I won’t use the obligatory term “hidden gem” because it’s not true. Lots of people know about Anafi, but it seems to be an island less traveled. With only 270 full-time residents, Anafi is a secluded paradise and it’s just across the sea from busy Santorini!
Quiet with calm water, and absolutely stunning. The main reason people visit this island is because of the beaches. The water is a crystal-clear turquoise and the sand is a fine grain, caramel color. Behind the sand is lots of plant life like trees and bushes. It feels like you’re on a deserted island, in a good way. The beaches are located only on the southern coast, but there’s plenty to explore! The whole coast is lined up with inlets, bays, coves, sandy beaches, etc. Be sure to bring your snorkel mask!
Camping & Nudity
Even though the signs on the beaches say “No Camping and No Nudity,” you will soon find out as you step on the beach that this isn’t necessarily the case. There are plenty of people free-camping on a few of the beaches and lots of nude people. Anafi is a place to let your inhibitions free and embrace the nudist lifestyle. No one will judge you and it feels so good to bask in the sun and swim naked in the sea. Also, no tan lines!
Anafi has the friendliest people! They welcome visitors with open arms and very much appreciate the business. The locals even love the free-campers because they buy drinks at the tavernas or shop for food at the local markets. It seems as though everyone who visits Anafi respects the island with grace and wants nothing more than to enjoy the unspoiled paradise. Anafi is a place you could probably leave your wallet and keys laying out on the beach, go for a long swim, and when you’re back, you would find your stuff right where you left it.
Peace & Quiet
This may not be true for August when the Greeks flock to Anafi, but at any other time, the foreigners are few and far between and the locals, well, there’s only 270 of them! The island is very quiet and the beaches sparse with people. Anafi is a great alternative to Santorini or some of the other busy surrounding islands because it gives visitors a secluded feeling and like you have the island all to yourself. It’s amazing.
Delicious, fresh, and cheap. The locals of Anafi know how to cook! They use the freshest ingredients, right from their gardens or the sea and serve it up Anafi-style. Unlike Santorini, Anafi has riverbeds that provide a lush landscape and the locals are able to grow fruits, vegetables, plants, etc. with ease. Not only do the riverbeds look gorgeous, they produce some of the highest quality food. Another reason Anafi has perfected their cuisine is because the ships bringing supplies to the island are not all that frequent so the locals have learned to rely on their land. It puts the farm-to-table trend to shame! There is no trend here because it’s just their way of life. The eggs at the market were from the owner’s chickens. The owner of a souvlaki restaurant also sold homemade honey from his beehives he keeps in the mountains. The owner/chef of the local taverna served a delicious sesame and honey homemade dessert. It’s like everyone is gathering ingredients from their homes, cooking from their own kitchen, and then serving it to visitors. It’s a beautiful, simple way of life.