A perennial favourite amongst holidaymakers, Greece constantly ranks among the many prime 10 trip locations in Europe.
However now it desires vacationers to get to know lesser-known areas throughout its 1000’s of sprawling islands.
“We’re shifting past sea and solar. We need to extend the tourism season in each time and area,” Olympia Anastasopoulou, secretary-general for tourism coverage and growth at Greece’s Ministry of Tourism, advised CNBC Journey.
For that, the nation is investing in its extra distant areas, together with Syros, Amorgos and Milos, as a part of its “All you need is Greece” marketing campaign.
To ease overtourism, standard sizzling spots resembling Mykonos and Santorini are being repositioned as shoulder season locations.
“It is our objective for these islands to develop extra in seasonality, too. We want it for the tourism flows to be expanded in different months,” stated Eleni Mitraki, director of tourism promotion on the Greek Nationwide Tourism Group, noting the season might run March by November.
The plans coincide with the growth of direct flights from america to Greece in March 2023.
At present, Germany and the U.Okay. symbolize Greece’s largest inbound tourism markets by income, adopted by america, France and Italy. Nevertheless, Anastasopoulou stated additional progress from different markets, most notably Canada and India, is anticipated.
Listed below are CNBC Journey’s prime picks to get you off the overwhelmed monitor in Greece.
Rock climbers’ paradise
Positioned inside Greece’s Dodecanese island chain within the southeastern Aegean Sea, Kalymnos is known for its sponge-diving — underwater diving to gather pure sponges from the seabed — which introduced appreciable wealth and recognition to the island within the earlier century.
Kalymnos, a part of Greece’s Dodecanese island chain, has grow to be a well-known vacation spot for rock climbers.
Photobac | Istock | Getty Pictures
Extra lately, the island has grow to be a world-renowned location for rock climbers, with greater than 3,000 climbing routes spanning the quite a few crags, caves and overhangs of its rugged panorama.
Kalymnos’ tourism season peaks within the fall with the Kalymnos Climbing Competition, which takes place most years. However journey junkies can get their kicks year-round, with a number of different actions together with scuba diving, climbing and boating.
The best way to get there: Kalymnos will be simply reached by boat from close by Kos, with crossings taking 45 minutes by ferry and 25 minutes by speedboat. It is also accessible by airplane from Athens.
Haven for historical past buffs
Ios, also referred to as Io or Nio, is situated between Santorini and Naxos, and was as soon as seen solely as a celebration vacation spot. However the Cyclades island has revamped its picture over latest years to embrace its historic and pure attributes.
Dwelling to one among Greece’s most historic archaeological settlements, the Skarkos monument, Ios additionally boasts a robust connection to the Greek epic poet, Homer, who is alleged to have favored the island and, probably, ended his days there.
As soon as recognized purely as a celebration island, Ios within the Cyclades is embracing its different attributes, together with lovely seashores and historic Greek archaeological settlements.
Municipality of Ios
Alongside historical past, guests to Ios also can discover its plentiful seashores, and climbing and diving spots, earlier than tucking into a number of the native cheeses for which the island is famed.
The best way to get there: There is no such thing as a airport in Ios. The island will be accessed by ferry or speedboat from each Athens and the opposite Cyclades islands. It will also be reached by helicopter from Santorini.
Film lovers’ delight
Skopelos grew to become well-known because the filming location for the hit musical rom-com “Mamma Mia,” and has since emerged as a well-liked vacation spot for weddings, honeymoons and film excursions.
A part of the Skopelos archipelago within the northwest Aegean Sea, the island combines beautiful seashores and picturesque villages with a number of diving, yachting and biking routes.
The Greek island of Skopelos is known for being the filming location of hit musical rom-com “Mamma Mia,” with the clifftop Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri enjoying a starring function.
Constantinos-iliopoulos | Istock | Getty Pictures
Legend has it the island was based by the son of the Greek god of wine. And although lots of its vineyards have been destroyed by pests within the Nineteen Forties, small-scale, home manufacturing continues to at the present time. In the meantime, natively grown plums, almonds, chestnuts, figs, citrus fruits, olives adorn the native delicacies.
The best way to get there: Skopelos is reachable by ferry or speedboat from the port metropolis of Volos on Greece’s mainland. Companies run year-round, with extra routes from different islands added in excessive season.
One in all largest islands of the Cyclades and simply two hours from the Greek mainland, mountainous Andros has a assorted panorama of forests, waterfalls, seashores and native vegetation, making it perfect for an out of doors escape.
Andros, one of many largest islands of the Cyclades, boasts a various panorama of waterfalls, forests and seashores, making it a haven for hikers.
Summerphotos | Istock | Getty Pictures
Guests can discover the island by way of its massive community of climbing trails, or strive their hand at windsurfing or scuba diving, earlier than sampling the native delicacies.
Arts and tradition followers can try Andros’ assortment of monasteries, galleries and museums, together with the Archaeological Museum of Andros and the Museum of Up to date Artwork.
The best way to get there: There is no such thing as a airport in Andros. The island will be reached by ferry from Rafina port on the outskirts of Athens.
Isle of innovation
One of many Dodecanese islands, Astypalea has a wealthy historic historical past. However it’s positioning itself firmly within the twenty first century with the objective of changing into the primary sustainable and good island of the Mediterranean sea.
The Dodecanese island of Astypalea has ambitions to grow to be the primary sustainable and good island of the Mediterranean sea.
Municipality of Astypalea
As a part of a take care of the Greek authorities and Volkswagen, Astypalea plans to implement islandwide, zero-emission mobility by 2030, with conventional automobile leases to get replaced with electrical vehicles, e-scooters and e-bikes. Elsewhere, charging factors and renewable vitality sources can even be added.
Vacationers arriving on the so-called Butterfly Island also can take pleasure in its pure panorama, dwelling to lovely seashores, rocky hillsides and numerous natural world, in addition to its picturesque villages of bougainvillea-clad white homes.
The best way to get there: Astypalea is accessible from Athens by each ferry and airplane.
Surrounded by a necklace of 24 islets with dozens of blue-green seashores, Lipsi within the Dodecanese is taken into account the Polynesia of the Aegean Sea and an eco-paradise.
An eco-paradise surrounded by 24 islets, Lipsi varieties a part of the Dodecanese island assortment within the southeastern Aegean Sea.
Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary
With a wealthy expanse of natural world protected by the European Union, the island is dwelling to numerous wildlife, together with Mediterranean monk seals and sea turtles. Dolphins are additionally widespread within the space, and a brand new Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary for dolphins is about to open quickly on the island.
Holidaymakers can take pleasure in days spent boating, diving, beach-dwelling and climbing, earlier than tucking into seafood dishes and experiencing native festivals, resembling August’s wine celebration.
The best way to get there: Lipsi is barely accessible by ferry or velocity boat, with common providers working from Athens and Leros.
Alonissos, a part of the Sporades group of islands, is a diver’s paradise and the positioning of Greece’s first underwater museum. That includes “Parthenon of the Wrecks,” one of many largest Classical-era shipwrecks courting again to 425 B.C., the positioning affords leisure divers a novel perception into the area’s historical past.
Alonissos, a part of the Sporades archipelago within the northwest Aegean Sea, is thought for its diving spots, together with Greece’s first underwater museum, the “Parthenon of the Wrecks.”
Municipality of Alonissos
The island can be dwelling to the Nationwide Marine park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, at present Europe’s largest marine protected space, giving guests the chance to see an unlimited array of vegetation and animals.
Kayaking, climbing and biking are among the many different actions obtainable on the island, whereas museums and a neighborhood theater group showcase the island’s arts and tradition scene.
The best way to get there: Alonissos will be accessed both by airplane or by ferry from the ports of Volos, Agios Konstantinos and Kimi.
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