Naoussa has gradually turned from a quiet fishing village into an increasingly stylish resort and visitor destination. Perched on the shores of the large Plastira Bay, there are good beaches nearby, excellent restaurants and an ever-expanding number of chic beachside hotels, cafes and bars. Behind the waterfront is a maze of narrow, whitewashed streets.
Perched on the northern tip of the island, the village of Oia reflects the renaissance of Santorini after the devastating earthquake of 1956. Restoration work has whipped up beauty, and you will struggle to find a more stunning Cyclades village. Built on a steep slope of the caldera, many of its dwellings nestle in niches hewn into the volcanic rock.
Most of the sandiest beaches on Rhodes lie along the island’s northeastern coast, between Rhodes Town and Lindos. As a result, this stretch is now punctuated by a long succession of resorts, filled with package holidaymakers in summer and holding endless strips of tourist bars.
Corfu’s western shoreline boasts some of the island’s most spectacular scenery, its prettiest villages and finest beaches. No coastal road connects the many sandy coves that nibble into the towering cliffs along its central stretch, so sightseers have to choose their targets wisely.
Thasos’ east-coast beaches are beautiful in summer and less crowded than the more-developed west coast. The dramatic coastal landscape features thick forests that run from mountains to sea. There are fewer organised activities here, but the warm, shallow waters are excellent for families. Tiny Alyki may be the most overlooked spot on the southeast coast.
The picturesque rural prefecture of Arkadia occupies much of the central Peloponnese. Its name evokes images of grassy meadows, forested mountains, gurgling streams and shady grottoes. According to mythology, it was a favourite haunt of Pan, the flute-playing, cloven-hooved god of nature.
Of the two touristic 'fingers' of Halkidiki, the Sithonian Peninsula is one that is loved by families and those in search of a more low-key summer option – though the beaches get rather packed in the high season and on weekends. Pine forests crowd a wild interior, fringing cliffsides that plummet towards tranquil coves.
Lefkada’s east coast has experienced the island’s heaviest tourist development. Head south, however, to find the unspoiled strand at lovely Poros Beach (also known as Mikros Gialos) and the relaxed and very sheltered harbour at fjord-like Syvota, where yachts now bob alongside the fishing boats.
Kamari & Kefalos Bay
Enormous Kefalos Bay, a 12km stretch of high-quality sand, lines the southwest shoreline of Kos. For most of its length the beach itself is continuous, but the main road runs along a crest around 500m inland, so each separate section served by signposted tracks has its own name.
The Pelion Peninsula lies to the east and south of Volos. It's formed by a dramatic mountain range, where the highest peak is Mt Pliassidi (1651m). The largely inaccessible eastern flank consists of high cliffs that plunge into the sea. The gentler western flank coils around the Pagasitikos Gulf.