13 Incredible Places to Visit in Greece

This article has links to products and services we recommend, which we may make commission from.

Greece Travel GuideTravelers often find themselves drawn to mainland Greece and the sunny Greek Islands, with the promise of a cultural immersion and a dreamy seaside escape. Her ancient sites, castle ruins, scenic beaches, and charming cities will have you falling in love over and over again.

Greece provides some of the most fascinating landscapes to visit, the kind of places that will make your jaw drop. You can also find delicious cuisine and some of the best wines in Europe. All of this together puts this spectacular destination on almost every traveler’s bucket list. 

Made up of thousands of beautiful islands scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas, there’s an endless list of the best places to visit in Greece. 

We’ve created this list of must-visit gems in this magnificently unique destination to inspire your planning and motivate you to visit other places outside of Athens and Santorini.

Spending more time in Europe? Check out our 10-day Europe itinerary, which can be tacked on to a visit in Greece.

Don’t forget these necessities:

Best Places To Go in Greece for a Stunning Vacation

On a quest for the most beautiful place in Greece, we created a list of spectacular cities, islands, and landmarks. Here are the best places to travel to in Greece. 

Santorini

Santorini, Greece

Probably the most-visited city in Greece, Santorini is a one-of-a-kind place. This is where you’ll find vineyards and wineries, exquisite beaches with volcanic sand, and enchanting historical sites. The picturesque white-washed cliffside images you see of Greece are found in Santorini, along with the dramatic sunsets.

Because Santorini once experienced a large volcanic eruption, the cliff faces on which the villages are built hold a delightful, rugged charm. Many villages are full of vibrant, colorful buildings. The brightly painted homes often boast breathtaking views over the ocean. In other parts of Santorni, like Oia (pronounced E-uh), the buildings are all white washed.

A visit to Santorini offers a memorable atmosphere, lively culture and experiences of authentic Greek hospitality. Check out these numerous great things to do in Santorini. There’s great wine in Santorini too. We went on this wine tour – read about our experience here.

The most noteworthy places to see in Santorini are: 

  • Fira 
  • Oia
  • Thera
  • Imerovigli
  • The Santorini Cathedral

Where to Stay in Santorini: One of the first places people look for accommodations is Oia, because of its famed views. We stayed at the White Pearl Villas and loved it. We had a jacuzzi both on our patio and in our room. It was a great location, with stunning views.

Athens

Roman Ruins of Athens, Greece
Roman Ruins of Athens, Greece

One of the best cities to visit in Greece is Athens. This is the country’s capital city, so you’re bound for an adventure when you visit. The city offers travelers the chance to dive into spellbinding ancient history. All around you in Athens are ruins of a once powerful civilization and empire.

A visit to Athens is not complete without walking around these ancient ruins, to picture in your mind how life must have been like in ancient times. You have to see the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and the Temple of Zeus. The Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum showcase many artifacts from Ancient Greece, and these museums will likely take up nearly a full day of sightseeing alone.

However, history isn’t the only thing to admire about Athens. The city has a great modern culture too, with tons of great restaurants and bars, especially on Ermou Street from from Syntagma to Monastiraki squares. We went on an Athens food tour to learn where to go and what to eat. Check out our full guide to Athens for more.

A visit to Athens will include lots of walking tours, so make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes

What to see in Athens: 

  • The Acropolis of Athens
  • The Parthenon
  • Plaka neighborhood
  • Temple of Poseidon
  • Syntagma Square

Where to Stay in Athens: New Hotel is a modern design hotel close to Syntagma Square. The rooms and the restaurant are uniquely designed, and the rooftop bar has incredible views. Read about our stay at New Hotel {Read Trip Advisor reviews}

Mykonos

Mykonos, Greece

This idyllic island found in the Cyclades group is considered to be one of the top places to visit in Greece, especially for those wanting a vibrant summer vacation by the beach. This island is well-known for throwing some of the best parties. 

There are also attractions for those who want to see Greek landmarks and learn more about the island’s history. Head into Mykonos Town to admire the well-preserved old town, with its whitewashed houses and brightly-painted doors. On the border of town is where you’ll find the iconic Mykonos windmills.

One of Greece’s most fascinating archaeological sites can be found on the nearby island of Delos. It’s a now-abandoned town with crumbling ruins and relics of a time gone by. When you’re ready for an afternoon drink with an incredible sunset view, head to Little Venice for a spot overhanging the water. And for partying, there’s no where quite like Paradise Beach.

The places to see in Greece while on Mykonos are:

  • Paradise Beach
  • Delos
  • Mykonos Windmills

Where to Stay in Mykonos: The Palladium Hotel has everything you could want in a Mykonos Hotel. The Aegean Sea views are incredible, it’s a 2 minute walk to Psarou Beach, and there’s a free return transfer included. {Read Trip Advisor reviews}

Crete Region

Crete, Greece

Crete is the largest Greek island, and it’s also one of the prettiest places to visit in the country. Bountiful and beautiful, there is a variety of exciting places to see here. Crete has the most diverse terrain – with white mountain tops and soft-sand beaches. As well as ancient archaeological sites and mystical caves.

The terrain in Crete is varied, offering both white-sand beaches and towering mountains. Mt Ida, the tallest of the White Mountains, is where you’ll find Ideon Cave, where Zeus was born (according to Greek mythology).

Make sure you add a visit to Elafonissi Beach to your itinerary in Crete. It’s an incredible paradise with caves to explore and stunning views. One of the most photographed spots in Crete is Balos Lagoon. When you see it, you’ll know why everyone wants to take its picture. Nearby is Gramvoussa, where an ancient Venetian castle still stands.

The top Crete attractions are:

  • Knossos
  • Ideon Cave
  • Elafonisi Beach

Where to Stay in Crete: We recommend staying in either Chania or Elounda, though we prefer Elounda as a more trendy and fun place. The Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection is stunning. It offers luxury accommodations, four restaurants, and a view overlooking Spinalonga. 

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki, Greece

Greek history is as expansive and fascinating as it is beautiful. Nestled within the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, Thessaloniki showcases this. You’ll be captivated by the remains of the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras that adorn this seaport city. Venture to ancient castle ruins, enjoy local culture and gain insights into the legacy of this country.

The  while visiting Thessaloniki, be sure to see these sites:

  • The Rotunda
  • Ano Poli
  • Arch of Galerius

With so many old, awe-inspiring buildings, this is most definitely one of the more beautiful cities in Greece to visit. It’s a culture-filled city with lots of art, music, and theater. You can spend your days at museums and your nights exploring the trendy restaurants and bars.

Nafplion

Nafplion Greece
Embark on a journey to the hillsides of the northern end of the Argolic Gulf. Here, you’ll find the enthralling city of Nafplion – one of the most beautiful of the mainland towns. It’s just 2 hours north of Athens and is often a weekend getaway from the city for locals.

Though you’ll have to go through some traffic to get there, once you’ve landing in the seaport section of this town, you’ll see why people love it so much. It has a very medieval feel to it, but with large squares and pedestrian-only streets, where you can stroll around and enjoy the long promenades. This is one of Greece’s hidden gems and it’s an absolute must-visit when in the country.

Where to visit in Nafplion:

  • Syntagma Square (the central point of the old city)
  • Palamidi Fortress
  • Acronafplia – the oldest part of the city
  • Bourtzi Castle

Corfu Island

Corfu Island

This island is easy to spot, with its characteristic rugged cliff mountains and lush landscape. It stands out from all the other islands in the Ionian Sea. The history of this island is magnificent, as it has seen days under Venetian, French and British ruling before reuniting with Greece.

On Corfu’s stunning coast, you’ll find many high-end resorts that offer relaxing vacations. When you choose to leave the resort, there are many impressive structures remaining from Corfu’s colonization to see, like the Old Fortress. You’ll also want to explore the towns, like Lefkimmi which is the second largest and one of the most traditional and picturesque villages on the island.

Some of the best Corfu destinations to tick off your list include:

  • Achilleion
  • The Old Fortress
  • Paleokastritsa

Where to Stay in Corfu: If you’re looking for a luxury resort on the waterfront with fabulous views and amenities, then Ikos Dassia is the place to stay. It has 9 restaurants to choose from. 

Meteora

Meteora Greece

The extraordinary rock formations of Meteora in central Greece is home to one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in the world. There are still six remaining monastaries in this UNESCO World Heritage Site. They were built between the 11th and 15th centuries and still house monks and nuns to this day.

You can visit Meteora either on a day trip from Athens, or by tour from Kalabaka (a nearby town). It costs 2 euros to go into the monasteries that are mostly open from 9am – 1pm, and some even later.

You’ll be stunned at the beauty of these precariously perched buildings, how they seemingly cling to the rock. The sunsets are amazing there, as well.

Monasteries to visit in Meteora:

  • Agia Triada or Holy Trinity
  • Varlaam Monastery
  • Roussanou Monastery
  • Megalo Meteoro or Metamorphisis
  • Agios Stefanos
  • Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas

Where to Stay in Meteora: It’s easy enough to make a day trip from Athens so you don’t have to stay over in Meteora, but if you want to see and do more in the area, then it makes sense to get a hotel. We recommend staying in Kalambaka because there are more hotels to choose from, however Kastraki is closer. We like Tsikeli Hotel (Adults Only). It has really great views, good breakfast, and nice rooms.

Milos

Milos, Greece

Another one of the majestic, volcanic cities found on these islands is Milos. Located in the Aegean Sea, there is so much to love about this old city. With whitewashed buildings and unique culture, it’s one of the best Greece vacation spots for a laid back island retreat.

Places to visit while here are:

  • The Venus de Milo
  • Asclepius of Milos
  • Paliochori Beach

Milos is its very own secluded paradise!

Rhodes

Rhodes, Greece

Rhodes provides travelers with a metropolis to explore and enjoy. This is one the best places to visit for a bizarre and magical mixture of Byzantine Greek, Venetian, and Turkish architecture.

The best areas to visit here include:

  • The Knights of Rhodes
  • Colossus of Rhodes
  • Prasonisi

This is the ideal place to visit in Greece for those who want a vacation that is also full of historic sights and incredible look into the country’s storied past. Take a tour of Rhodes to see the best of the island, including the Acropolis, Master Palace of Knights, and Old Town of Rhodes.

 Archaeological Site of Olympia

Olympia Greece

One of the main things to see in Greece is the revered ancient ruins. To get a full experience of one of the most iconic sites in Greek history, be sure to visit the Archaeological Site of Olympia. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has plenty to share with everyone who takes the time to admire and appreciate its glory.

How much do you know about Olympus? There’s so much to learn about this valley that has been inhabited since prehistoric times. It was the center of the worship of Zeus, and it has the largest number of masterpieces from the ancient Greek world. There are even structures remaining from the Olympic Games, which were held every four years starting in 776 B.C.

Highlights of this site include:

  • The stadium 
  • Temples
  • The Archaeological Museum of Olympia

Paros

Paros, Greece

Part of the  Cyclades islands, Paros is another popular beach destination. It has everything you need or want in a Greek island vacation, but without the crazy crowds of Santorini and Mykonos. Instead of the wild nightlife and dramatic cliffside views of those islands, Paros has its own flavor.

Parikia is the main harbor, with lots of things to do and see, but you also want to explore Naoussa, a small port city with cafes and bars to hang out at for a drink with a view. For beaches, one of the unique things about Paros is its little crescent beaches that are lodged between rock formations, at Kolymbithres Beach. When the island is quiet, it’s possible to feel like you’re the only one there on these little beaches.

What to see in Paros:

  • Panagia Ekatontapiliani church
  • Paros Park
  • Golden Beach
  • Antiparos

Getting To/From the Airport

When traveling in Greece, there’s no easier way to get to and from the airport or the train station or even the cruise dock than with Welcome Pickups. For the same cost as a taxi, you can pre-arrange a ride with an English-speaking driver. Pickups are available in Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, and Rhodes. Book your transfer in advance here.

Getting To/From the Islands

You can fly to some of the islands, or you can take a ferry. Read our full guide on how to take the ferry in Greece. There are fast and slow ferries, so you’ll want to plan your time accordingly.

Final Words on Where To Go in Greece

Traveling to Greece is sure to be an unforgettable trip that will open your mind to new ways of thinking. This country thrives with an ancient ambiance, and it’s all wrapped up in a picturesque island layout. No matter where you go, you’re sure to be in for a treat.

Use this list to make sure that you get to see all of the most stunning Greek destinations when preparing for your travels. These cities and attractions will undoubtedly add a remarkable aspect to your journey.

13 Incredible Places to Visit in Greece

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.