Escape to Serenity: Donoussa, Greece, Voted Europe's Best Beach Holiday Destination


Nestled amidst the azure waters of the Aegean Sea, the picturesque island of Donoussa has captured the hearts of travellers seeking tranquillity and natural beauty. Recently named Europe's Best Beach Holiday Destination by travel enthusiasts, Donoussa offers a blissful retreat for those yearning to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life, writes the Guardian

Donoussa's allure lies in its simplicity and authenticity. With a population of just 150 permanent residents, the island exudes a welcoming charm that envelops visitors from the moment they step foot on its shores. From the quaint harbour where Elias, a local guide, warmly greets travellers to the bustling kafeneios where lively conversations over coffee echo through narrow alleys, Donoussa beckons with open arms.

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Escape to Serenity: Donoussa, Greece, Voted Europe's Best Beach Holiday Destination 1

At the heart of the island lies Stavros, a charming village where time seems to stand still. Here, whitewashed houses adorned with colourful shutters dot palm-fringed streets leading to a pristine village beach. Visitors can indulge in traditional Greek delicacies at local eateries, savouring dishes like fava and goat with potatoes while exploring the island's rich culinary heritage.

For those craving adventure, Donoussa offers an array of outdoor activities, from scenic hikes along panoramic trails to invigorating swims in crystal-clear waters. Elias, whose passion for the island's unspoiled landscape is palpable, guides travellers on unforgettable excursions to hidden gems like Kedros Beach, a secluded paradise framed by gentle hills and shimmering seas.

But perhaps the most enchanting experience awaits atop the island's highest peak, Papas, where panoramic vistas of Kalotaritissa Bay unfold before eager eyes. Here, amidst the rugged beauty of Donoussa's landscape, travellers can savour moments of serenity and connection with nature, culminating in unforgettable sunsets and starlit nights.

As visitors bid farewell to Donoussa, they carry with them cherished memories of a place where time seems to stand still and the beauty of simplicity reigns supreme. For those seeking an idyllic beach holiday destination, Donoussa stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Greece's hidden treasures.

Getting to Donousa

Donousa is a beautiful island in the eastern Cycladic islands of Greece. Although it is not as popular as other Greek islands, it has managed to retain its pristine beauty and charm. To explore this hidden gem, you need to know how to get there. Here are the most common ways to reach Donousa.

By Ferry

A convenient method for reaching Donousa is by taking a ferry. The island is accessible by ferry from Piraeus port, which is the main port of Athens. The ferry to Donousa operates three times per week. For travel within the Cyclades, there is also a daily ferry connection (except on Sundays) from Naxos and Amorgos to Donousa with a small local line, the Express Skopelitis. It’s important to note that schedules and frequency may change depending on the season, so always check the latest information before planning your trip.

By Private Boat

If you prefer a more intimate experience, consider hiring a private boat to take you to Donousa. This option provides flexibility in terms of departure time, stops at other islands, and overall travel experience. Many local boat operators in nearby islands like Naxos and Amorgos offer private boat services to Donousa. Keep in mind that the cost of hiring a private boat may be higher than taking a ferry, but the personalised experience and convenience might be worth it for some travellers.

Accommodation on Donousa

Donousa is a small, picturesque island in the Small Cyclades, perfect for a tranquil holiday. When it comes to accommodations, you have a few options to choose from, including hotels, guesthouses, villas, and apartments.

Hotels and Guesthouses

Although you won’t find any large hotels or resorts in Donousa, the island does offer small studios and boutique hotels, particularly around the main village and port of Stavros. Many of these accommodations boast beautiful sea views and provide a cosy atmosphere for your stay. Tripadvisor lists the 10 best hotels in Donousa for 2023, which should help you find the perfect place to stay as per your preferences.

Some popular options include:

  • Markouli Studios: Located on the west side of Stavros, this charming studio offers a private terrace with a fantastic sea view.
  • Donousa Travel Guide: A helpful resource for finding a variety of guesthouses and boutique hotels on the island.

Renting Villas and Apartments

If you prefer more privacy and flexibility during your stay, consider renting a villa or apartment on Donousa. Airbnb is a reliable platform to find such accommodations, offering a range of options that cater to different tastes and budgets. Many of these properties are located close to the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters of the island.

When looking for a villa or apartment to rent on Donousa, read the reviews and check the property’s location, amenities, and photos. This will ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay on this charming island in the Small Cyclades.

Exploring the Island

Donousa is a serene and picturesque island in the eastern Cyclades, Greece. Its stunning landscapes, gorgeous beaches, and rich history make it a top destination for travellers seeking an authentic, laid-back Greek experience.

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