The Guardian recently announced its selection of 10 crowd-free Greek islands and coastlines that can offer travelers “a taste of true Greek culture”.
According to the British newspaper, with the end of lockdown in sight, holiday bookings to Greece are surging.
“Greece is the word on everyone’s lips and, fingers crossed, its sun-kissed beaches will welcome us back soon,” travel writer Mary Valiakas notes.
The Guardian suggests for travelers to visit Andros, Evia, Galaxidi, Folegandros, Leros, Kythira, Astypalea, Syros Pelion and Mani this year.
“These 10 stunning island and mainland destinations… are places where people take pride in offering hospitality – in line with the ancient custom of filoxenia, love of strangers – and where things are done with meraki, love and soul,” Valiakas adds.
The Guardian’s list
Two hours from the port of Rafina, near Athens, Andros is the northernmost island of the Cyclades archipelago and a favorite with holidaying Greeks for its food, beaches and pretty villages, according to The Guardian.
Greece’s second-largest island, Evia is worth exploring for the variety it offers: “some parts feel like Switzerland-on-sea; others resemble the Caribbean,” The Guardian says.
“With the feel of a less-discovered Santorini, Folegandros offers the chance to kick back and enjoy unhurried island life,” the Guardian says. The medieval Chora, the main town, is high on a rock, the scenery is dramatic, and the cobbled streets tranquil.
Said to be the favorite island of goddess Artemis, Leros is lush and hilly with many beautiful pebbly coves, and has a colorful history.
Waterfalls, gorges, medieval fortress towns, beaches – Kythira has them all. “And because getting there feels like traveling to the end of the Earth – it also offers a sense of adventure,” the newspaper says.
Astypalea is safely off the beaten track thanks to its remoteness. The whitewashed cubist villages have a hint of Santorini, the beaches are pristine and rugged – and the hospitality is generous and authentic.
A year-round population, non-touristy shops and a vibrant cultural life make for a fascinating insight into the local lifestyle of Syros, “with all the quaint villages and charming trimmings you would expect from a Greek island,” The Guardian notes.
Also known as the “mountain of the centaurs”, Pelion is a year-round destination offering mountain activities as well as coastal attractions.
At the southern end of the Peloponnese, Mani is a wild rugged region featuring medieval fortresses and tower villages as well as olive groves running out to the horizon.