4 great Greek holiday spots
By Laura Gelder – April 2020 – 2 minute read
Greece is officially open for UK travellers and with less than 5,000 cases of COVID-19, is currently on the UK government's safe to travel list. Here are four top Greek holiday spots from the Selling Travel team – perfect for clients looking for sunshine and culture.
This Ionian isle is blessed with white pebble beaches lapped by clear seas, a striking mountainous interior and lots of beautiful towns to explore.
The main resort areas 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 where yachty types step straight off their vessel and into the quayside tavernas. Close to here is the charming fishing village of Assos with its coloured houses and hilltop Venetian castle, and 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, the underground lake in Melissani Cave and the ruins of Venetian Castle Saint George - which happens to be next to three of the island’s top-rated restaurants.
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, while smaller fishing village Loggos has a waterfront lined with tavernas and 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 and two tavernas to accompany its chalk-white beaches lapped by startlingly azure seas.
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, and 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 and lots of great people watching 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 and well-marked pathways 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.
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 and has as many castles and ancient sites as it does beautiful beaches.
Visitors 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; Messini’s 10,000-seat theatre; the Bronze Age city of Mycenae, including 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.