6 Idyllic Springtime Holiday Spots Around Greece

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Greece. Whether you are in a city, village, or island, spring makes its first appearance in March and reaches full bloom in April through to May. As hints of winter melt away, the colours of spring add to the beauty of Greece’s landscapes and these Greek destinations are just the perfect holiday spots to enjoy springtime in Greece. 

Samaria Gorge

Where: Crete, White Mountains National Park.

Why: Because it’s one of the longest and especially in spring, naturally beautiful gorges in the world & the longest in Europe. The 6-8 hour hike is not for everyone and requires some preparation but you’ll reap many rewards as you pass through lush landscapes. Also because it’s too cold in winter and too hot in summer, during spring, hiking along the gorge is easier.

Don’t Miss: Keep your eyes peeled for birds and other wildlife as around 450 species are thought to inhabit the area.

Insights Greece - 6 Idyllic Springtime Holiday Spots Around Greece

Where: In the Cycladic Island group, 1-2 hours from Athens’ Rafina port.

Why: Because, unlike its neighbours, globally popular hiking destination Andros (named Ydroussa in antiquity because of how much water springs around the island) has lush nature that is especially glorious in spring.

Don’t Miss: The waterfalls of Pithara, the old stone bridges of Aladinou and Stichiomeni, Achla river and beach, the hike from Chora to Apoikia, from Arni to Vourkoti, the villages of Sineti and Aidonia.

Insights Greece - 6 Idyllic Springtime Holiday Spots Around Greece

Where: Zagori is in the eastern and central area of the Pindus mountains of Epirus.

Why: Because the area, made up of 48 architecturally harmonious villages from the 1700s and fabulous natural landscapes like the Vikos Gorge, Europe’s deepest, is immersed in lush natural beauty.

Don’t Miss: Go rafting in Voidomatis river or horseback riding in Megalo Papingo village, dine on hand-picked mushrooms in Vitsa and meditate on old arched stone bridges above tranquil waters.

Insights Greece - 6 Idyllic Springtime Holiday Spots Around Greece
Image by @stef_greece

Where: In the mountainous region between Ioannina and Arta.

Why: To reawaken your winter-dulled senses with incredible mountain views, fresh air and lush greenery.

Don’t Miss: Connect with local culture in the 47 picturesque and vibrant Tzoumerkohoria (villages), cross the Arachthos gorge (there’s a bridge!) hike along the Syrrako – Kalarrytes river path and see the Anemontrypa Cave, walk the Kouiassa Pouliana path and visit the the National Park of Tzoumerka where brown bears, wild goats, otters and deer live.

Lake Kerkini 

Where: In Central Macedonia, Northern Greece.

WhyBecause this man-made lake is home to over 300 bird species, numerous other animals including free-roaming water buffalo, and 1300 plant species.

Don’t MissTrying out scenic hiking, boat rides, horseback riding adventures.


Where: Eastward of Peloponnese and southwest of Piraeus.

Why: Because you might just see 120 types of orchids in this lush, volcanic seaside haven.

Don’t MissThe hot springs in the southeast seacoast of the peninsula, the ruins of the Acropolis of ancient Methana which dates to the 4th C B.C. and Steno, where you’ll see ruins of ancient walls built by the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War, and the pine-clad islet of Saint Theodoroi, which is connected to Methana town by a road. 

7 Idyllic Winter Getaways in Greece

Greece is filled with dreamy coastlines, lush mountainous landscapes, fairy-tale villages from a different era, ancient sites and sacred spots.

For the full-monty experience, all you have to do is find the right place and the best time of year to discover them. Winter travel in Greece offers a completely different picture of a country too commonly associated with beaches and infinity pools.

We encourage you to book your winter escape to get to know traditional villages and their inhabitants, ski jaw-droppingly scenic slopes, try the warming, hearty and mouth-watering winter rendition of Greek cuisine and explore traditional culture beyond the tourism façade. Above all, to celebrate Greece’s deep winter season in a magnificently memorable way! 


A winter Mykonos of sorts, Arachova is where the cosmopolitan crowd gathers to sip frothy cappuccinos and sexy cocktails in between skiing, shopping at designer concept stores and local delis and pampering themselves at spa hotels. Also, only 15 minutes drive from the stunning and sacred ancient site of Delphi, this alpine village is both traditionally charming and glamorous.


Elati or Tyrna is an alpine village in the Prefecture of Trikala, located in the southern part of the Pindos mountain range. Close to the Petrouli ski center, it has been modernised and developed into a tourist destination considerably over the years but hasn’t lost its natural beauty. Surrounded by the fir trees (elata) it’s named after and at an altitude of 950m on the slopes of Koziakas, you can enjoy sweeping views and traditional experiences as well as skiing.


So close to Athens you can even pop over for the day, Nafplio town in the Peloponnese is romantically beautiful year-round, and particularly festive at Christmastime with its twinkling lights and cozy hangouts. Neoclassical buildings, pretty shops, cobblestone walkways, museums and historical sites like the Ottoman Bourtzi old prison and Venetian Palamidi castle, all add to the incredible allure of this must-visit place.


Choose among Zagori’s 48 traditional villages in Epirus and travel back in time, enjoying the brilliant combination of traditional slate-roof architecture, magnificent natural areas like the Vikos gorge, rivers for rafting and (Pindos’) mountains for hiking, combined with warm village hospitality. The most famous villages are Mikro and Megalo Papigo, Ano Pedina, Monodendri, Aristi, Dilofo, Tsepelovo and Vovousa. ‘re planning a romantic Christmas getaway or an excursion with family/friends, book yourself into a boutique hotel and spend your days exploring the area inside out!


Elatochori is a mountainous settlement in the prefecture of Pieria, known for its ski resorts, the artificial Velvento lake, eight slopes at a total length of 9 km, 6 lifts, a buzzy ski society and snow bars. At over 1900m altitude, the village, once named Skouterna, is in the mountains of Pieria, 8 km west of Katerini. Stay in a cosy chalet with a spa and spend the day skiing and exploring the fabulous hiking trails, with jaw-dropping views, lush forest paths and waterfalls.



Built amphitheatrically on a peninsula, Kastoria in northern Greece in the region of Western Macedonia. Wear your warmest coat and walk along the icy Lake Orestiada. Explore picturesque districts such as Dolch with its majestic mansions, Byzantine churches in Apozari and the prehistoric settlement of Dispilio, a few kilometers outside the southern entrance of Kastoria. If you’re going after Christmas…Annually, from January 6-8 the town celebrates Ragoutsaria, a local carnival originating in pagan Dionysian ceremonies, with live orchestras, dancing and wine.


Created during the Byzantines Empire during the sixth century, Monemvasia is a fairytale-like group of castles and houses joined by medieval cobblestone roads with breathtaking sea views.  Explore this mystical stone-built settlement, nestled at the edge of a big rock by the sea, and immerse yourself in a uniquely mystical and romantic atmosphere. During the Christmas/New Year holidays, this is an idyllic getaway especially if you can afford to stay within Monemvasia’s medieval town at an old mansion with a fireplace. Enjoy scenic spots, pretty shops and all sorts of restaurants/bars. 

Main image of Elati 

Mikro Papigo in Zagori Named Europe’s Best Sustainable Hotel 2021

In the picturesque village of Papigo, set in the protected Vikos Aoos UNESCO Global Geopark, you will find Mikro Papigo 1700 Hotel & Spa, which was named Europe’s Best Sustainable Hotel at the recent Boutique Hotel Awards 2021. 

The first and only international awards exclusively dedicated to recognising unique excellence among luxury boutique hotels worldwide, this was the tenth tourism accolade received by Mikro Papigo. “Its a great honour to be awarded as a sustainable and eco role model, including our efforts within our community, our philosophy and our generic presence especially now more than ever,” said management after receiving the award on November 4th, 2021 .

Housed in a heritage 17th century private village complex, this luxury hotel set in the Pindus mountains of northern Greece (1700 refers to its altitude in metres)  is set under the Tymfi massif and is the ideal place to explore the nearby Vikos gorge. It is the only property in Zagori region steeped in history and perfect for nature lovers who also seek boutique accomodation. 

Featuring 18 rooms and suites built from traditional wood and local granite, the unique design and architecture blends in beautifully with Zagori’s unique landscape. Mikro Papigo offers guests ecological luxury, a rejuvenating spa, charming rooms with magical Vikos gorge and Papigo views; this is mountain life at its finest. 

The award-winning eco-spa operates with mountain spring water, and the famous Veranda 1700 restaurant creates award-winning dishes using local produce, such as hare, wild boar and buffalo. From breakfast through to dinner, the best of natures produce  is chosen from the resort’s gardens at Organic Zagori Farm. From traditional pies and meat dishes to handmade sweets and local wine- guests are able to taste authentic local flavours. 

Apart from the outstanding eco-friendly amenities and services, there is also a wide range of outdoor activities for guests to enjoy. Mikro Papigo offers tours to the Astraka refuge, Drakolimni (a lake on top of a mountain), Voidomatis springs, and Vikos gorge and the Rogovo natural pools to name a few. 

A: Mikro Papigo, Zagori 

Charming Mountain Getaway With Astonishing Views

Set on the outskirts of Megalo Papigo, a charming village located in Zagori, Papaevangelou is a traditionally built hotel that offers guests a chance to completely unwind and take in the calming mountainous views. 

The quaint village atmosphere set against the lush mountainside makes an ideal backdrop for a relaxing getaway and Papaevangelou Hotel- with its warm hues- is the essence of Greek mainland hospitality; its simple, yet chic comforts make it feel like a home away from home. 


Tucked into the hillside overlooking the towering Astraka, Papaevangelou is close to the centre of Papingo (about 200 metres), where you will find traditional tavernas serving local specialties, as well as charming cafes. The scenic village of Aristi is about 10 km away, while the picturesque Monodendri is 30 kilometres away.

Insights Greece - Charming Mountain Getaway With Astonishing Views

Character & Style 

Set in a stone mansion that pays homage to the unique traditional architecture of the area, the hotel provides the perfect blend between old-world charm and modern-day comforts. Intimate spaces and simple décor keep the focus on the surrounding nature; and the layout was designed with a wonderful view in mind, with large windows looking out to the mountainside at every opportunity. Austere yet warm, the decor at the hotel lets the sturdy wood take the front stage, complementing and warming up the traditional stone.


Commanding breathtaking views, all of the ten rooms can accommodate up to three guests and have been set out with comfort in mind. The earthy decor complements the peace of the environment and the crisp mountain air; and they all boast a private bathroom with amenities, independent heating, complimentary WiFi, refrigerator, and daily maid service that will make you feel at home.

Insights Greece - Charming Mountain Getaway With Astonishing Views


The four studios, with their open layout, are ideal for families. Kitchenettes allow for eating as you please, and the country-style décor gives it a very inviting and “never want to leave” kind of feel. 

Food & Drinks

Start your day with a home-cooked breakfast made with locally sourced fresh ingredients. The wonderful homemade breakfast is served daily in the spacious lounge area featuring a stone-built fireplace. Hot beverages and alcoholic drinks can be enjoyed throughout the day at the bar. In the evening, warm up by the wood-burning fireplace with a drink and share your adventures of the day.

Insights Greece - Charming Mountain Getaway With Astonishing Views

Ideal for…

Whether you are in Papigo to get away from city life and enjoy a few days of pure rest and relaxation, or you are here to experience the adventurous mountaineering and rafting at the Vikos Gorge, Papaevangelou Hotel is the perfect retreat in Zagori. 

Facilities & Services 

  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Bar
  • Sun terrace
  • Garden
  • Luggage storage
  • Safety deposit box
  • Heating
  • Daily maid service

A: Megalo Papigo, Zagohoria 

Top 9 Eco-Friendly Hotels in Greece

When it’s time to travel again, it’s time to go as green as possible. And we are already daydreaming of Greece’s best hotels that are leading the way in eco-friendliness!  

Gone are the days where hotels were all about a stylish lobby and crisp white bedsheets. Today it’s about delivering unique hotel experiences with sustainability. Thankfully, hotels have realised that going green doesn’t mean cutting back on luxuries – and not only will it benefit our planet, but it will do our body, mind, and soul a world of good too. So we’ve rounded up nine of our favourite hotels in Greece that are putting sustainability first! 

Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm, Laconia 

Leading the way for Greek agro-tourism, Eumelia is a high-end, sustainable farming retreat in southern Greece. Set among rich olive groves and an abundance of fertile terrain, guests are encouraged to immerse themselves in their farm-to-table philosophy. Fruit for breakfast is from the gardens and almonds are gathered each afternoon for a snack. Enroll in a cooking workshop or hike up famous Mount Taygetos, where you’ll be met with panoramic views of Laconia. You can also join yoga retreats, workshops, and events for well-being. 

Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, Ioannina   

Having received many international awards for sustainable development, this resort located in the region of Zagori blends in with its natural surroundings and reflects the architectural aesthetics of nearby villages. Aristi is built in complete harmony with the surrounding landscape and the local architectural style. Only local materials, stone, and wood were used for the interior and exteriors of the resort. The operational needs of the buildings are both environmentally sustainable and with a very low impact on nature. Wastewater is processed to ensure that released water is as clean as possible, all materials are recycled, staff are all locals and all dishes served to guests are made with locally  produced ingredients. Aristi is included in the 21 most environmentally friendly places in the world, according to National Geographic.

Ekies All Senses Resort, Halkidiki 

Set in Sithonia, Ekies All Senses Resort is a family-friendly spot where guests can relax and unwind. With a desire to blend seamlessly into the environment, it’s more like a cozy beach house than a luxury resort, perfect for those who prefer a more casual vibe. Constructed with sustainable and eco-friendly materials (think Greek marble, recycled pine planks, and rattan furniture) the resort has a minimal waste policy and the chefs here use products picked from their own vegetable and herb garden.

Coco-Mat Eco Residences, Serifos 

Coco-Mat’s design team was very careful about every piece displayed here and furniture is made with natural materials, such as cotton, silk, coconut fibres, herbs, wool, and linen. Architect George Zafirious followed bioclimatic architecture principles to ensure that natural air conditioning flows throughout the spaces, while ample natural light floods the two-storey apartments. Brushed concrete floors, bleached cotton, and up-cycled wooden furniture complete the bohemian feel. 

Eagles Palace, Halkidiki 

Eagles’ vision is to contribute to a green, eco-friendly presence on the Athos Peninsula. One of the first Greek eco-hotels, here beach-cleaning initiatives are regularly organised with local primary schools and a huge emphasis is placed on local produce, as dishes are served with herbs grown from neighbouring gardens, and olive oil is harvested from the surrounding groves. Located in Halkidiki, it’s home to unspoiled landscapes, history, and culinary delights. Here you are footsteps away from a Blue Flag Beach, which ensures a gold standard worldwide for environmentally safe, clean water beaches. 

Levendis Estate, Ithaca  

Perched on Ithaca’s hillside, Levendis is backed by mountains and spectacular seascape vistas. With a unique collection of activities, the hotel boasts farming cottages that are hidden within enchanting gardens that overlook the infinity pool. You can completely disconnect as there is no WiFi, while farming influences flow through the entire estate, with a focus on preventing water waste. Birdlife contributes to the compost system and 100% natural cleaning products are used throughout, while water from nearby Kalamos spring is said to offer healing properties. 

Native Eco Villa, Santorini

Offering three private designer villas, all situated in Imerovigli, Native Eco’s unique Cycladic architecture blends in beautifully with modern decor. The villas are recognised for their ecologically friendly building technique and materials. This was the first property on Santorini to be awarded the “Green Key” accolade, which has lead the way in promoting eco-friendly practices. Only materials from the island have been used to carve out this slice of Cycladic luxury. Expect white walls, sumptuous Coco-Mat linens, and artisan seagrass baskets. 

Royal Marmin Bay Boutique & Art Hotel, Crete  

The adults-only Royal Marmin Bay overlooking the famous Mirabello Bay in Elounda Crete architecturally blends in with the natural environment and is one of the first energy-efficient, ecologically green hotel in Greece that offers ideal five-star choices for those searching for both relaxation and luxury. Offering guests five types of accommodation options, the hotel’s eco-philosophy features energy-autonomous rooms and smart architectural choices offering accommodation in a clean environment.

To Armiro Boutique Houses, Naxos

These picturesque beach houses in Plaka are a footstep away from the sea. Found in an idyllic place suitable for the entire family, To Armiro’s five unique villas have a small private garden full of local flora. The Cycladic architecture and the unobstructed view of the Aegean Sea, all contribute to providing a lasting memory of Naxos’ breathtaking landscape. Characterized by its eco-friendly construction and its distinguished material and furniture, it comes equipped with rainwater harvesting systems and features ceiling fans for cooling. The breakfast includes locally sourced ingredients such as organic olive oil, honey, and traditional Naxian cheese.

Cover image Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm

6 Lush & Traditional Greek Destinations for your Winter Bucket List

Mainland Greece is magnificently multifaceted, and just as you can find stunning seaside locations for carefree summer fun full of aquatic adventures and seafood in summer you can relish lush, cozy alpine settings in winter.

From spas to action sports like hiking, skiing, rafting and climbing to strolling through picturesque villages with great restaurants, surrounded by marvellous landscapes and historic ruins, the options are endless. So start planning your post-lockdown adventures in wintertime Greece now!


One of Greece’s lushest zones year-round, Mount Pelion is often compared to Tuscany for its beautiful nature and rustic architectural charm. A series of villages with pretty squares, cobblestone pathways and thickly forested areas resounding with the sound of running water from crystalline mountain springs and the smell of firewood immerse you in a romantic winter wonderland. In winter Pelion is perfect for trekking, enjoying heartwarming homemade-style traditional stews and soups at the old-fashioned taverns and skiing at world class resorts.


With 46 traditionally-built and beautifully preserved villages of stone houses with slate roofs, amongst them some exemplary bed and breakfast places and boutique hotels, this region is tranquil, delightfully scenic and beautifully verdant. In Zagori you’ll also find the spectacular Vikos gorge, the deepest in Europe, with breathtaking views, and lovely rivers for white water rafting. See our story on Zagori here.


Other-worldy with its giant stacks of rock that reach to the skies, rocks into which 25 monasteries are mystically built, this UNESCO World Heritage site is without a doubt one of the most incredible destinations in the world. Stay in the village of Kalabaka and take a few days to explore the geologically incredible landscape by foot, rock climbing, mountain biking or even by hopping into a hot air balloon to get an idyllic view from the top.


From skiing at the Velouchi Ski Centre and climbing to the Black Cave or rafting in Tavropos river, Karpenisi’s rich natural wonders can keep action adventure lovers busy and red-cheeked for days. Located in Evrytania, this traditional and verdant mountain destination offers all the winter charms one could wish for – pretty architecture, good food and quality accommodations where you can curl; up by the fire.


Sprawling under Parnassos mountain – one of Greece’s most popular skiing destinations -is the traditionally picturesque and simultaneously modern and glamorous village of Arachova. The alpine village is wonderful for shopping everything from local foods to designer items, sipping a glamorous cocktail at a trendy bar and taking in the culture of the nearby areas, such as the stunning ancient site of Delphi only 15 minus drive away or the Corycian Cave dedicated to the God Pan.


Almost like a film set because of its perfectly preserved traditional style, this Epirus village beneath the Tzoumerka mountain range is a favourite spot for skiers and fans of alpine allure. You’ll find everything from tourist shops selling ‘traditional’ items to cozy tavernas, but Metsovo is especially known for its excellent choice of local cheeses (especially the smoky Metsovone) and top-quality wines produced by the Averoff Estate.

Cover Image @businessinsider

9 Top Rafting Experiences in Greece

As the weather grows chilly, only winter swimmers dare to plunge into the water, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on the fun of aquatic sports. With fantastic rivers around the mainland of Greece, rafting is an adrenaline-pumping activity that often requires little to no experience.

There are numerous professional adventure sports companies that arrange rafting expeditions for individuals or groups and all you need to do is slip into a wet suit and follow a few basic instructions before hopping into a dinghy. Some added bonuses to the fun – being immersed in stunning, rich natural landscapes that include amazing flora and fauna, waterfalls, springs, rock formations and bridges, exploring the surrounding region and making new friends. Here’s a guide to Greece’s best rafting destinations.

River: Aliakmonas

Region: Macedonia

Greece’s longest river (300km) starts in Nestorio, Kastoria. Herons, falcons, storks, eagles and ducks populate the verdant area, where you’ll also admire Meteora-like towering sandstone rocks. The 6km route (3.5 hours), which usually starts at Fellos village, is ideal for beginners and families. According to Greek mythology, Aliakmonas was a river god.

Insights Greece - 9 Top Rafting Experiences in Greece

River: Aoos

Region: Konitsa

This somewhat challenging, 15km (4-5 hours) route starts at Aoos bridge (somewhere in the middle of Palioseli and Vrisohori villages), passing the green gorge and concluding at the picturesque, 20m high Konitsa bridge. Unlike any other river in the country, Aoos flows outside the Greek borders. If you want to enjoy a smaller, easier trip (1.5 hours) along the river you can arrange to raft from the Monastery of Stomio region, or follow an hour’s route that starts from the bridge of Bourazana, passing the ruins of Mesogefyra bridge and ending near the monastery of Molyvdoskepasti.

River: Arachthos

Region: Tzoumerka

This river too can be experienced via two different routes (2 hours or 4 hours). One takes you through the narrow gorge of Arachtos past steep rock walls that are 700m high. The route includes a stop at Glyki waterfall with its lovely – and very swimmable – pond. You’ll also pass the beautiful Plaka bridge, which used to be one of the largest of its kind in the Balkans, mountain springs and lush vegetation, and if you’re lucky can do some bird-spotting.

River: Evinos M

Region: Nafpaktia

Another great choice for rafting beginners, this 10m route (2 hours) the relatively calm river, which sources from Vardoussia, starts at Poros bridge, passing the beautiful Hani Bania bridge – and the Olympic kayak slalom course – going in a circle and concluding at Hani Bania again.

Insights Greece - 9 Top Rafting Experiences in Greece

Rivers: Loussios – Alfios

Region: Arcadia

A slightly more demanding rafting ride, this 8km (2 hours) route is one of the most scenic in Greece. The route starts at Atsicholos takes you through tunnels of trees, white limestone cliffs and a lush, a long narrow gorge, past beautiful arched bridges and natural springs. Trekking Hellas concludes the journey at the spectacular bridge of “Koukos” from where you can hike to a nearby waterfall. According to Greek mythology, Lousios is the river where Zeus had his first bath, while Alfios river, the longest in the Peloponnese, was named after a god.

River: Nestos

Region: Drama

This generally safe, shallow river is one of Greece’s five largest (234km) and favoured by rafting and canoeing fans. You can choose between the longer route (around 4 hours in total) that starts at Arkoudorema-Nestos and concludes at Paranesti or take the easier route (1,5  hours) that starts at the Platanovrysis Dam and ends at Paranesti.

River: Tavropos

Region: Εvritania

A great option for beginners and not only, this naturally stunning 10km (2 hours) route starts either at Gavreniti bridge or a little further along at Palia Viniani, with a stop at the lovely Viniani waterfalls and ends at the Megdova bridge.

Insights Greece - 9 Top Rafting Experiences in Greece

River: Venetikos

Region: Grevena

You can choose between a medium difficulty route and a harder route, in a 2 or 4 hour trip. The trickiest part of this river is between the bridges of Trikomo and Spanos. You’ll raft through lush vegetation and past splendid 16th and 17th century stone bridges. Some excursions take you past a double arched bridge that was once part of the railway and the three arched bridge of Aziz Aga, the largest of its kind in  Macedonia.

River: Voidomatis

Region: Zagori, Epirus

A 5km (1.5 hours) route in the heart of the Vikos – Aoos National Park, Voidomatis is considered one of the easiest to raft along, making it ideal for younger people and beginners. Starting from the beautiful Aristi stone bridge and ending at Kleidonia Bridge, you’ll get to enjoy some of the clearest and cleanest river waters in Europe.

*Main image via Argo Travel