What was it Ibn Battuta said? ‘Traveling – it leaves you speechless and turns you into a storyteller.’ Well, that’s what you’ll find yourself becoming in Greece. A storyteller whose heart is filled with adventure and who won’t be able to get back to the monotony of daily life. If you ask anyone what the first thing is that pops to mind when they think of Greece, you shouldn’t be surprised if they list out the usual – the Parthenon and the Temple of Zeus, Athens and Santorini. They can’t be faulted for it because these historic places have no equal. Yet, this myth-rich country is so much more than the touristy locales that people flock to and everyone talks about. There are ‘uncovered’ gems that are stunning in their beauty and take your breath away. They’ll transport you to another time and place, where the world seems to stand still and the universe speaks to your soul.
1) Feel the Call of the Wild
Are you one of those old souls whose biggest pleasure in life is to be one with nature? In the midst of the chaos of city life, it’s natural to be feel the call of the wild where things are simpler and life takes on a slow, leisurely pace. The Menalon Trail in Arcadia is one such natural gem. Snaking through quaint villages that are almost fairytale-like in their remoteness with waterfalls and wooded trails inviting your to explore their undisturbed beauty, you’ll forget your cares and wonder why you don’t get out in nature more often. After all, this is the home of Pan, the ancient ruler of the wilderness and friend of the nymphs.
2) Go back in time to Simplicity and Unspoiled Beauty
The thousands of islands in Greece are like mini worlds just waiting to be explored. Mini pools of blue water where you can easily slip in for a leisurely swim; tiny islands that are just a hop away; and local tavernas that seem to be stuck in time – these small yet great escapes will take you away on a soul-searching quest where simplicity is the norm and the slow way of life is just how things are supposed to be. Imagine yourself taking in blazing orange sunsets with a drink in your hand and a light breeze caressing your face. Imagine strolling along the shores of beaches that seem like they’re out of paradise. Here in Koufonisi, you won’t feel like you’re in one of the most visited countries on earth. You’ll feel special, carefree, away from it all as your heart and soul feel revived.
3) Cuddle With Nature
Sandy shores and sapphire blue waters; that’s what Greece seems to embody. Yet, Epirus defies the norm and indeed, stepping into this breathtaking mountainous realm will make you wonder if you’re in Greece at all. Walking through dense forests that wild animals call home will leave you excited and even a little nervous. After all, this is where wolves and bears live and being so close to nature can make you appreciate just how important living life to the fullest is.
Epirus is startlingly quiet. It’s really just you, nature and a handful of locals. There’s an unending landscape to explore and you sometimes feel tested especially if you’re in the thick of it. But isn’t that totally worth it? Challenging yourself to break away not just from the trappings of modern life but the comforts you’re used to.
4) Say Hello to History
There are touristy places and then there are touristy places. Milos is one of the latter. We mean that it’s one of those places that feels like it should be as popular as Santorini but when you step on land you realise it’s a class above it. Strange formations that date back centuries, a whisper of its Spartan past and an island that’s slowly inching closer to becoming a hotspot. That’s Milos for you.
Talking a walk in the village makes you realise there’s even more to it than meets the eye. The ancient catacombs echo days of yore and send a shiver down your spine. Knowing that the loved ones of people from ages past are buried beneath the streets lends an extra layer of intrigue as you become more and more eager to explore this ancient land.
5) Discover a Slice of Heaven
Not the easiest of places to get to – which anyone with any ounce of adventure in them will love – Kythira is an eden of sorts where you can expect nothing less than a slice of heaven. Getting to know this hidden jewel means getting out of your comfort zone. Exploring it on your own and discovering hidden secrets that you’ll want to share with the world but also keep to yourself. After all, don’t we all have that desire to share but yet not? Kythira does that to you. It fills your heart with awe and makes you want to blog, share and shout about it. Yet its tranquil beauty also leaves you yearning to make your home here and escape the world.
Antikythira that island where the famed Antikythira Mechanism was discovered, is sometimes like the forgotten island that travelers skip in favor of more bustling islands. And when you set foot here, that’s sort of what you feel like. You’re alone for the most part and get the feeling that there isn’t anyone else. Just 45 permanent residents call this home and if you take a little time, you’ll probably get to know all of them! Imagine that – making friends and connections on the other side of the world; a whole island of them and feeling like home away from home.
Escape the world and return to unspoilt beauty where nature rules supreme and time stands still. Feel your senses return to where they should be – aligned with your soul and the universe. Tread the path less trodden in Greece’s hidden gems and feel all right with the world.