Organizing summer holidays can be tricky and time-consuming. Some people like to organize it until the last tiny detail in advance. These are the provident ones who are already packing right now. What about you? Since you are reading this you would probably be one of the dilatory ones. No problem! Take a look at this list with some last minute summer destinations in Greece which will definitely reward your procrastination on booking late your holidays.
Sivota is in north-west Greece and it reaches the Ionian Sea. Here you can find some of the most idyllic beaches of Greece. They almost seem unreal. The sandy shores in combination with the crystal clear waters create an incomparable environment. The nature dominates the scenery. The area of Sivota is a graphic place with colorful houses. The small harbor with the fish-boats floating on the blue-green waters is the highlight of the village. The picturesque character of Sivota is apparent from the first sight to the visitor. The village is rich in flora and high trees. People are friendly and their hospitality is at its finest. Do not forget to taste the best seafood on the hundreds of the taverns established in the area.
Sivota has many famous beaches. First, there is Bella Vraka which is on Mourtemeno Island across the main village. The scenery is almost exotic. The shallow waters are green. The sand is almost white and soft. The nature is outstanding with the lush green trees around reaching the water. If you want to have the best view of the beach then you should visit it by boat. Many tourists choose to reach the area with yachts. Then we have Piscina beach. The beach is reachable by boat. You can either rent one or use a taxi boat. The color of the water is majestic. You would think that you dive in a pool due to its color. The crystal clear water makes it an ideal place for snorkeling. Finally, we cannot avoid mentioning Megali Ammos beach. It is an organized beach which makes it ideal for families. You should crab a bite in one of the taverns nearby. Once again nature’s scenery is at its finest here. Sivota is an ideal destination for families and for groups. It combines the calmness of the nature with the lively daily routine in the village. The place is also easily accessible by car. The region is not yet that famous. It is a common secret among the Greeks and some tourists. It preserves its flawless character due to the fact that the mass of the tourists are unaware of its beauty.
Where to stay in Sivota
A complex with 3 luxurious totally independent villas will complete your visit in Sivota: Villa Merci, Villa Adam and Villa Candice. All three of them ready to host and please even the most demanding visitor. They are perfect for families and groups. They consist of 2, 4 and 4 bedrooms respectively. All of them have splendid sea view to the picturesque harbor of Sivota and direct access to the sea. Staying in any of them will guarantee you memorable vacations in luxury and in comfort. They have large gardens perfectly harmonized with the general greenery environment. The blue of the sea matches with the color of the pool on the patio.
Aegina is one of the Saronic Island of Greece in the Saronic Gulf, 27km from Athens. It is very popular among the Athenians since they can reach it easily by boat from Piraeus Port. It is a place where you can feel the original pulse of Greek mentality. You have the opportunity to meet locals or tourists from all over Greece. The island is quite small. It is easy to guide yourselves around. Aegina’s history starts from the ancient times when it used to be a great naval power. The island never stopped to an important place for Greece’s history and development. Aegina Island was also under the Venetian rule and this is profound in its architectural aspect. The sea and the natural beauty of the island meet a rich spiritual heritage. It is the ideal last summer destination as you can avoid the mass of the tourists.
Reaching the port with boat, the elegant neoclassical buildings will catch the eye of the visitor. The light blue waters of the Saronic Gulf hosts hundreds of fish boats and yachts which they use the marine as a safe anchorage. The main town is cosmopolitan full with narrow streets waiting for you to discover each unique corner. In the centre you can find all kind of shops, restaurants and cafes. The island is famous for the large production of pistachios.
The tourists of Aegina have also the opportunity to get to know the ancient history of the area. Stepping foot on the island you should definitely visit the Temple of Athena Aphaia. The temple is dedicated as you can understand from its name to goddess Athena. It is on the top of the hill and it is considered to be one of the ancient architectural wonders of ancient Greece. The monument was built in 480 BC and stands grandly on the hill facing the Saronic Gulf. While the time travelling comes to an end, we should get back to the reality. One other worth-seeing site of the town is the neoclassical house where Nikos Kazantzakis wrote the famous novel Zorbas the Greek. After that you should treat yourselves with fresh fish from the rich Greek sea in one of the many taverns near the port. The whole place is picturesque and the friendly atmosphere awards every tourist who chose to spend his holidays here.
Enough with the sightseeing and lets sunbathe and relax a little. Although the island is small, the visitor has many choices as to where to go for swimming. First, we should mention Souvala. It is the second port of Aegina. As you approach it you understand that it is a beautiful traditional fish village with nice taverns and shops. The beach has hot thermal waters. Driving through a forest with pine trees we reach Agia Marina beach which is a popular destination for the tourists. The beach is a large sandy and organized region. It is circled with the pine forest and the trees almost reach the water. Furthermore, if you have a yacht you should definitely visit the village Perdikas. Then go for swimming in the island across it called Moni. Perdikas is another traditional village in Aegina. Its marine with the private boats is quite picturesque and gives fine sunset scenery for those who stay there. Only 3 km away is the island Moni which uninhabited. It is a small beautiful island with deer, ponies, wild goats, pheasants, peacocks and squirrels. The animals are familiar with the humans and they dare to approach you and feed them. How amazing and unique experience is that! The waters in Moni are quite deep. The many little gulfs are full with yachts floating above the green crystal waters. The biggest part of the island is covered with pine trees. Apart from swimming and meeting the wildlife of the area try having a picnic or go trekking and hiking.
Where to stay in Aegina
Villa Gliss is ready to welcome its guests in Aegina. Perfectly harmonized with the environment of the island gives the owner a sense of luxury for the moment he/she steps foot in the residence. The interior is white and allows the natural light to scatter in the rooms. The sunlight coming through the big windows of the 6 bedrooms gives a warmth feeling to the resident. The wooden details in the design of the house add to the house a nice character. Every morning you can enjoy your coffee on the terrace and appreciate the amazing panoramic view of the Saronic Gulf. The villa has also a private pool.
The place that combines perfectly high mountains with rich flora and sandy beaches with blue waters is Pelion. It is a mountain at the southeastern part of Thessaly in central Greece forming a hook-like peninsula between the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea. Greeks often say that the area is blessed with incomparable beauty and fertile land. From the highest summit till the small Trikeri Island the region offers to the tourist different holiday choices. It is ideal for families as for couples since it is quiet and romantic. It is a destination to explore all year long as it has both winter and summer destinations. Despite the fact that the rate of the tourism here is high, people here have managed to keep the area pure keeping its natural beauty undisturbed.
Starting from the highest points of Pelion you should visit the traditional and graphic villages Zagora, Makrinitsa and Tsagkarada. They are tiny villages which are lively all year long with tourists. All three of them are pure jewels hanging on the side of the green mountain. The villages are perfectly harmonized with the environment. Small houses seem like they are emerging among the trees. The narrow pebble streets host tones of restaurants cafes and shops. The forests are rich and have all kinds of trees such as chestnuts and beech trees. They are picturesque places everywhere. The photography enthusiasts will be thrilled with the sceneries. The nature dominates the region with all sorts of flowers, therapeutic plants and herbs. Here you can have the best fruits and vegetables as the climate is ideal for them to grow naturally. Locals are always willing to intrigue you to taste the traditional sweets and pies they make using the best ingredients from their own crops.
The pristine character of Pelion is also found on its shores. Some of the beaches worth visiting are: Agios Ioannis, Chorefto and the tiny island Trikeri. The beaches in Pelion are known for their crystal clear waters and their light blue color. It matches perfectly with the general habitat and the flora around. The white soft sand predetermines the visitor to lay and sunbathe. The trees from the forests reach the shore creating places with natural shadow. The peaceful and scenic island Trikeri is at the foot of the Pelion peninsula. Since the cars are prohibited, the island is to be explored undisturbed for the visitor. You can walk around it quite easily choosing your favorite remote sandy bay to spend the rest of the day. Although Greece is known for its islands, Pelion is the perfect example that also the mainland can hide treasures. Pelion with its graphic villages, incredible rich forest and the dandelion coastlines is to be said humbly enough a diamond. With no doubt it is the favorite four-season destination for the Greeks.
Booking your holidays the last minute is complicated since finding ferry tickets is hard. Consider the problem solved for those who want to go to Lefkada. Lefkada is also accessible by car from the mainland. It is quiet and popular to people who travel with kids. The island is situated in the Ionian Sea. It is known for the exotic almost otherworldly blue color of the waters. Three of the most well known beaches are: Porto Katsiki, Kathisma and Egremni. The first one is the main beach attraction of Lefkada and also among the 10 best beaches in Greece. The bay is formed by abrupt white cliffs which lay vertical on the white sand. The scenery is complete with the contrast of the light blue water of the sea. The landscape is idyllic. Apart from the car, you can also access the beach by boat. A direct dive from the yacht to the water will also make you understand why these waters are also known for their low temperatures.
Another famous beach among the young crowds is Kathisma. The shore here is long and the waters are often sparkling and wavy. The tourists like to fling themselves into several water sports. Sky parachute is the most extraordinary one. Moreover we could not forget Egremni beach. The coastline is surrounded by impressive barren cliffs creating a magnificent background. The shore consists of white sand and small shiny pebbles in the size of lentil. Its unique beauty has ranked it as one of the most photographed landscapes in the world. Until 2015 tourists came to the beach by car and then follow about 325 steps leading down to the beach. After a huge earthquake though the path is not safe and the only way to reach the area is by boat from the village Nydri.
Lefkada has also lovely and vivid seaside villages. On the north there is Agios Nikitas. It is a fishing village located 13km west of Lefkada Town. It is extremely small with traditional houses yet it is alive with tourists in the summer. Right in front of the settlement lays the homonymous beach which is ideal for families. Moving on the southern part we reach Vasiliki. People who like windsurfing will love the place. The conditions are perfect for sailing and other sports which require strong constant winds. Driving on the eastern side of the island, a settlement called Sivota nestles in a majestic bay. The lovely port is a safe shelter for private yachts. The village is quiet during the day and has a lively nightlife. The yacht owners prefer the place since there are many astonishing beaches around which can only be accessed by boat.
Finally, we could not avoid mentioning Nydri village which is the most popular tourist resort in Lefkada. Apart from the beautiful beaches stretching along the coast of Nydri, you can also take the boat and sail around Scorpios Island. It is the famous island of Aristotelis Onassis. Another option is to take one of the many ferry connections from Nydri’s port and visit the neighbor islands of Meganisi, Ithaca and Kefalonia. As it was said before Lefkada has rich vegetation and natural beauties. The high mountains that abound the island are the sources of many waterfalls ending up into the sea. One of them is the Dimossari Waterfalls of Nydri. The waterfall in Nydri ends up into a gorge which is replete with white rocks.
Where to stay in Lefkada
The ideal place to find accommodation during your stay in Lefkada is near Nydri. Thus you can be close to the most popular tourist resort in the island and at the same time you can benefit from the frequent daily ferry connections from its port. Villa Ventura with 5 bedrooms is ready to welcome you and to make your stay memorable. The residence was built in 2009 from the Russian shipbroker Sergei Kauzov in memory of his wife Christina Onassis. Thus it is an elite vacation property surrounded by a vast vivid green garden with a large infinity swimming pool and a big pool house. The villa is nestled on a lush hillside of Perigiali village near Nydri. Seeing its interior gives the sense to the visitor that in Ventura he/she will find the luxurious hideaway that seeks. The architecture is a mix from traditional and sophisticated influences. While relaxing by the pool you can appreciate the breathtaking view of the Ionian Sea. The deep blue of the sea is disturbed only by the shape of the hills from the island Scorpios and Meganisi which can easily be seen.
Although it is not famous to the foreign tourists it is placed among the most picturesque places in Greek mainland. The town is in Aetolia-Acarnania situated on a bay on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth. It is a popular hideaway for the Greeks of the south since it is quite close from Athens by car. Nafpaktos has an intense medieval character which would definitely charm you. Once you see the small Venetian port you will be astonished with the scenery especially during the sunset hours. Thus, it seems fair that the port is the trademark of the town. At the post there is the statue of the famous Miguel de Cervantes who lost his arm in a naval fight off Nafpaktos in the medieval times. If you lift your head a bit the Venetian Castle on the hill will catch your eye. From there you can have the best panoramic view of Nafpaktos and the sea. You can also see the opposite coasts of Peloponnese.
The town is built in an amphitheatric way from the castle on the hill to the port where all streets lead to. While strolling around the cobbled streets you can see many well-preserved mansions and nicely built residences. The whole town has vivid colors and the locals love having flowers on their houses. Beautiful aromas are everywhere. The lively promenade and centre gives to the visitor many choices for food, drinks or shopping. Choosing Nafpaktos for your summer holidays has a huge advantage. It can be your base for some other amazing and unforgettable trips around the mainland.
Just an hour driving there is a small graphic town called Galaxidi. In the past and until 1963 as it could only be accessed by boat, people used to describe the area as the “Island on the mainland”. It has a lovely port and its promenade is popular for strolling. Walking around the alleys you can smell the bougainvilleas which bring amazing colors in each street. The town has neoclassical houses called “Kapetanospita”, meaning “Captain’s Houses”. These mansions reveal the glorious moments of Galaxidi’s sailing and naval past. Coming to Greece you cannot avoid visiting some well-known ancient monuments. You are in a country with glorious history and the remains that you can find everywhere justify that. Less than 100km from Nafpaktos is situated the famous ancient sanctuary Delphi which is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here the oracle Pythia was consulting the pilgrims about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Additionally, the Greeks considered Delphi to be the navel of the world as represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi. The oracle is on Mount-Parnassus, an impressive mountain with rich flora.
Our final suggestion about last minute summer destinations in Greece is Evia. Evia is the second largest island of Greece. It is only 111km away from Athens and is connected with the mainland with a cable-suspended bridge called Euripus Bridge or Chalcis Bridge. Wonderful beaches, impressive mountains and thermal springs are the highlights of Euboea. The diversity of the landscapes shifting has given Evia the reputation that in encloses the whole Greek rural landscape in just a small piece of land. Having read the above we are sure that you will not question the fact that it is very popular destination for the Athenians. Going north there is the beach called Agia Anna. It is a long sandy shore sourrouned by pine trees. You can either calm on the beach sunbathing or enjoy the clear water swimming. However the most unforgettable experience would be to go horseback riding. Imagine running over the waves crushing on the shore. That is definitely the ultimate feeling of freedom and adrenaline. One more totally pristine scenery can be found in Daphni beach. It is a small bay bursting with lush vegetation. The green hills emerging from the sea reflect on it and give the water an amazing green color. Who would not want to take a dive in this paradise?
Speaking about paradises on earth, Lichadonisia is an island complex north west of Euboea in the North Euboean Gulf. Greeks say that they are the Seychelles of Greece. Their natural beauty is incomparable. The landscape is tropical with the white sand and the green waters. The sea bottom is ideal for scuba diving and the children will love the seals swimming among the crowd. In order to get to Lichadonisia you have to hop on a water taxi or choose your favorite beach after a small tour with your own boat.
Leaving the peaceful scenery of Lichadonisia let us guide you to a more fierce side of nature. In the southernmost tip of Euboea there is the legendary cape known as Cavo d’Oro. The name comes from the Italian meaning “Cape of Gold”. The name is arising due to the gold coins that according to rumors litter the seabed around from the countless shipwrecks that have occurred in the area since the ancient times. Another explanation is that the name maybe comes from the mines that were discovered by ancient Phoenician gold-seekers. Sailors feared the water around the cape for a long time. Seems that they had a good reason for that since the Kafireas Strait between Evia and Andros is considered to be one of the most dangerous passages in the Aegean. The area is a great opportunity for trekking. Following the trails you will come across untouched beaches, stunning gorges and almost virgin forests.