5 Top Local Picks for Your Greek Holiday
Greece is a destination that has something to offer every type of traveller - from history buffs to sun lovers, and everything in between. While it's tempting to stick to the well-trodden tourist trail, sometimes it's the lesser-known spots that offer the most authentic and memorable experiences. With that in mind, here are five top local picks for your Greece holiday travels.
While Santorini and Mykonos may be the more popular Greek islands, Naxos is an underrated gem that's worth considering for your next holiday. Known for its beautiful beaches, charming villages, and excellent food, Naxos has something for everyone. Hike up to the Venetian castle in the old town, visit the ancient Temple of Demeter, or simply relax on one of the island's many sandy beaches.
Meteora is a truly unique destination in Greece that's often overlooked by tourists. Located in central Greece, it's home to six stunning monasteries that are perched atop towering rock formations. The monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries by monks seeking refuge from invading Turks, and they've remained largely unchanged ever since.
Pelion is a mountainous region in central Greece that's known for its traditional villages, lush forests, and stunning beaches. It's a great destination for hikers and nature lovers, as there are plenty of trails to explore. The villages are also worth visiting, as they offer a glimpse into traditional Greek life. Be sure to try the local tsipouro, a grape-based spirit that's popular in the region.
Thessaloniki is Greece's second-largest city, and it's often overlooked by tourists in favour of Athens. However, it's a vibrant and bustling city that's well worth a visit. The city's architecture is a mix of Byzantine, Ottoman, and neoclassical styles, and there are plenty of museums, galleries, and cafes to explore. The food in Thessaloniki is also excellent, with a mix of traditional Greek dishes and Middle Eastern flavours.
Kythira is a small island located in the southern Peloponnese, and it's a great destination for those looking to get away from the crowds. The island is known for its unspoiled natural beauty, with rugged cliffs, hidden beaches, and crystal-clear waters. There are also plenty of traditional villages to explore, and the local cuisine is delicious. Be sure to try the island's famous honey, which is considered some of the best in Greece.
What is the number one attraction in Greece?
The number one attraction in Greece is undoubtedly the Acropolis in Athens. The Acropolis is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens, and it is home to several iconic buildings, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Propylaea. It's a must-visit for anyone interested in history, architecture, or ancient civilizations.
Where do locals go in Greece?
Locals in Greece often go to places that are less touristy, such as smaller islands like Kythira or less visited areas of popular islands. They also tend to frequent traditional tavernas and cafes and explore local markets and shops.
Can you visit Greece without speaking Greek?
Yes, you can definitely visit Greece without speaking Greek! While it's always helpful to know some basic phrases, English is widely spoken in popular tourist destinations, and many signs and menus are also translated into English. Most Greeks are also very friendly and welcoming and will try to help you even if they don't speak English fluently.
Where in Greece is it not touristy?
There are several places in Greece that are less touristy, including islands like Kythira, Symi, and Ios, and smaller towns and villages on popular islands like Crete and Rhodes. The Pelion region on the mainland is also a less visited area that offers beautiful scenery and traditional Greek life.
Where should I go for the first time in Greece?
For a first-time visit to Greece, Athens is a must-see destination. It's the capital city and the historical and cultural heart of Greece, with a wealth of ancient sites, museums, and vibrant neighbourhoods to explore. The islands of Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete are also popular choices for first-time visitors.
What is the most beautiful part of Greece?
Beauty is subjective, but many people consider the island of Santorini to be the most beautiful part of Greece. With its stunning views of the caldera, picturesque villages, and beautiful sunsets, it's no wonder that Santorini is a popular destination for honeymooners and romantic getaways. Other contenders for the title of most beautiful part of Greece include the Peloponnese region and the island of Corfu.
How do I decide where to go in Greece?
Deciding where to go in Greece depends on your interests, budget, and travel style. If you're interested in history and culture, Athens and the ancient sites of the mainland are a good choice. If you're looking for beaches and relaxation, the islands offer a range of options from quiet and secluded to bustling and party oriented. Researching online and consulting with your Thompsons travel agent can also help you make an informed decision.
In conclusion, Greece is a destination that's full of surprises, and these top local picks are just the beginning. Whether you're looking for history, culture, or just some relaxation on the beach, there's something for everyone in this beautiful country. So why not step off the beaten path and discover Greece's hidden gems for yourself? Browse our Greece holiday packages now.