Pine-clad Agístri (‘fish hook’) or sometimes Angístri has given up its best-kept secret status; its sandy beaches and sparkling sea for snorkellers now draw crowds of Athenians at weekends (it’s only an hour from Piraeus) as well as a band of (mostly British) philhellenes in search of the basic pleasures of Greece without the glitz. Visitors tend to return often, and it can get busy in high season and on weekends.
Many of the 1,100 or so inhabitants are descendants from Albanian refugees (Arvanites), although even they often spent long centuries elsewhere, because of pirates and the lack of water (today it comes in on tankers); in the 1920s the island was almost uninhabited. Today 80 per cent of the island is covered in pine forests, crisscrossed by shady walking paths; only 13 sq km, it is easy to get around by foot, bike or scooter.
Images by Ggia, Lichinga, Panagiotis Botsis