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The Other Greek Isles

When I tell friends, co-workers, and even my pedicurist that I'm off for my annual trip to Greece, they invariably nod authoritatively and say, "Oh, Athens is so crowded, but the islands . . . Santorini is just beautiful."

Given their dramatic appearance, it's easy to see why Mykonos, Santorini, and the other Cycladic islands have captured the American imagination. More overlooked, and less crowded, however, are the Eptanissia, the "seven islands" of the Ionian Sea, which my Greek friends and I favor in summer.

Every bit as lovely as the Cyclades, the Eptanissia are lush and green instead of stark and whitewashed, and have a distinctive culture that developed under 400 years of Norman, Venetian, French, and British rule.

I've been visiting family on Corfu, the best-known of the Eptanissia, since I was a child. On my most recent trip, I decided to get to know the six less celebrated islands. I discovered that they're like well-bred sisters: each alluring in her way. Finding your ideal match is simply a matter of taste.

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