One of the reasons I love my homeland, Greece, is because of its endless choices of getaways; from seaside towns to mountainous escapes, this country has so much to offer.

*Lake Doxa
*Sunset in Xylokastro

And what’s better than getting into your car from Athens and in an hour you arrive in a dreamy place? Driving through small towns, located between sea and mountain, there is so much mesmerizing scenery along the way.

*Stunning scenery along the way

Well, let me introduce you to Xylokastro, the seaside town that lies in Corinthia in the Peloponesse region. On the one hand, you have the deep blue sea and on the other, you land upon gorgeous mountainous areas.

I will now give you six reasons to visit Xylokastro all year long:

  1. First and foremost, it’s surrounded by endless blue waters. Sykia village is known for its long pebble beach, which is refreshing and rejuvenating.
  2. From the main town’s promenade, you will witness a magical sunset and a sky painted with orange and pink colors. Get your camera ready!
  3. Xylokastro is all about mouthwatering local food and traditional dishes. When in Sykia, try the Foinikes tavern for authentic traditional food and Resalto for mouthwatering fish. When in Xylokastro town don’t miss Mouragio for the best seafood and Il Tramonto restaurant, in case you need an Italian fix.
  4. Around an hour away (maybe less), Lake Doxa lies here; the artificial lake, near Ancient Feneos. Such an enchanting landscape! Moreover, don’t miss getting familiar with local delicacies, such as honey and herbs.
  5. But before you reach Lake Doxa, you need to make a short stop at Karyes village and try the mouthwatering ‘loukoumades’ (fried dough, drizzled with honey and cinnamon) of Asimina. In this old-style ‘kafeneion’, Asimina creates her magic. Trust me on this. Fuel up your energy levels and continue driving!
  6. The mountain lovers will find themselves conquered by the imposing scenery at Trikala Korinithias, one of the most popular winter destinations in Greece. Trikala is divided into three parts; the Lower, Middle and Upper. All three parts are truly picturesque, with stone houses and beautiful nature. Either you want to ski during winter or hike and walk around during summer, then do yourself a favor and visit this place. Also, rest assured that local flavors and specialties (mostly meat and traditional dishes) will amaze your taste buds. Lastly, there are plenty of accommodation options around the area.
*Trikala Korinthias
*Mouthwatering Loukoumades

There are so many other little villages to explore, such as Stymfalia; but let’s stick to the ones that are situated in close proximity to Xylokastro.

This beautiful seaside town is a lovely destination near the Greek capital and an ideal base for summer and winter escapes. You don’t need much planning either. No tickets that need to be booked. Just get in your car and drive!

This part of Greece is truly wonderful. Make sure to catch a glimpse and explore the area!

*Images by Maria Petropoulou (Copyright) 

Maria Petropoulou

Contributor

Maria Petropoulou is a Greek journalist currently working in a leading Greek news site. She loves culture, travelling and writing and she has combined all these in order to create her own key to happiness. She was born in Athens, studied there and continued with a Master’s degree in UK. London. She also owns the travel blog My Landing Runway, where you can find all her travel stories and wanderings. Now she begins her trip with GCT as our European cultural correspondent; she would like to welcome you all on board.

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