Include Bulgaria in Your Balkan Tour

Perhaps best known and most beloved of the Balkan countries, Greece is cherished for its ancient architecture and astounding natural beauty on the Aegean Sea. It’s certainly worth your visit and Balkan Tours has had plenty of successful tours through Greece, where our local guides:

  • Go above and beyond to give you an authentic taste of local life beyond what you expect!
  • Showcase sights and landmarks that are rarely picked and shown on commercial tours, but are nonetheless special and beautiful.
  • Find you the best local food in every single location so you eat like a Greek.

Balkan Tales creates an experience and does so with great skill. Underneath, you can see all the locations we’ve taken groups to great success – a good resource when drawing up your itinerary.



Greek Intangible Cultural Heritage

  • Rebetiko
  • Momoeria, New Year’s celebration in eight villages
  • Tinian marble craftsmanship
  • Know-how of cultivating mastic on the island of Chios
  • Mediterranean diet

Greek cities to Visit

[accordion-item title=”Thessaloniki “]

  • This big city has built its history since 315 BC, when it was founded by ancient Macedonians.
  • Its monuments dating from Byzantine times are among the UNESCO sites which are deemed world heritage.
  • The area by the sea, perfect for snapping photos, boasts the statue of Alexander the Great, the White Tower, etc.

The Archeological Museum will show off ancient Macedonian artifacts, including a golden artwork collection. The Atatürk Museum, with free admission, is the house where this important figure for Turkey was born. Don’t miss the Roman forum, which was dug up by chance, and marvel at the ancient structure, comprising two baths. Imagine how gladiators fought on the arena. The White Tower is a landmark, the remaining part of the ancient city walls.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Athens “]

  • Athens should be on bucket lists, because it belongs among the world’s most ancient cities.
  • It boasts two sites belonging to world heritage: the ancient Acropolis and the Daphni Monastery, built in medieval times.
  • The National Archeological Museum shows off the largest ancient Greek items collection.

The Acropolis Museum is, too, a must to visit. In fact, you will find many archeological museums here, so Athens is the world’s hub for archeologists. The ancient Agora and the Acropolis will tell of ancient times. Acropolis means “upper city”, and the imposing citadel above, on the outcrop, justifies the name. The museum showing Cycladic art will present the prehistoric art objects from the Cyclades islands.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Meteora “]

  • Meteora rightly belongs with heritage sites of UNESCO, with imposing hills on some of which monasteries stand.
  • The huge stone hills are marvelous, conglomerate pillars, the work of Nature.
  • The monasteries were 24, but now six have remained in operation, to which stone staircases lead.

The Great Meteoron, the largest, inhabited by monks, dates from the 14th century, and comprises a museum. Ladies wearing trousers or short skirts must put on aprons which form skirts, available at the entrance. Only then they can enter. In St. Stephan Monastery, a 16th century church can be seen. St, Stephan is a nunnery.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Mount Olympus “]

  • This mount, the highest in Greece, belonging to the Olympus Range, is a legendary place.
  • Mytikas is its highest peak, 2,918 metres.
  • Greek myths tell of mighty gods living on Mytikas, and you can see very rich flora there now.

Mount Olympus is rightly a national park, the first such park in Greece, for its abundance of vegetation. There are around 1.700 species. There, too, are Christian monuments, among which the highest altitude Christian chapel, on a summit 2,803 metres high, an old monastery, Dionusios, another monasttery, Kanalon, on the southern side, and the Aghias Triadas Sparmou, a monastery from the 18th century.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Halkidiki peninsula “]

  • For summer vacations, Halkidiki is a beloved spot, with numerous coastal villages.
  • In antiquity, they mined gold here, so in 2013 a revival of the activity started.
  • There is a golf course in the Halkidiki area.

The peninsula resembles a hand having three fingers. The three legs are Pallene, Sithonia, and Agion Oros, where Mount Athos with its monasteries is located. The summer resorts and the many villages are on the coast, with inviting beaches. In Mount Athos area, 20 monasteries lie. Hence the name for the mount, Holy Mountain, as Greeks call it. It is a site of heritage under UNESCO.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Santorini “]

  • This island, in south of the Agean Sea, is the centre of an archipelago, and its largest.
  • Touristy villages abound, and the local cuisine and wines are highlights.
  • Melitinia cookies are specials for weddings and other festive occasions.

While there, try the fish dish brantada, or the vegetable dish with cheese called Santorinio Sfougato. The wine industry is thriving, thanks to the local grape variety. The moisture soaked by vines is predominantly dew. The dessert wine boasts citrus flavour mixed with nuances of figs, raisins and honey. Other unmissable local specialities are cherry tomatoes, sweet and flavorful ones, white eggplants, also very sweet, and local cucumbers called katsouni. Capers are also grown on the island.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Thasos “]

  • Thasos is the northernmost of all Greek islands, and is a hub for vacations.
  • The largest town, also named Thasos, on the north side, is reachable mostly by ferry from Keramoti.
  • Its mineral waters and beaches bordering its abundant forests, attract numerous tourists.

The charming island has marble quarries, dating from ancient times, in the south. It is famed for olive oil and honey production. The deep bays are auspicious for bathing. The mountainous landscape lends the beaches a unique backdrop, with mostly pine forests. In Thasos, the Archeological Museum merits visits. In Limenaria, visit the Folklore Museum. Saint Panteleimon is a monastery to which a curious legend is attached.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Corfu “]

  • In the Ionian Sea, Corfu attracts with rich history and fame due to Greek mythology.
  • The capital, also Corfu, is enclosed by two ancient castles.
  • The old town has belonged with UNESCO heritage sites since 2007.

Among the array of museums, visit the Archeological Museum, and the Banknote Museum with a complete collection showing Greek banknotes. Easter is especially impressive, with free concerts by the philharmonics, festive decorations, and throwing of clay pots full of water, to celebrate the Resurrection, in compliance with King David’s words in Psalm 2:9. The picturesque island has been the site for film shooting, including the James Bond themed 1981 one, “For Your Eyes Only”.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Zakynthos Island “]

  • Zakyntos is in the Ionian Sea, and, as Greek myths have it, was named after the son of an Arcadian chief.
  • The international airport welcomes a host of charter flights.
  • The nickname, “The Flower of the East”, was given by the Venetians.

Zakyntos is arrow shaped, mountainous on the west, and boasting a plain and beaches in the east. Olives, citrus fruits, and currants are abundant. In the Laganas Bay, visit the first Marine Park for the country, where sea turtles nest.

Navagio beach, with white pebbles, on the northwest, is the most famous one. There are shipwreck remains and a monastery to be seen. BASE jumpers find auspicious conditions in Navagio. Laganas is the largest resort, with a 10 km long beach.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Mykonos “]

  • Named after a god Apollo’s descendant, Mykonos lies in the South Aegean, and bears the nickname the “Island of Winds”.
  • The Archeological Museum is among the oldest Greek museums.
  • The Maritime Museum tells of maritime history of the Greeks.

Visit also the unmissable Folklore Museum, plus, too, the Agricultural museum. The granite terrain, without any rivers, lends Myconos a unique look. Water is derived by reverse osmosis of the sea water. The main town is Chora. The Myconos windmills, built by Venetians, are an outstanding symbol, and mostly located in Chora. Many have been converted and are now homes. The romantic Little Venice comprises fishing houses in rows, former merchants’ or captains’ homes.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Lefkada “]

  • Lefkada, on the Ionian Sea, has a causeway, and, too, a floating bridge, as connections to the mainland.
  • In the middle, the Stavrota Mountain rises to 1,158 metres.
  • Lefkada was described in Homer’s work as Ithaca, Odysseus’s homeland.

On the east coast, the resort towns of Lygia, Nikiana, Perigiali lie, and also Nidri, which is the largest resort. Across from Nidri is Skorpios, which was owned by Aristotle Onassis. Visiliki is a resort and a centre for windsurfing. Cape Lefkada is linked to the story of the poetess Sappho who jumped into the sea there, from a 30 metres height. On the west, Porto Katsiki boasts a famed beach.[/accordion-item]

What to do:

[accordion-item title=”Snorkeling and Diving “]

  • The abundance of sea shores and islands is a blessing for aficionados of snorkeling and diving in Greece.
  • The Aegean and Ionian seas waters are calm in the morning.
  • Underwater cameras are great for snapping seascapes, and getting disposable ones is a handy solution.

Head to Crete, or indulge in these activities along the Mikonos coast. Corfu also offers auspicious conditions, and so does Lefkada, as well as Zakynthos, and the Halkidiki peninsula. When diving and snorkeling, look out for speed boats, as they can impair the visibility in the water. As for disposable cameras, you can buy them in many places, even in supermarkets[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”Yachting “]

  • The plethora of islands that Greece boasts will offer many great routes for yachting.
  • June to September are the best months for yachting.
  • Mykonos and Santorini, Corfu and Crete are the most favored destinations.

The Cyclades are the most preferred areas for yachting, as the landscapes are of picture perfect quality, with azure waters as the backdrop, clear sky, and small villages. Chartering yachts is done on the basis of round trips: getting a yacht from a base and returning it to the same base. That is cheaper than one way routes, in which you leave the yacht in a port different from the one you started from.[/accordion-item]

Plan Your Tour through Greece Today!

Your travel itinerary can be done as soon as this week. Send Balkan Tales detailed answers to our questionnaire and describe to us what you wish your guided tour to be at [email]! We take it from here.

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