Greek destinations characterized by their proximity to Athens and access by car and boat are claiming an increased share in tourist traffic this year.

In particular, mainly Greek visitors, but also tourists from abroad, are flocking to the Argosaronic Islands, North Evia, but also the Peloponnese and specifically Elafonisos, which this year from Easter to October is the star with a high level of accommodation occupancy.

At the same time, the destinations of the Argosaronic region and North Evia are key destinations for short-day getaways for Greek visitors.

The high cost of travel has given prominence to such destinations, with the president of Argosaronic hoteliers, Stavros Kalamakis, noting that this year Aegina is a “social outlet” for those who do not have the opportunity to visit other destinations.

Aegina: expected to reach 1.8 million visitors in 2022

It is typical that this year Aegina is expected to reach 1.8 million visitors this year, 300,000 more than in 2019, as Mr. Kalamakis reports. Of course, most arrivals concern day visitors, as Athenians visit the beaches of Argosaronicos with a ticket of 10.50 euros. In the meantime, he notes that occupancy is also very good for the island’s accommodations, which is expected to reach 100% at the peak of the season.

North Evia: attraction for Balkan visitors

Regarding North Evia, the president of the Association of Hotels and Thermal Baths of Edipsos, Theodoros Roumeliotis, expressed his optimism for the development of this year’s tourist season regarding North Evia. At this point, he focuses on the 150 euro voucher that will be given to beneficiaries, but also on the social tourism that will run and bring new visitors to the area.

The goal for this year is for the accommodation occupancy to reach 80%, as emphasized by Thodoris Roumeliotis. The hospitality portfolio in Evia includes approximately 20,000 beds, of which 12,000 are hotel beds and the rest are rental accommodations. It should be emphasized that the Municipality in question has the largest part of the hotel potential of the wider region, as it is already known for its thermal springs and baths. As far as the human geography of foreign visitors is concerned, Balkan tourists feature prominently.

At the same time, the area has lost all of the Russian market, as the general manager of Thermae Sylla Spa, Yiannis Koutrodimos, points out noting that the area is noted for its beneficial thermal baths, a pole of attraction for Greeks and international visitors.

Elafonissos: No beds to be found

Regarding Elafonissos, the mayor of the island Efi Liarou said that Greek and foreign visitors have been flooding the island since Easter. It is typical that while Elafonissos was the star for weekend getaways, this year visitors are also visiting during the week. In fact, occupancy reaches 100% and now only by cancellation can one find an empty bed on the island. This year, for the first time, as Mrs. Liarou reports, visitors will be able to take a guided tour of the archaeological site in Pavlopetri, the oldest submerged town in Europe.

Monasteries as tourist magnets

In the meantime, all 3 of these destinations expect an increase in tourist traffic and an extension of the tourism season, as they are also recognized as key pilgrimage destinations, especially regarding Aegina and North Evia. In this direction, Elafonisos inaugurated the religious church of Agios Spyridon in a special event, while already in North Evia, the church of Agios Ioannis the Russian, but also of St. David are a pole of attraction for visitors from the Balkans throughout the year. The picture for visitors in Aegina is similar, due to the monastery of Agios Nektarios, one of the most recent Orthodox saints to be canonized.

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