MAINLAND Greece’s stunningly varied, rich and awesomely voluptious natural allure is still not as widely recognised or appreciated internationally as its famous island beaches, welcoming peoples and succulent cuisine. Tourists, over the last decade, have begun to realise and rejoice that there is a great deal more to do during a Greek holiday than bask in the sun and drink ouzo, and that vacationing in Greece doesn’t need to be a summer plan.
German tourists were probably the first to start visiting Greece on camping and hiking holidays since the ’70s, and one can still see them today parked in their camper van overloooking some scenic mountain or rugged beach, only today they are joined by visitors of all nationalities doing the same thing. By now Greece has set up enough infrastructure around the country to welcome demanding holidaymakers who seek professional quality experience in their guides, equipment, accommodations and facilities when coming here to climb mountains, go rafting and kayaking, paragliding, skiing and horseback riding to name but a few activities to be enjoyed here year round and in a huge variety of amazing locations, and they are finding it.
Five years ago, Lebanese, Greece-raised Iyad Kayali founded the website Ecotourism.com, to help develop the knowledge and understanding around the world of Greece’s incredible choice of holiday destinations, beyond the sun-sea-relax model. He is one of a handful of individuals in the country who are doing a good job at informing foreigners in their own language of Greece’s potential as a meaningful and rewarding destination.
As Kayali says, ecotourism is not just about beautiful nature and adventure sports, it is also about the churches, museums, historical landmarks, the age-old cuisine, people, traditions, animals and endemic plants of every place in Greece, all aspects that can be enjoyed by the visitor as part of a holiday unlike any other.
My Greek Review caught up with Kayali for an interview to discover more about his website.