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Mainland Greece

Parga, Ipirus

The Greek mainland is often overlooked by tourists. It is not their fault. Travel agents outside of Greece get very little info about anything except the most popular Greek islands, and a couple of the well-known archaeological sites like Olympia and Delphi. But areas like the Peloponessos, Pelion, Macedonia, Ipirus, and the rest of mainland Greece are no secret to the Greeks who hop in their cars to visit them any chance they get. This page is a sort of general guide that will lead you to more detailed information if you need it and booking info too. If you have somehow stumbled on this page on your own you should click on the link to Introduction below which will take you back to the beginning of my Greek Travel webpage. If you like using my site please share it with your friends on Facebook and other social media. You can find all my Greek Mainland sites at Matt's Mainland Guides


General Info





The Peloponessos: Heart and Soul of Greece

Leonideion, PeloponessosThere is much that has been written and said about the beauty of the Greek islands. But lost in the commotion over Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes and Corfu is the fact that some of the most beautiful and interesting places in Greece are not on the islands, but on the mainland in areas like the Peloponessos. For many, the Peloponessos is the true Greece and it is as worthy a place to visit as any ten islands combined. Lots of great beaches, sea, mountains, interesting towns like Githeon. The Diros Caves are the most amazing natural attraction in Greece along with the volcano of Santorini. Visit the Byzantine city of Mystras overlooking the city of Sparta. The town of Leonidion has a beautiful beach that is rarely crowded and is surrounded by mountains and fields at the end of a long gorge. The Mani whose fierce inhabitants played a central role in Greece's War of Independence, has never been conquered, not by the Turks, the Nazis or tourism. Elefonisos is an island in the Peloponessos with sea the color of the TV commercials that make you want to visit Jamaica. Visit the fortress town of Monemvasia, Greece's answer to the Rock of Gibralter, with me on the hottest day of the year, if not the century. See my pages on Ancient Olympia too where the Olympian Games began and you can still run in the ancient stadium.

See my Peloponessos Guide for Information, photos and stories about these places and more.

Nafplion and the Argolis

NafplionHave a look at my Guide to Nafplio and the Argolis. Nafplio was the first capital of modern Greece. The whole area of the Argolis is rich in archaeological sites, like Myceneae, Epidavros, Argos and the impressive excavations at Nemea. A popular weekend destination for Athenians, especially in the off-season. The city of Nafplio will remind you of the architecture of the Plaka with lots of terrific restaurants, ouzeries and nightlife and some really impressive fortresses. There are plenty of nice beaches in the area. You can even drive to the island of Poros for the day. (Many people do the Argolis as a day-trip with George the Famous Taxi Driver but you could easily spend several days here. You can read about my experience with him at The region of Nemea is known for its wine-roads and for having one of the best archaeological sites in Greece, Ancient Nemea, where the Nemean Games are still played.

See also the Town of Kalavrita. Great skiing in the winter, beautiful mountains, a fantastic gorge and a narrow guage train that climbs through it for 22 kilometers past waterfalls and rapids, and the spectacular Cave of the Lakes. This is a nice place to visit in the off-season, especially when there is snow.

Delphi: The Oracle

Delphi, GreeceI have created a site for Delphi where they say the Oracle still lives, and on the same site you can read about Galaxidi and Nafpaktos and the ferries that are now obsolete because they built the Rion-Antrion bridge which connects the Peloponessos to the mainland. Delphi is one of the most visited sites in Greece, perhaps in the world, and many people say they can still feel the spiritual energy that emanates from the place. All of the travel agencies offer day-trips and over-night trips to Delphi, some of them combined with Meteora. It is also part of the Classical Greece Tour which visits all the important sites on the mainland. It is just over two hours drive from Athens and is an affordable trip by taxi if you have several people sharing the fare. You can find one and two day trips to Delphi as well as Delphi/Meteora combinations on Fantasy Travel's Mainland Excursions Page

See my Guide to Delphi


Meteora Monastery, GreeceMeteora, where giant rock formations crowned with five-hundred year old monasteries which look like they are inaccessable to anyone but James Bond is one of the most amazing places on earth. Located at the end of a long valley these giant stones, like mountains really, look like they were dropped from outer space. The towns of Kalambaka and Kastrika sit right at the base of these rocks, and have hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife, as Meteora is one of the most visited places in Greece and as visually spectacular as anything you have ever seen. Meteora can be combined with Delphi either by taxi or renting a car and stopping at Delphi on the way up or back. It is also included in many of the itineraries that the travel agencies offer including the Classical Greece Tour. You can find two and three day Delphi/Meteora combinations on Fantasy Travel's Mainland Excursions Page

You can read about Meteora on my Guide to Meteora which also contains photos my father took in the seventies, as well as my own.

Thessaloniki and Halkidiki

Thessaloniki, GreeceVisit my pages on Thessaloniki, the second largest and hippest city in Greece, and also my pages for Macedonia and Halkidiki. Thessaloniki is Greece's second largest city and the major port for the Balkan countries. It is also the area where many people from the countries that used to make up Yugoslavia, and the Eastern Europeans come for their holidays because they can drive there. Thessaloniki has great nightlife, entire districts devoted to it, wonderful food, and is within striking distance from some of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Halkidiki is known for having some of the best beaches in Greece and for Mount Athos, an autonomous state within Greece, made up of Orthodox monks and holy men, where the last woman to set foot in was the Virgin Mary. Dolphin Hellas' Footsteps of Saint Paul: Classical and Christian Sites begins in Thessaloniki and Fantasy Travel's Seven Day Grand Tour features several days in and around Thessaloniki, as well as just about everywhere else of importance on the Greek mainland.

See my Guide to Thessaloniki

Pelion, GreeceThe Mount Pelion Peninsula

Though the Greek islands seem to get all the attention in actuality some of the most beautiful towns, beaches and landscapes are on the mainland, particularly the Mount Pelion region which could be described as the Colorado Rockies on the Aegean. Pine covered slopes, orchards, streams, incredible beaches and the finest ouzeries and mezedes in Greece are a good reason to go. It's also convenient to the islands of Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonysos and Skyros.
See my
Guide to Pelion

More Mainland Greece

Evrytania, GreeceIf you come from North Carolina and want to see a part of Greece that will remind you of home then visit Evrytania (photo), where you will find wooded mountains, streams deep enough for white-water-rafting, and cool in the summer. Oh yes and great food including fresh mountain trout, and roast lamb on a spit, served at many restaurants in the area.

The resort town of Loutraki is famous for its mineral waters, beaches, nightlife and a casino where you never lose! (just kidding). The Attika Peninsula is the area outside of Athens and is great for day trips by car or taxi. People who visit Ipiros will tell you that this is the most beautiful part of Greece with crystal clear rivers and deep gorges, forested mountains and beautiful beaches too.

You can find all my Greek Mainland sites at Matt's Mainland Guides

Be sure to read my Guide to Driving in Greece at

One of the best ways to explore the mainland is by hired taxi or limo and if you are a group sharing the cost it can be cheaper than doing a tour with a large group. They even have a bus that can seat 12 people. See George the Famous Taxi Driver or for larger groups see Billy's Bus Tours

Greek Mainland Tours and Accommodations

Mainland Tours:
The most important sites are in the Greek mainland and include Delphi, Meteora, Nafplion, Myceneae, Epidavros, Olympia and others. Take a look at Fantasy Travel's 7 and 5 day mainland tours which can be combined with an island or two or a short cruise. You can take care of your historical needs and then relax on the islands at a very low price. See
my Greece Mainland Tours Pages

For Daytrips and Overnight trips contact George the Famous Taxi Driver . If you are a group of four and split the cost on trips to Delphi, Epidavros, Myceneae, Meteora and just about anywhere in mainland Greece it will be cheaper than an organized tour and you will have much more flexibility and be able to see much more and stop wherever you like. See his website

Footsteps of Saint Paul: Classical and Christian Sites: Follow the path of Christianity by air, land and sea.

Other mainland tours and custom-made itineraries are available through Fantasy Travel and Dolphin Hellas or if you know what you want to do but just need to work out the details and get a price go to

For a Directory of hotels on the mainland with photos and descriptions see and

You can search for hotels by town, price, catagory, and get great rates at

For House and Villa and Self-catering Apartment Rental see

For car rentals contact Elias who has not raised his rates in 25 years at

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