Ios, also referred to as Io or Nio, is a Greek island within the Cyclades group within the Aegean Sea.
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A perennial favourite amongst holidaymakers, Greece persistently ranks among the many prime 10 trip locations in Europe.
However now it needs vacationers to get to know lesser-known areas throughout its hundreds of sprawling islands.
“We’re shifting past sea and solar. We need to extend the tourism season in each time and area,” Olympia Anastasopoulou, secretary-general for tourism coverage and improvement at Greece’s Ministry of Tourism, informed CNBC Journey.
For that, the nation is investing in its extra distant areas, together with Syros, Amorgos and Milos, as a part of its “All you need is Greece” marketing campaign.
To ease overtourism, standard sizzling spots reminiscent of Mykonos and Santorini are being repositioned as shoulder season locations.
“It is our aim for these islands to increase extra in seasonality, too. We want it for the tourism flows to be expanded in different months,” mentioned Eleni Mitraki, director of tourism promotion on the Greek Nationwide Tourism Group, noting the season may run March by November.
The plans coincide with the growth of direct flights from america to Greece in March 2023.
At the moment, Germany and the U.Ok. symbolize Greece’s largest inbound tourism markets by income, adopted by america, France and Italy. Nevertheless, Anastasopoulou mentioned additional progress from different markets, most notably Canada and India, is anticipated.
Listed here are CNBC Journey’s prime picks to get you off the overwhelmed observe in Greece.
Rock climbers’ paradise
Situated inside Greece’s Dodecanese island chain within the southeastern Aegean Sea, Kalymnos is legendary for its sponge-diving — underwater diving to gather pure sponges from the seabed — which introduced appreciable wealth and recognition to the island within the earlier century.
Kalymnos, a part of Greece’s Dodecanese island chain, has turn out to be a well-known vacation spot for rock climbers.
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Extra just lately, the island has turn out to be a world-renowned location for rock climbers, with greater than 3,000 climbing routes spanning the quite a few crags, caves and overhangs of its rugged panorama.
Kalymnos’ tourism season peaks within the fall with the Kalymnos Climbing Competition. However journey junkies can get their kicks year-round, with a bunch of different actions together with scuba diving, climbing and boating.
Methods to get there: Kalymnos will be simply reached by boat from close by Kos, with crossings taking 45 minutes by ferry and 25 minutes by speedboat. In excessive season, it is also accessible by aircraft from Athens.
Haven for historical past buffs
Ios, also referred to as Io or Nio, is situated between Santorini and Naxos, and was as soon as seen completely as a celebration vacation spot. However the Cyclades island has revamped its picture over current years to embrace its historic and pure attributes.
Residence to one among Greece’s most historic archaeological settlements, the Skarkos monument, Ios additionally boasts a robust connection to the Greek epic poet, Homer, who is claimed to have favored the island and, doubtlessly, ended his days there.
As soon as identified purely as a celebration island, Ios within the Cyclades is embracing its different attributes, together with stunning seashores and historic Greek archaeological settlements.
Municipality of Ios
Alongside historical past, guests to Ios may also discover its plentiful seashores, and climbing and diving spots, earlier than tucking into a number of the native cheeses for which the island is famed.
Methods to get there: There isn’t any airport in Ios. The island will be accessed by ferry or speedboat from each Athens and the opposite Cyclades islands. It can be reached by helicopter from Santorini.
Film lovers’ delight
Skopelos grew to become well-known because the filming location for the hit musical rom-com “Mamma Mia,” and has since emerged as a preferred vacation spot for weddings, honeymoons and film excursions.
A part of the Skopelos archipelago within the northwest Aegean Sea, the island combines gorgeous seashores and picturesque villages with a bunch of diving, yachting and biking routes.
The Greek island of Skopelos is legendary for being the filming location of hit musical rom-com “Mamma Mia,” with the clifftop Church of Agios Ioannis Kastri enjoying a starring position.
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Legend has it the island was based by the son of the Greek god of wine. And although lots of its vineyards had been destroyed by pests within the Forties, small-scale, home manufacturing continues to today. In the meantime, natively grown plums, almonds, chestnuts, figs, citrus fruits, olives adorn the native delicacies.
Methods to get there: Skopelos is reachable by ferry or speedboat from the port metropolis of Volos on Greece’s mainland. Providers run year-round, with further routes from different islands added in excessive season.
Certainly one of greatest islands of the Cyclades and simply two hours from the Greek mainland, mountainous Andros has a different panorama of forests, waterfalls, seashores and native vegetation, making it very best for an outside escape.
Andros, one of many greatest islands of the Cyclades, boasts a various panorama of waterfalls, forests and seashores, making it a haven for hikers.
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Guests can discover the island by way of its giant community of climbing trails, or strive their hand at windsurfing or scuba diving, earlier than sampling the native delicacies.
Arts and tradition followers can try Andros’ assortment of monasteries, galleries and museums, together with the Archaeological Museum of Andros and the Museum of Modern Artwork.
Methods to get there: There isn’t any airport in Andros. The island will be reached by ferry from Rafina port on the outskirts of Athens.
Isle of innovation
One of many Dodecanese islands, Astypalea has a wealthy historic historical past. However it’s positioning itself firmly within the twenty first century with the aim of changing into the primary sustainable and sensible island of the Mediterranean sea.
The Dodecanese island of Astypalea has ambitions to turn out to be the primary sustainable and sensible island of the Mediterranean sea.
Municipality of Astypalea
As a part of a cope with the Greek authorities and Volkswagen, Astypalea plans to implement islandwide, zero-emission mobility by 2030, with conventional car leases to get replaced with electrical automobiles, e-scooters and e-bikes. Elsewhere, charging factors and renewable power sources may also be added.
Vacationers arriving on the so-called Butterfly Island may also take pleasure in its pure panorama, dwelling to stunning seashores, rocky hillsides and various natural world, in addition to its picturesque villages of bougainvillea-clad white homes.
Methods to get there: Astypalea is accessible from Athens by each ferry and aircraft.
Surrounded by a necklace of 24 islets with dozens of blue-green seashores, Lipsi within the Dodecanese is taken into account the Polynesia of the Aegean Sea and an eco-paradise.
An eco-paradise surrounded by 24 islets, Lipsi kinds a part of the Dodecanese island assortment within the southeastern Aegean Sea.
Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary
With a wealthy expanse of natural world protected by the European Union, the island is dwelling to various wildlife, together with Mediterranean monk seals and sea turtles. Dolphins are additionally widespread within the space, and a brand new Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary for dolphins is ready to open quickly on the island.
Holidaymakers can take pleasure in days spent boating, diving, beach-dwelling and climbing, earlier than tucking into seafood dishes and experiencing native festivals, reminiscent of August’s wine celebration.
Methods to get there: Lipsi is barely accessible by ferry or velocity boat, with common companies operating from Athens and Leros.
Alonissos, a part of the Sporades group of islands, is a diver’s paradise and the positioning of Greece’s first underwater museum. That includes “Parthenon of the Wrecks,” one of many greatest Classical-era shipwrecks relationship again to 425 B.C., the positioning provides leisure divers a novel perception into the area’s historical past.
Alonissos, a part of the Sporades archipelago within the northwest Aegean Sea, is understood for its diving spots, together with Greece’s first underwater museum, the “Parthenon of the Wrecks.”
Municipality of Alonissos
The island can be dwelling to the Nationwide Marine park of Alonissos and Northern Sporades, presently Europe’s largest marine protected space, giving guests the chance to see an unlimited array of crops and animals.
Kayaking, climbing and biking are among the many different actions accessible on the island, whereas museums and an area theater group showcase the island’s arts and tradition scene.
Methods to get there: Alonissos will be accessed both by aircraft or by ferry from the ports of Volos, Agios Konstantinos and Kimi.