This gorgeous country is covered in rolling mountains, picturesque olive groves, and hundreds of islands just waiting to be explored. Dive into the turquoise waters that make Greece the ultimate beach destination, and then head into the lively towns and modern cities like the capital Athens for unforgettable city breaks in any season. Experience first-hand how this alluring country effortlessly blends the ancient with the new; step foot into the heart of the stunning mainland or escape to one of the idyllic islands like Crete on your holidays to Greece.
Crete is the largest island and home to a multitude of pretty villages and bustling cities along its scenic coastline and in the pine-scented mountains. Embrace the road less travelled and discover the peaceful island of Sporades and the panoramas from the southern Peloponnese, both promising delicious fare and secluded coves. With hundreds of inhabited islands and the whole of the mainland to explore, there are parts of Greece to please all visitors.
Uncover Greece’s vibrant past with a trip to the ancient palaces like Mycenae and Knossos and catch a glimpse into the life of civilisations long ago. From temples in Rhodes to the home of the original Olympic Games in Olympia, you don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the vibrant past on your holidays in Greece. Whatever you’re preference, you’ll never be short of things to do, so start planning your exotic getaways and be prepared to pamper yourself.
Greece is synonymous with ancient ruins, lively culture, and phenomenal landscapes that make you swoon. From the heights of Mount Olympus to the serene underwater shipwrecks from long ago, every inch of this breath-taking country is full of picturesque attractions. There are so many things to do in Greece, including feasting your eyes on the Acropolis in Athens, an ultimate Greece icon, and taking a romantic break in Oia on Santorini. Whether you want to party it up in Rhodes and Zante, or re-enact a scene from Mamma Mia on Skopelos, nothing can beat a Greek holiday.
If there’s one thing you have time to do in Greece, it’s to delve into the wonderful world of Greek cuisine. Tuck into the famous Greek salad, break off a piece of freshly baked bread and dip it into the purest olive oil and tzatziki you can find; definitely one of the top Greece attractions.
Meat lovers can embrace the Greek affinity for sublime meat dishes like mouth-watering pork souvlaki, sweet moussaka, boiled mountain goat, and delectable lamb bifteki, or burger patties. Don’t fret vegetarians; greens such as horta, stuffed courgette flowers, and hearty beans are as plentiful as feta! Don’t miss out on fresh calamari or oven-baked aubergines, and you cannot help but wash the meal down with a Mythos or local wine, especially in Santorini. Skip the ouzo for some island raki, especially when in Crete and Rhodes.
When in Crete, make sure to spend a day hiking the Samaria Gorge, starting high up in the forested mountains and ending at the warm, pebbly beaches kissed by the Libyan Sea. Crete isn’t the only part of Greece with gorgeous gorges; the whole country is mountainous and full of excellent hiking. Retrace the steps of the first marathon to Athens from the town that gives its name to the modern event, Marathon.
Go from the beach to the waves in no time with a pair of flippers and a snorkel to discover the underwater world of Greece or learn to scuba dive and explore ancient submerged ruins, like on Navagio Beach in Zante. Skiathos and Corfu are great islands to learn how to dive, but let’s face it; most of the country’s coastline is more than acceptable.
Nothing says family bonding better than a sailing trip across the Aegean; you can visit any number of islands like Hydra, Delos and Aegina in a single day or take a cruise around one particular island, like Milos. For more family-friendly things to do in Greece, try horseback riding in Naxos or exploring the ancient Palace of Knossos on Crete.
Greece has the most coastlines of any other country in Europe, so it goes without saying that you can find Blue Flag beaches full of kid-friendly activities. Shallow waters and calm seas are perfect for a day on the beach with the little ones, while bigger kids can enjoy jet skiing, banana boating, and swimming in the clear water. If you feel up for it, try kayaking in Kefalonia while parasailing and windsurfing can be found on most Greek islands.
Most of the top Greece attractions involve some part of the country’s rich heritage, going back thousands of years. Discover the ruins of the Mycenaeans in Mainland Greece and the complex palaces of the Minoans in Crete. While in Athens, check out the National Archaeological Museum for rooms filled with ancient sculptures, bronze weapons, and heavily detailed ceramics to please even non-historians.
Home to the ancient civilisation that invented comedy and tragedy as we know it today; you must catch an outdoor performance in the most famous amphitheatre, Epidaurus in the Peloponnese. Time your visit for a concert in either Thessaloniki or Athens, both of which are frequented by the likes of Bob Dylan and Lady Gaga. Run the lengths of the original Olympic stadium in Olympia and climb to Delphi to ask the oracle about the future.
Though Easter and Christmas are mega public holidays here, you haven’t truly lived until you’ve participated in a village party on holiday in Greece. Definitely one of the top things to do in Greece, embracing the local culture and getting to know the Greeks at paniyiria is always accompanied by delicious food and drink; some have cute themes like the Almond Festival in Crete or full-on bashes based on Saints’ Days and name days – a second birthday.
For some more culture, check out the Hellenic Festival in Athens, or the massive Athens and Epidavrus Festival which takes place each summer, running this year from the 1st of June to 16th of August, so there are plenty of chances to participate! For music and film buffs, time your visit for the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in November, a jazz festival in Khalkidhiki in July-August; there’s always the ever popular Rethymnon Wine Festival taking place in Crete this July.
Greece is home to thousands of islands with Crete being the largest and home to some of the finest beaches. The Balos Lagoon on the west side of the island is beautiful with long white sandy beaches and warm shallow waters. The Ionian islands are home to vast arcing white sands that rise up to green topped limestone cliffs. Myrtos beach on Kefalonia island is one of the best with the beaches on Corfu offering up a choice of vast sandy beaches, idyllic coves and quiet stretches of sand perfect for sunbathing.
There are a number of great sites for watersports throughout Greece. The island of Kos in particular is host to some great beaches and warm clear waters that are perfect for an array of different sports. Wind surfing, jet skiing and diving are all possible here. The island of Rhodes is also a popular choice for those seeking some high octane adventures. Hire a speed boar and power through the waters or try out some kite surfing for a truly exhilarating experience.
The southern coast of Crete is much rockier than that of the north and so makes for fantastic snorkeling spots. The relaxing beach of Sougia is a nice option, the beach itself is wide and long, meaning that even in busier periods it doesn’t feel crowded. Plakias is also ideal, snuggled in a quiet bay that started life as a fishing settlement it offers shallow waters and nice scenery.
Greek cuisine is famous around the world, healthy and nutritious it is a a great example of a mediterranean diet. Meze is very popular, with a spread of small dishes usually served at the beginning of a meal with dips such as tzatziki served alongside. Eating out on your holiday in Greece is a pleasure, with various traditional restaurants and more modern fares offering a mix of mediterranean and international cuisines. Vitro is a nice traditional restaurant that can be found near the Acropolis, worth a visit for a romantic night of live music and a good mix of traditional Greek cuisine served alongside modern variants.
Entertainment in greece is a nice mix of the traditional and the modern, with bars offering traditional Greek ‘folk’ music and live music that spans through traditional styles to modern rock, blues and jazz. An interesting venue that sees live music and outdoor cinema during the summer months is the outdoor Lycabettus theatre in Athens, atop the Lycabettus hill it is a truly unique experience especially when watching a movie under the clear star filled skies.
Greece’s bar and cafe culture is as vibrant as the rest of Europe’s with many restaurants, cafes, bars and traditional Greek tavernas offering on street seating amidst the scenic charm of the old towns and city streets. Head to the quieter areas to experience a true Greek bar experience and mingle with the locals to get to grips with Greek traditions. In the village of Tsagarada on the road to the Mylopotamos beach you’ll find the wonderful Deipnosofistis restaurant and bar. It serves a modern mix of mediterranean cuisines using home grown ingredients.
Greeks traditional cuisine is not too dissimilar from that of Turkey, Italy and the Balkans. Ingredients like feta cheese, olives, breads, herbs and wine are widespread as are courgette and yoghurt. A classic greek salad would generally consist of feta, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion olives, garlic and olive oil. Meze is one of the most common exports of greek cuisine and is popular throughout Greece and is generally served as an appetiser consisting of several small dishes served along with dips and breads. Filo pastry is also commonly used to wrap a variety of ingredients. Spanakotyopita is one such dish where spinach and cheese is wrapped in pastry and then served with cubed feta.
Greece is famous for its beautiful architecture and its rich history and mythology. Excellent examples of this can be seen in the Pantheon on the Acropolis in Athens and the Temple of Zeus in Cyrene. Athens in general is wonderful for any history lover but beware, you could spend weeks exploring it all. It’s possible almost everywhere either on the islands or the mainland, to join guided tours which take you through a historical journey of some of the most important historical sites.
Greece boasts amongst its many attractions a vivid and varied nightlife with beach clubs and all night discos. The island of Mykonos is well known for its clubs and bars and has quickly become one of the major party destinations in Greece. Amongst the clubs is Space Dance in the town of Chora, famous for its uninhibited all night parties and for its sheer size. Paradise beach is home to Cavo Paradiso, a hill top club which has gained the reputation as one of the hottest party destinations of the world.
Find more info about:
Athens is home to some great late night hot spots, with jazz bars and cocktail bars taking centre stage. Elsewhere there are flourishing live music venues playing a mix of rock, traditional music and blues and on the islands there are plentiful beach side bars and resorts offering cocktails and great chilled atmospheres. Head to the city for a late lunch and follow it with a shot or two of Ouzo.
Santorini is amongst the best holiday destinations in Greece, well known for its volcano and picturesque architecture as well as the beach which was formed from volcanic rocks. Corfu is a beautiful Ionian island with strong Venetian influences to its architecture, a beautiful island to spend your entire holiday on. Crete is amongst the best known of the Greek islands and is a wonderful place to spend days or weeks exploring. For those wanting to experience the best of Greek nightlife, then Mykonos with its endless parties is the perfect destination. Platis Gialos is one of the best resorts on the island with numerous hotels to choose from.
Though there are some great clubbing spots in Greece; Crete, Zante, Athens and Kos, Mykonos remains one of the best spots with clubbers from around the globe traveling here just to get a taste of the nightlife. The clubs on offer are abundant with most staying open all night and into the next day. Beach parties transform into foam parties and some of the biggest clubs invite DJ’s from around the world to keep the party going ‘till morning. Try out Cavo Paradiso for something different or head to the Paradise beach bar, or super Paradise for a typical beach affair.