arts & culture
To make sure your vacation is a success, try to combine sightseeing and excursions with sports and recreational activities or the "far-niente". This will let you diversify beyond the "ancient ruins" while also making all your travel mates and yourself happy. The model programmes featured below all follow the rhythm of the South: no rushing around, no long tiresome day trips to make; instead, a laid-back, relaxed pace of life, which will help you accumulate energy while also bringing you more in tune with yourself and the surrounding world.
Cuisine is, obviously, an essential part of any culture. Foodie travel in Greece and Macedonia will give you an opportunity to visit some of the Balkans' richest culinary corners, exploring the region's culture through its fare. So wake up your senses for an exciting journey into the realm of scents and flavours.
The southern part of the Balkan Peninsula is one of the developed world's few remaining regions where industrialisation has left intact much of the wilderness and wildlife.
Which is why down here, travellers sharing the values of ethical tourism will have every chance to:
spot wildlife (notably species such as brown bear, wolf, bobcat, seal, dolphin, and pelican);
see the habitat of these animals and birds, meet people with whom they share their "turf", learn about the region's history;
celebrate the beauty of this corner of the world, as well as that of Planet Earth at large.
One of the main purposes of a vacation is to relax and get some rest. But different people may associate rest and relaxation with different things like:
swimming and sunbathing;
walking in the mountains to take in some fresh air along with the panoramic views;
renting a pretty house complete with cooking facilities and a garden, where to enjoy self-prepared meals; or, rather, staying in a guesthouse with all meals cooked and served by the hosts;
engaging in some wellness practice (beauty care, massage, meditation, etc.) to reinvigorate and harmonise one's body, mind and spirit.
Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, Mother Nature generously offers us a wealth of balneological and mud-bathing options, with the region being home to many geothermal hot springs and therapeutic clay deposits known ever since the Antiquity. Come try for yourself the healing powers of those renowned mineral-rich spas!
in the snow !
When we think of the Balkans in winter, what are the first things to come to mind? Mountains, cold weather, snow...
Yes, but also and especially :
Skiing (there are no self-contained ski stations in the region, but only mountain resorts developed around non-tourist villages)
Relaxing around the fire
Hiking (following in wolves' and bear's paw steps ofr example)
Recovering your wellness at a spa retreat amidst nature
And, on top of it all, warmth and authenticity, idyllic villages, heartfelt moments with locals, pleasure, rest, sports, relaxation, stillness, serenity, simplicity, surprises... Transcending time and space...
exploring greece under sail
Come along for a unique sailing experience - an Odyssey of the modern times. This is a voyage you can do at your own pace as well as in tune with local life. Explore the Greek isles as you drift along with the wind, stopping over in deserted coves to have a swim in the emerald-green sea, visit small fishing ports, eat freshly caught fish for lunch...
That kind of cruise on board a sailing boat* will give your a chance to transcend time and space, to break out of your usual routine, to reconnect with nature, to return to the essence of things...
It's possible to charter an entire boat or a cabin for one week, a fortnight, or a longer time period (between three and eight weeks). Day or half-day excursions are available for checking out. Just choose the format you prefer.
fairytale lodgings to try out
staying with a host
You will be offered individual guidance from beginning to end (that is, from your trip project's conception all the way through to its realisation). And upon return, you are most welcome to provide feedback, sending me your impressions along with a filled-in satisfaction questionnaire.
There are as many travel ideas as there are travellers out there. Your vacation will be built around your own tastes, as well as taking due account of the budget available. We'll co-create the trip in such a way as to have it express your individuality, so that you could get a unique experience, one attuning to the inner self and the world.
The programme for your stay is 100% flexible and easy to adjust to your travel dates and theme preferences (arts & culture, nature, sports & recreation, relaxation...), as well as your pace, schedule, and so on.
Visiting a Land of wolves and bear (ex of theme perfect for families with children, nature lovers...)
The Greek mountains are a heaven for wildlife, including big carnivores such as wolves, lynxs and bears.
The country's mountainous areas, sparsely populated by humans, allow these animals to lead a relatively quiet life. They (the animals) rarely become targets of hunters here (with shepherds, though, cohabitation may be somewhat more problematic). Other benefits include the lack of tourist crowds, who would make wildlife reproduction difficult; and the well-preserved environment, which provides the local animal dwellers with ample food (the ecosystem has remained largely unaffected by civilisation and so there still exists a natural balance between its plant and animal species).
An ethical traveller will be able to admire the region's natural scenery and wildlife as well as to see and appreciate its cultural heritage created by humans. This is a great re-energizing destination. By visiting the Bearland, you will be able not just to learn more about bear and other animals, but also to give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the modern world.
exploring religious heritage (for history /architecture fans, religious people...)
Churches, monasteries and mosques (these latter can be found in the Republic of Macedonia, where Islam is a major religion) are part and parcel of the two countries' landscape. It's true that some of the modern buildings may have a certain charm to them.
But the structures that have come down to us from the Byzantine era are real gems (not least because in those days architecture was governed by the principles of beauty rather than design). And inside, there are yet more treasures to discover, notably religious artwork (with icon painting being the best known example), which can be appreciated by any visitor, a believer and non-believer alike. Even more so since in this region, houses of worship would have been often constructed away from big population centres, somewhere on a mountain or in a wilderness area - the kind of location that is likely to add to a sensitive traveller's joy. There's no need to make your visit devoted entirely to religious heritage. You may well combine this theme with sports & recreation activities, for example, so that the trip could be enjoyable for everyone of your travel mates.