TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN GREECE
The country of Greece, in the southeastern part of Europe, is both beautiful and interesting. It has three oceans—the Ionian, Aegean, and Mediterranean—that wash against its 15,000-kilometer-long (9,320-mile) coastline. There are up to 220 inhabited islands in Greece and hundreds more that are unoccupied.
You can find amphitheaters where ancient Greeks socialized, Roman ruins, and temples dedicated to Greek gods virtually anywhere in Greece. Sample some gyros, souvlaki, and ouzo. Greece is a great place to visit if you enjoy sightseeing, learning, and lounging on the beach.
EXPLORE ANCIENT RUINS IN ATHENS, GREECE
City of Athens, one of the world’s oldest, and the capital of Greece, welcomes you. Culture, education, and the arts have all flourished in ancient Athens, making it a major Mediterranean hub ever since.
On the Acropolis stand the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the sanctuary of the goddess Athena. These historic sites serve as a symbol of Athens and are visited by millions of tourists annually.
The finest examples of ancient art can be found in the Acropolis Museum. The National Archaeological Museum, the Agora Museum, and the Cycladic Art Museum are all excellent places to discover more about Greece’s fascinating past.
SEE THESSALONIKI ON THE HALKIDIKI PENINSULA
Thessaloniki is a major city and port in northern Greece, home to many historical sites and attractions.
The White Tower is a great landmark in Thessaloniki, and you can get a great view from the top of its round staircase. Take a stroll around Aristotle Square and along Nikis Avenue, a popular thoroughfare lined with shops, cafes, and bars.
Thessaloniki is home to a magnificent statue of Alexander the Great atop his trusty steed Bucephalus. The Archaeological Museum is an excellent place to learn about the history of ancient Greece. It’s adjacent to the equally fascinating Museum of Byzantine Culture.
Beautiful Roman-era mosaics can be found at the old temple of Rotunda. Explore the ruins of ancient Rome at the Roman Forum, also called the Ancient Agora.
Ladadika, a historic neighborhood, is well-known for its vibrant nightlife. The tiny, cobblestone lane is lined with cafes and pubs. Traveling to the Halkidiki peninsula’s many resorts from Thessaloniki takes no more than two hours. Some of the best beaches in the world can be found there, including Sani Beach, which has soft sand and a shallow water area that is perfect for young children.
The tiny peninsulas of Kassandra (Kassandra Peninsula), Sithonia (Sithonia Peninsula), and Athos (Athos Peninsula) make up Halkidiki. If you’re looking for a lovely village on Kassandra, look no farther than Afytos, with its many cozy cafes and taverns and its winding, stone-paved alleys lined with unique businesses. There are numerous olive orchards and vineyards, so be sure to bring home some delicious olive oil and wine.
The crystal-blue water and dense pine forests of Sithonia are the island’s calling cards. Neos Marmaras and Sarti are small towns worth visiting because of the beautiful bays, coves and long sandy beaches. Sithonia also houses several big campsites with a capacity of over 2,000 people, such as Armenistis and Thalatta camp.
VISIT CRETE FOR RICH CULTURAL BEAUTIES
The largest island in Greece, Crete is renowned for its stunning beaches and historical significance.
As the center of Minoan culture, historians consider Knossos to be the earliest city in Europe. Around 100,000 people called it home during its heyday. The clearest evidence of the time period are the ruins of the majestic Knossos Palace. The Archaeological Museum in Heraklion also features artifacts and frescoes from this location.
You may book tours, skip-the-line tickets, and other experiences at Knossos.
Travel to the historic district of Chania to explore its many interesting buildings, monuments, and picturesque plazas. A visit to one of the many pubs lining the winding alleyways will satisfy your craving for authentic Greek fare.
The mystical Balos Lagoon can be found in Crete’s northwest. You have to drive along a terrible road to get to this beach, and it’s a considerable way from any restaurants or lodgings. Balos beach, despite this, is the most visited spot on the island, making it a great day excursion from either Chania or Heraklion.
DISCOVER THE IONIAN ARCHIPELAGO
Corfu’s Old Town is a sight to behold. The buildings, churches, and strongholds from the 16th century are all reflective of Venetian history and culture. Take a leisurely stroll down the cobblestone streets and check into some of the local seafood eateries or quaint souvenir shops. Paleokastris, a coast with several bays, capes, and beaches, will also wow you. If you’re in the area, stop by Porto Timoni beach as well.
Kassiopi is a picturesque fishing village filled with traditional wooden boats. The 19th-century St. George Church is one of Corfu’s most fascinating attractions.
The Royal Achilleion Palace is without question the most stunning structure on the island of Corfu. It was originally constructed to serve the needs of the Austrian royal family, but is now open to the general public so that everyone can enjoy its stunning interior and garden.
TOUR THE METEORA MONASTERIES ON CLIFFS
In the 14th century, a monk led his disciples to central Greece to preach their religion in remote caves, giving rise to the remarkable tale of the Meteora monasteries. Over time, monks constructed over twenty monasteries atop spectacular cliffs of stone.
The Monasteries of Varlaam, St. Stephen, Holy Trinity, Roussanou, St. Nikolaos, and Great Meteoron have all endured different rulers, wars, and physical destruction over the course of several centuries.
Originally, monks had to use a ladder to access the monastery, but now there are steps for anyone who wants to pay a visit.
This may be done as a day trip from either Athens or Thessaloniki, though the drive will take around three hours. There are also specialized trips, the most well-liked of which are the hike up to the Meteora monasteries, the sunset tour of the monasteries, and the day journey from Athens by train to the Meteora monasteries.
Meteora monasteries have been under UNESCO’s watchful eye since 1989.
MEET THE GODS OF OLYMPUS, GREECE
You’ve reached Olympus, the home of the gods. Did you know that Zeus, the supreme god of the Greek pantheon, resides on Mount Olympus?
For well over a half a year, winter has blanketed Olympus’s highest peaks in white. Mytikas, the tallest peak, soars 2,917 meters (9,570 feet) above sea level and is the second-highest peak in all of the Balkans.
In 1938, the entire region became the first national park in Greece. The UNESCO National Park Olympus was designated as a biosphere reserve because it is home to more than 100 endemic bird and plant species.
In other words, Litochoro is a good place to begin your ascent of Olympus’s mighty summits. Just an hour south of Thessaloniki, you’ll find this small settlement. Around 10,000 climbers attempt to summit Mytikas, Stefani, Skolio, and other mountains every year. Mount Olympus is home to the world’s tallest Orthodox church, a fascinating fact in and of itself. One of the summits, at an elevation of 2,800 meters (9,186 feet), was chosen for construction in the 16th century.
Do not pass up a trip to the breathtaking Orlias Waterfalls, located not far from Litochoro. Olympus’s stunning natural beauty will take your breath away.
Before visiting Olympus, arm yourself with a knowledge of Greek so you can fully appreciate the region’s rich culture.
Rosetta Stone’s language-learning programmes are adaptable to fit your busy schedule and skill level. Read on for info about available courses and discounts.
WITNESS THE VOLCANIC ISLANDS OF THE AEGEAN SEA
There are as many as 39 islands that make up the Cyclades. Beautiful sunsets make this island between Athens and Crete a popular choice for newlyweds.
Within this group of islands, Santorini enjoys the highest profile due to its picturesque caldera. Surely you’ve seen stunning photographs of its white and blue homes. Hiking the Caldera from Fira to Oia is a highlight of any visit to the volcanic island of Santorini. We promise you a breathtaking panorama you will never forget.
If you’re searching for a good time, a trip to Mykonos is a must. During this time of year, wild parties with guest DJs are held nearly every night. Beaches like Elia and Paradise can be found on Mykonos.
A day trip to the island of Delos via boat sounds like a fantastic plan. Since Delos contains so many important historical and archaeological structures and monuments, it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Naxos, Amorgos, Paros, and Antiparos also boast stunning natural beauty, from their beaches to their picturesque mountain villages. The shipwreck “The Olimpia,” found in the bay of Liveros, is Amorgos’ main draw.
SEARCH THE ANCIENT RUINS OF DELPHI, GREECE
Legend has it that Zeus dispatched two eagles to opposite ends of the globe. The meeting of the eagles marked the geographic center of the world in Zeus’s estimation. During the seventh century BC, the city of Delphi was established at the base of Mount Parnassus.
The ancient site’s centerpiece was a temple dedicated to Apollo. A temple dedicated to Athena is nearby, as are educational and athletic centers. Additionally, the Pythian Games were held there, drawing athletes from all around ancient Greece.
Delphi also features the ruins of a large amphitheater, where public events and religious rituals were once staged. When Christians conquered these lands, they outlawed the local religions and destroyed their sacred sites and artifacts.
Because of its exceptional cultural and historical significance, the entire site was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, and it is situated in a lovely natural environment.
On the best-rated Delphi Day Trip from Athens, you’ll get to spend the day exploring the ancient site with a knowledgeable guide. In the event that you need to cancel your reservation, you have up to 24 hours before it is set to begin in order to receive a full refund.
EXPLORE THE PELOPONNESE – HOME TO MODERN CIVILIZATION
The Corinth Canal may be reached in less than an hour from Athens. Located between the Ionian and Aegean Seas, it serves as a natural divide between central Greece and the Peloponnese peninsula.
Nafplion, Greece, was the capital of Greece for a long time, and the town is lovely. The Venetians, who conquered the city, put their stamp on it. You can take a stroll through the historic district with its winding lanes and colorful buildings. See the city from a new perspective by ascending the hilltop fortress of Palamidi, or spend the day relaxing on the beaches of Karathona or Arvanitia.
The ancient city of Mycenae is located halfway between the Corinth Canal and the city of Nafplio. Agamemnon, king of the Mycenaeans, is said to have ruled from this location, and the massive stone walls that surround it and feature the Lion’s Gate were constructed by the Cyclops, the one-eyed giants of Greek mythology. To learn more about the Mycenaean culture, visit the Archaeological Museum at Nafplio.
A second significant UNESCO World Heritage Site is located close to Nafplio. The ancient theater of Epidaurus dates back to the fourth century BC and has seating for up to 14,000. Its pristine condition and resounding acoustics have made it a popular tourist destination.
The Peloponnese is home to many more tourist attractions. Byzantine churches and palaces can be seen in the old fortified city of Mystras. Monemvasia is a beautiful, cliffside, medieval hamlet on the Greek island of Laconia.
Elafonisos, an island to the south of the Peloponnese, is home to one of Greece’s most stunning beaches—Simos.
Olympia is another another fantastic destination. It was the original site of the Olympic Games and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is home to the remnants of ancient stadiums and the Temple of Zeus.
TRAVEL BACK TO MEDIEVAL TIMES IN RODOS, GREECE
Rhodes is one of the Dodecanese Islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea, not far from the Turkish mainland. The many different dynasties that have ruled this land have left behind a wealth of heritage, most notably in the form of buildings, archaeological sites, and fortifications.
Among Europe’s medieval cities, Rhodes’ is the largest and best-preserved. Constructed by the Knights of St. John in the 14th century, it is characterized by its lengthy walls and lofty towers.
You can’t miss the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes when you’re walking about the historic district. Explore the many shops, taverns, and cafes in the old town on a leisurely stroll. Ascend the hill where the Roloi Clock Tower stands for a bird’s-eye perspective of the city below.
Mandraki, a contemporary city with boutiques and attractive buildings like the National Theater of Rhodes, lies beyond the fort’s gates. After all that walking, you deserve a good rest, so head to the lovely village of Lindos, the Monolithos Castle near Siana, and the Kalithea Springs.
The Byzantine Art Museum and the Archaeological Museum of Rhodes are two of the best places to learn about the island’s past if you’re interested in museums.
Faliraki beach, Tsambika, and Glystra are just a few of the fine-sand and crystal-clear water beaches in Rhodes. Visit neighboring islands like Leros and Kos on a day journey by boat.