I know I'm not the only one out there watching The Bachelorette, my guilty pleasure. The recaps on YouTube are hilarious, and I love the beautiful locations they visit! This season the cast traveled to Scotland, the Netherlands and Latvia, and the last few episodes have been set around Greece, where the couples went horseback riding and sailing and generally just looked fabulous against the spectacular backdrop of islands like Santorini and Crete. During the finale when Hannah set sail on a date from Elounda, Crete, I started daydreaming about my own trip to Crete - without camera crews, of course.
One of the unique sights you too can visit from Elounda by boat is Spinalonga (pictured above). The island is a natural defense for Elounda harbor, and in 1579 Venetians built an incredible fortress upon the ruins of an ancient one and retained control of the island for well over a century. Spinalonga has a storied past from housing one of Europe's last leper colonies, and today you can tour the now uninhabited island's abandoned citadel and buildings along its turreted walls before taking a dip from its pretty, pebbled beach. The picturesque panoramic views and archaeological sites make this a popular day trip! Here are some more exciting adventures that await in Greece.
Article excerpt originally appeared in Virtuoso Best of the Best: 2014 Guide to the World's Best Hotel Experiences.
Of the Vine Stomp grapes with your bare feet during the trygos, or annual wine harvesting. You’ll join Greek families as they pick the vines and celebrate the season with traditional music, food and, of course, last year’s vintages. You can take part in the olive harvest and pressing, as well.
Argo Island Hopping Choose from a selection of yachts and spend a day cruising the Argo-Saronic Islands, a stone’s throw from bustling Athens, yet seemingly worlds away. Explore the neoclassical mansions and galleries on artist-favored Hydra. Then grab a motorbike and head out in search of the perfect stretch of sand on upscale Spetses.
Incredible Hiking Hike through Samaria Gorge, Europe’s longest and most impressive limestone gorge. Located on Crete, within the UNESCO-designated White Mountains National Park, the 10-mile-long Samaria offers dramatic scenery. Catch your breath as you trek through the Portes (Gates), only 13 feet across yet nearly 1,000 feet high.
Meteora Rise Hop aboard a helicopter and reach new heights as you visit the monasteries of Meteora. Greek for “suspended in the air,” these awe-inspiring structures sit atop nearly inaccessible rock pinnacles; four still house monastic communities. You’ll also visit the archeological site of Delphi with its Temple of Apollo, Theater and Treasury of Athenians.
Contact me when you're ready to create great memories in Greece!