Lazy days aren’t for everyone. If you love to stay active, here are five ways to get more out of your Greek adventure and work up a sweat.
For many, a holiday means spending as much time as possible stretched out savouring the sun’s golden caress. For others, the best way to unwind and take in their new surrounding is by working up a sweat. And with so many scenic spots to see, why not liberate your workout from the gym walls and take it al fresco?
We’ve rounded up five of the best heart-pumping activities that you should make time for during your Greek islands escape.
1. Harness pedal power
You’ve left your four wheels at home. To see the best of Greece and keep your heart happy, it’s time to take to two instead. See more of the divine coastline with a leisurely island cycle ride. And on the mainland, pedal your way past Byzantine monasteries and whizz through abandoned villages that are frozen in time.
If you’re in Athens, making time to ascend the Hymettus Mountain is a must. Home to ancient temples and holy places, this sacred peak is a wonderful spot to savour gorgeous scenery and tap into your spirituality.
2. See the coast on foot
Running gets your blood pumping and lungs working hard. But it’s also a mindful way to destress and enjoy some of the best coastal scenery.
In Santorini, brave the stunningly scenic Caldera Path – a 10.5km trail route between Fira to Ora that kisses the edges of once volcanic mountains. You can cover gorgeous terrain in Corfu too, along the 220km Corfu Trail. Expect striking gorges along the challenging north sections and gentle, rolling dunes to the south.
Mykonos has the challenging Profitis Ilias Loop, which promises breath-taking views if you can brave the 1,000 feet of elevation gain. If that’s a little much, try a leisurely loop around Crete’s Chania harbour or a jog through the gardens and city walls of Rhodes’ Old Town Moat. The best beach runs can be found on Naxos, where the sand is firmer than other islands.
3. Practice yoga with a view
Movement doesn’t have to be high impact. Perhaps you’re sore from exploring or need to feel grounded as you find yourself. If you’re in Mykonos, there’s no better place for yoga with an incredible view. Take a stroll to a high point or stick to the beach and roll out your mat.
Savour the impossibly blue Aegean views in the Chaturanga pose. Listen to the waves roll in and slip away from the shore as your breathing slows and steadies. Feel your prana (energy) increasing with every breath of crisp sea air. These are the moments you’ll hold close forever.
4. Try out water sports
The call of the azure ocean will be hard to resist. So don’t. Slip into your swimwear and try out water sports in Santorini. Head to one of the island’s beaches, like Perissa or Kamari, where the water is pleasantly calm and there are plenty of instructors to guide you. Hop into a sea kayak and explore exclusive coves and hidden coastal gems. Or test your core strength by spending a lazy evening paddleboarding on the calm waters.
5. Feel the rhythm of Greece
Dancing was made for self-expression. Your feet move instinctively to the beat. You catch the eye of a stranger. The heart thumps to its very own rhythm. And before you know it, you’re lost in the sounds of the islands until morning light…
If you’re not quite so confident (or co-ordinated), a lesson in Greek dancing is a great way to spend an afternoon. Feel a sense of connection as you learn the sirtaki with new friends. Or show off your ability by performing the tricky zeibekiko – also known as the eagle dance. You’ll leave with a grin from ear to ear and some new moves to impress the locals with.