West of Hania
Western Crete is less affected by tourism than the city of Hania and its satellite resorts. The northern coast is defined by the virtually uninhabited Gramvousa and Rodopou Peninsulas. Kolymbari, at the foot of the Rodopou Peninsula, is the most developed tourist town (but more famous for its nationally distributed olive oil).
The Mani (Η Μάνη), the region covering the central peninsula in the south of the Peloponnese, is a wild, rugged place. Greeks from elsewhere will tell you, so are its people. Such was the formidable reputation of the inhabitants of the remote inner Mani that many would-be occupiers opted in the end to leave them alone.
East of Hania
The northeastern corner of Hania prefecture contains some interesting sights, including the island’s only natural freshwater lake, Lake Kournas, and beach resorts such as Kalyves, Almyrida and Georgioupoli, which retain more of a village feel than the resorts spread along the coast west of Hania.
Conveniently just south of the town’s waterfront is sandy Agios Georgios, Naxos’ town beach. It’s backed by hotels and tavernas at the town end where it can get crowded, but it runs for some way to the south where you can spread out a little, and its shallow waters make it great for families.
Ever since the national road along the northern coast opened in 1972, the coast between Iraklio and Malia has seen a frenzy of unbridled development, particularly in the seaside towns of Hersonisos and Malia. Hotels deal almost exclusively with package-tour operators who block-book hotel rooms months in advance.
Santorini is not all about the caldera edge. The island slopes gently down to sea level on its eastern and southern sides and here you’ll find dark-coloured beaches of volcanic sand at popular resorts such as Kamari and Perissa. Inland lie charming traditional villages such as Vourvoulos, to the north of Fira, and Megalohori and Pyrgos to its south.
North & Northwest of Corfu Town
To explore fully all regions of the island outside Corfu Town your own transport is best. Much of the coast just north of Corfu Town is overwhelmed with beach resorts such as Gouvia, Dasia and the linked resorts of Ipsos and Pyrgi, all with close-quarters humanity and narrow beaches, but with everything for a family holiday.
West Coast of Corfu
Some of Corfu’s prettiest countryside, villages and beaches line the west coast. The scenic and very popular resort area, Paleokastritsa, 26km from Corfu Town, rambles for nearly 3km down a valley to a series of small, picturesque coves between tall cliffs. Craggy mountains swathed in cypresses and olive trees tower above.
The nearest decent beach to Kos Town is the crowded Lambi Beach, 4km to the northwest. Further round the coast is a long, pale-sand stretch of beach, divided into Tingaki, 10km from Kos Town, and Marmari Beach, 14km west and slightly less crowded. Windsurfing is popular at all three beaches. In summer there are boats from Marmari to the island of Pserimos.
East Coast of Lefkada
Lefkada’s east coast has seen heavy tourist development over the years with the main focus at Nydri, once a gorgeously placed fishing village but now a crowded strip of tourist shops without much of a beach. Escape inland, however, to another world of scattered villages, small tavernas and pretty walks.
Half of Thessaloniki pours into built-up Kassandra on summer weekends and its beach towns are popular with European package tourists. It has Halkidiki's best nightlife and accommodation is slightly cheaper than in Sithonia. Built-up Kallithea has fleshed-out discos and bars, and a long, crowded beach.