Greece, a small country in the Mediterranean region – is full of surprises. The country, which combines together ancient history and arts, pleasure and entertainment, delicious local cuisine with some of the World’s best beaches – will certainly fulfill every traveler’s needs! So let us discover the top ten places that are really worth visiting in Greece.
The capital of Greece and its biggest city – has a population of almost 4 million residents. Athens is the ultimate place for anyone who wants to explore the ancient Greek history, amazing arts, beautiful architecture, and enjoy some leisure on the side, as well. Some of the most famous historical monuments in the World, are located in Athens – including the Acropolis, with its spectacular museum, the Herodus Atticus Theatre, and the temple of Olympian Zeus.
The center of Athens is the site where the famous philosophers like Socrates and Platon used to meet, and the visitor can feel its special vibes, while taking a walk in Plaka and Monastiraki’s squares. Athens is also the city which has a huge variety of entertainment places.
In Athens, you can taste all of the famous traditional Greek dishes such as Souvlaki, the Greek Salad or Moussaka. You can also enjoy a cocktail under the lights of Acropolis or you can visit the famous Bouzoukia – a music hall where the famous Greek singers, as well as regular people, are having fun ‘till the morning lights.
Thessaloniki is located in the Northern part of Greece, and it is the second largest city in the country. For a very long time Thessaloniki was under the Balkanian influence, and the visitor can easily recognize the differences between Athens and this city.
In Thessaloniki, you can also encounter a lot of famous historical monuments. The White Tower, which is the main landmark of Thessaloniki, is the biggest tower located in the heart of the city – right next to the sea, and is visible from almost any spot in the town. The Saint Sophia’s church is another must-visit sight in Thessaloniki. This church is actually the exact replica of the famous Saint Sophia Church, located in Istanbul.
If you will be in the mood for some shopping, after finishing your sightseeing tour – stop by the famous Tsimiski street. It is located in the heart of the city, and it has some great shopping options. Thessaloniki is also known for its great taverns and restaurants, where you can taste some really delicious meals. And if do you visit this city – you have to try the famous bougatsa – a pie, stuffed with cheese or cream, with a cup of frappe-coffee next to the sea. This kind of instant coffee is the number one popular choice in Thessaloniki.
Mykonos is an incredibly beautiful and famous Greek island, located just 3 hours away from Athens. You can reach Mykonos by a plane, or by taking a ferry from the Piraeus sea-port. Mykonos has always stood as the perfect synonym for a high-quality getaway.
Home to some breathtaking beaches, washed over by a beautiful, crystal-clear, turquoise sea – Mykonos also has a variety of luxury hotels, spread all over it. It also has some great dining options, which can be found in the main parts of the island, as well as some nice clubs, that are known for hosting some of the most famous DJs in the World. As you can probably imagine – some great, wild parties take place there almost every night, especially during the hot Summer seasons.
Mykonos is considered to be an excellent choice if you want to have the “Summer of your life”! Super Paradise and the Panormos are two of the most famous beaches on the island, while Cavo Paradiso is the ultimate place for party lovers.
The island of Santorini was created by a volcano explosion in the 16th century BC, and maybe that’s one of the reasons why – this is one of the hottest destinations in the World! You can also reach it by a plane or by taking a ferry from the Piraeus sea-port.
One of the most interesting things about the island is the variety, as well as the consistency of its beaches, due to the presence of the volcano. The Red Beach is the perfect place to observe this phenomenon. It consists of red and black volcanic pebbles and the water is almost always hot. Perissa and Kamari are the two other interesting beaches that every traveler should see.
Santorini is also famous for its local wines such as the Assyrtiko – a type of locally grown, and very delicious white wine. Though most of all – this particular island is world-famous for its absolutely stunning sunsets! In fact, Santorini’s is considered to be the most beautiful sunset in the World. You can view the sun diving right into the sea – with its radiant colors, that are just simply beyond anyone’s imagination.
Patras (also knows as Patra), a city in Peloponnese region, is famous for many reasons. It is the third biggest city in Greece, and it is primarily known as the place for the “loco” people. One of the most famous attractions of Patras – is the bridge of Rio-Antirio, which is a true architectural miracle. It is the biggest cable-bridge in the World, and it connects Peloponnese region with the rest of Greece.
If you come to Patras – you must visit the largest church in Greece, which is the third largest church in the Balkans region, after the St. Sava Cathedral in Belgrade (Serbia), and the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia (Bulgaria) – the Church of Saint Andreas.
Patras is also famous for its annual carnival. It is actually the biggest and the most famous carnival in the whole of Greece, when over twenty thousand of people descend to the city during this event. The city is also known for its local wine production – especially the Mavrodaphne. It is a yummy, sweet, red wine with an unforgettable taste.
Monemvasia is a historical city located in the heart of the Peloponnese region. A perfect combination of historical monuments, romantic getaways, and some wonderful beaches.
Monemvasia’s name is actually a sum of two Greek words, “moni” which means the ‘only’, and “emvasis” which means ‘the entrance’. This city was the only entrance to the beautiful, though unfortunately little-known, Castle of Messohori. When you reach the top of this castle – beautiful and stunning views will open up right in front of you.
Besides the Castle, the must visit places are the ancient Walls of Kyphanta, and the Cape Maleas Lighthouse. The beaches of Xiphias and Portello on the East side, as well as the Pigadi and Cavos on the West side – are a true ‘once in a life-time’ experience.
What can we say about this beautiful island? Whatever the visitor might need – can easily be found on its shores. You can reach Crete by a plane or by taking a ferry from the above-mentioned Piraeus sea-port, which will take about five hours to arrive to the island.
Crete is a really big island so if you want to explore all of it – you should plan to stay there for at least ten days, or more. Heraklion is one of the biggest and most popular cities on the island. And if you plan to visit the Palace of Knossos, the most famous Minoan civilization monument – you should prepare to spend a couple of days in this beautiful town too.
The city of Chania is considered to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. In Chania, you will have a chance to visit some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, such as Balos, Falasarna, and the Elafonisi beaches. You will also have an opportunity to taste some of the traditional local dishes, like Dakos and Kalitsounia, as well as the popular, local, alcoholic drink, called Raki.
In addition, Crete also has some other amazing, must-see cities, such as Rethymno and Sitia. The main characteristic of this island is the sheer hospitality of its people. Whoever visits Crete – will always feel like they are coming home.
The main island, from the family of seven different islands, located on the west side of Greece – is a great reason to visit the country. You can reach Corfu by a plane or by a ferry, departing from the Igoumenitsa sea-port. The distance by boat is less than two hours.
Corfu is heavily influenced by the Italian culture, since the island was under the Italian domination for many years. The architecture of the buildings, the churches, such as the most famous church on the island, named in the honor of Saint Spyridon – took a lot from the Italian architectural techniques.
If you ever come to the island – you should definitely visit the Liston Square, located in its heart. You could also go to the highest place of the island – which is at the “Cannon” place; explore all the tiny and narrow alleys, called Kantounia, as well as taste the delicious local dishes, like the Pastitsada. Pontikonisi is a small island located next to Corfu, and it’s a great place to visit on a daily boat-trip.
Ioannina is a real-life fairy tale city! It is located in the west part of the country, and you can easily reach it by a plane, by a car, or by bus. It is very famous for its magical lake, which is located in the center of the city.
You can enjoy long distance walks across the city, you can also rent a bike and take some unforgettable rides all across the lake, or you can explore the ancient castle of Ioannina, which can be found in the central-east part of the city. In addition, Ioannina is very famous for it hand-made silver jewelries.
Lefkada is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece – a secret paradise, a place where the crystal clear sea water is so spectacular, that it’s beyond any imagination. You can reach Lefkada by car, via the Egnatia street. The distance from Athens is almost four hours.
Lefkada is also famous worldwide for its stunning beaches, such as the Egremnoi, and the Porto Katsiki – which was pronounced to be the best beach in the world, for several years. The grand combination of sharp cliffs next to the deep blue water is one of a kind on Earth. You can also try some great local dishes on the island, such as the famous olive-oil pie and enjoy the nightlife in the main city of Lefkada.