"Charming Aitoliko: Greece's 'Little Venice'

Aitolikón, Aitolia Kai Akarnania, Greece

Nestled between the Aitoliko and Missolonghi lagoons in Aetolia-Acarnania, the picturesque islet of Aitoliko, often dubbed a 'little Venice,' stands as a hidden gem in West Greece. Unlike its Italian counterpart, this serene destination boasts fewer canals and tourists, offering a unique charm of its own.

Connected to the mainland by two slender bridges to the east and west, with an additional bridge leading north to smaller islands, Aitoliko remains somewhat secluded. While its canals compare to other European cities like Wrocław, Poland, Aveiro in Portugal, and Giethoorn in The Netherlands, Aitoliko distinguishes itself with a cityscape that has evolved beyond watery thoroughfares.

Charming Aitoliko Greeces Little Venice 1
Charming Aitoliko photo by https://www.instagram.com/mvernicos/

Although the city's roads still echo the winding charm of canals, Aitoliko has gradually developed over its aquatic roots. In a piece for the Daily Telegraph, travel writer Heidi Fuller-Love observed that the streets retain "more than a passing resemblance" to canals. The community embraces the characteristics of a traditional tourist town, featuring local shops, bars, and tavernas, all without the overwhelming influx of tourists experienced by other cities, notably Venice.

As small as it may be population-wise, Aitoliko boasts a long and storied history. It played a crucial role in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 19th century. The town endured three Turkish sieges before joining Greece, with just 500 Greek soldiers bravely facing 15,000 Turkish troops during the first siege.

Today, Aitoliko is much more peaceful, welcoming thousands of tourists and birds that flock every summer. For travellers, the closest major airport connecting to the UK is Pathas, although flying to Athens and then travelling across the southern tip of Greece may offer a more economical option. Explore the rich history and tranquil beauty of Aitoliko, an enchanting destination that invites discovery off the beaten path.

Read More /Unravelling the Mystery of Aitoliko: The Greek Town Covered in Spider Webs

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