West of Athens is the Corinthian Gulf; a huge body of water that has seen warships and merchants ply it’s waters for centuries. The gulf is simply beautiful with plenty to offer from it’s beaches to the mountains and verdant forests. Ringed by small to mid-size villages and cities, and known as the Corinthian Riviera, this is the Greece that’s missed by most visitors. You owe it to yourself to do some exploring. I would recommend a rental car so you can do the entire Gulf. It’s about a 1 hour drive from Athens to Loutraki our starting point. I’ve made a list of my favorite places to visit for off-the -beaten-path discoveries. Keep in mind this is an overview, as I only had at most 24 hours at each municipality. So no spoiler alerts here, you get to dig even deeper and explore even more than I did-in no particular order let’s go.

Corinthian Gulf Promenade, Loutraki Greece

 

Greece, Loutraki, waterfront

Paul’s Cafe and Bar Loutraki, Greece

On the eastern end of the gulf we start in Loutraki. The town waterfront is lined with cafés, tavernas and hotels. We stopped at Paul’s Café and Bar https://www.facebook.com/PaulsCafeBar/ on the waterfront promenade for a delicious Cappuccino, and to take in the ocean views.

Turkish Delight, Loutraki Greece.

 Speaking of treats, we stopped by a local maker of the Turkish Delight, also known as Lokum. This confection dates back to the Ottomans, and was meant to be eaten with coffee. Flavors include  rose petal, and pineapple dusted with coconut which I purchased, and trust me they are very tasty.

Club Hotel Casino Loutraki Greece

Club Hotel Casino Loutraki

Lodging for the night was at the Club Hotel Casino Loutraki https://www.clubhotelloutraki.gr/. The view rooms here are right on the gulf, and stunning. The hotel offers a spa, swimming pools, casino, and that beautiful beach.

Loutraki, Greece, Paladar Eatery and Lounge

Paladar Eatery and Lounge

Dinner was at Paladar Eatery and Lounge http://paladareatery.blogspot.gr/ . Paladar is a modern oceanfront restaurant that offers elevated takes on traditional Greek classics and has a extensive Greek wine list. This place is a hidden gem and very much worth a visit for dinner and drinks.

Paladar Eatery and Lounge Loutraki Greece

Paladar Eatery and Lounge Interior Loutraki Greece

 The atmosphere is casual and relaxed with locals out on dates, celebrating birthdays or just enjoying dinner and the view.

Thermal Spa Loutraki Greece

Loutraki Greece Thermal Spa Lobby

 For a relaxing break should you need it, the Loutraki Thermal Spa is a must do http://www.loutrakispa.gr/index.php/english.html Powered by ancient springs, the spa has indoor and outdoor heated and non heated pools, steam baths, saunas, and private rooms for spa treatments with essential oils.

Thermal Spa Loutraki Greece

Private treatment room at the Loutraki Thermal Spa

Just outside of town is the Corinth Canal an engineering feat. It connects the Corinth Gulf to the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. At 4 miles long and only 70 feet wide it’s mostly used for tours for visitors, but it is a very unique and interesting feature to see.

Corinth Canal Loutraki Greece

Corinth Canal Loutraki Greece

Before departing Loutraki, stop by Heraion Lake for a swim in the crystal clear waters then have lunch right there.

Loutraki Greece, Lake Heraion

Heraion Lake Loutraki Greece

Fresh seafood can be had at the Beach Lido Doschoris Taverna at Margetas beach, and it is fresh and local, don’t forget to sample some Greek wine either.

Loutraki Greece, Heraion Lake, Lido Doschoris Taverna

Lido Doschoris Taverna on Heraion Lake Loutraki Greece

For more information on everything Loutraki go to http://www.visitloutraki.com/ .