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Greence coastline at sunset

Experiences

Greece: Adventure, Wildlife and Beaches

Appreciate the magical country of Greece through an adventurous mainland exploration. Notice the north’s distinctive character through diverse terrains and cultures, and uncover a nature paradise teeming with wildlife. Experience the fascinating Halkidiki where sandy coves, ancient cities and natural wonders are bountiful.

When to go:
April – October

Your trip begins in the heart of mainland Greece where Karpenisi welcomes you with warm hospitality, glorious sunshine and a wonderful history. In the foothills of Mount Velouchi, surrounded by rushing rivers and stunning gorges, the area’s appetite for adventure shines through. Take time exploring the vibrant town, uncovering Greek monuments, statues, ageless churches and relax in delightful cafes that pepper the streets. Hike through the region’s wildest scenery, stop in stone-paved villages that are off-the-beaten track and soak up authentic Greek culture whilst meeting the few the inhabit. Discover historic monuments and venture inside to see religious relics and fabulous artefacts dating back to the 12th century. For a real thrill, embrace the cold waters of waterfalls and unearth the ‘always raining’ canyon, a spectacular narrow passage carved between two mountains. Accompanied by expert instructors, challenge yourself in the ultimate caving experience – hike through narrow ravines, climb gorges and explore the scenic Black Cave.

Journey northward, away from the masses to Eastern Macedonia; a low-key region that’s full of surprises. Experience one of the most biodiverse and exciting wild places in all of Europe, the Rhodope Mountains. Imagine pristine countryside, distinct landscapes, remote peaks and abundant wildlife. Venture to Dadia National Park’s luscious environment, a haven for birds of prey and home to several elusive species. Raptors are the star attraction and the main impetus behind this Worldwide Wildlife Fund-supported sanctuary. Accompanied by professional guides, go in search of the brown bears and grey wolves that roam freely in the mountains and learn fascinating tracking techniques. Understand how the rewilding project in operation has stimulated a return of endangered species, boosted local businesses and preserved the wild integrity of the landscape.

Paddle along the Nestos Straits and marvel at the stunning verdant forest blanketing the steep mountain slopes. Delight in a peaceful horseback ride through national park land, observe the plethora of birdlife and keep an eye out for black vultures and Greece’s rarest bird, the white-tailed eagle. To appreciate a marine paradise, enjoy the sights of Lake Vistonida, a unique ecosystem of vast wetlands where European otters, wild cats and pink flamingos reside.

Travel to Halkidiki, a dramatic piece of land reaching into the Aegean Sea, comprising Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos. Boasting some of the country’s top beaches, unspoiled landscapes and holy places, revel in the heavenly scent of pine and flowering gorse when exploring this peninsula. With 550km of coastline, hire a boat for unrivalled access to fabulous white-sandy beaches where Greek tavernas serve traditional mezze and fresh cuisine. Cruise to Diaporos Island for superb snorkelling opportunities due to its calm, warm waters and rich underwater world. Venture to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mount Athos and unearth the monastic community of 20 endearing monasteries and unique spiritual places. This is the second most important religious place of pilgrimage after Jerusalem. For more inland adventure, traverse dense forestland and mountainous areas in a thrilling off-road jeep safari passing picturesque Greek villages and gorgeous scenery. From Kassandra’s low-lying hills, to the sunny slopes of Sithonia and on to Athos, Halkidiki’s viticulture roots will amaze you. Indulge in a fascinating wine experience of vineyard tours, wine tasting, and meet the local personalities behind the magic. The combination of modern winemaking skills and longstanding traditions truly adds to the charm.