Halkidiki’s wonderful golden sand beaches are tucked away in the coves of its three striking peninsulas, extending into the electric blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Rolling pine-clad hills sit above the idyllic shores, where you can let the hours go by under blissful sunshine. Away from the beaches, wander through traditional villages and get a table at one of the charming tavernas.
The coast of Skiathos is lined with pine forests and fringed by over sixty beaches. Beaches on the south side of the island tend to have calm waters; those on the north are more secluded, with some only accessible by boat.
Most visit Skiathos for the pristine beaches and nightlife and shops of Skiathos Town, but curious visitors will come across picturesque monasteries, traditional hill-top tavernas and charming Greek villages, such as the 14th century town of Kastro. Built upon a cliff on the north end of the island, the town served as a natural fortress against invaders until it was abandoned in the 19th century.
Those seeking a luxury family holiday in Skiathos will enjoy the Skiathos Princess, a friendly resort offering plenty of opportunities for water sports, while those looking for a more grown-up getaway should head to the adults-only, beachfront Aegean Suites.
The rock monasteries of Meteora are undoubtedly one of the most stunning sights in Greece. Dating back to at least the 14th century, and built with materials carried by precarious rope ladders, six of the original 24 monasteries remain in use today. Thankfully, paths have now been cut into the moon-like rock faces, so tourists can access the monasteries.
West of Meteora lies yet more extraordinary landscapes in the form of the Pindhos Mountains, which rear up dramatically from the earth in a series of peaks and forested gorges. The city of Ioannina is home to an impressive fortress and is something of a cultural nexus, having been home to some of Greece’s great writers and artists – it also boasts the region’s finest food & drink scene.