Greece is now officially open for UK travellers. With less than 5,000 cases of COVID-19, is currently on the UK government’s safe to travel list. Here are my 4 Great Greek Holiday Spots – perfect for those of you looking for sunshine and culture.
You will find that this Ionian isle is blessed with white pebble beaches lapped by clear seas. There is a striking mountainous interior and lots of beautiful towns to explore.
The main resort areas of this island include Skala in the southeast, which has a three kilometre sandy beach; Lourdas with its long sand and shingle Blue Flag beach; and Lassi which has two pale sand beaches and is close to the island’s bustling capital, Argostoli. The most up-market location on the island is Fiskardo; a pretty fishing village-turned bustling resort. It’s where the “yacht crowd” step straight off their vessel and into the quayside tavernas. Close by is the charming fishing village of Assos with its coloured houses and hilltop Venetian castle. There is also the dramatic Myrtos Beach, made famous by the film adaptation of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.
Other attractions to see on the island include the spectacular Drogarati Cave with its spiked stalagmites and stalactites. Then there is the underground lake in Melissani Cave and the ruins of Venetian Castle Saint George; which just so happens to be next to three of the island’s top-rated restaurants.
So, this is the first of my 4 Great Greek Holiday Spots
This tiny island off Corfu is reached only by boat and as it only measures seven miles by three, its turquoise bays and green hills are uncrowded and unspoilt. Secluded pebble coves lapped by crystal clear water will satisfy beach lovers; while the island’s shaded interior has some of the oldest olive groves in Greece.
The island’s capital Gaios is a port town with a Venetian square and characterful narrow streets filled with fish restaurants. Then you have the smaller fishing village Loggos, which has a waterfront lined with tavernas. Lastly, Lakка is a sheltered bay backed by οlive trеes аnd сypressеs, its tavernas watching over the fishing boats.
A must-do day trip from Paxos is sister island Antipaxos which has no roads and just a handful of houses. There are just two tavernas to accompany its chalk-white beaches lapped by startlingly azure seas.
This makes the second of my 4 Great Greek Holiday Spots
Located in the heart of the Sporades region, this very green island is blessed with over 50 beaches, many backed by cool and shaded pine forests. It is dotted with charming towns of white-washed terracotta-roofed houses and a lots of rolling hills to explore.
Skiathos Town is famed for its vibrant nightlife and also has designer boutiques. There are lots of great people watching opportunities thanks to two huge yacht harbours. Other popular places to stay include the pale sandy bay of Troulos; the kilometre-and-a-half sweep of golden sand backed by pine trees at Koukounaries; or the hillside village of Katsarou with its narrow, cobbled streets dripping in geraniums.
Skiathos is great for hiking. It has well-marked pathways which pass iconic sights such as the 18th century Evangelistria Monastery or Mandraki Forest. Visitors can also explore on horseback and the Skiathos Horse Riding Centre offers guided expeditions. The secluded, but postcard-famous Lalaria Beach, is accessible only by boat but its rugged rocks and sea caves, pale pebbles and bright blue sea make it a star day trip.
We’ve now reached the third of my 4 Great Greek Holiday Spots
This huge peninsula lies southwest of Athens and is technically an island since it’s separated from the mainland by the Corinth Canal. Steeped in history, the mountainous Peloponnese is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. You’;; find it has as many castles and ancient sites as it does beautiful beaches.
As a visitor, you’ll fly into Kalamata in the south, but the region is also reached from Athens, taking an hour and a half by road. Many of the hotels in the Peloponnese region are located in the Messinia region of the southwest. This is home to one of Greece’s most photographed beaches. Voïdhokiliá is a perfect crescent of pale sand backed by sand dunes and a spectacular lagoon and conservation area. Also renowned is the Mani Peninsula, the middle ‘finger’ at the bottom of the region, where dramatic mountains dotted with old stone towers and Byzantine churches meet the sea. The village of Stoupa is a popular resort here, thanks to its beaches.
Historic highlights include Olympia where visitors can see the Temple of Zeus and the Olympic flame altar. There’s Messini’s 10,000-seat theatre and the Bronze Age city of Mycenae, which includes its impressive Lion Gate. Nestor’s Palace which is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, and the remains of ancient Sparta; including largest ancient amphitheatres on earth. The region is also famed for its mountain hiking and cycling.
This makes the last of my 4 Great Greek Holiday Spots
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Contact: Paul Smith
Tel: 020 8891 3169