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If you’re as interested in history as landscapes, I don’t think you can beat Greece for a walking holiday.

For centuries, walking was an essential aspect of daily life in Greece, linking remote settlements in mountainous regions and islands. Today, ancient kalderimia (cobbled paths) and monopatia (shepherd's or monks' trails) form the basis of many popular trekking routes.

Though not especially lofty compared with, say, the Alps – 2,917m Mt Olympus is the country’s highest peak, and a rewarding two- or three-day round hike – much of Greece is beautifully craggy, with many spectacular gorges, and of course rewards walkers with insights into one of Europe’s oldest cultures.

The best walking holidays in Greece

Our experts' top picks

Vitsa village Zagoria north western Greece

See old-world Greece in Zagori

Planning a walking holiday in Greece

Everything you wish you’d known before you booked

My top highlights

The White Mountains of western Crete comprise gleaming limestone peaks and rocks; the most popular route delves through the 16 km-long Samaria Gorge. The Zagori region of the Pindus Mountains is an alluring area of stone built villages, humpback bridges, rocky valleys and lakes, centred around Vikos-Aoos National Park. My stand-out favourites are the dramatic Vikos Gorge and the ancient monasteries of Meteora.

Andros, northernmost of the Cyclades, has developed an excellent network of waymarked trails, winding between traditional rural landscapes and rewarding with far-reaching coastal views.

Planning your trip

Many old paths, no longer regularly trodden by shepherds or other walkers, are overgrown. Stick to well-used routes, though even these may not be comprehensively signposted.

Avoid high summer (June-August) for hiking the islands and the Peloponnese – it's just too hot. Spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) are more comfortable, and often cheaper than summer, while many accommodation and eating options close in winter, particularly on the islands.

Top walking holidays

The 220km Corfu Trail, waymarked with distinctive yellow signs, leads hikers away from the developed coastal resorts into the timeless heart of the island, through venerable olive groves, rocky gorges and karst outcrops. The Menalon Trail in the historic Peloponnese region is a recently created 75km route winding between historic stone villages, gorges (of course), aromatic pine forests and ancient remains.

About the author

The best walking holidays in Greece

Paul Bloomfield

Paul is an award-winning travel journalist writing on walking and hiking in Europe and beyond for the likes of the Telegraph, The Times, Wanderlust, Lonely Planet, BBC Wildlife and National Geographic Traveller.

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