If ancient history isn’t so much your thing, don’t worry. There are plenty of things to do in Greece. When it comes to scenery, Greece has it all. Explore the fractured caldera from Santorini, where a volcano once wiped out the entire Minoan civilization. Walk the whitewashed homes and blue-domed churches. Head to Crete, where hiking the Samaria Gorge is a must-do. Relax on the beaches in Ios, or party until dawn on Mykonos.
And the food? Olives dripping in oil, perfectly fried calamari, heaps of feta and halloumi, and delicately roasted lamb. Bring some extra large clothing – you may need it by the time your trip is over!
It’s not hard to get off the beaten path in Greece, either. With over a thousand islands, you’ll eventually find your own secret spot to soak up the Mediterranean.
Places to Visit in Greece
- The Parthenon in Athens
- Santorini’s volcanic crater
- The Oracle at Delphi
- Meteora, the ancient monastery
- Oia, Santorini’s classic town
- The Palace of Knossos, Crete
- Acropolis Museum, Athens
- Chania, Crete
Unique Things to See and Do in Greece
- Hike Samaria Gorge
- Party in Mykonos
- Get to know the locals in Ios
- Explore Athens’ anarchist district, Exarcheia
- Sail the Mediterranean
- Visit in an olive farm in Lesbos
- Explore the Acropolis ruins in Athens
There’s no Balkan country with bigger heart than Greece. Although the economic crisis has put the country in a bad light for several years, it’s now coming back with a vengeance. Tourism is booming, and everyone is flocking to the islands to soak up the Mediterranean sun. With all the unique travel experiences you can have in Greece, it’s no wonder.
The ancients have long influenced Greece culture. Scholars, philosophers, authors, poets, and other significant members of ancient Greece have had far-reaching influences. Think Aristotle, or Homer. Athens is dubbed the birthplace of democracy, and the Acropolis stands as a proud reminder. Once you gaze upon the Acropolis ruins, or other significant ruins like the theatre at Epidaurus, you can’t help but feel impressed by what the ancients accomplished thousands of years ago with a fraction of the technology we have today. Even the Olympics were founded in Greece.
Greece is very much family-oriented. If you have the opportunity to dine with a family, take it. You’ll be immersed in a raucous affair of dining, drinking, and dancing. Food is always the focal point. Many small dishes – mezedes – are typically served along with a main course. You’ll likely be invited to wash it all down with ouzo, or rakija.
The Greeks are also very straightforward, and proud of their heritage, so be sure to show respect when you’re visiting the sites. English can be hard to come by in some places, especially in the lesser-known islands, so brush up a little on your Greek skills. Otherwise, relax, have fun, and enjoy the Greek hospitality!
Did you know…?
Nearly 80% of Greece is mountainous!
Did you ALSO know…?
THOUSANDS of words in English originate from the Greek language. Much of this occurred when the Romans adapted Greek words into Latin.
Getting around Greece
Perhaps the most difficult part of travelling Greece is getting around the mainland – the train system is nearly non-existent, and bus travel can be a hassle. But it’s not impossible. Athens has an excellent metro system with tons of recent upgrades thanks to the Olympics being hosted here a few years ago.
Reaching the islands and travelling around them is much more efficient, because they’re the most popular areas. Ferry services are frequent, and facilities are fantastic. Most islands have a bus system, or cheap taxis. When in doubt, jump on a donkey!
Best time of year to travel to Greece
Greek’s busiest months are between May and September. Tourism gets crazy busy during this time, and temperatures are HOT. Athens can be a little unbearable. The best times to visit are shoulder seasons: September and October, or April to early May (you’ll also get to witness some crazy Easter celebrations!). Temperatures are milder in September and October, and so the Mediterranean is warmer.
If you come in the off-season, say between February to March, be prepared for many closed seasonal businesses. However, there’s a certain charm with travelling during this time: it’s easier to meet locals, and prices are nearly halved. Temperatures are colder, but not freezing. Take your pick!
Ready to plan your visit to Greece? Check out these popular guides and trips.