Greece is one of the countries that I had a chance to visit during this summer’s road trip in our LR Defender. Driving through the Peloponnese over the time of 3 weeks allowed me to discover Greece in an atypical way. Being able to drive through the top tourist destinations on the continental Greece and also see the less-popular spots is truly great as it gives you a full range of experiences and views on the country. Greece is an extremely popular holiday destination and so I am sure many of you know it from their own travels or travels lived by your friends and family. So I won’t be talking about all the obvious Greek goodies such as feta, tomatoes and beautiful beaches, which of course are all undoubtable ! Below are my Greece atypical points that I hope will inspire you to revisit this beautiful country in your next travels:
One of the greatest things I had the chance to see in Greece (beyond the beautiful beaches of course) was the Petrified Forest located at the end of the Peloponnese, in the Geopark of Agios Nikolaos.
An off-road takes you to the place located close to the rocky coast with beautiful waters to just swim in. You can take a free guided tour at the spot and a lovely guide will explain you all about the history of this unique place. Often people on the spot do not realise that they are actually in a few millions years old forest that got petrified, they think these are the rocks coming from the local mountain chain. I truly recommend taking the guide as learning more about this place was really fascinating and an eyes-opening experience.
2. Hot & Cold Springs & Baths
Who was to think that the Mediterranean Greece is there to offer great Hot and Cold Springs right? I mean it is hot enough outside so why would one want to put oneself into even hotter waters? Hot Springs are very popular amongst Greeks as well as visitors from outside the country. On the western coast on the Peloponnese we found a few Hot and Health Springs where people went for health and relaxation purposes. Some are with extremely hot waters, but you can also find some sources with extremely cold waters. These along with heat sands that you apply directly on your skin, followed by a warm shower. It was really a special experience in Greece!
3. Village of Mitikas
The best way to experience local culture and life is to visit the off-the map villages and scroll around with your eyes wide open. In Greece that was possible and really enjoyable. We had the chance to stop in the very small villages where locals were enjoying their coffee or beers outside the one and only bar. Yes, we have been looked at with surprise in their eyes but after a warm hello from our side it was super easy and friendly. One of the special places was the village of Mitikas, where walking around and witnessing the local life was a really great experience. Greeks are really friendly and likely to chat with you if you just allow it to happen. Stop by for the most delicious gyros in town, go to another bar for some beer, and to another one for coffee and baklava. This way you will fully embrace the local hospitality.