Greece travel guide: all you need to know
Boasting pristine white beaches, crystalline waters, and revered historical sites, Greece unquestionably lives up to its well-deserved reputation. Yet, considering the vast expanse of this country adorned with numerous islands catering to diverse preferences, how does one even begin to navigate such abundance? To offer some guidance, we present our compendium of quintessential Greek experiences tailored for those embarking on their inaugural visit.
Best places to visit in Greece
Ancient Athens serves as Greece’s gateway, where most first-time travelers begin and end their journey. This dynamic city brims with age-old treasures, including the revered Acropolis featuring the Parthenon and the sculpted Caryatids adorning the Erechtheion temple’s roof. Just below lies the Acropolis Museum; a short walk leads to the Ancient Agora, where Socrates once pondered his philosophy. Your Greek guide can then direct you to more historical marvels, like the Temple of Zeus, once Greece’s grandest. The Royal Palace and Panathenaic Stadium, where the inaugural modern Olympics took place in 1896, await exploration too. Uncover ancient Roman sites like Hadrian’s Arch and the Roman Agora with its Tower of the Winds. After immersing in these famed sights, catch the pom-pom parade of the Evzone guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the charming Plaka district and indulge in people-watching at Syntagma Square.
Travel across the mighty Corinth Canal to the breathtaking Peloponnesian Peninsula, where you’ll encounter a realm of age-old myths. Corinth was formerly a preeminent metropolis in the ancient world and was contested by numerous empires over time. Discover the revered Temple of Apollo, ascend Acrocorinth’s fortified summit, and delve into the captivating Corinth Archaeological Museum.
Formerly a powerful kingdom in Ancient Greece, Mycenae is currently a significant archaeological site adorned with riches. Noteworthy features include the Lion Gate, Agamemnon’s Royal Palace, and the Beehive Tombs, notably the Treasury of Atreus. This location served as the resting place for Agamemnon, the valiant Greek commander. Additionally, the imposing Cyclopean walls, attributed to the legendary Cyclops, can be observed. For further historical excavations, a visit to the adjacent Archaeological Museum is recommended.
Experience Epidaurus and witness its ancient Theatre and the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the God of Medicine, whose snake-entwined staff remains medicine’s symbol. Stand on the stage and be amazed by its astounding acoustics that once enchanted over 14,000 spectators.
Journey over Arcadia’s mountains to ancient Olympia, where gods were once honored with sacrifices and the inaugural Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. Explore the captivating museum and the ruins of Zeus and Hera Temples. Stroll the ancient Olympic stadium, envisioning athletes racing in Zeus’ honor.
Trace the path of ancient Greeks who sought guidance from the prime oracle of the classical world at Delphi’s sanctuary. Follow the Sacred Way to the 4th-century Temple of Apollo, and view statues immortalizing Pythian Games athletes’ prowess. These games, founded in the 6th-century, encompassed art and dance competitions honoring Apollo.
Meteora boasts UNESCO World Heritage monasteries that cling miraculously to massive boulders, gazing over the town. Two of the six Eastern Orthodox monasteries are open for visits, offering an astonishing view from atop the rocky spires.
When Greece comes to mind, Santorini emerges. Its whitewashed exteriors crowned by vivid blue domes stand sentinel over the idyllic Aegean Sea, making it a preeminent Greek destination.
Any comprehensive Greek guide includes Santorini. Bask on exquisite beaches, meander through Oia’s charming streets, or delve into ancient ruins and the volcanic caldera.
Discover the island’s winemaking at a local winery or sail on a caique to New Kameni’s volcanic isle, where therapeutic hot springs await. And, of course, savor the breathtaking sunsets that grace Santorini each evening.
Mykonos, renowned as the island of glitz and glamour, offers a Greek getaway that combines relaxation and sophistication. Enjoy beach club indulgence, champagne by the waterside in Little Venice, and glamorous nights of dancing. Delight in wandering the labyrinthine lanes of Mykonos Town, adorned with whitewashed cottages and vibrant pink bougainvillaea.
For those seeking more than nightlife, delve into the island’s history. On a nearby isle rests the ancient shrine of Delos, fabled as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, pivotal Greek deities. Immerse yourself in history at the 17th-century Church of the Paraportiani, the Aegean Maritime Museum, and the Archaeological Museum, all by the sea.