Greece is a major European country that is as modern as any other. Yet, as is somewhat typical of southern Mediterranean countries, despite large areas becoming every increasingly cosmopolitan, large sways of the countryside in particular have managed to maintain a very traditional feel that has almost stood still in time. It is these villages which capture true Greek life and, luckily for visitors, are easily accessible for fleeting visits when on Greece holidays.
The island of Kos has plenty of traditional villages dotted around in between the built up tourist resorts which attract thousands of people every year, meaning the opportunities for beachgoers to get up and about are numerous as well as relatively simple. One of the most beautiful villages is Kardamena, which sits just 5km from the main airport and 30km from Kos town. If you time your visit just right you may even be able to experience the legendary Ouzo festival, which is certainly popular with the locals! If you miss it though, fear not, as the village is home to ruins of the ancient city of Alasarna which can be explored by foot and has on display some very important and interesting finds.
Although Lindos is best described as a resort of sorts, it sits perfectly placed for you to explore the nearby quaint village life that still exists in Kalathos, Vlycha and Pylona amongst others. In these villages you will find picture perfect views of white washed houses perched sometimes perilously on the sides of hills and tight, cobbled streets that still house original and unique architecture. It sits right on the Aegean coast so the views out to sea can be spectacular. It really is an experience not to be missed.
Zante has perhaps more than most experienced the effects of mass tourism in recent years. However this is not to say the island does not have unspoilt villages of its own – quite the opposite in fact. Keri, located 20 km south of Zante’s capital has just 700 inhabitants and is a prime example of what life would have been like for the whole island decades ago. The streets are narrow; the views are stunning and the local’s friendly, making a trip to Keri a must if you want to escape the bars and crowds of the beachside resorts.
When looking for all all inclusive deals, remember that you do not need to spend your whole trip in or close to the visitor originated resorts. Try getting out and about and when you do, you’ll find some simply amazing traditional villages, whether on the mainland or any of the Greek islands!
Written by Ricky Durrance for Beat the Brochure.
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