Greece, with its beautifully bleached infrastructure, remarkable history, sparkling sapphire waters, and an exceptional kitchen, make it one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the world. Tourists visit Greece not only to check out its quaint restaurants and pretty beaches but also to carry back an overall vivacious vibe that would stay with them for long. What makes first-time visitors become repeat visitors to Greece are the abundant natural treasures and Greece’s opulent culture. This blog will help you plan your trip to Greece during the season you prefer most and also cover the major tourist places to visit in Greece.
Best Time to Visit Greece
Picture-perfect beaches, bright days, and warm temperatures are every traveler’s dream when visiting Greece. This is the best time to visit famous Greek destinations like Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes. Spending summer in Greece allows visitors to enjoy various festivals like the Athens Epidaurus Festival between June and August, marked by classical music performances and epic drama all over the city. The Athens Photo Festival is also celebrated in June and July, which is an artistic and creative event attracting photographers from all over the world.
If you’re planning to reap all the benefits of summer without paying excess, Autumn is the perfect season for visiting Greece. As the temperatures are mild but pleasant, tourists indulge in trips to massive museums and scenic vineyards. The temperatures during this season vary between 16-20 degrees Celsius.
If you want to skip the crowd and have Greece all to yourself, winter is the right season for you. Many touristy places may be shut due to the low season and keep in mind the sea will also be cold, so it’s better to avoid making plans to swim during the winters. Temperatures vary between 12 and 8 degrees Celsius with frequent rains. The best part about this climate is that this is the best time to grab travel deals as flight and hotel prices are at rock bottom. As Christmas and New Year’s Eve are global holidays, it is better to make bookings in advance.
Best Places to Visit in Greece
#1 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
The cosmopolitan capital of Greece, Athens is one of the most interesting places to visit in Greece. With a history that dates back to more than 3,000 years, the city has a plethora of sightseeing options, including the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the Acropolis, and the New Acropolis Museum. Athens is a city that boasts of its striking historical monuments and stunning modern architecture. These days the ancient city of Athens is recognized by its spotless streets, remarkable freeways, modern subways, well-manicured parks, and super-warm people.
Although there are many museums in Athens, the Acropolis museum located very close to the Acropolis stands out. The museum is an ultra-modern glass and steel structure exhibiting sanctuaries, statues, some artifacts and everyday items used by Athenians. A visit to this historical city is not complete without seeing the Parthenon temple which sits on top of the Acropolis. This is the heart of modern Athens and is considered the symbol of Western civilization. Apart from the major attractions, some of the other things to do in the city include trying the amazing food in Athinas Street, strolling in the vibrant markets, appreciating the rich street art, and indulging in the Greek coffee culture.
#2 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Formed from one of the world’s biggest volcanic eruptions, Santorini is a picturesque volcanic island that is at a distance of around 200 kilometers from the Greece mainland. The island is among the top places to visit in Greece because of its photogenic beaches, spectacular sunsets, exuberant nightlife, cozy cafes, fine wineries, and rich history. Santorini also known as Thera, is a cluster of islands formed by centuries of volcanic eruptions. The island is surrounded by deep blue shimmering seas and high cliffs that stand guard over the beaches. Combine this with the verdant vineyards dotting the islands and the sunny blue skies, and you have a perfect romantic getaway for couples!
Santorini is also famous for being one of the oldest wine-producing areas of the world and is home to Santo Wines, which is among the most renowned wineries in Greece. Another top tourist attraction here is the pebble free Black beach, which gives us a break from the usual golden beaches. While the black sand adds a mysterious charm to the beach, the low levels of crowds and hawkers are an added bonus. Some of the major attractions at Santorini are the Pyrgos – known for its majestic age-old houses and beautiful Byzantine churches, and Mesa Gonia – famous for its earthquake remnants from 1956. Other attractions you can spot on the island include Imerovigli, Kamari, Therasia, Emporio, Oia, and Perissa. The island is also famous for its white walls and blue roof homes, which give the place a distinctive aura.
#3 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
A popular weekend destination for the rich, Nafplio is often considered to top the list of most beautiful places to visit in Greece. The town on the east coast of the Peloponnese was also the first capital of modern Greece in 1828. Nafplio is overlooked by the 18th-century Palamidi Fortress and is filled with proud churches and Neoclassical mansions. Wandering around the town, tourists can find the marks of the Byzantines, the Venetians, and the Ottoman Empire on the cuisines and the architecture. According to the people, Nafplio was founded by the son of Sea God Poseidon and is full of medieval castles, statues, ancient walls, and monuments.
Couples planning for a romantic honeymoon can head to Nafplio to go for a relaxing swim on the beaches of Nea Kios, Arvanitia, Miloi, Karathonas, and Kiveri or take a romantic stroll along the Arvanitia Promenade. The town is about 94 kilometers away from Athens and can be reached easily by bus or car. Another major tourist attraction at Nafplio is The Folklore museum, an award-winning museum that has been dedicated to conserving the traditions and culture of Nafplio between the 19th and early 20th century history.
#4 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Mykonos Town popularly known as “Little Venice”, is a gorgeous Cycladic town with whitewashed step lanes and tiny streets. It is the second most frequently visited island by international visitors and is also very popular with international celebrities. Mykonos cannot be mentioned without talking about its amazing nighttime activities which include stylish bars, eateries, beaches, and clubs. Mykonos has always been considered as one of the finest among the Greek islands, which has been luring everyone from writers and celebrities to students and archaeologists to experience its charming cafes and glitzy nightlife. As the town is one of the top go-to places to visit in Greece for the glamorous and rich celebrities, it’s better to visit this place during off-season unless you’re willing to spend a lot on your vacation.
Mykonos is a popular ancient island of many legends. According to Greek mythology, Mykonos was the location where the battle between the fearful Titans and omnipotent Zeus took place. Not only this, but it is also famously known as the place where Hercules slew the Giants. Apart from the amazing history, the 85 square kilometers long island is often compared to the Ibiza island of Spain and is mentioned among the best places to visit in Greece for party-goers. Some of the other attractions include Paraportiani, which is a beautiful whitewashed church in Mykonos Town, and sandy beaches along the south coast.
#5 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Corfu located on the northwestern coast is among the top places to visit in Greece because of its rich cultural heritage. The island has many beautiful beaches, apart from just relaxing on the beach and sunbathing there are other things that the tourists can do like visiting the ancient monastery or going on an olive tasting tour. Corfu Town was ruled by the Venetians for a couple of centuries but now is a very popular UNESCO World Heritage site. The town is particularly beautiful, with its romantic pedestrian-only streets and Venetian architecture attract lots of tourists throughout the year. If you’re planning a trip to Corfu try combining it with some island hopping to other Ionian destinations. Some of the other attractions in Corfu include the arcaded Liston and two 16th-century fortresses, lined by old-fashioned cafes.
Corfu is connected by an airport and ferries from Patras and Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. During summer, ferries sailing from Venice and Ancona also stop here.
#6 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
The island of Rhodes is Greece’s fourth biggest island, surrounded by several beautiful beaches all around. If you’re planning a short trip then you can stay in Rhodes Town and go to local beaches for a swim. If you’re planning a longer stay, rent a car and go explore the island! Rhodes Island has locals enjoying a swim all throughout the year as the island has some of the mildest weather in the country. While in Rhodes town, don’t forget to check out The Medieval castle which is unlike anything you’ve seen in Greece and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’d like to spend some quiet time at the island, then try planning your trip in late autumn so that you can discover a quieter, more authentic side of Rhodes Island.
The Colossus of Rhodes was once considered as one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World which was destroyed in 226 BC and never rebuilt. Though when you visit the Colossus now you will not find anything there, it’s just a tourist attraction because the imagination boggles when you think about what might have been. Another famous attraction is the very ancient town of Lindos which contains ruins of some historic buildings like the Castle of Lindos, Staircase of the Propylaea, and Church of St. John on the Acropolis. Apart from all these attractions, don’t forget to experience the nightlife at Rhodes Town which has a lot to offer too!
#7 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Delos lies right next to the island of Mykonos and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This place is filled with so much history, visitors can walk around the place which is believed to have been the revival of Greek civilization. Delos is believed to be the place where twins Apollo and Artemis were born. Leto, the mother of the twins was apparently seduced by Zeus and forced to stay in Delos. The island had been considered sacred during early ancient times, but after its deconstruction in 88 BC, the island is now an open-air museum and is among the best places to visit in Greece for archaeologists and historians!
Delos is an uninhabited island which has many famous archeological sites like the Archeological Museum where many original statues and frescoes have been placed after being replaced by replicas on the site, Terrace of Lions which is the most photographed place in Delos, Mount Kynthos, the Stoivadeion, Poros Temple, Sacred Lake, House of Dolphins and many more.
#8 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Almost 26 times the size of Malta, Crete is Greece’s largest island. To be fair, the island is so large that it could easily be an independent country. Crete has so many things to keep you entertained like the magnificent ancient sites, wild gorges, delicious food, lovely coastal towns, and gorgeous beaches which make it one of the top places to visit in Greece. Some of the famous tourist attractions here include the archaeological site of Ancient Knossos and the picturesque coastal town of Chania. If you want to discover a unique side of Greece then it’s better to consider staying in Crete for a few days and spending some time in the smaller towns, allowing the soul of the island to slowly unfold! While here don’t forget to try the favorite local alcoholic drink “raki”, which is popular among the locals.
Another top attraction at Crete for tourists who love outdoors is Samaria Gorge. The canyon is about 16 kilometer-long and takes about five to seven hours to complete the trek, depending on your level of fitness. The canyon cuts through mountains and cliffs to emerge at the Agia Roumeli, an old fashioned town with a beautiful pebbled beach. The Samaria Gorge lies inside the Samaria National Park and is on the tentative list of UNESCO.
#9 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Patmos famously known as the island of the Apocalypse is a place with intense spiritual charisma. The island is really beautiful and is built around a monastery which was dedicated to St. John the Theologian, who is believed to have written the book of Revelation on this island. The best time to plan a visit to Patmos is during the months of July and August. The Patmos Religious Music Festival and the International Film Festival of Patmos are held during this time, attracting huge crowds from all over. This is not all, a few years ago sporting events were also added to enhance the summer plans at Patmos. The atmosphere during the three-day event is electric, with participants taking part in swimming or running races which take place at the end of June.
Some of the other attractions include Chora, the capital of Patmos is another beautiful place to walk around and enjoy the views of the Aegean Sea and the village of Skala which is another very popular summer vacation in Greece. With so much going on at Patmos, it should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Greece during summer.
#10 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
The greenest and biggest island in the country, Naxos is definitely one of the top places to visit in Greece for nature lovers to experience Greece in its local, non-touristic aspect. Naxos is a land of velvety valleys, ancient villages, high mountains, lush green gorges, and the most stunning seascapes ever! Naxos has many attractions like the gorgeous architecture of the Cycladic and Medieval, and the stone-paved valleys. But the attraction that stands out is Portara, which is on a small island called Palatia and is connected to Naxos via a raised road across low or wet ground. This 2,500-year-old marble doorway is massive and looks out to the ocean. If you’re looking for places to visit in Greece to experience the best sunsets, look no further. The sun setting against the backdrop of this doorway is a memorable and beautiful experience to carry back home.
The Castle of Naxos built-in 1207 is another popular tourist attraction here. The towers in the castle which were used to look out for danger have been preserved and are in impeccable condition. In an effort to preserve the castle it was handed over to the Archaeological Society for restoration work. While walking in the alleys of the castle you may come across various shops selling knickknacks and taverns offering snacks to satisfy your appetite. Another not-to-miss event while at the castle is the musical evenings which add an element of romance and fun to the castle.
#11 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
If you’re looking for places to visit in Greece for a winter vacation, Zagori is the place to go. This area is a jewel in the Aegean crown and falls in the region of Epirus. Zagori is a mountain wonderland and because of its incredible natural beauty is both a favorite winter and summer vacation spot for many. The area of Zagori comes with clear-cut routes that pass through stone bridges, deep gorges, rivers, monasteries, vibrant forests, streams, and over 45 stone villages (known as Zagorohoria). This is the perfect destination for people who love hiking as the landscape spans hundreds of kilometers.
If adventure is something you seek then you must try the many activities offered here. If you happen to plan your visit to Zagori during summer, don’t miss out on the running event where mountaineers take on the challenge to climb to the top of the peak. While trekking in the area you may come across many rivers with tourists engaging in adventure water sports like canoeing or rafting. Vikos gorge which is one of the deepest gorges in the world is another attraction very close to Zagori.
#12 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Peloponnese is a destination that can be spotted easily on the map as it is shaped like a large mulberry leaf. Located in the southernmost region of Greece, the destination has beautiful fortresses and classical Greek temples which are sure to leave the visitors in awe. If you’re a history buff then Peloponnese should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Greece as the place reeks of extremely rich history and ancient cultures. The Peloponnese peninsula has so many archaeological sites like the Ancient Corinth, Epidaurus which is an ancient theatre, Argos which has several ancient ruins, and of course Mycenae which was Greece’s major cities in the second millennium BC.
What makes this place so special is that it was home to the first ancient Olympic Games, which have been held every four years to honor Zeus. Olympia is also the most significant archaeological sites in Greece. Tourists can explore the site which includes the temples of Zeus and Hera, the gymnasium, the ancient stadium, the workshop of ancient Greece sculptor Phidias, and many more. A trip to Olympia isn’t completed without stopping at the nearby Archaeological Museum which has many interesting artifacts are on display.
#13 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Out of so many amazing places to visit in Greece, Thessaloniki stands out for multiple reasons. It is a modern metropolis built near the sea, bearing marks of its cosmopolitan character and stormy history, which give the place a special charm and beauty. The city is the second-largest in Greece and has been blessed with a rich history. A beautiful Macedonian village called Halkidiki is regarded as a treasure trove with churches from the Roman, Byzantine, and the Ottoman period. Thessaloniki has so much going its way, the beauty, the finger-licking Greek food and its culture all of these make it quite easy to fall in love with the city.
Some of the major attractions here are the ancient forum, the Triumphal Arch of Galerius, the Rotunda, The churches of Acheiropoietos, The Mosques of the Hamza Bey Cami, The Byzantine bathhouse, The Heptapyrgion castle, The White Tower, and many more.
#14 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Zákynthos also known as Zante is home to beautiful sceneries both above and under the sea. Located in the Ionian Sea, Zante is popular among tourists as it is easily accessible. Although there is so much to do here, the island stands out for its pebble and sand beaches, especially the Shipwreck Beach. Another major attraction here is the Blue Caves, these stunning sea caves off the island’s northern tip have sparkling water that reflects the color of the clear blue sky onto the walls of the cave, creating a magical glow. If you’d like to dive deeper into the waters, excellent snorkeling and scuba diving options are available.
Tourists also have a chance to encounter with underwater life and see the endangered Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta Caretta) up close. In addition to this, visitors can also taste dishes made with authentic quality ingredients found on the island like ladotyri, dopia olive to name a few. While here make sure to check out the Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach), which has gained popularity for its crystal clear waters and amazing nightlife.
#15 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
Located at the foot of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was considered very important in ancient Greek religion. The ancient Greeks considered this site as sacred, pilgrims came here to ask advice from the mythical Oracle and to worship Apollo (God of light, music, prophecy, and healing). It is made up of the crumbling ruins from a theatre, a stadium, and numerous temples which can be dated back to between 8th century BC and the 2nd century AD. The ancient theatre of Delphi was originally built in the 4th century BC on a hill which could give guests a complete view of the entire space and even the landscape below. The theatre can easily accommodate up to 5,000 spectators and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Some of the other attractions at Delphi include Tholos of Delphi, Archaeological Museum of Delphi, the traditional village of Chrissó, Museum of Delphic Festivals, the scenic village of Aráchova, Galaxidi, and Corycian Cave. With so much to do at Delphi, it is definitely one of the top places to visit in Greece.
#16 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
If you are looking for places to visit in Greece for a complete family vacation, Hersonissos is the place to be! The old port town has amusement parks, intriguing museums, local shopping hubs, pearly sand beaches, and ancient ruins to keep the tourists entertained. The town also has several reputed restaurants where you can satiate your food cravings by trying mouth-watering seafood. During the day, tourists prefer to enjoy at the beaches or waterparks, visit archaeological sites, trek in the gorges of Avdou valley, or even stroll in the villages of Koutouloufari, Ano Hersonissos, and Piskopiano. During the night is when the actual party starts as the visitors have so many choices of entertainment for the night, with most of the people gathering at the nightclubs of the coastal road.
Another popular tourist attraction here is The Lychnostatis Open Air Museum which gives visitors a chance to peep into the lives of the early islanders. Exhibits here include olive oil and wine presses, workshops on shoe-making, weaving and ceramics, and a herbarium(collection of preserved plant for scientific study).
#17 in Best Places to Visit in Greece
In Greek, the word ‘Meteora’ means suspended in the air, which aptly describes the monasteries of Meteora that almost look like they’ve been suspended in the air, over the huge rock cliffs. The monasteries here are at the altitude of more than 1,200 feet and can be dated back to the early 14th century. The 24 monasteries were built so that the monks could seek refuge from the Ottoman Empire, though only six monasteries are open to the public to explore. Meteora is already on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is home to almost inaccessible sandstone peaks that have been home to the monks since the early 11th century. The walls of the ancient monasteries are adorned by 16th-century frescoes, marking an important stage in the evolution of post-Byzantine painting.