Places to stay (and cook) in Greece

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pelion

Fancy a beach holiday - soft sand, crystal clear water, grilled seafood in the taverna just behind - but can't face all those other tourists crowding out the Greek islands? The Pelion peninsula could be the answer. All the quality beach you could want, without being too full (at least in May when we were there) - there's no airport particularly close, and it would be extremely hard to get a coach down the narrow windy roads. All the scenery you could want, too - the steep green hillsides are covered in old Ottoman-style buildings, and crosscrossed by ancient stone donkey tracks. You could stay with Gill at the Old Silk House in XXX, and she'll explain how the tracks link up the villages with the beaches below, and even take you on a walk to show you how to find your way around, and how to spot the various kinds of local flora.

olympia

Looking for some culture, but don't want to give up on good food? Olympia, in the Peloponese, is the site of the original Olympic games, and the complex is full of awe-inspiring ruins, excellent museums and of course a running track. You could stay at the Hotel Pelops, where Theo can show you the family collection of Olympic torches (the Spiliopoulouses have a tradition of being part of the torch-carrying ceremony) while you might be able to get a cooking class from Susanna, to teach you some classic Greek cooking using the ingredients from their impressive vegetable garden.

dimitrios

Looking for some culture, but don't want to give up on good wine? Naoussa is home to Archimedes' School (where he taught Alexander the Great) and to the XXX? largest winery in Greece, Boutari. And Dimitris is there to light up his outdoor wood-fired oven, and bake delicious cheese-n-spinach pies.

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