Get to know Greece’s hidden gems

Get to know Greece’s hidden gems

Mamma Mia!, the Olympics, myths and legends, and – of course – the mighty gyros, Greece has brought many great things into our lives. Famous for idyllic island hopping, olive groves and blue domed churches, you might think you know this absolute goddess of a holiday destination. But it’s still got a few secrets up its sleeve that we think are just too good to gatekeep.  

You’ve heard of Crete, seen Santorini and you’ve been and done Mykonos, so what’s next? If you’re looking for something a bit different that’s not quite hit the tourist trail yet, you’re in luck. We’ve picked out some of our fave hidden Greek gems for you to visit on your next trip… 


Preveza is a city in the northwest region of Epirus on the Ambracian Gulf and it’s got a bit of an Italian feel to it, similar to Corfu. Like many of the more famous Greek islands, it’s got a big harbour for some luxury yacht spotting and means the rather small town still has a lively buzz to it, with people docking for daytrips and longer stays. But, as you can imagine, it attracts nowhere near the same crowds as more popular places.   

The waterfront is also car-free, so it’s purely the old, colourful houses that take front row. Cute hotels and great restaurants tick the main boxes and, nearby, you’ve got the ancient ruins of Nikopolis and a load of beaches up the coast to Parga. It’s also known as a gateway to the island of Lefkada, so rather than staying on this holiday hotspot, why not settle in Preveza and then drive over for the day in just 25 minutes? There are also buses that run from the airport.  


You’ll find Kavala up in the northeast of Greece. It’s a city built into the hillside overlooking the Aegean, which gives it the nickname, the ‘Blue City’ – move over Santorini… The Old Town is full of historical charm, with multi-coloured houses with wooden balconies and flower-filled courtyards. You could fill your Insta feed with snaps of its cobbled streets and picturesque doorways alone.   

For a more ancient aesthetic, climb to a fortress once ruled by the Lombards, Franks, Byzantines and Ottomans for the best sea views. The views from the lighthouse at the end of the promenade are a close second, though – on a clear day you can see the island of Thassos. There are some lovely sunbathing spots down the coast too, like Nea Peramos and Ammolofi Beach, which are about a 30-minute drive away. The archaeological site of Philippia is also a short drive north and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a museum and theatre. Top tip – if you’re visiting over summer, they stage plays here so check out the timings for different performances when you’re planning your trip. 


Halkidiki is Greece’s trident shaped peninsula, including Kassandra, Sithonia and Ouranoupoli, where you’ve got the mighty Mount Athos. Pine trees reach right up to the waters edge here, meeting white sand and a turquoise sea. There are loads of beaches to pick from and plenty of them are Blue Flag numbers – Kavourotripes, Mikro and Megalo are just a few to start you off. You’re only a short distance from the popular Thessaloniki, so it’s easy to hop over for a visit by car or bus. But this area is a fave with the locals, which says a lot. Stay in Halkidiki and you can feel smug about getting more sand to yourself, then Thessaloniki’s always there when you fancy some livelier nightlife or bigger city vibes.   

Kassandra’s Cave of Petralona is definitely worth a visit – it’s over a million years old – and a boat tour to see Mount Athos up close and personal makes for a stunning day out, where you can also catch some of the beautiful monasteries from the water. Taking up a decent portion of Greece’s mainland coastline, this pretty peninsula is seriously underrated.  


Okay, now we’re on to the islands and, it’s safe to say, this is where Greece often shines brightest. Kefalonia is a great pick that’s not as packed as the others, but still has all the best bits. You can drive from one end of this Ionian island to the other in just over an hour, so there are no limits on what you can squeeze into your break. Old fishing villages are dotted all over, serving up seriously fresh seafood and homemade slabs of moussaka – Fiscardo and Assos are top for foodie visits.   

Sami is another lovely spot near the famous lake cave of Melissani, where you can hop in a small boat to marvel at its stalagmites and stalactites. The capital of Argostoli is all about catching a boat trip to various swimming spots, including Xi Beach to scrub yourself in its natural mud spa, and sunset on the way back is always the perfect send-off. A drive down to Myrtos beach is also pretty epic. The sand is pure white and surrounded by vertical limestone cliffs. Facing west, you’re guaranteed a magical sunset, so luckily there’s a couple of beach bars to pick from.  

Ready to get to the heart of Greece? Check out the deals we’ve got going to start planning your next trip. 
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Author: Lily Owen
Last updated: 26/04/2024