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Where to Get off the Beaten Path in Greece

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To get off the beaten path in Greece, all you have to do is venture to the lesser-known towns and islands and immerse yourself in the cultures found there. The Northern Aegean, in particular, offers hospitality, romance, and breathtaking scenery under a warm Mediterranean sun. Despite Greece being a popular destination, it's surprisingly easy to find you've wandered a little off course, and into the welcoming arms of new friends.
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Pyrgi 821 02, Greece
Pyrgi is known for its famous “xysta” design – the black/grey and white geometrical facades featured on all the buildings. This is created by hand-engraving the design onto plaster. Even the 13th century Byzantine church is covered in it. The town...
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Icaria, Ikaria, Greece
In Greek mythology, Icarus was the son of Daedalus, a master craftsmen. Daedalus builds a set of wings for Icarus, who flies too close to the sun. The heat melts the wax holding the wings together, and so Icarus plummets to the sea where he...
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Mesta 821 02, Greece
Chios has a long and brutal history of invasion by the Turks, and so it makes perfect sense to find one of the most carefully preserved fortress towns in Europe right here on the island. It's a village-castle from the Byzantine era, and its houses...
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Mitilini 811 00, Greece
Lesvos isn't typically on a traveler's list, but the large island is worth visiting for its traditional lifestyle and year-round busy towns. Mytilini is the capital, and is largely driven by its busy student population. The restaurants and cafes...
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Poros, Greece
Mention 'Greek Islands' and one instinctively thinks of Santorini or Crete. But there are literally thousands of other islands scattered between Greece, Turkey and North Africa. The smaller ones like Poros (above) are just as charming. I don't...
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Alonnisos, Greece
Alonissos Greek island belongs to the Northern Sporades by the coast of Thessaly. Alonissos is a protected area for its numerous endangered species: more than 300 kinds of fish, 80 species of birds, among which the Queen falcon and above all the...
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Plomari, Greece
Considered to be the "ouzo capital of the world," Plomari even has an annual Ouzo Festival. Take some time to walk around the tiny town, visiting the tavernas and meeting the locals. Most of them tend to be very interested in your visit, as Lesvos...
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Paxi, Greece
If you're looking to move away from the popular Cycladic islands, head to the Ionian Sea. Besides the busy hub of Corfu, there's also Paxos, a small island surrounded by turquoise sea, beautiful caves, and idyllic villages. Rumour has it that...
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The name can be misleading: Lesvos's petrified forest is really only the remains of a prehistoric forest. On the other hand, those remains are 20 million years old, and the forest is just one of two found in the world. The hike along the coast is...
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ΠΥΛΟΣ 240 01, Greece

In Greek mythology, Heracles slew all the sons of the King of Pylos except Nestor, who became king of Pylos himself. Nestor appears as a sage elder in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, expounding on how things were really tough back in his...

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Ioannina, Greece
Most people come to the tiny town of Ioannina to cruise Lake Pamvotida -- the town's most popular landmark. You'll find yourself on a small island in the middle of a beautiful fjord, where the water is smooth as glass and your surroundings are...
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XENIA Hotel and Restaurant- Harbour at Chora Sfakion, Chora Sfakion 730 11, Greece
The best way to explore the south coast of Crete is by kayak. One of my favorite tavernas on the coast is the Mermaid Taverna, located at Sweetwater Beach. Accessible only by boat (or long hike), Sweetwater is named for its bubbling springs of...
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Hydra, Idra 180 40, Greece
If you dream of a tranquil island free from traffic and the din of human activity, where donkeys are the only means of transportation, Hydra is it. Beautiful Mediterranean waters, cobbled streets, and preserved architecture makes Hydra an idyllic...
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Lefkada, Greece
Lefkada is the only Greek island accessible by land, but it doesn't mean it sees a lot of tourism. On the other hand, it's hard to believe it ISN'T one of the most highly sought after destinations: Egremni Beach is one of the best beaches in...
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Melidoni, Μελιδόνι, Rethimno 740 52, Greece
The Melidoni cave is on the Old Heraklion Road between Rethymno and Heraklion. This cave was used for religious ceremonies during the Minoan times. It also played an important role during the period of the Ottoman occupation. Villagers fled to the...