When you think about Greece it is easy to think of just golden sandy beaches and beautiful blue oceans. However, Greece has a lot more to offer, particularly to outdoor enthusiasts who like getting off-the-beaten track, according to Grecian Plato Balomenakis who thinks that more people should explore wild Greece.
“My friends and I like to climb the rocky hills, but visitors seem to prefer walking,” he says. “In Crete the Samaria Canyon is always very popular particularly in the Spring when the wild flowers are everywhere.”
The Samaria Canyon is in fact home to over 450 species of flower. By law, not a single flower may be removed from the canyon, this ensures the delicate ecosystem is maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.
Popular walks in Greece vary from canyon trails to romantic walled paths, but it can be difficult to get maps. Plato thinks it is good that maps are now available on the ViewRanger smartphone app and that you can follow the route using GPS without the need for a mobile phone signal.
“Greece is a safe place to explore, most of the Greeks that you come across can speak some English and are welcoming to tourists. If however you do have problems, there is a good rescue service and special helicopters to help those who need it. It is good to get out of the main tourist areas and see the ‘real Greece’ and I think having a detailed map on your phone will help more people to do this.
“There are no safety issues I can think of. I know sometimes people are concerned about wild animals, and in deed in Northern Greece there are some bears and wolves but I have never seen any. There are some very beautiful species of birds, foxes, deer and badgers and you do see these”.
“I can understand tourists struggling to find places to go and I think this is where a mapping app, such as ViewRanger is most useful. It means you can come to Greece and find routes near where you are staying or near a tourist attraction you are visiting.
More information about maps of Greece and her islands are available from ViewRanger’s website.