Greece has ranked second in the world again for the “Blue Flag” quality award list of beaches, marinas and sustainable tourism boats.
The great news has come just in time for those deciding where to head for their summer swims; with the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature (EEPF) announcing at a special event on Monday, that Greece was named second among 53 countries on the 2022 Blue Flag quality award list.
Coastal stretches across Greece have been awarded 581 flags, marinas have received 15 in total and six tourist boats have been accredited by the Blue Flag label, which corresponds to 14 percent of the total number of beaches awarded by the program this year.
Halkidiki’s beaches received the highest number of accolades with 96 flags, followed by Attica, Crete and Rhodes.
Spain has retained the title of world leader in Blue Flag awards in 2022 with the country’s beaches, marinas and tourist boats having received a total of 729.
The prestigious Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary awards for beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
Central to the ideals of the Blue Flag program is the aim of connecting the public with their surroundings and encouraging them to learn more about their environment. As such, environmental education activities must be offered and promoted in addition to a permanent display of information relevant to the site in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems and environmental phenomena.
The International Jury Blue Flag 2022 for the northern hemisphere, chaired by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) has awarded 5,042 Blue Flags in 74 countries, 4,194 for beaches, 732 for marinas and 116 for tourist boats.
Spring has sprung and the beautiful summer weather is on its way, with temperatures set to exceed 30 degrees Celsius in some parts of Greece this weekend.
For those currently travelling around the country and hoping to get a swim, the warmer weather is expected in the coming days with the temperature predicted to gradually exceed 30 degrees Celsius in some areas of the country on Saturday, May 14, 2022.
The weather service of the National Observatory of Athens meteo.gr forecasts up to 28-29 degrees Celsius in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras and up to 31°-32° C in Larissa, central Greece.
The temperature will rise slightly in the north and will range from 10 to 28 degrees, in the west from 11 to 26 to 27 degrees, in the eastern mainland from 12 to 28 degrees and on the Aegean islands from 14 to 25 degrees Celsius; Rethymno and Chania in Crete are also expected to have warmer days, reaching the mid-20’s over the next few days.
The full program for the highly anticipated Athens and Epidaurus Festival 2022, was announced yesterday, Monday, March 28- with the Greek capital’s annual summer event once again featuring a great range of music, theatre, dance, performances, cinema, workshops, panel discussions and parties.
With 67 productions and 1900 artists from around the globe, the Festival is set to kick off on June 1 and run right through to August 20, 2022.
The Athens and Epidaurus Festival is a highlight of the Greek summer calendar and one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Europe. Spanning 66 years, the Festival has welcomed some of the greatest music, dance, and theatre artists of the international and local scene, in collaboration with the most prestigious Greek and international organisations, attracting large audiences from around the world.
Greek and international productions, partnerships and shows by foreign artists will be included in the 2022 program, which will be staged at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, the little theatre of Ancient Epidaurus, and Peiraios 260, announced Artistic Director of the Festival, Katerina Evangelatos.
“Today was a special day for us all, as we succeeded in meeting each other again in person after two years of unprecedented difficulties and challenges, to share with you everything that we have prepared, to remember remarkable events from the past and dream for the future that is ahead,” said Evangelatos as she presented the new program to the ministers of Culture and Sports, friends and partners of the Festival, various artists and the Press.
Some of the highlights include the big Greek National Opera production Rigoletto, Giuseppe Verdi’s dark masterpiece, which will be conducted by Lukas Karytinos and directed by Artistic Director Katerina Evangelatos; as well as Tosca, which is an opera classic that will be performed by prominent Greek and international soloists and has been chosen as the Festival’s huge season finale.
Music performances will include a concert by famous Greek singer George Dalaras; works by Beethoven, Rimsky Kosakov will be performed by the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra along with Zoi Tsokanou and Daniel Lozakovich; Dimitris Papadimitriou, arguably one of the greatest contemporary Greek composers, will present a selection of songs from his rich body of work; and Maria Farantouri will invite audiences to enjoy a magical evening in memory of the late Mikis Theodorakis, as a tribute to his invaluable legacy.
For those lucky enough to be in Athens over the summer, make sure that you check out the annual Festival, which truly is a magical experience.
Ticket booking for all venues will begin online on Friday, May 14th, at 13:00, for performances scheduled to take place in June, July, and August.
Rhodes, the largest Dodecanese island, officially launched the tourism season for 2022 on Sunday March 27, with the first charter flights landing at Rhodes International Airport “Diagoras” and hotels opening their doors to welcome international visitors.
Nine flights were scheduled for Sunday bringing tourists from Frankfurt (Germany), Bristol (UK), Bergamo (Italy), Stansted (UK), Charleroi (Belgium), Manchester and East Midlands (UK) and finally, the last charter arrived from Bologna (Italy).
A total of 38 charter flights are expected to arrive on Rhodes in the last few days of March while many flights are scheduled to arrive in the month of April.
Rhodes is one of Greece’s most popular all-year-round destinations thanks to its beautiful beaches, clear waters, castles and ancient civilisations, as well as its gourmet restaurants and traditional tavernas serving local delicacies.
Home to one of the best-preserved medieval settlements in the world, the Old Town of Rhodes has been declared a Unesco World Heritage Site; as well as the Colossus of Rhodes- a statue of the Greek sun god Helios, erected in the city of Rhodes in 280 BC- it is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Greece’s leading carrier Aegean Airlines currently has three direct flights from Athens per day to Rhodes, and there is one overnight ferry route from Athens to Rhodes, which is a 16.5-hour trip.
Given there are over 6000 beautiful Greek islands, of which roughly 227 are inhabited, deciding which one to visit is always a hard decision to make.
If you’re planning a Greek summer holiday for 2022, the editors at IN+SIGHTS GREECE rounded up their favourite Greek islands (based on recent visits) and recommend adding them to your Greek island getaway list for this year!
P.S. This list is in no particular order- they are all just as spectacular as each other!
The charmingly mysterious Folegandros, situated in the corner of the southern part of the Cyclades, entices with its deep blue waters that are in complete harmony with its steep mountains, picturesque Chora, and jaw-dropping sunsets. This Greek island exudes natural beauty and it’s a dreamy destination where you can completely relax and unwind in style.
Part of the Small Cyclades, Donousa is perfect to explore by boat so you can get up close to the magnificent caves like “Spilia Tichou” with its beautiful stalactite formations- or discover “Fokospilia” a habitat of seals. Also, head over to the southeast of the island where you’ll find a mountainous village with breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. And for the most beautiful beaches on the island, make your way to Livadi and Fikio.
Located a little over two hours away from Athens, the luscious island of Spetses is a perfect weekend escape from the Greek capital. This idyllic, car-free island of the Argosaronic Gulf is a favourite spot for affluent Athenians and international jet-setters.
Located in the Sporades islands, Skyros is only three and a half hours away from Athens; a destination untouched by tourism, it retains its tradition and authenticity. Whether you are an adventure seeker or looking to relax, Skyros offers a unique experience that entices you to unveil all its mysteries.
The dreamy landscape of this almost untouched Cycladic island is composed of rugged hills, historic mining sites, breathtaking coves, picturesque settlements, classic Greek island architecture, and endless beaches. The wild beauty of Serifos will fill your soul, relax your mind, and steal your heart.
Whitewashed houses, delicious food, unbeatable beaches. This is Naxos island in one sentence- one of our favourite Greek islands that never ceases to amaze. Beautiful beaches, ancient sites and museums; plus great food, atmospheric mountainous villages, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere for those who want to stay out all night. Naxos has something for every type of traveller and fulfills even the most demanding one!
Home to the beautiful town of Ermoupolis, Syros features stunning neoclassical architecture, old mansions, marble-paved streets, charming town squares, imposing churches, and historical monuments. Syros is not only rich in both history and culture, but it also boasts beautiful beaches including Galissas, Delphini, Kini, Finikas and De La Gratsia.
A small island in the Saronic Gulf (just 2 hours away from Athens), Hydra island has a charming atmosphere and romantic allure. It’s aristocratic, yet authentic and features a rocky landscape with elegant, imposing stone mansions, narrow cobblestone alleys with colourful bougainvillea; plus impeccable sunsets.
Volcanic rocks, vast blue magic waters, stunning sunsets, jaw-dropping beaches, geological formations and picturesque settlements by the sea, all together narrate exquisite stories about this Cycladic island that blows your mind away every time you step foot here. Fast becoming one of Greece’s most popular destinations, there is still an authentic and untouched beauty about Milos island.
Boasting spectacular azure waters and charming architecture, Paxos is one of Greece’s most beautiful islands. Located on the Ionian, it boasts some of the most stunning and exotic beaches in the world; as well as a wonderful natural landscape with lush vegetation. Combining a cosmopolitan feel with natural beauty, Paxoi is a Greek island that has been described as a “paradise on earth”.
The largest of the Ionian Isles, Kefalonia remains pure and protected from mass tourism. What makes this place so special is the pride locals take in keeping their island clean, fresh, modern, yet warm and inviting, all while encouraging its natural charm and authentic beauty to shine through. From the main town of Argostoli where you’ll find a range of eateries, bars, and boutiques through to gorgeous fishing villages and quaint towns, there’s so much to see and do on this lush island.
Wild landscapes, diverse beaches, thermal springs, lively summer festivals in beautiful village squares, rugged mountains, and tavernas serving foods made from organic produce and local goods like goat’s cheese, honey, and meat are all part of the Ikaria experience.
The simplicity of this authentic island, which shares aesthetic elements of the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, is what makes this destination extra special! Astypalea’s magnificent Chora, the old port, picturesque windmills, an imposing Venetian castle built of dark stones, and stunning beaches with crystal clear waters are the main reasons to fall in love with this beautiful Greek island.
Greece’s largest island is always a good idea! Renowned for its breathtaking beaches, rustic natural beauty, delightful cuisine and its remarkable hospitality, there is so much to see and do here. The main places to visit are Chania,Heraklion,Rethymno, and Agios Nikolaos; it doesn’t really matter where you go, as it’s a magnificent island filled with rich culture, history and traditions.
An ideal Greek island year-round as it’s located just two hours from Athens, Andros is filled with lush vegetation, abundant water, and stunning beaches. The beautiful Cycladic isle owes its lush greenery to its rich underground and surface water resources. Here you can experience the island’s rich culture and culinary flair. Also make sure you visit one of the many historic monasteries and churches, the amazing museums and enjoy the endless nature and its hiking trails.
The third-largest Cycladic island, Tinos is gifted with impeccable beauty. Crystal-clear waters, rare sorts of stone, architectural masterpieces, several charming villages with alleyways and bougainvillea, dovecotes, and the perfect environment to stimulate any artistic inclination- the island of Aeolus has it all!
The Aegean island of the Apocalypse is known as the place where Saint John the Theologian wrote the Book of Revelation. Patmos is a nostalgic destination, offering wild beauty, a striking coastline, medieval Chora, a maze of alleyways filled with cascading bougainvillea, and beautiful doors. Patmos is an unspoiled island that you should explore at your own pace.
Also located in the Dodecanese, Karpathos is an island of untouched beauty that’s loved for its authentic customs and centuries-old traditions. Visit the ancient acropolis, caves, churches and see locals in their traditional dress. Offering beautiful views from authentic mountainside villages- here you’ll get to understand what Greek island life is truly about.
The largest island of the Dodecanese, Rhodes is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes, which has been declared a World Heritage Site. Make sure you visit Lindos, which has one of the best microclimates in the Mediterranean is a must, as well as the beaches of Anthony Quinn and Kallithea.
This Ionian isle boasts remarkable natural landscapes, world-famous beaches, verdant mountains, delightful local cuisine, a noteworthy winemaking tradition, and an exciting range of things to see and do. Otherwise known as Lefkas, it’s the perfect spot for a summer holiday.
An absolute gem in the heart of the Dodecanese, Symi is a small but mesmerising Greek island, which lies in the north of Rhodes. Surrounded by deep green seas and covered in cypress trees, this beautiful destination is home to one of the prettiest ports in Greece, neo-classical mansions, and dreamy fishing villages. Many visitors arrive here on their private yacht and spend days (or weeks) enjoying the magical views surrounding them.
This undiscovered island close to Athens is filled with history, captivating scenery, imposing castles, secret caves, medieval villages and beautiful beaches. Located off the south coast of the Peloponnese, Kythira also features delightful villages and lovely local delicacies that you’re sure to enjoy.
Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are found on Lefkada island- making this Ionian isle world-famous thanks to its stunning white cliffs, beautiful sandy spots and azure turquoise waters.
So, if you are planning a summer holiday for 2022- simply based on diving into paradise- we’ve rounded up the best beaches in Lefkada, that guarantee an unforgettable swim every time!
No trip to Lefkada is complete without a swim at Porto Katsiki– and if you think the photos are filtered- no chance. Once you arrive, you’ll quickly realise that it’s even better in real life as this beach really is a slice of heaven. Striking white cliffs form a rusticly beautiful backdrop to the deep blue waters- creating one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. Porto Katsiki can be reached by car, boat cruise, taxi boat, or private yacht and here you’ll find numerous sunbeds and umbrellas lined across the famous sandy beach; as well as a few shaded spots for a bit more privacy. At the top of the stairs, you’ll also discover a beach bar and small shops where you can grab some drinks, light snacks, sunscreen and other beach items.
The natural beauty of Egremni has made it one of the most photographed places in Greece, with this long white sandy beach boasting crystal-clear waters and stunning surroundings. There is an organised section with sun loungers on one side and on the other, you’ll find plenty of quiet spots for some peace and privacy. Egremni is located 38 km southwest of Lefkada Town and can be reached by boat cruise or a private yacht.
This is by far one of the most stunning beaches of Lefkada, located 17 km southeast of the main town, Kathisma is one of the longest beaches on the island and features fine white sand and different shades of turquoise waters. The beach is surrounded by an idyllic mountain backdrop, which offers a feeling of total privacy. There’s also an organised section with sunbeds and umbrellas too.
This is a wonderful large sandy beach located 10 km southwest of Lefkada Town (close to the fishing village of Agios Nikitas). The waters at Pefkoulia Beach feature a wonderful turquoise colour and it’s loved by locals and international visitors alike, thanks to its natural beauty. Easily accessible by car, there are quite a few taverns nearby too.
Located about 40 km south of Lefkada Town, Agiofili is another brilliant beach in Lefkada, with crystal clear waters and white soft sand. Surrounded by white stone cliffs that create a beautiful setting; the best way to get here is by boat. Tip: during peak season make sure you arrive early to grab a spot, as it really does get packed throughout the day.
For a gorgeous little bay that’s perfect for the whole family, make your way to Ammousa, which is found 37 km from the town. Featuring green surroundings and the clearest waters, you can enjoy the entire day here swimming, sunbathing on one of the sunbeds, or making your way over to the bar or amazing little tavern for some incredible local summer dishes.
This is by far a local favourite and for a good reason! Located 25 km west of Chora, Megali Petra (large rock) is partly organised with sunbeds and umbrellas scattered between the rocks. The rustic yet beautiful landscape of Megali Petra offers a wonderful feeling of peace and privacy.
Offering amazing natural scenery, surrounded by lush vegetation on the slopes of the mountains, Avali can be reached by car; and although the road that leads here is quite narrow, the effort really is worth the visit! Featuring a cool beach bar, here you can enjoy some nice local food and drinks, as you take in the incredible views of the beach.
This hidden gem to the south of Agios Nikitas village is nowhere near as known as the other beaches making it appealing to those who enjoy privacy. Located 15 km southwest of Lefkada Town, it’s surrounded by striking green cliffs that offer a beautiful backdrop. It’s not an organised beach and has no facilities nearby, so make sure you come prepared with drinks, food, and a sun umbrella.
Located on a picturesque fishing village 38 km southwest of Lefkada Town, Vasiliki Beach is famous for its windsurfing and sailing conditions. Offering endless water sports facilities, here you can swim all day or enjoy some kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.
One of the most wonderful and unique experiences for visitors to Greece over summer is attending a Panigiri (festival), which take place all over the country. The most glorious Panigiri of all is that of Dekapedavgoustos, which honours Panagia (Virgin Mary) and is celebrated with reverent services and wonderful festivities.
Held during the peak of summer, August 15 celebrates the assumption of the Virgin Mary– a date that is one of the most important in the Greek Orthodox calendar. Also known as the ‘Summer Easter,’ August 15 is a national holiday that is celebrated throughout the country and includes festivities and fairs that last for days.
During this period you will find central squares in villages and the courtyards of the churches filled with locals and international visitors who celebrate a day filled with good food, drinks, music, dancing, fireworks and a taste of local culture and traditions.
Every destination in Greece celebrates August 15 in its own wonderful way and to honour this special occasion, here we’ve put together a list of our 15 favourite Greek islands to experience Dekapendavgoustos.
The most popular celebration in the country for the commemoration of Panagia’s passing takes place on the island of Tinos, which is home to the Greek Orthodox Church’s holiest church, the Panagia Evangelistria. Thousands of pilgrims arrive in Tinos each year on August 15 to the church that is home to a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, discovered underground in 1823.
August 15 is a day-long celebration of the Monastery of Faneromeni in Frini, above Lefkada Town. This is a popular pilgrimage on Lefkada island from the 14 to the 15th of August. Panagia is the Patron Saint of Lefkas and all the orthodox churches of the island honour Panagia during these days with church services and celebrations that includes lots of local food and drinks.
Celebrating the Virgin of Portaitissa over three days with numerous festivities and events; here you will eat, drink, dance and be merry amongst locals who celebrate in the main town with musicians who make sure the crowds are up and dancing day and night.
Although there are festivals taking place all over the island, the villages of Pyles, Olympos and Menetes celebrate August 15th until the following day. Here you will find women dressed in their traditional costumes and as they walk to the church service you will see women with bread baskets decorated with flowers as an offering to Panagia. The services are followed by a huge feast, with local music and dancing.
The largest island of the Dodecanese has many traditional festivities and events celebrating Dekapendavgoustos, however, the biggest of all takes place at Panagia Kremasti, a village known for its huge panigiri dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Locals come here to take part in the huge street fair that includes free food, drinks and music. During this time the island also celebrates Panagia Tsambika, the island’s holy and miraculous monastery.
Ikaria, is by far the most famous island in Greece for panigiria, and during Dekapendavgousto, the village of Lagada is most well known. Here you will find thousands of locals and tourists of all ages dancing in a giant circle to the Ikariotiko. There is also plenty of local dishes and drinks going around- making it an experience to remember.
On the 15th of August, the most popular celebrations in Lesvos take place in the village of Agiassos, home to Panagia Agiasotissa. Along with a church service and plenty of food and drinks, visitors are also invited to enjoy cultural events such as theatrical performances, dances, exhibitions and concerts.
August 15th is celebrated in the port town of Parikia, where you will enjoy spectacular fireworks. The Ekatontapiliani church next to the port of Paros is the spot where most people head to on 15 August, as Navy ships also pay their respects to Panagia. There is a procession of the Epitaph of the Virgin Mary and the peak of the celebration is in the evening, with a large festival featuring local music and a fantastic fireworks display from the boats in the bay.
The island of Sikinos hosts one of the Aegean’s most famous panigiria on August 15th in its Hora. During the celebration, the icon of Panagia is carried around during a procession. In the afternoon there is a church liturgy and the day ends with a huge feast and non-stop music and dance.
The largest Cycladic island is known for its wonderful festivals and on the 15th of August the entire island hosts events with traditional food, music and dancing. The most popular one takes place in Filoti village, however, there are also great festivals celebrating Panagia at Agersani, Apollona and Apeirantho.
In Spetses, the church of the Dormition of Theotokos in Kasteli celebrates Dekapendavgoustos with wonderful traditions and the whole island attends the festivities to honour the great occasion.
Every year in Hydra, the beginning of August marks the start of the “Theomitorika” events, which are organised by the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Festivities peak on August 15 and last all the way through to August 22, as the entire month of August is dedicated to Panagia.
Nisyros’ largest panigiri dedicated to Panagia is held in Emporio, a charming mountainous village. Locals and visitors gather at communal tables and spend hours eating, drinking, singing and dancing together. Locals start preparing dishes days in advance, as they feed their visitors all day long.
On the day of the Dormition of the Virgin, Patmos celebrates with a big feast at the Monastery of Panagia Geranou. Traditional dancing, singing, and food are served at events that take place all over the island, mainly in Skala, Kambos and Chora. Church services are held on the 14th and 15th including the procession of Megali Panagia in Chora, next to the monastery of Saint John.
Locals celebrate this Holy Feast from August 6 through to the 15th in the village of Markopoulou, home to Panagia Fidousa, where many snakes of all kinds and sizes are found inside and outside the church. According to legend, this began when the island was attacked by the pirate Barbarossa in 1705 and the nuns in the convent at Markopoulou prayed to Panagia to help them escape and were turned into snakes. Since then, “Virgin Mary’s snakes” enter the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church and head for the icon of the virgin. The snakes are harmless and, according to locals, bring good luck to the island.
From crystal clear waters to white-sand beaches, pretty ports, and charming seaside villages that come to life at night, Greece offers so many beautiful spots over summer.
And while this list could grow into the thousands, we’ve done our best to round up some of the most beautiful places in Greece to visit during the warmer months. One thing that’s for sure- wherever you choose to visit first, you will definitely love it!
Athens Riviera, Athens
Home to Athens’ most luxurious hotels, restaurants, bars, and beaches, the Athenian Riviera is filled with a range of delightful spots to visit.
Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion
Less than an hour’s drive from Athens, Cape Sounio is the ideal weekend getaway or perfect day trip from the Greek capital. There are plenty of things to see and do at this beautiful spot- the first being watching the sunset from the Temple of Poseidon.
Halkidiki is where locals from Thessaloniki head for a weekend getaway and Sithonia (one of the 3 legs) is home to small secluded bays that are surrounded by lush trees and other vegetation. Also visit Nikiti, which has a chic new promenade lined with classy restaurants and all-day cafes.
Home to some of the most charming seaside towns in Greece, a drive few days drive through Messinia should be on everyone’s bucket list. Add Koroni, Methoni, Pylos, and Voidikilia beach to the top of places to visit.
Town of Nafplio
Named the “most romantic town in Greece”, Nafplio is set on a small port beneath the towering Palamidi fortress. Filled with beautiful alleyways, neoclassical mansions, and stunning Venetian houses, there are also a few lovely beaches when you need to cool off.
Simos Beach, Elafonisos
This beach has been rated one of the best in the world on many occasions, as it’s the perfect spot to spend endless hours in the crystal clear sea; then sit by the white sand and enjoy the majestic views surrounding you.
This traditional fishing settlement is built in Cycladic style and boasts stunning gulfs and lush vegetation that create a beautiful natural backdrop. The whitewashed houses and lush gardens draw visitors here each summer, as they take a quick dip in the sea.
Old Town of Chania, Crete
A unique mix of architecture, narrow pebbled alleyways, and a buzzing port- it’s the perfect combination of old-world meets new. Strolling through the beautiful Old Town and taking in the magnificent sites will allow you to discover the Venetian, Byzantine, and Ottoman influence of Chania.
This quaint and picturesque fishing village in Crete, promises a Greek island getaway full of swimming, delicious local cuisine, hiking, and loads of R&R.
Port of Symi
Surrounded by deep green seas and covered in cypress trees, this beautiful island is home to one of the prettiest ports in Greece, neo-classical mansions, and dreamy fishing villages.
Lindos is one of the most stunning archaeological sites in all of Greece. The views from up top are breathtaking and the town itself features lovely beaches, picturesque cobblestone alleyways that lead to a range of shops and eateries in a charming setting.
Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos
Patmos is home to around 360 churches and you can definitely sense the island’s unique spiritual energy as soon as you step foot here. Patmos is known around the world as the island where around 95 AD Saint John the Baptist wrote The Revelation, in a cave that can now be visited in the island’s Holy Monastery of the Apocalypse.
Port of Kastellorizo
Surrounded by the jewelled turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Kastellorizo allows you to experience authentic island life while enjoying its neo-classic architecture and all its charm. Cobblestone alleys and traditional colourful mansions dot the scenic village and the waterfront is lined with tavernas and café-bars that spoil you for choice.
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos
Hands down the most photographed beach in Greece, Navagio is spectacular and deserves a visit at least once in a lifetime.
Porto Katsiki, Lefkada
Another stunning beach in the Ionian, Porto Katsiki is a piece of paradise that needs to be seen to be believed.
This very pretty seaside village will steal your heart. Filled with bougainvillea and colourful villas, as well as a small little bay that’s surrounded by a few seafood taverns- it’s the perfect place to spend time over summer.
There are a few spots in the world, where you feel like you’ve found paradise and Antipaxoi is one of them. This tiny unspoiled island boasts one of the most impressive natural landscapes and the most stunning turquoise waters.
This magical village in Santorini is one of the most popular places in the world to catch the sunset- and for a good reason! You will also find beautiful restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutiques, which all offer views of the caldera.
Little Venice, Mykonos
This charming little spot in Mykonos is located close to the landmark windmills. Little Venice’s views of the sea, the classic buildings, and wonderful bars and restaurants make it the perfect spot to grab your favourite drink and watch the sunset.
Every visit to Folegandros is an adventure: the climbs, the dives, the treks, the views. And one of the best things to do is get lost in the town of Chora, a pedestrianized maze of tiny streets lined with houses and churches. It’s one of the most beautiful villages in the Cyclades.
The beautiful town of Ermoupolis is not only the capital of Syros but the entire Cyclades. Featuring stunning neoclassical architecture, old mansions, marble-paved streets, stunning town squares, imposing churches, and historical monuments, it’s rich in both history and culture.
The picturesque fishing village Klima with its little houses is a unique spot that was once only visited by fishermen.
A massive marble doorway (of the temple of Apollo), is Naxos’ famous landmark. It lies close to the port, on the islet of Palatia which was once a hill. The spot offers one of the most breathtaking sunsets in Greece.
Pyrgos, one of the island’s biggest and most beautiful villages, is most famous for its marble and it’s displayed everywhere. Sit down at one of the local taverns or cafes and enjoy local delicacies.
The entire property is a slice of heaven. A stay at Mèllises, includes indulging in homegrown varieties of fruit, local herbs, and spices that enrich the property, which now also houses a small farm. With an infinity pool that overlooks the Aegean Sea, it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit.
Panagia Hozoviotissa, Amorgos
Hozoviotissa Monastery is one of the Aegean’s most extraordinary spots. The second oldest church in Greece, built in 1017 and is located on the side of a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Harbour of Hydra
Hydra has a charming atmosphere and romantic allure, it’s aristocratic, yet authentic and features a rocky landscape with elegant, imposing stone mansions, narrow cobblestone alleys with colourful bougainvillea, plus impeccable sunsets. Near the harbour is nice, as this is where all the buzz is.
Dapia Port, Spetses
Enjoy an afternoon or evening stroll around the buzzing harbour of Dapia Port. The tiny port is surrounded by whitewashed, neoclassical houses and is also surrounded by chic cafés and stylish boutiques.
Giola Lagoon, Thassos
Known as “Aphrodite’s Tear” in Thassos is one of the world’s most beautiful natural swimming pools – separated from the sea by a narrow strip of rocks, it looks like a pool of crystal clear water, carved into a coral reef that rises above it.
Castle of Monemvasia
Today, the Castle of Monemvasia is one of the most beautiful in the world, with a fairytale atmosphere and profound romanticism. Take a walk through and enjoy the rich history, culture, and spectacular views.
Sea Caves of Thetis, Pelion
Experience a day trip around the Pelion Peninsula and visit the Sea Caves of Thetis. You’ll leave from either the port of Chorefto or Agios Ioannis. From there, head north and discover an uninhabited and truly unspoiled coastline as you explore the stunning sea caves.
The first thing you’ll notice when you get to the main town of Naoussa is the charming and colourful cafes and taverns everywhere you look. Grab a coffee, gelato, or walk through the back streets and take in the stunning views.
The picturesque town of Lindos, with its archaeological ruins, magnificent beaches and incredible views from the castle, is a place that deserves a visit when making your way over to Rhodes!
Lindos is one of the most stunning archaeological sites in all of Greece. The views from up top are breathtaking and the town itself features picturesque cobblestone alleyways that lead to a range of shops and eateries in a charming setting.
Here are the Top 10 Things to do in Lindos
1. Walk up to the Ancient Acropolis
The ancient Acropolis of Lindos is one of the most popular sites of antiquity. This beautiful blend of ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and medieval architecture is set on a majestic hilltop and is home to a 115m-high Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena. Built during the Bronze Age (4th Century BC), as well as a castle from the Crusader era, The Acropolis is certainly worth a visit but we recommend you can get there early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds.
2. Wonder Through the Town
The town of Lindos is really pretty and when visiting, it’s a wonderful idea to walk through the picturesque cobblestone alleyways that lead you to a range of shops where you can pick up some locally made products. Built on a slope, the town during summer is filled with local and international visitors shopping or buying gifts, including decorative plates and other ceramics made by local artisans. You can easily get lost within the narrow streets ordering handmade gelato, picking up a Freddo Cappuccino from one of the many cafes, and finding plenty of beautiful stores that sell lovely jewellery and sandals. We recommend starting in the main town square and strolling slowly through to St Paul’s Bay (do this in the late afternoon).
3. Admire the Unique Architecture
Featuring narrow, pebble-stone streets (with lovely mosaic designs), Lindos has its own unique look. The houses of Lindos stand out with their traditional architecture and design. As you walk through the village you will come across an array of white-washed villas with entrances that lead into gorgeous bougainvillea-filled courtyards. Lindos is also renowned for its black-and-white pebble mosaic flooring, and artfully designed patterns that create a special charm.
4. Swim at St Paul’s Bay
This picturesque beach in Lindos is located on the southeast coast of Rhodes. St Paul is said to have stayed here in 51 AD and a small church has been built in his honour. The bay is both shallow and protected from winds, making it ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Sunbeds and cabanas are available and waiters walk by taking orders. On the beach menu, you will find a list of cocktails, beers, wines, juices, as well as light snacks, salads, and burgers. If you prefer table seating, Tambakio Restaurant is set on the edge of the water and open for lunch between 12 noon – 4 pm, and later on for dinner.
5. Explore the Ancient Theatre
This ancient amphitheater dates back to the 4th century BC and boasts a grand stage and orchestra as well as capacity for around 1800 spectators and was often used for musical shows and athletic competitions. The site is located just 10 minutes from the central square in Lindos and is free to visit.
6. Visit the Church of Panagia
The Church of Panagia is a holy Greek Orthodox chapel located right in the heart of Lindos town. It was originally built around 1300 but has been restored several times over the centuries, most recently during the Italian occupation (1927). The church still features much of its original Byzantine-style architecture. Its most famous feature is the high-rise, stone bell tower, a typical feature of churches around Rhodes island. Inside you will find 19th-century frescoes and icons depicting Holy Saints and Panagia (Virgin Mary). The Church of Panagia also has a small museum next door and on August 15, there is a huge Feast Day held here.
7. Catch the Sunset from a Rooftop
Lindos has so many amazing rooftop bars, restaurants, and cafes with stunning views over the whitewashed villas and the Acropolis. One of the best things to do is to get here just before sunset (after a long day at the beach) and order a glass of your favourite drink, while soaking in the breathtaking views as the sun is setting. With so many to choose from, we recommend checking out Cesar Meze Bar; an award-winning restaurant and bar that also has a rooftop pool and seating with magical views of the entire town. Also try Cozze Champagne Barand Restaurant, which serves lush cocktails, and also add Rainbird Bar and Dreams Cocktail Bar to your list- no matter which one you choose, you won’t be disappointed!
8. Enjoy Fabulous Seafood With Incredible Views
Lindos has a good range of seafood and fresh fish on offer, so make sure you indulge in the prawns, octopus, sardines, as well as other local dishes that Rhodes’ is renowned for; including Dolmadakia, which are called “Giaprakia” here, and freshly made pies (pies). Sit at one of the picturesque side-street restaurants or seafront tavernas and soak in the atmosphere. Some of the best rooftop restaurants include Melenos, Stefany’s, and Timis. Also check out Mavrikos (for great local dishes), Broccolino (for good Italian), and Blue Fin (for amazing modern cuisine). Also add Byzantino, Ktima, Palestra, Olive Street, and Alex’s Beachfront Restaurant to your list of places to try. For breakfast, we recommend Village Cafe, for homemade lemonade or coffee go to Captain’s House, and for gelato or other sweets head to Gelo Blu.
9. Climb to the Top of the Hill
Make sure you wake up early and climb to the top of the hill. If you venture north of the beach, go for a long walk until you get up top and explore the impressive views of the Acropolis and white buildings of Lindos from afar.
10. Stay in Style
If you are travelling without kids and looking for a special place to stay, we recommend Caesars Gardens; an adults-only resort that’s only a stone-throw away from the vibrant village. Also check out the boutique hotel Melenos Lindos Exclusive Suites, which features 17th-century Lindian architecture.
If you are in search of a wonderful house, look at Casita Casita, which has views of the Acropolis and a private swimming pool. And in July an exciting new hotel AF Lindia is opening its doors.
The distance from Rhodes city to Lindos is 47Km. It takes about 55 minutes to drive from the centre of the city of Rhodes to Lindos. You can either hire a car and drive over, or you can organise a taxi, private driver, or catch a bus, which regularly departs from Rhodes Town.
After nearly six months of being shut, cafes and restaurants across Greece finally reopened their doors for sit-down service on Monday, May 3, a day after Greek Orthodox Easter.
As per the new rules, only open areas of restaurants and cafes will operate, until May 15, 2021. Distances between tables and seats are required, and no music is allowed on the premises.
Customers in restaurants and cafes are also strongly advised to wear their masks while seated and when they are not eating or drinking, however, this is not mandatory.
The nightly curfew has now changed to 11 p.m, with eateries allowed to remain open until 15 minutes before curfew (10:45 p.m).
Local residents will still need to use the SMS authorisation code for movement by sending an SMS (to 130 33). This will no longer be required after May 15, when international travel begins.
Authorities have also announced that organised beaches in Greece will reopen on May 15, when the country opens up to international tourists, as locals in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry slowly begin to prepare for summer season 2021.
Greece has announced the country will be welcoming tourists for summer 2021, as it plans to reopen to fully vaccinated international visitors as of mid-May.
During an interview with CNN on Wednesday March 17, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed that Greece has “all the necessary protocols in place to ensure that they will get the full Greek experience without any real compromises. If we did it last year, we will certainly do it much better this year as we have additional tools at our disposal,” Mitsotakis said.
Referring to the European Commission’s official proposal on establishing a “Digital Green Certificate” to facilitate travel in Europe, the Greek PM added that the safety of tourists is of top priority and only tourists who have proof they have been vaccinated, have antibodies, or test negative for COVID-19 will be admitted.
Last week Greece’s Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said its official welcome date was May 14 and to help prepare the country for visitors, employees in the tourism industry would be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccines after the country’s vulnerable populations.
“People who are vaccinated, have tested negative or recovered from the disease, and have antibodies are welcome to Greece and we will welcome them irrespective of any agreements,” Theoharis told Reuters.
In 2019, Greece recorded around 31.3 million international visitors to the country and officials are now looking ahead to summer, hoping to have half the tourists they did before the pandemic hit.
Those of you who travel frequently to Halkidiki, surely have heard of Diaporos, a small island opposite the village of Vourvourou, where the beaches boast crystal clear turquoise waters.
By Maria Athanasopoulou
The beauty of the Diaporos and the surrounding tiny islands is a local secret that is shared only with those who often visit the area of Vourvourou for their summer getaways. This is an area that can only be experienced by boat, and those who do so, do not regret it.
In fact, in recent years, boat rental companies have increased their activity to Vourvourou, since the interest of visitors has increased every year, as many tourists want to see up close the beautiful small islands of the area.
Last year, we decided to take a daily cruise in the waters of the Diaporos, and imagine our joy when we learned we can in fact rent a boat for the entire day, that does not require a skipper! So, we started very early in the morning, departing from Thessaloniki and in about an hour and a half, arrived at the boat rental company we had chosen, in Vourvourou!
Initially, the manager showed us the basics and we went for a short walk to steer the boat in front of him (we were two families with one boat each and two aspiring drivers for each boat). The boat had a 30-horsepower engine and was really easy to drive, as long as you realise that this is not a toy and you do not need to go too fast. We must respect others in the water, the environment and always be careful when driving!
After the boat’s demonstration was over, we loaded our belongings and our all-day cruise in the waters of the diaspora began! First of all, for those who want to have a comfortable experience, make sure you have with you your hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Also, be prepared that when you are on a boat for many hours it will be somewhat different from when you are on the ground. You will be spending a lot of time in the water so if you get seasick, it may be an idea to be prepared for hours in the sea.
Our first stop was at a beach of Diaporos, with green shallow waters, which was amazing! Since we also had small children with us, a shallow beach was the appropriate solution, especially since the children could get on and off safely from the boat and enjoy the sea! We stayed there for almost four hours, enjoying the pristine waters of the Diaporos island and the experience of getting to remote beaches.
We enjoyed the sea and some lunch, which we had prepared (the portable refrigerator with snacks, ice water, soft drinks, coffee, etc. is necessary when you are on a boat all day and visiting pristine beaches that are not organised and have no taverns or beach bars). We boarded the boat again and for about four hours we toured all the area, seeing as many beaches as we could and admiring the natural beauty of this area. We dropped anchor wherever took our fancy and dived into the green waters. We swam in gorgeous places, took many photos, captured short videos and made memories as we enjoyed riding the boat at sea!
It was an unprecedented experience for all. A unique way of seeing many places that we would not have been able to get to without a private boat. After that, we decided that every summer from now on, we will rent a small boat, so that we can visit other places with unspoiled natural beauty- that aren’t very crowded!
Maria Athanasopoulou is the founder of the tourism marketing company Respond On Demand. She is also the founder of the non-profit urban company Top Tourism. She serves as the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the World Food Travel Association and she is also a Master Culinary Travel Professional. She serves as an ambassador of the World Gourmet Society in Greece and Cyprus, and she also serves as an ambassador of Green Destinations. She has given seminars for tourism professionals, as well as many speeches and presentations on tourism issues, in events in Greece and abroad. She is also a Sustainable Tourism marketing expert.