Joanna Lumley’s new ITV series Greek Odyssey may prove to be an “absolutely fabulous” boost for Greek tourism. The series kicked off on Thursday 13 October (9pm) and Lumley will be taking us on an odyssey through history and across Greece, including spotlighting the variety of the Greek islands, exploring the parts of Greece many sun-and-sand holidays don’t reach. She visits Mount Olympus, home of the Greek Gods, Delphi, the Parthenon (Acropolis) in Athens and other major landmarks, and takes the road less travelled to some of the remotest parts of Greece.
Lumley has already made a name for herself as a credible travel guide – her dream of seeing the phenomenon called the “aurora borealis” or Northern Lights, came true when she filmed a BBC documentary “In The Land Of The Northern Lights”, a visual winter wonderland in which she crossed Norway into the depths of the Arctic.
Last winter, her ITV series “Joanna Lumley’s Nile” followed her epic journey along the River Nile from the source of the Nile to the sea.
One cruise operator has already seen an 80% jump in bookings for Greek itineraries, according to travel industry magazine Travel Weekly, while the head of one of the UK’s leading travel agents said the new series would have a “massively positive impact on people’s perceptions” of Greece, as Lumley explores some lesser known islands and regions along her way. The travel operator is expecting high demand for Greece in summer 2012 and has doubled its Greek programme, focusing on lesser known resorts and islands in addition to the always popular favourites such as Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Mykonos and Santorini.
Both EasyJet and Ryanair fly to a number of Greek destinations and a wide variety of Greek timeshare resort bookings both on the mainland and the islands are available through leading exchange companies RCI and Interval International.
Photis Lambrianides, Commercial Director of Olympic Airways, says the airline has seen a significant increase in flight bookings already, for next summer, up 10% compared to last year.
Joanna Lumley’s 4-part Greek Odyssey series airs on Thursdays, ITV1, at 9pm UK time.