14 July 2024
Escapes

Seafront Family Holidays in Mainland Greece

What to see, where to eat and where to stay at four mainland places that look and feel like islands

From Epirus to the Peloponnese, mainland Greece is replete with crystal-clear, shimmering seas and picturesque villages that thrive on and around these water. These dreamy destinations with a unique character are a great alternative to the islands, offering fresh perspectives. Many of the four places we list here can easily be paired with an extensive exploration of the surrounding historical areas. 

Especially for those traveling with young children, such getaways guarantee carefree fun for the entire family. Younger travelers will be thrilled with seaside walks and games, while being joyfully occupied with visits to some of Greece’s most historic sites.

Mani

No other place in Greece resembles the stunning Limeni in Laconian Mani. For Greeks and in-the-know foreign visitors it’s a beloved destination three hours from Athens. Expect stone towers, old mansions, luxurious hotels with their own jetties leading into the deep blue, sparkling waters of the Messenian Gulf. Young and older foodies will enjoy renowned restaurants with tables set on impressive decks that seem to float on the sea.

The rich history of the Peloponnesian village permeates everything from the harbor to the iconic Mavromichalis Tower, which now operates as a hotel under the same name. Similarly, most accommodations in Limeni, once splendid mansions of reputable families, retain their charm unchanged through time. Their lounges and communal spaces resemble museums, filled with precious relics and poignant historical documents from a bygone era in Mani.

Where to Eat

O Takis stands out as the most established traditional eatery in the area, renowned for its seafood dishes. Diners can often observe fishermen cleaning their fresh catch, with sea turtles eagerly waiting for leftovers nearby. The simplicity and quality of the freshly prepared fish, paired with the breathtaking setting over turquoise waters, make it a must-visit. 

While the prices reflect the prime location, the experience is unparalleled. Just a short walk away, Teloneio offers a refined dining experience, blending modern influences with Greek culinary traditions. The restaurant is celebrated for its vibrant atmosphere and innovative dishes, like roasted orzo with scampi and grilled cheese with prickly-pear marmalade, all enjoyed against the backdrop of outstanding sunsets. For coffee and light bites, go to To Magazaki tis Theodoras.

Where to Stay

Itilo Traditional Hotel is elegant and relaxed, standing directly on the beachfront. With candlelit lounges, balconies hanging over the sea, and a restaurant renowned for its exquisite local cuisine, it’s endearingly impressive. The hotel’s accommodations are spacious and inviting, with stone decor and traditional architecture. 

Pirgos Mavromichali stands as the region’s top accommodation, renowned for its traditional authenticity and rich historical background. Aria Estate, in a secluded location between Limeni and Areopoli, looks out on stunning sea views. It has elegant stone bungalows and two-bedroom suites. Despite being a mere 5-minute drive from Limeni, the estate has a serene atmosphere, especially at night when the sounds of jackals can be heard while enjoying drinks on your terrace. Kids will love the lovely swimming pool.

Parga

Considered one of the fairest of them all, amphitheatrically built Parga sprawls across an idyllic, verdant hill with unique views of the Ionian Sea. Its history of Parga was marked by Venetian presence during the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Today, you can see the proud Venetian Castle dominating the top of the hill. Somewhat glamorous and cosmopolitan and with an island vibe, Parga is remeniscent of Capri and Positano. It is truly one of the most beautiful and picturesque spots you’ll ever find in Greece. It’s also an ideal base for a wonderful excursion to nearby Syvota with its stunning nature and unreally beautiful beaches.

Read the rest of the article here https://www.travel.gr/en/explore-en/seafront-family-holidays-in-mainland-greece/

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