With summer vacations just a stone’s throw away, it seemed ideal for me to think about possible summer destinations. The first thing that crosses all our minds when thinking about summer is, of course, sun, and consequently we think about Mediterranean countries. This article will be dedicated to my personal home country, namely Greece.
Greece is quite a diverse country, with beautiful beaches, small villages but also mountains and big cities; hence it has everything a tourist would wish for. Below some of the beauties will be presented, of course these are just a small portion of the magnitude of this country. Focus will not be shed to the most touristic places, as these are well known and reported, but to the more hidden gems of this country.
Crete, Falasarna beach
The biggest island in Greece, located in the southern part of the country combines the beauty of the sea and the mountains. It is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to relax from the humdrum of everyday life, but at the same time wants to explore the nightlife options.
One of my favourite beaches is “Falasarna”, located in the western part of the island. With the wonderful combination of sun and sea, the beach is also under protection through the EU Natura 2000 project. It is quite a big beach, thus even if it is crowded you won’t feel suffocated, as it usually happens in the summertime. The only drawback would have to be the northern winds, making it sometimes difficult to swim and enjoy the sea. Otherwise it is just the perfect place to go; it is also close to Chania, one of the big cities of the island, which offers many options for sightseeing, Greek cuisine tasting and nightlife.
If the sea is not for you and you want a place near the mountains, where it is of course quite chillier even during the summer, then Kastoria is the place for you. It is located in the North-west of the country and it is a fairly small city, offering a vast range of activities and sightseeing options.
What makes this city unique and attracts visitors, is the magic atmosphere it conveys with the successful combination of mountains and the lake. One can walk aside the lake and enjoy the fresh air and the scenery or explore the inside of the city. There are many byzantine churches, which are worth a visit and also there is a folklore museum, located inside an old mansion, where one can travel to the past and imagine how people used to live. In the vicinity of the city there is a Neolithic lakeshore settlement, called “Dispilio”, located on the lake, where one can admire the early efforts of mankind to establish residential areas.
For the more relaxed visitors, the city offers spectacular cuisine as well and it is famous for the different kinds of pie and the traditional desserts.
Moving a bit to the south again the second biggest city in Greece, Thessaloniki, can be found, located directly by the sea. The city itself offers a wide rangeof activities and sightseeing options. There are many museums and also the old town walls, where one can enjoy the view of the whole city from above. The most famous landmark of this city is the “White tower”. One can go up the tower and again admire the breathtaking view of the city and the sea. My favourite activity in this city is walking by the seaside, which is quite relaxing and helps clear one’s mind.
In close vicinity to the city, with just a small drive away one can go the beautiful beaches of Chalkidiki and enjoy the sun and the sea. My personal favourite is the second “leg” of Chalkidiki, with fewer visitors.
On the other hand, if you happen to be a bit more adventurous person, you can visit the highest mountain in Greece “Olympus”, the mythical mountain of the Gods, located 150 km from Thessaloniki. Olympus is famous for its hiking and walking paths, which can be accessed throughout the year.
The city offers restaurants with great cuisine, which please even the most demanding food-lovers and it is the most famous city for its nightlife opportunities and it’s called “the city that never sleeps”… As you can see Greece is a huge country with different sceneries throughout its area, so you can choose what is most appropriate for you. Start packing, Greece awaits you!!!