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The 16 Best Places To Visit In Greece

Greece, often referred to as the cradle of Western Civilization, boasts a captivating blend of natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. The country’s breathtaking landscapes, comprising hundreds of picturesque islands, are just one aspect of its allure. Additionally, Greece is renowned for its delectable cuisine, which has been shaped by thousands of years of history. This incredible nation offers an array of fascinating destinations to explore, ranging from the iconic whitewashed villages that dot the countryside to the ancient Greek ruins that whisper tales of a bygone era.

Best Places to Visit in Greece

With its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, Greece is an ideal destination for travelers seeking adventure and relaxation. From majestic mountains to picturesque islands, this Mediterranean gem boasts an impressive array of natural wonders and cultural attractions that cater to diverse interests. Here’s a curated selection of the top 16 must-visit places in Greece, ensuring you make the most of your next Greek escapade.

Santorini – The Most Popular Greek Island

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Santorini, a Greek island, has long been synonymous with picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views. Its unique geology, shaped by volcanic activity, results in dramatic cliffs overlooking the stunning caldera of the Aegean Sea. The whitewashed villages of Oia and Imerovigli, characterized by white Cycladic houses and blue-domed churches, offer a serene atmosphere as they gaze out upon the caldera. For those seeking an indulgent getaway or romantic escape, Santorini boasts numerous luxury accommodations featuring suites with private jacuzzis overlooking the sea. While it’s renowned for being pricey, the island remains accessible to travelers on a budget. Beyond its visual splendor, Santorini offers a plethora of activities, including winery visits, hiking along the Fira-Oia cliffside path, and exploring the ancient ruins of Akrotiri. However, the true highlight of this enchanting isle lies in witnessing its awe-inspiring sunset, widely regarded as one of the world’s most spectacular. A boat tour on the Aegean Sea provides the ultimate vantage point to marvel at this natural wonder.

Athens – Best Place to Learn History of the Ancient Greeks

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With over 3,000 years of rich history under its belt, Athens is a city that effortlessly weaves together ancient charm and modern vibrancy. The crown jewel of Athenian attractions is undoubtedly the Acropolis, an ancient citadel comprising iconic structures such as the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion. Beyond this revered site, visitors can uncover numerous historical gems scattered throughout the city, including the Ancient Agora, Temple of Olympian Zeus, National Archaeological Museum, and Panathenaic Stadium. But Athens is more than just a treasure trove of ancient relics – it’s also a city that pulses with energy, boasting a thriving cultural scene, lively nightlife, and mouthwatering Greek cuisine. For those seeking to experience the authentic spirit of Greece, Plaka, a picturesque neighborhood replete with boutique shops and traditional tavernas, is an absolute must-visit.

Naxos – Best Greek Island for Beautiful Beaches

Nestled in the heart of Greece lies the picturesque island of Naxos, a treasure trove of natural beauty, rich history, and mouth-watering cuisine. The charming town of Chora, also referred to as Naxos City, serves as the perfect hub for exploring this Cycladic gem. Here, boutique shops and restaurants abound, offering traditional Greek flavors and a warm welcome to visitors.Beyond the city limits, Naxos unfolds its secrets, revealing a tapestry of historic villages, each with its own unique charm and breathtaking views. The island’s rich heritage is palpable in sites like the ancient Temple of Apollo, the Portara, and the ruins of Apano Kastro, an ancient castle.But it’s the beaches that truly steal the show on Naxos. Golden sands stretch along the coastline, inviting sun-seekers to bask in their glory. Plaka Beach, Agios Georgios Beach, and Agios Prokopios Beach are just a few of the many treasures waiting to be discovered.

Paros – A Hidden Gem Cyclades Island

Paros, a serene gem in the Aegean Sea, is often underestimated by travelers who flock to more popular destinations like Santorini and Mykonos. However, this Cycladic island has been gaining traction as a must-visit destination in Greece. The island’s picturesque white-washed villages, stunning beaches, and tranquil atmosphere make it an ideal retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.Visitors can indulge in the local cuisine by exploring the traditional seaside villages and savoring authentic Greek flavors. For those seeking cultural experiences, the historic Byzantine church Panagia Ekatontapiliani is a must-visit, while nature lovers will appreciate the scenic Monastiri beach and Paros Park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Crete – Best Island for Ancient History

Crete, Greece’s largest island, is a treasure trove of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Its vast size makes it an ideal destination for a road trip adventure, offering plenty of opportunities to explore stunning beaches, picturesque coastal towns, and great hiking spots. The island’s heritage is steeped in history, with ancient ruins like Knossos Palace, once home to the Minoans around 1600 BCE, waiting to be discovered. Heraklion, Crete’s largest city, serves as a hub for transportation, housing the main ferry port and airport. It’s worth spending time here to delve into the island’s rich past.Another gem on the island is Chania, a charming coastal town in northwest Crete. Its 14th-century Venetian Harbor is a must-see, with its colorful buildings, waterfront restaurants, and picturesque atmosphere. This delightful spot makes for an excellent base while exploring the island.Crete’s sunny climate – averaging 300 days of sunshine per year – only adds to its allure as an ideal vacation destination. The island boasts numerous stunning beaches, such as Elafonissi Beach and Balos Beach, featuring white sand and turquoise waters. With so much to offer, Crete is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Greece.

Meteora – Incredible Scenery

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In Greece, there exists a mystical place called Meteora that has captivated the imagination of many. Situated in central Greece, this extraordinary region is characterized by towering pillar-rock formations that have been home to monasteries built by monks between the 14th and 16th centuries. It’s remarkable to think about how these structures were constructed without any modern technological aid. Initially, there were as many as 24 monasteries in Meteora, but today only six remain open to visitors, each one a testament to the ingenuity of its ancient builders.

A visit to Meteora is an unparalleled experience that sets it apart from other Greek destinations. The breathtaking views from atop these rock formations are simply stunning, and a sunset tour is highly recommended. If you’re willing to make the approximately 4-and-a-half-hour drive north from Athens, you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable adventure.

Alternatively, you can opt for a guided tour that includes other iconic sites like Delphi, or rent a car and spend the night in nearby Kalabaka to fully immerse yourself in the region’s unique charm.

Milos – An Island with Gorgeous Beaches

Milos, situated in the southern Cyclades islands, boasts breathtaking beaches, quaint fishing villages, and a unique volcanic landscape. This Greek gem is a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking an unforgettable experience.

One of the most fascinating aspects of Milos is its connection to art history. It was here that the famous Venus de Milo statue was first discovered, now residing proudly in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Visitors to Milos should make a point to stop by Sarakiniko Beach, a lunar-shaped haven with snow-white cliffs dramatically juxtaposed against the brilliant turquoise waters. This picturesque spot has become an Instagram sensation due to its otherworldly beauty, and it’s also a popular destination for cliff jumping, swimming, and relaxation.

Another must-do experience in Milos is taking a leisurely sailboat ride to Kleftiko Beach, only accessible by boat. With multiple daily departures available, there’s no excuse not to make the journey to this stunning cliffside beach.

Rhodes – Best Island for History Lovers

The island of Rhodes sits majestically in the eastern Aegean, its rich history shaped by the influences of Greece, Turkey, and Venice. This fascinating destination is a must-visit for anyone passionate about history. A stroll through Rhodes’ old town, surrounded by medieval walls, is an experience like no other. The Palace of the Grand Master is a highlight, while wandering along the cobblestone streets reveals secrets hidden in every corner. Additionally, the picturesque village of Lindos beckons with its pristine white houses and quaint tavernas. Perched atop this charming settlement is the awe-inspiring Lindos Acropolis, an ancient temple dedicated to Athena, which gazes out upon a stunning beach where the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea lap against the shore.

Mykonos – Greece’s Party Island

Mykonos has earned its reputation as one of Greece’s most sought-after destinations, with its sun-kissed shores and electrifying nightlife drawing in visitors from around the world. Celebrities and party enthusiasts alike flock to this small island for its luxurious beach clubs, where the glamour is palpable. While it’s undeniable that Mykonos has become a hotbed of activity, its high demand has driven up costs compared to other Greek islands.

Beyond the vibrant nightlife, however, lies an equally alluring charm. The island’s original claim to fame stems from its picturesque seaside villages, where whitewashed streets and iconic windmills transport visitors to a bygone era. For the culturally inclined, a day trip to the ancient site of Delos, nestled nearby, is a must-experience excursion from Mykonos.

Corfu – Beautiful Ionian Island

Corfu, a lush green island nestled in the Ionian Sea, boasts a rich history that blends Italian architecture with Greek culture, thanks to its Venetian past. The old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a treasure trove of charm, boasting cobblestone streets and vibrant buildings adorned with baroque-style facades. Wander through the historic district and discover the Fortress of Corfu, a formidable Venetian fortress that stands sentinel over the Spianada Square, one of Greece’s most breathtaking public spaces. Beyond the old town, Corfu is renowned for its stunning beaches, including the picturesque Canal d’Amour, where unique rock formations, caves, and secluded coves await exploration.

Kefalonia – Perfect for Nature Lovers

Surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia is a haven for those seeking an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This picturesque Greek island boasts a unique blend of natural wonders, breathtaking landscapes, and serene beaches that will leave you enchanted.

At its core, Kefalonia is home to several awe-inspiring natural attractions, including the legendary Drogarati Cave and the enchanting Cave of Melissani. These ancient formations are just a glimpse into the island’s rich geological history and offer a fascinating insight into the region’s unique geology.

Beyond its natural wonders, Kefalonia is also blessed with an array of stunning beaches that seem plucked straight from a postcard. Myrtos Beach and Skala Beach are two standout examples, featuring pristine white sand, towering cliffs, and turquoise waters that perfectly capture the essence of this Ionian gem.

Zakynthos – Best Island for Natural Beauty

Zakynthos, an Ionian island gem, boasts a unique blend of natural beauty and charm. Its picturesque harbor city and stunning beaches like Agios Nikolaos Beach are just a few of its many attractions. But it’s the iconic Navagio Beach, also known as Smuggler’s Cove, that truly sets Zakynthos apart. This breathtaking beach is home to a legendary shipwreck, making it one of Greece’s most photographed destinations. While only accessible by boat, there are numerous boat tours departing from Zakynthos that offer an unforgettable experience. Beyond its beaches, the island also boasts the Zakynthos Marine Park, featuring golden shores, towering dunes, and even sea turtles. Additionally, Zakynthos is a scuba diver’s paradise, offering some of the best diving experiences in Greece.

Delphi – Best Place to Visit Ancient Ruins

Delphi, situated in the rugged mountains along the slopes of Mt Parnassus, is an ancient world treasure trove. This esteemed site boasts some of Greece’s most impressive archaeological ruins and excavation sites, making it an absolute must-visit for history enthusiasts and culture vultures alike.

For centuries, pilgrims would flock to Delphi from far-flung lands to seek the wisdom of the enigmatic Oracle at the Temple of Apollo. The ancient Greeks believed that the Oracle possessed the power to divine the future, making it a sacred site in their pantheon. As such, city-states like Athens and Sparta would store valuable treasures, including gold, within Delphi’s treasuries.

Today, visitors can delve into the rich history of Delphi by exploring the archaeological site and the adjacent Delphi Museum. This treasure trove of artifacts holds secrets and stories excavated from the very earth itself. Located approximately 2.5 hours northwest of Athens, Delphi is an ideal day trip destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in Greece’s storied past.

Nafplion – The First Capital of Modern-Day Greece

Perched on the coast of the Argolic Gulf, Nafplion is a captivating city in Greece’s Peloponnese Peninsula that once served as the country’s capital. This charming destination still exudes its Venetian heritage, with pastel-hued buildings and Italian-inspired architecture that will transport you to another era.

As a former port city under Venetian rule, Nafplion has preserved many of its historical charms. The town’s romantic ambiance is palpable, making it an ideal spot for couples seeking a tranquil getaway.

Standing sentinel over the city is the majestic Fortress of Palamidi, a 17th-century Venetian fortress that offers breathtaking views of Nafplion and the surrounding landscape. For those looking to explore beyond the city limits, Nafplion serves as an excellent base for day trips to notable historical sites such as Corinth, Mycenae, and Epidaurus.

Olympia – The Birthplace of the Olympics

The Olympic Games’ ancient roots can be traced back to Olympia, a historical site nestled in Greece’s Peloponnese Peninsula. It was here, around 776 BCE, that the inaugural Olympics took place, initially serving as a tribute to the Greek deities. Today, the Olympics have evolved into a global phenomenon, attracting nations from far and wide to participate. Visitors can now delve into the remnants of the ancient stadium, training facilities, and temples, once consecrated to Zeus and Hera, at the very site where it all began in Olympia.

Thessaloniki – A Hidden Gem of Northern Greece

Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, often flies under the radar as a travel destination, despite boasting an abundance of culture, history, mouth-watering cuisine, and warm hospitality. While many flock to Athens and the Greek Islands, this underrated gem in northern Greece deserves attention for its unique blend of Byzantine grandeur and Mediterranean charm.As the former capital of the Byzantine Empire, Thessaloniki is steeped in history, with landmarks like the iconic White Tower serving as testaments to its storied past. The Roman Forum and Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki are must-visit attractions for history buffs, offering a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural heritage.Beyond its historical sites, the port city’s picturesque harbor is another draw, inviting visitors to stroll along the seafront promenade and take in the sights. Just a short distance from the harbor lies historic Aristotelous Square, where diners can indulge in local cuisine and shoppers can browse the array of shops and restaurants.

Getting Around Greece

Greece boasts an impressive array of must-visit destinations, making it challenging to choose just one for your next adventure. However, the country’s convenient transportation network makes exploring multiple locations a breeze. With frequent flights and ferry connections linking the islands and mainland, you’ll find it easy to hop from one fascinating spot to another.

International Flights

For travelers arriving internationally, it’s likely that your flight will land at Athens International Airport. This hub serves as a key connection point for onward travel, whether by domestic flights or ferry connections to nearby islands. Alternatively, you can choose to rent a vehicle and explore the Greek mainland and Peloponnese Peninsula by car, offering a more leisurely and flexible way to experience the country’s scenic landscapes.

Domestic Flights

While many of Greece’s larger islands boast small airports, flying remains the speediest way to reach them, especially considering their scattered nature. For instance, the coveted island of Santorini lies just a 30-minute flight from Athens, whereas the ferry ride can take several hours. This juxtaposition highlights the convenience of aerial travel. Among the airlines servicing these routes is Aegean Airlines, consistently praised for its reliability and efficiency. Budget-friendly options like Sky Express are also available for travelers seeking cost-effective alternatives.


Ferry travel is a popular way to explore the Greek islands, with Piraeus being the primary port in Athens connecting to most island destinations. While there’s a smaller chance of sea sickness during peak season from June to September, it’s essential to consider the type of ferry that suits your needs. Seajets and similar high-speed ferries offer quicker journeys but may experience choppy conditions depending on the weather. For those prone to seasickness or seeking a smoother ride, slower options like Bluestar are available. Alternatively, flying can be an efficient way to travel, albeit not as immersive of an experience.

Best Time to Visit Greece

Greece’s vast landscape offers a unique travel experience depending on your destination. The Greek Islands are best explored during late April to early June or September to October, as these periods avoid the peak summer months of July and August when temperatures soar, crowds flock, and prices skyrocket. However, if you’re seeking sun-kissed beaches, consider visiting in late summer or early fall, when the Aegean Sea warms up. In contrast, most Greek islands shut down or operate with limited services during the winter season, making it a less popular time to visit. On the other hand, Athens and mainland Greece can be visited throughout the year, with the best weather still found in the shoulder seasons of spring and fall.

So Many Reasons to Take a Vacation in Greece!

With its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, Greece is a haven for travelers seeking adventure and relaxation. The country’s diverse geography offers a wide range of experiences, from the picturesque Greek islands with their pristine beaches and charming villages to the rugged mountains and ancient historical sites on the mainland. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed getaway or a leisurely escape, Greece has something for everyone. Its plethora of options means that there’s always something new to discover, making it a must-visit destination for anyone’s bucket list.