Natural Escapes

Natural escapes

All across Greece are legendary landmark destinations whose name alone sparks the desire get packing
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All across Greece are legendary landmark destinations whose name alone sparks the desire get packing

How is it possible that such a small country has so much to offer? Maybe it’s time to find out. Continental Greece, with its succession of landscapes etched in high relief, is a treasure chest of unique experiences whether in the great outdoors or in the realm of culture.

Here you will find some of the most popular landscapes in Greece – landscapes with alpine valleys, mountain peaks above the clouds, gorges and canyons, paths through oak, beech and plane tree forests, rivers spanned by arched stone bridges, watermills, waterfalls, national parks with rare flora and fauna, precious wetlands. And in the midst of it all, the human element, centuries of Greek civilisation in harmony with the environment: There are rustic villages, ancient ruins that occupy the most dramatic locations, hot springs, isolated monasteries and chapels, castles, towers and abandoned hamlets, cheery mountain towns, and ski centres with beautiful chalets.

Popular destinations in mainland Greece

Every corner of mainland Greece will leave its imprint on your memory. From traditional Pelion to the Zagorohoria, the valley of Tempi, celestial OlympusMeteora with its awe-inspiring monasteries perched on rocky monoliths, to Ancient Dion, these are unique destinations of rare natural beauty with rich history and traditions. You’ll discover nature at its most transcendent in the mountain areas of Elati and Pertouli, around Lake PlastiraLake Kerkini and Lailia, Valia Kalda and Metsovo, the Prespes lakes with their hermitages and rare bird populations, and Nymfaio.

Here in the interior, the original Greece will be revealed to you – in the wondrous ancient site of Vergina and nearby Edessa with its waterfalls and the Pozar natural spa; in picturesque Arnea and Kavala with the ruins of Philippi nearby; in Karpenissi and its traditional villages; and in mountainous Nafpaktia, the Switzerland of Greece;  or at the more visited places, like Delphi and Arahova. You’ll find it in the Peloponnese in such places as Mt Parnon and the mountains above Corinth, Lake Stymfalia, of Hercules’ fame, Mt Ziria with its plateaus and pasturelands, Taygetos and mountainous Arcadia with the Lousios River and its attractive villages.

At every turn in mainland Greece, nature’s artistry and man’s achievements will amaze you.

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Highlights

Some favourites to get you started

Zagori

Mountains, gorges and village life at their most majestic
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All destinations (18)

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For nature lovers, there’s the ‘hot’ valley of Valia Kalda, so-called because it’s so much warmer than the high peaks that surround it

Grevena

An alpine paradise in the southern Pindus
From a distance Kastoria looks like an Impressionist painting

Kastoria

The lakeside jewel in northern Greece
Sunrise on Kerkini lake

Lake Kerkini

A refuge for nature and birdwatchers
Monastery of St

Kilkis

Living tradition in northern Greece
The famous arched stone bridge of Pyli, built in 1514

Elati-Pertouli

A fairy tale quest of mountain and forest
Fakistra beach, where some scenes from the movie Mamma Mia! were filmed here

Pelion

A seasonal feast of mountain and sea
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