The Less Traveled Trails
When checking out the scene of the Greek islands, Santorini and Mykonos are probably the most popular ones. A third could easily be Crete since it is Greece’s largest island. In this article, however, we will venture off the beaten path in Greece. We will take a look at three plus one off-the-grid Greek islands and discover the less traveled trails. Places where time runs slowly and each moment appears to have greater value. After all, for us a holiday is when you reconnect with yourself in a place that maintains its authenticity through minimal disruption by mass tourism.
Thassos is the northernmost Greek island opposite Thessaloniki. This emerald jewel of the North Aegean’s deep blue waters is in a relatively remote location which makes it an underdog on the Greek island holiday radar. Yet there are plenty of reasons why it should be considered for your next vacation in Greece.
Verdant hillsides plunge down to crystalline waters. Pristine beaches and picturesque fishing villages combine with some interesting ancient history. In Thassos, visitors can expect a laid back holiday experience. Volcanic in nature, the landscapes have an otherworldly allure to them.
The rocky lagoon pool of Giola is perhaps the most impressive feature on the island. You may have come across it online, not knowing where it is… Now there is no excuse not to experience it in person. For a place that is central and close to many amenities, choose the main port of Limenas. Consider staying at villas in Thassos island for a wonderful spot to harbor your holiday as well as act as your base for onward exploration of the island.
A gem of an island found up north once more. Lemnos is a fascinating destination great for travelers seeking a holiday infused with the real scents and sounds of Greek island life. Lemnos is an extraordinary place to visit, allowing its visitors to become fully assimilated into the local scene.
Consider waking up in a traditional house in Lemnos, and being greeted by neighbors who can be other visitors or locals, as you take the first stroll of the day. Smelling the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked bread in the morning. Then, add the pleasant sound of the livestock’s bells, as they pass by the village, a journey old many, many years. The simplicity of such moments of rural bliss is priceless.
In Lemnos, scenes of pastoral perfection complete with all the endearing ‘imperfections’ that make your holiday truly charming. On the island, it is possible to visit a plethora of amazing natural sites, such as salt lakes, sand dunes, strange volcanic rock formations, thermal springs, waterfalls, and a petrified forest.
Venturing southbound on the Aegean, towards the eastern, marine borders of Greece, lies Kos. Belonging to the Dodecanese, Kos is the second most popular island of the cluster. Here are some reasons why it should, perhaps, be the first. Its significant history spans many eras, each leaving its remnants for visitors to witness in the form of ancient agoras, theatres, and mosaics. But also castles, fortresses, cathedrals, and mosques.
Hippocrates, the forefather of medicine was born on Kos island. The luxury 4-star hotel resort in Kos is dedicated to the ancient physician. Besides, in the center of town, there is a plane tree known as the Tree of Hippocrates. Allegedly, this is the tree under which Hippocrates taught his students.
History and culture is not the only thing Kos offers to visitors. Its beaches are actually a top attraction, as its many capes, promontories, and headlands give life to quite a unique scenario. The beach of Psalidi is one of the longest beaches you will ever see. Ancient ruins on its rocky pier grace the beach of Agios Fokas.
Plus one: Cyprus
Technically not part of Greece, the small island of Cyprus is probably one of the ultimate holiday destinations in the Southeastern Mediterranean. Cyprus is probably one of our favorite destinations after Crete.
One popular destination is Limassol, a perennially sunny place with a vast shoreline. With a long-standing tradition in summer holidaying, hotels in Limassol make use of the immense coast, with rooms that are doused with sea views every hour of the day. It is much more laid back than the more popular resort town of Ayia Napa. The latter is perhaps more suited to the younger generation, interested in all night partying and beach bars playing music all day long.
For visiting a place that shares similar natural beauty yet allows its visitors to fully relax, Limassol delivers on both these counts. A cosmopolitan town, it has many historic attractions for culture lovers, such as castles and a colosseum. However, it also has a few things for thrill-seekers too. A water park and zoo will excite little ones if you are traveling as a family.
Finally, nature lusters will love the Troodos Mountains, included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. The mountains are brimming with picturesque villages and quaint churches amidst spectacular landscapes.
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Off the Beaten Path in Greece
Contribution Post – About the Author
Helen Marie Joyce is an SEO and Creative Copywriter. She is a Greek-American with a British education, having lived in both Greece and the UK. She specializes in travel and destination marketing in Greece. Having traveled within Greece and abroad, she has gained many priceless experiences.