Because of the infamous economic crisis, some have been wondering whether Greece is still a viable option for travel. However, they needn’t worry, as Greece is still a great travel destination for people of all ages, whether they’re visiting the country for the first time or not. Many of the tourist sites in Greece are thousands of years old so the economic crisis has had zero effect on these. Although some transport services have been suspended you'll still be able to get around. Hiring a car in some areas might even be a better option if you enjoy the great outdoors.
Here are some of the places you can visit in Greece that are a little off the beaten tourist trail and still very much open for business as usual:
Photo Credit: Zante - Smugglers Cove trip 6/8/2010 by Craig Sunter *Click-64*, on Flickr
Zante is a popular Ionian island, known for the variety of activities available for tourists. It’s a great part of Greece to explore so be on the look out for last minute holidays to Zante.The north-west is mountains and scattered with quiet villages, which are perfect for hiking and exploring. The rest of the island is filled with vineyards and olive grooves, catering for the visitors who want to enjoy fine meals during their holiday. Zante is known for its pristine beaches, such as Smugglers Cove, a mix between high cliffs and clear waters fit for swimming. The beach is accessible by boat and it is a great getaway for everyone in need of some peace and quiet. In the north of Zante, tourists can also visit the popular Blue Caves and go snorkelling. Visitors should definitely stop by the National Marine Park of Zante in the south of the islanda, where a breeding program dedicated to the Caretta sea turtle, an endangered species, has been recently founded.
Photo Credit: Archaeological Museum of Arta, Epirus, Greece by diffendale, on Flickr
Located in the north west of mainland Greece, the city of Arta is known for its archeological sites. It is a popular destination, without being overwhelming, and tourists can enjoy both hiking and cycling in the nearby Tzoumerka mountain range, and they can sunbathe close to the Amvrakikos Gulf. History buffs can visit the thirteenth century Byzantine Castle, the Bridge of Arta, and various private of state owned museums such as the Skoufa Folklore Museum to learn more about the city. Visitors can also enjoy the hot spring baths at Hanopoulou Baths, which are recommended for skin treatments and also to help battle arthritic illnesses. Arta is also surrounded by various traditional villages, which can all be toured by car or motorbike.
Photo Credit: Korinthos, Greece by Augusto Mia Battaglia photography, on Flickr
This entire mountain region is known as a safe haven during winter. There are various towns in which tourists can stay, depending on what they plan to do during their trip. The town of Stymphalia is a great departure point if you want to visit more places in the region, but it also boasts with its own unique attractions, such as Lake Stymphalia and the nearby bird observatories, the ancient city of Stymphalos, and even a local environmental museum. Trikala is a small market town and mountain resort, with several churches, ruins, and monasteries worth visiting, but also the famous Flambouritsa Valley, where visitors can practice numerous sports, such as skiing. Horseback riding is also very popular in the area, especially since there is a riding centre nearby to provide all the necessities. The town of Feneos successfully combines archaeological sites (Ancient Feneos and the Temple of Asclepius) and mountain sports (at the Ziria Sports Ski Centre). Tourists can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, skiing, and paragliding.
Despite the economic crisis, you can still visit Greece. Whether you’re travelling in the summer or winter, Greece offers a wide variety of travel destinations for all types of budgets so give it a go!