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Central Greece Mainland

No matter where you go, any visit to Greece is better than none, but Its a real shame that so much tourism is devoted only to the Greek Islands.

The Greek mainland has great beaches too and many, many, many more ancient and historical sights to see. Top ancient Sights-Sites

Its also cheaper in many cases than hot spot islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Cos, Corfu and Crete, which, while highly recommended in their own right, hardly convey the whole story about Greece and its incredibly varied landscape and history.

High season why wait in line for service on these popular islands when you can rule the roost and be treated like a king for less in many slightly off the trail mainland locations?

Organized Tours only go to the so called major sites and dont go to all the ancient sights/sites (even those pictured) so you need to rent a car if you really want to explore ancient Greece. Still some sites have a lot more to see than others as this photo demonstrates.

Above the town of Kalambaka, on the north-western edge of the Plain of Thessaly, the visitor encounters a breathtaking site of impressive monasteries “balanced” on massive detached stone pinnacles, 400 metres above the ground. Meteora is one of Christianity’s holiest places as well as a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. Thousands of visitors flock to this place every year, attracted by the daunting size of the rock formations where timelessness and beauty prevail, while they seek spiritual enlightenment far away from the earthly bustle.
Kalambaka rests at the bottom the Meteora rocks, an awe-inspiring sight. The rocks that make up Meteora are sheer cliff faces. They appear to come out of nowhere, jagged, black rocks that rise up into the sky, with monasteries the clinging to the cliffs. The city was hit badly in World War II so the current town has a modern feel about it. Kalambaka is very tourist friendly, with a wide range of amenities, bars and restaurants.
After the Acropolis, Delphi is the most popular archaeological site in Greece. Located 180 kilometers from Athens, a trip to Delphi is listed in just about every tour itinerary and is by far the most popular day trip out of Athens. Delphi, nestled high up in the mountains north of Athens, is one of the most remarkable places in the world. A visit to Greece is incomplete without visiting here, especially for those interested in history and mythology. It is a mysterious, awe-inspiring place, quite unlike any other historical site in the country. Nestled on the slopes of Mount Parnassos two hours drive from the city it is well worth the day trip to see one of mythology’s most revered locations.
Dion or Dio (Ancient Greek: Δίον, Greek: Δίο, Latin: Dium) is a village and a former municipality in the Pieria regional unit, Greece.
Vergina (Greek: Βεργίνα [ver??ina]) is a small town in northern Greece, located in the regional unit of Imathia, Central Macedonia. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Veroia, of which it is a municipal unit.
Pella (Greek: Πέλλα), is an ancient Greek city located in the current Pella regional unit of Central Macedonia in Greece and was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedon. On the site of the ancient city of Pella is the Archaeological Museum of Pella.
Philippi (Greek: Φίλιπποι, Philippoi) was a city in eastern Macedonia, established by Philip II in 356 BC and abandoned in the 14th century after the Ottoman conquest. The present municipality Filippoi is located near the ruins of the ancient city and it is part of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace in Kavalla Greece.
Mount Olympus (/??l?mp?s, o??l?m-/; Greek: Όλυμπος; also transliterated as Olympos, and on Greek maps,Oros Olympos) is the highest mountain in Greece and the second highest mountain in the Balkans. It is located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia
Kastoria has the reputation of being the most beautiful city in northern Greece, set on a piece of land in the middle of a lake. Named after the beavers that used to be trapped for their fur in the surrounding lake, it was for centuries a refuge for Jewish furriers that sought refuge in the area. The beavers became extinct in the early 19th century, but the fur trade remained and associated businesses still flourish there – it is one of the main European centres for trading mink.
The Great Prespa Lake (Albanian: Liqeni i Prespes, Greek: Μεγάλη Πρέσπα, Limni Megali Prespa, Macedonian: ?????????? ?????, Prespansko Ezero) is divided between Albania, Greece and Macedonia. The Small Prespa Lake (Greek: Μικρή Πρέσπα, Mikri Prespa; Albanian: Prespa e Vogel) is shared only between Greece
Ioannina (Greek: Ιωάννινα, Greek pronunciation: [io?anina]), often called Yannena (Γιάννενα, Greek pronunciation: [??anena]) within Greece, is the capital and largest city of Epirus, an administrative region in north-western Greece, with a population of 112,486 (in 2011). It lies at an elevation of approximately 500 metres (1,640 feet) above sea level, on the western shore of lake Pamvotis (Παμβώτις). It is located within the Ioannina municipality, and is the capital of Ioannina regional unit and the region of Epirus. Ioannina is located 450 km (280 mi) northwest of Athens, 290 kilometres (180 miles) southwest of Thessaloniki and 80 km (50 miles) east of the port of Igoumenitsa in the Ionian Sea.
Metsovo is a picturesque, traditional village in the north of Greece near the Albanian border, a place where time has stood still. From its mountain perch, over 1000 metres above sea level, it promises to show life in Greece from another era. The town was once a haven for shepherds guarding the Katara pass, and a site for Greek culture where the only Greek language school existed in a time of Turkish repression.
Pieria (Greek: Πιερία) is one of the regional units of Greece. It is located in the southern part of Macedonia, in the Region of Central Macedonia. Its capital is the town of Katerini. Pieria is the smallest regional unit within Macedonia
Plastiras Lake is located at about 25 km western of Karditsa, at an altitude of 800m. It is found 325 km away from Athens and 250 km from Thessaloniki, and is characterized as one of the most easily accessible destinations in Greece. The scenery is breathtaking, as the lake is surrounded by high leafy mountains, and the area is considered to be a "paradise" for all the lovers of nature as it provides possibilities for climbing, fishing, and generally for practicing all kinds of mountain-sports, and of course trekking in the forest. The main motive for someone to go on this trip is primarily visiting a new place, but also getting away from routine, limitations and stress of everyday life.
Evia is the second largest island in Greece, but it is often viewed as part of the mainland with its proximity so close to the eastern mainland coast. It is often a part of the country overlooked by tourists – Athenians see Evia as a place for weekend breaks, and as a stop on the way to the Sporadic Islands, but the mountainous inland and a bridge at Halkida spanning the Evian Gulf, makes access to this part of the country effortless. The gulf is an enigma in itself, with the currents in the narrow channel changing anything up to ten times a day – even Aristotle noted this phenomena.
Loutraki is situated six kilometres north of the Corinthian canal and best known for its natural springs, the town’s name is derived from the Greek for “spring”. It was once a traditional spa resort where people would come from around the country to convalesce and take in the waters. The town has been devastated by earthquakes, the largest in 1928 completely demolishing the town. Another earthquake in 1981 has seen the town rebuilt once again in a more modern flavour. It’s now best known as a tourist town and for the spring water, bottles of which are readily available all over the country.

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