From ancient monuments and infinite islands, to crystal-hued beaches and vast mountainous landscapes, it’s easy to see why in a typical year Greece attracts millions of visitors. Whether you’re seeking a sun-soaked seaside escape, are in pursuit of a culinary adventure or are keen to retrace the steps of a long and storied history, throughout this blog post we’ll share with you the very best of Greece. It’s time to get packing!
Lying at the very heart of the country, no trip to Greece would be complete without visiting the capital city, Athens. Having been inhabited for more than 3000 years, the city comes packed with a wealth of history as the birthplace of Western Civilisation.
While the remnants of ancient Greece do get most of the attention in Athens, there are also plenty of other things to do in the city. Some of our favourites include embarking on a gastronomic adventure, visiting the Kanellopoulos Museum and sampling some of the local delicacies at the Agora-Athens Central Market.
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Known for its dazzling panoramas, romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches, it comes with little surprise that Santorini features at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists.
Located between Athens and Crete, Santorini (officially known as Thira) is part of the Cyclades group of islands. Despite being small in size (driving the island north-south by car only takes roughly 45-minutes), there is still plenty to explore. Wander the narrow streets of Oia and find the perfect position to watch the spectacular sunset, satiate your taste buds at a traditional Trattoria in Fira or visit a winery and taste some of the Greek Island’s best wines.
Known for beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts and a lively nightlife, it comes with little surprise that those who travel to Greece in pursuit of finding the best of Greece find themselves at Mykonos. Like a slice of heaven on Earth, this stunning Greek island in the Cyclades group is an absolute must-visit destination!
By day, explore the little alleyways of Old Town Mykonos and visit the traditional windmills of Kato Mili. Then, come the evening, enjoy a sunset meal at a traditional Taverna with a cocktail and live music.
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Best Places for Food
Believe it or not, there are many things to do in Greece beyond retracing history and sailing. For foodies, holidays to the Greek Islands means one thing: delicious, fresh, local Mediterranean food! Long before being popularised in the west, farm-to-table food has always been a way of life on Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. With recipes that have been passed down through generations, some of the island’s most renowned dishes include dakos, kaltsounia, kochlioi, staka, tsigariasto and pilaf. Most of the dishes can be found at many of the island’s tavernas and restaurants.
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Touted as a top foodie destination by the late Anthony Bourdain, a visit to the island of Naxos is not to be missed if a Greek culinary venture is what you’re seeking! An agricultural island, most eateries here create dishes that feature locally grown vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood and local specialties including cheese and potatoes. Some of the most famous dishes from this island include giachnada, provatses and sefoukloti, all served with wine!
Located at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, Epirus’ strategic position by the sea make this town the perfect destination for those who enjoy life’s simple pleasures, like waterfront strolls accompanied by exquisite cuisine options. The waterfront itself is lined with many tavernas, all offering traditional Epiriot cuisine that will satisfy the hungriest of visitors.
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Best places for adventure
Home to more than 42 beaches, stunning landscapes, cliff-hugging monasteries, marinas and a UNESCO World Heritage listed fortified old town, there’s plenty of reasons why people visit the largest Dodecanese island of Rhodes when they travel to Greece. While many make the trip to Rhodes to experience the history, laidback beach vibes and buzzing nightlife, adrenaline junkies from around the globe flock to Rhodes for its perfect windsurfing and kite surfing conditions.
Wondering what to do in Greece in the winter months? Did you know that you could ski in Greece? Thanks to the huge, towering mountains of the north, winters in Greece means snow and skiing. In fact, the slopes in Northern Greece, while not as well known as some of its other European neighbours, have great-quality snowfall, good schools and a hearty apres ski scene. To really experience the best of Greece, we’d recommend basing yourself in the quaint mountain village of Seli, so you can ski the slopes of Vermio Mountain with the locals. If you’ve got time, you could also embark on some sightseeing around some of the small traditional villages nearby, sampling some of the hearty local cuisine.
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Located in the rugged region of Mani in the Peloponnese, tucked between the Messinian Gulf and the Taygetos Mountains, Kardamyli is nothing short of beautiful. The picturesque upper part of the town is home to imposing stone tower houses, a medieval castle and the church of Agios Spyridonas. Kardamyli is one of the best places to travel to Greece for keen hikers wanting to explore the Vyros Gorge and the long-forgotten Peloponnese.
Discover the amazing Peloponnese and so much more when you travel with Trafalagar on the Secrets of Greece tour.
Best places for history
One of the most wondrous ancient places in the world, Delphi was known as the prime place of worship for Apollo, the Greek God of the Sun; and was also the place of worship for many other gods and goddesses. Not to mention, Delphi was also the location where the oracle of Delphi was filled with the spirit of Apollo. Today, visitors to the city can enjoy wandering around numerous ruins, including the Temple of Apollo, treasuries, the theatre and athletic structures, including the stadium that held the athletic Pythian Games, where competitors from all over Greece gathered to compete.
The location of the Pan-Hellenic Games, which are considered to be the first Olympics, Olympia is a sanctuary dedicated to the worship of Zeus, the King of the Gods. Today, the site contains a myriad of ruins, including the thermai, Heroon and various temples.
You can visit Olympia when you travel with Trafalgar on the Best of Greece tour.
Awe is the first feeling that comes to mind when trying to describe Meteora’s looming sandstone cliffs, topped with Byzantine monasteries. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meteora is the largest archaeological centre in Greece. Considered an ideal place to achieve isolation during early Christian times, the first monastery here was established in the 14th century. Of the original 24 monasteries, only six remain active today.
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Best places for R’n’R
Wondering what to do in Greece that’s not a common feature on the tourist map? Enter Lesbos. The island of Lesbos is one of the few places you can visit and find the authentic laidback Greek lifestyle. The perfect destination for those looking to enjoy a drink by the ocean overlooking idyllic bays and calm beaches, without the crowds.
If you’re seeking a cosmopolitan, yet relaxing destination to visit when you travel to Greece, Paros is where you need to go! Beautiful azure waters, paired with elegant cocktail bars and restaurants make this Greek Island an absolute dream for those in search of the absolute best of Greece. When you’re not making the most of the abundance of beaches and tavernas available, spend your time exploring the small villages between the mountains or some of the small neighbouring islands, or start your day with a beautiful sunrise horseback ride.
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Have you travelled to Greece and visited any of these dreamy destinations? Or, are you hoping to in the near future? Let us know in the comments below! Or, head to our website so you can read more about how you can discover the best of Greece with Trafalgar.