Vacations for action seekers

Meet the challenges of Greece! sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, trekking, skiing, horseback riding, touring, off-road driving, rock climbing, gorge crossing, hiking or just walking…. Pack your gear and set off for your adventure around the country’s breathtaking landscapes!

During summer, Greece with its numerous islands and spectacular sea, is a unique destination for those who seek an adventure above or under the sea. Sailing, swimming, diving, water skiing, windsurfing are just a few options for anyone wishing to experience the freedom and excitement the sea offers. Almost every coastal location in Greece, provides the necessary infrastructure for such activities. However, the Aegean and Ionian islands will amaze you with the high level of services provided and the number of possibilities for adventure offered.

Summer vacation in the beautiful island of Paros become even more exciting when combined with sea activities. Beach soccer∙ beach volley∙ diving∙ sea-cycling, sailing, water-skiing, surfing, kayak, fishing, are just the most popular ones to test your limits but also have great fun! Centres for watersports can be found in Drios,-Golden Beach, Pounda (near Antiparos ferry) and Santa Maria (near Naoussa). They offer tuition and equipment hire for scuba diving, sailing, snorkelling, windsurfing, paragliding and waterskiing. If you just seek for water fun with your friends or family, then the amusement park with waterslides etc at Kolymbithres is the perfect choice (can be reached also by water-taxi from Naousa little port).

Chosen by the P.W.A. (Professional Windsurfers Association) for six consecutive year as a World Cup site, Paros ideally suited to all types of windsurfing, from competition level, to learning the basic skills of the sport. The P.W.A. World Cup, the only professional race in Greece, has been taking place in New Golden Beach (Nea Chrissi Akti) since 1993. The event is held in early August and is truly spectacular.

For those of you who love adventure under the sea, in Santorini you can experience unique moments, as this island offers an exceptional sea-bed and some of the country’s best diving points such as the Caldera ends and the under-sea areas of Old and New Kameni.

Cosmopolitan Mykonos, with its strong winds, is a heaven on earth for those who love windsurfing and sailing. The island offers numerous beaches for windsurf although the best are the most secluded ones. Just choose among Korfos, Ftelia, Megali Ammos, Kalafatis where you can also take lessons. Release some stress by playing tennis and mini golf in Ag. Stefanos, beach volley in Ag. Anna or doing paragliding and jet ski in Elia and Kalafatis.

If you fancy some climbing during summer, then the place to be is Kalymnos. Kalymnos is a small island located in southeastern Dodecanese archipelago, that offers rock climbing and bouldering during the whole year. Kalymnos is one of the most important climbing destinations worldwide – it is an island that has everything a travelling climber looks for: abundance of challenging rock formations, but also simplicity and authenticity. The potential for new routes and new areas is enormous; less than 10% is explored, and the rock climbing experience can last for a month, since the island provides a huge range of climbing on slabs, big walls, overhangs, and tufas to suit every level and style. During summer months you can really enjoy the perfect temperature for climbing and you can explore the sea gems of the island as well.

In autumn Greek mainland can amaze you by its unique colours and natural beauty. For those of you who want to reach the adobe of gods there is only one place to be, Mt. Olympus. If you choose to go mountaineering on Olympus, you will find out that it is not only a divine experience, but also an option covering all levels of difficulty and stamina. Take the easy, the ones of medium difficulty, or the difficult to dangerous trails on the abode of the Gods!

Talking about mountaineering, you should also meet the challenge to climb the forested slopes of Mt. Taygetos! There are many trails and climbing routes leading to the mountain peaks, but also trekking routes along old pack animal trails starting at the lowland villages and reaching other villages high in the mountains. Trekkers can follow the European trail E4, or combine an ascent up the eastern slopes of Taygetos with a descent through the large ravines on the western slopes (“Vyros”, “Ridomo”, “Rema Vidoli” and “Koskárakas” ravine). It takes two or three days to reach the peak.

During winter, skiing – and its alternative version, snowboarding - is definitely the “king” of extreme sports. This exciting sport offers a unique sense of freedom as the human body becomes attuned to the elements and forces of nature. Escape in an idyllic white mountain setting where the cold mountain air puts human will and endurance to the test!

Around the area of Kaimaktsalan ski resort, stunning wonders of nature are waiting to be discovered. Choose your adventure among magic forests, steep gorges, beautiful wetlands and mountain lakes. The highlight of this mountain tour should be a visit to Vegoritida Lake, the second biggest (72,500 square metres surface area and about 80m depth), and one of the most beautiful lakes in Greece.

Now let’s set off for trekking in Valia Calda, which means "warm valley". Valia Calda National Park is one of the most attractive trekking destinations in Europe! Admire the high, impressive mountain ranges, the forested slopes and the stunning natural landscape unfolding before your eyes. Hit amazing trails in a truly unspoiled paradise that will definitely heighten your senses. Start your trekking adventure from Ziakas, a village that lies 23km west of Grevená. Note that in order to reach the trekking path, you need first an off-road vehicle. Leave Ziakas, and follow the path to the Exarchos spring. There you will see straight ahead the Avyo peak, on the eastern flanks of which you will spot a beautiful lake.

Since you will be in Grevena, make sure to try an off-road drive, and get the adrenaline flowing with a jeep safari! Grevená is located in the lap of the northern part of Pindos, at the bank of the river Grevenitis, at an altitude of 534m. Here, the visitor may follow one of the many paths through the wildly beautiful nature of mountainous Western Greece. The area is also ideal for those seeking for off road excitements on rocky and hardly accessible paths.

In spring, Greek natural beauty reaches its top. Spring time is the perfect time for exploring and adventure. Epirus, for starters! Kayak down the Árahthos gorge and pass under the impressive multi-arch Papastáthis bridge, or join a rafting party to see the biggest single arch bridge in Greece, in a village near the city of Ioánnina. Hike along the Wine Roads of Northern Greece in the mountain village of Zitsa, a place praised by Lord Byron in his famous poem “Childe Harold”. Tour around the Zagorochoria villages (Zagori) using the bridges as your signposts, or trek through the Aspraggeli, Dikóryfo, Manassís and Kaloutás villages. Final destination: the prefecture of Thesprotia and the village of Plakotí. Go canyonning at “Stená” canyon, near the River Kalamás.

According to Greek mythology, Mount Pelion was the home of the mythical Centaurs, creatures who were half-men and half-horses. With a history almost as old as humankind itself, horseback riding combines uniquely the thrilling adventure with the fundamental value of ecotourism. The horseback trip starts in Argalasti, an attractive village on the south of the peninsula of Magnesia, far from the usual tourist routes.

The Samaria Gorge is a National Park on the island of Crete and its breathtaking route runs parallel with the river which flows through the gorge among dense forests, cutting across it in places. It was also the site of the ancient towns of Tarra and Kaino, where the Cretan goddess Britomartis was born. The remains of a number of Byzantine temples are also to be found in the gorge. Exiting the gorge through the “Doors” can be quite amazing. It is as if you are leaving some dream world which fires the imagination but abolishes the logic of reality! Are you ready for such an experience?

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