The only thing longer than Greece’s rich history is the list of reasons why you should visit this captivating country. Regardless of whether you want to relax on the beach, explore ancient relics, eat fresh seafood or dance the night away, there will be somewhere in Greece perfect for you.
But what exactly are Greece’s most-loved destinations? From vibrant sun-soaked islands to the nation’s incredible capital, here are some of the best.
Ever seen pictures of a steep coastal cliffside featuring whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches, and the dazzling Mediterranean sea? That’ll be Oia, Santorini’s most picture-perfect village. Scores of tourists get lost among its winding streets, which are bursting at the seams with local handicraft boutiques selling jewellery, hand-blown glass, leather goods, and painted ceramics. If you want to escape Oia’s crowded cobbles though, head to the Boutari winery for a guided tour and tasting session.
Image by snowfish2014, used under Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0
For the ultimate in rest and relaxation, head to Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands. Here you will find quaint seaside towns, which hug enticing turquoise waters and golden sandy beaches. A day of sun, sea, sand, will be warmly welcomed if you choose to sample Rhodes’ lively nightlife too. Those who want a little more substance won’t be disappointed either, as this was the home of Minoan culture and still boasts an old town protected by 14th-century fortifications.
Although several travellers will simply fly in and out of Athens while visiting Greece, others choose to capitalise on the capital’s endless historical highlights. No itinerary would be complete without visiting the renowned Acropolis, which dominates the city skyline. But elsewhere, you can view classical artifacts at the National Archaeological Museum and imagine what the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896 were like at the Panathenaic Stadium.
Yet another destination that adorns numerous picturesque postcards, the white windmills and narrow side streets of Mykonos remain the Greek island of choice for many. The waterside area of Little Venice is packed with souvenir shoppers by day, but when the sun starts to set you will see more and more cocktail bars opening their doors for a night of non-stop revelry. Plenty of boat excursions run from Mykonos Town too, with ports of call including the stunning south coast beaches and the UNESCO-listed archaeological site of Delos.
Found at the heart of the Cyclades islands, Naxos leaves a long-lasting impression on those who ignore some of Greece’s more notable destinations in favour of this sprawling yet sequestered island. Its unassuming port town gives you an authentic insight into what daily life is really like, while the beaches found by the village of Agios Prokopios are as close to perfection as you can get.
With so much variety to choose from, it can be difficult to settle upon just a single destination in Greece. But if you visit one of the aforementioned favourites, you won’t go far wrong.