Greece – An Off the Beaten Track Guide

Many people reading this blog will have fond memories of holidays in Greece. It is a country with something for everyone – from pretty seaside towns to stirring ancient ruins. The climate is beautiful too, making simple things like eating out on the terrace a real pleasure. Greece also has a round-the-clock nightlife for the party animal inside you.

In this piece, I want to share some lesser known Greek holiday destinations. Next time you think of booking a holiday in Greece, keep the following places in mind:

Ikaria

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Image by ArishG used under CC license

When you think of Greek Island holidays, it’s probably Santorini or Crete that come to mind. These two islands are fabulous, but there are hundreds of other islands to choose from which won’t be thronged with tourists. Ikaria is one such example. The island is located in the eastern Aegean and has a reputation for laidback living and quirky resorts. It is said that the island’s inhabitants routinely sleep until midday (when the shops open up) and then stay up all night! Nas, a village on the north-west coast is a stunning and rugged setting for a Greek holiday. Rent a room or apartment for the week and enjoy the pretty beach, the nearby Temple of Artemis and the lush banks of the Chalares river which flows into the bay.

Syros

Take a classy and cultural trip to Ermoupoli, the capital of Syros. One of the beautiful Cycladic islands in the glittering Aegean, Syros is only 150km away from Athens. It is, however, a world away from the capital. The pretty harbour, beaches and marble streets of Ermoupoli are a wonderful place to chill out and stroll around. Until the mid-nineteenth century the port here was one of the richest in Greece, and the grand cathedral, impressive town hall and theatre all attest to this. If money is no object, stay in complete luxury at the Syrou Melathron hotel.

Epirus

Image by Skamnelis used under CC license
Image by Skamnelis used under CC license

This mountainous region in the north-western corner of the Greek mainland isn’t often shouted about. Hikers will absolutely love this place, which includes the UNESCO protected VIkos Gorge. This dizzying sight is one of the deepest canyons in the world and is an area of poignant natural beauty. You can bet that this will be a lot quieter than your average visit to the Grand Canyon! It is the perfect place to flood your Instagram with jaw-dropping pictures. Elsewhere in Epirus, look out for secluded clifftop monasteries, densely forested mountain vistas, rare wildlife and villages sculpted from stone. Use the pretty seaside resort of Parga as a base for your exploration.

When it comes to booking your Greece holiday, there are literally hundreds of options. Going in the summer will ensure you get good weather, when there are 12 hours of sunshine every day and temperatures regularly push into the 30’s. Inevitably, flights and hotels tend to work out cheaper the earlier you book – check out this handy guide for more information. Enjoy a fabulous break in Greece at one of these off-the-beaten-track locations!

Author: Anita Stretton is a food tourist and loves to indulge in the culinary delights of everywhere she visits. Her favourite food so far has been enchiladas in Mexico.