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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!

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The Beaches

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!

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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!

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The People

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.

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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.

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The Food

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.

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9 Comments

  • José

    Thanks for the pics and comments. I would very much like to go to Anafi next July. I can not find ferry schedules between santorini and Anafi. How did they get around? Good luck

    • Laurahamburgers

      Hi Nefeli,

      You will have such a great time! Anafi is amazing. This is Kleisidi beach 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  • Heather

    Great to read your blog myself & 3 friends travelling to Greece in June we are all over 60 so looking for peaceful beaches minimal night life & great food this island looks perfect… is it easy to get around ?

    • Laurahamburgers

      It’s a very small island and I’ve always rented a scooter or a car when I go, so yes, I would say it’s easy to get around. There are also lots of trails if you prefer walking, too! Have fun if you go!! Anafi is amazing 🙂

  • sabrina eleuteri

    Hi Laura,
    I understand it’s a quiet and minimal island, which is fine for us. What about the chora? Is there any little shop at least, as in all “old towns” of any greek islands? I don’t see any picture of Anafi’s chora and I am just asking if it’s nice to have a walk there in the evening and buy something or…no way 🙂 Also, do you think there are sunbeds on some beaches ? Thanks a lot!!

  • sabrina eleuteri

    Hi Laura,
    I understand it’s a quiet and minimal island, which is fine for us. What about the chora? Is there any little shop at least, as in all “old towns” of any greek islands? I don’t see any picture of Anafi’s chora and I am just asking if it’s nice to have a walk there in the evening and buy something or…no way 🙂 Also, do you think there are sunbeds on some beaches ? Thanks a lot!!

    • Laurahamburgers

      Yes! The Chora is usually where I stay. No big grocery store, but there’s cafes, tavernas, and mini markets. Plenty of rooms-to-let as well. There’s no nightlife, but places are open for dinner/wine, etc. There are no places for sunbeds. You’ll have to bring your own, but that is the joy of Anafi!

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