Table of Contents
Best Places to Visit in Greece
Best Beaches to Explore: Sun, Sand, and Sea
Top Attractions: Must-See Sights in Greece
Greek Festivals and Events
Greek Cuisine: A Gastronomical Delight
Tips for Visiting: What You Need to Know Before You Go
Best Time to Visit: When to Go for the Best Experience
Athens: A Journey through Ancient Times
Athens, the capital of Greece, is home to some of the world’s most iconic ancient landmarks. The Acropolis, with its stunning Parthenon, is an impressive feat of ancient engineering and architecture, and a must-visit destination. Other significant sites include the Ancient Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the National Archaeological Museum. Wander through the charming Plaka district, which offers a plethora of shops, cafes, and tavernas. Take in a panoramic view of the city from the top of Mount Lycabettus or explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Monastiraki. Athens is also a great starting point for a road trip through Greece, as it offers easy access to nearby destinations like Delphi and Meteora.
Santorini: A Paradise on Earth
Santorini, one of the most beautiful islands in the world, is known for its stunning caldera, colourful cliffs, and charming whitewashed villages. Enjoy breath-taking views of the Aegean Sea while sipping on a glass of wine from one of the island’s famous vineyards. Explore the ancient city of Akrotiri or take a dip in the thermal springs of the volcano. Visit the black and red sand beaches, such as Perissa and Kamari, or stroll through the quaint streets of Oia, a picturesque village known for its mesmerizing sunsets. Santorini is also a popular destination for weddings and honeymoons, thanks to its romantic ambiance and luxurious resorts.
Mykonos: The Ultimate Party Destination
Mykonos, a lively island known for its vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and picturesque architecture, is a must-visit destination for partygoers. Dance the night away at some of the world’s best clubs, such as Paradise and Cavo Paradiso. Explore the iconic windmills, Little Venice, and the vibrant town centre of Mykonos town. Soak up the sun on the idyllic beaches of Psarou, Super Paradise, and Ornos, or take a day trip to the nearby island of Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its impressive archaeological ruins.
Crete: A Haven for Adventure Seekers
Crete, the largest island in Greece, is a haven for adventure seekers. Hike through the stunning Samaria Gorge, explore the Minoan ruins of Knossos, or go windsurfing and kitesurfing in Elafonisi. Take a stroll through the charming Venetian harbor of Chania or visit the Palace of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the island. Crete is also known for its delicious cuisine, such as dakos (a Cretan salad), kalitsounia (a type of cheese pastry), and of course, the famous Cretan olive oil.
Rhodes: A Window to the Medieval Era
Rhodes, the largest island in the Dodecanese, is a fascinating destination that offers a glimpse into the medieval era. Stroll through the cobbled streets of the UNESCO-listed Old Town, with its impressive Palace of the Grand Master and charming tavernas. Visit the ancient Acropolis of Lindos or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Anthony Quinn Bay. Rhodes also has plenty of beaches to explore, such as Tsambika and Faliraki, and is a great base for day trips to nearby islands like Symi and Halki.
Delphi: A Spiritual Retreat
Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, was once considered the center of the world in ancient times. Visit the Temple of Apollo, the Sanctuary of Athena, and the Tholos of Delphi, a circular building that was used for religious rituals. Take a stroll through the Delphi Archaeological Museum, which houses artifacts from the site. Delphi is also a great place to go hiking, with trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Meteora: A Magnificent Monastic Complex
Meteora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a breathtaking monastic complex perched on top of towering rock formations. Visit the six surviving monasteries, which date back to the 14th century, and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The area is also a popular destination for rock climbing, hiking, and cycling.
Olympia: The Birthplace of the Olympics
Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games, is a must-visit destination for history buffs and sports enthusiasts. Visit the ancient stadium, the Temple of Zeus, and the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, which houses some of the most significant artifacts from the site. Olympia is also a great base for exploring the nearby Klio’s Honey Farm, where you can sample some of the best honey in Greece.
Zakynthos: The Home of the Caretta-Caretta Turtles
Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is a beautiful island located in the Ionian Sea. It is home to the endangered Caretta-Caretta turtles, which you can spot at the Zakynthos Marine Park. Visit the stunning Navagio Beach, with its turquoise waters and iconic shipwreck, or take a boat tour to explore the Blue Caves. Zakynthos is also known for its lively nightlife and delicious cuisine, such as rabbit stifado and the island’s famous dessert, mandolato.
Corfu: A Verdant Island of Contrasts
Corfu, located in the Ionian Sea, is a verdant island that offers a blend of Venetian, French, and British architecture. Stroll through the charming streets of Corfu Town, visit the impressive Achilleion Palace, or explore the stunning beaches of Paleokastritsa and Glyfada. Corfu is also known for its delicious cuisine, such as pastitsada (a spicy meat stew) and sofrito (a veal dish with garlic and wine).
Hydra: A Charming Hideaway
Hydra, located in the Saronic Gulf, is a charming hideaway no cars or motorcycles, making it the perfect destination for a peaceful getaway. Explore the cobbled streets of Hydra Town, visit the Historical Archives Museum, or take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Vlychos Beach. The island is also a great base for hiking, with trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
Nafplio: A Picturesque Seaside Town
Nafplio, located on the Peloponnese peninsula, is a picturesque seaside town that offers a blend of Venetian, Ottoman, and neoclassical architecture. Visit the impressive Palamidi Fortress, take a stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town, or explore the nearby ancient theater of Epidaurus. Nafplio is also known for its delicious cuisine, such as seafood dishes and the famous Syglino smoked pork.
Greece is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with crystal-clear waters and stunning landscapes. Some of the best beaches to explore include:
Balos Beach, Crete: A Tropical Paradise
Located on the northwest coast of Crete, Balos Beach is a stunning tropical paradise with crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft white sand. The beach is accessible by boat or by hiking the rugged terrain, which adds to the adventure. The surrounding area is also a protected nature reserve, with a diverse range of flora and fauna to discover.
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos: A Postcard-Perfect Setting
Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck Beach, is an iconic destination in Greece with a postcard-perfect setting. The beach is accessible only by boat and is surrounded by towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters. The highlight of the beach is the rusted shipwreck that sits on the shore, making for an excellent photo opportunity.
Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia: A Breath-taking Vista
Myrtos Beach, located on the northern coast of Kefalonia, is a breath-taking vista with its turquoise waters and white pebble shore. The beach is surrounded by towering cliffs and lush greenery, making for a stunning contrast. The beach is a great place for swimming, snorkelling, and sunbathing.
Elafonisi Beach, Crete: A Pink Sands Marvel
Elafonisi Beach, located on the southwestern coast of Crete, is a marvel of pink sands and crystal-clear waters. The beach is accessible by car and is surrounded by shallow lagoons and islets. The beach is also a protected nature reserve, with a diverse range of wildlife to discover.
Sarakiniko Beach, Milos: A Surreal Landscape
Sarakiniko Beach, located on the northern coast of Milos, is a surreal landscape of white volcanic rock formations and turquoise waters. The beach is a great place for snorkelling and exploring the unique terrain. The beach is accessible by car, and there are plenty of cafes and tavernas nearby.
Egremni Beach, Lefkada: A Remote Oasis
Egremni Beach, located on the southwestern coast of Lefkada, is a remote oasis with crystal-clear waters and soft white sand. The beach is accessible by boat or by a long staircase, which adds to the adventure. The beach is also surrounded by towering cliffs and offers stunning views of the Ionian Sea.
Voidokilia Beach, Messinia: A Natural Wonder
Voidokilia Beach, located on the southwestern coast of Messinia, is a natural wonder with its horseshoe-shaped shore and crystal-clear waters. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and is a popular spot for birdwatching. The beach is accessible by car and is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking.
Agios Prokopios Beach, Naxos: A Blue Flag Gem
Agios Prokopios Beach, located on the western coast of Naxos, is a blue flag gem with its soft white sand and crystal-clear waters. The beach is surrounded by cafes, tavernas, and beach bars, making it a lively destination. The beach is also a great place for water sports, such as windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Golden Beach, Thassos: A Family-Friendly Haven
Golden Beach, located on the eastern coast of Thassos, is a family-friendly haven with its soft golden sand and shallow waters. The beach is surrounded by cafes, tavernas, and souvenir shops, making it a great place for families to spend the day. The beach is also a great place for water sports, such as paddleboarding and kayaking.
Kolymbithres Beach, Paros: A Sculptural Delight
Kolymbithres Beach, located on the northern coast of Paros, is a sculptural delight with its unique rock formations and turquoise waters. The beach is accessible by car and is a great place for snorkelling and exploring the unique terrain. The beach is also surrounded by cafes and tavernas, making it a great place to spend the day.
Greece is a land of rich history and culture, with a wealth of top attractions to explore. From ancient ruins to stunning natural landscapes, there is something for everyone. Below I’ve listed my personal top 7 attractions in the country and what makes them so special:
The Acropolis, Athens: A Symbol of Ancient Greece
The Acropolis, located in Athens, is a symbol of ancient Greece and one of the most iconic sights in the country. Visit the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike, which all date back to the 5th century BCE. The Acropolis also offers stunning views of the city below.
The Parthenon, Athens: A Masterpiece of Ancient Architecture
The Parthenon, located on the Acropolis in Athens, is a masterpiece of ancient architecture and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. The temple was built in honor of the goddess Athena and features stunning marble sculptures and intricate details.
The Palace of Knossos, Crete: The Centre of Minoan Civilization
The Palace of Knossos, located on the island of Crete, was the centre of Minoan civilization and one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Visit the throne room, the Queen’s Megaron, and the famous Bull’s Head fresco, which are all part of the palace’s rich history.
The Temple of Apollo, Delphi: A Spiritual Site of Ancient Greece
The Temple of Apollo, located in Delphi, was a spiritual site of ancient Greece and a place of pilgrimage for centuries. Visit the sanctuary of Athena, the Tholos of Delphi, and the theater, which all date back to the 4th century BCE. The site also offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The Meteora Monasteries, Thessaly: A Breath-taking Sight
The Meteora Monasteries, located in Thessaly, are a breath-taking sight with their perched monasteries on top of towering rock formations. Visit the six surviving monasteries, which date back to the 14th century, and take in the stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.
The Diros Caves, Peloponnese: A Natural Wonder
The Diros Caves, located in the Peloponnese, are a natural wonder with their crystal-clear waters and stunning formations. Take a boat tour through the caves, which offer a unique perspective on the underground world.
The Samaria Gorge, Crete: A Hiking Adventure
The Samaria Gorge, located in Crete, is a hiking adventure that offers stunning views of the White Mountains and the Libyan Sea. The 16-kilometer trail takes you through rugged terrain and ends at the beautiful village of Agia Roumeli, where you can relax and enjoy a well-deserved meal.
The Island of Mykonos: A Lively Playground
And of course, moving away from adventure to nightlife, the island of Mykonos is the best Greek location for a vibrant nightlife with beautiful beaches. Party the night away at one of the many clubs and bars Mykonos has to offer!
Greece is a country that is rich in tradition and culture, and its festivals and events are a great way to experience the local way of life. From religious celebrations to cultural events, there is always something happening in Greece. Below are some of the most popular festivals and events:
The Athens Epidaurus Festival: A Celebration of Art and Culture
The Athens Epidaurus Festival is a celebration of art and culture that takes place every summer in Athens and Epidaurus. The festival features a range of performances, including theatre, music, dance, and visual arts. The festival attracts performers and artists from all over the world and is a great way to experience the local art scene.
The Carnival of Patras: A Colourful and Lively Celebration
The Carnival of Patras is one of the most lively and colourful celebrations in Greece. The festival takes place in the weeks leading up to Lent and features parades, costumes, and music. The highlight of the festival is the Grand Parade, which features floats, dancers, and musicians.
Easter in Greece: A Spiritual and Festive Time
Easter in Greece is a time of both spirituality and celebration. The week leading up to Easter is filled with religious ceremonies and rituals, including the Good Friday procession and the Resurrection service. On Easter Sunday, families gather for a feast and the traditional cracking of red-dyed eggs.
The Feast of St. John: A Midsummer Celebration
The Feast of St. John is a midsummer celebration that takes place on June 24th. The festival features bonfires, music, and dancing, and is a celebration of the summer solstice. The festival is especially popular on the island of Corfu, where locals throw clay pots out of their windows, symbolizing the throwing away of the old and welcoming the new.
The Festival of the Aegean: A Musical Extravaganza
The Festival of the Aegean is a musical extravaganza that takes place every summer on the island of Syros. The festival features performances by local and international artists, including opera, classical music, and jazz. The festival takes place in various locations on the island, including the historic Apollo Theatre.
The Athens Marathon: A Sporting Challenge
The Athens Marathon is a sporting challenge that takes place every November. The marathon follows the original route from the ancient city of Marathon to Athens and is a great way to experience the history and culture of Greece. The marathon attracts runners from all over the world and is a testament to the enduring legacy of the ancient Greeks.
The Athens Pride Parade: A Celebration of Diversity
The Athens Pride Parade is a celebration of diversity and equality that takes place every June. The parade features colourful floats, music, and dancing, and is a great way to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. The parade attracts people from all over Greece and is a testament to the growing acceptance of diversity in the country.
The Olive Harvest: A Time-Honoured Tradition
The Olive Harvest is a time-honoured tradition that takes place in November and December. The harvest is a community event, with locals gathering to pick olives and celebrate the harvest with food, music, and dancing. Visitors can participate in the harvest and learn about the importance of olives to Greek culture and cuisine.
The Ochi Day Parade: A Celebration of Greek Independence
The Ochi Day Parade is a celebration of Greek Independence that takes place every October 28th. The parade commemorates Greece’s refusal to allow Axis forces to enter the country during World War II. The parade features military displays, traditional costumes, and marching bands, and is a great way to experience Greek patriotism and pride.
The Festival of Santorini: A Celebration of Wine
The Festival of Santorini is a celebration of wine that takes place every August. The festival features wine tastings, local food, and live music, and is a great way to experience the island’s unique wine culture. Visitors can learn about the history and traditions of winemaking in Santorini and taste some of the best wines the island has to offer.
Greek cuisine is a delight for foodies, with its blend of Mediterranean flavours and fresh ingredients. Try traditional dishes such as moussaka (a baked dish of eggplant, meat, and béchamel sauce), souvlaki (grilled meat skewers), and Greek salad (with feta cheese and olives). Don’t forget to sample some of the famous Greek wines, such as Assyrtiko and Agiorgitiko.
Before embarking on your Greek adventure, here are some tips to keep in mind. Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes, as many destinations require walking on uneven surfaces. The currency in Greece is the Euro, and credit cards are widely accepted. English is spoken in most tourist destinations, but it’s always helpful to learn a few basic phrases in Greek. Finally, be sure to try the local cuisine and immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Greece.
The best time to visit Greece depends on what you’re looking for. The summer months (June-August) are the peak tourist season, with warm temperatures, lively nightlife, and crowded beaches. If you prefer a quieter experience, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (April-June, September-October), when the weather is still pleasant, but there are fewer crowds. The winter months (November-March) are the low season, with cooler temperatures and fewer tourist activities, but can be a great time to explore the mainland and take advantage of lower prices.