The world just got out of -let’s just say- a rough spot in history, which means it is the absolute best time to celebrate life. And what better way to do so than exercise your right to freedom by traveling around the world and making the trip of your dreams come true? Of course, we take for granted that the destination of your dreams is Greece -how could it not be?- and for that reason, here we present to you the ultimate Greece travel guide for 2021. Enjoy!
Being confined in the walls of your home for that long couldn’t be but the ultimate motivation to pull the trigger and book the trip of your dreams, whether you’d been planning for it before the dreadful outbreak of the Coronavirus or you feel like indulging in new experiences now that you can.
After the health and economic crisis the world just experienced, booking your holidays will be easier than ever before, as the tourist industry has been preparing to host you and accommodate your needs for months! But our favorable prices and excellent service does not suffice if you’ve not decided where in Greece you’d like to go yet.
Reading about the best places to visit in Greece can be a good starting point in trying to figure out the destination in Greece you’ll opt for -there are just so many gorgeous places, choosing one or a couple can get overwhelming even for the locals! Additionally, a guide on how to plan your trip to Greece will help you tο get yourself organized, well-informed, and ready to take over Greece like a pro!
When deciding your destinations, you should always keep in mind all the activities you’d like to indulge in. Thankfully, there is an endless supply of things to Do in Greece depending on your budget, preference, and interests, so no matter what you’re looking to experience, you’ll find in the country that never lacks sunshine!
2. When to travel to Greece
Oh yes, the age-old question: when is the right time to visit Greece? Most people’s answer to that question would be much more simplistic than the one we’ll give you here. Hurrying to yell ‘summer, of course’ is the obvious thing to do.
Yes, the easy answer is not untrue: Greece is at its best during the summertime when the sun shines brighter than ever and the sandy beaches can be thoroughly enjoyed as a refreshing solution to the intense summer heat. However, since Greece is best known as a summer destination, you must keep in mind that if you decide to visit it during the high-season months between late June and late August, you won’t be the only one; far from it.
When deciding the best time to visit your favorite destination in Greece, you have to take into account the flood of tourists that choose Greece for their exotic vacations every year. If you don’t mind large crowds, busy roads, and packed beaches, then you’ve got nothing to worry about; the high-season months won’t be a problem for you so you can schedule your Greece visit then with no doubt in mind.
If, however, you’re looking for a much more quiet and authentic Greek experience, then maybe you should hold off booking your Greek holidays right in the middle of summer and consider spring or early autumn as viable options.
By visiting Greece during May, early June and the whole of September, which might be considered as the beginning of autumn but in Greece, logistically that’s not the case, you get the best of both worlds: you’ll have the opportunity to experience the flawless weather and striking beaches but in the same time, you’ll escape mass tourism and you’ll get to see an aspect of Greece reserved only for its locals; a much more authentic and enjoyable endeavor in our opinion.
In my humble opinion, late spring is the best season in Greece as it is warm enough to enjoy it but not heatstroke-inducing. If you want to follow our advice and choose spring for your Greek vacations, don’t forget to look into the top choices for spring in Greece!
Of course, there is also the possibility of visiting Greece during winter, which may not be the most conventional choice but it is a valid one. Here are 5 reasons to love winter in Greece, however, we wouldn’t encourage you to choose winter to explore the Greek islands, as during the colder month they’re empty, with only a handful of locals and no things to do -not to mention the biting cold and strong winds the Greek islands are infamous for.
Of course, the mainland of Greece has a number of regions that are excellent for a winter adventure. Yes, there won’t be sparkling beaches involved, but there will be striking landscapes, beautiful castles, imposing mountains, our favorite ski resorts, and luscious nature that won’t let you regret your choice even for a minute!
3. How many days are enough for a Greek trip?
Well, that’s a loaded question, as the number of days you will spend in Greece depends on a matter of various factors, such as the number of days left from your annual leave, the number of destinations you want to visit, where you want to go, and what type of holidays you want to experience.
In an ideal world, your holidays in Greece should last no less than a week and should include around 2-4 destinations. This way, one will have enough time to explore in-depth the corners of Greece without overdoing it; no one likes to be on the go, running anxiously from one flight to the other; if you have time to relax is it even considered a vacation?
It goes without saying that the more days you choose to spend in Greece, the merrier! Staying for a decent amount of time will let you experience what it feels like to be a local Greek and will offer you the opportunity to explore the land and discover its hidden treasures at your own pace; you may even get to get familiar with locals who will be more than eager to give you the inside scoop on the best way to spend your time in our country.
4. Explore the mainland of Greece
Athens is absolutely necessary, and anyone who claims otherwise either isn’t a local or has never been to Athens before! Known for its vast history and culture, and blessed with incredible beauty, beaches, and picturesque neighborhoods, to visit Greece and not spend at least a couple of days in Athens would be the equivalent of coming to Greece and not eating souvlaki. Crushing.
We could go on and on about Athens and wax lyrical about its countless beauties and the reasons why it should be a must on your bucket list, but we have gathered all the information you could possibly need on our Athens travel guide. After reading it, we’re sure that all your questions for Athens will be answered and you’ll be reaching for your laptop to book your tickets to the Greek capital.
The underdog of Greece that often -ok, let’s be real, always- gets outshined by the Greek islands is the country’s mainland, where a world of stunning regions lie waiting for you to explore them!
Although Greece is relatively small as a country, its beauties are disproportionate to its size, with thousands of must-visit destinations offer striking landscapes, fascinating history, and impressive culture- and all that easily accessible by car -or public transport- without the need for a ferry or in most cases even a flight; convenience is always a winner.
From east to west and from north to south, the Greek mainland will be the best decision you’ve ever made if you decide to give it a try!
If you want to explore Greece outside its capital without wanting to spend time and money on transportation, taking a day trip from Athens is exactly what you’re looking for, and thankfully incredibly easy to achieve. Without breaking the bank or traveling for hours upon hours on end, you’ll come across beautiful cities and you’ll get introduced to the luscious Greek nature, gaining a more complete picture of what it means to be a Greek. If you’re looking for ideas for your short distance endeavors, reading about the best day-trips from Athens and the top 3 summer getaways near Athens will provide the solution to your problem.
The historically rich region of Delphi is perfect for those history buffs that also nurture a deep love for wild nature, as this destination combines both. Delphi, the land of Apollo hosts one of the most significant archaeological sites in Greece and therefore gives its visitors a peek into the enthralling and captivating world of ancient Greece. There are hundreds of things you will learn on a Delphi day-trip from Athens and a hundred more things to do during your visit -with our guide to the top 10 things to do in Delphi revealing our top picks. From the greenery all around to the impressive archeological site and the neatly organized museum, getting bored in Delphi is out of the question.
Perfect for a weekend getaway, Eretria is also an excellent choice for a quick day-trip from Athens that will lead you to a significantly less-known region of Greece that is in no way shape or form inferior to any other destination in Greece -quite the opposite. The coastal town located on Evia island combines the merits of a seaside region with the convenience of the mainland, being a non-zero-sum game everyone should consider delving into.
But Eretria is not the only coastal town near Athens that deserves much more credit than it is currently given. Loutraki, located about an hour away from Athens is popular among the locals not only for its long gorgeous beaches that are the perfect refreshing experience on a hot summer’s day but also for the luxurious casino it hosts, which is one of the most glamorous and popular ones in the whole of Greece.
And if that wasn’t enough, reading about the 5 reasons why we love Loutraki will answer all of your questions and leave no doubt in your mind that when given the chance to visit Loutraki, one should grab it and make the most of it!
Chances are that you’ve already heard of the mystifying region of Meteora and its otherworldly beauty that has been charming its visitors for years. Adding to the extraordinary spectacle of Meteora the close proximity it has to Athens, makes it an ideal place to visit when escaping the hustle and bust of the city.
Especially if escaping reality is what you’re after, there is no other place you want to be but Meteora; the Place Between Heaven and Earth.
Better known as a religious place where the presence of the numerous monasteries perched on top of the extraordinary rock formations, Meteora is not only for religious people but rather for everyone that has an eye for flawless architecture and curiosity for the miracles of nature, which Meteora has been described as time and time again.
And because Meteora is more than meets the eye, in order to enjoy your stay there, we have accumulated a guide on how to spend 1 day in Meteora and a short guide to Meteora Monasteries that will help you get around the region with ease and confidence, just like a local!
After getting a glimpse of the remarkable beauty of the steep hills and getting a feel of the eerie vibe that dominates the whole region, why Meteora should be on your bucket list will no longer be a question. Those who visit Meteora leave rich in spiritual and emotional experiences, a claim not many destinations around the world have the confidence of making!
Probably the most visited Greek region, following of course the Greek islands, is the prefecture of the Peloponnese, famous for its unmatched beauty and its diversity in regard to landscapes and experiences it allows.
As a matter of fact, Peloponesse is one of the most popular mainland destinations even among the locals who can’t seem to resist the charm of it, whether we’re talking about its mountainous villages or its coastal towns. Our ultimate guide to the Peloponnese will give you an overview of the region’s excellence if you care to explore it even further, but here we’ll highlight some destinations in the Peloponnese based on personal preference and years of experience.
The first destination one comes across when leaving Athens heading to the Peloponnese is of course Corinth, which is located 80 km southwest of the Greek capital and is the only county bordering Attica. It is infamous for being suitable for short excursions amongst the Athenians with its magnificent seas and the small villages such as Vrachati, Kiato, Derveni, and others, welcoming visitors weekend after weekend.
What’s more, 7km away from the modern city, lies Ancient Corinth, which is dominated by the temple of Apollo, the mythical Fountain of Gloucester, the street of Lechaio, the Asklepieion, ruins of the theater and conservatory, as well as the remains of a series of fountains that adorn the city.
And if that wasn’t enough, 3km from ancient Corinth, Acrocorinth, the oldest castle in the Peloponnese, is perched on a hill of 575 meters offering an incredible view to anyone that cares to visit it. If you’re looking to visit Corinth and would be interested in more information, a comprehensive guide to Corinth will provide you with everything you need to know, including 5+1 facts you should know about Ancient Corinth.
In the Peloponnese -and specifically in the regional unit of Argolis– lies one of the most romantic cities of Greece, one that has been declared as a favorite of many here at the Greeking.me headquarters, one that we can’t help but praise over and over again.
No matter how many times you’ve been to Nafplio, it’s never enough. Not just because of the abundance of things to do, see and experience it has, but mainly because of its old-time charm and laid-back vibe that makes it unique. Approximately an hour and a half away from Athens, Nafplio is an all-time classic favorite destination for express getaways all year round. The Venetian ‘Naples of the East’, as it is often referred to, the first official capital of Greece, remains an aristocratic and sophisticated place.
A long walk in the picturesque streets of the Old Town of Nafplio will reveal to you gorgeous neoclassical and Venetian buildings, balconies with blossomed bougainvilleas, imposing churches, and Turkish fountains. The stone-paved Syntagma Square is surrounded by historic buildings, such as the Venetian Fleet Warehouse, which today houses the Archaeological Museum, the Parliament Building, the former Aga Pasha Mosque, and the former Allied Teaching School, known in modern times as ‘Trianon’.
Other notable sights of Nafplio include the church of Agios Spyridon -where Ioannis Kapodistrias, a Greek statesman who served as the Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire and was one of the most distinguished politicians and diplomats of Europe, was assassinated-, and the church of Agios Georgios with important icons and frescos, such as a copy of the Da Vinci Secret Dinner, among others. Your day will be filled with walks on Vasileos Konstantinou’s main pedestrian street with countless retail shops, Staikopoulou Street with its many taverns, and the seafront of Bouboulina.
As you have probably gathered, planning how to spend 2 days in Nafplio will involve a lot of decision-making and time-management in order to fit everything in! For that reason, we have put together a short traveler’s guide to Nafplion as well as the top 5 things to do in Nafplio to make sure your experience in this magical city is as authentic and gratifying as possible.
If you’re visiting Nafplio, it would be a shame to skip on the opportunity to extend your trip with a visit to Nemea, the largest wine-growing region in Greece, where the famous homonymous wines are produced, earning international attention and praise.
Nemea’s tradition in wine production is as long-standing as the city itself, and the city has been known for its wine since ancient times. Although wine production is a big part of Nemea’s identity, it’s not all there is to it, something you’ll quickly realize once you take a look at our suggestions for the top things to do in Nemea in order to transform your trip into an unforgettable experience!
Another historically rich region of Greece -we’ve got a lot of those!- is Epidaurus, most commonly known for its ancient theater, which is one of the most beautiful open theaters in the world and the most well-preserved. Yes, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Greece. Yes, it is one of the top things to do in Argolis. Yes, you should definitely visit it.
Lucky for you we have comprehensive blog posts on both the story of the Epidaurus Ancient Theater and the reasons why Epidaurus is a modern miracle so your visit to Epidaurus has not only our blessings but valuable local insight as well!
Departing from the regional unit of Argolis, we can’t help but talk about Messene, the Gem of Peloponnese. The county of Messene is located at the southwestern part of Peloponnese. With countless mesmerizing beaches and historical landmarks, it is an ideal destination not just for nature-lovers, but also for those seeking to explore its numerous archaeological sites and castles. Read about the reasons why Ancient Messene is the most impressive archaeological site in Greece and get introduced to a part of Greece that is reserved for its locals, for the most part, despite its striking beauty and alluring nature.
It is no secret that if we were to count all the regions of the Peloponnese that are worth your time and money, this blog post would soon become a book -a hefty one at that! From Mycenae, a tale of glory to the Mani peninsula -and what not to miss in Mani-, an introduction to Olympia, a small town with a vast history, and how to spend 4 days in Monemvasia, if you’re looking for off-the-beaten-track destinations in Greece, rest safe in the knowledge that you won’t come up short.
5. Greece off the beaten path
I know I’m going to rock your socks off, but Greece does not consist of only Athens and Mykonos. Shock horror. Choosing the tried and tested destinations is by no means a wrong decision to make, however, experiencing Greece off the beaten path, in an unconventional and more original way, will elevate your holidays on a whole other level of perfection.
The offbeat destinations in Greece are not restricted to the country’s mainland. There are a number of islands, in fact, that are to-die-for despite not getting the hype they deserve. Included in the Greek UNESCO sites, Nea Moni in Chios is a corner of the island of Chios you need to make time for.
If Chios doesn’t sound appealing, you can educate yourselves on the reasons why the Small Cyclades are a little piece of paradise & discover the 5 of the most authentic and unknown Greek islands. If you’re a newlywed, you should keep in mind that secluded islands are the ultimate destination for an alternative couple’s honeymoon in Greece, so before getting clouded by the admittedly impressive Instagram posts, do your research and choose a destination that will fit your needs as best it can!
6. Greek Islands to visit
There goes Greece’s streak of gold. The apple of discord. The bone of contention. The Greek Islands. For someone to comprehend the magic of the Greek islands they must experience them first hand; it is no coincidence that even the local Greeks are deeply in love for the islands, choosing them over any other destination around the world for their summer vacations; the Greek islands are not something you get bored of no matter how many times you visit them.
Figuring out what is the right Greek island for you is harder than one would think and depends on a number of factors, including your budget, the type of holidays you’re after, and the number of days you are willing to spend there.
Thankfully, getting the Greek island experience doesn’t precede that you’ll have to be on the ferry for countless hours, as there are excellent islands near Athens that do more than tick the boxes of visitors who choose to visit them. You can explore the Greek Islands just 1 hour away from Athens -or 4 islands located close to Athens– and rest assured that they lack nothing in comparison to the other islands that lie miles away.
One of our favorite island destinations in close proximity to the Greek capital is Aegina, the best Athens break just an hour away that combines convenience with the beauty and vibe the Greek islands are known for. Significantly more offbeat but just as gorgeous, is Kea island, the unknown destination close to Athens most visitors don’t even get to hear of.
If, however, you have the time and mood for a more traditional Greek island experience similar to what you’re used to watching on the screen, no one can blame you for it; we’re here to give you all the information you need to make your dreams come true!
Of course, we should start with the absolute basics. Santorini is arguably the most popular destination in Greece both amongst the visitors and the locals and just a look at a picture will help you understand why. Although following the Cycladic aesthetic everyone knows and loves, Santorini is different from any other island around the world due to its unique volcano and the volcanic ash that surrounds it and dominated the landscape.
Santorini; a history of ash and fire will help you learn more about the heritage of the island since the very beginning. The steep hills, heart-stopping sunsets, delectable cuisine, rich wine production, and relaxed walks around the island’s narrow streets are good enough reasons to make Santorini your favorite summer destination, but if you need more, here are just 3 reasons to visit Santorini that will help you make the right choice and decide to make the famous Greek island your first big outing after the quarantine.
The undeniable romantic ambiance of the island makes up for the Perfect Honeymoon in Santorini, but even if you’re not visiting the popular destination as a couple don’t worry; here is what you need to know when traveling to Santorini with the family, as well as the best way to spend your night in Santorini if partying is ranking high on your bucket list!
What’s more, in order to navigate the island like a local, make sure to check out the best beaches in Santorini as well as the top 10 things to do in Santorini so you can be safe in the knowledge that you won’t leave any of the island’s highlights out of your itinerary.
Big, diverse, and gripping, the island of Crete is a safe choice for every visitor that is bound to find what they’re looking for no matter what that is, as Crete has it all and then some! From archeological sites to fascinating landmarks, unbelievable beaches, wild nature, delicious local dishes, and top-quality produce, you can’t have a bad time on Crete even if you tried to!
Although diversity is one of its attributes, the sheer size of the island the dissimilarity you will come across from one of its ends to the other, make visiting Crete a daunting task.
The two most popular destinations are the city of Heraklion and the city of Chania, with a dozen more following and stealing people’s hearts on the regular. When visiting the former, keep in mind the top 7 things to do in Heraklion that will help you experience it in the most original and authentic way.
Even if this is the first time you visit Crete and your time on the island is limited, visiting Heraklion shouldn’t be an afterthought, which is why we have ready for you Heraklion in a day; a guide for first-time visitors. The other side of Crete, which probably also gets the most praise, is Chania.
Of course, we wouldn’t let you visit the beautiful Chania without providing you with some guidance. Therefore, enjoy our guide to Chania in a day and explore the secrets of Chania Old Town. Additionally, if you’re looking for more ideas on how to experience Crete to its full potential, the top things to do in Chania are waiting for you to cherish them.
From a historic perspective, you can’t leave out a visit to Knossos Palace, one of the top sites in Crete and the whole in Greece.
It’s understandable that no matter where you choose to go in Crete, apart from the history and culture of the island, you’ll be lusting after long sandy beaches with deep blue, refreshing waters perfect for a swim. Although pretty hard to narrow them down, here are the top 10 beaches in Crete that will help you remain cool amidst the summer heat and get that golden tan you’ve been dreaming about for months.
Not leaving out the lovebirds of the bunch, we can’t help but include an all-encompassing guide on how to plan a perfect honeymoon in Crete. After all, the glorious island of Crete is known for being one of the top destinations for newlyweds each year, as along with being super romantic, it is full of places to see and activities to engage in, which includes exploring its extraordinary culinary delights, such as the wine and olive oil tradition in Crete.
If your honeymoon is a success, you might also want to think about visiting Crete with kids. Not only is it an extremely family-friendly island, but it is also a great introduction to Greek culture for your little ones!
One of the cult classic destinations of Greece visitors from all over the world have been waxing lyrical about, is the island of Corfu. Indeed, Corfu, the Island of the Phaeacians is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, perhaps the greenest with the densest vegetation but also with the densest road network.
Moreover, it is an island with a long and great history inextricably linked to Greek culture, with a tradition that spreads across more than 3000 years, having been inhabited since the Paleolithic times. While Corfu suffered several occupations in its lifetime, the Italian occupation is admittedly the one that left the biggest mark on the island, which, despite the fact that it sounds depressing, it has turned out to be not the worst thing in the world, as the prominent Italian aesthetic has created a strong cosmopolitan ambiance both locals and visitors cannot get enough of! Add to the mix the adorable singsongy dialect and you’ve got yourself a winner!
If you plan on visiting Corfu for the first time, you will benefit from reading about Corfu for first-time visitors: tips and suggestions, as well as the top 5 things to do in Corfu, which will make sure you won’t miss anything important during your stay on the beautiful island.
Additionally, if you’re considering Corfu as a worthwhile stop of your cruise, these Corfu shore excursion ideas pack a punch and will let you know of the quickest, most efficient way to experience the island without faffing about.
You saw that one coming, didn’t you? Well, no one can deny that Mykonos, the queen of Cyclades is one of the strongest -if not THE strongest- selling points of Greece. It is breathtakingly beautiful, it is boujee, it is trendy, it is everything you think of when planning the exotic vacations that will get you out of your office routine and into a world of sunshine, tan lines, salty skin and carefree partying.
Mykonos was one of the first Greek islands that developed in the sector of tourism, with tourists flooding its grounds as early as the 1960s.
Today, the nightlife of Mykonos is considered one of the most vibrant and memorable in Europe, and despite Mykonos not being the most kid-friendly Greek destination, especially during the high season months, it is ideal for those traveling alone, with a group of friends, or as a couple -something you’ll soon realize if you check out Mykonos for couples: the definitive summer guide!
Because Mykonos is usually so crowded and can get overwhelming, we’ve made sure to make your life as easy as possible and have composed guides on how to spend a day in Mykonos, what to eat in Mykonos, as well as the top 15 things you must do in Mykonos.
It is no secret that Mykonos has some of the most remarkable beaches of not only Greece but the world in general -yes, I went there! Especially in the southern part of the island, one can find the most, and most beautiful, beaches that can be accessed either by car or motorcycle, via a very good road network.
While, in the summer, many of Mykonos’ southern beaches are connected with one another by boats that are scheduled to transfer the tourists every few minutes. If you want to know more about where would be the best place to begin your swimming adventure, a guide to Mykonos’ beaches is all you need! They say that where there is smoke, there is fire, and in the case of Mykonos and the excessive hype it has gained, the rumors are truemors!
Other Greek islands
Apart from the big names, there are hundreds of other Greek islands that are just as beautiful and much quieter. I understand you’ll want to experience what everyone talks about, however, for the introverts out there Mykonos and Santorini may not be viable options. In that case, fear not. Firstly, you’re not alone, and secondly, there are is so much more to the Greek islands than meets the eye that you are bound to find something that suits your desires and needs no matter what.
Rhodes, for example, is the largest island in the Dodecanese and one of the places that are worth your while. It is consistently one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, and it is an island of intense contrasts, flawlessly combining the medieval aesthetic, a remnant of its previous occupation, with strong traditional elements. What’s more, it offers an impressive variety of natural beauty, from sandy beaches to rocky mountains, meeting and exceeding all expectations.
Discover just 5 reasons to visit Rhodes and after getting convinced to follow our advice and visit this extraordinary island, learn how to spend a day in Rhodes like a true local! You’ll soon realize there is much more to Rhodes than its captivating history, with its culinary culture stealing the show at every turn. Delve into an exploration of Rhodes’ cuisine, and jot down the must-try delicacies that will help you get a real taste of Greece!
Another Greek gem is located right In the heart of the Cyclades, and its the largest and most fertile island of the complex. Naxos, which is the island in point, is a multifaceted destination that offers a great variety of choices in regard to the activities and experiences its lucky visitors can enjoy.
Regardless of being favored as being the perfect family destination, Naxos is a playful island with a vibrant nightlife and loads of fun things to do. If you’ve never been there before, you’re missing out! However, don’t fear, all you need to know is included in our comprehensive guide on what to see in Naxos for first-timers.
Of course, we couldn’t leave out of the list one of the biggest islands of the Cyclades, Paros, which also happens to be one of the most favorite summer destinations not only of Greece’s visitors but for locals as well, as it offers all necessary services to the modern traveler; something the top 5 things to do in Paros will make you swiftly comprehend.
The island’s capital is Parikia, on the west coast. While Naoussa, the well-known cosmopolitan fishing village is second in size and one of the most beautiful ports in the Aegean. The allure of Paros’ charm can be attributed to its numerous scenic villages- among others.
The biggest and most popular of the bunch are Lefkes, Marpissa, Piso Livadi, Marmara, Prodromos, Kostos, Dryos, Algeria, and Aliki.
The landscape is so breathtaking, that the island is among the top choice for newlyweds; the top things to do in Paros for honeymooners are not only romantic but extremely entertaining as well! That can be also said about the island’s golden coast; follow a guide to Paros’ beaches and make the fondest of memories while swimming in the deep blue sea of the Aegean; an activity one must indulge in at least once in their lifetime!
Incredibly underrated but striking nonetheless, the island of Chios is located at the Central Aegean and is the fifth-largest island in Greece. While the island itself often gets overshadowed by the more advertised Greek islands, its local products have made a name for themselves all across the world. The main exportable goods are the famous Chian mastic, olive oil, figs, and wine.
The timeless island of Chios’ exquisite cuisine is not the end all be all of the island, though it is a very appealing lure. If you’re looking for travel inspiration, read about the top things to see and do on Chios island, and learn everything you need to know about the island of Greece that combines the modern way of life with the historical tradition and the arresting natural landscape. An island with wild and unexplored beauty, Chios will pleasantly surprise those who go for the first time.
Last but definitely not least, comes the underdog of the Greek islands, Sifnos. From mountain trails and sunsets behind hills to beautiful beaches and eerie rocks, in Sifnos, you’ll find everything you’re looking for plus plenty more. Discover Sifnos, the ultimate family-friendly Cycladic destination and book your family holidays that will help you erase 2020 from your memory -we’re all trying to!
7. Greek culture and history
Yes, feta cheese and olive oil are a big hit, but Greece’s most exportable goods are hands down its culture and history. We have loads. Buckets. Plenty. So much, that trying to fit everything you need to know in a blog post feels daunting if not impossible.
With a history that goes back thousands of years, the local traditions are so deeply rooted that they have come to feel directly integrated with the country’s identity. And we’re not only talking about our glorious ancient past, no, but Greece also has a plethora of customs and traditions that are very much still present to the locals’ day-to-day lives.
Get insight into Greek Mythology
Speaking of arduous yet fascinating culture, we can’t help but talk about the wondrous world of Greek mythology. The term ‘Greek mythology’ is a blanket term that covers all the myths associated with the Greek tradition, as presented in the texts of ancient Greek writing.
Greek mythology is specifically defined as the narration of mythical stories created by the ancient Greeks and concerning the gods and their heroes, the nature of the world, and the ritual practices of their worship.
It consists of a rich collection of narratives that refer to the origins of the world and tell the life and adventures of a wide variety of gods, heroes, heroines, and other mythological creatures. These stories were originally formed through oral and poetic tradition, before being disseminated in writing through the works of Greek literature.
The oldest known literary sources are the two epics, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, which are dedicated to the events of the Trojan War and the adventures of Odysseus that followed. The poetic works of Hesiod are also considered to be an extremely valuable source of information: the Theogony and the Works and Days, which refer to the ancient Greek conception of the creation of the world, the succession of the divine rulers, the succession human times, the origins of human drama and sacrificial practices.
Various myths have also been preserved from Homeric hymns, parts of poems of the epic cycle, lyric poems, works of the tragedy of the 5th century BC, writings of scholars and poets of the Hellenistic period, and texts by Roman writers such as Plutarch and of Pausanias.
From following the Labors of Hercules to the myth of Demeter, the Lady of Eleusis, Sisyphus, the First King of Corinth, the one of Alcyone and the Halcyon Days, and the origin of the name ‘Athens’, every myth of ancient Greece explores the world and gives answers to existential questions that have been troubling humans for centuries. Get to know the mystical world of Greek mythology and learn the reasoning behind many Greek practices!
8. Top Greek archaeological sites
Imagine coming to Greece and not visiting the Acropolis. Sounds rather insane, right? Well, contrary to popular belief, the Acropolis is only one of the very many significant archaeological sites in Greece you must make a point to visit during your stay. It’s easy to get blind-sighted by the long, fabulous beaches, and delicious cocktails, but it would be a shame to leave behind the impressive archeological finds Greece offers in abundance.
Of course, the Acropolis is still an essential stop on your Greek journey, asthe Acropolis of Athens is the embodiment of art, beauty, and democracy. The Parthenon hides fascinating facts and secrets that you’ll learn on an Acropolis tour. To avoid leaving out the most important elements of Greek culture, however, here are the top 10 most important archaeological sites of Greece that include not only the capital but also the Greek countryside.
9. Greek food
We’re alright in many things, but there is a thing that we absolutely excel at and I won’t be humble about it. Greeks know their food. In Greeking.me we consider our culinary culture just as important as our history and just a taste of one of our traditional good will make you agree wholeheartedly.
Modern Greek cuisine has a prominent use of olive oil, cereals, wine, meat, vegetables, and fish-seafood. Also, other important food products are olives, tomatoes, cheese, aubergines, zucchini, onions, garlic, yogurt, and lemon juice.
The main characteristics of traditional Greek sweets are nuts and honey, while various fruits are often used mainly for the so-called ‘ spoon sweets’. Another important aspect of Greek cuisine is the appetizers which are collectively called ‘mezedes’, usually served with wine, ouzo or tsipouro in taverns and at home.
Greek cuisine is characterized as Mediterranean, while with the variety and quality of its ingredients, with its wise, beneficial combinations and the knowledge of centuries, it enjoys a privileged position in the world culture of taste.
Because the variety of Greek goods is so vast, we’ve divided our introduction to Greek cuisine in two categories, one for the drinks and beverages you can enjoy and one for the mouthwatering dishes and products you can eat. Can you tell it is important for us to get this right?
You’ve probably heard that in Greece, coffee is not just a beverage, but a whole way of life. We have associated the consumption of caffeine with long philosophical discussions among friends, and we like to take our sweet time with it. A Guide to Coffee Culture in Greece will further explain the Greek traditions in regard to coffee for those who want to enjoy a cup of coffee in a traditional and local way.
Greek Coffee is the one that has gained the most recognition across the world due to its historical background, however, since most visitors choose summer for their visit to Greece a guide to Greek summer coffees will prove extremely useful amidst the summer heat.
Moving to the alcoholic drinks, ouzo; the Greek nectar is among the most acclaimed ones, with its unique anise taste getting the visitor’s attention, who have never encountered a similar drink before. In addition to ouzo, since ancient times, Greece has made a name for itself due to its lush wine production.
Explore the Greek wine experience by reading a guide to the most popular Greek wine Varieties, as well as an introduction to Santorini’s wines, the region of Greece that holds the biggest, best, and most popular vine agriculture.
If you want to know about even more local drinks, such as the pungent tsipouro and the famous rakomelo, delve into a guide to Greek spirits and have your order ready for when you’ll need it!
Now let’s get into the meat of things- literally. Counting thousands of years of existence Greek cuisine varies from one region to another while keeping its core elements similar. The riches of Greek cuisine are not limited to souvlaki and pastitsio, not that anything would be wrong with that!
After sorting out the do’s and don’ts of eating in Greece, you’ll have the opportunity to discover why Greece is a foodie’s paradise, but also why Greece is the best place for vegetarians by getting familiar with the most popular Greek products.
When visiting Greece learning how to order like a local in a Greek tavern is key. Not only will you gain the respect of the owners and make your life significantly easier, but you will also avoid unpleasant surprises – we believe that being presented with a plate of cooked snails when you didn’t mean to order any can be quite a traumatic experience.
You can warm up by getting introduced to the best Greek food blogs you should follow that will reveal to you the best Greek homey recipes or even the best Greek summer dishes, which are the ones you’re most probably interested in.
Although Greek cuisine displays the same core elements across the entirety of Greece, there are no doubt plenty of variations between each region of the country. An introduction to Cretan cuisine will make you understand why it is admittedly one of the most favored across the whole of the country and famous even outside of it, while our favorite Cretan recipes will give you the opportunity to recreate some of the most delicious food you’ve ever tasted at home!
Although Crete has the lead in taste, it doesn’t have a monopoly. Branch out of the trite and explore the top traditional dishes of Corfu; your tummy will thank you for it!
When thinking about Greek food, sweets are not the first thing to mind. Understandably, our savory dishes are our strength, however, we must not forget about those of you with a sweet tooth. An introduction to Greek pastries and cakes will inform you about everything you need to know if you decide to indulge in a sweet treat, as it will make known the most popular and decadent Greek delicacies, such as loukoumades: the all-time classic Greek dessert!
10. Visit Greece with kids
It is a very common misconception that dictates that Greece is a great summer destination only for people looking to participate in wild partying.
Believe us when we say that this couldn’t be furthest from the truth. Yes, our nightlife is impressive and we know how to throw a good party, however, most destinations in Greece -no, scratch that- all destinations in Greece can be perfect for a family vacation, especially if you take into account the time of year when you plan on visiting it.
Both our family travel guide to Greece and the best Greek islands for families blog posts will reveal the best spots of Greece you can enjoy carelessly with your kids and the way to make the most out of every destination. Despite those, however, you should keep in mind that even Mykonos, the island of Greece that is the most infamous due to its partying way, can be transformed into the ideal destination for a family vacation.
Do you need further proof? Then read about Mykonos for families: know before you go, and get everything sorted beforehand.
There have always been hundreds of activities in Greece that can keep your little ones entertained, however, in recent years the books of Percy Jackson seem to have captivated our younger visitors who are excited and eager to see for themselves the places where all of the adventures narrated in the books came to life. If your kids are Percy Jackson fans, make sure to keep in mind the 7 places in Greece to live a Percy Jackson adventure. We know how you crave those few hours of peace and we’re here to deliver!
11. What to pack depending on the season
You’ve booked your tickets, you’ve made reservations, you picked the best accommodation available, and now its time to start packing for your dreamy Greek summer holidays. If you want to pack lightly, yet effectively, follow our advice below and enjoy a comfortable stay with everything you possibly need!
Since we’re nothing if not thoughtful and we have made sure to write a separate blog post solely dedicated to what you should pack for your trip to Greece. In a nutshell, however, if you’re visiting during the hot summer months there are a few key points to consider; pack the lightest clothes, a gallon of sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a big hat. The rest is details; your first priority should be to avoid heatstroke. Just kidding. But not really.
12. Local tips
If you expected us to not include as much inside info as humanly possible along with our best tips and tricks for thoroughly enjoying our country, then I have to guess you don’t know us that well. Our primary goal here in Greeking me is to make people love Greece as much as we do, and in an effort to provide the best possible experience, it absolutely vital to share all the shortcuts to a good time we know – and thankfully, we know plenty!
First things first, you need to get a grasp of the ‘don’ts’ of your trip to Greece. Knowing what to avoid us just as important -if not more- as knowing what to seek for. Next, you’re highly advised to get into the trouble of learning at least a couple of useful Greek words and phrases for your trip to Greece; they will make your life so much easier when looking to navigate yourself around the country that you won’t even believe!
One of the most important decisions you need to make when visiting Greece is in regard to where you’ll choose to divide your time across. A guide to island-hopping in Greece, as well as some trip-planning tips for your honeymoon in Greece, -including where to catch the sunset in Greece– will help you figure out the best place to visit having taken into account the type of holiday you crave. If you choose the Greek capital, a destination that often gets neglected but it is one of our top choices- then our local tips to survive summer in Athens will prove to be nothing short of a lifesaver.
Another important point is getting your transportation right. It is perfectly safe to take a taxi in Greece, but it may not be the smartest choice depending on where you want to go. For that reason, and many more, it is essential that you download the top apps for your stay in Athens.
If you’ve decided where you’ll go and have everything sorted for your stay and now all you have to worry about is enhancing your experience in the best way possible, then we can further help you feel like a local by unveiling the things the locals do on a Sunday in Greece. What’s the point of coming to Greece and not feeling like a Greek anyway?
Last but not least, as we’re sure that your time in our country will be nothing short of memorable, here is our advice on the top Greek souvenirs to bring back home; we can’t let overpriced junk taint your perfect Greek holidays now, can we?
So there you have it. Yes, 2020 was a less-than-glorious year, but it is up to us to make the best out of 2021 and make all our traveling dreams come true. Healthy, happy, and ready for a new adventure, it is time for you to discover the unparalleled beauty of Greece and enjoy it in an original way, just like a local! Now you know: postponing your trip is NEVER a good idea!