Whether you’re a party animal, a beach bum, a family with children or a history buff, we’re sure to find the perfect place for you in Greece. Stretching across three seas (Aegean, Mediterranean and Ionian), Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and thousands of islands.
Greece’s capital and largest city is one of the oldest in the world. You’re probably at least a little familiar with Athens from above and its amazing ancient structures. But why leave these views in postcards? One of these two methods for a view of Athens will knock your socks off: if you’re of a strong disposition, climb to the top of Lykavittos Hill in central Athens and as you catch your breath have it taken away again by the beautiful city stretched out below you. Or, for a far easier way, the Galaxy Bar and Restaurant at the Hilton, in one of the city’s few high rise buildings, will provide you with dinner and a night-lit view of the Acropolis.
The second largest city in Greece, the port of Thessaloniki, or Salonica, is considered to be Greece’s cultural capital. It’s not hard to see why, with evidence of the many influences other nations and cultures have had on the city. Visiting the charming Ladadika, which is what remains of the Jewish quarter of Thessaloniki, is a must for its bohemian feel, colourful buildings and fantastic places to eat. If you want something off the wall to do, you should try Insectopia – which is exactly what it sounds like. This exhibition has all kinds of creepy-crawlies, from bees to butterflies, and some rather majestic looking reptiles too.
Corfu, and particularly the resort of Kavos in the south of the island, has a reputation for being frequented by young Brits and Europeans looking for a beach-and-party vacation, but that’s not all there is to the island. Looking for love while you’re away? Legend has it that swimming through the Canal D’Amour, an opening in the rock in the sea at the resort of Sidari, will ensure that you find your true love on the other side. The beach is a treasure trove of little bays and coves, so once your love is found there are plenty of places for you to hide away. It’s also a great spot for snorkelling, if you’ve already found or aren’t looking for your ideal partner.
The island of Crete is the largest and also most populous of the Greek islands. To get away from the crowds, try hiding away in some of the island’s many caves. Cave tours aren’t very expensive and there are plenty of them to explore. Dikteon cave was believed to be the birthplace of Zeus and a guided tour through Sfentoni Cave in the village of Zoniana will reveal the wonders of nature, from stalactites and stalagmites to sparkling calcium crystals. If you’d rather walk out in the open air, the Samaria Gorge trail will take you through the beautiful National Park of Samaria.
Explore the island of Rhodes by boat, car or on foot. Go on a Land Rover Safari for an exciting combination 4×4 adventure and cultural experience. Take an exhilarating drive along the sand bar at Prassonissi and up the western coastline, explore beaches, pick olives and have a picnic and go wine tasting, all with an experienced guide/driver. If travelling by sea is more your thing, sail from Mandraki harbour to the beautiful town of Lindos, or jump right into the water for an underwater safari. In the Bay of Kallithea you can go deep sea diving, snorkelling or simply swim in the clear blue waters.
Mykonos town is is also known for its nightlife, with lively clubs and bars, and is a popular location within the gay community. The town is extremely cosmopolitan, but still retains its Greek identity, with its stunning whitewashed buildings mixing with high end shops and restaurants. Don’t leave Mykonos without having lunch or dinner at Bakalo, a “Greek eatery” in Mykonos town in a traditional whitewashed house, but with funky modern décor. The restaurant brings you traditional Greek dishes, via a young and trendy atmosphere.
Santorini is the largest island in a small archipelago of the same name. The capital, Fira, sits high on the edge of a caldera, a cauldron shaped geographic feature, which was formed by the volcanic explosion that created the achipelago. Like Mykonos, the city is a beautiful, gleaming white and can be reached either by road or by taking a cable car from the port. Santorini is a hugely popular tourist destination – if you want to get away from bustling Fira, the small port of Armeni under the town of Oia has just a few houses and a tavern. It’s the perfect place to escape from the busy tourist areas and swim and sunbathe in peace.
If you’ve chosen your destination(s), and are interested in picking up some Greek phrases before you jet off, send a quick enquiry our way to see a few course options. Where else in Greece would you recommend?