Why within the next 5 years? Well, since I have been on my travels exploring Greek islands over the past 20 years I have seen a pattern across some of my favourite islands, Thassos being one. With Greece keeping up with visitor flow, they have, in some islands, invested money to develop the towns and surrounding areas to make it more attractive to potential holidaymakers. Whilst this is a positive factor to gain a financial income to the country, it can remove from the traditional features some of us visit these beautiful islands for. So, based on my recent travels I have listed my top 5 destinations to visit which have held on to their traditional values.
I have been back here several times and remember the first visit like it was only yesterday. The cove beach with its huge rocks I could just about climb but had every intention of doing so, the warm clear waters, the people and the hidden trails my father used to take me on. Being a lot older now I have been able to follow the same paths and seek new sights and adventures. If in 10 years these forest paths are still remaining then I will take this as a sure bet they will remain this way for another decade. Traditional villages are still standing with no modern developments; everything is as it should be for us to appreciate the true passion, traditions and history behind Greece.
Crete I hear you say… but that’s modern with nightclubs! Yes, it has its party scene, but hidden in a picturesque city called Chania, the second biggest city in Crete. Even though it is of a vast size, it has held onto its traditional values. These can be seen around the harbour, which is where this city started. Along the harbour you will find traditional restaurants where you will enjoy the most flavoursome vine leaves and sweet, fresh orange juice. The lighthouse still remains since the 14th century as do the museums and collections of Minoan artefacts.
The first time I paid Lesvos a visit I was 12 years old and stayed at a family friendly resort. I remember my first tastes of Octopus, Moussaka and Kleftiko and discovered my hate of Aubergines. That was the only downfall of the holiday, and until this day I remember the beaches and a lot of walking through shrubs, forests and climbing over rocks. After a recent visit back to see if it remained the same, it has. Yes there have been some developments but the island still holds on to its traditional roots. It is still the perfect resort for families and they are more than welcomed by the community. For those who want to experience the beauty of their forests and kept grasslands with a sandy beach a visit to Eresos or its sister village Skala Eresou should be at the top of the list.
After a friend came back from Kos and with nothing negative to say about it, we had to visit. We spent the usual two weeks there and explored, relaxed and had one of the best holidays we had that year. Even to this day it still holds on to its traditional values and you can enjoy locally sourced food, with the seafood being of exceptional standards – possibly the freshest we have tasted. If you only have time for one trip whilst in Kos, and possible this reason alone is why many people visit, take a day trip to Nysiros Volcano. You can visit the little village next to it which has not changed in 15 years.
The perfect Greek island if you want crystal blue sea and long sandy beaches with tavernas along the main strip. Halkidiki has kept the traditional heart of the island alive with architecture, restaurants, shops and property; only adding a couple of new developments in the past five years. Our favourite village to visit is Afitos as it is quieter than its neighbouring village Hanioti. Here you can expect secluded beaches and relaxed town; the perfect location to enjoy the simple wonders of this island.
These Greek islands have something unique about each one of them and hopefully they will remain the same and hold on to their traditional beauty for many years to come.
About the Author
Having visited over 15 of the Greek Islands since a young age and returning to Thassos for 13 years, Amy looks for traditional values within each island to capture the history behind it. She looks at holidays to Greece from Crystal Summer to discover villages she may have missed or to find a new adventure to a hidden part of the Greek Islands.