The tiny Greek island that is known as 'Little Venice' but is overlooked by tourists | The Sun

A SMALL fishing village on a Greek island has been compared to Venice, only without the hordes of tourists.

The Italian city is hugely popular among holidaymakers, with millions visiting every single year, which sometimes puts people off going.

However, there are alternatives, including a small island in the middle of a lagoon in Greece.

Aitoliko Island can be found sitting in the Messolonghi Lagoon, not far from the historic town of Messolonghi.

It began life as a jumble of islets created by the local fishermen, who linked them all together with small handmade wooden bridges.

It has since developed into the town it is today, linked to the mainland via two bridges on either side.

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The arched, stone bridges have both been declared historical and protected monuments

Although the comparisons between Aitoliko and Venice are obvious, with a network of canals running throughout the town's narrow streets, it is quite obviously Greek, rather than Italian.

Greek Reporter explained that it has everything you would expect from a holiday to Greece within the diminutive development.

They wrote: "The town itself has a traditional Greek charm, with narrow streets, whitewashed houses, and a picturesque harbour.

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"The local community is friendly and welcoming, and you can find tavernas and cafes where you can enjoy Greek cuisine and relax by the waterfront."

Aitoliko is also well known for its Greek caviar, with grey mullet eggs, avgotaraho, the local specialty.

It's served up either salted or smoked within the tavernas and restaurants found on the island.

A lot of people arrive to explore what lies just off the island as well, with beaches a huge part of most Greek holidays.

The waters of the lagoon surrounding the island are clear and green, with some sand and shingle shores leading into the sea.

Those who aren't into swimming can take boats out if they wish to stay dry.

However, they'd be missing out on some therapeutic and mineral-rich waters, with the mud from nearby Tourlida said to have a positive effect on a number of health conditions.

Blogger Camperistas writes: "About halfway along the spectacular road, across the sea, between the port of Messolonghi and Tourlida, a small strip of land is always crowded with cars and people that go there for mud baths.

"They're considered miraculous for arthritis."

Despite this gathering of people, the town is still relatively devoid of tourists, but still full of charm.

Following a visit the Telegraph described it as "like Venice before the cruise ships and tourist crowds" and said that it offered "Greece’s very own watery slice of La Serenissima."

The best way to get to Aitoliko is via a flight to Athens, with direct routes available from around £68.

Then a two and a half hour drive will lead to the island.

A night in the town for two can be booked for as little as £31.

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Meanwhile, this Italian city is regularly compared to Venice, but without the crowds.

And this UK city is also said to have similarities with the Italian holiday hotspot.

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