Over the last years, there has been a great effort by the Greek State, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and travel agencies to promote a new kind of tourism: alternative holidays in Greece. Apart from the normal tourists, who come to Greece to enjoy the sunny weather of the Greek islands, the amazing Greek beaches, there are also many other tourists who are looking for more exceptional activities. These people seem to appreciate a new kind of lifestyle, more environmentally and culturally oriented. They are looking to get to know Greece deeper: its landscape, its civilization, the culture of its people... and that is why Greece alternative holidays packages appeared.
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Ecotourism is the most popular type of alternative holidays in Greece. Eco-tourists usually come to Greece to live and work in traditional farm. There, they get involved with horse breeding, cattle breeding, learn to cook traditional recipes, make wine, pick up olives, walk in the countryside or deal with agriculture works. Living in the nature is a task that modern people miss. We live our busy days with anxiety and have forgotten all about the calmness nature can bring into our life.
Many ecotourism farms have been created in Greece over the last decade. Most of them are found in mountainous areas, such as Zagoria, Pelion and Kalavryta. There are also some other farms in Crete island and one in Kea island. However, most Greek islands are not appropriate for the development of this kind of tourism, due to their barren landscape. Have in mind that the Greek islands are famous for their wonderful beaches, while the Greek mainland is more appropriate for ecotourism.
Another type of alternative holidays in Greece is volunteer holiday. People are coming to take part in various projects, which have to do with almost everything, from taking care of wounded animals and participating in archaeological excavations to teaching a foreign language. This way, volunteers can combine holidays, social work and an activity they are interested in.
A special group of people is coming to Greece to take part in art courses. Landscape painting, icon painting, drama, dance and pottery courses are given by specific companies who deal with art holidays. These programs are usually held in the Greek islands and may include accommodation, too.