Natural wonders to explore in the mainland

Spring is here and 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 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 (Cultural and Natural) and a popular destination that should be on your list when you visit Greece. Touring the ancient monasteries, you’ll be impressed by their location, architecture, and awesome, centuries-old frescoes. While you’re there, drink in the lovely sunset views, as the elevations offer panoramic vistas. Nature lovers 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 routes for all skill levels. Book a guided tour and explore in all safety. Among the must-have experiences in the greater area, consider 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 on the Tentative List of the UNESCO World Heritage Properties Catalogue.

Woman traveler enjoying spectacular Meteora landscape in Thessaly, Greece. ©GNTO / Shutterstock
Woman traveler enjoying spectacular Meteora landscape in Thessaly, Greece. ©GNTO / Shutterstock

Book your accommodation in Litochoro, conveniently located at the foot of Mt. Olympus and a short distance (about 6 km) from the beach, too. Take a guided tour of the Mountain of the Gods and enjoy your favorite 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 peak, the landscape is truly breathtaking. At the higher levels, the amazing bird’s eye views end only at the far edge of the sea. You feel as if you’re on top of the world!

Next, go north to the region of Central Macedonia. Lake Kerkini National Park encloses this man-made lake, and it’s a Ramsar Site included on the List of Wetlands of International Importance. Located 100 km from Thessaloniki City, it is an amazing aquatic destination and a paradise for 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 bring your photo gear with you. Enjoy boating and canoeing rides on the lake, biking trips in the lakeshore area and nearby villages, and see the water buffalo grazing along the way. Go hiking in Kerkini Forest and by the foot of Mt. Beles for a truly immersive experience in nature.

Horseriding and flamingo spotting at Lake Kerkini, Greece
Horseriding and flamingo spotting at Lake Kerkini, Greece

Things to consider before traveling

load more

Some tips to consider while traveling

Want to know more about Europe?

Sign up to our newsletter here: