The ancient ruins are often the main pull of Greece for the wanderer with an explorer’s spirit. But the Greek islands and cities are also modern, lively and rich in culture. History and contemporary life abound and intertwine among the less-traveled roads of Greece. Find your way through these paths to go beyond the ruins.
Suburbs of Athens
Most travelers head straight to the heart of Athens where the Parthenon and Acropolis lie. But the suburbs are where everyday life takes place. Chalandri, also called Halandri, lies north of Athens and boasts a history just as old.
It once went by the name Flya and claims Euripides the playwright among its most famous residents. Today there are shops, cafes, and parks waiting for explorers to discover them. Take the train to Chalandri or any of the other suburbs of Athens, like Glyfada or Kifissia, to get to know the city better.
Go High and Low
From rooftop bars with killer views to alternative clubs with a laid-back vibe, Greece turns an ordinary outing for beer or cocktails into a certified adventure. The Base Café & Roof Cocktail Bar in the center of town in Zakynthos lets you kick back and relax with a drink in hand and a dazzling view of the city below. Athens has some lesser-known bars like Embros Theater, a cultural space that once stood as a factory. Whatever you choose, it’s easy to travel the tavernas and mingle with the locals.
Greek islands are more than the beaches. Take a small boat ride beyond the sandy shores and discover natural wonders like the Blue Caves and Turtle Island of Zakynthos. Become captivated by the lush greenery and rushing waterfalls of Richtis Gorge in Sitia, Crete. Get swept away in the magic of the Valley of the Butterflies of Lindos, Rhodes. Whatever way you prefer to get in touch with nature, Greece has a landscape and ecosystem for it.
Passage Through the Corinth Canal
Navigating through the historic Corinth Canal gives you that exploratory feeling as you sail down its narrow path. At only 70 feet wide at sea level, 81 feet wide at its top level and 300 feet tall, traveling through this tight route brings on a sense of wonder and excitement. But don’t worry, you will make it through just fine.
Explore Small Villages
The ancient ruins and big cities get most of the attention, but the small villages surrounding these regions contain a rich sense of culture, too. After visiting with the Oracle of Delphi, you might want to hop over to Chrisso. This small town right next to the site of the ruins contains stone paths that lead to sweeping views, as well as little gelato and pastry shops where you can indulge your sweet tooth.
Also, not too far from Delphi lies Arachova. Its many winding, cobblestone streets let you explore the alleys between buildings, letting you find the perfect place to pick up some more treats and souvenirs. It’s even become known as a ski destination for those visiting in Greece’s winter.