden soft sand, or by wandering around the elegant and cozy bars of Chora. However, Koufonisi is a perfect place to meet new people and become a company with them, and after midnight, the bars of the island, like Sorokos and Scholio, play loud music and keep the fun until the dawn. The beaches are not organised, and you will meet there many alternative guys that have just explored this heaven on earth that makes you feel like having discovered the Caribbean in Europe. In the Chora afterwards, you understand that you practically know all of these people, who at the end of your vacation have become your friends!


The authentic is what the visitor of Astypalaia searches, and the authentic is everywhere on the island. Flowered balconies, strolls around the ruins of the castle, rakomelo (warmed raki with honey) and smiling people are the essentials of unforgettable vacations. The windmills at the entrance of Chora will impress you with their beauty. They are not only well-preserved but also house interesting exhibitions and libraries with books in many languages to attract foreign visitors. Although Astypalaia is a well-developed island, it is considered as one of the most alternative experiences in Aegean Sea and attracts backpackers from all over the world.

Where to Stay

Studio & Appartment in Lipsi, Greece Michalis Studios
Michalis Studios
Lipsi, 85001 Lipsi, Greece

Michalis Studios is centrally located in Lipsi town, just a 3-minute walk away from the port. The nearest beach is a 6-minute walk away.

Hotel in Galaxidi, Greece Hotel Galaxidi
Hotel Galaxidi
11, Syggrou Str., 33052 Galaxidi, Greece

Hotel Galaxidi is built in a central location, close to the beach, shops, cafes and restaurants. The harbor is a 6-minute walk away. The Archaeological Site of Delphi is 33 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Hotel Cybele
Hotel Cybele
7, Kolokotroni & Dagkli str.,Pefki, 15121 Athens, Greece

Hotel Cybele is located in Pefki, just an 11-minute walk from Maroussi Metro Station. Athens city centre is 19 km away and Athens International Airport "Eleftherios Venizelos" is 28 km away.