5 Secluded Villages In Greece That Promise Serenity And Stop-In-Your-Track Viewsby | June 27, 2019
Greece—the southernmost country of the Balkan peninsula with its metaphorical hands acting as the torchbearers of rich history, architecture, arts and culture, has more to offer than one could imagine. Then again, if you are looking to head towards Europe, and specifically Greece, why not make your holiday one to remember? Give the commercial places a miss for the hidden gems of the Greek islands, destinations that will leave a lasted imprint on your mind. Are you ready to go?
About an hour's boat ride away from Santorini lies Folegandros, a Greek island that is hardly a tourist destination and maintains its quaint charm. Named after the son of King Minos, its secluded location was once utilised to keep prisoners away, and even after all these years, the small island in the Aegean Sea offers tranquillity to the few who may be keen to visit. The nightlife will be far from what Mykonos and Santorini offer but upon visiting, you could unwind with long walks that are likely to offer panoramic views; sip grappa at the traditional taverns and indulge in local delicacies such as matsata and handmade pasta. And of course, you can expect fine beaches such as Angali and Livadi which will claim your attention.
How To Reach: Opt for a ferry ride from Santorini or a boat ride from Piraeus.
This northwestern region in the Pindus mountains happens to be the home location of the deepest gorge in the world, Vikos Gorge, second only to the Grand Canyon. But if you thought that was all, think again. Comprising 46 villages known as the Zagori villages or Zagorohoria, the cold mountainous region is a popular winter escapade amongst the Greeks, but remains untapped when it comes to world tourism. Sans the usual resorts, you will find yourself spending time in old-fashioned guesthouses surrounded by lush greenery. In terms of activities, one might enjoy hiking, rafting, skiing and a range of other outdoor pursuits or delve in the architecture that boasts of basilica-style churches, 19th-century painting and more.
How To Reach: Book a flight to Ioannina, the closest airport to the location, further taking a bus to the villages of Zagoria. You could also opt for a bus journey from a number of cities such as Athens, Thessaloniki, and Patra.
Kardamyli, Mani Region
The earliest mention of this village can be found in 'The Illiad' by Homer, one of the seven places offered to Achilles by King Agamemnon, who was in love with the former's love interest. The picturesque views that it offers make it possible to see why this was the case. Serene and fresh, the hamlet lies in the Peloponnese area of Greece, offering a view of the historical towers once inhabited by residents, now in ruins. You will find plenty of local produce—olive oil, honey and antiques—to take back home in this sleepy village, along with taverns and patios which will allow you to take in the breathtaking views. If calm and quiet is what you are seeking, head to Kardamyli whose pebble beaches, mountains, and delectable palettes beckon.
How To Reach: Drive through the Peloponnese from Athens or schedule a bus journey to reach the Mani region.
A village so small in area that you could cover it in about a day but will want to stay longer. Intrigued? Kalarrytes, situated on the western slopes of Pindos Mountain, is home to only 15 households, so chances are you will encounter no one whilst you take a tour. Each home features its own traditional stone fountain, providing fresh water to the residents. Expect sights of vibrant blue doors, abundant greenery and mansions, some of them preserved. One mansion there belongs to the family of Sotirios Voulgaris, the founder of BVLGARI, the famed luxury brand. The cobbled streets and numerous bridges in this village leave quite an impression. Churches and chapels aside, you can unwind with walks and traditional food at local taverns, and enjoy the nature at its peak, residing in one of the restored mansions that serve as guesthouses.
How To Reach: A drive in a rental car is the best way to visit.
Molyvos, Lesvos Island
Can't keep away from food, no matter what? Head to Molyvos on Lesvos Island, a scenic destination and food lover's delight. Fresh, local produce is a highlight; sardines, aubergines, sougania and ouzatoi meatballs can be washed down with a glass of the anise-flavoured ouzo, but that's not all. The stone houses and shops lend a quaint touch to the location, as does its fishing harbour surrounded by small cafes. Read a book on the beach or opt for a cycle ride whilst taking in the postcard-perfect sites. You could also indulge in an afternoon of birdwatching, scuba or sailing on the azure waters—there's plenty to do in the pleasant capital of cultural tourism in Lesvos.
How To Reach: Direct Flights or connecting flights from Athens.
Featured Image: Epirus Explorer