Greece is a gorgeous place to visit for every type of traveler. The history buffs can marvel at the breathtaking ancient ruins of the Greek islands while learning more about Greek mythology, the water lovers can unwind on the many beautiful beaches, and the adventure aficionados can enjoy water sports like parasailing and scuba diving in Santorini, and hike up Mount Olympus.
The true cradle of western civilization, Greece is a Mediterranean wonder with several island chains that you can explore. Whether you visit Greece to be able to absorb the important facets of Greek history at the archaeological ruins such as the Parthenon and the Acropolis museum, watch the sunset in Santorini, or experience the local wine, cuisine, and culture, you are sure to leave Greece feeling serene like never before.
From being the birthplace of democracy to being home to some of the most significant pieces of art, historical culture, and literature, the Greek islands have a lot to offer. A trip to Greece can be overwhelming to plan, so let’s dive into some of the top things to do in Greece that you shouldn’t miss out on.
The Top 16 Best Things To Do In Greece
Basque In The Timeless Beauty Of Santorini
Pictures of the breathtaking blue-domed churches in Santorini overlooking the sea are famous all over the world. One of the highly popular attractions in Greece, Santorini is the most romantic island you will ever visit. Santorini offers exceptionally beautiful sunsets and breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
Its picture-perfect postcard look lined with traditional Cycladic houses is a sight that each individual must experience. Since all the landscapes are shaped from sloping volcanic rock on the ocean, you will be able to enjoy the best views in all of Greece.
We highly recommend booking a private or semi-private sailing cruise to be able to truly appreciate Santorini’s coastline.
Marvel At The Acropolis In Athens
The most extensive ancient Greek architectural complex that is still in existence today is the Athens Acropolis. Perched atop a hill, this must-visit monument is a popular UNESCO world heritage site and a feast to the eyes of every history lover and admirer of the ancient ruins of Greece.
The Parthenon is the most significant monument of the Acropolis and sits proudly on the crown of the hill, symbolizing the everlasting beauty of ancient Athens. To learn more about the ancient history of Greece, head to the Acropolis archaeological museum which houses the findings from this archaeological site. Then, head to the Ancient Agora on the northwest side of the Acropolis, which was a famous place of gathering in the ancient city.
We suggest booking a museum tour that will teach you everything you need to know about the history of this ancient site.
Unwind At Shipwreck Beach
Greece is adorned with stunning beaches sprinkled across all of its islands, making it difficult for a tourist to choose from them.
Shipwreck beach, also known as Navagio beach, is a popular sight to see for tourists and locals alike. Located in an exposed cove on the coastline of Zakynthos, which is an Ionian island, this beach houses the shipwreck of a boat that is rumored to have transported illegal cigarettes in the early 1980s.
With stunning blue waters, it is most definitely a sight for sore eyes. Also noteworthy on Zakynthos island are the gorgeous blue sea caves that are like nothing you would’ve ever seen before.
Swim In The Azure Waters Of Balos Beach
Crete is an island with some of the most gorgeous beaches in Greece. The Balos beach in Crete is certainly noteworthy for its Mediterranean charm and is famed for its white sand and turquoise blue crystal-clear water. The perfect beach to swim in, Balos is extremely popular amongst tourists during the summer. There are several beaches that offer scuba diving options in Crete and we highly recommend experiencing them!
The ideal way to reach Balos beach is by taking a ferry from Kissamos, which also boasts a scenic voyage with magnificent views of the coastline and if you’re lucky, a rendezvous with dolphins.
Take In The Beauty Of Elafonisi Beach
Also located on the island of Crete, the Elafonisi beach is one of the most unique and beautiful beaches in Greece. Elafonisi Beach is famous for its signature pink ombré shore composed of white sand and pink crushed seashells that provide a gorgeous pastel contrast to the crisp blue water.
This beach, a designated protected nature reserve, is not only among the best beaches in Greece but is also in the top 25 beaches in the world.
Experience The Untouched Nature Of Lalaria Beach
The extremely picturesque Lalaria beach on Skiathos island is the most famous of all the pebble beaches in Greece. With crystal clear waters, breathtaking formations and views on the coastline, and a shore comprised entirely of smooth, white pebbles, this beach is a must-visit on a trip to Greece.
A significant fine has lately been enforced for stealing a pebble from the coast as a souvenir since the beach’s natural charm began to decline as a result of many people collecting pebbles. Therefore, we urge you to take a picture rather than a pebble!
Hike Up Mount Olympus
The highest peak in Greece and a prominent part of Greek mythology, known to be home to the Greek Gods, climbing Mount Olympus is a must for travelers. With a rich history and a prominent variety of flora and fauna, travelers are in awe of the rich biosphere at this peak.
To climb Mount Olympus, the most common point to start is in the town of Litochoro on the foothills of the mountain. This is most definitely a challenging hike, so we recommend joining a hiking tour.
Enjoy The Bustling Nightlife Of Mykonos
Mykonos town is known to be the nightlife capital of Greece, and aside from relaxing on its famous Paradise Beach, you have to head to the town to experience the vast array of nightlife that it offers.
The clubs can be seen slowly transforming from daytime beach clubs to evening sunset-watching coffee bars and finally to all-night ragers that can go on until 5 AM. Whatever time of day you visit a club, you’re sure to have an absolute blast!
Absorb Greek History At The Olympia Archaeological Site
A key component of Ancient Greece, the Olympia Archaeological Site is located on the Peloponnese peninsula and dates back to the 4th Millennium BC. It was a center of worship for the Greek God Zeus.
The modern Olympic games date back to 726 BC when they were believed to be held in Olympia for the first time, in honor of Zeus. The remnants of the ruins represent a lot of key structures that influenced modern Greece greatly.
Another UNESCO world heritage site, this famous archaeological site boasts remnants of the sculptures from the temple of Zeus, and the famous Hermes complex. To truly understand Greece’s various historical sites, Olympia has to be visited.
Have An Otherworldly Experience At Melissani Cave
A wonderous geological phenomenon, the Melissani Cave is close to several Ionian islands on the ocean. Also known as the Cave of Nymphs, this sea cave will make you feel like you’re out of this world altogether.
Take a boat trip through the caves and marvel at the stunning turquoise water while the sunlight coming in through the cavities and chambers of the cave make the water glisten magically. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Explore The Paros Island Off The Beaten Path
Located in the Aegean Sea and popular for its picturesque villages, Paros is an enchanting Greek island without the usual hustle and bustle of tourists, unlike the rest of Greece. Featuring a perfect blend of modern city life and traditional Greek culture, visiting Paros is at the top of our recommended list of things to do in Greece.
Whether you’re unwinding on the Lageri beach, shopping in the Parikia Village, experiencing a wine-tasting at Moraitis Winery, or taking a sailing boat trip around the island, you’re sure to fall in love with Paros!
Experience Tranquility In The Meteora Monasteries
Located in Thessaly on the Greek mainland, the Meteora Monasteries are situated atop large rock formations that were formed as part of a rare geological phenomenon millions of years ago. Meteora is a prominent UNESCO world heritage site, and visiting it is one of the most tranquil things to do in Greece.
Monks began settling here in the 11th century and built 24 monasteries on these ‘columns of the sky’, of which six are still functional. The monasteries are a 10-minute drive from Kalabaka and the climb up the rock formations may be difficult but it is most definitely worth visiting. To make it easier, we recommend booking a monastery tour.
Visit A Winery
Greece is renowned for having an exceptional curation of wineries and so, not indulging in their local wine would be a true missed opportunity. There are countless wineries sprinkled all across Greece, but our favorite ones are situated in Santorini and Crete.
In Santorini, you can enjoy the sunset while sipping on some local wine at the Venestanos Winery or indulge in the chef-curated wine tasting at Vasaltis Vineyard while enjoying the chef’s delicious amuse-bouche. Crete features authentic family-owned wineries such as the Lyrarakis Winery and the Manousakis Winery, both of which are well-renowned.
No matter which part of Greece you are visiting, we are certain that you would find a good winery in it, so, don’t miss out! We also recommend trying out Ouzo, which is a famous Greek anise liquor.
Explore The Ancient World Through The Delphi Ruins
The Delphi Ruins are one of the most renowned ancient sites and the most important shrine in Greece. It served as a historic place of worship for the Greek deity Apollo. The sanctuary, which was which historians believe dates back to 1400 B.C., housed the Oracle of Delphi and the priestess Pythia.
Delphi was considered by ancient Greeks to be the center of the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located on the slope of Mount Parnassus and offers an immersive experience of ancient Greek history.
Relax By The Stunning Lake Plastira
Located in central Greece, Lake Plastira is one of Greece’s largest man-made lakes. It features a peaceful and attractive terrain that mimics the Swiss Alps, causing it to often be referred to as “Little Switzerland.”
Visitors are enthralled throughout the year by this magnificent blue lake with its freezing waters, encircled by snow-capped mountains and lush pine trees in its surrounding countryside. This lake is the ideal winter getaway in Greece as it is located at a high altitude.
Visit The Famed Knossos Palace
Considered to be situated in Europe’s oldest city, the Knossos Palace located in Crete is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site in Greece. It dates back to as early as 1950-1700 B.C. and was constructed by the civilization that we now refer to as the Minoans.
In ancient times, there was a town settlement surrounding it, of which the Minoans are believed to be the inhabitants. This significant one-of-its-kind site was excavated and renovated in the 20th century.
What is the most common thing to do in Greece?
The most popular parts of Greece are Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. The most common things to do include visiting the Acropolis and the other ancient ruins of Greece, relaxing at one of the beautiful beaches, and going for a hike up one of the famous mountains or rock formations.
What are 3 things Greece is famous for?
Greece is famous for being the birthplace of democracy, for being the place where the Olympic games were born, and for the significant Greek mythology which can be experienced in the archaeological remains of ancient Greece.
What should you avoid doing in Greece?
You should be prepared with cash and avoid reliance on cards as many local vendors prefer cash, adhere to the dress code in religious places such as churches, and never eat or drink beverages (except water) on the metro.
How many days do you need in Greece?
We recommend visiting Greece for at least 7 days as this would be ample time to explore Athens and one or two Greek islands of your choice.
How do I visit Greece for the first time?
Greece has 14 international airports so we recommend flying to the Greek mainland. Travel within Greece can be done in several ways – by flight, bus, taxi, train, metro, or ferries.
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