Written by Scarlett Murray,
Last Modified: 30th November 2022

When we hear “Greece”, we picture the long, beautiful beaches of Corfu, Mykonos and Crete. But, in the name of “sustainable tourism”, Greece is calling for tourists to spend time in the lesser-known areas. 

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We go where we know

sunrise on Mykonos island.

A favourite: Mykonos island.

 

Greece is a hit holiday destination. Your desire to move to Greece may well have been inspired by having fantastic holidays there. Tourism is a crucial part of Greece’s economy, contributing over 25% to the total GDP. But when it comes to holidaying, time and time again, we’re all drawn to the same places. The islands in the Southern Aegean Sea.

The islands – Mykonos, Corfu, Crete, Santorini – are truly beautiful and worthy of our attention.

What do we love about these places? We love the fabulous beaches, the delicious cuisine, the fascinating culture & history, the impressive landscapes, and the wonderful weather. These features are not just found on the shores of Corfu and Crete.

Indeed, these features are all over Greece. Greece is a beautiful place through and through. It’s your turn to fall in love with the spots you haven’t known before.

Sustainable tourism

Kourouta beach.

Kourouta beach, Western Greece.

In a recent article by Euronews, Dimitris Fragakis, Secretary-General of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), spoke of “sustainable tourism”. But what precisely does that mean?

Dimitris Fragakis explained, “We are not only talking about preserving natural resources or protecting the environment. For us, sustainability is also something else. It’s about how local communities get involved with tourism, because we want people to be close to tourism, not against tourism.’

It’s not that Greece want to boot out tourists. They are happy to have us. Rather, it’s just that they would prefer for tourism to be more evenly spread throughout the country. Therefore, it benefits all areas, rather than being saturated on the islands, resulting in the islands becoming exhausted by tourism.

 

Alternative locations

Patros, Western Greece.

Have you considered Western Greece?

 

The islands are our go-to. Getting out a map of Greece and trying to choose somewhere new to discover, you might feel a little overwhelmed. So, we’ve got some suggestions.

For sun and beaches, Fragakis said, ‘the beaches are also beautiful in northern Greece, and western Greece. Nobody knows these kinds of places.’

Greece has one of the longest coastlines in the world – almost 16.000km – so let’s make the most of it.

According to TripAdvisor, the number one beach in Western Greece is the Blue Flag beach, Kourouta. There’s a variety of organised Blue Flag beaches and remote, secluded beaches – whatever suits you.

Recently, The World Travel Market rated Northern Greece the second most under-rated destination in the world. Sharing a border with Turkey and other Balkan countries, Northern Greece is a unique fusion of cultures. In November 2021, Thessaloniki (Northern Greece’s essential city) had its gastronomy recognised by UNSECO. Read our article about why Northern Greece might appeal to you.

In the Eastern Aegean, the islands, such as Lesbos, Chios, and Thasos, offer a slower pace of life. There, you will find a more authentic version of Greece, and not one that has been curated for snapping up tourists. Learn more about why the Eastern Aegean islands could suit you.

 

Tourism’s relationship to property

Thessaloniki, Northern Greece

Thessaloniki, Northern Greece.

There is a relationship between where in Greece is popular with tourists and where is popular with prospective buyers.

For example, you go on a brilliant holiday to Mykonos. You return to the UK, but Mykonos is on your mind. You find yourself longing for Mykonos. If only that holiday could be your daily life…So then, you look into purchasing a property there.

Mykonos is lovely. We understand your longing for it.

But if you’ve never holidayed in Western Greece, you’re unlikely to consider buying a home there.

With less people looking to buy in Western Greece, the property is more affordable, and it is easier find a home in prime locations.

To purchase a three-bedroom villa in Mykonos, you are going to need at least €500,000. Meanwhile, in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, the starting price would be closer to €400,000. The one downside is that as a lesser-known location, there will be less properties to choose from, it might require some extra digging to find the perfect home for you.

Moreover, as much as you liked Mykonos, you might’ve wished to have heard a few less English voices filling up the beach while you tried to sunbathe.

As they have not yet experienced a heavy influx of tourism, these locations offer a more traditional Greece.

At the same time, as Greece are trying to promote these areas, it is likely that their facilities will improve.

In short, you’ll get an ideal package: a more affordable home in an up-and-coming area of Greece featuring all that you love about the country, from the food to the weather to the beach.

 

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