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Mainland Greece

Oozing history, culture, cuisine and leisure, Greece is the embodiment of a luxury holiday. Although famous for its many islands, each of which has its own unique character, Greece’s mainland is just as vibrant and should certainly not be overlooked as a destination. It offers the same wealth of gorgeous beaches and stunning scenery as Kos or Zakynthos, alongside four millennia of history and seemingly endless excellent restaurants and intriguing boutiques.

As a city destination, Athens is nigh-on unbeatable. Not only does it offer a wealth of Instagram opportunities, no matter your interests you’ll be sure to have a completely gratifying time here. Enjoy the glorious views as you trek up the Acropolis or Mount Lycabettus, and you’ll be rewarded by the cultural gems at the top. Lycabettus also offers a funicular railway to assist in your ascent if you want to appreciate the views without breaking a sweat.

Of course we couldn’t discuss Athens without talking about its ancient monuments. Some of the greatest examples of ancient Greek temples can be found in the city, including the largest ever built (the Temple of Olympian Zeus), the most complete (the Temple of Hephaestus), and of course the iconic Parthenon. In the ancient Agora of the city you’ll find a fully reconstructed stoa which now contains a museum of artefacts dating from between 3000 and 300 years ago.

Elsewhere in Greece there’s also plenty to do. The coastline is littered with picturesque towns dating back centuries, many of which feature their own Ottoman-era fortress and of course a myriad of cafes and restaurants. In the little town of Tolon near the former capital city of Nafplio, many restaurants open straight onto the beach, which is used as a major thoroughfare thanks to the minimal tides that the region experiences. In the towns of Methoni and Kalamata, Venetian architecture blends with Ottoman and Frankish, reflecting the centuries of changing occupation and creating a fascinating blend of styles – the ideal backdrop for an evening meal as you watch the sun go down.

In the far south-west of the region you’ll find the Costa Navarino. It’s the newest and biggest luxury holiday development in Greece and it rivals the Algarve or the Costa del Sol for its beauty. With two brand new golf courses designed by Ryder Cup winner Bernhard Langer and of course the rolling sand dunes of Navarino Beach, it’s a tranquil paradise that will leave you feeling totally relaxed – you’ll definitely want to come back over and over again.

WINGED BOOTS WISDOM


Don’t forget to bring plenty of water with you when you head out to explore your surroundings. Seriously, we can’t stress this enough. Especially in summer the temperatures have been known to soar into the 40s so make sure you stay hydrated, and of course pack plenty of suncream.

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Good to know

  • Time difference: UTC +2
  • Capital: Athens
  • Currency: EUR
  • Instagram Opportunity: Cape Sounion

Best Time To Travel

Average Temperatures
Jan: 9°c   Feb: 10°c   Mar: 12°c  
Apr: 16°c   May: 20°c   Jun: 24°c  
Jul: 27°c   Aug: 27°c   Sep: 24°c  
Oct: 19°c   Nov: 15°c   Dec: 11°c  

Location

Mainland Greece Articles

Mainland Greece In A Nutshell

Tastes To Try
 

  • Greek cuisine has traditions and recipes dating back 4000 years – the world’s first known cookbook was written in Greece by Archestratos more than 2300 years ago. Souvlaki is one of the oldest meals, consisting of skewered grilled meat and vegetables with pita bread and fried potatoes. It’s a local favourite, especially in the south of the country. It can be made with pretty much any meat, so it’s of the most varied and satisfying meals Greek cuisine can offer. It’s definitely a must-try when you holiday here.
     
  • The warm Greek climate lets the local farmers produce fresh produce all year round, meaning every dish will be bursting with flavours. One of the best desserts on offer is the adorably-named Spoon Sweets. Essentially, it’s chunks of fruit boiled and then served coated in their own syrupy juices – they’re a decadent treat, perfect to close off a fulfilling meal. Making the most of local produce the sweets can be made from anything, from grapes and berries to lemons and figs.
     
  • Greece boasts a huge range of cheeses, many of which are unknown to us Brits. While you’re here why not pop into one of Athens’ many cheese markets and have a look at the range on offer – there’s more to Greek dairy products than just Feta and Halloumi. One of our favourites is Graviera, which has a pleasant sweetness to it, almost like caramel.


    Soak Up The Culture

     
  • We could go on for hours and hours about the richness of Greek culture, but we’ll try our best to contain ourselves. Athens is simply a gem, packed full of historic treasures and vibrant life. The Acropolis sits at the centre of it all and is the number one must-see in the city. The monuments there date back to about 300 BC and offer an intriguing insight into Athens’ past, especially when coupled with a visit to the brand-new Acropolis Museum just a short distance away.
     
  • In Athens’ Agora, the fully-restored Stoa of Attalos contains a museum of ancient Greek and Byzantine treasures, while the Temple of Hephaestus is the most complete ancient temple anywhere in Greece – it’s a fascinating area right next to the Athenian shopping district, making an ideal day trip idea.
     
  • A definite treat for all the family is the changing of the guard in Syntagma Square outside the Greek Parliament, which used to be the home of the Greek Royal Family. It takes place every hour in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and every Sunday at 11 there is a special ceremonial changing of the guard complete with marching band – without doubt something you won’t want to miss out on seeing.


    Adventure Awaits
     
  • Greece offers some stunning scenery, and without doubt the best way to experience this is to go walking. You’ll need sturdy footwear and plenty of water, especially during the summer months, since the Instagram-worthy panoramas aren’t always a quick stroll away. Trekking up to the top of Acro-Corinth offers some of the best views, with vistas stretching from the Gulf of Corinth to the Aegean Sea. The cliffs at Cape Sounion are also breath-taking, surrounded on three sides by the sea it’s no wonder the ancients thought the site was sacred to Poseidon.
     
  • With its long coastline, it’s not surprising that Greece offers a huge number of opportunities for water sports. From a relaxing sail around the bay at Tolon to adrenaline-inducing wakeboarding and water-skiing out in the Ionian at the Costa Navarino there’s something for all ages and abilities.

     
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