T hanks to its brilliant combination of sun, spectacular scenery and diverse attractions, Greece is a sure-fire winner when it comes to relaxing breaks. When I was researching my next holiday, I must admit I did find it pretty hard deciding exactly where in Greece would be best for this kind of getaway; so, I thought I’d put together a quick list of my favourites, and what each is best for. Hopefully, this’ll help you pick a place that’s right for you!

johnny ward travel

Me at Santorini!


Best for: Quiet, romantic breaks

The first destination on my list is the lovely island of Santorini. Famous for its volcanic landscape and characteristic blue-domed churches, it has a truly romantic atmosphere, which I think makes it a real gem for couples in particular.

One of the best things about coming here is the chance to see its amazing sunsets. I realise that might sound a little odd, considering that’ll occupy just a few minutes of any given day, but they really are spectacular. Make sure you head north to the village of Oia to see them, since from here you get the best view.


Best for: Hiking

As Crete is Greece’s largest island, it perhaps won’t come as a huge shock to hear it’s also one of the most diverse when it comes to the kind of attractions it offers. In terms of relaxation, it really does provide a fantastic mix – think scuba diving, historical sites (the ruined Minoan palace of Knossos particularly stands out) and hiking.

Personally, it’s the hiking element that I think is best-suited to relaxing breaks; after all, challenging walks in scenic countryside really make you feel as if you’re getting away from it all. And, if you are a keen hiker, you’ll find Crete provides plenty of challenges; the 16 km long Samaria Gorge in White Mountains National Park is especially exciting.


Best for: Seeing historic attractions and walking

For my next top destination, we’ll head over to mainland Greece. Peloponesse is the southernmost region on the mainland and, unlike many other scenic spots in Greece, receives relatively few tourists and has retained an authentic atmosphere. In my book, this makes it a great place to relax.

It’s crisscrossed with kalderimi (mule paths) that are fantastic for walking; these are excellent if you fancy a gentle stroll rather than a long, arduous hike. Meanwhile, Peloponesse is also home to an impressive sprinkling of historic sites, including Olympia – the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

Halkidiki (Sani)

Best for: Family holidays

The resort of Sani in Halkidiki is the last destination on my list. Famous for its series of family-friendly, luxurious hotels, it is a place that provides virtually every activity and facility parents and kids could possibly want, without compromising on luxury.

In fact, I think this is one of the most attractive elements of Sani, since parents often have to sacrifice experiencing the upper end of luxury so that their children can have the facilities they need. The beauty of coming here is that parents can take advantage of the spas, great walking opportunities, fine cuisine and high-quality childcare, while younger visitors can have fun in the kids’ clubs, playing in the pool or getting tutored in various sports. It’s a win-win destination!

Of course, no matter where you choose to stay, picking the right hotel is massively important when it comes to making sure your holiday is as relaxing as possible. So, I think it’s well worth booking through a company (like Sovereign) that specialises in luxurious accommodation where you can really be pampered.


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