Sorry, No Beaches: Naoussa Promotes Another Kind of Tourism

A new promotional campaign for the landlocked region in northern Greece seeks to promote a different kind of nature-loving, year-round tourism.


A series of promotional videos with the recurring slogan “Sorry…no beaches”, created by branding company Colibri, were recently released at an event hosted by the Municipality of Naoussa.

Aware that proximity to the sea is a key decision-making factor for many tourists, they make it a point to “apologize” – somewhat tongue in cheek – for not being able to offer this type of vacation. That out of the way, they then go on to highlight all of the great things the region has to offer travelers throughout the year: from skiing and rock climbing to cultural tourism and wine tasting.

Located in the north of Greece, in the foothills of the Vermio mountain range, Naoussa is surrounded by dense forests, mountain peaks, meadows, rivers and waterfalls; it’s not what most people picture when they think of Greece, but it’s well-worth a visit (read our article about Vermio and Naoussa here).

“We’re sort of working against all the branding that’s been done for Greece as a whole,” said Mayor Nikos Koutsogiannis. “We’re not Halkidiki, we can’t be for everyone.”

What Naoussa is, however, is a year-round destination, equally attractive during all seasons, one suitable for many different types of tourism.

Christos Helmis, CEO of Colibri, said, “Regardless if the traditional target group for the things Naoussa offers – wine, nature and relaxation – is people aged 55+, we wanted a provocative slogan, to catch young people’s attention.”

Oenotourism

The cool climate on these mountain slopes is ideal for the cultivation of Xinomavro vines, producing one of the most famous Greek wine varietals. At the promotional campaign-launch event, the mayor was joined by Giorgos Spanellis, representative of the VAENI Agricultural Viticultural Winemaking Co-operation of Naoussa, who talked to us about the wine trails of the area.

“Oenotourism is year-round,” he explained. “Our wine festival in December gets visitors from all over Greece and other European countries.”

Mountaineering & Sports Tourism

Football and basketball clubs famously host their training camps in Naoussa during summer to take advantage of the cooler climate, and, thanks to the new municipal state-of-the-art swimming pool, some professional swimmers now also find their way here.

However, it’s the mountains that draw the most sports enthusiasts. Come for hiking on the E4 trail, rock climbing, or 4×4 off-roading in the summer, and for skiing and snowboarding at the two ski centers in the winter.

Unspoilt Nature, Relaxation and Unique Cultural Life

There isn’t unlimited accommodation in Naoussa itself (there’s about 1000 beds total), but there is almost unlimited space. During carnival, in spring, as many as 50.000 day trippers fill the streets of the town for the unique celebration of the “Genitsari” and the “Boules”. On any other occasion, you can expect a relaxing time here, with lots of unspoilt nature all to yourself, and great meals.

To see the rest of the videos created for the campaign and learn more about Naoussa, visit the town’s new website.


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