Are you able to even declare you’ve got been to Greece if you have not posted a perfectly-posed snap of your self in entrance of Santorini’s white-and-blue houses and deep blue sea?
Whereas in recent times the Greek island within the southern Aegean Sea has grow to be a super-popular vacationer vacation spot and a must-see for influencers, the nation’s tourism officers say there’s a lot extra to find in Greece past Santorini – Plus, you can keep away from the crowds whereas being a extra sustainable vacationer too.
Greece has lengthy been dedicated to selling sustainable tourism in its territory and tackling the environmental impression of up to date journey. However for the nation, sustainability means extra than simply preserving its world-famous landscapes.
“We aren’t solely speaking about preserving pure sources or defending the atmosphere. For us, sustainability can also be one thing else,” says Dimitris Fragakis, Secretary-Normal of the Greek Nationwide Tourism Organisation (GNTO).
“It is about how native communities become involved with tourism, as a result of we would like individuals to be near tourism, not in opposition to tourism.
“There are some dangerous instances right here in Europe of nations dealing with overtourism, the place the locals are kicked out from their homes or their neighbourhoods. We do not need that.”
Greece‘s technique to keep away from overtourism is to develop the locations individuals would wish to go to throughout the nation, and to encourage vacationers to discover Greece not simply in summer season, however winter too.
“Greece isn’t just solar and seashore, and it’s not solely the islands. The seashores are additionally lovely in northern Greece, and western Greece. No person is aware of these sorts of locations. So we wish to promote them. We wish to present the individuals which you can go to a variety of locations so as to have a top quality trip.”
The place ought to I’m going to keep away from influencers?
There’s loads of magnificence to be present in Greece, irrespective of the place you might be within the nation.
The small village of Gialova, within the southwest of the Peloponnese peninsula, is an ideal spot to dwell the Greek dream of solar, seashore, nature and lovely meals whereas protecting away from the crowds. The village is a strolling distance from the Gialova lagoon and nature reserve and it’s near the traditional archaeological web site of Pylos, a Mycenaean-era palace. Shut by, there’s additionally the seashore of Voïdokoilia, one of the lovely within the nation.
You may get there from town of Kalamata, an hour’s drive away from the island and fewer than a three-hour drive from Athens.
Whereas Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu are very a lot on the vacationers’ radar, there are additionally Greek islands which stay off the crushed monitor.
The tiny island of Ikaria, within the Aegean Sea, is extensively ignored by vacationers, which implies you may solely should share its peaceable sandy seashores with the locals (and we’re speaking about simply 8,500 individuals, main the normal Greek lifestyle). You may get there by taking a ferry from the port of Piraeus, in Athens.
The Leros Islands within the Dodecanese in jap Greece, are a paradise for these trying to chill by the seashore or get sweaty climbing their rocky mountains. Every island is uniquely totally different from the opposite, from Leros’ light inexperienced hills to Lakki’s neoclassical homes, however all of them boast lovely, unspoiled seashores and mouth-watering seafood. You may get to Leros by ferry from Athens.
What’s probably the most eco-friendly place to go to in Greece?
If you happen to’re anxious in regards to the environmental impression of your vacation, you must discover Chalki and Tilos, Greece’s most eco-friendly islands.
The small island of Tilos, with its 500 inhabitants, turned the primary 100 per cent ‘inexperienced island’ of Greece and the whole Mediterranean in 2019, when the island, powered by renewable vitality alone, declared itself fully self-sufficient.
Only a two-hour ferry journey from Rhodes, Tilos is all about sluggish tourism, solar, seashore and sustainability.
One other sustainable alternative is Halki. Inaugurated by Greece‘s prime minister on 5 November, Halki is the primary of a number of small islands within the Aegean Sea that the Greek authorities intends to make fully unbiased from the nationwide grid and run totally on renewable vitality sources below the GR-eco nationwide undertaking.
The island has an influence plant – which powers solar-powered cellphone chargers throughout the nation – and all of the autos on the island are electrical.
A well-liked vacation spot for a day journey from Rhodes, Chalki is properly price an extended keep to be taught extra about dwelling extra sustainably.