The Most Enchanting Villages in Mainland Greece You Need To Visit
Greece is really famous for its islands, beaches and in general everything that has to do with the sea.
But what if we tell you that there are more!
Almost 80% of the country is covered by mountain land, in which there are small hidden villages that deserve your attention.
Let’s find out more.
Arahova is really famous amongst the Greeks, as the ultimate winter destination. It is located next to Parnassos ski centre, in Central Greece and combines winter sports with a cosy and picturesque scenery. Only a two-hour drive away from Athens, the mountain view will take your breath away.
It is also well known for its numerous traditional restaurants (taverna) where we urge you to taste some classic plates, such as lamb and pork sausage. While it might be promoted as a wintertime place, do not hesitate to visit Arahova during springtime, the views are equally impressive!
There is not a similar landscape around the globe. A unique geological phenomenon in central Greece where huge rocks, composed of sandstone rise from the ground.
On top, several Orthodox monasteries that are not only a sight to behold but carry immense cultural and religious significance.
Meteora is also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. If you stay, we recommend at least a few days to explore the surrounding area.
Kalambaka is a good base, a small city only 4km away.
One of Greece’s most ancient cities, Delphi was once the seat of Pythia, a famous oracle that was consulted for important decisions throughout ancient times.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delphi includes the ancient theatre, the temple of Apollo, an archaeological museum and everything that an ancient Greek city contained.
It can be perfectly combined with your trip to Arahova, as they are pretty close.
Today a modern small city has been built next to the ancient one.
Two small villages: Mikro Papingo (lesser) and Megalo Papingo (greater) make up Papingo. Located in Ioannina, Epirus, Papingo is one of the famous Zagorochoria. It is very close to the Vikos Gorge and at the same time, inside the Vikos–Aoös National Park.
So, you can understand that this 267-inhabitant place is particularly rich in spectacular nature views, diverse flora and fauna and magnificent trekking footpaths.
A few hours walking can get you to Drakolimni, which means dragonlake, a glacial lake standing at 2000 meters altitude. The name comes from the popular belief that a dragon had his home there. Along the way, a mountain refuge can be found which is ideal for nature lovers looking to explore the area a bit more.
Another attraction of the region, are the Kolymbethres, a set of rock pools suitable for swimming during summertime.
Last but not least, do not forget to try the local cuisine, famous for its pies, and of course to observe the local architecture!
☞ Definitely Greece Related: More Activities For Nature Lovers in Greece
Another well-known ski destination. Kalavrita is a small town in the Achaia region, only 2 hours and 30 minutes away from the capital, Athens, and one hour away from Patra, the third largest Greek city which is located in the western part of the country.
Really famous among the Greeks as a winter destination, this city has a long, important history regarding the country’s independence and the second World War.
As a result, two great monasteries can be found in the area that are worth visiting and constitute a big part of the country’s cultural inheritance, Agia Lavra and Mega Spilaio.
A must-try experience is hopping on the local railway (Diakofto-Kalavrita railway) which is one of the oldest and unique within Greece, because of the landscape that you can observe and the fact that the train literally climbs up the mountain.
In Greek, the train has the nickname ‘’odontotos’’, that means the one that has teeth; a metaphor for the mechanism that helps it climb the mountain.
Our last recommendation is visiting the Spilaio ton limnon (the lakes’ cave), a cave with three lakes that can be enjoyed by all especially those with archaeological and paleontological interests.
Epidaurus was a major cultural point in antiquity and the most important worship place of the god Asclepius.
The Asclepeion in Epidaurus was a popular healing place, where patients could watch a theatrical play, known as tragodia (tragedy) in the theatre.
Its acoustics are still perfect and permit every word that is spoken to be heard in the 14000 people audience. Today, the theatre is still in operation, and is one of the most famous in the whole country during the summer months, with actors performing ancient comedies or tragedies.
As a result, the whole area has developed and attracts plenty of local and international visitors. Two modern villages bear the name Epidaurus, the Palaia Epidaurus (old) and the Nea Epidaurus (new).
They are situated along the Saronikos Gulf, with its many lacy beaches!