Even though there”s no guarantee that 2021 will bring any a lot more certainty than the dismal year we’re quickly to (fortunately) discard, a new calendar calendar year means it’s time to start preparing.
Greece is brimming with options that stretch further than the typical sea and sunlight holiday.
With hundreds of islands and mountains galore, quite much everywhere the compass points in Greece will reveal tempting areas for relaxation, journey and every little thing in involving.
1. Be revolutionary
2021 is a big year for Greece as it marks the bicentennial of the starting of the Greek War of Independence, the war that Greek revolutionaries waged against the Ottoman Empire.
Look for commemorative functions happening at many places all-around Greece, or simply just consider advantage of the anniversary to include extra context to your visits of destinations like picturesque Nafplio, the initially funds of fashionable Greece, and tiny Spetses island, which was dwelling to the Greek war heroine Laskarina Bouboulina.
To get you into the festive spirit, here is a nifty video clip from the Greece 1821-2021 committee filmed at the Panathenaic Stadium.
2. Wine tourism is happening
It really is been explained right before that what reveals the genius loci of a area is gentle – and whilst that definitely applies to Greece, so does wine.
As the birthplace of wine-consuming for celebratory and ceremonial uses, it can be fitting that Greece, with upwards of 1300 wineries and 33 regions with PDO (Safeguarded Designation of Origin) status, is enduring a boom in “oenotourism.”
Santorini is renowned for its assyrtiko wine, and a preferred island for vineyard visits whether or not or not it really is the ventema (vine harvest) time. To whet your urge for food, the best information to Greek wines I have discovered is in this article.
3. Pay a visit to both equally Acropolises (what?)
Okay, so the Acropolis of Athens requires no introduction, but these types of is its prominence that it obscures other ancient citadels in Greece like the Acrocorinth, which looms in excess of the ruins of the ancient city-condition of Corinth with a combine of historical Mycenaean, Greek, Byzantine and Venetian ramparts.
The watch of the Isthmus of Corinth from the top rated of the rock is spectacular. You can pair your stop by with a jaunt to the beach at Loutraki, popular for its warm springs, or just take a dip in the pretty Limni Vouliagmenis lagoon close by.
4. Explore some “key” ruins
Most readers to Athens just take in the classic historic sites like the Parthenon, ruins of the historical Athenian Agora and Panathenaic Stadium. Stunners all, but give oneself an further working day to consider in lesser-regarded sites like the archaeological web page of Kerameikos, which contains some interesting early Athenian fortifications as well as monumental funerary sculptures.
Piraeus, the port of Athens, has some awesome ‘secret’ historical web-sites too, as I not too long ago identified (here is a minimal preview, in Greek).
5. Discover Attica
The region of Attica, a big mountainous peninsula that juts into the Aegean Sea, is greatest regarded as the location of Athens but there is much more to discover than the funds.
Involving the glitzy southern suburb of Glyfada and iconic Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion there is certainly the Athens Riviera, a extensive extend of coastline peppered with small vacation resort cities and beaches.
The roads are great (lease a motor vehicle if you can) and you can expect to truly feel like you might be on a distant island without ever stepping foot in a boat!
6. Just take a “Volcano boat” about the Milos coastline
Very last summertime Tom Hanks was noticed splashing about the warm blue waters of Poliegos—not an island you can typically get to, as it is really inhabited only by a couple of blessed goats (as in, the variety with horns).
But it can be found really near to the much better-acknowledged Milos, a further Aegean island geological marvel on account of its volcanic origins. You can get up close to the marvellous coasts of both islands by using a trip on The Volcano, a substantial-speed Italian-made, 15-meter prolonged inflatable boat with just 25 seats.
Excursions get in wonderful spots all over Milos like the Kleftiko sea stacks and a “key” seashore on Poliegos you can also make a round of Poliegos and Milos with a entertaining Polco sail cruise.
7. Pay a visit to Mani (right before every person else does)
If you have not listened to of Mani don’t fret: you are listening to about it now.
It truly is the middle southern peninsula of mainland Greece and is regarded for its raw splendor, proud locals and villages manufactured of stone that are sometimes so close to the sea’s edge you can basically leap from your hotel balcony into the drinking water (but don’t).
This is a distant location but just one properly-related by highways. There isn’t a massive lodge inventory, so if the images of rocky shores and sapphire blue sea tempt you, remember you happen to be not the only a person to drop under the spell – so ebook early.
8. Go climb a rock
Greece’s rugged terrain helps make it a excellent environment for tons of out of doors things to do that have nothing at all to do with the seaside, like rock climbing.
In the southeast Peloponnese, the climbing park of Leonidio is a massive attract on account of the spectacular Kokkinovrachos, or Red Cliff that towers higher than the seaside city of Leonidio.
In the Aegean Sea, the island of Kalymnos is renowned as a climbing spot when for bouldering there are the scenic boulders of Volax on Tinos island.
9. Just take browsing lessons in Paros
Paros is one particular of the greater of the Cycladic islands and has plenty of wonderful shorelines primed for watersport activities.
Head to Santa Maria for diving and wakeboarding, Punta for waterskiing and Golden Beach front for surfing and windsurfing—the surf instructors at Golden Beach are some of the most seasoned in Greece.
For a dash of luxury with the ideal view of the Golden Seashore keep at Poseidon of Paros.
10. Hike a volcano in Nisyros
The tiny island of Nisyros in the vicinity of Rhodes has not one, but three volcanic craters. However steam emanates from the ksephysitres, or vents, they are safe and sound to hike around.
Nisyros also has a charming harbor city, Mandraki, and dramatic black sand beaches that are usually cost-free of crowds.
11. Ecotourism in Crete
The island of Crete has 54 places that are part of the NATURA 2000 network of web sites with shielded biodiversity.
Despite this designation, some locales such as Elafonisi and Balos have been veering toward overtourism—but that was prior to the pandemic.
In 2021 you may be capable to stop by those all-natural spots and many others like the Xerokambos wetland and coastal landscape from Dermatos to Tsoutsouras in jap Asterousia (in southern Crete) with out all the crowds.
Found in western Thessaly, the UNESCO-detailed monastery complex of Meteora includes 30 historic Jap Orthodox monasteries, six of which are still in use and open up to the community.
These are perched on best of amazing rock formations reaching as higher as 400 meters that are finest described as totally free-standing cliffs—familiar to anybody who’s viewed the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. Some of the monasteries day as considerably again as the 11th century.
Mountainous Andros is the northernmost of the Cycladic island chain (which also consists of Santorini and Mykonos) and as this kind of, it can be an uncomplicated hop of beneath two hrs from the mainland port of Rafina to the island’s port at Gavrio.
But the major town or chora is the eponymous Andros on the other aspect of the island. It is a stately town with lots of neoclassical mansions crafted for regional shipowners. Andros has a proud maritime heritage and numerous sailors from the island partook in the Greek Revolution proper from the start off.
There are also some fantastic shorelines such as Tis Grias to Pidima, or The Previous Lady’s Bounce.
14. Castle island of Monemvasia
Rock your Instagram with a pay a visit to to this semi-top secret citadel in the southern reaches of the Peloponnese. There is certainly just a single entrance to the Byzantine fortress, which clings to an elevated island plateau related to the mainland by a shorter causeway.
The fortress dates to all-around 583, when locals required to fend off Saracen raids. The walled reduce city is a tangle of ancient houses, narrow cobbled streets and very small chapels interspersed with lively outlets and cafes.
A path qualified prospects to the higher town with castle ruins, the Agia Sofia church and amazing sights of the Mediterranean.
15. See the Mikres Kiklades
If you are Greek you have most likely heard of Keros, Irakleia, Schinousa, Kouphonisia and Donousa—but if you’re not then odds are people island names are unfamiliar.
The Mikres Kiklades, or Minor Cyclades, are as the title implies a cluster of little islands found south and east of Naxos, the greatest Cycladic island.
These sunny holiday places are finest-recognized for what they you should not have: big inns, buying malls and airports. But they do have a good deal of lovely beach locations and genuine Greek island flavour. Reserve resort stays considerably ahead, as alternatives are not constantly several.
16. Get your yum on in Sifnos, Syros, Santorini
Every area and island in Greece is identified for specified crops and culinary traditions, providing vacation any where in the nation great gustatory attractiveness. You will find Santorini for its tomatoes, for case in point, and Sifnos for its capers as properly as star-studded eateries like Omega3 Fish & Wine Bar (Scarlett Johansson’s a enthusiast) .
The two islands along with Syros are savoring a rising name as gourmet getaways and in all 3 you can dine gorgeously: that is, dig into excellent, regionally-sourced meals served in breezy island options.
Serene, airport-cost-free Patmos is tucked into the northwestern aspect of the Dodecanese archipelago and has an alluring 63 kilometres of shoreline that create a ribbon of beach locations and hidden coves, encircling a heavenly landscape with rugged peaks that rise over concealed inexperienced valleys.
The historical settlement of Chora is 1 of the most effective preserved in the Aegean, having developed without interruption considering that the 12th century and some of the former merchants’ residences are now house to posh places to eat and cafes.
But the non secular coronary heart of Chora and indeed of Patmos is the Cave of the Apocalypse where by tradition holds that John the Apostle wrote the Guide of Revelation, the final (and relatively ominous) reserve of the New Testament.
Together with the Monastery of St. John the Theologian it sorts a UNESCO Environment Heritage Web-site.
18. Crete for Seashore Idylls
Crete is not only the premier of the Greek islands, but thanks to its southerly locale it also has the longest beach season.
To obtain the greatest kinds you are going to require to hire a car and of training course a very good position to remain comes in helpful.
Some resorts and resorts that did not open up in 2020 due to the pandemic are by now hunting ahead to 2021, which indicates early planners shouldn’t hesitate.
In close proximity to Chania, consider splurging on a luxe villa, when a wonderful resort on the south coastline named Irini Mare also serves some of the ideal food on the island. They even make their very own olive oil.
19. Rediscover Mykonos (sure, Mykonos)
In 2021 you can expect to be hearing a ton about tourism “repositioning” from the Mediterranean countries that have traditionally leaned on sea and sunlight tourism, but let’s face it, occasionally you just will need to chill out with some sand involving your toes.
Handful of Greek islands provide up the sand as deliciously as Mykonos—true, there are a lot more stunning seashores in Greece but because of to its workable dimension and sheer range of shorelines Mykonos would make these seaside hols a snap.
The island’s got chic seaside settings galore but Mykonos is all about alternatives: you could also practical experience the beach on horseback.
Just bear in mind to plan a excursion to Mykonos in Could, June or September to dodge the crowds.
20. Serifos and Ios
Serifos is a centrally found Aegean island regarded for its stark landscapes, scenic hilltop Chora, or key city and a lot of wonderful seashores these as Yianema, Sykamia and Psili Ammos.
Much larger Ios is found due north of Santorini and features a combine of unspoiled shorelines and smattering of cosmopolitan beach clubs.
As with quite a few of the Greek islands, stay for at minimum a number of days if you can and check out to lease car to see items at a a lot more leisurely rate.
This sunny port city, well known for its tsipouradhika or regular tavernas, is capital of the mineral-wealthy Magnesia area of Thessaly, found about halfway concerning Athens and Thessaloniki.
It can be on the Pagastikos Gulf opposite the lush Pelion peninsula that juts into the Aegean Sea.
Volos is the Greek metropolis closest to Mount Pelion, which is regarded by numerous to be the most beautiful area of Greece.
In city, verify out the Italian-developed Historic Railway Station of Volos you can also approach for a scenic experience on the Pelion practice, a throwback to 1896 when this slim gauge railway first entered into assistance.
Based in Athens, Anthony Grant also edits the Greek Column.