For many American travellers, Greece is a significantly underrated travel destination. The country combines a rich and millennia-old history with natural beauty and breathtaking beaches, thanks to its location near the Mediterranean Sea. Whether you have been planning your Greek vacation or are simply looking for the perfect beach getaway, you may want to give Fakistra Beach a closer look.
A Hidden Gem
Most Greek travel guides have Fakistra listed as one of the best beaches in the country and even Europe. But because it’s not located directly next to some of the area’s most famous destinations, such as Athens or Olympia, it does not see nearly as many tourists as some of the less beautiful beaches in Greece.
That, of course, doesn’t make it less breathtaking. Fakistra is nestled into a bay that keeps the water calm at all times, allowing visitors a breathtaking view into the turquoise Mediterranean that almost seems to become one with the horizon. Park in the mountains above the beach, and descend through stone and natural environments into this hidden gem.
The beach itself consists of a mixture of rocks and sand, and is relatively small – but thanks to the lack of tourists, it will never feel overly crowded. The rocks enclosing the bay make for a perfect snorkeling opportunity, but for many visitors it’s enough to simply lean back, dip your toes in the water, and enjoy all the natural beauty Greece has to offer.
Exploring the Area
Of course, you wouldn’t want to go to a single beach for the entirety of your trip. Fortunately, the area around Fakistra has plenty of interesting opportunities and sites for visitors to explore.
Mount Pelion is the highest peak in the area, and worthy of a hike. Along the road, you will come across plenty of Greek villages. Arrive at the top, and the vistas – overlooking the Greek countryside on one end and the Mediterranean on the other – will make up for any exhaustion of getting there. In Greek myths, Pelion is known as being the home of the centaurs.
The next biggest city is Volos, located about 90 minutes away from Fakistra Beach. Known as the Jewel of the Pagasetic Gulf, Volos offers plenty of classical and modern beauty for any taste. It is also the home of plenty of myths; for example, the Greek hero Achilles was said to be trained here.
Getting to Fakistra Beach
Most international flights to Greece will take you to Athens, which is about a 3 hour drive from Volos and 4 1/2 hours from Fakistra Beach. Fortunately, a train frequents the route, so you don’t have to go on foot. Alternatively, you can try to direct your flight to Nea AnchialosNational Airport, which is only 35 minutes away from Volos via car.
If you want to make Fakistra Beach a focal point of your trip, you should look into a rental for the duration of your visit. No public transportation leads to Fakistra, and the road can be difficult to traverse. With a rental, you will be independent enough to take the time you need to get there.
Of course, you’ll also need to know exactly where to stay during your trip. It makes sense to make Volos your home base, and take the 1 1/2 hour drive each day you want to spend at Fakistra. Plenty of hotels exist in the port city, some of them right next to the water.
If you’re more adventurous, try booking a private apartment or vacation home closer to Fakistra Beach. Quite a few of the nearby villages offer this option, which is often more luxurious than going with hotels. The booking process, though, can be a bit more complicated.
Fakistra Beach may be difficult to get to, but it’s that hidden nature that makes this beach so attractive. For any visitor to Greece or lover of beautiful beaches, a stop here is an absolute must. On your way from the parking lot to the water, you will begin to get glimpses of the spot – and the views will be enough to wish you could stay for longer before you even arrive.