4 Greek resorts among Europe’s top 29 hidden seaside resorts
The best lesser-known European seaside resorts are recommended by Telegraph‘s team of travel experts. Greece has 4 beach resorts among this list with the 29 best resorts in Europe for 2016. The best beach resort is Marina di Pisciotta in Italy.
Stoupa, Kea, Voutoumi, and Karavostasi are the best Greek beach resorts.
Mountainous and relatively inaccessible, Greeks consider the Mani peninsular to be wild and remote. In the Outer Mani, set amid olive groves, Stoupa sits below the rocky peaks of the Taygetos mountain range, whose highest point, Profitis Ilias, soars 2407 m (7896 ft). Built around three sheltered turquoise bays, Stoupa offers a peaceful retreat from modern day life, and plenty of inspiration to delve into the ancient myths of gods and nymphs, and the tales of medieval tower houses and blood feuds for which the region is notorious.
Now that Athens has moved its airport away from the city and Piraeus, all the more reason to take the back door route to the islands. A morning flight, a short taxi ride to Lavrio and there will be time to look for Byron’s signature on the temple at Cape Sounion before catching the evening boat to Kea, with onward connections to the western Cyclades or Syros, hub of Aegean ferry schedules. There is only one flaw in this fine plan for an island-hopping tour. Kea is such a seductive and peaceful place, you may not make it past first base.
Voutoumi, Anti Paxos
It’s impossible to resist flipping off your sandals to feel the pearl-coloured sand between your toes the minute you step off the boat and onto Anti Paxos. After the pebbled beaches of Paxos, Voutoumi, with its spectacular turquoise and indigo waters, clifftop surroundings and welcoming tavernas, takes some beating.
You have to really want to get to Karavostási – tucked away several kilometres off the main coastal highway between busy Sývota and Párga – but the journey is worth it. The beach here, cradled between two headlands, is an appealing 500 metres of sand, giving on to a rich blue sea. Straight ahead, you’ll glimpse the southern tip of Corfu on the horizon, and the capes of Sývota just to the right. Turn your gaze left past some rock formations, and you will see Paxí, closer in. These islands do not effectively shelter Karavostási, which means “stopping place of the ship” in Greek: you may well feel the maïstros, the prevailing northwesterly of the Ionian, which is the local answer to the notorious Aegean meltémi. It is best reached by a lovely streamside drive under sizeable trees on the southerly, partly-rough approach road via the Ágios Athanásios monastery, wildlife reserve and picnic ground.