Located in Southeast Europe, Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country with spectacular land of beauty with an endless variety of landscapes. It is the birthplace of democracy and one of the popular destinations in Europe. A plethora of ancient archaeological sites, craggy mountains, quiet islands, whitewashed villages, sand and pebble beaches, tasty cuisine, and a balmy Mediterranean climate make Greece one of the prime tourist places in Europe. The amazing thing about Greece is that it can satisfy every traveler’s needs. Below, we have compiled a list of top tourist places that you cannot miss out on your trip to Greece!
Established among seven historic hills, Athens is a sprawling city widely known as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. It is one of the top places to visit in Greece, and among the best European destinations for Indians. With its history of about 7000 years, the capital city of Greece presents a blend of historical and modern features. From ancient monuments and medieval churches to world-class museums and high-end boutiques, Athens offers everything to its visitors. Acropolis, Parthenon, Byzantine Museum, the ancient Agora, the National Archaeological Museum, Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Poseidon, Erechtheion, the Temple of Hephaestus, Daphni Monastery, Cape Sounion, and Syntagma Square are the top places to visit in Athens. Besides, the city is vibrant with colorful nightlife and diverse shopping options.
Santorini, also known as Thira, is a world-famous volcanic island situated in the most southern part of the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea, in Greece. Santorini is the most luxurious island in Greece and also one of the top offbeat destinations in Europe. This crescent-shaped island is known for its gorgeous beaches, stunning views, authentic cuisine, spectacular scenery, thriving nightlife, and excellent wines. Lined up with unique beaches in exotic colors of black, red, and white volcanic sand, Santorini is growing as a popular “Wedding Destination” in Greece as well as in the world. Fira, Oia, Caldera, Akrotiri Archaeological Site, and Red Beach, Pyrgos, etc. are some of the top places to visit in Santorini as part of your Europe Tour Packages.
Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands, is another fascinating destination in our list of best places to visit in Greece. The island of Crete is a spacious land of contrasting landscapes including expansive coastlines, rolling mountains, lush greenery, rocky terrains, quiet villages, and bustling metropolitan cities. Steeped in history, Crete was once home to the Minoan civilization in the Bronze era and there are plenty of Minoan relics and historical sites scattered around Crete. The old town of Rethymnon, Agios Nikolaos, Arkadi Monastery, Spinalonga, the island of Elafonisi, Balos Lagoon, Dikteon Cave, Chania, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Samaria Gorge National Park, and the Palace of Knossos are some of the top attractions of Crete that surely leave behind some beautiful memories of your Greek holiday.
Located in the heart of northern Greece, Meteora is one of the most unusual things to see in Greece, where bizarre rocky outcrops are capped by the world’s most spectacular Orthodox churches. The Greek word Meteora means “suspended in the air,” and this phrase aptly describes the monasteries of Meteora that are almost like suspended in the air, over the huge rock cliffs that rise more than 1,200 feet overlooking the villages of Kalambaka and Kastraki. Dating back to the 14th and 16th centuries, these monasteries were built by monks seeking spiritual isolation and freedom from religious persecution. The monasteries of Meteora are one of the few UNESCO world heritage sites that have been given a double status – one for art and one for nature. Only six of the monasteries are open to the public and one needs to climb up several flights of stone steps carved into the rocks to reach each monastery. The views from the monasteries are absolutely stunning.
If you want to party all night long with world-famous DJs during your Europe Trip, then Mykonos is the perfect place as this island is famous for its exquisite summer parties. The island of Mykonos is one of the most loved tourist places in Greece known for its lovely beaches, iconic windmills, historical structures, whitewashed facades, and stunning views of Caldera. Do not miss to visit the windmills in Chora, the center of attraction of Mykonos, and enjoy a glass of Ouzo, the traditional Greek alcohol on a terrace of the “Little Venice”, another symbolic place of Mykonos. The rich culture of Mykonos and the authentic delicacies of crabmeat are other major crowd pullers.
One of the most interesting and best places in Greece is Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage site that stands on Mount Parnassus. Overlooking a dramatic ravine, Delphi is home to multiple archaeological sites including the crumbling ruins of numerous temples, a theater, and a stadium, dating from between the 8th century BC and the 2nd century AD. In Ancient Greece, Delphi was considered to be the center of the world and was sacred to the ancients, who came here on pilgrimages to worship Apollo (god of light, prophecy, music, and healing) and to ask advice from the mythical Oracle. The Oracle, Temple of Apollo, Temple of Athena, Treasury, Castalian Spring, Theatre, and Stoa of the Athenians are some of the top places to visit in Delphi. Besides, you can also test your stamina here with an adventure hiking experience at Corycian Cave.
Lying on the Aegean Sea, close to Turkey, Rhodes is the capital and largest island of the Dodecanese archipelago. The island of Rhodes is famous for its ancient ruins, grand temple complexes, quaint towns, and pristine beaches. Enclosed by an impressive fortification system, UNESCO-listed Rhodes Town, the island’s capital, Rhodes Old Town was once home to a wonder of the world, the mighty Colossus of Rhodes. When visiting Rhodes do not miss The Ancient Acropolis of Lindos, the historic Rhodes Old Town, explore the Palace of the Grand Master, or just relax in Agios Pavlos beach. Its rich history, along with the incredible scenery, nightlife, and swimming spots make Rhodes one of the best places to visit in Greece.
The northernmost of Greece’s Ionian Islands, Corfu is one of the most cosmopolitan Greek islands, and amongst the most famous places to visit in Greece to enjoy the vivid nightlife. Controlled by many foreign powers, it is rich in cultural heritage that reflects from imposing Venetian fortresses, medieval lanes, a French arcade, and the Palace of St. Michael and St. George. The capital, Corfu Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Along with its rich cultural heritage, the island is lushly beautiful, with rugged rugged mountains and pristine beaches. don’t forget to explore its romantic pedestrian-only streets to discover two 16th-century fortresses and the arcaded Liston, lined by old-fashioned cafes while in Greece.
Lies on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece after Athens and the capital city of the Macedonian region of Northern Greece. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most impressive historical places to visit in Greece to learn about ancient Greek culture and heritage. The city is home to several distinguished monuments such as the Byzantine and Roman monuments including the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and the 4th-century Rotunda, along with the 15th-century White Tower on the seafront, and an excellent Byzantine Museum. Thessaloniki is also home to Aristotle University, the largest university in Greece. Besides, the nightlife of Thessaloniki is unmatched. From small tavernas to nightclubs and other entertainment venues, Thessaloniki offers it all.
Located west of Athens, Peloponnese is one of the must-visit places in Greece. This mulberry leaf-shaped peninsula is connected to the mainland by the Rio-Antirrio bridge. From Olympia, Epidaurus, Mycenae, like significant archaeological sites, architectural marvels, to amazing beaches of Nafplion, Monemvasia, Pylos, the region of Peloponnese boasts of diverse landscapes and several points of attractions. Reeks of ancient cultures and an extremely rich history makes it a paradise for history buffs. The deeply rooted history of Greek is known worldwide and one can see its hints hidden in the timeless ruins standing on this land. Don’t miss the ruins of Olympia where the first Olympic Gamers were held in honor of Zeus.
Another must-visit place in Greece is the verdant island of Zakynthos located just 16 kilometers off Peloponnese’s west coast in the Ionian Sea. The harbor city of Zakynthos is blessed with numerous pristine beaches (both pebble and sand beaches) and natural beauty. The island is also home to one of the most photographed spots in Greece, the incredibly beautiful Shipwreck Cove, also known as Navagio beach. Another famous attraction of Zakynthos is the Blue Caves, stunning sea caves where the sparkling water reflects the color of the blue sky on the cave walls to create a magical glow. There is also excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. Besides, this island’s crazy nightlife at the Chania Town, Malia, and Stalis, is what fascinates tourists from across the world.
Just south of Thessaloniki lies Halkidiki known for its three small peninsulas called legs. Kassandra, the first peninsula, is the westernmost peninsula offering modern resorts, luxury hotels, nightclubs, and organized beaches. The second leg Sithonia is less organized and home to secluded coves, and golden sandy beaches. And, finally, the mysterious Athos which is home to a restricted monastic community, where only men are allowed with special permission. Stageira, Aristotle’s birthplace, ancient monasteries, and Olynthus are a few of the famous archaeological sites that deserve a visit here.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.