I'm so fortunate to know my dear friend named Euripides (who, yes, works in the theater) not just because he's a wonderful person but also because he invited me to vacation in his family home on the island of Limnos years ago, as well as in Athens. He showed me sides of Greece not found in guide books. A tiny, secluded beach reached by walking through a sheep meadow into a stunning, rocky cove. Menus with no English translations and no bad choices. Bars where locals break into traditional circle dancing after some drinks. An avant garde production of Medea in the phenomenal ancient amphitheater of Epidaurus. What an epic journey! Whatever sort of adventurer you are, there's a mythical adventure awaiting you too somewhere in Greece....
Below excerpt of 9/1/21 article produced by Virtuoso with the Greek National Tourism Organization can be found HERE.
Many travelers know Greece for its rich history and archeology, but fewer realize what a diverse adventure-travel playground awaits there. It’s one of the Mediterranean’s top spots for outdoor activities – from yachting and sailing to hiking and biking – all fueled by some of the region’s best food and wine. Here’s how to make the most of your next trip.
If there’s one thing Greece has in abundance, it’s a beautiful expanse of emerald waters and pristine beaches. The archipelago totals more than 6,000 islands and 7,500 miles of uncrowded coastline. Scattered across the Aegean and Ionian seas, the Greek Isles have issued a siren call to boaters for centuries: Sheltered bays and coves, sandy beaches with impressive dunes, volcanic shores, and coastal caves and wetlands abound. In short, it’s a setting tailor-made for yachting, sea kayaking, and a wealth of water sports.
For yacht charters: the Dodecanese – a group of islands in the southeastern Aegean that includes Rhodes and Kos – because of its mild but consistent winds, sunny climate, and stunning scenery. Plus, the somewhat remote isles are less heavily populated than other Greek island hot spots, resulting in a more intimate experience with locals and other boaters.
Roll with It
One of the best ways to really get to know a destination is by bike. In Athens, for example, the city’s longest pedestrian walkway, Dionysiou Areopagitou, is popular with residents and tourists alike. The easygoing route starts at Hadrian’s Arch and passes many historic sites as it stretches along the south side of the Acropolis to the Theatre of Dionysus and Odeon of Herodes Atticus. For coastal views, the Athens Riviera has a wide and flat bike path that, depending on cyclists’ ambitions, continues for 37 miles out of the city to Poseidon’s Temple on Cape Sounion. Virtuoso travel advisors can reserve everything from road bikes to city cruisers or electric bikes for city explorations.
As Athens is ringed by mountains on three sides, it’s no surprise that the outskirts are home to prime mountain-biking terrain, with trails for every fitness level. Farther afield, the northern Halkidiki region is a top destination for mountain bikers, while to the south, Mount Taygetos in the Peloponnese is a favorite. It’s also a great spot for road biking, with little traffic and scenic villages with stone houses and historic sites such as the Tower of Mourtzinos. The fortified former home of the powerful Troupakis-Mourtzinos family now serves as a museum offering insight into Maniot architecture and culture.
Med Diet Deliciousness
Fun fact: Greeks consume more olive oil per capita than anywhere else in the European Union – more than five gallons (around 26 pounds) per person annually. Its distinct flavors infuse nearly every meal. Taking cooking lessons in different parts of the country is a great way to interact with locals and get the inside scoop on regional specialties.
When it comes to favorite flavors: Sifnos Island for beachside ceviche, seafood risotto, and more offbeat taverna dishes such as octopus shots and fish collar with a reduction of assyrtiko, a native white wine. For winetasting: northern Greece and estates on the foothills of Mount Vermio. Picnic in a vineyard and reserve a tasting in one of the many underground cellars.
Tinos, a low-key island, has great hikes and uncrowded beaches for relaxing, swimming, and snorkeling. Of course, everyone loves Santorini. Serious trekkers should seek out Mount Parnassus, an 8,000-foot peak in northern mainland Greece, where strenuous hikes wind among wildflower meadows, through lush valleys, and alongside historic monuments in the country’s oldest national park. The park spreads across three peaks and is home to more than 60 miles of trails.
Legend has it that Apollo held Mount Parnassus sacred, as witnessed by his temple, situated in Delphi on the mountain’s lower reaches. Pegasus soared over its forests, and Odysseus recounts being gored by a wild boar on its slopes. Whether you travel by land or by sea – or both – you’ll discover firsthand why the birthplace of democracy has always been a land of epic adventure.
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