Greece and the great outdoors
Continuing the series of great outdoors things to do in different countries, this time freelance writer Miriam Bench focuses on Greece. With its spectacular rugged landscapes and picturesque scenery, Greece is the ideal destination for an adventure holiday. Offering everything from caving to kayaking, the country boasts all of the exciting – and often rigorous – outdoor activities that more sporty holidaymakers could ever want.
Read on for a selection of some of the best activities to do on holidays to Greece and where among the rugged landscapes and idyllic islands you should head to take part.
Hiking in Crete
The popular tourist destination of Crete is well known for its pristine beaches and historic sights, but you will also find plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities besides swimming and working on your tan.
Much of the island’s landscape is composed of rugged mountains and rocky gorges, making it perfect hiking country.
Pay a visit to Samaria National Park and trek through the well-known Samaria Gorge, with its narrow passage known, rather dramatically, as the Iron Gates. If you are feeling particularly fit, why not attempt to reach the summit of Mount Gingilos? This highly popular hike offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and is testing without being too dangerous.
Water Sports on Mykonos
The beautiful island of Mykonos is renowned for its quaint whitewashed houses, golden beaches and numerous little cafes and restaurants – but the island is also an excellent destination for water sports enthusiasts.
You will find reputable dive centres based on Paradise and Psarou Beaches and most of the major beaches on the island offer sports such as para-sailing and water-skiing. Rent your own boat to make the adventure a little more independent.
Horse Riding in Pertouli
Horse lovers considering holidays to Greece may want to head to the pretty mountainous village of Pertouli, perched among the peaks and ravines of Trikala in central Greece. Here you can enjoy scenic hacks through the surrounding countryside on a variety of trails.
Trot through forests of fir, ford cold clear mountain streams and climb up the rocky slopes on sure-footed mounts carefully selected for their steady natures and patient temperaments.
Caving in Trikala
Dedicated cavers will be thrilled at the number of caving opportunities available in Greece, and especially the Trikala area. Venture into the Kriakoura Cave, located near Neraida village, which boasts a carpet of snow all year round, or opt instead for the more challenging Tsiata Magia Cave near Polithea Village. This cave is situated in stunning surroundings, but cavers are advised to be careful as it is undeveloped and relatively unexplored.
Greece has historic amphitheatres and cliff top ruins in abundance, but it’s not all about sedate cultural breaks. Get stuck into the Greek terrain and whether you’re on island or mainland, you won’t be disappointed by the challenges that await.
Miriam Bench is a freelance writer from the Inner Hebrides. She enjoys plenty of outdoor activities on her travels, feeling particularly at home when she’s diving beneath the ocean waves.