A true amalgamation of natural beauty, fascinating culture, and ancient history, Greece is one of the best places to visit in Europe and finds a place in every traveler’s itinerary. Cliffs jutting out into the sparkling blue water, golden beaches and more than 6000 islands, the country is a Mediterranean paradise. If you’re a history buff, a visit to the land where the democracy has its roots, and architecture as old as the 2nd century are still stood strong is a must, If not, you’re still welcome for Greece has incredible experiences to offer, such as exploring the beautiful islands of the Aegean sea, swimming into the turquoise water or hiking the trails along the Mediterranean. Here’s a list of 15 best things to do in Greece.
Tour the Acropolis
The Acropolis is considered the symbol of Athens and Greece for ages. An ancient citadel on a rocky outcrop in the heart of the Athens gives a unique insight into Greek culture and past, and western civilization as well. A visit to Acropolis of Athens is probably the top thing to do in the Greek capital. The Acropolis contains architectural ruins of several ancient buildings of historic significance, the most famous being the temple of Parthenon dedicated to the goddess Athena. In addition to Parthenon, you’ll find the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a second-century theater, Monument of Agrippa, Propylaia and many more historical ruins. The Acropolis is probably one of the best places to visit in Greece.
Explore the whitewashed town of Santorini
Santorini is one of the most famous Greek isles and is instantly recognizable around the globe for its whitewashed cliff-top towns of Fira and Oia, located on its west coast. These clusters of caldera-edge settlements offer breathtaking views and the path running through these villages is lined with upscale hotels, rooftop restaurants, and endless photo opportunities. Santorini is a paradise for honeymooners, a calm place with relaxed vibes and peaceful views. It is best to visit Santorini if you’re interested in a romantic getaway, beautiful sunsets, boutique hotels, and fine dining.
Visit the Delphi
The ancient town of Delphi holds extreme significance in Greek history and its well-preserved archaeological ruins are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage in 1987. The town was considered to be the center of the world by the ancient Greeks. Delphi was home to many sacred monuments in the past and their ruins are still present. The Sacred Way is the main pathway through the Sanctuary of Apollo, which leads to the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. The pathway is lined with several architectural ruins like Treasury of Athens, an ancient stadium, an ancient theater, and the Hippodrome – an arena-style area where chariot races took place. Along with Acropolis, Delphi is also one of the most important tourist attractions in Greece.
Uncover the Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum is where all the major archaeological findings of Acropolis of Athens are kept on display. Designed by Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, the museum is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Greece. The ultra-modern building with made of cutting edge glass and steel houses most important Greek artifacts including the 6th-century-BC Moschophoros (statue of a young man carrying a calf on his shoulders), the highly controversial Parthenon marbles, and the Caryatids (sculptures of female figures that held up the Erechtheion).
Admire Hephaestus Temple
The Temple of Hephaestus is located very close to the Acropolis, in the charming Thissio neighborhood of Athens. It is the best-preserved ancient Greek temple in the world but is far less popular among tourists than its illustrious neighbor, the Parthenon. Hephaestus was the patron god of craft, fire, and metalwork, and the temple is devoted to him only. It is believed that the Temple of Hephaestus and the Parthenon are designed by the same architect. Hephaestus Temple is known for its pretty columns and its Pentelic and Parian marble decorations.
Visit the monasteries of Meteora
In Thessaly Plains of Greece, you’ll find the most bizarre landscape of the country. Immense natural rock pillars and hill-like boulders jutting out of the land dominate the whole area and among the cliffs of some of these rocks are complexes of Eastern Orthodox Monasteries. There are 6 monasteries in Meteora, and their location makes them look otherworldly. You need to climb up several flights of stone steps carved into the rocks to reach each monastery and inside you’ll find peaceful halls lit up with candles. Although the climb can be a little tiring, the mesmerizing views of the valley from the top makes it worth it.
Go spelunking at Melissani Cave
Melissani Cave is located on the island of Kefalonia. The 4 Km long cave is one of the unique places to visit in Greece. Its costs $8USD for a short boat ride into the caves where you can find the Melissani Lake, which is a true natural marvel. The 40-meter wide underwater lake was once worshipped by the Greeks. The best time to see the lake chambers are during the day when light streams in from above making the crystal-clear water glitter.
Explore the Samaria Gorge
Greece is known for its sea, island, and beaches and thus, hiking is not something that comes into mind when you think of Greece, but Hiking is one of the best activities to participate in Greece. The Gorge of Samaria is a favorite trail among hikers on Greece island of Crete. It is one of Europe’s longest canyons and spans 16 kilometers. There are many trails ranging from 3 km to 12.5 km, it can take around 6 to 7 hours to complete the hike.
Admire the beauty of the Corfu Town
One of the best places to visit in Greece, Corfu is in the Ionian Sea off the west coast of the mainland. It’s capital, the Corfu town is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its well-preserved Venetian history and elegance and Italian architecture. The pedestrian-only streets of the town are lined with romantic restaurants and old-fashioned cafes. Away from the town, the rest of the island is lush green hills with plenty of hiking opportunities. Along the trail, you’ll pass past beautiful lagoons and scenic summits offering a panoramic view of the island and the vast sea.
Go on a road trip along the golden beaches
Islands hopping is great but a road trip in Greece is no less. Starting from Athens, there are multiple itineraries to choose from and you can travel at your own pace. Renting a car and having the freedom to explore on your own is the best feeling. Drive on the coastal roads through the Athenian Riviera to Sounion, watch a sunset at the Temple of Poseidon, take a stopover to enjoy a luxurious seaside stay at the resort town of Náfplio. Do whatever you feel like, you won’t be disappointed. The roads are scenic and most of the time run along the golden beaches giving you serene views of the sea as you feel the breeze passing past your face. Be it a short weekend trip or a 20-day long journey, a road trip in Greece is a must-have experience.
Attend a Panigiri
Greeks are very social people and love spending time outdoors, thanks to the amazing weather. The best way to know the locals and to be among these lovely people is to attend a Panigiri. Feast or “Panigiri” is a traditional celebration that involves a lot of eating, drinking vino and dancing to the folk tunes. It takes place all over Greece. In the past, a Panigiri used to be the celebration in the villages on the names of the day of their patron saint. Today, however, it’s just a reason to celebrate a type of food or drink. While on your Greece tour, you must check out if there’s a feast during your stay and visit a highly anticipated social event.
Climb Mount Olympus
One of the highest peaks in Greece, Mount Olympus is in the Mount Olympus National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Greek mythology, The Mt. Olympus was believed to be the home to the gods with Zeus’ throne perched on the top. The Mountain is not only famous for its historical significance but also for its rich flora and myriads of hiking trails. Climbing Mount Olympus is one of the best things to do in Greece. Trail through the Enipeas’ Gorge is one of the best and takes around 4-5 hours to complete.
Often forgotten, Thessaloniki is the second-largest city of Greece after Athens. Founded in 316 BC, the city is an amalgamation of many cultures due to its geographical location, close to the border of Bulgaria and Turkey. The city is often called The Lady of the North and is home to many UNESCO-listed buildings including, Byzantine churches, several Roman monuments (including the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and the 4th-century Rotunda), and the 15th-century White Tower on the seafront. A trip to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki which is owned by the Ministry of Culture is a must too.
Visit Mykonos- The paradise for party-lover
Mykonos is a glamorous island of Greece, very popular among celebrities for its amazing nightlife, chic boutique hotels, classy seafood restaurants, and live music venues. It is often compared to Santorini, but both have a very different vibe. While Santorini is best for calm and laid-back holidays, Mykonos is vibrant, lively and energetic, a great place for party freaks. The place is popular for its summer party atmosphere, where clubs host world-renowned Djs and stay open well past dawn. Apart from the amazing night scene, Mykonos is also home to dazzling sand beaches, beautiful mountain trails for hiking and biking and many opportunities for water sports.
Relax on Balos Beach
Balos Beach on the fat northwest corner of Crete is easily one of the most picturesque locations in the entire Mediterranean. It is a great place to relax or to enjoy the surf in Greece. There’s a Balos Lagoon, a beautiful cove of warm turquoise water, Cape Tigani, a rocky islet that narrowly connected the beach and then there’s the Balos Beach, that connects all of it to the mainland. This tangled element of natural beauty truly makes for a great experience.
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