Greece is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, offering a great mix of sun, sand, history and architecture, and which is replete with rich mythological and cultural influences. Ideal for family holidays, Greece offers a welcome change of scene with several activity options for travellers, right from lazing around on the beaches to island hopping in search of picturesque scenery and historical monuments. Here are some of the destinations worth exploring while on a family holiday to Greece.
Alonissos is the calmest and one of the most serene of the Sporades Islands on the Aegean Sea coast. It is well-known for its pristine settings and beautiful beaches – a few of them quite secluded. With quaint villages and small houses facing the seas, visitors can safely explore this island on cycle or opt for a casual stroll through the terrain. The local environment is strictly protected, as it is home to some of the rarest monk seals of the world. Villages of Votsi, Steni Vela, Chora and Patitiri, the much famed National Marine Park of Alonissos – Northen Sporades and the many beaches of this island, including Chrisi Milia with its golden sands, Glyfa and the Roussoum Gialos form the major highlights of a relaxing holiday at Alonissos, which is also known for its cleanest waters on the Aegean.
Part of the Saronic Islands in Argo-Saronic archipelago, Hydra is a fairly cosmopolitan island, and is a popular haunt of erstwhile artists. The beautiful Hydra port has been carefully shielded from vehicular traffic, with its narrow stone-paved streets lined with red-tiled houses, which is only accessible on foot. Hydra’s beaches are clean and safe, offering a pebbled or rocky approach to the deep waters. Hydra is a yachting destination, equipped with an international yacht club at the Kamini Port. Windsurfing facilities are available at the Mandraki private beach for water sports enthusiasts. Boat excursions make holiday trips to Hydra more memorable, as they enable travellers visit all major beaches in the place, inclusive of Kaminia, Avlaki, Hydronetta, Molos, and Spilia, which is also a diving spot.
An up-coming tourist destination, Parga set in the backdrop of mountains covered in olive groves has a tiered structure, with homes built in neat rows upward from ground level. Parga, though not an island, has its own selection of beautiful beaches, and water sports offering options for both relaxation and activity. The Venetian castle of Parga not only allows a glimpse into Turkish architectural nuances of the times but also provides some spectacular views of the town and the Ionian Sea. Monastries, churches, and erstwhile residences of sea captains are also worth a visit in this place.
Photo by Flickr User Son of Groucho