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Mainland Greece

Mainland Greece

A Guide to Mainland Greece

Mainland Greece seems to gain interest, with holidaymakers make this year their summer vacation without having to enter the ship. If you choose to load the suitcases in the car instead of the ship bound for an island you could save up to 300 euros for a family of four. The Greek islands, especially the cosmopolitan ones strike prices on accommodation and meals.

Most of the tourists go directly to the islands. but the interior of mainland Greece is full of culture, history and many beautiful landscapes. The real Greece is the mainland. The Acropolis, Delphi, Nafplio, Olympus, Halkidiki, Macedonia, The Holy Mountain……

In Mainland Greece, the summer destinations are countless, beautiful and most have excellent tourist infrastructure. There are magical places which you can visit by car, bus or a train and a multitude of excellent beaches and crystal waters, ideal for a holiday with friends, family or your partner. From Macedonia to Peloponnese, Greece is full of coastal destinations and resorts that have nothing to envy from the cosmopolitan islands of the Aegean and Ionian.

For this reason, we have prepared a tribute to the best summer mainland destinations in Greece.


Athens is not only the capital of Greece but it is the largest city as well. Athens is known as one of the oldest cities in Greece, the city was named after the Goddess Athena over 3,000 years ago. There are currently over 3.7 million people living in Athens today. Just as New York City is the hub of New York State, Athens is the same in Greece. The metropolitan area in Athens has everything you could think of, economic centers, financial institutions, many industrial areas and political and many cultural buildings as well.


You can find whatever you like at Thessaloniki Greece travel. There are luxury hotels, restaurants with Mediterranean cuisine and spectacular beaches. There is a belief that compares to Athens hotels, Thessaloniki hotels have higher quality because it is the economic center of Balkans. Thessaloniki exactly associates with a holiday trip. There are archaeological sites, monuments churches and museums tell much about Thessaloniki. Moreover, transportation is easier for the second largest city in Greece. You can travel by car, ferry, plane or ferry. There are also taxi tours for your transportation.


On the southern tip of mainland Greece is the Peloponnese region, boasting beaches with sparkling waters on both the Ionian and Aegean sides. A firm favorite with nature-lovers, this area is perfect for those looking for something "off the beaten track". The Peloponnese abounds with ancient sites to visit, such as the theatre at Epidaurus, the palace of Agamemnon, and perhaps most famously, the ruins of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.


The province of Thessaly is bordered to the south by Central Greece. To the west, it includes part of the Pindos Mountains, while the northern border with Macedonia lies along the ridge of Mt. Olympus. The Thessalian Plain takes up more than a quarter of the province's area and is irrigated by the Pinios River. Standing high above the Thessalian Plain are the rock pillars of Meteora, the 'Monasteries In The Clouds'. To the southeast is the Magnesia Peninsula, Volos, and the Pillion Region.


The three peninsulas of Halkidiki; Kassandra, Sithonia, and Athos, stretch for over 850 kilometers of coastline. Its location by the Aegean sea is ideal. It offers an endless number of beaches, beach resorts, and sea sport and activities. This is one reason for the popularity of Halkidiki as a holiday destination among not only Greeks but also people from Scandinavia, Germany, Britain and from the Balkans. There are very few other attractions for tourists. No ancient sites other than the ones around Poligyros; Olynthos and Stagira, Petralona caves in northern Halkidiki, similar to ones in Perama near Ioannina. Plenty of accommodation is available, even though most of it is pre-booked by package holiday companies but there are several camping sites around Kassandra and Sithonia.


Macedonia occupies almost a quarter of all Greek territory and contains more than one-third of the country's arable land... Its main products are tobacco, wheat, cotton, fruit, and wine. To the north, Macedonia's borders meet Albania, Republic of North Macedonia, and Bulgaria. To the west high mountains run up to the high ridges of the Pindos Mountains. To the south, the Olympus massif juts into the sea. Its capital is Thessaloniki, a city with the honorary title of joint capital of Greece. Together with its outer suburbs Thessaloniki has a population of around one million and is Greece's second largest city. Macedonia has a long and rich history. Here is Olympus, the seat, according to mythology, of the ancient Dodecateum, as well as Dion, Pella and Vergina, places of worship and administrative capitals of the ancient region.


The region of Epirus is bound by the Ionian Sea to the west and by Albania to the north. Much of the region is taken up by the Pindos mountain range, whose principle ridge forms the region's eastern border... To the south, Epirus runs to the Ambracian Gulf. Epirus did not become part of the modern Greek nation until the Balkan wars of 1912-13. Its capital is Ioannina. The road from Thessaly to Ioannina enters Epirus through the Katara pass; at 1705 meters the highest mountain pass in Greece. The first town you come to is Metsovo. During Ottoman times it enjoyed trading privileges and today is still the only settlement of any size in western Epirus and the Pindos Mountains.


Thrace is not a classic travel destination. And if we say that in Greece the West meets the East, these two elements coexist here, creating a wonderful cultural blend that remains unforgettable. Thrace is a destination for all seasons. Its cities (Xanthi, Komotini, Alexandroupoli - each with its own profile) are ideal for a city break and offer the best tourist infrastructure. Thrace has authentic nature: the Evros Delta, Parto Lagos, Lake Vistonida, the wonderful Nestos, the Rhodope forests, the forest of Dadia, the waterfall of Livaditis are points of particular ecological interest which, combined with the archaeological sites of Abdera and Maroneia, create an attractive package for each type of visitor.

Central Greece

Central Greece (Sterea Ellada) is comprised of the portion of the Greek mainland between the Ionian and Aegean Seas and together with the large island of Euboea forms the central area of Greece. This part of the country, together with Peloponnese and Attica forms the heart of the area inhabited by the early Greeks. With its old regions of Boeotia, Phocis, Aetolia, and Acarnania it comprised the northern central region of Ancient Hellas. In Sterea Ellada lies one of the countries most important sites, the ruins of the Delphic Oracle and this is but a short drive from the Monastery of Osios Loukas, perhaps the finest of late Byzantine buildings which is decorated with some of the periods greatest mosaics.


The Pelion Peninsula in Central Greece is just the place for a truly relaxing and authentic Greek holiday, with charming villages scattered around the green and mountainous landscape, and sandy beaches perfect for family fun. At the heart of the peninsular lies Mount Pelion, it's foothills reaching all the way to the coast and to some of the most charming coastal villages. On the eastern slopes, the forests and orchards extend down to the shoreline forming a dense backcloth to the unspoiled beaches below. Between the two coastlines are many unspoiled villages unaffected by tourism where the apple and pear harvests are the main concern of a rural Greek life that seems to have changed little in decades.

Places to be

Epirus, Meteora, Nafplio, Peloponnese, Ioannina, Arta, Parga, Pelion, Chalkidiki, Kavala, Mount Athos, Attica, Monemvasia, Patras, Corinth, Larissa, Volos, Thessaly, Thrace, Arta, Preveza, Kalamata, Xanthi, Trikala. With an ancient and rich history, as well as a reputation for hosting a good party, mainland Greece is a wonderful holiday destination. There are unmissable ruins in Delphi and Thessaloniki. Athens is a modern bustling city, rejuvenated by the Olympic games. Macedonia is a beautiful area, rich with connections to Greek mythology. All over Greece, you will find great cuisine and a warm welcome.

How To Get To Mainland Greece

Getting to Mainland Greece and General Travel Information

Flight Information

Greece is about 1800 miles from London to most places, so flying to Greece is the best way. Well served by charter and scheduled flights from the UK, USA, and Europe, mainland Greece offers distinct tourist regions to explore. There are direct flights to a variety of Greek destinations from all the major European airports. Flying time varies from two hours to almost four and a half hours. The cost of charter flights are fairly reasonable, but this depends on what time of the year you are flying. Easter and Christmas are classed as high season, so will be very expensive, January to May should be quite cheap, then June to early September will be more pricy as this is in the main tourist season.

Ferry Services

There are boat connections from Venice and Ancona to Igoumenitsa in northern Greece and Patras in the Peloponnese with a bus connection to Athens (Anek Lines, Minoan Lines). Further south in Italy, a number of ships are leaving for Greece in Bari and Brindisi. Among other things, the Greek islands of Corfu (from Bari by Superfast and Ventouris, from Brindisi by European Seaways and Grimaldi), Kefallonia and Zakynthos (each from Bari to Ventouris, from Brindisi with Red Star Ferries) are approached directly from Italy. From the Italian ports, only Venice can be reached directly from Germany by train (from Munich by day and ÖBB Nightjet). Otherwise you have to transfer to Milan (EC from Zurich and Basel) or Bologna (EC from Munich).

Travel to Greece by car

The Italian route has become the most popular itinerary. At the ferry ports of Venice, Ancona and Bari you can translate to the Greek mainland or to the island of Corfu. The connections from Ancona to Igoumenitsa and Patras are particularly popular – probably because they represent a good compromise between travel time and costs.

The biggest advantage of the Balkan route to Greece is that it saves on ferry costs. Ferry fees vary greatly depending on the comfort of accommodation and the travel season. They start on the route Ancona – Igoumenitsa at a good 200 euros for two adults with cars. In the peak season in a luxury cabin come together over 1000 euros together. The motorway tolls are a bit higher on the Austria-Balkan route than in Italy, which is hardly significant given the ferry costs.

The Greek highways connect the northern parts of the country with Athens and the peninsula of Peloponnese.

Maximum speed: Within towns the speed limit is 50 km / h. Out of town, there is usually a maximum speed of 90 km / h, on highways of 110 km / h. On Greek highways you may be traveling at 130 kilometers per hour.

Special traffic rules: In Greece, the 0.5-alcohol limit applies. For novice drivers who have a driver’s license for less than two years, only 0.2 per mile is allowed. So even a single alcoholic drink can be too much.

Train and ferry traffic inland

A few railway lines in Greece are used up to the suburban traffic of Athens and Thessaloniki a maximum of two hours, sometimes only twice a day. The bus goes everywhere and often and is therefore the common means of transport in Greece. From Piraeus there are ferry connections to all Greek islands. At least once a day you travel to all major Cycladic islands, the Dodecanese, Rhodes, various Crete ports and the Eastern Peloponnese. Other ports with rail connections: and Alexandropoulos.

Visit Greece By Bicycle

Since bicycle transport is neither possible in Serbia nor in Italian long-distance trains and only individual international long-distance trains to Italy take bicycles, offer as departure ports in Greece, the northern Italian Adriatic ports of Venice and Ancona. The departure port of Ancona will be reached by Eurocity Munich-Bologna and change to regional trains. Venice can be reached with one to two daily Eurocitys by bicycle directly from Munich.

In the Greek trains, bicycles are transported as registered luggage, in the luggage van, in accordance with the existing Regulation of TRAINOSE(GR), applicable to registered luggage. Up to 3 (long distance) or 5 (local trains) bicycles are accepted as registered luggage on each train,  provided that there is capacity in the luggage vans.

Our Recommendation

Destionations in Mainland Greece