Best Places to Visit in Greece: 36 Beloved Favourites & Off the Beaten Path Gems

Best places to visit in Greece
Best places to visit in Greece

Finding the best places to visit in Greece away from the masses of tourists can be tricky. After all, this gorgeous Mediterranean country is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe.

Every summer, millions of tourists flock to Greece in pursuit of sun, sea, and adventure. “There are just British people everywhere!” – actual quote from my disgruntled Greek boyfriend (haha!)  

The Best Places to Visit in Greece at a Glance 

The port village of Longos, Paxos
The port village of Longos, Paxos

The best places in Greece are subjective. What you should include in your Greece trip depends largely on your interests. 

Are you looking for a desert island style escape where you can lounge on pristine beaches? Or are you hoping to meander around forgotten sunbleached ruins like Lara Croft? 

This article is fairly extensive. Feel free to use the table of contents to navigate to the destinations that most appeal to you. 

If you are looking for some advice on the very “best” places to visit in Greece, a selection of the most highly recommended places are detailed below.  

  • Athens

  • Paxos and Antipaxos

  • Nafplio

  • The Saronic Gulf Islands

  • Corfu

  • Crete

  • The Meteora Monasteries

  • Offbeat Cycladic Islands (Delos, Kifnos, Andros, Tinos)

  • Karpenisi

  • Thessaloniki

  • Halkidiki

  • Metsovo 

36 of the Best Places to Visit in Greece

Greece has much more to offer than just the ‘popular’ destinations

If you are willing to look, there are plenty of wonderful travel destinations that you can incorporate into your Greece itinerary that offer more local, authentic, and quintessentially Greek experiences.

While popular spots like Santorini, Mykonos, and Zakynthos definitely have plenty to offer, this article has you covered if you are looking to venture a little off the beaten path in lovely Greece. 

Paxos

Places to visit in Greece: Paxos island
Places to visit in Greece: Paxos island

The tiny Ionian island of Paxos is one of the least commercial Greek islands. The entirety of the island is just 10km long. This makes Paxos perfect for those who enjoy hiking adventures – the island is large enough for some off-the-beaten-path exploration, but not too huge that you could truly get lost. 

Paxos’ scenery is characterised by verdant olive groves, secluded beaches and coves. The three little port towns on the island: Gaios, Longos, and Lakka, boast excellent tavernas, bars, and coffee shops where you can sample the local cuisine.

Paxos Highlights

  • Hike from Gaios to Mongonissi, stopping at secluded beaches as you go.

  • Rent a boat (with a guide or independently) and sail around the coastline

  • Dine at the pastel-coloured tavernas that line the seafront in Longos

  • Watch the sunset at Tripitos Arch

  • Have a picnic at Ermitis Bay 

Kerkyra (Corfu)

Places to visit in Greece: Corfu (Kerkyra)
Places to visit in Greece: Corfu (Kerkyra)

Millions of international travellers flock to Corfu (Kerkyra) every year. While that fact may have you thinking that Kerkyra errs on the “touristic” side, some places are well loved for a reason. 

The island’s capital – Corfu Old Town, oozes grace and elegance at every turn. Most of the structures here are Venetian – mirroring the island’s 411 year long Venetian rule. 

The Old Town is a maze of interconnected narrow lanes. Here, locals hang their laundry from washing lines that run from balcony to balcony, and oldtimers play backgammon and drink tsipouro in quaint tavernas that would resemble someone’s living room. A day or two in the Old Town will suffice, before heading on to the charming seaside towns that are the main draw for many visitors to Corfu. 

Kerkyra Highlights 

  • Following the “Donkey Trail” hiking route from Paleokastritsa to Lakones

  • Boarding a fishing boat and sailing out to the uninhabited island of Pontokonissi

  • Navigating the picturesque streets of Corfu old town

  • Indulging in Corfiot delicacies such as sofrito beef and cumquat liqueur

Antipaxos 

The beaches and crystal-clear waters of Antipaxos are more reminiscent of something that you would find in the Carribean, than something that you would expect to see in Greece. The entire length of Antipaxos is just 4km. 

Antipaxos is not the easiest place to reach – you can access the island on a Paxos and Antipaxos sailing tour from Kerkyra or Parga, or take one of the daily boats from Gaios port. A day spent relaxing on the pristine beaches of Vatoumi and Vrika make for the perfect desert-island castaway experience. 

Antipaxos Highlights 

  • Rent a villa and enjoy seclusion at one of the most peaceful islands in the Ionian

  • Sample the local wines produced at the island’s own vineyard. Organise a tour so that you can sample the blends with Greek food pairings.

  • Swim, snorkel, relax and stand-up paddle at the beaches of Antipaxos 

Metsovo

Places to Visit in Greece: Metsovo, The Pindus Mountains
Places to Visit in Greece: Metsovo, The Pindus Mountains

Metsovo is a quaint village that sits on the slopes of the Pindus Mountains in Northern Greece. The culture of Metsovo is distinctly different from the majority of Greece as Metsovo is a Vlach settlement.

The cooler mountain temperatures make Metsovo a perfect place to enjoy a little respite from the heat during the summer months, or as a cosy getaway during the winter.

Metsovo Highlights

  • Hike to the abandoned monasteries of Zoodochos Pigi, and the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos. 

  • Hike all or part of the Ursa trail – a rewarding 40km hiking route that twists and turns through the woodlands surrounding Metsovo

  • Sample the wines produced at the Katogi Averoff Winery – the highest vineyard in Greece

  • Drive out to the Aoos Springs Lake and watch on as Vlach Shepherds tend to ther farmland

  • Try the infamous smoked metsovone cheese and Metsovo kontosouvli at Τα 5 ΦΦΦΦΦ.

Karpenisi 

Karpenisi, Evritania, Central Greece
Karpenisi, Evritania, Central Greece

Karpenisi is a popular winter getaway destination for Greeks. This region is often referred to as being the “Switzerland of Greece”. That nickname is no accident, as Karpenisi, and the surrounding Evritania region are among the most naturally beautiful places in the country. 

The draw to Karpenisi for many people is the nearby Velouchi ski centre. However, Karpenisi is so much more than that. It is the dozens of traditional stone villages scattered among the mountains, and the dramatic clifftop monasteries, that make Karpenisi special.

Karpenisi Highlights

  • Fall in love with the adorable villages of Palio Mikro Chorio and Neo Mikro Chorio

  • Dine at one of the many tavernas in the village of Gavros

  • Enjoy a coffee with a view at the tiny village of Proussos – home to just 15 elderly residents

  • Hike to hidden waterfalls and shrines

Kastoria 

Kastoria borders the beautiful Orestiada Lake
Kastoria borders the beautiful Orestiada Lake

If you are looking to venture off the beaten path in Greece, head to the northern part of the mainland. This is the least explored part of the country. It’s a shame, as Northern Greece has so much to offer – particularly if you enjoy getting back to nature and the great outdoors. 

Kastoria is a picturesque lake city that borders the shimmering emerald waters of Orestiada lake. Despite its size, Kastoria has a laid-back, small-town ambiance about it.

Kastoria Highlights

  • Step inside some of the 60 ancient Byzantine churches scattered across town and admire the vibrant frescoes inside

  • Rent a kayak and take to the waters of Orestiada lake

  • Hike through the woodlands on the eastern side of Kastoria to the dramatically-named “Dragon’s Lair” cave

  • Admire the spectacular old mansions in the neighbouthoods of Apozari and Doltso

Delos 

Delos Island, The Cyclades
Delos Island, The Cyclades

Delos is an island in the Cyclades that is like no other. The mention of Greek islands may conjure up images of whitewashed villages and Cycladic hill-houses in your mind. However, Delos could not be farther from that. 

The entire island is comprised of the crumbling remnants of ancient temples and eerie statues. The island was supposedly the birthplace of the God Apollo and the Goddess Artemis.

Delos was deemed as “sacred” territory. As such, people were not permitted to be born, or die on the island. The entire site is UNESCO protected, and tours run to Delos daily from Naxos. 

Andros 

Andros Island
Andros Island

Andros is a beautiful, underrated Greek island that can be reached in just a few hours’ journey from Athens. The main town, “Chora” displays an elegant mishmash of architectural types. Here, old Byzantine manors sit beside colourful Ottoman houses, and Neoclassical homes. 

Andros Highlights

  • Visit the little fishing village of Batsi whose old fishermen’s houses have been converted into artisanal stores and restaurants

  • Relax on the shores of Achala beach – a hidden local favourite accessible only by a dirt trail

  • Spend a day at the archealogical site of Palaiopoli

Kythnos 

Kythnos is a perfect escape for those seeking a quintessential Greek island paradise without the crowds. This little Cycladic island is one of the least visited in the region.

Even the island’s name reflects its secret nature. Kythnos is derived from the Greek word “Keftho” which means “hidden”. 

Kythnos Highlights

  • Enjoy lazy afternoons in the Chora town drinking Elliniko Kafes with locals in crowded piazzas, and browsing for local handicrafts in traditional stores

  • Soak in the famous Kythnos hot springs – once frequented by Greek royalty

Thessaloniki

White Tower, Thessaloniki
White Tower, Thessaloniki

The northern city of Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city and presents an entirely different ambiance to Athens. The atmosphere here is in fact so different that you almost feel as though you have travelled to another country entirely.

Despite its size, there’s a delightful “small town” vibe about Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki also exudes an air of elegance and sophistication that Athens simply does not have. The Rotunda and the White Tower are Thessaloniki attractions that you absolutely should add to your agenda.

Thessaloniki Highlights

  • Get lost in the little alleyways of Ano Poli (Old Town)

  • Carve time out of your itinerary to stop by Thessaloniki’s important historical sites: The Rotonda, The Roman Forum, and the White Tower

  • Visit the Heptapyrgion – A Byzantine and Ottoman-era fortress

  • Sip cocktails in the eclectic bars that line the seafront

  • Eat mezes at the traditional tavernas in Ladadika, and experience Thessaloniki’s emerging restaurant and gourmand scene

Nafplio

Lovely Nafplio was once the capital of Greece
Lovely Nafplio was once the capital of Greece

Lovely little Nafplio sits on the Southeastern edge of Greece’s Peloponnese region. The charming town has been “in vogue” among Athenians in recent years. It is widely regarded as being one of the best places to visit in Greece for a romantic getaway.

Falling in love with Nafplio is effortless. The town presents a unique mishmash of architectural influences. This is thanks to the various countries and civilisations that have invaded and occupied the area over the centuries.

In Nafplio, you can see imposing Venetian fortresses watching protectively over the city from atop craggy rock formations, as you walk along pastel-coloured promenades of ramshackle Ottoman houses and crumbling mosques.

Nafplio Highlights

  • Sail across to the Venetian fortress (Bourtzi)

  • Windowshop on Vasileos Konstadinou Street

  • Spend a day at the ancient city of Tiryns

  • View locally excavated artefacts at the Archealogical Museum of Nafplio

  • Revel in the views from the top of Palamadi Castle

Lefkada  

Lefkada is one of the most underrated island destinations in Greece. It captivates all those that visit with its dramatic cliffs, translucent azure waters, and endearing traditional villages.

The large island is situated on the western coast of the country. It is connected to mainland Greece by several bridges. This makes Lefkada an extremely convenient travel destination for those who want to relax along the coast as part of a wider Greece adventure. 

Lefkada Highlights

  • Sink your toes into the sands of Lefkada’s beautiful beaches: Porto Katsiki, Milos, Kathisma, Agiofili, and Egremni

  • Take a boat out to the islands of Itaka or Kefalonia for a day

The Athenian Riviera 

Glyfada is an upscale area south of Athens
Glyfada is an upscale area south of Athens

The Greek capital of Athens in itself is a largely underrated travel destination. Most visitors spend just a day or two exploring the major archaeological highlights and fail to take the time to discover the various quirky Athenian neighbourhoods that give the city its charm. (Pagrati or Exarchia for example).

City districts aside, the biggest thing that many visitors miss out on is the elegant atmosphere and breathtaking scenery of the Athenian Riviera. The Athenian Riviera, or the “Hellenic Hamptons” is situated just thirty minutes away from downtown Athens.

Athenian Riviera Highlights

  • Spend a day at one of the exclusive private beaches of Vouliagmeni

  • Search for “limanakia” – hidden beaches and secluded coves that line the coast between Athens and Cape Sounio

  • Swim in the healing waters of Lake Vouliagmeni

  • Send an evening sipping cocktails by The Margi Hotel pool – one of the best places to see and be seen in The Athenian Riviera

Hydra 

Best places to visit in Greece: Hydra island, Saronic Gulf
Best places to visit in Greece: Hydra island, Saronic Gulf

Hydra is one of several stunning islands that make up the Saronic Gulf. The island is situated just 90 minutes away from Athens. Travelling to Hydra feels almost like travelling back in time.

On Hydra, there are no cars or scooters and the preferred method of transportation is by donkey. The main town (also named Hydra) boasts cobbled streets, elegant mansions, and tranquil, secluded beaches.

Hydra was an important site during the 18th-century war of independence between the Greeks and the Turks. As such, it boasts plenty of history and culture. 

Hydra Highlights

  • Hike along the coastal path to the fishing towns of Kamini and Vlychos

  • Climb to the Prophet Elias Monastery and admire the views from the top

  • Shop at Rafalias – A pharmacy that has the peculiar accolade of being considered one of the most beautiful pharmacies in the world

  • Learn abut the War of Independence at the Museum of Hydra

Athens

Athens, Greece
Athens, Greece

It goes without saying that the Greek capital should make your shortlist of places to visit in Greece. From the sun-bleached ruins of the Acropolis and the Roman Agora to the quaint centuries-old monasteries that are nestled in the nearby forests, Athens is teeming with history.

As the birthplace of modern civilisation, Athens is one of the best places to visit in Greece to start off your Greek travel itinerary. The city also provides ample opportunities for off-the-beaten-path travel.

Athens Highlights

  • Visit the various Athens museums and learn about Europe’s oldest capital

  • Take an Athens food tour and follow a local guide through the hidden streets of Psiri and Monastiraki

  • Hike up to Anafiotika – the city’s “secret” Cycladic neighbourhood

  • Sip tsipouro on the steps of Plaka – the oldest part of Athens

Spetses

Spetses, Saronic Gulf
Spetses, Saronic Gulf

The Greek island of Spetses has a certain je ne sais quoi and a rugged atmosphere that makes it altogether more different to any other Greek island destination. It awaits in the Argolic gulf just two hours away from Athens.

If you consider yourself as someone who prefers hiking and nature, as opposed to beaches, then Spetses may well be the perfect Greek travel destination for you.

Spetses could essentially be considered as being one big national park. The only populated area is the small town situated by the port which is home to just 4000 people.

Spetses Highlights

  • Rent an ATV and zip around the many offroad trails of the island

  • Go hiking and follow the dirt paths that lead through dense Woodlands, past hidden secluded beaches, and isolated clifftop churches

  • Stop for coffee in the old harbour of Balitza

  • Follow the path from Dapia to the picturesque Church of Agios Nikolaos

Skopelos

Hiking in the verdant greenery of Skopelos, Sporades

Skopelos is the picturesque island that was made famous by Mamma Mia. It is situated on Greece’s east coast, just a stone’s throw away from the port town of Volos,

Despite its movie debut, and the cult following that this film has, Skopelos remains somewhat off the beaten path. It is not at all that crowded when compared to other Greek summer travel destinations.

The lack of crowds is perhaps a result of the fact that the island is relatively tricky to get to. Travellers must first get to Volos, and then take a boat across to Skopelos.

Despite the 23 million tourists that visit Greece every year, Skopelos has retained its authenticity and exudes an air of a sleepy, traditional Greek island.

Skopelos Highlights

  • Fall in love with the sights and sounds of Skopelos town – old yiayias negotiating over the prices of fresh produce at local markets, young locals whizzing through narrow streets on mopeds, and old-timers playing backgammon in the crowded piazzas

  • Pay a visit to the upscale town of Glossa

  • Swim off the shores of Kastani and Agios Ioannis beach

  • Climb up to the famous chapel of Agios Ioannos Kastri

  • Visit Cape Amarandos

Halkidiki

Nikiti Village, Halkidiki
Nikiti Village, Halkidiki

Once upon a time, Halkidiki was a popular Greek travel destination for those seeking resort package getaways. This region of Greece offers the big three aspects that are well sought after for a relaxing break- sun, sand, and sea.

Oddly, over time, Halkidiki’s popularity as a Greece summer break destination faded. Today, the locals mostly keep Halkidiki to themselves. It’s a shame; the cerulean waters and pristine coastlines make Halkidiki one of the most beautiful, and underrated regions in all of Greece.

Halkidiki is a relatively large area and is comprised of three ‘prongs’ of land which protrude out into the sea – Sithonia, Kassandra, and Athos. The former two are filled with beautiful coastal villages, surrounded by olive groves, walking trails, and blue flag beaches. Athos is a monastic territory which can be admired on a boat tour of the region. 

Halkidiki Highlights

Serres Region 

Water buffalo farms in Serres
Best places to visit in Greece: Water buffalo farms in Serres

Off the beaten path travel in Greece may sound like something of an oxymoron. However, there are plenty of beautiful places to travel in Greece that have thus far escaped the attention of international tourism. Serres is one such example. 

While the northern region of Serres doesn’t boast a plethora of obvious tourist attractions and archaeological sites, it more than makes up for that with its natural beauty and sleepy Greek villages. Serres can be explored on a day trip from Thessaloniki.

Serres Highlights

  • Trek through the picturesque hiking trails that lead through the Belles mountains

  • Cruise along the breathtaking Kerkini lake and see rare bird species in their natural habitats

  • Experiment with Central Macedonia’s unique gastronomy in the villages of Hrisohorafa, Livadia, and Kerkini

Parga 

Parga, Western Greece
Parga, Western Greece

The little town of Parga sits on the western coast of Greece. With its idyllic beaches, pastel-coloured houses, and clear turquoise waters, Parga demonstrates that you don’t have to venture out to the Greek islands to enjoy a beach vacation in Greece. 

Parga’s elegant promenades are filled with luxe boutique hotels and chic restaurants. The area that surrounds Parga is also well worth exploring.

Travellers interested in history can take a day trip southwards to the Necromanteion of Acheron. Alternatively, those in search of a little rest and relaxation can head north to the beach village of Sivota where hidden coves and paradisiacal beaches await. 

Parga Highlights 

  • Hike the challenging yet scenic coastal path from Parga to Sarakiniko

  • Check out the eerie abandoned Monastery of Vlacherna

  • Enjoy the dining and nightlife in Parga port – one of the most scenic in Greece

  • Tuck into giouvetsi, stifado, and other typical Greek dishes at Taverna Andreas

  • Take the sea taxi to the beautiful Valtos beach 

Meteora 

The monasteries at Meteora are one of the most dramatic sights in Greece. The landscape here feels otherworldly and almost ethereal.

Meteora means “suspended in the air”. This is a fitting description for the way that the ancient monasteries are perched almost precariously on the top of cliff faces. 

Once upon a time, there were over 20 monasteries in Meteora. Today, only 6 remain.

The interiors of the monasteries are adorned with vibrantly coloured frescoes. Meteora is the second largest monastic community in Europe (the first being Mount Athos in Halkidiki). 

It is possible to visit Meteora on an organised tour departing from Athens or Thessaloniki. However, for the best experience, consider staying overnight in a cozy lodge in nearby Kalambaka. This way you can enjoy the magical experience of seeing the sunrise behind the monasteries as you have breakfast on your balcony.

Ioannina 

Ioannina, Northern Greece
Ioannina, Northern Greece

Greece’s northern city of Ioannina is a perfect travel choice for lovers of the great outdoors. As a university town, Ioannina boasts numerous affordable accommodation options, making it a great place to travel in Greece on a budget

Opt to stay on the shores of Lake Ioannina so that you can wake up every morning to tranquil views across the water. The charming centre of Ioannina seldom makes it into travel guidebooks, but at least that means having its beauty almost entirely to yourself. 

Ioannina’s centre sees a blend of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim influences reflected in its architecture. The centre’s labyrinth-like network of narrow cobbled streets and passageways house dozens of charming coffee shops and mezedopoleio (meze) eateries. 

Ioannina Highlights

  • Stop by the Ioannina archaeological museum to learn more about the history of the region

  • Learn about Ali Pasha, the notorious Ottoman Dictator, at the Ali Pasha House

  • Cycle along Pamvotida Lake – from Ioannina’s Parko Katsari to the village of Perama

  • Sail out to the mysterious, nameless island in the centre of Lake Pamvotida

Folegandros 

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Folegandros
Best Places to Visit in Greece: Folegandros

Any mention of the Cyclades is synonymous with the island of Santorini. However, Santorini’s lesser-known neighbour, Folegandros is equally as deserving of your time.

Folegandros is a perfect destination if you want to enjoy a quiet break away from the tourist crowds. Only 300 people reside on this little island, and the three villages that are situated here – Ano Merià, Karavostasi, and Chora, are considered as being among the most beautiful in the Cyclades. 

The beaches of Folegandros are uncrowded and neither serviced nor ‘ruined’ by the presence of sunbeds, beach bars, and facilities. To reach the majority of the island’s beaches, you must be prepared to walk a little, or to take a sea taxi. 

Folegandros Highlights

  • Relax on the secluded beaches of Livadaki, Voreina, and Pountaki

  • Follow the countless Folegandros hiking trails that pass by untouched countryside and offer spectacular views of the sea

  • Experience the best of Folegandros’ dining and nightlife scene at the island capital of Chora

  • Spend an afternoon at Hryssospilia – a fascinating cave complex and archealogical site that was used for mystic rituals and ceremonies during the 4th century BC

  • Enjoy breathtaking views of the island from The Castle of Hora

Patras

The Greek city of Patras has an interesting history and is named after King Patreas who ruled Achaïa during the period around 1100 BC. Patras has been occupied for thousands of years, and several notable ruins and historical sites are scattered around the city.

Today, Patras is a modern, cosmopolitan city. As an important Greek university town, modern Patras has a hip, youthful air about it.

If you are considering paying Patras a visit, the best time to explore Greece’s third city is during Springtime, when the Patras Carnival (Apokries) comes to town. This is one of the most important festivals in Greece, and sees the streets filled with performers, musicians, and papier-mache floats. 

Patras Highlights

  • Stop by the Roman Odeon amphitheater, the medieval castle of Patras, and the Patras archaeological museum

  • Hang out with locals in in the Bohemian coffee bars surrounding Georgiou I Square

  • Organise a tasting at the

Vikos Gorge 

Nestled in the Pindus mountains of Northern Greece, the Vikos Gorge is Greece’s premier hiking destination. Studded with mountain passes, rickety bridges, pebbled pathways, and undisturbed wilderness, the hike takes approximately 7 hours to complete and passes through a sequence of charming rural villages. 

Those wishing to break up the hike into smaller, more manageable chunks do have the option to stop or camp at the villages that they pass through along their route. 

Vikos Gorge’s isolated location allows nature and wildlife to thrive. This region is home to hundreds of rare species of plants, flowers, birds, and butterflies. For the best conditions, travel here in early summer or late September.  

Agistri 

The Saronic Gulf island of Agistri sits just an hour away from the Greek capital, making it one of the most popular weekend getaways for Athenians. Agistri is renowned for its lush natural landscapes, and its plethora of excellent beaches. 

Whether you want to relax on a serviced beach that has all of the amenities available, or you want to enjoy a secluded slice of paradise, Agistri beaches have something for everyone. Naturist-friendly Chalikiada offers a peaceful setting away from the hustle and bustle of Agistri town, while Aponissos beach is a charming spot close to the village of Limenaria. 

Poros 

Floating in the Saronic Gulf archipelago close to Athens, picture-perfect Poros is a lovely spot to spend a day or two. The island’s colourful port area is filled with excellent traditional tavernas and quaint coffee shops that are seemingly designed for people-watching. 

There is only a narrow body of water that separates Poros from the mainland Peloponnese. For just a few euros, you can take a small wooden fishing boat across the sea, so as to explore the little town of Galatas at the opposite side. 

Poros has a few beaches scattered here and there, but one of the main attractions of the island is its nature and hiking trails. Various walking routes twist and turn through fragrant olive groves, dense pine forests, and jaw-dropping scenery. Most notably, travellers can consider the route that leads up to the monastery at Zoodochos Pigi.

Volos

The port town of Volos is not a travel destination in itself, but it is often used as a jump-off point for travelling to the islands in the east of Greece such as Skopelos and Skiathos. If you are passing through the area on your way to the Sporades, it is worth sticking around for a day to experience the beating heart of a city that most travellers to Greece miss. 

Volos played an important role in Greek mythology – according to legends, the mythical home of Jason and the Argonauts once stood where Volos stands today. The pedestrianised marina area is much more than just an ugly, practical port. The seafront boulevard runs along the coastline of the Pagasetic Gulf and is lined with dozens of sophisticated bars, restaurants, and nightlife options. Nearby Ikonomiki Street offers a more alternative, underground entertainment and nightlife scene. 

Volos’ archaeological museum is one of the oldest museums in Greece. Those with more time to spare can also visit Mount Pelion – the towering mountain peak that provides a backdrop to the city. Countless traditional villages are scattered along the slopes of the mountain, and hiking aficionados can trek the kalderimi roads to incredible views near the peak. 

Mykonos 

Mykonos may well be one of the most popular and romanticized travel destinations in Greece, but that does not detract from the island’s charm. After all, some places are popular for a reason.

While Mykonos has gained a reputation as something of a luxury party island in recent years, that is not all the Cycladic isle has to offer. If you travel during the shoulder season (April – early June, or September – early October), you can experience Mykonos without the crowds.

Mykonos Highlights

  • Climb up to the windmills at Kato Myloi and enjoy the panoramas out across the sea

  • Spend an evening in the upscale cocktail bars and gourmet restaurants of Little Venice

Zagori

While mainstream tourism hasn’t hit Zagori yet, this mountainous northern region is a desirable winter getaway spot among Greeks. Zagori is not just one village. It is a cluster of 46 small stone villages, each of which has their own personality.

Zagori truly is an outdoor lover’s paradise, and a series of walking trails connect the villages with each other, offering a seemingly infinite amount of options for trekking. Not to mention, Vikos Gorge is also nearby. 

If you are looking for an alternative winter travel destination, few things could be more magical than snuggling up by the fireplace in your own little cottage amid the mountains of Zagori.

Delphi 

The archaeological site at Delphi is one of the most popular historic attractions in Greece. If you find yourself in the southern part of the country, Delphi is well worth the trip. 

According to Greek mythology, Zeus had to eagles which he instructed to fly in opposite directions and meet at the centre of the earth. The point at which the eagles met was Delphi and thus, the city was born! 

Delphi Highlights

  • Stop for coffee in the adorable village of Chrissó

  • Visit the archaeological museum and observe an array of interesting artifacts that have been recovered from the region

  • Look out for the old ampitheatre and the temple of Apollo

  • Drive out to the seaside town of Galaxidi

Sounio

Best places to visit in Greece: Sounio

A popular trip from Athens is to visit Sounio and the temple of Poseidon. Many travellers take a bus trip from Athens to Sounio for the day. However, if you have a little more time to spare, you can opt to spend a few days staying in this southern part of Greece and reveling in the laid back ambiance.  

Sounion Highlights

  • Trek through the Sounion national park – the smallest national park in Greece

  • Explore the Sounion caves that were once occupied by cavemen during the Neolithic period

  • Have dinner at one of the excellent chophouse restaurants in Kalyvia Thorikou

  • Treat yourself to a little R&R at one of the many upscale resorts and hotels in the area

Arachova 

If you find yourself in Greece during the winter months, you can consider paying a visit to Arachova – the self-proclaimed “winter Mykonos”. Nestled high in the mountains, Arachova village attracts a well-heeled crowd. The bars, restaurants, and hotels here exude an air of effortless elegance. 

Arachova has a little something for everyone. The village is one of Greece’s premier skiing destinations. Hikers will also be captivated by the alpine trails of the area. 

Adventure and adrenaline aside, if you are more interested in a relaxing weekend break, Arachova remains a good option. Opt to cosy up by the fire in your own log cabin, or treat yourself to a pamper session at one of Arachova’s luxe spas.

Kefalonia 

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands and a destination that has been capturing the hearts of Greeks and foreigners for years. The island’s diverse landscapes and nature make Kefalonia feel like a true paradise lost.

One moment, you can be trekking through the foothills of Kefalonia’s Ainos mountain. The next, you are greeted with pristine beaches and charming villages. Kefalonia is home to some of the most hospitable locals in the country. 

Kefalonia Highlights

  • Explore the cobbled streets of Argostoli and look out for the interesting monuments that date back to Kefalonia’s British Protectorate history

  • Relax beneath dramatic scenery and towering limestone cliffs at Myrtos beach

  • Swim in the pristine waters of Poros and Skala beaches

Crete

Crete, with its dreamy beaches, cosy villages, and fascinating history is deserved of a two week itinerary in itself. Spend a little time in Heraklion and Chania, sampling the local delicacies, sipping raki, and drinking typical Greek coffee at ramshackle kafeneia. 

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat trip out to the island of spinalonga – an eerie place where the leper colonies were once sent for isolation. The fort at knossos is an essential day trip from Heraklion. Legend has it that it was here where the mythical minotaur was once kept inside the labyrinth. 

Crete Highlights 

  • Hiking the Samaria Gorge – in part or in full

  • Tucking into traditional Cretan cooking in Chania

  • Exploring the hidden hilltop villages that have escaped the attention of most toursits

  • Obtaining a history lesson at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

  • Visiting the island of Spinalonga 

The Peloponnese 

Places to Visit in Greece: Mystras, Peloponnese
Places to Visit in Greece: Mystras, Peloponnese

The Peloponnese is Greece’s wildest, most rugged region. Most travellers only take the time to visit Nafplio or Patras – if they even venture to this area at all. However this region – just 120km west of Athens, is the perfect destination for those looking to travel off the beaten path in Greece. 

Hiring a car is virtually essential here as the public transport network in the Peloponnese leaves a lot to be desired. Fall in love with the fairytale scenery of the castle town of Monemvasia, snorkel in the warm waters of Elafonisos, and explore the medieval ruins in Mystras. 

Peloponnese Highlights 

  • Spend a weekend in Nafplio and learn about Greece’s former capital

  • Reserve an olive tasting tour in Kalamata

  • Explore mysterious Mystras – home to the biggest collection of medieval ruins in Greece

  • Soak in the natural hot springs of Loutraki 

Parting Words

Paleokastritsa, Corfu
Paleokastritsa, Corfu

Have any further questions and queries about the best places to travel in Greece? I have lived here for the past three years and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Feel free to reach out or drop me a comment below. Safe travels! Geia sou! Melissa xo


Melissa Douglas

Melissa Douglas is a British Travel Writer and Blogger based in Athens, Greece. She writes for numerous high profile travel publications across the globe - including Forbes Travel Guide, Matador Network, The Times of Israel and The Huffington Post.

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