It’s almost mid-summer, and although Greece is packed with tourists, there are still some unique destinations off the radar offering great vacation options, especially for families travelling with children. For those not afraid to discover the lesser-known Greek destinations, here are a few great last minute options:
Pilio – where the green landscape is mirrored in crystal clear waters
The area of Pilio is sited near the city of Volos, about a four hour drive from Athens. The destination offers a unique combination of seafront and mountainous villages, waterfalls and thick vegetation. There are numerous villages to visit, from the picturesque Milies to Tsagarada, with a variety of options in terms of accommodation and experiences. Do not miss out on swimming in Damouchari, tasting the local cuisine, hiking through villages or horse riding along the beach. This location is ideal for families, groups of friends and / or couples.
Alonissos – a remote gem
The island of Alonissos belongs to the Sporades Complex. Compared to its more famous siblings in the Sporades group – Skiathos and Skopelos, Alonissos is a little more remote and isn’t easily reachable. However, this remoteness has become the island’s greatest asset as it has helped keep the crowds away. As a result the local authentic lifestyle has been well preserved, with a few fishing villages serving amazing food. The island is also well known for its marine park, home to rare seals that is also a unique diving destination. There are a few small hotels and residences, however, the island is best explored by a boat.
Northern Evia – emerald waters meet small hills and mountains
The island of Evia, is Greece’s second largest island, about a 40 minute drive from Athens. A popular destination for Greek families, the northern part of the island has a great combination of the dense, lush forests and marvellous beaches. Mountain villages offer great restaurants and cafes in their main squares, while beachfront villages have amazing accommodation options that are considered to be a unique escape for families with children. Organized resorts with great facilities and fun experiences are available to those who want a stress free option. Kite surfing, horseback riding, sailing and swimming lessons are just a few of the enjoyable activities!
Parnassus – the hiker’s dream
There are many travellers who prefer to spend their warm summer nights in the mountains. When everyone heads to the beach, there are those who favour the opposite direction and head towards the mountains. The destination of Parnassus is generally considered as a winter ski destination, nonetheless, during the summer months it attracts hikers looking for thick fir forests. While beach lovers swelter at lower altitudes, in Parnassus the temperature is perfect for reconnecting with nature. The mountain is located about three hours from Athens by car, and offers a variety of options and locations appealing to various ages and group compositions. The archaeological site of Delphi is nearby while the sea front village of Galaxidi is less than an hour away.
Syvota – a bit of Caribbean in Greece
A mainland destination in the western coast of Epirus that has little to envy from the Greek islands. Syvota has a lengthy coastline with numerous coves and islets featuring amazing beaches, with mesmerising colors. Most beaches are accessible by boat and are the main attractions of the area. While in Syvota one can also visit the picturesque islands of Paxoi and Antipaxoi, as well as the charming coastal village of Parga, where one may find quaint cafes and restaurants.