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Mainland Greece

Welcome to Mainland Greece, the land of ancient history, breathtaking scenery, and a unique Mediterranean experience. From the Acropolis in Athens to the legendary Mount Olympus, this land has been the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, and epic myths. Want to know why this destination should be on your travel bucket list? Read on to discover the secrets of Mainland Greece!

Train Pelion

A Guide to Mainland Greece

Hearth of Greece

Mainland Greece seems to have gained interest, with holidaymakers making 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.

Destinations in Mainland 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.

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.

On the southern tip of mainland Greece is the Peloponnese region, boasting beaches with sparkling waters on both the Ionian and Aegean sides. The Peloponnese abounds with ancient sites to visit, such as the theater at Epidaurus, the palace of Agamemnon, and perhaps most famously, the ruins of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

To the west, The province of Thessaly includes part of the Pindos Mountains, while the northern border with Macedonia lies along the ridge of Mt. Olympus.  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.

Its capital is Thessaloniki, a city with the honorary title of joint capital of Greece. 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. Olympus is here, 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. To the south, Epirus runs to the Ambracian Gulf. 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.

Thrace is a destination for all seasons. Its cities (Xanthi, Komotini, Alexandroupoli) are ideal for a city break. 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.

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 central Greece lies the ruins of the Delphic Oracle and this is but a short drive from the Monastery of Osios Loukas, the finest of late Byzantine buildings.

The Pelion Peninsula in Central Greece is just the place for a truly relaxing and authentic Greek holiday. At the heart of the peninsular lies Mount Pelion, its 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.

From the Pieria coast you can visit the ancient sites of Pidna, Dion, and Levitra, you can climb the Olympus Mountain, enjoy the sea at the beaches of Olympiaki Akti, Leptokarya or Platamonas, refresh yourself at the springs in Tembi valley and you can visit the pretty town of Katerini. Pieria coast should not be passed by, even though you can easily drive 130 km per hour on the Thessaloniki-Athens highway.

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. 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 peak season, in a luxury cabin come together for 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.

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.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever

Mainland Greece is home to several must-see attractions that offer visitors a glimpse into the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage. These include:

  1. The Acropolis of Athens: This ancient citadel dates back to the 5th century BC and is home to several iconic structures, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Propylaia.
  2. Delphi: This UNESCO World Heritage site was once considered the center of the ancient world and is home to the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, and the Theater of Delphi.
  3. Meteora: These monasteries perched atop towering rock formations offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and are a testament to the endurance of the Orthodox Christian faith.

The three most important information regarding must-see attractions in Mainland Greece are:

  1. Many of the attractions in Mainland Greece are UNESCO World Heritage sites, which are recognized for their cultural and historical significance.
  2. Visitors can explore ancient ruins, iconic landmarks, and breathtaking natural landscapes all within a short distance of each other.
  3. Guided tours and excursions are available to help visitors make the most of their time in Mainland Greece.

There are several ways to travel to and around mainland Greece, depending on your preferences and budget.

  1. Air travel: You can fly into Athens International Airport, which is the main gateway to Greece, and then take a domestic flight or other means of transportation to your destination within the country.

  2. Train: Train travel is available within Greece, but it may not be the most convenient or efficient option for all destinations. The railway network is limited and focused mainly on Athens and Thessaloniki.

  3. Bus: Buses are a popular and affordable option for travel within Greece, with regular routes connecting major cities and towns.

  4. Car rental: Renting a car can give you the flexibility to explore Greece at your own pace, and there are many car rental companies available at major airports and cities. However, be aware that Greek roads can be narrow and winding, and driving may be challenging in some areas.

  5. Ferry: If you are traveling to an island, ferries are a common means of transportation, with regular services connecting the islands to the mainland and to each other.

Overall, the best way to travel in Greece depends on your itinerary and preferences. Some visitors prefer to book organized tours, while others prefer to explore on their own. It’s also worth noting that Greece has a well-developed tourism infrastructure, so getting around is generally quite easy.

  • There are a few ways to find affordable accommodations in Mainland Greece:

    1. Use travel websites: Websites like, Airbnb, and Hostelworld offer a wide range of accommodations in Greece, including budget-friendly options. You can use filters to find the type of accommodation you’re looking for and sort the results by price.

    2. Check local hostels: Hostels are often the most affordable type of accommodation and there are many options in Greece. You can find them on websites like Hostelworld or search for them directly on Google.

    3. Look for guesthouses: Guesthouses are small, family-run establishments that offer affordable rooms. You can find them by searching for “guesthouses” or “rooms to let” in the area you’re interested in.

    4. Consider staying outside of popular tourist areas: Accommodations in popular tourist areas tend to be more expensive. Consider staying in smaller towns or villages to save money.

    5. Book in advance: Booking your accommodations in advance can help you save money. Many hotels and hostels offer discounts for early bookings.

    6. Use local transportation: If you’re willing to travel around Mainland Greece using local transportation, you can save money on accommodations by staying outside of major cities. Buses and trains are affordable and reliable, and you can often find budget-friendly accommodations near stations.

    By using a combination of these methods, you should be able to find affordable accommodations in Mainland Greece that meet your needs and budget.

The best time to visit mainland Greece for tourism depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to do. Generally, the peak tourist season is from June to August, when the weather is hot and sunny, and many events and festivals take place.

However, if you prefer a quieter and more budget-friendly experience, you may want to consider visiting during the shoulder seasons, which are in April to May and September to October. During these months, the weather is still pleasant, and you can avoid the crowds and higher prices of the peak season.

If you are interested in outdoor activities such as hiking or exploring historical sites, the cooler months of November to March may be a better time to visit. However, be aware that some attractions may have limited opening hours or be closed during this time.

Overall, Greece has something to offer year-round, so it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and travel goals.

Mainland Greece offers a wide range of outdoor activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Some of the popular outdoor activities to do in mainland Greece include:

  1. Hiking: Greece has a diverse landscape with many trails and hiking routes that offer stunning views of the countryside and the sea. The Mount Olympus National Park, the Zagori region, and the Vikos Gorge are popular hiking destinations.

  2. Beaches: Greece is known for its beautiful beaches, and the mainland is no exception. Some of the most popular beaches include Navagio Beach, Voidokilia Beach, and Balos Beach.

  3. Rafting and kayaking: The rivers in Greece offer thrilling rafting and kayaking experiences for beginners and experienced enthusiasts. The most popular rivers for rafting and kayaking are the Arachthos, Voidomatis, and Aoos rivers.

  4. Cycling: Cycling is a popular way to explore the countryside and the small towns in Greece. There are several cycling routes and tours available, including the Athens to Sounion route, the Corinth Canal route, and the Crete Cycling Route.

  5. Rock climbing: Greece has many natural rock formations and cliffs that are ideal for rock climbing, including Meteora, Kalymnos, and Leonidio.

  6. Skiing: Greece has several ski resorts in the mountains, including Parnassos, Kalavryta, and Vermio. Skiing and snowboarding are popular winter sports in Greece.

These are just a few examples of the many outdoor activities that you can enjoy in mainland Greece. Whether you are looking for adventure or relaxation, there is something for everyone in this beautiful country.

Mainland Greece is generally a safe destination for tourists. The country has a low crime rate, and violent crime is rare. However, like any other destination, there are certain risks and precautions that visitors should be aware of to ensure their safety.

One potential risk in Greece is pickpocketing and theft, especially in crowded tourist areas, such as Athens, and on public transportation. Visitors should take precautions to protect their valuables, such as keeping their bags close to their bodies and not carrying large sums of cash.

Visitors should also be aware of the possibility of terrorist attacks, which are a global risk. The Greek authorities have implemented strict security measures to prevent attacks, but visitors should remain vigilant and follow any security advice or warnings.

Greece is also prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and forest fires. Visitors should stay informed about any potential risks and follow the instructions of the local authorities in case of an emergency.

Overall, Greece is a safe destination for tourists, but visitors should take the usual precautions to ensure their safety and security. It’s always a good idea to stay aware of your surroundings, avoid carrying valuables, and follow any local safety advice or warnings.

There are many excellent museums and art galleries in mainland Greece that are definitely worth visiting. Here are a few must-visit options:

  1. National Archaeological Museum of Athens – This museum is home to some of the most important ancient artifacts and artworks from Greece’s rich history. From prehistoric times to the Byzantine era, you’ll find amazing exhibits including the Mask of Agamemnon and the Antikythera Mechanism.

  2. Acropolis Museum – Situated near the famous Acropolis in Athens, this museum features an impressive collection of sculptures, artifacts and statues from ancient Greek civilization. The museum’s design allows for great views of the Acropolis while you explore the exhibits.

  3. Benaki Museum – With locations in Athens and Pireaus, the Benaki Museum is the oldest privately owned museum in Greece. It features an impressive collection of Greek art, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles, as well as exhibits on the country’s history and culture.

  4. Byzantine and Christian Museum – This museum, located in Athens, houses a collection of over 25,000 religious artifacts from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods. Exhibits include paintings, sculptures, and manuscripts.

  5. National Gallery of Greece – Located in Athens, the National Gallery of Greece features an extensive collection of Greek and European art, with works dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Highlights include works by El Greco, Cézanne, and Van Gogh.

These are just a few of the many museums and art galleries in mainland Greece. There are many other fascinating places to explore, so don’t hesitate to do some more research and plan your visit accordingly.

Mainland Greece is full of hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations that are waiting to be explored. Here are some of the best ones:

  1. Meteora – Located in central Greece, Meteora is a group of towering rock formations that are home to several monasteries. The area is known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

  2. Zagorohoria – This is a network of 46 traditional villages in the Pindos Mountains in northern Greece. Each village has its own unique character and charm, and the area is known for its stunning landscapes and outdoor activities.

  3. Lake Plastiras – Located in central Greece, Lake Plastiras is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists. The lake is surrounded by lush forests and picturesque villages, and it’s a great place to enjoy hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

  4. Nafpaktos – This is a charming coastal town located in western Greece. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, historic castle, and quaint cobblestone streets. It’s a great place to relax and soak up the local culture.

  5. Edessa – This is a small town located in northern Greece that is known for its beautiful waterfalls. The town is surrounded by lush forests and is a great place to explore the outdoors.

These are just a few of the many hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path destinations that can be found in Mainland Greece. Each one offers its own unique beauty and charm, and they are all worth visiting for those who want to experience the country beyond the typical tourist destinations.

    1. What are some traditional Greek dishes to try in mainland Greece? In mainland Greece, you can find a wide variety of traditional Greek dishes. Some of the most famous ones are Moussaka, Souvlaki, Greek Salad, Pastitsio, and Spanakopita. Moussaka is a layered dish made with eggplant, potatoes, and minced meat, topped with béchamel sauce. Souvlaki is a dish consisting of small pieces of grilled meat, usually pork or chicken, served on a skewer. Greek Salad is a salad made with fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and feta cheese, dressed with olive oil and vinegar. Pastitsio is a baked pasta dish made with minced meat and béchamel sauce, while Spanakopita is a savory pie made with spinach and feta cheese.

    2. Are there any vegetarian or vegan options for traditional Greek dishes in mainland Greece? Yes, there are several vegetarian and vegan options for traditional Greek dishes in mainland Greece. Some of the most popular vegetarian dishes include Fava, Gigantes Plaki, and Briam. Fava is a yellow split pea puree served with onion and capers. Gigantes Plaki is a baked dish made with giant beans in tomato sauce, while Briam is a roasted vegetable dish made with potatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and peppers.

    3. What are some traditional Greek desserts to try in mainland Greece? In mainland Greece, you can find a variety of traditional Greek desserts. Some of the most famous ones are Baklava, Loukoumades, and Galaktoboureko. Baklava is a sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and syrup. Loukoumades are small doughnuts served with honey and cinnamon. Galaktoboureko is a custard-filled pastry with phyllo dough and syrup.

    4. What are some typical ingredients used in traditional Greek cuisine? Some typical ingredients used in traditional Greek cuisine include olive oil, tomatoes, feta cheese, herbs, such as oregano and thyme, eggplant, lemon, and lamb. Greek cuisine is also known for its use of seafood, such as octopus and squid, and a variety of beans, such as chickpeas and lentils.

    5. Can you recommend any traditional Greek restaurants in mainland Greece? Yes, there are many traditional Greek restaurants in mainland Greece that serve authentic Greek cuisine. Some of the most popular ones include Ta Karamanlidika tou Fani, which is known for its cured meats and cheeses, and Mani Mani, which serves traditional dishes from the Mani region of Greece. Other recommended restaurants include O Thanasis in Athens, which is famous for its souvlaki, and To Palio Hamam in Thessaloniki, which offers a variety of traditional Greek dishes.

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  • Mainland Greece is home to several major cities that are popular tourist destinations, as well as important cultural, historical, and economic centers. Here are some of the most prominent ones:

    1. Athens – The capital city of Greece and one of the world’s oldest cities, Athens is a bustling metropolis that blends ancient history with modern urban life. It is home to iconic landmarks such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Ancient Agora.

    2. Thessaloniki – The second-largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki is a vibrant cultural hub with a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It is known for its Byzantine-era churches, Ottoman-era architecture, and lively waterfront promenade.

    3. Patras – Located on the northern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula, Patras is the third-largest city in Greece and an important commercial hub. It is known for its lively carnival celebrations and its historic fortress.

    4. Larissa – The fourth-largest city in Greece, Larissa is located in central Greece and is known for its ancient archaeological sites, including the ancient theater of Larissa and the ruins of the ancient city of Gonnoi.

    5. Volos – Located on the eastern coast of mainland Greece, Volos is a popular seaside destination that is also an important industrial center. It is home to the University of Thessaly and the ancient city of Demetrias.

    Other notable cities in mainland Greece include Ioannina, Kavala, Kalamata, and Heraklion (on the island of Crete, but considered part of mainland Greece).

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