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Golden Visa: Which Greek Islands Have Fewer than 3100 People?

In 2024, the minimum investment for a Greek Golden Visa increased to 800,000 Euros for Greek islands with over 3100 residents. So, which islands in Greece have fewer than 3100 people?

 

About the Data in this Article

The figures in this article are based on data from the 2022 census in Greece.

 

Are These Islands Really in Greece?

You may have never heard of some of the islands on this list. If you look at a map of Greece, you might not even see them. But these hidden gems are some of Greece’s most beautiful places to visit, often known for their natural features, quaint towns, and pristine beaches.

 

Below, we share with you the islands in Greece, by region, with fewer than 3100 residents. 

Astypalaia

Northern Greece

Samothraki

2500 Residents

Samothraki or Samothrace is one of the Greece’s most difficult islands to get to and is known for its beautiful nature. This is supposedly where Alexander the Great was conceived. It is a paradise for nature lovers and is known for its tall chestnut trees that are 500 years old, some of which have trunks at least two meters wide.

 

Samothraki is also one of the longest continually inhabited islands in Greece. It was one of Ancient Greece’s religious centers and at Therma, you can find hot mineral baths.

Samothraki

Ionian Islands / Ionian Coast

Paxos 

2300 Residents

The island of Paxos is one of the smallest in the Ionian Island chain, and it is west of the Greek mainland. The closest island to Paxos is Corfu, which is just 50 kilometers away. The beauty of the island is a result of the fact that it doesn’t have an airport. A quick ferry takes you to Corfu.

Also of note on Paxos are its crystal clear waters, pristine beaches, and its impressive vineyard. As you can imagine, most of the industry for the island of Paxos is tourism, but also olive oil and fishing.

Paxos

Ithaki

2800 Residents

Ithaki is another tiny Greek island in the Ionian chain and it is the second smallest island in the group. The history of Ithaki goes back 6000 years, and it is famous as the home of King Odysseus, who is the epic character in Homer’s The Odyssey. 

 

The capital of Ithaca is Vathi Τown, and if you get to go around the entire island, you will see its 14 picturesque villages. Today, very few locals live here.

Ithaki

Meganisi 

1000 Residents

Meganisi island is a tiny island which is very close to the mainland next to the Ionian Coast. It is just east of Lefkada and is about 2 kilometers from Skorpios, the famous island of Aristotle Onassis. The most well-known village on Meganisi is Katomeri. There are many beaches on Meganisi which are pleasant and ideal for watersports. Papanikoli cave is also a sight worth seeing.

Argosaronic Islands

Hydra

2100 Residents

Hydra is an island close to Athens, only about an hour away by ferry. Transportation is primarily by donkey. As a result, the island has retained its charm, and does not suffer from the noise pollution of nearby isles. UNESCO has voted Hydra as the “BEST PRESERVED ISLAND OF THE MEDITERRANEAN” because of its efforts to preserve both its buildings, its heritage, and its nature.

 

The town is built like an amphitheater. Immediately to the right and left of the port are the Parapets and the Canons, which protected the town in ages past. The famous statue of A. Miaoulis, the Hydrian warrior, is at the left side of the port. 

Hydra

Agkistri

1130 Residents

This is probably the least-known island in the Saronic chain. It is perfect for families and has impressive pine forest and shallow waters. Some of the most popular beaches are Chalikiada, Dragonera, Xekofti, Megalochori, Skala, Marisa, Maghisa, and Bariama beach. Couples and families love to relax here during the day.

Angkistri
Angkistri

Dodecanese

Astypalaia

1300 Residents

Astypalaia is the most western island in the Dodecanese Islands. Astypalaia has a history that is centuries old, villages with some of the most beautiful white houses in Greece, sunny beaches, and dramatic views from its castle. The shape of the island of Astypalaia is unique because it is connected by a narrow landmass that makes the island look like a butterfly from a bird’s eye view. The western part of Astypalaia is called Mesa Nisi, and the eastern side is called Exo Nisi.

 

The main town on the island of Astypalaia is called “Chora.” The most imposing monument of the city is the Venetian Guerini Castle, which was built in the 13th century. The three-story houses which were built on the outer grounds of the castle are unique because the walls of these houses double as the castle wall. Their narrow windows doubled as battlements.

Astypalaia

Nisyros

1040 Residents

Nisyros is a scenic island that is part of the Dodecanese group of islands, in the Aegean Sea.

Its secluded location makes it one of the best alternative destinations recently in Greece. The most famous sight in Nisyros is its volcano, found in the center of the island. It is one of four active volcanoes in Greece, including the famous Santorini volcano. 

Nisyros

Symi

2600 Residents

Symi (sometimes spelled Simi) is located next to Rhodes Island. It is a hidden gem of the Dodecanese and you will be enchanted by its colorful houses. The port looks like a postcard when you approach by boat, because of the bright colors of the mansions.

 

The most popular place to go is the capital town, which is split into 2 sections: Gialos and Chorio. Other places to visit on the island include the Panormitis Monastery and Symi Island’s picturesque beaches. 

Symi

Tilos

750 Residents

No, that’s not a typo — we’re not talking about Tinos, the popular Cycladic island known for its Virgin Mary Church, impressive pigeon houses, and picturesque landscape. Tilos island is not usually found on your Instagram, but some say it is just as beautiful as the most famous Greek islands. 

 

Tilos is in the Dodecanese group and is part of an ecological park and nature reserve. The island is known for its 400 species of flora and fauna, and 150 species of birds. 

Tilos

Chalki

500 Residents

Have you heard of Chalki before? Chalki is found in the Dodecanese archipelago, very close to Rhodes. It has not been touched by mass tourism yet and is a great destination for quiet vacations that are away from Greece’s main touristed sights.

 

Its solar electricity grid is the first of its kind in Greece, and it aims to power the whole island. The population is 330 and it has a “big brother” relationship with the island of Rhodes for some of its basic needs in the past, including energy. It is the smallest island in the Dodecanese island chain, and this Greek island has a total size of 28 square kilometers.

Chalki

Fournoi

1300 Residents

Fournoi is an island chain close to Ikaria and Samos in the Dodecanese. The islands are made up mostly of beekeepers and fishermen. Campos, the main village of the main island, is known for its tavernas and of course its bakeries (fournoi means “ovens” in Greek). The favorite refreshment of the island is the local orange soda.

Fourni

Aegean Islands

Oinousses

900 Residents

Oinousses is a group of nine small islands with the names Oinoussa, Panagia, Vatos, Gaidouronissi, Pontikonisso, Archontonisso, Pontikoudiko, Laimoudiko and Prassonisia.. As you can imagine, these are very quiet islands with very little nightlife, and a lot of time for relaxation. They are part of Greece’s protected Natura 2000 Network, and one main road curves around the islands, connecting the beaches.

Oinousses
Oinousses

Sikinos

250 Residents

Sikinos in Greece is a small island in the Cyclades, found next to Folegandros and Ios. The island is mostly free of tourism and features an unspoiled holiday away from the crowds that pour onto other Greek islands. The main town of Chora is known for its traditional blue and while houses and its narrow alleys.

Sikinos

Folegandros

700 Residents

Folegandros is one of the most underrated Cycladic islands, because it has both picturesque nature and charming village towns with blue and white houses. The streets are known for their colorful windows, blue churches, and general postcard views. It is a popular island for family vacations and also for couples. 

Folegandros

Kasos

1200 Residents

Kasos island is the island in the Dodecanese chain that is farthest south, and it has a unique natural charm. It is more quiet than the other islands in the Dodecanese and has quiet beaches, beautiful villages, local feasts, and of course a delicious Greek traditional cuisine. Local customs and celebrations for Easter are very much alive on Kasos. 

Kasos

Kea

2335 Residents

Kea is an island in the Aegean, located very near to Athens. It is even popular as a weekend getaway from the capital of Athens. Unlike other islands in the Cyclades, Kea has more green areas. Instead of the usual blue and white houses that you know from Santorini, Kea’s houses have earthy tones. 

Kea

Sifnos

2770 Residents

The island of Sifnos in the Cyclades is known for its connection with Nikos Tselementes, a chef who is considered the founder of modern Greek cooking. He wrote the first Greek cookbook to be translated into English. Over 100,000 copies were sold in his lifetime, and it is said that every Greek housewife owned a copy at one point in time.

 

The charm of Sifnos comes from the slow lifestyle and feeling of privacy. Because there is no airport and the island can only be reached by boat, Sifnos is an ideal spot for nature lovers and for travelers who don’t like to have any agenda.

Kamares Bay, Sifnos

Serifos

1200 Residents

Serifos is a Greek island in the west Cyclades, and it is one place in Greece where cave houses are becoming more popular. Cave houses, called υπόσκαφα (iposkafa) in Greek, have long been built, with the most known ones being on the island of Santorini.

 

In a concept that involves building a home into the earth, the idea has been around for as long as humans have been seeking shelter. But it offers a bunch of very modern benefits. The houses provide large cost savings, room for innovative world-class designs and spacious facilities that let in plenty of golden Greek sunlight. 

Serifos

Amorgos

1900 Residents

Amorgos is a gem in the Cyclades island group with about 2000 residents. It is definitely worth the visit because even with its small size, every meter is exceptionally beautiful. Amorgos avoids the big crowds which you may find in the rest of Greece. Many tourists on Amorgos are French because of the famous French director’s film Le Grand Bleu which was shot here.

Amorgos

Antiparos 

1200 Residents

Antiparos, located opposite the island of Paros, has been drawing celebrities despite its small size. Others reportedly spotted in its tiny chora (main village) include Matthew McConaughey, Madonna and Bruce Springsteen.

 

The Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, who is married to Greek-American actress Rita Wilson, owns a 450 square meter villa on the beautiful island of Antiparos in a property acquired in 2004. The six acre property is located between the villages of Glypha and Chora and offers the actor, who starred in Forest Gump and Cast Away, valuable privacy and protection from prying eyes.

Antiparos

The Peloponnese

Elafonisos 

900 Residents

Elafonissos (sometimes spelled Elafonisos) is a tiny island in the southern Peloponnese that is not far from Monemvasia. It is known for its complete relaxation. The name means “island of the deer.” It has Carribean-like beaches with gold sand and clear waters.

 

Simos and Lefki beach are well-known as the top beaches of the island. The evening time is a great time to head to town for a taverna dinner and a drink as you watch the sunset. The island should not be confused with Elafonisi, which is an even smaller island off the west coast of Crete.

Elafonisos

Crete

Gavdos

150 Residents

The island of Gavdos is a hidden gem. It is the southernmost place to visit both in Greece and in Europe. The island of Gavdos belongs to Crete and is technically in the Chania prefecture. Gavdos is closer to Africa than to Athens and is about 26 miles from the city of Chora Sfakion (Sfakia) in Crete.

 

The island is small – about 32 square kilometers – so it is easily explored in a few days. An even smaller island, Gavdopoula, is found nearby. The landscape features pristine beaches and greenery of pine and juniper trees, just like in southern Crete. The most popular area for the hippy community to gather is on Agios Ioannis Beach, where some informal “streets” and “addresses” mark the tent homes of its nature-loving residents.

Gavdos Beach
Gavdos Beach

How Many Islands are There in Greece?

In fact, there are more islands in Greece that are so small that the census didn’t even visit. You will get many different answers to this question online. To get to the bottom of this controversy, we had to check a sure source: the Hellenic Military Geographical Service.

 

Based on their most recent report, the precise number of islands of any size, inhabited or uninhabited, is 29,372.

 

But how many of these have residents? Not many. Only 446 are more than .1 square kilometers. Santorini, for a sense of perspective, is 76 square kilometers. 

Are All of These Islands Eligible for the 400,000 Euro Minimum Golden Visa?

Note that the exact islands which will apply to the 800,000 Euro and 400,000 Euro minimums for the Golden Visa are not released yet.


Golden Visa Changes in 2024

To read more about the recent Golden Visa changes, see the complete article here.


Golden Visa Eligible Properties with Elxis

You can find all properties on our site that are eligible for the Golden Visa here.

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