Southern and Southeastern Europe have their fair share of serenely beautiful places. In the peak of the summer season you have probably already planned your major holidays but if you like to improvise: Greece is definitely worth your time for an impromptu weekend. Here are some reasons why:
1.The scenery is absolutely beautiful
The photos in this post have not even been edited: it is that postcard pretty out there.
The mixture of palm and olive trees, bright-colored flowers, turquoise water and deep blue skies are simply delightful to look at.
2.The water is crystal clear
Not all sea resorts in the Balkan area can boast the same level of clarity and water purity as in most of Greece. There are exceptions, of course: this is inevitable for a country with such a huge coastline (13.6K kilometers/8.5K miles) but for the most part, the Greek coast offers stunningly beautiful and clear beaches.
3. The food is amazing
I have insulin resistance and this has turned me into a picky traveler. There are many foods which I need to be careful with, so the quality of meals and the variety of healthy options are very important for me when I travel. On the other hand, I am also a foodie and I really appreciate well done, quality meals.
Frankly: Greece was a real paradise when it comes to food. Most meals are prepared with olive oil and savored with balsamico, there is a huge variety of olives, fresh octopus, squids, mussels, fish, fruits, hefty and satiating salads, etc.
Octopus (if it is freshly caught and properly done) is not only a delicious treat: it is a source of lean protein which is surprisingly low in fat and contains more than 12 vitamins and minerals. For people who have to control their blood sugar this is really a dream meal: the protein content keeps you sated and vitamin B3 helps you regulate your blood sugar levels. Not to mention: it tastes amazing, whether it is marinated with vinegar, grilled or sun-dried and covered with spices.
4. Both camping sites and Tourist resorts offer great quality
If you want to turn towards your inner Robinson Crusoe during the summer: Greece has a plenty of camping sites, secluded forests and gorgeous wild beaches to offer. If you are in a Jay Gatsby luxury mood- there are yachts, 5 star hotels and amazing resorts to match your expectations, as well.
In the past few years we have been going regularly to Fourka: a small sea town on the Kassandra peninsula (part of Chalkidiki) where we get budget accommodation (room with a bathroom, kitchen and balcony for as low as 35EUR) which works more than fine for couples, groups of friends or family trips. Friends of ours went on a yachting trip on Limnos and another friend held his bachelor party on the wild and almost hippie beaches of Samothraki: all were absolutely delighted with their trips.
5. The service is great
Most places serve your dinner with complementary baskets of bread, water and free desserts: some calculate this within the price of your order, but many offer it as an extra for the pleasure to have you as a client.
My father has some vague memories of being poorly served by Greek waiters, but I have no such experiences so far. The staff are friendly and usually quite extroverted. If they like your company (especially large gatherings of friends or family) you might even get complementary bottles of ouzo or white wine:)
In Fourka our favourite place is the The Takis Tavern: they always have fresh octopus, their Greek salad is absolutely enormous and if you ask for Yorgos: you will be well taken care of by the staff.