Dreaming of taking your other half and heading towards a mountainous paradise? Wish taking walks around cobblestone alleys accompanied by running water and the bird tweets and chirps while inhaling fresh air? Fancy resting by ever-burning fireplaces in stone-built houses which create an ideally warm and laid back atmosphere? The Greek mainland offers all this and more! Discover multiple secluded villages that resemble a fairytale-like scene.
Here’s a quick view of which romantic destinations are ideal for you around Greece.
The first village you’ll encounter heading towards the top of Mount Pelion is Portaria. This picturesque village, embraced by nature, has a breathtaking view down to the Pagasetic Gulf and other surrounding villages. Beautiful mansions, traditional stone built houses, narrow alleys aligned with flower pots, marvelous stone built drinking fountains, churches and squares create this unique setting. It also is an excellent place to stay if you plan to go skiing at the nearby Agriolefkes Ski Resort at 12km away. Don’t miss skiing or walking down the paths of Centaur around the village. When done with all outdoor activities savour the mouthwatering delicacies of the area next to a lit fireplace; taste the wild-green pies and spetzofai (stew with sausages and peppers) accompanied by tsipouro. Then finish up with a delicious spoon sweet made with love and care by the women’s association of Portaria.
Palaios Agios Athanasios
Located on Mt. Vorras’ slopes at 1.200m above sea level, this traditional settlement is the leader winter destination in northern Greece. Its rapid touristic development is mainly due to the Kaimaktsalan Ski Centre. If you are fond of activities in nature this is a destination for you; enjoy skiing, trekking, horseback riding, climbing and rowing on lake Vegoritida. Moreover, you can have a stroll in the village where you’ll come across old restored traditional houses, beautiful guestrooms, picturesque stores and excellent bars or cafes, ideal for nightcrawlers. Don’t miss a stop by the Byzantine Church of Analipseos, built in the 17th century, and by Agiou Georgiou Chapel, where five trees seem to shape a human body.
Discover the heart of Epirus, nestling among the steep and snowy slopes of the Tymfi Mountain range, where Zagarochoria Villages await you.
Papigko Village with its lovely stone built-houses and courtyards enclosed by heavy wooden doors is built in between Astrakas’ Cliffs. The charming alleys and paths will lead you from one fabulous corner to the other. Take the trail next to the Kallineio School and go all the way up to Little Papigko. Half way there, you’ll come across the streams of Rogkovou where small pools with azure clear waters are naturally formed (referred to as Ovires or Kolympithres by the locals). The nice fact about Little Papigko is that no cars are allowed to circulate within the village,making your stay even more peaceful and pleasant.
When food time finally arrives make sure to taste the flavourful cuisine of epirus in a local taverna. Then head back to your guesthouse and lay back in front of your fireplace with a good glace of wine. Cheers!
Nymfaio in Florina
According to UNESCO, Nymfaio is one out of ten most charming villages in Europe. It is a traditional settlement, built in a semicircular form, within a breathtaking alpine landscape. The surrounding lush greenery and the local culture is imprinted on the spectacular mansions, which create an ideal refuge for nature and culture lovers.
This dreamy village welcomes you with its arched wooden bridge at the entrance. Make a stop by its small cobblestone square and stay in beautiful stone built mansions, nowadays turned into guesthouses, which reflect the past glorious days of the region.
Pay a visit to the Neveska Chrisikos House home to the Gold and Silversmith Museum, as well as the Folk Art and History Museum. Then go by the impressive building of Nikeiou School serving today as a conference centre. Make sure to enjoy a walk, horseback riding or mountain biking around the oak forest as well as daily trips to the lakes Zazari and Cheimaditida. Last but not least you must go see the Environmental Centre of Arcturos; an institution for the preservation of the natural environment and a sanctuary for abused bears and wolfs. Don’t forget to try out delicious hunting recipes and home made pasta in the local tavernas.
Vytina is the famous village of Mountainous Arcadia. It is a noble, beautiful and quiet retreat ideal for couples. Its buildings have a traditional architecture and the backdrop is ultimately green. It is built on Mt. Mainalo, which is actually a blessing if you intend to go skiing, as the ski centre is only 12km away. The extraordinary fir forest is where you can have revitalising walks, try out mountain biking or explore its trails with 4X4 vehicles.
Start your journey from the village’s square; see the stone-built church of Agiou Tryfona constructed with local black marble; visit the Library which has a large historic file; stop by the Greek School as well as the Folk Art Museum. Don’t forget to take stroll down a beloved trail, lined with tall trees, known as the “Dromos tis Agapis” (meaning road of love).