WHERE TO TRAVEL :: THE NORTH OR THE SOUTH OF GREECE ?
Even though the islands play a great part of the Greek tourism industry, there is also a lot to be seen in the inland part of the country that is often overlooked. With most of the marketing campaigns focusing on the islands of the Aegean and Ionian sea it is hardly surprising that most tourists book their way to the islands rather than the inland.
I was challenged by the official tourism board, Visit Greece, to write the reasons why people should visit the Northern part of the country and the Greek mainland, especially at this time of the year, instead of the islands, and I got this challenge to a personal level since my roots come from this region.
So here are my reasons why you should visit inland Greece this year::
1. The history of Greece is one of the longest of any country!
Due to its strategical position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, it made the country appealing to the eyes of other nations since 270 BC, with Greeks building castles and walls to protect their cities ever since. The Byzantium castle of Servia, the castle of Platamon, the castle town of Ioannina and the Heptapyrgion in Thessaloniki are just a few of the majestic castles to discover on a trip to the Northern mainland.
2. The sunsets are stunning here too. And there are more unique and lovely!
3. Covered with wild orchards, the mountanous part of Greece is a heavenly made place to visit. Explore the magnificent mountain of Olympus (where according to the Greek mythology, the 12 Gods used to live) and you will encounter unique images and flavours.
4. Cross the country from West to the East and visit the city of Volos, a region of sheer beauty with water playing a dominant part of the area, and the mountain Pelion standing tall like a sleepless guard above the city. This is also the best place to experience the ‘Tsipouro culture’, where people drink the white, delicious liquer (tsipouro) along with tasting seafood meze by the beach.
5. What the Greek islands are lacking, the Greek mainland has in abundance, and that is vegetation. Evidence of olive tree cultivation and production of olive oil has been dated back in 1450 BC in Greece! But olive trees are not the only vegetation you can find in the mainland; from vineyards, to cherries, peaches, wild apples, apricots and prunes, Greece is a country renowned for its fresh fruits produce, blessed by the Gods. So if you are keen on exploring green areas then you’d better visit the Northern Greece than the islands. If you however, still like to visit an island then the greenest islands are the ones of the Ioanian sea, so Corfu might be the best option for you 🙂
“Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.” – Robert Allen
So take your chance and visit somewhere different!