10 Places You Need to Visit in Greece

Known for its natural beauty and incredible historical sites, Greece is most definitely one of the world’s top destinations to visit.

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If you’re longing for a vacation that offers you a combination of stunning landscapes, historical monuments and world-class hospitality, look no further than Greece. Not only does Greece have countless attractions scattered around the mainland but it also boasts hundreds of Greek islands, which means there’s an endless array of attractions to visit and things to do to satisfy every type of traveler. It would take us forever to list all of the must-visit places in Greece, so here are just 10 of the top spots to add to your travel bucket list.

1. The Acropolis in Athens

Considered by many to be the symbol of Athens, the Acropolis is one of the most breathtaking ruins on planet earth. It’s an extensive site that’s situated on a hill and a must-visit if you have a keen interest in ancient Greek history. In addition to allowing you to get up close to Greece’s most famous temple and architectural masterpiece, the Parthenon, the Acropolis has a museum that hosts numerous collections and archaeological exhibitions to enable you to connect with ancient Greece and its cultural heritage. Once you’re done exploring the monuments and the museum, head to the beautiful Plaka district just below the Acropolis to wander the cobbled streets and admire the many neoclassical buildings.

2. Delos Island

The small island of Delos was once one of the most sacred places in Greece and is now an awe-inspiring archaeological site and a sanctuary to the gods Apollo and Artemis, who were born there. Initially established as a holy place, Delos later transformed into a political center and went on to have a thriving commercial port, which eventually helped to make the island the greatest commercial, financial and trading center of the Mediterranean. Today, the island is one of Greece’s most important mythological and historical sites where you can find temples and ancient monuments, along with the Archaeological Museum that displays statues that were discovered on the island. Delos has been uninhabited since the 7th century BC and the only way to reach its shores is to take a short boat trip from the nearby Greek island of Mykonos, Naxos or Paros.

3. Thessaloniki

Overlooking the Aegean Sea in northern Greece, Thessaloniki has beauty, culture, history and diverse neighborhoods, without the crowds of Athens. It’s the country’s second-largest city and a foodies’ paradise with an excellent restaurant scene, some of the most authentic Greek cuisine and some of Europe’s best street food. Thessaloniki’s main tourist attractions are its famous 15th-century White Tower, several world-class museums, and the many Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman monuments dotted around the city. Having inspired poets, artists, musicians and novelists for decades, it’s a destination unlike anywhere else in Greece and a place that needs to be on your radar.

4. The Old Town of Corfu

When you visit the picturesque Old Town of Corfu, you’ll be able to uncover centuries of history as you stroll through a complex of narrow cobbled streets and vaulted passages. Described by many as the most picturesque old town in the Mediterranean and one of the most romantic places in all of Greece, UNESCO-listed Corfu Old Town is decorated with pretty courtyards, fortresses and historical landmarks, as well as impressive buildings with traces of Venetian, British and French influences visible through its architecture. The Old Town of Corfu is a real stunner with a great variety of boutiques, bars and tavernas to suit every taste.

5. Olympia

Easily accessible from the port of Patras, Olympia is the site where the most famous sporting event in the ancient world took place – the Olympic Games. The first Olympic Games were performed there in the year 776 BCE and repeated every four years until 393 AD. Olympia is also home to the mythical sanctuary of Zeus, the king of the gods of Mount Olympus and the Greek god of sky and thunder. When you visit Olympia today, you’ll find incredible ruins and sculptures such as the remains of the stadium, the statue of Nike of Paionios and the imposing temple of Zeus. There’s also the Archaeological Museum which is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts from the site of Olympia and other excavations in the area.

6. Lindos Acropolis

The white-washed village of Lindos on Rhodes is located on the south coast of the island and crowed by the impressive Acropolis of Lindos, which contains the ruins of the many different cultures that occupied the land including ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Medieval and Ottoman. Inhabited since the prehistoric era, Lindos was once a major commercial center that was sent into a spiral of decline when the city of Rhodes was established in the 5th century. The wonderful archaeological findings in and around the Lindos Acropolis show where local people used to worship and how wealthy the inhabitants of Lindos became over the years. In addition to being home to many important ruins and monuments, the Lindos Acropolis offers spectacular views of the surrounding coastline.

7. Meteora in Thessaly

Located in the heart of western Thessaly, the monastery complex of Meteora is home to the spectacular Orthodox monasteries that are perched on huge sandstone rocks and suspended in the air. Listed by UNESCO World Heritage, the magnificent monasteries are centuries old and some are still active today. Meteora is by far one of the most impressive places in mainland Greece, and you can access the hanging monasteries by climbing the stairs cut into the enormous rock formations that the buildings sit on.

8. Delphi

Full of historical treasures and set in stunning surroundings at the foot of Mount Parnassos on the Greek mainland, Delphi is among the most popular ancient sites in Greece. This captivating town is made up of well-preserved ruins, numerous temples, an ancient theater and the Castalian spring, plus it’s the place where pilgrimages would go to worship and seek advice from the oracle god of Apollo. The ancient sanctuary of Delphi is steeped in history and rich in legends, making it the perfect place to visit if you’re a history buff or fascinated by mythology.

9. Milos Island

The Greek island of Milos is one of the hidden gems of the Aegean and is where the Venus de Milo statue was unearthed in 1820. Volcanic in origin, Milos is known as the ‘Island of Colors’ and has an exciting variety of stunning landscapes and amazing beaches, with Sarakiniko Beach being the most famous thanks to its moon-like beauty and incredible white rock formations. Milos is the perfect destinations if you want an off-the-beaten-track paradise with an uncrowded character, adorable villages and a gorgeous display of white-washed houses. As the island is so peaceful and beautiful, many Greeks head to enchanting Milos to escape their busy lives and the summer crowds.

10. Santorini

Widely known for its breathtakingly beautiful villages of Oia and Fira, Santorini is arguably the most dramatic of all the Greek islands and definitely one of the best destinations to visit in all of Greece. Both Oia and Fira are magical places that emanate romance everywhere, which explains why so many couples and honeymooners choose Santorini for the perfect romantic getaway. With a volcanic landscape, whitewashed cave houses and stunning sunsets, Santorini is a truly extraordinary island that also happens to be a great place to go for some of the finest beaches and archaeological sites of the Aegean. The standout historic site is Akrotiri, where Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos started excavations in the 1960s to prove his theory that the volcanic eruption of Santorini caused the collapse of the Minoan civilization.

 

Want to visit more than just one of these amazing places on your next trip to Greece? Discover our large selection of itineraries and plan your Celestyal cruise vacation today.