This summer, dare to trade a Greek island holiday for a journey to discover some beautiful spots of the Greek mainland holiday. Why? Because you will find that Greece is an incredibly diverse place, able to deliver on sensational holidays, and all year round. Singling out three year-round mainland destinations in Greece that offer visitors a different approach to holidaying, will blow the stereotype of ‘Greece being a summer destination’ out of the water. Visiting these places during the summer means you can avoid the manic crowds that usually horde the more well known, island locations, while visiting them any other time of year means you can get the best deal out of your holiday, steering clear of the peak season. What is more, is that you discover some truly remarkable spots, that are off the grid, providing an entirely unique experiences that will set the bar.
The capital, Athens city
Ancient meets modern in Athens, the cradle of democracy while today the remnants of a long lost time live and breathe still, alongside a more contemporary scene. Around the city’s historical centre that is laden with marble ruins dedicated to Olympian Gods and, Byzantine churches, the foundations of settlements, and landmarks that tell tales about a way of life that existed centuries ago. Surrounding the heart of the city are picturesque districts, each having a charming appeal of its own, while each season reveals a different face of the same city. Many neighbourhoods each having a little treasure somewhere in their street-mazes. Vibrant social hubs pop up in the most unusual corners, becoming hot spots that are completely woven into the fabric of the contemporary part of Athenian life. Once abandoned districts with listed buildings that have been deserted for quite some time have received a make-over, becoming the latest hip locations that cumulatively form the urban arteries that lead back to the ancient center, the beating heart of Athens. Two such districts are Gazi and Metaxourgio, close to which Best Western Candia Athens Hotel is located, a stone’s throw from the easy going buzz of the urban hub.
Monemvasia in the Peloponnese
Now for discovering an enchanting place in the Peloponnese, west of Athens, in the prefecture of Argolis, Monemvasia is a destination like no other. Steeped in Byzantine history, the region is an open air marvel to admire. A fortified town with building structures that carry centuries worth of history on their roofs, one original mansion has been fully revived to its golden days of glory. Kinsterna Hotel in Monemvasia is a luxury, 5 star hotel that promises to wrap its guests in a fairytale veil of medieval wonder. The rooms, the views, in fact the entire estate are bound to take guests on a journey back through time, creating within a sense of awe that comes with the consideration that this place you are visiting, has a myriad of stories to tell. Here, guests can become part of the local way of life through the many thrilling activities through culture and within nature. Visiting vineyards, wine tasting, baking, cycling, horse and donkey riding are year round activities although there are some seasonal ones too worth experiencing, depending on when you will choose to be there.
Pelion mountain in Magnesia
East of Athens, toward the mountain of Pelion in the prefecture of Magnesia, guests can discover a place where nature has the principle role. If you haven’t heard of this place, then you are in for a treat. The mountain of Pelion is brimming with mystical forests steeped in legend. According to Greek mythology, it was the homeland of the centaurs, creatures that were half man, half horse, who roamed the woodland wild and free. Most suited to those travelers who love to explore the environs, Pelion can prove to be a wonderful destination, and all year round. The forests are amazing during Spring when nature is in full bloom, a very cool place to explore during the hot Summer, it is a colourful playground during Autumn, while it is a snow white wonderland in Winter. Mountain villages and their stone squares, springs and rivers of pure, crystalline water, century old plane trees and trails through the woods are only a few of the things you can admire in Pelion. Don’t miss out on visiting the traditional and picturesque settlement of Portaria, where Erofili hotel in Pelion is located. Breakfast on the sunny terrace coupled with beautiful panoramic and scenic views of the surrounding landscape will definitely satiate your soul, as well as your hunger.