Three stunning areas of mainland Greece worth adding to your travel list

If you’re planning a trip to Greece, then your immediate go-to spots are most likely to be the world-famous Greek islands. Sun-kissed, full of photogenic scenery and hotspots for relaxation and fun, they’re an understandable must-visit destination for many people. In comparison, mainland Greece often gets missed off travel lists, simply acting as a stopover for those changing flights in Athens.

However, skipping the beauty of the mainland is a mistake. Here, you’ll find unparalleled historic landmarks, charming towns and tavernas, and gasp at the vast mountain ranges and green landscapes that you might otherwise miss. Interested yet? Read on to find three areas of mainland Greece that are worthy of a spot on your travel list.

Meteora

Have you ever seen a monastery perched on top of a mountain boulder? The rock formations of Meteora are home to six remaining orthodox monasteries, which cling to the edge of the rock in a feat that is seemingly impossible, yet exists. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s best explored with a local guide, who can lead you up the same paths the monks have been using for hundreds of years.

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Meteora Greece

The region also boasts multiple caves, where the hermit monks of Meteora lived many centuries ago, before the monasteries were built. These monks built their residences directly into the rock, and connected them together with a series of ladders – not for the faint hearted. They isolated themselves from the world, living in seclusion and relying on food deliveries from the local townspeople to survive.

Delphi

In Ancient Greece, religion was the backbone of society. If you wanted good fortune, or to ask for a cure for illness, you’d need to make an offering and pray to the correct God or Goddess to stand a chance of your wish coming to pass. In order to talk directly to the gods, you would have needed to consult an oracle – a sacred person who could commune directly with the divine, as well as offering prophecies.

Delphi Greece

The religious site at Delphi was seen as the center of the ancient world, which is one of the reasons that the oracle that resided there was seen as the most important of them all. Kings, politicians, philosophers, poets and more visited from far and wide to seek her counsel, and her words were taken very seriously.

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Today, the site at Delphi is another UNESCO World Heritage location. Aside from its cultural and historical significance, it’s a stunning area, with wide-stretching views across the mountains.

Monemvasia

Technically part of the mainland, although only connected by a small strip of causeway, Monemvasia is a beautiful medieval town in Laconia. With a castle that sits high up on a rock towering an imposing 200 meters above the azure Aegean sea, as well as a fortified town, this island offers a fascinating insight into the past. The name itself refers to the unique nature of this place, translating as ‘only entrance’.

Monemvasia Greece

Explore the Byzantine buildings in the Old Town, before escaping the searing heat of the midday sun in the magnificent churches and mosque. You’ll be able to spend many hours here, simply enjoying the atmosphere and seclusion of this special place.

Don’t skip the mainland

The tourist spots in Greece are famous for a reason – they all deserve a spot on your travel list. But if you want a more unique experience with fewer crowds, then make the most of your time on the mainland: you won’t be disappointed.

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