A plethora of ruins from the ancient times, sunny beaches, whitewashed cities, picturesque villages, Greece is ready to steal your hearts. It is one of the top-ranking travel destinations of Europe. Quite evidently so. The country looks straight out of some fairy tale book.
Greece doesn’t need an introduction. If we talk about perfection, Greece can be an example of that. The riot of stunning landscape, pristine beaches and historical sites make Greece an unmissable travel destination. If you are planning for a Greece vacation, you will be pampered with great food as well. The enchanting stories of Greek mythology are intertwined with the country’s culture. It is going to give you a bit of trouble while choosing from the places to visit in Greece.
There is a lot to explore. Pick the best ones from a pool of beautiful places. Here is a list of best places to visit in Greece that you must keep in your itinerary while planning your Greece vacation.
Best places to visit in Greece
1. Exploring Athens
The capital city of Greece has been the shelter for many for more than 3000 years now. Athens is often regarded as the birthplace of the concept of Democracy. It has also played an important role in paving the way for Western civilization. In recent times, Athens is a blend of its historical past and modern era. The city is famous for ancient ruins like Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Parthenon and the Theatre of Dionysos. These are just the popular ones, and there are many archaeological sites to explore in the capital city. Tourists often go on day trips from Athens. There are many guided tours in Athens. You can check them out as well.
If you think Athens is just about ancient archaeological ruins, you are wrong. As Greece’s capital, Athens is the centre of business. The nightlife here is also on point. Don’t forget to experience the modern vibes of Athens as well.
2. Greek Island hoping
You have to choose from about 2000 islands. Yes, that’s a bit of a task. But this ensures your repeated visit to Greece. Most of the islands are open for tourists. Gorgeous beaches and active volcanoes add to the beauty of the islands.
Santorini is one of the most popular islands. It is famous for its architectural aesthetics. Santorini is one of the best places to visit in Greece. Visit Mykonos for the narrow streets and its modern, cosmopolitan society. Whitewashed houses are there almost everywhere. Rhodes is one of the popular places to visit in Greece. Another famous site in Corfu. It has been ruled by many foreign powers and hence carries the legacy of a mixed culture.
3. Meteora Monastries
Meteora in Greek means ‘suspended in the air’. The name itself quite efficiently describes the high cliffs that beautify the surroundings. The cliffs are about 1200 feet tall. The historical monasteries of Meteora are situated on the peak of the cliffs. Stories say that the monks while searching for spiritual isolation, created these monasteries. It was built in between 14th and 16th century AD to avoid religious persecution.
Located in the north-central mainland Greece, the nearby village is Kalambaka. It is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
4. Delphi’s archaeological ruins
Just to next Acropolis, in terms of historical importance, is Delphi’s archaeological site. It is one of the top favourite places to visit in Greece for the tourists who love to explore the historical sites. It is just a drive away from Athens, about two and a half kilometres. Delphi used to be an essential oracle in its time and was dedicated to Apollo, the God. The main structure in Delphi is Athenian Treasury, the temple of Apollo and most importantly hippodrome. Hippodrome used to host ancient Pythian Games back in history.
5. Cape Sounion
Cape Sounion is situated at the southern tip of the peninsula of Attica. It has become popular because of the scenic beauty and the ancient Greek temple of the god of sea, Poseidon. Watch the sunset over the Aegean Sea. It is one of the most sought-after views. Cape Sounion can be covered in a day trip from Athens.
6. Mount Athos
The mountain and a peninsula, all in one, Mount Athos are situated in the Northern part of the country. There are about twenty eastern orthodox monasteries. Over about 1400 monks reside in those monasteries. However, it is not a very tourist-friendly place. The entry inside is controlled, and they allow only males to enter.
7. Samaria Gorge
If you are someone who loves hiking, you must keep Samaria Gorge in your itinerary. It is a 16-kilometre-long canyon. Samaria Gorge is situated in the southwestern side of the largest Greek Island, Crete. It is just an easy walk down the gorge. It takes about four to seven hours. While walking, you will see the forests full of ancient cypresses and pines. It cuts between the high cliffs and emerges into Libyan sea.
The eerie lanes of Mystras will tell you the stories of an abandoned city. It is situated near ancient Sparta. The city served as the capital of the Peloponnesus for about two centuries. The relatives of ancient Byzantine Emperor ruled it. It was inhabited by the Ottomans as well. However, it was abandoned in 1832. Now we have the breath-taking medieval ruins amidst the beautiful landscape waiting for us, welcoming us with its eerie stories. It is not that crowded and an ideal place for those who are looking for a secluded medieval ruin tour. One of the must-visit places to visit in Greece for those who want to avoid the crowd.
You can travel to Greece throughout the year. Be it summer or winter, Greece is gorgeous in its aesthetic way. However, it is advisable to avoid the peak season. Not just the beautiful Greek island hopping, explore the mainland as well, and it is stunning. The best way to know about a country’s culture is to drink and eat as the locals do. Look out for the corners where locals come for dining. While ordering wine, go for the local barrelled wine. It is not just cheap; it is tasty as well.
Above all respect the Greeks and their culture, they will shower you with love and hospitality. You will fall in love with the country and will plan a few more trips to Greece in the coming years for sure.