Okay, so you’ve eaten the freshest fish in the beachside Taverners, you swam in sparkling blue sea, and you soaked up thousands of years of ancient history. But there’s heaps more to explore in Greece – especially when it comes to action and adventure.
Sure, you could sunbathe; but did you know you could ski? And do you know you can snorkel, but what about rock climbing to an ancient monist tree? No matter what type of adventure you’re after, you’ll find it in Greece. Here are some ideas…
Walking trails on Andros and Tinos
Let’s start with something gentle: walking along old mountain path lined with fragrant herbs. Particularly often it is the island of Andros, which has more than 25 high controls that all take you past old bridges, watermills, waterfalls and lush valleys, with the roots that are suitable for both expert and novice adventures. Over on Tinos, you can meander along cobblestone paths through traditional villages and passed chapels and shines, for a true glimpse of rural Greek life.
Go trekking in Samaria Gorge
For a hike that all get your heart racing you want to head to Samaria gorge on the island of Crete. At 16km in length, it’s the longest gorge in Europe, and descends for about 1,200 metres. Grab your hiking boots and prepare for a challenge on this six-to-eight hour walk – but all the effort is worth it, because at the end of the path lies wild swimming, delicious lunches at tiny tavernas of picnics with panoramic views over the Mediterranean sea.
White water rafting in Vikos Gorge
Take in Greece from a totally different perspective by going white water rafting down the Voidomatis River in Vikos gorge in northern Greece. You’ll meet at Aristi Bridge near the traditional village of Aristi, right in the middle of the Vikos-Aoos National Park, before setting off on a 5km route downstream that’ll take you past verdant greenery, small waterfalls and picturesque stone bridges. Roughly halfway through your journey, you will come to the abandoned 16th century Agioi Anargyroi monastery, where the rock caves were once used as monk retreats. And on the final leg, you’ll pass underneath the gorgeous single-arch Kato Kleidonia - and go for a dip in the water to bring the experience to an unforgettable close.
Rock climbing in Kalymnos
Trade sweaty indoor climbing walls for a climbing with jaw-dropping views of the open sea in Kalymnos A small island in the south-eastern Dodecanese archipelago. That I started to garner attention from climbers in the mid, 1990s who came in search of the giant cliffs and beach ambience, and now there are 77 climbing routes and it’s one of the most important time in destinations in the world. There is already a strong offering of challenging rock formations to try your hand at – but only 10% of the area has been explored, which means there is an opportunity to discover new route, too. There’s even the world-famous Kalymnos Climbing Festival, which brings climbers together here once every two years.
But beyond the world-class climbing, the island of Kalymnos makes for an ideal holiday destination in its own right, with endless sunshine and small towns and villages peppering the rolling countryside. It’s also the place to go trekking, gently amble along walking trails, get rough and ready with mountain bike climbing, go diving in the perfectly clear water of your cool off with a refreshing dip in the Aegean.
Go skiing at Aráchova
For a completely different Greek escape, head to the mountain village of Aráchova in winter. Nestled at the foot of Mt Paranassós in southern Greece, this traditional village boasts a modern ski resort, where you can ski, snowboard, teapot and many other winter sports, or head out on a tour of the mountain by jeep or mountain bike. If you’re getting hungry, local delicacies abound: hilopites, linguine-like egg noodles; kontosoúvli, big chunks of rotisserie pork; sarmádes, stuffed vine leaves; and more. Then there’s plenty of first-rate accommodation ranging from guest houses to luxury hotels, as well as a strong local tradition of textiles and woodwork, so you’ll be able to find that perfect holiday season. And if that weren’t enough, you’re close to Athens’ nightlife, too.
Climb to an ancient monastery at Metéora
You could walk up the rock steps or take the cable car to Metéora’s historic monasteries. But if you like adventure, don’t miss the chance to climb. These UNESCO world Heritage holy sites sit on the top of 400m high stone pinnacles, commanding breathtaking views of the landscape. Metéora Is one of the Christianity is holiest places – of the 30 religious communities that were here, today only six remain, making this an even more unique experience. Whether you’re here for a spiritual journey or to take in this landscape, Metéora makes for an experience you’ll never forget.