By Chris Leadbeater, Travel Writer for the Telegraph
Featured in the Telegraph on 17 March 2023. Copy by Chris Leadbeater, holiday suggestions recommended by the Sunvil team.
Few European destinations are more recognisable than Greece – particularly in the white heat of summer, when the Mediterranean sun smiles on the land of Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite. Its rays bounce of the honeyed pillars of the Parthenon, skip across the surface of the Aegean, wrap around the windmills of Mykonos, and dance on the seafront in Crete, Rhodes, Skiathos and Kos.
It is a picture both familiar and inviting, and we enjoy it in large numbers on a regular basis, with some three million Britons visiting Greece each year. But what of the less familiar side of Greece – the Greece beyond the sands of Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos, beyond the view of the waves from Santorini’s epic cliff-tops?
Few people would claim that our travel familiarity breeds contempt – and in a country that ranks as the 11th biggest in western Europe, there is a Greece that stands aloof from postcards and social-media feeds. And this may be the year in which to discover it.
The 10 “lesser lights” suggested here are not wholly unknown, of course. But they are definitely under-appreciated, under-visited and, in some cases, significantly off the beaten track. Equally, they come with all those special traits that tend to define a Greek holiday – the moody mountain range, the waterside taverna, the path through the pine forest, the unfussy hotel with the sunlit terrace, the little cove where the tide tiptoes to the shore.
In fact, the only thing these 10 places may lack is other tourists in large numbers.
Familiarity? It’s hugely overrated.