Greek island for rent

Island-hopping around Greece is one of the most glorious travel activities imaginable until you arrive in Corfu or Santorini or Crete and realize that thousands of other holiday makers had the same idea. If only you could have an island to yourself….

Well, now you can.

Having grown tired of asking cash-strapped Athens for money, Michalis Patros, mayor of the Halki (sometimes Chalki) Islands, has decided to put one of his islets up for rent. Should the Halki municipal council work out leasing details, the tiny island of Alimnia will be available for rent beginning in 2012.

Alimnia is a 4.6 square mile (7.4km) island in the Dodecanese archipelago. Although it has been uninhabited since 1966, Alimnia is a favorite day trip for visitors to Rhodes, which is about four miles away. If you’ve ever been on a boating excursion in the Greek isles, this is one of those land masses where your motorboat or catamaran drops anchor for an hour or so in order to allow you to sun, swim, snorkel, and soak in the scenery.

Rental fees for Alimnia have yet to be disclosed, but one would have to assume renting an island for private use could be pretty pricy. It is also unclear what a potential investor would get should he or she decide to rent Alimnia. An abandoned island doesn’t have towel service and a swim-up bar, for instance. Further, I wonder how or if the Halki council will prevent day trippers from stopping by the island once it has been rented out?

At any rate, a Greek island can be yours if you can afford it. Should this scheme work, I have a feeling Alimnia will be the first of many islands up for rent as Greece looks for new ways of raising funds during tough economic times.

Photo Flickr/Francesco Sgroi