Greece Travel Guide
Visiting Greece provides an opportunity to examine the culture that
provided many of the threads woven into the fabric of Western Civilization.
However, don't make the mistake of thinking that visiting Greece is like a
tour through a dull, crumbling museum. Greece is a spectacular and
scenic country whose inhabitants know how to live life to the fullest.
While almost every visitor is drawn to Greece's world-famous antiquities,
few can resist focusing on sun, sand and fun when exploring the many faces
of Greece. Greece is endowed with a seemingly endless coastline and
thousands of islands thrown in for good measure. Whatever your plans
for touring Greece, make sure they include visiting several of the fabulous
Greek Islands. Many of you will see Greece on a cruise. Those
who do will find themselves wanting to return to spend more time touring the
country's enchanting "islands".
Of course, the difficult question to answer is always, "which islands?"
According the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the country includes over 6, 0000
islands and over 16,000km of coastline, although only 227 of its islands are
inhabited. Well, that cuts it down a bit, but read our recommendations
below for a much more manageable number of destinations. Almost everywhere
you go in the Greek Islands there will be opportunities for sunbathing,
swimming, snorkeling, waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and great nightlife.
Of course, many of these spectacular islands were once the home of unique
civilizations and several offer incredible archaeological adventures.
Greece is not a destination that should be rushed. Its culture is
complex and its rhythms are non-obvious to those who do not look and listen
carefully. Take your time, experience the culture and revel in the
glories of a spectacularly interesting country. But be flexible -
business as usual often isn't that in Greece, as strikes can occur,
seemingly at the drop of a hat.
See our detailed road map showing the best places to visit in
Greece, if you are planning a visit. We use Google Maps as our base and then annotate them with our
recommended places to visit. Be sure to zoom-in using the satellite view (or the
hybrid view) for more detail.
Best Places to Visit in Greece
Top of Page
Many of our links for Greece, especially for important archeological ruins, are
to official websites provided by of the Greek government.
From time to time these sites appear to experience significant
technical problems and may be unavailable . We are not sure why this
is so, but apologize, in advance!
When these website are "up", they provide the best information
available on the archaeological areas of Greece.
Athens is a place that should be on your "must see" list, but it may not
be a place that will keep your attention for long. Although Athens has
several magnificent attractions, it is, also, a large, heavily populated,
polluted, and relatively unfriendly metropolis. Athens offers several
important stops: we recommend that you get to it and, then, sample the Greek
Islands, or the countryside, where the people seem to be somewhat
Click to read our guide to the
best places to visit in Athens.
The monasteries of Meteora are among the most photographed scenes in
the world. Sitting atop tall spires of rock, the monasteries were
reputedly built to give religious hermits protection from thieves,
but mostly from visitors who would interrupt their meditations
One of the most famous archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi offers
interesting excavations of ta major archaeological site that was
dedicated to the worship of Apollo. It is, also, known as the home of
the Oracle of Delphi, the most important of the oracles in ancient
Greece. The Delphi Museum includes the Charioteer and other renowned
Visit the website of the
Archaeological Museum of Delphi for information on its
exhibits and holdings.
An interesting walled city on the sea in the south-eastern
Peloponnese, Monemvasia offers a pleasant afternoon's diversion.
The city is entered through a narrow gate followed by walkways that
climb slowly around its hill.
Filled with stone walks, small houses, and good restaurants and
shops, Monemvasia is a place where you could loose a lot of time. Take a
walk up the hill to see the town's fortifications, an old church, and a
wonderful view of town and its setting on the water. Follow this with
lunch at one of the many fine restaurants and, then, head for your next
Click for our PhotoGuide on
The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete has been a stepping-stone
to Europe from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
- Crete features fantastic beaches and extensive, interesting
archaeological digs related to the Minoan Civilization. Be
sure to visit the Palace of Knossos, home of King Minos, originally
constructed almost four thousand years ago.
Santorini seems to tempt fate, as many of its villages sit on the
sides of the steep cliffs, along the edge of the island.
These cliffs are the remnant of large volcano that erupted,
collapsed and then flooded millennia ago However, it is precisely
this spectacular setting that makes Santorini such a spectacular
Visit Fira, the island's capital and largest settlement for
good food and spectacular views. If you are looking for
houses painted white, blue domed churches, winding lanes and
lots of sun, this is the place for you.
Reserve some time for sunbathing, swimming and water sports
at Santorini's fine beaches.
Akrotiri, the Island's impressive archaeology site dating
from the Bronze Age, has been closed due to renovation and the
schedule for its reopening is "indefinite", although there was a
rumor that the site would open in May of 2011 it remains closed.
Click to read our PhotoGuide for
Santorini, Greece .
Break out the nightlife, include superb beaches, add the jet set,
and you have Mykonos. Mykonos is picturesque and is considered by
many as the place to be in the Greek Islands. Others consider
it limited, offering only sun, sand and nightlife. However, if
that is what you are looking for, this might be the place.
Mykonos is, also, the Gateway to Delos. Delos, a small
island, was the birthplace of Apollo and his twin Artemis and
has many archaeological ruins to explore. Many consider the
archeological site here to be one of the most important and
interesting in Greece.
- Click for our photoGuide to
Mykonos and Delos, Greece.
Rhodes was an important port through much of history. As
you approach the island, you will be amazed by the medieval
walled town created by the Knights of Saint John. The island
offers great scenery, pleasant people, good shopping, and lots
Be sure to visit Lindos to see the hilltop ruins of the Temple of
Athena, providing a gorgeous view of the Aegean. As you ascend
the hill to the temple, examine the fine linens for sale by
Rhodes was once the home of the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the
"Seven Wonders of the Ancient World". However, no trace of the
Colossus can be found today. See our Rhodes Guide for more
(Click for our PhotoGuide to Rhodes
Closest of the Greek Islands to Europe, Corfu is regarded by many
visitors as one of the most beautiful places in Greece. The
island's vegetation is luxurious compared to other of the Greek
Isles. It is a fine destination for those seeking a beach
vacation and Corfu Town is known for its night life.
Located in the central Aegean close to the coast of mainland
Greece, Skopelos, known as the greenest of the Greek Islands, is
experiencing renewed popularity because of the box office success of
the film Mama Mia.
- Many of the scenes in the movie were filmed on Skopelos (for
example, Kastani Beach is now known as Kastani Mama Mia Beach, Agio
Ioannis Beach is next to the now famous wedding chapel. etc.).
- For information on visiting the "Mama Mia" island see this
detailed website on
Hoping to duplicate the romantic atmosphere of the movie, a
large number of couples from around the world have chosen this
island as the site of their wedding. We understand that the
chapel featured in the movie is reserved for those of the Greek
Orthodox faith and is quite small.
Some scenes from the movie were filmed on neighboring island of
Most of the
islands and towns in Greece do not have official tourism websites. The
official tourism website of Greece is
VisitGreece, which provides additional information on our recommended best
places to visit in Greece, as well as information on locations and attractions
that did not make our list.
For country facts on Greece, as well as travel
information related to visas, driving rules, safety, medical conditions, visas
and other travel-related information, see this page on
Greece Travel from the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. State
Department. Regardless of your home country, we think you will find the
information provided to be useful when planning a trip to Greece.
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.
First Time Tour
Top of Page
If you are planning your first trip to Greece, we suggest you head for
Athens and, then, focus your touring on a few of the Greek Islands. A
cruise is often a great way to see both Athens and some of the islands.
If you are more adventurous, you can connect with the islands by hopping
local ferries. A ten day to two-week vacation in Greece will
allow you to sample the best places to visit in Greece.
Top of Page
If you are planning a second trip to Greece, consider visiting
- Athens (always a good gateway)
- and add some of the islands that you have not yet visited
Athens Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
From Viator Tours
2-Day Tour to Meteora from Athens
From Viator Tours
Corinth Half-Day Trip from Athens
From Viator Tours