Greece is a country with immense history, culture, and natural beauty. It is home to ancient ruins, stunning islands, and delicious cuisine. There are so many incredible places to explore in Greece that it can be hard to decide where to visit. Here is an in-depth guide to some of the top destinations and things to do in Greece.
The capital and largest city of Greece, Athens is a must-see. The city is dominated by the Acropolis, an ancient citadel perched atop a rocky outcrop that contains some of the most famous classical buildings in the world.
The Acropolis: The Acropolis was built in the 5th century BC and contains structures like the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Walking among these magnificent ruins is an experience that should not be missed.
The Acropolis Museum: Located at the base of the Acropolis, this museum houses artifacts found at the archaeological site. The museum provides a comprehensive overview of the Acropolis and Ancient Greek culture.
Plaka: This charming old neighborhood located under the Acropolis has narrow, winding streets, neoclassical architecture, and an array of shops, restaurants, and cafes.
National Archaeological Museum: This museum has the largest collection of ancient Greek artifacts in the world, with over 11,000 exhibits.
With over 600 islands and islets scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian Seas, the Greek islands are renowned for their breathtaking beauty. Each island has its own unique landscape and culture.
Santorini is arguably the most iconic Greek island, renowned for its whitewashed, cubiform houses and churches clinging to volcanic cliffs.
Fira: The capital of Santorini, Fira is a vibrant town that offers stunning views over the caldera and volcano.
Oia: This picturesque village overlooking the Aegean Sea is known for its sunset views and blue-domed churches.
Akrotiri: These Minoan ruins at the southern tip of Santorini offer a glimpse into this ancient civilization.
Red Beach: Santorini’s beaches have red, white, and black sands due to past volcanic activity. Red Beach is one of the most unique.
Mykonos is a cosmopolitan island known for its lively nightlife and glamorous atmosphere.
Mykonos Town: This town is a maze of picturesque, whitewashed buildings and winding alleyways.
Paradise Beach: One of Mykonos’ best beaches, Paradise Beach has golden sands and a lively party scene.
Little Venice: This waterfront neighborhood in Mykonos Town is known for its medieval houses lined up on the sea.
Armenistis Lighthouse: Built in 1891, this lighthouse offers panoramic views over Mykonos.
The largest Greek island, Crete has varied terrain encompassing beautiful beaches, mountains, and gorges.
Heraklion: Crete’s capital and Greece’s fifth-largest city, Heraklion has Venetian walls and ruins like the Palace of Knossos.
Elafonisi Beach: Located on Crete’s southwest coast, Elafonisi has striking pink-white sands and turquoise waters.
Samaria Gorge: This dramatic gorge cut through the White Mountains is one of Europe’s longest. Hiking through is an unforgettable experience.
Palace of Knossos: Dating back to 1900 BC, this palace complex provides insight into the Minoan civilization.
Rhodes is renowned for its medieval Old Town and impressive ancient ruins. The architecture reflects past rule by the Knights of St John.
Acropolis of Lindos: Perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, this ancient acropolis has breathtaking views.
Old Town of Rhodes: This walled medieval town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with cobblestone streets and medieval architecture.
Valley of the Butterflies: During summer months, this valley turns into a colorful haven for butterflies.
Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes: This palace housed the Knights of St John during their reign over the island from 1309-1523.
While the Greek islands may get more hype, the Greek mainland also contains some spectacular historic sites and beautiful nature.
Situated in central Greece, Meteora is a rock formation containing Eastern Orthodox monasteries perched dramatically atop the peaks.
Monastery of Great Meteoron: The largest and oldest of the six monasteries, Great Meteoron dates back to the 14th century.
Hiking: Hiking trails around Meteora provide the chance to admire the monasteries from below and take in sweeping views.
Climbing: Advanced climbers can scale some of the cliffs and pinnacles.
Once home to the ancient oracle and sanctuary of Apollo, Delphi is rich with archaeological treasures and mythological history.
The Sanctuary of Apollo: Dating back to the 4th century BC, this sanctuary was the most sacred site in Ancient Greece.
The Theatre: With seating for over 5,000 people, this ancient theatre hosted music and poetry competitions.
Tholos of Athena: This 4th century BC structure has 20 Doric columns and housed donations to Athena.
The Archaeological Museum: Housed in a scenic location on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, this museum showcases finds from Delphi.
Set in the verdant Peloponnese region, Olympia was the site of the ancient Olympic Games which ran from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
Ancient Stadium: This stadium could hold over 40,000 spectators for events like running races, boxing, and wrestling.
Temple of Zeus: Completed in the 5th century BC, this once-massive temple was dedicated to Zeus.
Archaeological Museum: Artifacts on display include Hermes of Praxiteles, one of the best-preserved ancient Greek statues.
Filippeion: This circular temple was dedicated to Alexander the Great and his family.
Wherever you travel in Greece, you’ll encounter remnants of one of the world’s most influential ancient civilizations. Combine ruins and artifacts with stunning scenery and welcoming locals for an unforgettable experience. Greece offers endless opportunities for adventure, discovery, and inspiration.