If there’s one country that exudes a laid-back ambiance from the moment you arrive it has to be Greece. The almost year round sunshine, the sleepy little villages, open air tavernas and of course those world-famous beaches make this a country that’s conducive towards a more relaxed pace of life.

With Saga Holidays, you can travel from the sublime island of Kefalonia to the best kept secret of Halkidiki. If you’re looking to get away this year, Greece is a destination that will reward you with beauty, culture and relaxation.

slowdown

Slow down

It’s often been said that a vacation in Greece can be a life changing experience and this country seems to have an enchanting power over people. It may just be that the Mediterranean atmosphere combined with the naturally beautiful landscape is conducive to taking your time to enjoy the simple things in life. Good weather, good food, good company, good views.. A trip for example, to the island of Santorini, provides spectacular views over the Aegean Sea, white washed houses, golden beaches and clear waters make it almost rude not to spend entire days relaxing in the sun. Greece is a place where work-stresses and worries start to evaporate simply by taking daily walks through the olive-scented country lanes before sipping a coffee in a village café.

Escape the crowds

There are some well-known tourist hotspots in Greece such as Corfu or Faliraki on Rhodes but if you’re looking for something a little more tranquil then consider Halkidiki. Located on the mainland in northern Greece this peninsula is relatively undiscovered by tourists and this is part of its attraction. The coastal scenery here is some of the prettiest. There are the Blue Flag awarded beaches of Kassandra, the colourful markets of Hanioti or the little coves and seafood restaurants at the fishing villages of Sithonia. Make sure to take a leisurely boat trip along the coast to view the monastery that clings precariously to Mount Athos.

beach

Relax and rejuvenate

If you’re lucky enough to spend some time on the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonio then you’ll soon become familiar with quaint mountain villages, and the tranquil Bay of Fiskardo. This is the fifth largest island in Greece and there are plenty of famous beaches on this island including Skala, Antisamos and most famously, Myrtos – a swathe of white sand where visitors linger into the evening to view the almost spiritual sunsets. And if you’re looking for something a little romantic then head to the harbour of Assos..

There are times in our lives when we need to reboot, which is why most people regard vacations as a necessary luxury. There’s no better place to kick back, ‘smell the coffee’ and rejuvenate than Greece, a country where ‘relaxation’ is the default setting.

Images by Berit Watkin and Shkumbin Sanja used under the Creative Commons license.

 

Larry Thomas is a travel journalist that has travelled all over the Med and finds himself lured back to the islands of Greece every winter.

 

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