Connect with Nature in Greece: Natural Wonders to Explore in the Mainland

back of a woman with her arms in the air, overlooking the meteora rocks
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Spring is here and our new travelling plans are about to take shape as trips in the great outdoors! An excellent way to enjoy the new season as an ecotourist is to explore the national parks and heritage sites across the country. Follow our suggestions for a truly special experience in Greece.

In the heart of Thessaly region, mainland Greece, you’ll find Meteora, a singular site of perpendicular sandstone precipices rising some 400 m. above the surrounding plain. Perched atop these stone pillars are Orthodox monasteries – some of them dating back 1000 years. The area is a UNESCO Mixed Heritage Site [i.e. Cultural and Natural], and a popular destination that should be on your list next time you visit Greece. Take a tour of the ancient monasteries, you’ll be impressed by their location, architecture, and their awesome centuries-old frescoes. While you’re there, drink in the lovely sunset views, as the elevations offer panoramic vistas. The nature lovers among you will enjoy cycling and hiking along the signposted paths in the area. You can also go climbing – the sandstone pillars are a great challenge, and there are various routes for all skill levels. Book a guided tour and explore in all safety. Among the must-have experiences in the greater area, count also truffle hunting and wine tasting.

Not far from Meteora lies Mt. Olympus, the highest (2918 m.) and most famous of all Greek mountains. It was sacred to the ancient Greeks who believed that the peaks and gorges of Olympus were the residence of the Twelve Olympian Gods, while the highest peak was reserved for Zeus, king of all gods. Greece’s first National Park has been included in the Tentative List of the UNESCO World Heritage Properties Catalogue.

Book your accommodation at Litochoro town, conveniently located at the foot of Mt. Olympus and at a short distance (about 6 km) from the beach, too. Take a guided tour of the Mountain of the Gods and enjoy your favourite activity, such as hiking, climbing, abseiling, mountain biking, and more. As you climb, you will cross luxuriant forests, gorges, rivers and waterfalls. All the way to the peaks, the landscape is truly breathtaking. On the higher zones, the amazing bird’s eye views around you end only at the sea horizon. You feel like you’re on top of the world? We know the feeling!

Our next suggestion will take you North, to the Region of Central Macedonia. Lake Kerkini National Park surrounds this man-made lake, and it’s a Ramsar Site included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance. Located 100 km from Thessaloniki City, it is an amazing water destination that is a paradise for bird watchers, as over 300 bird species nest in the area. It’s also a stopover place for migrating birds, so, if you’re interested, make sure you carry your photo gear with you. Enjoy boating and canoeing rides in the lake, biking trips in the lakeshore area and the nearby villages, and see the water buffaloes grazing along the way. Go hiking in Kerkini forest and by the foot of Mt. Beles for a truly immersive experience in nature.
View of meteora rocks with a woman climbing in the background

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a woman climbing a rock

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Refuge at mount olympus, at night time

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View of olympus mountain at sunrise

© S. Antimanto

one rock of meteora

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View of Meteora Rocks

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© S. Antimanto

Two tents camping at mountain olympus at nighttime, sky is full of stars

© S. Antimanto

a man walking on olympus mountain at sunrise

© S. Antimanto