Crete Cruise - credits: Igor Tichonow/Shutterstock.com
Crete Cruise - credits: Igor Tichonow/Shutterstock.com

According to recent studies that have taken place solely inside my head, there is not a single soul that has visited Greece and didn't fall in love with it immediately. And how could they not? The things to do in Greece are plenty and one better than the other!

The glorious sun, the omnipresent sparkling sea, and the impressively delicious cuisine are good enough reasons to make you consider relocating for good. 

With so much potential at your disposal, visiting Greece might sound intimidating in terms of finding the best things to do, see and experience. 

That's why we have accumulated a list of the top things to do in Greece if you want to have an authentic experience and a lot of stories to tell afterward. 

Admire the Archaeological Sites of Greece 

Ancient ruins in Athens

Acropolis aerial view Aerial motion shutterstock copy copy copy copy copyThe Acropolis - credits: Aerial-motion/Shutterstock.com

I know it sounds like the biggest cliche, but visiting the Acropolis should hold the top spot on your bucket list.

Even if you don't consider yourself a history geek, the imposing sacred rock of the Acropolis and the architectural greatness of the Parthenon won't leave you untouched; it is no coincidence the Acropolis is considered the most important archaeological site in Greece and one of the most important in the world!

Acropolis dominates Athens skyline and testifies to the excellence of ancient Athens. Anyone interested in ancient architectural history may admire the Doric columns and the magnificent temples.

The Acropolis is surrounded by pathways and allows you to walk freely around the monument and enjoy its greatest features, including the Propylaea, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the Old Temple of Athena, the Erechtheum, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the famous Parthenon among others.

acropolis ruins view Kanuman shutterstockView from the Temple of Zeus - credits: Kanuman/Shutterstock.com

Within walking distance from the Acropolis hill, you can also admire the imposing remnants of the Temple of Zeus. Located in the middle of the busy city, the Temple of Zeus was built in with the intent of being the largest temple in ancient Greece.

The construction of the great temple began by Peisistratos in 515 BC. at the site of an older temple of the early 6th, it reached the quay and was interrupted by the overthrow of the tyrant.

Part of its building materials was later used for the construction of the eastern arm of the Themistocles wall.

The temple initially sported two rows of 20 columns on the long sides and three rows of 8 columns on the narrow ones.

The ruin began in the 5th c. A.D. and continued in the following centuries by natural causes or human interventions. Of the 104 columns of the temple, sixteen were preserved until 1852. One was knocked down by a terrible storm that year which still remains in the spot it fell today.

temple of hephaestus ancient agora Tatiana Popova shutterstockThe Temple of Hephaestus - credits: Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock.com

What's more, the beautiful neighborhood of Thissio in the city center houses the Temple Hephaestus. This temple, like many Greek temples, has been dedicated primarily to the gods Hephaestus, the god of fire, and Athena, the god of pottery and ancient arts.

The Temple of Hephaestus was built in 450 BC on Goreao's mountain Koronos. It was built by the same architects who built the Pantheon.

It is famous for its beautiful pillars and Pentelic and Parian marble ornament. The building has friezes and sculptures that are considered one of Greece's most historic.

ancient agora athens2 Vania Tonova shutterstockThe Ancient Agora of Athens - credits: Vania Tonova/Shutterstock.com

Other sites of Athens worth seeing are of course the Ancient and Roman Agora. The Ancient Agora of Athens was built amid the 6th c. e.g. northwest of the Acropolis.

The most important public buildings and sanctuaries were erected in it and intense administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activity developed. The sequence of the buildings of the Agora over time reflects the evolutionary course of the democratic state in the five centuries of existence of the city-state.

On the other hand, the Roman Agora was built between 19-11 BC. from the donations of Julius Caesar and Augustus. The court was paved during the reign of Emperor Hadrian.

After the invasion of the Heroes (267 AD) and the confinement of Athens within the Late Roman wall, the administrative and commercial center of the city was transferred from the Ancient to the Roman Agora and to Hadrian's Library.

During the Byzantine era and the Ottoman Empire, the area was occupied by houses, workshops, and churches as well as the Fethiye Mosque.

panathenaic stadium Anastasios71 shutterstockThe Panathenaic stadium - credits: Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com

Of course, a trip to the Panathenaic Stadium is also a must-visit destination during your stay in Athens. It is an impressive ancient theater that hosted the first modern Olympic Games.

It is located on the site of the ancient stadium which was built in 338 BC. The area chosen belonged to a local Athenian, who granted it to the municipality of Athens for the construction of a stadium that would host the naked games of the Great Panathinaia. 

Last but not least, on the outskirts of Athens, in Cape Sounio, you can marvel at the striking Temple of Poseidon. Perched on top of a small hill, it is a sought-after spot for catching the sunset as it offers magnificent views out to the Aegean sea. 

On the Greek islands

temple of afaia Roman Sigaev shutterstockThe Temple of Afaia - credits: Roman_Sigaev/Shutterstock.com

An hour away from Athens, the Saronic island of Aegina, boasts one of the most impressive ancient sites worth seeing. The Temple of Afaia, as it is called, is built on a hill of 160 m, surrounded by pine trees, and stands out for its unique energy.

From prehistoric times, it was a unique place of worship. However, its sanctuary flourished during the Archaic Times, when three temples were built in the same place, with the last one in a row being preserved to this day.

Legend has it that the architects of the Parthenon, Iktinos, and Kallikrates, relied on this model temple in order to later design the famous temple in Athens.

Delos ancient ruins Dimitris Panas shutterstockDelos - credits: Dimitris Panas/Shutterstock.com

While Mykonos is primarily known for its wild nightlife and endless parties, the nearby islet of Delos hosts an impressive and important archaeological site that is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

The island of Delos is the sacred island, which according to mythology, appeared in Leto - persecuted by Hera - through the waves of the Aegean, to give birth to Apollo and Artemis.

In Delos, the ancient ruins of one of the largest and most impressively organized settlements of Greco-Roman antiquity are preserved in a fairly good condition.

Delos and the neighboring islet of Rhenia are under the protection of the Greek Ministry of Culture. As a result, the mooring of boats and the overnight stay of people without special permission are prohibited.

portara naxos leoks shutterstockPortara, Naxos - credits: leoks/Shutterstock.com

Staying in the complex of the Cyclades islands, the island of Naxos is famous for Portara.

From the beginning of historical times, the cult of Apollo, with the holy island of Delos as its religious center, had spread to all the Cyclades.

In the case of Naxos, the sanctuary of Apollo was founded in the 9th to 8th century BC, without a temple yet, on the ruins of a prehistoric settlement.

From the foundations, which have been revealed, the floor plan of the temple can be seen. The gate, which became known as the Portara, consists of a perimeter of 4 marble sections, about 6 meters long.

The roof and exterior colonnade were never completed. Nevertheless, the architecture of the temple, and especially of the gate, influenced the Cycladic sacred buildings, but also the classic buildings of the Acropolis of Athens, with the typical example of the northern gate of the Erechtheion.

Portara evolved into an independent building, to which they attached special worship, as it symbolized the transition from the worldly to the sacred.

knossos crete Timofeev Vladimir shutterstock 2Knossos Palace - credits: _Timofeev-Vladimir/Shutterstock.com

Of course, one cannot mention the archaeological sites of the Greek island without talking about the majestic Knossos Palace.

According to mythological tradition, Knossos Palace was the seat of the king of Crete Minos, son of Zeus and Europe, who was an excellent ruler and founder of the Cretan naval empire.

The mythological connection of the Labyrinth of Knossos with the Minotaur, Theseus, Icarus, and Daedalus is also known.

The area of ​​Knossos has been inhabited continuously from the end of the 7th millennium BC. until Roman times and experienced its highest prosperity during the Minoan Period when the city of Knossos was the most important center of Minoan civilization, but also the most populous residential center of Crete.

It is considered a linchpin of western civilization and it is more than worth a visit for its historical sites!

Also in Crete, the ancient site of Phaestus is about 60kms north of Herakleion with spectacular views of Messara plain and Psiloritis mountains. Phaestos is a ruinous Palatial Town and the palace there is like Knossos.

There is a great attraction to the old town though because most of the ancient city has been destroyed, which adds to its otherworldly charm.

There are also a good number of frescoes there. The entire area is a fascinating history lesson and includes a theater, palace buildings, storage rooms, and sometimes a crypt.

lindos acropolis rhodes Timofeev Vladimir shutterstockThe Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes - credits: Timofeev_Vladimir/Shutterstock.com

Last but not least, is the archeological site of Lindos on Rhodes island, which is another UNESCO world heritage site in Greece.

White cube-shaped houses, surrounded by the clear blue Aegean sea, stand proudly on the rock, giving this preserved settlement an incomparable charm.

The cosmopolitan atmosphere of summer, the fun, the delicious local cuisine, and the emerald waters of the sea, ideal for swimming and diving, reveal the secrets to moments of relaxation. 

On the sacred rock of the Acropolis of Lindos, you will see the knightly walls, the Hellenistic platform, altars and statue bases, the Hellenistic gallery, the Temple of the Virgin Lindia Athena, a temple of St. John of the 13th century, and of course you will admire a stunning sea view and the settlement.

On the mainland

anc corinth ruins Tatiana Popova shutterstockAncient Corinth - credits: Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock.com

First up, Ancient Cornith was where the apostle Paul addressed the Corinthians, who were among the first Greeks to embrace Christianity.

The ruins of the ancient site of Ancient Corinth contain numerous Greek or Roman relics that show architectural diversity. Because the ruins of Ancient Corinth are located very close to the town, visitors can easily see the contrasts between ancient and modern Greek culture.

epidaurus Georgios Tsichlis shutterstock compressedEpidaurus Theater - credits: Georgios_Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

Next, the world-renowned Ancient Theater of Epidaurus lies in the little homonymous town. It was built from 4 to 7th century BC, which made the building one of the oldest in its genre. It has been known since antiquity for its impeccable acoustics that amazes visitors to this day.

mycenae mountains Jane Sta shutterstockMycenae - credits: Jane_Sta/Shutterstock.com

Located relatively close to Epidaurus, Mycenae is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has appeared in Homeros Iliads and Odysseys. Mycenae was built by Perseus son of Zeus and Danae and it was part of the House of Atreus.

We know that Mycenae was established in the sixth centuries BC which includes the majestic Lion Gate and the royal cemetery. The Agamemnon Palace and the courthouse are also nearby, and there are smaller houses with renowned artworks, including the warship Vase.

ancient olympia greece Georgios Kritsotakis shutterstockAncient Olympia - credits: Georgios Kritsotakis/Shutterstock.com

After the site of Mycenae, the Olympia archaeological site is considered one of the major attractions in Greece and is the place where the first Olympics were held.

Consequently, there is an ongoing torch lighting ceremony before each modern Olympic Games in honor of this historic tradition. The main feature of the archaeological site is the temple dedicated to the goddess Hera, Zeus' infamous wife.

Before being burnt by flame, there stood an ancient bronze and gold statue of Zeus, once considered to be among the seven wonders. The museum of the archaeological site of Olympia also offers interesting information about the history of the town.

delphi another view Samot shutterstockDelphi - credits: Samot/Shutterstock.com

Of course, on Parnassus Mountain, the world's most spectacular archaeological site of Delphi is situated.

The temple of Delphi was once popular among pilgrims for those who visited the area for homage to Apollo, the ancient Greek god of healing, music, light, and prophecies.

Followers came to Delphi to seek guidance from Oracle, and in particular its priestess, Pythia. Today, you'll see churches, an impressive arena theatre, and charming old ruins. 

The archeological site of Delphi is closely related to Greek history and Greek mythology, so a visit there will immerse you in ancient Greece, and give you insight into one of the oldest and most impressive civilizations. 

Visit the Museums of Greece

In Athens

Acropolis museum ground floor Paopano shutterstockAcropolis Museum - credits: Paopano/Shutterstock.com

The modern Acropolis Museum opened its doors in 2009, impressing visitors from around the world with its luxurious layout and rich collection. After all, it is no coincidence that it has been repeatedly awarded as one of the best museums in the world.

The special architecture of the Acropolis Museum highlights the exhibits of the Acropolis in an environment that pays tribute to modern Greece. From the magnificent Caryatids of the Erechtheion to the votive offerings left by visitors to its spectacular 'Parthenon Hall' that overlooks the Acropolis hill, the findings of Acropolis have found the perfect home.

national archaeological museum Lefteris Papaulakis shutterstockNational Archaeological Museum - credits: Lefteris Papaulakis/Shutterstock.com

Next, the National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in the country. And from the moment you step foot in it, you will be in a state of awe. Statues that you have seen in pictures so many times, will stand before you in all of their glory having survived the last two thousand years.

Together with those impressive exhibits, the National Archaeological Museum, which is considered one of the most important in the world, houses more than 11,000 finds that tell a story of seven thousand years, starting from the Neolithic civilization and reaching 330 AD.

Sculptures, pottery, metalwork, and classic masterpieces are densely located in a path throughout Greek history, in the beautiful building designed by famous architect Ernestos Ziller.

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Another museum worth visiting is the Benaki Museum, housed in a magnificent neoclassical in the center of Athens.

Its well-designed halls house more than 40,000 works, which record the character of the Greek world from antiquity and the era of Roman rule to the medieval period of Byzantium, from the fall of Constantinople, the period of the Frankish and Ottoman occupation, to the Revolution of 1821, and from the period of the formation of the new Greek state until 1922 and the Asia Minor destruction.

Archaeological finds, Byzantine art, ceramics and jewelry, relics from the Macedonian struggle, swords, and weapons of fighters of 1821, coexist among many others and are waiting for you for a long walk in history.

Finally, divided into two different buildings that are internally connected to each other, the Museum of Cycladic Art houses both its permanent collections in the main building and its periodic exhibitions in the neoclassical Stathatos Palace.

The exhibition spaces of the first building are spread over four floors, studying and promoting the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, in a rare, cultural collage of Cycladic art, ancient Cypriot art, and ancient Greek art, from the 5th to the 1st century BC. 

Particularly active are the periodical exhibitions with an emphasis on both the modern look at archeology and the cutting edge of contemporary art, while its cafe and shop are fixed meeting points of the city. The museum's educational programs are very innovative and popular.

On the Greek islands

heraklion museum Anna PakutinaThe Archaeological Museum of Heraklion - credits: _Anna_Pakutina/Shutterstock.com

I could not help but start with the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, which is one of the largest and most remarkable museums in Greece and perhaps holds a place as the most important in Europe.

Its exhibits include representative specimens from all periods of Cretan history, from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The leading role in his collections is held by the wonderful masterpieces of Minoan art, which one can admire throughout its course.

The collection of Minoan antiquities is the most important in the world since we are talking about the pre-eminent museum of the Minoan civilization.

Santorini is perhaps the most famous Greek island in the world, but few know that in addition to its Cycladic beauty and unique sunset, it hides another treasure: an excellent museum.

thera santorini WitR shutterstockThera, Santorini - credits: WitR/Shutterstock.com

The Museum of Prehistoric Thera houses findings from excavations in Akrotiri and other parts of Thera, which date from the 5th millennium BC. until the 17th c. e.g. and show the passage of different cultures from the Aegean.

The permanent exhibition of the Museum presents selected exhibits that survive in exceptional condition - only a few of the thousands that have been discovered - and which outline the course of Thera in prehistoric times, and its rise to one of the most important centers of the 18th and 17th centuries. e.g.

Again in the Cyclades, and this time in the beautiful offbeat island of Andros, The Museum of Contemporary Art of the Goulandris Foundation was founded in 1979.

It is a reference point for the field of culture, as it is the first museum of Contemporary Art in Greece. The international exhibitions it hosts every year are a special attraction for visitors to the island.

Of course, the excellent Archeological Museum of Naxos couldn't be missing from this article. The museum is housed in a preserved 17th-century Venetian building, in the area of Kastro in the town of Naxos. 

There, you can admire works of art and objects of daily use, fruits of the excavations that started on the island after the Second World War. Among the finds, which date from the latest Neolithic to the early Christian years, the collection of Cycladic marble figurines stands out, as well as the collections with pottery of the Mycenaean era and the geometric period.

On the mainland

Archaeological museum of delphi Anton Ivanov shutterstockThe Archaeological Museum of Delphi - credits; Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock.com

We have already mentioned above that the archaeological site of Delphi is one of the world's most beautiful and important monuments, a UNESCO world heritage site.

After your tour of the ancient ruins of Delphi and the famous oracle of the ancient world, take the time to visit the archaeological museum of Delphi in Central Greece. It is one of the most important museums in Greece.

It was originally built in 1903, to house finds from the "great excavation" that had begun in 1892. The new archaeological museum was enriched with new exhibits and remodeled into a modern and organized space. The large annual number of visitors makes it the second most visited after the Acropolis Museum.

The tour of the museum is easy and the descriptions that exist under each exhibit make it very clear. The history of Delphi and the famous oracle of the ancient Greek world are presented in the best way. You will see a rich collection of sculptures, statues, jewelry, and other finds found in the area.

Another fascinating museum on the Greek mainland is the Kalavryta Holocaust Museum. The museum at Kalavryta is Greece's only Holocaust Memorial Museum. It's intended to honor those who have died as Nazis in World War Two.

Located in one of the old schoolhouses where many people died, there are galleries containing personal possessions from victims as well as pictures of Kalavrytha through the ages.

Last but not least, the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is a modern Greek treasure in itself and is an excellent example of modern architecture in Greece. 

The museum features pieces from Macedonia, an ancient civilization of Greece, divided into seven sections so the public can explore and hear intriguing stories about the area, its history, and culture. 

Marvel at Greek architecture

In Athens

Ancient herodes atticus theater Nataliya Nazarova shutterstock
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus - credits: Nataliya Nazarova/Shutterstock.com

Ι get that spending all the days of your leave on the Greek islands is tempting, however, as a local, I cannot stress enough the importance of spending at least a couple of days in the Greek capital.

Exploring the picturesque neighborhood of the city center will help you get to know the city and explore the daily habits of the locals; there's nothing quite like walking through the city streets that will make you understand the local culture better.

A scenic stroll around Plaka and Anafiotika, shopping therapy on Ermou street, a casual drink at Koukaki, souvenir shopping at Monastiraki Square, and a picnic at the National Gardens are only a few of the experiences you will have the opportunity to delve into during your stay at the historic city.

Athens, a city with a long history, with continuous habitation from prehistoric times to the present day, is an open museum of architecture. Ancient, Byzantine, newer, and modern buildings coexist in an inseparable relationship, always present in the daily life of the inhabitants and visitors of the city.

academy athens 3 Anastasios71 shutterstockThe Academy of Athens - credits: Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com

The architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries is of great interest and includes unique samples of great architects. Despite the great losses in the 1950s and 1960s, but also later, when neoclassical buildings were demolished to make way for apartment buildings, the architectural stock remains rich and unexplored.

Walking through the streets of Athens, our eyes encounter neoclassical, eclectic buildings, buildings of interwar and post-war modernism, full of stories, memories, and recollections. Many of them are designated as monuments.

Some of the best examples of Athenian architecture are the three monumental neoclassical buildings on Panepistimiou Street, known as the 'Athenian Trilogy': the Academy of Athens, the University of Athens, and the National Library

These three buildings of the 19th century, lined up from left to right, are not only among the most beautiful buildings in Greece, but they also exude grandeur but are filtered by the measure of Greek harmony.

On the Greek islands

amorgos Kite rin shutterstockAmorgos - credits: Kite_rin/Shutterstock.com

The architecture of houses and buildings in general in the Aegean has been the subject of scientific study, while elements of Aegean architecture are housed in many museums around the world.

Although the islands are close to each other and retain common features, especially those that are, say, clusters, it is a fact that each presents something different, something completely its own.

The typical Cycladic architecture is what made the Cyclades recognizable all over the world. The whitewashed houses with bougainvillea gardens, the white walls, the blue churches, and the paved paths create a fantastic canvas for living.

The houses on the islands of the Cyclades have been built with simple constructive elements to meet the basic daily needs, but they are considered wonderful works from the point of view of aesthetics. As piracy was a very important problem for the Aegean islands in medieval times, the architecture had an obvious defensive style.

The houses were surrounded by strong walls of the castle, while the villages were built at a high altitude away from the sea, in order to detect pirate raids in time.

We find as unique in the world architectural elements, the cave dwellings of Santorini and the settlements at the edge of the caldera, the famous dovecotes of Tinos in Pyrgos and the surrounding villages, the castles in the old town of Antiparos and Folegandros, the dense windmills of Mykonos, the tower houses in Naxos and Andros, the impressive churches of Ekatontapyliani in Paros, of Panagia in Tinos. 

In other islands, in the Dodecanese in the islands of the northeastern Aegean in Chios in Mytilene in the Sporades and elsewhere, we find an impressive and rich color in the buildings in contrast to the white-blue of the Cyclades, while in Crete the presence of the Minoans is strong. Turkish Muslims and Venetians even in modern buildings, in colors in their pattern and design.

Taste the world-acclaimed Greek cuisine

souvlaki wrap gioiak2 depositphotos copySouvlaki wraps - credits: gioiak2/Depositphotos.com

It's time to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the impeccable, delectable, unforgettable Greek cuisine.

Praised across the world, the riches of Greek gastronomy is not a secret, and tasting them should be a top priority for you when visiting Greece.

The local products, such as cheese, honey, and olive oil, and the traditional dishes, such as mousaka and pastitsio to name a few, are thankfully not hard to find at all if you know where to look for them.

But even if you don't, don't worry, that's what we're here for! Indulge in an Athens for Foodies tour or an Athens night food tour with wine-tasting and get the chance to discover traditional eateries only the locals know and enjoy mouthwatering delicacies and local wine varieties.  

cretan food Veniamakis Stefanos shutterstockGreek food - credits: Veniamakis Stefanos/Shutterstock.com

The Greek land is famous for providing its people with a limitless supply of quality produce, something that the farmer's market tradition in Greece celebrates!

'Laiki agora', as the Farmer's Market is called in Greek, is a long-established institution that has its roots in ancient times, where local producers put up their stands on a weekly basis on designated streets across Greece to sell their fresh and aromatic goods.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit your neighborhood's farmer's market during your trip to Greece to try the fresh ingredients -including Greek olive oil- the locals use to create traditional Greek dishes. It's a very unique experience and one of the most fun things to do in Greece; the taste of the crop will reward your choice.

Here is a little local secret I'll let you know: if you're past your twenties, 80% of the reason you make the bother to go out, is to get the opportunity to taste mind-blowing street food afterward.

Greek street food is unsurprisingly something to write home about and not trying should be illegal. 

The famous souvlaki, homemade burgers, hot dogs, and crepes will be the comfort food you need after the exhaustion of the day sets in, and if you've drunk one too many, it will help you ease the blow of the hangover the morning after! 

Admire the natural beauty of Greece

In Athens

national gardens Anastasios71 shutterstockThe National Gardens of Athens - credits: Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com

Despite being famous worldwide for its unmatched beaches, Greece does the unimaginable: it combines sea and mountain with sea and you shouldn't neglect to experience both aspects of the country.

Therefore, apart from your swimsuit, you should also pack your hiking boots and set on a hiking adventure on a Greek mountain.

The Menalon Trail, the mountain hiking path that runs through Gortynia, in Arcadia, the heart of Peloponnese, Mount Athos, the Samaria Gorge, one of the top sites in Crete, or even Mount Olympus the emblematic home of the ancient Greek Gods are perfect for a hike or just a visit.

However, if your time is limited, you don't need to stray far from Athens; a short hike on Lycabettus will give you the opportunity to marvel at an incredible panoramic view of Athens that will leave you breathless and will set your Instagram on fire!

What's more, Athens is surrounded by an impressive 24-hectare national park. The National Garden in Athens has over a thousand species, a conservatory, an elementary library, a little cafe, and six lakes.

It's possible to spend your whole day walking through the garden and admiring all the sights and sounds. 

Take advantage of renting bikes and cycling trips for a quicker and easier ride in your backyard. It is an amazing way to visit the National Gardens if you have less time to walk through it.

In the Greek islands

samaria gorge central crete Dziewul shutterstockSamaria Gorge, Crete - credits: Dziewul/Shutterstock.com

While Athens is definitely worth your time, you can't possibly come to Greece and not visit one of its many magnificent islands.

Depending on your needs and desires, there is a Greek island for you; from the vibrant Mykonos with its wild nightlife to the alternative destination of Ikaria with its infamous 'panigiria', you'll have the time of your life exploring the daily life, traditions, and customs of the locals in whichever destination you choose.

Discover what is the right Greek islands for you, pack your backs, and be ready to get stunned by the magical landscape and striking beaches that dominate the view of every Greek island on the map.

The raw beauty of Greece reaches its peak on the islands, and here we will show just a few examples.

First and foremost comes the most popular attraction on the island of Crete, the Samaria Gorge. The Samaria Gorge is 41,000 meters in length and is among the longest in Europe. This road runs through an ancient forest that dates back more than 1,000 years.

Trekking in Samara Gorge is a very popular experience and it's definitely worth attempting. It begins in Chania and concludes in the lovely village of Agia Roumeli.

Again in Crete, you will find the renowned Dikteon Cave, which has been reputed as Zeus' birthplace. The attraction is certainly off the road so it offers a very different experience from a few tourist attractions.

The place is located nearby Psychro and it is sometimes called Psychro Cave. In fact, the cave contains stalagmites, giving it a spooky vibe.

It had once been the place for many pilgrims to pay tribute to Zeus; today, offerings can still be found in the caves. Is there a reason to be interested in this topic? Take this landrover safari trip that stops in Dikteon Cave.

melisani cave kefalonia no longer availableshutterstockMelissani Lake - credits: no_longer_available/Shutterstock.com

Up next is a B-shaped lake that sits in a cave where algae and mossy stalactites hang from pillars. Melissani Lake, a natural wonder located on Kefalonia island, is famous for its mythological creatures.

In their excavations nymph figures from 3 and 4 BC re-entered the ancient landscape, allowing for interpretations of ancient mythology. 

A visit there will let your imagination run free. The turquoise water of this lake is best seen around noon when the sun enters the top of the cave structure.

On the mainland

Corinth canal isthmian Corinth Canal EleniMac shutterstockCorinth Canal - credits: Corinth_Canal-EleniMac/hutterstock.com

Mount Olympus is probably the most famous mountain in Greece, and, especially if you love Greek myths, you shouldn't exclude it from your itinerary.

Mount Olympus has been described as the location at which Zeus was sitting as well as the place where Hades ruled the underwater world.

If you want to climb the mountain, you'll have to travel to Litochoro. From there, you can climb to the peak and revel in the sense of accomplishment.

A major engineering achievement in Greece with tons of beauty is the Corinth Canal. Located on rocks, the canal spans 66km with sides rising as high as 90 m.

The Corinth Canal achieved the coveted connection of the Corinthian Gulf with the Saronic Gulf, with the canal becoming an important hub of international shipping and a mainstay of the Mediterranean maritime trade.

meteora panorama Anastasios71 DepositphotosMeteora - credits: Anastasios71/Depositphotos.com

Another sight that will steal your breath with its natural beauty is the striking Meteora, known for its monasteries and unique rock formations.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora has six monasteries though there were once over 20, making it one of Greece's best spiritual sites. The steep cliff and rocky formations offer one of Europe's most haunting landscapes.

Another stunning Greek mountain is Athos, which stands in the Chalcidice peninsula and was once regarded by many scholars as important in Greek culture. It has 20 monasteries scattered across scenic slopes that make it a cornerstone of the Orthodox faith and a site to worship.

Want to hear a paradox? one of the most gorgeous natural beauties of Greece is man-made! Nestled in the Agrafa Mountains lies Lake Plastira. It is the largest man-made lake in the world that attracts visitors seeking a quiet space where one can enjoy nature.

It has biking paths, pine-tree trees, and boulder climbing sites. Other activity options include walking, horseback riding, kayaking, and exploring local villages. 

Greece is synonymous with beauty and we have the proof to show it!

Swim on the best beaches of Greece on an island-hopping adventure

Ikaria Nas beach NDT shutterstock compressed copy copyNas beach in Ikaria island: NDT/Shutterstock.com

The Greek islands boast 27 islands to enjoy, and it's a brilliant idea to a good idea to visit as many different islands as possible, as they are a sight for sore eyes.

In our opinion, it is ideal for tourists to visit several island chains, and combine the trip into a comprehensive island-hopping plan.

For your convenience, you can team up with the island you plan to visit geographically. So in example, you can tour the Cyclades islands or the Ionian islands at once. Choose either the east coast or the west coast and stick with it!

If the islands you choose are too far apart, you will need too many days and the trip won't be as enjoyable as there will be more transportation time and less beach time.

Whatever islands you choose there is always a variety of culture, gastronomy, and scenery in every region of the world. To plan the perfect Greek island cruising for you, don't forget to explore our Greek island hopping guide!

kolimbithres paros Bill Anastasiou shutterstock
Kolympithres Beach, Paros - credits: Bill Anastasiou/Shutterstock.com

Of course, the point of visiting the islands is their stunning beaches and beach clubs. You've seen the pictures. Even for the locals -who should be used to them by now- the beaches in Greece never lose their allure, especially on a hot summer's day when all you want to do is take a dive in the calming blue waters and escape the heat.

One of the big assets of Greece is that no matter where you are in the country, there is probably a brilliant beach in close proximity to you (unless, of course, you're up in the mountains).

Obviously, the Greek islands have been blessed with countless beautiful beaches; the beaches in Crete, Naxos, Milos, Paros, Mykonos, and Santorini are known to be some of the best in the world, however, there are plenty of beaches near Athens that are also worth your time and can be combined with an exploration of Athens' Riviera.

Don't forget that due to Greece's beautiful weather you'll most likely have the opportunity to visit Greece's beaches even during fall and spring; make sure to pack multiple swimsuits, you'll need them!

balos lagoon crete Georgios Tsichlis shutterstockBalos Lagoon - credits: Georgios_Tsichlis/Shutterstock.com

A personal favorite is Balos Bay in Crete, which is surprisingly different from most beaches and is characterized by soft white sand surrounded by clear shallow waters.

It is a perfect location for swimming, however, you must keep in mind that it can get very crowded at the end of July and August. You can reach Balos Bay via the ferry to Kissamos. 

To avoid the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowds, you can rent a boat. Alternatively, you can indulge in a luxurious sailing adventure, and wander around the Greek coasts in comfort. There is no way to sail the Greek seas without feeling on top of the world!

Experience the vibrant nightlife of Greece

Greek concert ed Ververidis Vasilis shutterstockGreek concert - credits: Ververidis_Vasilis/Shutterstock.com

Greece is a country that never sleeps, instead, it parties all night long! Especially on the weekends, the locals love to let their hair down and enjoy the company of each other until the early morning hours.

The Greek nightlife is something you should experience at least once during your Greek trip; after all, it is fascinating to observe what the locals of a different culture do for fun. From traditional Greek music to rock gigs, you can find whatever your heart desires!

Understandably, there is a much bigger variety of things to do at nighttime in Athens, however even if you choose a village on the mainlands of Greece or a Greek island, you're sure to have a lovely time; just keep a positive attitude and a cheerful mood!

If you want to have an easy introduction to the Greek nightlife, join the Athens nightlife tour in the Koukaki neighborhood; letting the locals lead the way is your safest bet!

panigiri dance NDT shutterstockTraditional dancing at a Greek panigiri - credits: NDT/Shutterstock.com

Of course, you can express your joy and excitement about coming to Greece through dancing!

Dancing is said to improve the condition of your heart and lungs, increase muscular strength, endurance, and fitness, increase your physical confidence and improve your mental health, among others, so why not join the locals for a swirl?

You can even have the experience of a Greek folk dance lesson followed by a traditional dinner on our Zorba inside me: Greek Dance Lesson and Dinner.

Don't hesitate to forget about your worries and try relaxing the Greek way; you'll be saying 'opa' in no time!

Leave the excuses behind, hop on a plane and come put to practice the list of the top things to do in Greece above. You'll be googling the cost of buying a house in Greece in less than 3 days' time; wanna bet?

Planning your trip to Greece? Get in touch with our travel specialists and design your tailor-made vacation plan!