Greece is known to be the birthplace of democracy and the Olympics, and some will even say of the entire civilization, but today it is mainly known as a popular tourist destination thanks to known sites like Athens. Santorini Islands, Rhodes, Mykonos and more. While the same sites are highly recommended for visiting, it is also worth to know some lesser known places around Greece that are considered cheaper and more authentic, which also provide a glimpse into the real Greece. From the town of Kavala to the fascinating island of Patmos, you are invited to get to know 10 destinations in Greece that you probably missed until today, and you should definitely remember the next time you travel to Greece.
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The island of Naxos is the largest Cycladic Island, yet is still visited by fewer people than places like Santorini or Mykonos. However, Naxos offers a wide range of activities for tourists and although it is a large area of agricultural land, the towns and historical sites on this island make it possible to get to know Greece in depth, and of course, it is also important to mention its spectacular beaches. You can explore the walls of the old city and be impressed by the marble gate that was erected there in the 6th century BC. It is highly recommended to get to the breathtaking Agios Prokopios beach and enjoy a swim in its clear waters.
In the north of Greece, in the eastern region of Macedonia and Thrace, is the port city of Kavala, from which a ferry departs to reach the magnificent Aegean islands. In addition, Kavala serves as the home of several castles and Byzantine fortresses, most of which were built during the 15th century, providing a perfect view for anyone looking out on the city, while some of them even hold cultural shows and performances during the year. There are also many Ottoman buildings scattered throughout the Old City, and the area is full of great restaurants, where anyone would be happy to dine.
Patmos is a small island in the Aegean Sea, known for being one of the most traditional and religious islands in all of Greece. Today, most of the sites on the island are linked to religion and different legends from the history of Greece. It's the most visited site is the magnificent "St. John theologian" monastery, built during the 11th century and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can also visit the apocalypse cave, which was carved in a mountain between two major towns - Skala and Chora - in the town of Scala you will also find lodging and restaurants that serve fresh fish.
At the southern end of the Peloponnese Peninsula, there is a small village called Methoni, which according to Greek mythology was one of the places that Achilles, the legendary hero, was asked to accept in order to calm his spirits. If you want to get to a remote location free from other tourists, you can go on a light walk and visit the ruins of Castro Castle, which shows Venetian architecture from the 15th century in the most faithful way. A short walk from the fortress there is a beach suitable for swimming, surrounded by cafes where you can enjoy a view and smell of the sea and fresh air.
Chios is one of the northern islands of the Aegean Sea and is not far from the coast of Turkey. The island is famous for its olives, figs, and wine, and is a popular destination for people who enjoy the wonders of Greek cuisine. If you are there, it is recommended to visit the Nea Moni Monastery, built in the 11th century and included in UNESCO's World Heritage List, which has beautiful mosaics. It is considered to be the best example of the Renaissance art of Macedonia that can be seen in Greece.
The Pelion Peninsula in the center of Greece is one of the most beautiful places tourists miss out on in their trip to the country. The beaches are warm, the water perfect for swimming, and in the winter there is even a ski resort on Mount Pelion. Take a stroll through the wonderful nature of the area and indulge in one of the many beachfront resorts, and if you want to see authentic Greek villages with gray stone roofs, you can find them here.
Symi is a small island in the Aegean Sea belonging to the Dodecanese Islands. In previous centuries this island was the world's largest sponge trade center, and you will see plenty of sponges for sale in its souvenir shops. Today, however, the island of Symi is considered a popular destination for lovers of history, who can visit the charming port and the Panormitis Monastery. One of the simplest but most recommended activities here is a walk on the spectacular beaches, which instill serenity and peace in the soul of every person.
There is no doubt that Greece's most beloved islands are the Ionian Islands, where Cephalonia is part of this group, but not enough people get to see this place up close. This is a relatively small island that is blessed with a breathtaking view that hasn’t succumbed to human progress maintaining its calm and tranquil view for many years. In Cephalonia, you can visit the Drogarati cave or take a boat and take a great tour around the island, on water. It is also home to the famous Mirtus beach, which is regularly chosen every year as one of the most recommended beaches to visit in the world and Sami Beach which is also very popular - when you get to it you’ll understand why.
Folegandros is one of the smallest islands in the Cyclades, but its landscape is wonderfully diverse and includes huge cliffs and giant caves. The capital city of the island is built on the edge of a cliff 200 meters above sea level, and beyond this is a breathtaking sight, it is highly recommended to get here if you’re looking for completely isolated beaches away from the masses of tourists. The most famous and recommended beach on the island is the English coast, which only in the summer months may be full of people, and even then it’s considered to be relatively empty compared to other beaches in Greece.
There is no doubt that one of the most unappreciated destinations in Greece is the city of Kastoria, which is located next to the beautiful Orstiada Lake and surrounded by beautiful limestone mountains.There is everything you will want to taste from Greek cuisine and see of Byzantine architecture. Along with these experiences, you can also go down to the Cave of Dragon to explore the underground city or learn about Byzantine history and culture at the Kastoria Museum. If you visit here, don’t leave the city before you drink some 'tsipouro' - the local version of the famous Ouzo drink.
As you’ve seen, a trip to Greece doesn’t have to be generic visiting just the places everyone knows about, and there is no doubt that if you visit the places offered in this article, you’ll return with a more personal and memorable experience than any other experience you can have in Greece.
image source: CeeGee, Plamen Agov, TimOve, Ania Mendrek, Andrea Moroni, Valeria Casali, GrahamAndDairne, Spiros Vathis, Petille, Pascal Mages, Sean Perry, Pinay Flying High, barbara, Andy Sim, Spiros Vathis, Malcolm, Carolina Georgatou, George Tekmenidis, Darko