Greece Travel Guide: Everything You Need To Know

Greece travel guide

Greece is a country steeped in ancient history, with captivating mythology and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you're seeking a relaxing beach getaway or adventure-filled exploration, Greece has something for everyone. In this travel guide, we'll cover the best time to visit, top attractions, hidden gems, bucket list experiences, and essential travel tips to ensure you make the most of your trip to Greece.

In this article:

Street in Milos, GreeceUnsplash

Best Time to Visit

Greece enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot, dry summers. The best time to visit depends on your preferences and the activities you plan to engage in. Here are some recommendations:

  • Summer (June to August): If you're looking to soak up the sun and enjoy Greece's stunning beaches, summer is the ideal time. However, keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices. Popular destinations like Santorini and Mykonos can get quite busy, but you'll also find lively festivals and vibrant nightlife.
  • Spring (April to May) and Fall (September to October): These are excellent shoulder seasons to visit Greece. The weather is pleasant, with fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation rates. You can still enjoy warm temperatures and explore popular attractions without feeling overwhelmed by tourists.
  • Winter (November to March): If you're a fan of off-season travel and don't mind cooler temperatures, Greece can still offer delightful experiences during the winter months. Visit Athens to explore ancient archaeological sites without the crowds, enjoy winter sports in the mountains, or discover the festive atmosphere during Christmas and New Year's Eve.

Top Attractions

Greece is home to many fascinating attractions that showcase its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some top spots to add to your itinerary.

The Acropolis at sunset, Athens, GreeceUnsplash

Athens

Start your Greek adventure in the capital city, Athens. Explore the iconic Acropolis, including the Parthenon, visit the ancient Agora, and wander through the narrow streets of Plaka.

The best things to do in Athens:

  • Visit the Acropolis: The Acropolis is a rocky, fortified limestone plateau and the centerpiece of Athens. It is home to iconic ancient monuments like the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and Theater of Dionysus.
  • Explore Plaka: Plaka is the oldest neighborhood in Athens, known for its charming narrow streets, neoclassical architecture, and traditional tavernas. Take a leisurely stroll through Plaka to experience the vibrant atmosphere, browse through local shops, and enjoy Greek cuisine.
  • Discover the Ancient Agora: The Ancient Agora was the heart of political, commercial, and social activity in ancient Athens. Explore the ruins of this historical site, including the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos.
  • Visit the National Archaeological Museum: The National Archaeological Museum in Athens is one of the most important museums in the world, showcasing a vast collection of ancient Greek art and artifacts. Admire the sculptures, pottery, jewelry, and other historical treasures on display.
  • Take a food tour: Athens is known for its delicious cuisine, so a food tour is a must-do activity. Indulge in Greek specialties like souvlakimoussaka, and baklava, and explore the local food markets to sample fresh produce, spices, and traditional delicacies.

Santorini, GreeceUnsplash

Santorini

Known for its dazzling white buildings perched atop dramatic cliffs, Santorini is a picture-perfect island paradise. Lose yourself in the winding streets of Fira and Oia, witness breathtaking sunsets, and relax on the unique black sand beaches.

The best things to do in Santorini:

  • Watch the sunset in Oia: Oia is one of the best places in Santorini to watch the sunset. It offers stunning panoramic views of the island and the azure Aegean Sea. Many visitors gather at the famous Oia Castle or find a spot along the cliffs to experience the breathtaking sunset.
  • Visit the Caldera and Fira: The volcanic caldera is a must-see attraction in Santorini. Explore the towns of Fira and Firostefani, perched along the cliffs of the caldera. Enjoy the mesmerizing views, wander through narrow streets, and visit charming boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.
  • Explore Akrotiri Archaeological Site: Akrotiri is an ancient Minoan settlement buried under volcanic ash for centuries. This archaeological site provides a fascinating glimpse into the Bronze Age civilization and features well-preserved ruins, including remnants of houses, frescoes, and streets.
  • Relax on Red Beach: Santorini is famous for its unique colored beaches, and Red Beach is one of the most striking. The beach gets its name from its dramatic red volcanic cliffs. Though the beach is small, it offers a picturesque setting for sunbathing and swimming in the clear waters.
  • Take a Boat Tour to the volcano and hot springs: Embark on a boat tour to the Nea Kameni volcano and the nearby hot springs. Hike up to the volcano's crater, where you can enjoy panoramic views of Santorini and the neighboring islands. Afterward, sail to the hot springs and take a therapeutic dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters.

Related: Greece Travel Guide: 12 Best Greek Islands To Visit

Ruins in Delphi, GreeceUnsplash

Delphi

Uncover the secrets of the Oracle of Delphi at this ancient archaeological site. Delphi was considered the center of the world in ancient times, and its ruins, including the Temple of Apollo and the Delphi Stadium, are truly awe-inspiring.

The best things to do in Delphi:

  • Visit Delphi Archaeological Museum: The Archaeological Museum houses a vast collection of artifacts from Delphi and the surrounding areas. It is a great place to learn about the history and archaeology of the region.
  • Explore the Ancient Theatre: This well-preserved theatre dates back to the 4th century BCE. It offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is still used for performances today!
  • Walk along the Sacred Way: This ancient path leads from the entrance of Delphi to the Temple of Apollo. It's lined with numerous treasuries, monuments, and statues, offering a glimpse into the religious significance of the site.
  • Visit Athenians Treasury: Admire the Athenians Treasury, an ancient building that served as a storage place for offerings to the gods. The treasury is beautifully decorated with intricate carvings and is one of the most impressive structures at Delphi.

Beach in Rhodes, GreeceUnsplash

Rhodes

Known for its medieval old town, Rhodes is a fascinating city that offers a blend of history and natural beauty. Take a stroll through the cobbled streets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed old town, visit the Palace of the Grand Master, and relax on the beautiful beaches along the coastline.

The best things to do in Rhodes:

  • Explore Rhodes City and Old Town: Explore the medieval center of Rhodes City, which is enclosed by fortifications and features cobblestone streets, vaulted passages, and historical architecture. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known for its charming atmosphere and fascinating history.
  • Visit Lindos: The picturesque village of Lindos is located on the east coast of Rhodes. Explore the acropolis, which offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea, and wander through the narrow streets adorned with whitewashed houses and beautiful courtyards. Don't miss the stunning St. Paul's Bay, a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Relax on Rhodes' beaches: Rhodes is well-known for its beautiful beaches. Relax and soak up the sun on beaches like Faliraki, Tsambika, and Anthony Quinn Bay. Enjoy various water activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving in the crystal-clear waters.
  • Explore Rhodes' castles: Discover the impressive castles of Rhodes, including the Palace of the Grand Master and the Castle of Kritinia. These fortified structures offer insights into the island's medieval history and provide panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Visit the Valley of the Butterflies: Take a trip to the Valley of the Butterflies, a scenic nature reserve located northwest of Rhodes Town. This unique habitat is home to thousands of butterflies that flock to the area during the summer months. 

Mykonos, GreeceUnsplash

Mykonos

Famous for its vibrant nightlife and stunning beaches, Mykonos offers a perfect blend of relaxation and excitement. Get lost in the maze-like streets of Mykonos Town, enjoy water sports by day, and dance the night away in its renowned clubs.

The best things to do in Mykonos:

  • Explore Mykonos Town (Chora): Take a stroll through the narrow, winding streets of Mykonos Town. Discover the iconic whitewashed buildings adorned with colorful doors and vibrant bougainvillea. Explore the famous windmills, visit the Panagia Paraportiani Church, and browse the trendy boutiques and art galleries.
  • Relax on Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach: Mykonos is famous for its beautiful beaches, and Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach are two of the most renowned. Relax on the golden sands, soak up the sun, and enjoy the crystal-clear turquoise waters. 
  • Visit Delos Island: Take a short boat trip from Mykonos and explore the nearby island of Delos. Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Discover the ruins of ancient temples, houses, and marketplaces, and learn about the rich history and mythology of the island.
  • Enjoy sunset at Little Venice: Little Venice is a charming neighborhood in Mykonos Town, known for its colorful houses and balconies that hang over the water's edge. It's a perfect spot to watch the sunset. 

Related: Mykonos Travel Guide: Everything You Need To Know

White Tower, ThessalonikiUnsplash

Thessaloniki

Greece's second-largest city, Thessaloniki, is a cultural and historical gem. Explore its fascinating Roman ruins, visit the White Tower for stunning vistas, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local food scene.

The best things to do in Thessaloniki:

  • Visit the White Tower: The iconic White Tower is a must-visit attraction in Thessaloniki. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city and learn about its history through the museum inside.
  • Explore Ano Poli (Upper Town): Take a guided tour of Ano Poli, the old town of Thessaloniki. Walk through its picturesque streets, admire the traditional architecture, and visit landmarks like the Agios Dimitrios Basilica and the Trigonion (Chain) Tower.
  • Discover Thessaloniki's Museums: Thessaloniki is home to a variety of museums that showcase its rich history and culture. Don't miss the Jewish Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Museum of Byzantine Culture, among others.
  • Stroll along the Thessaloniki waterfront: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the Thessaloniki waterfront and take in the stunning views of the Thermaic Gulf. This vibrant area is lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants, making it a great place to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

Milos, GreeceUnsplash

Hidden Gems

In addition to the well-known cities and islands, Greece is home to many hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Here are some hidden gems to add to your itinerary.

Nafplio

Often referred to as Greece's most romantic town, Nafplio exudes charm with its Venetian architecture, narrow streets, and picturesque harbor. Climb up to Palamidi Fortress for panoramic views and indulge in authentic Greek cuisine.

Zagori

Located in the rugged Pindos Mountains, Zagori offers breathtaking natural beauty. Hike through the dramatic Vikos Gorge, visit the stone villages, and soak in the tranquility of this untouched region.

Symi Island

Escape the crowds and discover the stunning beauty of Symi Island. With its colorful neoclassical buildings and crystal-clear waters, this hidden gem is a photographer's dream.

Delos

Take a short boat ride from Mykonos to Delos, an uninhabited archaeological island. Explore the ancient ruins that tell the story of Delos' importance in Greek mythology and marvel at the well-preserved mosaics.

Meteora

Prepare to be amazed by the otherworldly rock formations and remarkable monasteries perched atop them in Meteora. Explore the trails and witness the breathtaking views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Milos

Milos is a stunning Greek island in the western Cyclades that should be on every traveler's radar. This hidden gem offers a unique and breathtaking experience, with stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, charming fishing villages, and geological wonders.

Lefkada, GreeceUnsplash

Bucket List Experiences

Greece offers a plethora of unique experiences that should be on every traveler's bucket list. Here are ten experiences to consider during your Greek adventure.

  • Go island hopping: Embark on a Greek island-hopping adventure, exploring the diverse landscapes and charming villages of the Cyclades, Dodecanese, and Ionian Islands.
  • Sail the Aegean Sea: Charter a sailboat or join a day cruise to explore the hidden coves and turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea.
  • Take a Greek cooking class: Learn the art of Greek cuisine by joining a cooking class. From traditional moussaka to crunchy spanakopita, you'll discover the flavors of Greece and bring home some delicious recipes.
  • Watch the sunset at Cape Sounion: Witness a mesmerizing sunset at Cape Sounion, where the Temple of Poseidon stands majestically overlooking the Aegean Sea.
  • Go on a volcano hike in Santorini: Embark on a hike to the volcano in Santorini and soak in the stunning panoramas of the caldera.
  • Explore the caves of Crete: Discover the incredible caves of Crete, such as the Diktaean Cave, believed to be the birthplace of Greek god Zeus.
  • Embark on a jeep safari in Rhodes: Experience the thrill of a jeep safari adventure in Rhodes, traversing rugged terrains, discovering hidden gems, and admiring the island's natural beauty.
  • Go diving in Zakynthos: Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Zakynthos and explore underwater caves, vibrant coral reefs, and the famous Shipwreck Beach.
  • Take a Hydra day trip: Escape to the car-free island of Hydra for a day and soak in its old-world charm, tranquil atmosphere, and beautiful coastal walks.

Outdoor restaurants in Mykonos, GreeceUnsplash

Travel Tips

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to Greece, here are some essential travel tips.

  • Entry and exit requirements: Ensure that you have a valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining before your departure date. Check visa requirements based on your nationality.
  • Language: While Greek is the official language, English is widely spoken in popular tourist destinations. Familiarize yourself with basic Greek phrases to enhance your travel experience.
  • Currency: The currency in Greece is the Euro (€). It's advisable to carry some cash, although credit cards are widely accepted. Remember to inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage.
  • Getting around: Greece has an extensive transportation network, including domestic flights, ferries, buses, and trains. Consider renting a car to explore the country's scenic landscapes at your own pace.
  • Plugs and adapters: Greece uses the standard European two-pin plugs (Type C or F). Make sure to bring a universal travel adapter to charge your electronic devices.

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Greece eSIM: Stay Connected With Airalo

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You're all set to plan a trip to Greece! Head to the Airalo store to browse eSIMs for Greece and 200+ countries and regions worldwide.


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