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Greece Tours & Trips 2024/2025

Bask in the tranquillity of Amorgos, party 'til dawn in Mykonos or admire the blue-domed roofs in Santorini. A Greek vacation combining the gems of the Greek Islands with the wonders of Ancient Greece creates the perfect escape. Take an escorted adventure and see the Parthenon in Athens, hear tales of myths and legends in Rhodes, sink your teeth into the cheeses of Crete, or discover the incredible monasteries of Meteora. Travellers who go to Greece often take an island-hopping adventure tour to visit stunning Mykonos and Santorini. Add on a visit to Italy or Turkey too for the ultimate cultural immersion!

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250+ greece tour packages with 11,459 reviews.

Best of Greece Tour

  • Island Hopping

Best of Greece

  • €150 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

Sailing Greece - Mykonos to Santorini Tour

Sailing Greece - Mykonos to Santorini

Great trip for the price The trip was great for the price

Athens to Santorini Tour

  • In-depth Cultural

Athens to Santorini

Our guide was amazing. She was kind, thoughtful, looked out for the good of everyone in the group.

Sailing Greece - Santorini to Mykonos Tour

Sailing Greece - Santorini to Mykonos

Max was an amazing Skipper and went to great lengths to ensure we all had an amazing experience. I highly recommend this trip and will definitely be coming back for future adventures.

Greece Sailing Adventure: Cyclades Islands Tour

Greece Sailing Adventure: Cyclades Islands

captain of Intrepid Sailboat was incredible

Greece Classic Tour Tour

Greece Classic Tour

The guides were terrific and the hotels were very good. I wish we had some time in Delphi though. We had none in the quaint town on the mountainside. I also think we should have been told before we left that we had to pay for all the entrance fees, which for the two of us was 178 euros, in cash, not by credit card as soon as we arrived. I think the tour should have put that charge plus the hotel fees of 3 euros a stay on the cost of the trip. Also once we reached Athens at the end of our trip, there were close to 20 stops to drop people off at their hotels. It took an hour in the city after an 800 kilometer drive to get to our hotel. Not too well planned.

Classical Tour of Greece and Nauplion - 5 Days Tour

Classical Tour of Greece and Nauplion - 5 Days

All itinerary professionally adhered to. Very knowledgeable and conscientious tour guide together with helpful, courteous and good driver. Good coordination.

Looking for tours beyond just Greece?

Explore tours with itineraries going through multiple countries, including Greece.

Classic Greece Tour

Classic Greece

We were not given accurate information by Encounters Travel. While this was being resolved, my parents experienced harassment and threats to their safety. Even once it had been resolved they continued to be harassed despite the agreement they had reached with the travel guide. When I emailed to raise this point we received merely the briefest of apologies, with more focus on excusing the guides' behaviour.

Best of Greece Tour

  • Christmas & New Year
Great trip, great communication throughout the trip! Everything was taken care of

Greece Discovery Tour Tour

Greece Discovery Tour

Guide was terrific! Much less guided touring than we were led to believe.

Athens, Santorini & Mykonos with 3 Guided Tours | SemiPrivate  | 10 Days Tour

Athens, Santorini & Mykonos with 3 Guided Tours | SemiPrivate | 10 Days

Excellent organization of the trip including the logistics of getting us from place to place. Drivers and Tour guides were excellent. Quality of the hotels were very good in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. The only negative was the fast jet back to Athens. At the last moment the boat was switched from a larger boat to a smaller one and our seat assignment did not apply(impacted many people). This created significant chaos and a significant amount of time during boarding to resolve. It was handled very poorly.

Greek Island Hopping | SemiPrivate with 4* Hotels | 11 Days Tour

Greek Island Hopping | SemiPrivate with 4* Hotels | 11 Days

The arrangements were seamless and took all the hassle out of the trip so we could just relax and enjoy. Personal touch such as hand delivery of documents and attention to detail such as breakfast boxes for an early start, were special . All worth every penny

Bewitching Greece with All Inclusive beach stay Tour

Bewitching Greece with All Inclusive beach stay

Greek tour was absolutely perfect! Wanderful Holidays is the best agency I have ever worked with. Their level of communication is truly 5 stars. We were able to communicate with Erica and Alberto at any moment via WhatsApp and this made us feel extremely safe. We went to Athens, Santorini, Crete and we enjoyed the high level of service that we received in all cities. The food was amazing, transportation was always on time, and the overall price for 9 days is unmatched! I will definitely be booking with Wanderful Holidays for our next trip!

The Labyrinth of Crete Tour

The Labyrinth of Crete

Definitely, would recommend this tour.

Best of Greece (Base, Summer, 8 Days) Tour

  • Coach / Bus

Best of Greece (Base, Summer, 8 Days)

Even though the tour group was a very large group, the tour travel director and well being director did and excellent job handling the group. The travel director did an outstanding job of setting up the site visits and providing us with historical information. Each director was very friendly, courteous and went out of their way to help individuals with any problems.
  • €100 deposit on some dates Some departure dates offer you the chance to book this tour with a lower deposit.

What people love about Greece Tours

Loved this sailing adventure and plan to do another one in the near future. The Captain Marius was excellent with a wealth of knowledge in all aspects of sailing and taking care of his passengers. Our group gelled well and we all had fun swimming, eating on board and going out to dinner and playing cards. I would definitely do this adventure again
Mia our leader gets 10/10! We were lucky to have her as our guide. She made everything easy and we saw so much in a short time. This has been a memorable trip. It's my first Intrepid tour. I will definitely be doing more and will recommend them to my friends!! Thanks Intrepid

Greece Destinations

  • Greek Islands (514)
  • Aegean Islands (411)
  • Cyclades Greece (372)
  • Peloponnese Islands (103)
  • Mykonos (89)
  • Ionian Islands (29)
  • Eastern Aegean Islands (13)
  • Dodecanese Islands (13)
  • Saronic Islands (8)
  • Sporades Islands (5)
  • Mainland Greece (400)
  • Athens Santorini & Mykonos (355)
  • Central Greece (59)
  • Northern Greece (50)
  • Attica (21)

Travel Styles

  • Small Group (279)
  • Budget (188)
  • Luxury (42)
  • Singles and Solo (795)
  • For Couples (249)
  • Young Adults (25)
  • Seniors (330)
  • Group (797)
  • Explorer (715)
  • Family (669)
  • Fully Guided (514)
  • Personalized (440)
  • Partially Guided (375)
  • In-depth Cultural (280)
  • Private (265)
  • Self-Guided (169)
  • Sailing (109)
  • Custom (80)
  • Hiking & Trekking (80)
  • Active (60)
  • Ocean Cruise (57)
  • Coach / Bus (53)
  • Intl. Flights Included (26)
  • 3 Day Tours (56)
  • 7 Day Tours (227)
  • 10 Day Tours (422)
  • 2 Week Tours (122)
  • 3 Week Tours (45)
  • Spring 2024 (709)
  • Summer 2024 (782)
  • Fall / Autumn 2024 (812)
  • Winter 2024 / 2025 (191)
  • Spring 2025 (309)
  • Summer 2025 (252)
  • Fall / Autumn 2025 (250)
  • Winter 2025 / 2026 (83)
  • April 2024 (541)
  • May 2024 (755)
  • June 2024 (770)
  • July 2024 (722)
  • August 2024 (709)
  • September 2024 (784)
  • October 2024 (681)
  • November 2024 (212)
  • December 2024 (188)
  • January 2025 (137)
  • February 2025 (134)
  • March 2025 (185)
  • April 2025 (224)
  • May 2025 (256)
  • June 2025 (247)
  • July 2025 (231)
  • August 2025 (232)
  • September 2025 (249)
  • October 2025 (214)
  • November 2025 (92)

Greece Tours starting in

  • Starting in Athens (707)
  • Starting in Thessaloniki (16)
  • Starting in Mykonos (14)
  • Starting in Corfu (13)
  • Starting in Heraklion (11)
  • Starting in Chania (9)
  • Starting in Santorini (9)
  • Starting in Igoumenitsa (8)
  • Starting in Rhodes (7)
  • Starting in Crete (5)
  • Greece Travel Guide | All You Need to Know
  • Best 10 Day Greece Itineraries 2024/2025 (with Reviews)
  • Best 10 Greece Vacation Packages 2024/2025
  • 10 Best Honeymoon Cruises 2024/2025 (with Reviews)

Rear view of a man walking down to a beach on Fourni Island, Greece.

Thomas Pickard / Stocksy United

Greece is ancient sun-bleached ruins piercing blue skies, the balmy Aegean lapping an endless coastline and a culture alive with passionate music, wonderful cuisine and thrill-seeking activities.

Best Time to Visit

Best places to visit, leave the planning to a local expert.

Experience the real Greece. Let a local expert handle the planning for you.


Must-see attractions.

Mystras or Mistras, also known in the Chronicle of the Morea as Myzithras, is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece.

Spread over a steep mountainside and surrounded by verdant olive and orange trees, this former Byzantine capital and fortified city is the single most…

The Lion Gate was the main entrance of the Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae, southern Greece. It was erected during the 13th century BC in the northwest side of the acropolis and is named after the relief sculpture of two lionesses in a heraldic pose that stands above the entrance. The Lion Gate is the sole surviving monumental piece of Mycenaean sculpture, as well as the largest sculpture in the prehistoric Aegean.

Ancient Mycenae

On a hilltop backed by powerful mountains stand the sombre and mighty ruins of Ancient Mycenae, home of Agamemnon, the legendary king who commanded the…

best greece travel guides

Palace of Knossos

Crete’s most famous historical attraction is the Palace of Knossos, the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located 5km south of the city of Iraklio. The…

Sunset view of Athenian treasury at the ancient delphi site in Greece

Sanctuary of Apollo

Serving as the heart of Ancient Delphi, the hillside Sanctuary of Apollo is where pilgrims would journey to hear prophecies from the god Apollo, voiced…

Ruins of the ancient site of Olympia, specifically the Philippeion in the Altis of Olympia, which was an Ionic circular memorial of ivory and gold. The Olympic games originate from there.

Ancient Olympia


This is where the Olympic Games took place every four years for over 1100 years, until their abolition by Emperor Theodosius I in AD 393. The Olympic…

best greece travel guides

Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Area

This dazzling museum at the foot of the Acropolis' southern slope showcases its surviving treasures. The collection covers the Archaic period to the Roman…


Designed to be the pre-eminent monument of the Acropolis, the Parthenon epitomises the glory of Ancient Greece. Meaning 'virgin's apartment', it's…

best greece travel guides

The Acropolis is the most important ancient site in the Western world. Crowned by the Parthenon, it stands sentinel over Athens, visible from almost…

Top picks from our travel experts

16 of the best things to do in greece.

Olympia Archaeological Museum

This superb museum features finds from the adjacent archaeological site of Olympia. Visiting it in conjunction with the ruins helps to put the ancient…

best greece travel guides

Ancient Agora

The Agora was ancient Athens' heart, the lively hub of administrative, commercial, political and social activity. Socrates expounded his philosophy here;…


Tower of the Winds

This Pentelic marble tower within the Roman Agora, likely built in the 2nd century BC, is both beautiful and functional. Devised by Andronicus, a…

best greece travel guides

Kastro – Medieval Village

Almost wholly surrounded by ocean, Monemvasia's fortified medieval village is divided into the lower town, bisected by a main cobbled street lined with…

best greece travel guides

Byzantine & Christian Museum

This outstanding museum, based in the 1848 Villa Ilissia, offers exhibition halls, most of them underground, crammed with religious art. The exhibits go…

best greece travel guides

Hania Province

This broad sweep of beach has magical-looking pink-cream sands and teal waters and is known for its stunning sunsets. Along with superb water clarity,…

Forest and Aoos river at the valley of Valia Calda in northern Greece.

Northern Pindos National Park

North of Ioannina, this large protected area includes the Vikos-Aoös region around the plunging Vikos Gorge, and the Valia Kalda forest north of Metsovo…

best greece travel guides

Vergina Royal Tombs Museum

A grass-covered tumulus (burial mound) has been converted into a truly spine-tingling museum where visitors can descend to unspoiled royal Macedonian…

best greece travel guides

National Archaeological Museum

Housing the world's finest collection of Greek antiquities in an enormous neoclassical building, this museum is one of Athens' top attractions. Treasures…

Elafonissi beach with pink sand on Crete.

Tucked into Crete’s southwestern corner, this symphony of fine pink-white sand, turquoise water and gentle rose dunes looks like a magical dreamscape. As…

best greece travel guides

In its day Epidavros, 30km east of Nafplio, was famed and revered across the Mediterranean as a place of miraculous healing. Visitors came great distances…

Temple of Demeter

Temple of Demeter

About 2km south of the village of Sangri is the rather unsympathetically restored 6th-century BC Temple of Demeter. The ruins and reconstructions are not…

Family admiring the view of Vikos Gorge.

Vikos Gorge


The Voïdomatis ('Good Water' in its Slavic roots) River, a tributary of the Aoös, carved the 12km-long, 900m-deep Vikos Gorge over millions of years. Per…

Liston, a pedestrian street with arcaded terraces and fashionable cafes in the western edge of Spianada Square in the center of the city.

Corfu Town owes the elegant, photogenic Liston, the arcade that lines the northern half of the Spianada, to neither the Venetians nor the British but to…

best greece travel guides

Palaio Frourio

The rocky headland that juts east from Corfu Town is topped by the Venetian-built 14th-century Palaio Frourio. Before that, already enclosed within…

Preveli Beach

Preveli Beach

Rethymno Province

Also known as Palm Beach, dazzling Preveli is one of Crete’s most celebrated strands. At the mouth of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge, where the river…

best greece travel guides

Roman Agora

This was the city’s market area under Roman rule, and it occupied a much larger area than the current site borders. You can see a lot from outside the…

best greece travel guides

Museum of Cycladic Art

The 1st floor of this exceptional private museum is dedicated to the iconic minimalist marble Cycladic figurines, dating from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. They…

best greece travel guides

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

This state-of-the-art museum is one of the largest and most important in Greece. The two-storey revamped 1930s Bauhaus building makes a gleaming showcase…

Planning Tools

Expert guidance to help you plan your trip.

Best Things to Do

From diving to the bottom of the sea to hiking to waterfalls, here are the top things to do in Halkidiki.

Things to Know

These local tips can help you prepare for the perfect trip to Greece.


If you're wondering how to navigate your way around the Greek mainland and islands, here's the scoop on flights, ferries, driving, buses, trains and more.

Visa Requirements

Greece is an incredible destination – don't let a fear of admin stop you from getting there. Here's everything you need to know about visas for Greece.

Money and Costs

How to save money on a trip to Greece with cheap flights, ferries, trains and buses plus how to get the best deal on hotels, food and drinks.

Traveling with Kids

Greece is a wonderful family-friendly destination and the locals adore kids. Here's everything you need to know to make your family vacation perfect.

Best Road Trips

Greece is meant for exploring, and not just by ferry. When you travel by motor vehicle, there's a wealth of history, culture and, yes, beaches to savor. 

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Let a local expert craft your dream trip.

best greece travel guides

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Greece and beyond

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Jessie on a Journey | Solo Female Travel Blog

Greece Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Greece travel guide ?

Then you’re in the right place!

Greece is one of the most beautiful and culturally-rich places in the world.

Home to two of the Seven Wonders of the World (Colossus of Rhodes and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia) it has captured people’s imaginations for thousands of years. From natural wonders to ancient ruins, you’ll be left in a state of awe by this Mediterranean country.

Greece’s main draw for travelers is its history as the cradle of Western Civilization and the birthplace of democracy. From the Parthenon in Athens to the temples at Delphi to the Byzantine churches of Thessaloniki, you can explore the history of several different eras while traveling Greece.

Overwhelmed at the sheer amount of sites to see?

A guided tour can help ensure you don’t miss the best of the best. Read on for links to some of our favorite tours or contact your local travel agent.

And, of course, no trip to Greece is complete without a trip to a Greek island! Boasting gorgeous beaches, breathtaking mountains, and unforgettable sights, the islands are the perfect place to soak up some sun.

There are also many ways to travel the islands on any kind of budget. From luxury, exclusive travel options in top hotels to backpacking and hostel stays, you’re sure to find something that works for you.

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Greece in Southeast Europe.

Note: This ultimate guide to Greece travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Greece travel guide

Use this Greece travel map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!

Greece map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Where To Travel In Greece

Use the following Greece travel information to plan the perfect trip!

Greek Islands travel guide photos

10 Greek Islands To Visit During Shoulder Season

Local drinks during Corfu Greece travel

Drinking Culture: A Sip Of Corfu, Greece

Greece Travel Tips

Looking for Greece travel advice ? Check out the following Greece travel guides full of suggestions!

Greece travel cruise

Opening Up To The Idea Of Cruising In Greece & Turkey

solo female traveler in Greece

Solo Travel In Greece: The Ultimate Guide (With Map!)

Tours By Locals In Greece

Explore local culture with a Greece tour guide through these unique excursions:

  • Greek Cooking Class in Athens Including Rooftop Dinner with Acropolis View
  • Pozar Thermal Baths and Edessa Day Trip from Thessaloniki
  • 4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora from Athens
  • Meteora Hike with Transport from Kalambaka
  • Zakynthos Island: One-Day Tour to Navagio Shipwreck Beach Blue Caves & Top View from Zakinthos
  • ATV-Quad Santorini Experience Tour from Perissa

Renting A Car In Greece

Need a rental car for your Greece trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

best greece travel guides

Greece Train Travel

Getting around Greece by train, bus, or ferry?

Omio is a must! I use this tool for all of my public transportation needs when traveling Europe.

The site is straightforward and user-friendly — and you can pre-book your tickets in advance at a discount.

They even offer flight and car deals!

Greece Hotels

Click here to browse the best Greece travel hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays? 

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays:

Greece Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Greece tour. When visiting Greece — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Greece travel itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks .

Greece Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling in Greece .

Q: What are the best places to travel in Greece?

If you read any Europe travel guide , you’ll quickly learn that the Greek Islands are a bucket list destination for many travelers, and for good reason. Featuring gorgeous beaches, clear blue waters, iconic sights, and some of the best seafood in the world, the islands off the coast of the Greek peninsula are the perfect place to relax and explore.

The more popular destinations like Santorini and Mykonos attract large crowds during peak season (from April to October), so consider visiting during the shoulder season if you’re looking for a quieter experience.

The Saronic Islands just off the coast of Athens are also a great option if you’re staying on the mainland and they aren’t quite as tourist-heavy.

Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is also absolutely worth a visit. With rugged mountains, modern cities, and ancient ruins, this island has something for every kind of traveler.

No trip to Greece is complete without a visit to Athens, the nation’s capital and home to over 3,000 years of history.

While Athens is very much a modern city, it is probably best known for its famous archaeological sites, including the Acropolis and Parthenon. History buffs can also get their fix at Athens’s many museums, including the National Archeological Museum, the New Acropolis Museum, and the Benaki Museum.

Modern Athens is also very much worth exploring. Do some shopping in the picturesque Plaka neighborhood, wander the Varvakeios Central Market, or get some great views from above at one of the city’s many rooftop bars.

For a taste of Byzantine Greece, head to Thessaloniki, a coastal city with lots to explore. Here you’ll find some of the best examples of Byzantine architecture in the country, including the White Tower and the Hagia Sophia (not to be confused with its namesake in Turkey).

Thessaloniki is also perfect for those looking to party on the mainland. The city is full of nightclubs, bars, and lounges where you can dance the night away.

Q: What do I need to know before traveling to Greece?

While Greece is one of the top travel destinations in the world, it has some catching up to do when it comes to accessibility. Most destinations in the country only have a limited amount of accessible accommodations and transportation options, so disabled travelers will want to book further in advance if possible. When it comes to the islands, those with a lower elevation tend to have more accessible facilities.

Along those lines, be aware that smoking is very prevalent in Greece. Most spaces enforce the recent ban on smoking indoors, but you’ll find plenty of people smoking outside. Be prepared, particularly if you’re coming from a place where smoking is less common.

Smaller shops and restaurants in Greece may have different hours than major retailers, which tend to stay open for a full 12-hour day. Some may take a break for a few hours in the afternoon while others may close early on certain days. Make sure you look up a business’s operating hours before heading out, especially if you’re visiting in the afternoon.

You will see plenty of signs reminding you of this throughout your trip, but do not flush your toilet paper in Greece. The country’s sewage pipes are very narrow and can clog with even the slightest bit of paper. Simply throw your TP and any feminine hygiene products out in the trash after use.

Q: What is the best way to travel the Greek islands?

Island hopping is a great way to see Greece and explore all its islands have to offer. The two main ways to get around the islands are by air and by sea.

Twenty-five of the islands have their own airports and you can fly to almost all of them from Athens. Several islands, including Corfu and Santorini, have international airports that allow travelers to fly in from destinations outside of Greece like London. This is a great option if you’re coming to Greece from another European destination and want to minimize the number of flights on your itinerary.

Moreover, almost all of the islands are accessible by ferry. Ferries are generally easier to book than flights, as they don’t fill up quite as fast, but booking early is always a safe bet. You can search for ferries on sites like or book with a travel agent who specializes in Greek island travel.

If you’re planning to rent a car to get around the islands, you can book a car ferry to bring the vehicle with you, but keep in mind that car ferries aren’t offered on every island.

Q: How much money do you need per day in Greece?

The amount of money you spend in Greece depends on when, where, and how you plan on traveling. You will generally spend more if you’re traveling to the Greek islands or during the peak season (late spring to early fall) on the mainland.

The average traveler spends about $130 USD per day on meals, accommodations, transportation, activities, and more.

however, it’s totally possible to travel Greece on a budget. Backpackers and budget travelers should expect to spend about $50 USD per day on their trip.

Q: Is Greece safe to travel?

In general, Greece is quite safe for travelers. Violent crime rates are low but petty theft and pickpocketing do occur. Always be aware of your surroundings, keep your valuables close and out of sight using pickpocket-proof clothing , and never leave your bag unattended.

Strikes and demonstrations occasionally break out in Greek cities like Athens and can turn violent. Keep an eye on the news, particularly if you’re visiting a major public square where demonstrators tend to gather. And make sure to confirm any transportation, as strikes can disrupt traffic.

Greece is also quite safe for solo female travel . Catcalling does happen, particularly in cities, but most destinations are fairly safe. Much of the same guidance for female travelers in other countries applies in Greece: try not to go out alone late at night, be aware of your surroundings, and always stay vigilant.

Q: How long can a tourist stay in Greece?

Most tourist visas will allow you to stay in Greece for up to 90 days without engaging in any professional activity during your stay.

Q: Do I need a Greece travel visa?

Travelers from North America (United States, Canada and Mexico), the United Kingdom, Australia, Schengen Area member countries , and several other countries do not need a visa to visit Greece for a period of less than 90 days.

It’s recommended to view your country’s Greece International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Consulate General of Greece.

Q: What is the best time to visit Greece?

In terms of weather, the best time to visit is May through October, with July and August being the hottest months as well as peak season. If you’re interested in budget travel in Greece, March through May and October through November tend to have the best deals.

Q: Where is Greece?

Located in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula, Greece is bordered by Albania (northwest), Bulgaria (north), North Macedonia (north), and Turkey (northeast).

In terms of maritime borders, there is the Aegean Sea (east), Ionian Sea (west), the Cretan Sea (south), and the Mediterranean Sea (south).

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Greece?

Credit cards — particularly MasterCard and Visa — are widely accepted in Greece at larger establishments and tourist spots, though less frequently at smaller mom and pop type establishments and street stalls.

Q: Can you drink the tap water in Greece?

In most places across mainland Greece, you’ll be able to safely drink the tap water, though not everywhere and not typically on the islands. It is best to check with your hotel before arrival to be sure and so you can prepare by bringing a water filtration bottle.

Q: Do I need to learn Greek to visit Greece?

In tourist areas and big cities, you’ll typically find people who speak English, though not everyone does, and even fewer people do in more rural areas.

If possible, it’s smart to learn a bit of the language and know some common German phrases before traveling.

Q: What is the local currency in Greece?

The local currency in Greece is the Euro (€).

Q: How many tourists visit Greece?

According to Statista , over 33 million tourists visit Greece each year.

What would you add to this Greece travel guide?

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Nomadic Matt's Travel Site

Travel Better, Cheaper, Longer

Greece Travel Guide

Last Updated: March 12, 2024

Aerial view of  Greek town along the Mediterranean ocean, with mountains in the background

It’s also super affordable.

You can travel around Greece for a fraction of what you’d spend in Western Europe, which is just one of the many reasons why I absolutely love visiting Greece.

I’ve been to Greece four times and have spent months exploring this country. I cannot say enough good things about it.

Visiting Greece is always the highlight of my summer European travels. There’s just something magical about this country. There’s an energy in the air and you can’t help but think, “Maybe I should never leave?” It sucks you in.

And, while the Greek islands get the most attention, the interior of the country — with its small towns, historic ruins, and mountain hikes — is too often overlooked and underappreciated.

So, while you may have a strong desire to stick to the islands, try to get to some of the places in the interior if you can. You won’t regret it.

This Greece travel guide combines all my knowledge and experience to help you plan an epic, affordable trip!

Table of Contents

  • Things to See and Do
  • Typical Costs
  • Suggested Budget
  • Money-Saving Tips
  • Where to Stay
  • How to Get Around
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Top 5 things to see and do in greece.

View of cliffside monasteries in Meteroa, Greece

1. Visit the Acropolis

Located in Athens , this magnificent hilltop complex from the 5th century BCE includes ancient buildings and ruins like the temple to Athena and the famous Parthenon. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is an excellent place to learn about the city’s history. You’ll also get to enjoy an expansive view of the skyline and the nearby ruins. During the summer, it’s swarming with tourists so get there early. Admission is 20 EUR, or for 30 EUR you can get a 5-day combined ticket that includes many other archaeological sites in Athens. For a guided tour, Athens Walking Tours runs guided tours for around 50 EUR (including admission) that skip the line.

2. Discover historic Crete

Crete has a long, long history. It was once home to the ancient Minoan civilization (which predated Greek civilization), and you can still visit the Bronze Age ruins of Knossos, the ancient capital of the Minoan empire (also considered the oldest city in Europe). The island is the largest in all of Greece and has beautiful beaches (including a beach with pink sand), plentiful hiking, quaint towns, and delicious food and wine. It’s affordable and because of the island’s size, you can still escape the summer crowds. Don’t skip this island!

3. Hike up Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus is the legendary home of the Greek gods. Any climb to Mount Olympus starts from the town of Litochoro, 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of Thessaloniki. At 2,917 meters (9,570 feet) high, it’s the tallest mountain in Greece. The hike up is both strenuous and mystical. As you climb, it becomes abundantly clear why Greeks thought it was this mountain from which the gods ruled!

4. See Meteora’s monasteries

Meteora is famous for its monasteries that sit atop sheer rock mountains . They are a stunning sight to see and worth the steep trek up to the top. The monasteries date back to the 9th-10th centuries when Orthodox Christian hermit monks isolated themselves on the cliffs and in the many caves in the area. In the 12th century, the monastic community became more organized and in the 14th century the Great Meteoron Monastery was constructed (one of the ones that you can visit today). Although more than twenty monasteries used to perch on these sandstone cliffs, only six remain today. They are still active, with around 50 nuns and 17 monks living here. It’s a 3 EUR entrance fee per monastery.

5. Explore the islands

Other things to see and do in greece, 1. learn some history.

Greece is where western civilization began and everywhere you turn you’ll find ruins that are thousands of years old. Start in Athens with the museums, the Acropolis and surrounding ruins in the Agora, and then set off to explore the ruins of Delphi, Sparta , Corinth, and Crete . There are also great archaeological museums everywhere to see artifacts up close and learn even more. This country is a history lover’s dream!

2. Explore Sparta

Sparta was the ancient rival of Athens and known for its fierce warriors (the entertaining but historically-inaccurate film 300 was based on the Spartans). The city has a long history and plenty of ruins to explore. There is no shortage of things to do , museums to visit, excursions to take, and places to eat when you visit the city. It’s an often-overlooked city even though it’s only a 2.5-hour drive southwest of Athens. It’s a great place to learn some history without the crowds.

3. Attend the Athens Epidaurus Festival

Every summer, the Athens Epidaurus Festival hosts concerts and performance theater, including reenactments of famous Greek plays. Started in 1955, it’s one of the country’s top cultural events and runs for the whole summer (May-October). If it coincides with your visit, you’ll see just how proud the Greeks are of their past. Tickets for each performance cost as little as 10 EUR.

4. Soak up the sun in Corfu

The Cyclades Islands may get all the press but sunny Corfu on Greece’s west coast is also a good place to enjoy the beach too. It’s a popular destination for young backpackers, but once you get out of the main town, you can avoid them and their partying ways and get the island to yourself! There are plenty of quiet beaches, ancient ruins, and beautiful villages to explore. You’re just a stone’s throw away from Albania too.

5. Explore the Delphi Ruins

Delphi was a place of spiritual significance to the ancient Greeks. Located around 2.5 hours northwest of Athens, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is where the omniscient Oracle would contact the god Apollo and give his advice to those seeking good fortune. Although the eternal flame no longer burns inside the temple, a visit to the Temple of Apollo is obligatory if you’re nearby. Admission is 12 EUR and includes entry to the museum as well as the archaeological site itself (which includes far more than just the Temple of Apollo).

6. Explore Melissani Cave

This otherworldly cave grotto can be accessed by a short yet postcard-worthy boat tour. Located on the island of Kefalonia on the western side of Greece, here you can admire the seemingly magical ultramarine waters and the monumental walls that envelope you as you make your way through this hidden underground landscape. Admission is 8 EUR and includes the boat ride.

7. Hike the Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge in beautiful Crete is one of Greece’s National Parks and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. For outdoor enthusiasts, this is considered one of the best hikes in Greece. While it isn’t the shortest or easiest trek (it’s 16 kilometers/10 miles), the gorge does promise beautiful landscapes, fantastic photo opportunities, and a great workout. Make sure you bring water, sunscreen, and a hat as the heat can be overwhelming. The views are worth it though!

8. Experience the Patras Carnival

Every year in mid-January, the city of Patras (located 2.5 hours west of Athens) hosts what is basically a month-and-a-half-long party that starts on January 17th and runs to the beginning of Lent. There’s a slew of events both major and minor, increasingly crazy weekends, treasure hunts, and various costume parades (which even feature floats). It’s a lively time and as the largest such festival in Greece, attracting tons of revelers. If you want to attend, it’s a good idea to make hotel reservations well in advance as things fill up.

9. Tour the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

The number one attraction in Crete , this museum also happens to be Greece’s second-largest archaeological museum (the museum in Athens is the largest). There is a stunning collection here that highlights the Cretan civilization (dating back from Neolithic times through to the Roman empire), with ancient pottery, jewelry, sarcophagi, colorful frescoes from Knossos, and more. Its Minoan collection is the most extensive in the world. You could easily spend hours here — especially if you love history like me. Admission is 12 EUR in the summer and 6 EUR in the winter.

10. Party on Ios

Ios has the wildest nightlife out of all the Greek islands. It is the summer party island where days are spent hungover on the beach and the nights are spent eating cheap food and drinking. If you don’t want to do that but still want to see Ios, it’s best to go to the eastern part of the island where it’s quieter. Don’t let Ios’ party reputation deter you from visiting though, it’s a beautiful, rugged island (and home to the grave of Homer, who wrote The Iliad and The Odyssey). It’s only busy from June-August so you can visit in the shoulder season to escape the party crowd.

11. Visit Thessaloniki

With more than 1 million inhabitants, Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city after Athens. Although it dates back to 315 BCE, a lot of the city was destroyed by fire in 1917 and then by bombing during World War II. The result is a combination of more modern European city urban planning alongside Early Christian, Roman, and Byzantine monuments. In fact, Thessaloniki has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites (15!) than any other city in Europe. Be sure to visit the White Tower, the Rotunda, the Arch of Galerius, and Galerius Palace as well as the many churches (such as the Hagia Sofia and Hagios Demetrios). There are also several great museums here, including the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Byzantine Culture, the Jewish Museum, and the Olympic Museum.

12. Go to Zakynthos

Just south of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea is Zakynthos , one of Greece’s most popular islands. With its soft, sandy beaches and charming villages, it’s easy to see why this island is a fan favorite. It can be busy, particularly in the summer, so head away from the main tourist area (go north, west or inland) or visit in the off-season to escape the crowds. Zakynthos is also a breeding area for loggerhead turtles and you can see them on Lagana Beach or on Turtle Island but take care to do so responsibly. Other activities include seeing the Blue Caves, Marathonisi Islet, and Shipwreck Beach (you’ll need to take a boat tour to get there). There are also tons of churches, monasteries, and ruins to check out too.

13. Visit Monemvasia

Monemvasia is a medieval castle town in Laconia, around 90 kilometers (56 miles) southeast of Sparta . It’s a spectacular island to visit as it is built into the side of a huge rock! Monemvasia’s a quiet town perfect for relaxing on the beach before dining under the stars at seaside taverns or on cobbled streets in the town. If you’re into hiking, there are some trails that will take you past chapels and settlements up to hilltops to admire the view or down to secluded beaches.

14. Explore Ioannina

Next to Lake Pamvotida in northwestern Greece, Ioannina is a castle town that is bursting with museums. Don’t miss the Byzantine Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Silversmithing Museum (the area is well-known for its beautiful jewelry). Head to the castle at sunset for a peaceful end to your day. You can use the town as a base for exploring the nearby Pindus National Park, the Tzoumerka mountain chain, the Cave of Perama, and the Byzantine town of Arta as well. You won’t need more than a couple of days here but it is well worth stopping if you are passing through.

15. Go wine tasting

While Greece isn’t as internationally renowned for wine as other European countries such as France or Spain, it should be. The Greek wine-making tradition goes back at least 6,500 years and is still going strong. Wine regions are spread across the country, but Crete has one of the oldest wine-making traditions (and over 30 wineries to visit around the island), while the wineries of Santorini make for an interesting tour due to the way that grape vines must be grown here (to protect against harsh winds). Wine tours generally are around 85-125 EUR for a full-day tour.

16. Take a cooking class

Greek food is legendary. If you’re a foodie like me and want to learn more about the cuisine and culture behind it, try a cooking class . Bring a taste of your trip home by learning how to make some traditional recipes (including favorites like tzatziki and moussaka) while learning about the importance of each dish directly from a local chef. Cooking classes generally last 3-4 hours and cost 90-120 EUR.

17. Take a boat tour

A boat tour is one of the best ways to see the islands, especially as some beaches are only accessible by water. Most tours also have stops for snorkeling and lounging on the beach, and many include drinks and lunch. Half-day tours start at 50 EUR, while full-day tours are around 100 EUR.

18. Go diving

Diving has become increasingly popular in the Greek Islands. On Mykonos , Paradise Reef has a large variety of marine life, including sponges, barracuda, octopus, and starfish. Ios is popular with beginners due to its crystal-clear waters and relatively calm waves. On the other hand, Santorini has less marine life but tons of shipwrecks. Shore dives are generally 40-50 EUR, while a two-tank dive on a boat is 90-120 EUR. You can also take a beginner discovery course for 55 EUR or a variety of PADI courses starting at 280 EUR.

19. Tour an olive oil farm

  For more information on specific destinations in Greece, check out these guides:

  • Athens Travel Guide
  • Corfu Travel Guide
  • Crete Travel Guide
  • Ios Travel Guide
  • Mykonos Travel Guide
  • Naxos Travel Guide
  • Santorini Travel Guide
  • Sparta Travel Guide

Greece Travel Costs

Greek salad, olive oil, bread, and dip at a table by the ocean in Greece

A room in a budget hotel that sleeps two can be found for 40-60 EUR (expect much higher prices — up to 50% higher — during the summer). Amenities at these hotels typically include free Wi-Fi, TV, a private bathroom, AC, and sometimes breakfast as well.

On Airbnb, you can find private rooms for 25-45 EUR in many cities and entire homes (including studio apartments) start at around 70 EUR per night.

Food – Greece is known for its food. Think seasonal vegetables (like olives), seafood, grilled meats, bread, feta cheese, and yogurt — all the staples of a fresh Mediterranean diet. To eat cheap, stick with eating gyros, souvlaki, and kebabs. These cost 2-5 EUR and easily fill you up. If you’re on a budget, you can live off these for as little as 10 EUR per day.

At a casual restaurant that serves traditional cuisine, expect to pay around 8-12 EUR for a main dish like moussaka and about 2-4 EUR for a glass of wine. A Greek salad costs between 6-8 EUR. Fish is more expensive, costing around 17-22 EUR for the catch-of-the-day.

Most restaurants charge for bread. The price is between .50-1.50 EUR. A bottle of water is about 2 EUR.

Fast food (think McDonald’s) costs around 7 EUR for a combo meal. A large pizza costs 8-10 EUR while Indian/Middle Eastern/Chinese food can be found for around 6 EUR for a main dish.

If you’re going out for dinner at a traditional taverna, expect to spend between 12-20 EUR depending on how much food you get. After that, the prices go up depending on how fancy the restaurant is!

Beer is 2-4 EUR while a latte/cappuccino is 3-4 EUR. Bottled water from the supermarket is 0.50 EUR.

If you cook your meals, expect to pay 30-50 EUR per week for groceries including pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic staples. It’s easy to eat on the cheap in Greece.

Backpacking Greece Suggested Budgets

If you’re backpacking Greece, my suggested budget is 40-60 EUR per day. This assumes you’re staying in a hostel, eating cheap food, cooking some of your meals, doing only free activities like hiking and relaxing on the beach, limiting your drinking, and using local transportation to get around. If you’re visiting the Greek islands or traveling during peak season, expect to spend on the higher amount of that. If you plan on drinking, add 5-15 EUR per day to your budget.

On a mid-range budget of 100-130 EUR per day, you can visit some museums and ruins, stay at a private hostel room or Airbnb, eat out more, enjoy some drinks, take the occasional taxi, and rent a bike or scooter to get around.

If you keep your drinking and costly activities down, you can easily do this closer to 100 EUR per day. On the other hand, if you’re staying on one of the more expensive islands like Mykonos or Santorini and drinking a lot, expect to spend closer to 150-180 EUR.

On a “luxury” budget of 235 EUR or more per day, you can stay in a hotel, eat out anywhere you want, drink as much as you want, do paid tours and more expensive activities (like diving), rent a car to get around, and generally enjoy the finer things in life! This is just the ground floor for luxury though. Expect to pay upwards of 50 EUR more per day on the islands.

You can use the chart below to get some idea of how much you need to budget daily, depending on your travel style. Keep in mind these are daily averages – some days you’ll spend more, some days you’ll spend less (you might spend less every day). We just want to give you a general idea of how to make your budget. Prices are in EUR.

Greece Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Greece is affordable. Sure, islands like Santorini and Mykonos are expensive but, for the most part, if you are “keeping it local” you aren’t going to spend a lot of money here. Here are my favorite ways to save money when you travel to Greece:

  • Use the Greek salad/bread rule – If the bread cover is .50 EUR or a Greek salad is less than 7 EUR, the restaurant is cheap. If the cover is around 1 EUR and a salad is 7-8.50 EUR, the prices are average. Anything more than that and the place is expensive. use this rule to figure out how to eat at cheap restaurants.
  • Eat super cheap – Gyros and other street snacks only cost a few euros and can keep you full for 10 EUR per day if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Rent a moped – It’s cheaper than a car and a fun way to see the various towns and cities — especially on the islands. You can usually rent a moped for around 15 EUR per day. Just drive carefully as Greek drivers tend to be aggressive.
  • Get off the beaten path – Greece is a cheap country and even cheaper when you get away from the touristy islands or popular destinations. Head off the beaten path and you usually see prices drop by 30% or more.
  • Book overnight ferries – Greece’s inter-island ferries can get expensive if you are visiting a lot of islands. Taking the overnight ferries can save you up to half off the normal price. Plus, it saves you a night of accommodation. Moreover, if you book the ferries around two months in advance, you can save up to 25% off the cost of your ticket.
  • Get a ferry pass – Eurail has a ferry pass that has 4- and 6-trip options. The only caveat is that you can only take Blue Star and Hellenic Seaways ferries. Those tend to be the larger, slower ferries and, depending on the islands, might require you to connect somewhere. You’ll need to research routes in advance to see if the pass is worth it. I would search routes on FerryHopper to see if it works for you. You can purchase your pass on Eurail (non-EU residents) or Interrail (EU residents).
  • Take public transportation – Buses, while sometimes running on inconvenient schedules, are the best way to get around Greece. Taxis are very expensive so minimize their use whenever you can and stick with the buses.
  • Visit in the off-season – July and August are the most expensive months, so skip the middle of summer if you’re on a budget. Prices will be significantly cheaper.
  • Stay with a local – Couchsurfing is a great way to get a free place to stay and meet locals. There are a ton of hosts throughout the country (I stayed with one in Athens) and it’s my favorite way to get to know the “real” Greece.
  • Buy wine at the store – You can buy a great bottle of wine for around 4 EUR at the store. It’s a lot cheaper than drinking at the bar.
  • Have an ISIC Card – To save on the cost of admission to museums and other tourist attractions, be sure to present a valid student card. The ISIC is typically accepted in places where a foreign student ID is not.
  • Go to museums on their free admission days – Most museums have some days when admission is free. Check the Odysseus Culture website for details as they vary from museum to museum.
  • Get combined tickets – Historical attractions in Greece are often priced so that it’s always a better deal to buy a combined ticket. If the sites you are going to offer one, buy it. It will save you money.
  • Use points if you can – If you have points that can be used for cash, using them to book accommodation can save you a ton of money. This post has more information on how to start collecting and using points and miles
  • Rent a car – Car rentals can be incredibly cheap in Greece. Prices start at just 20 EUR per day when booked in advance. Drivers need to be at least 21 and have had their license for one year. An International Driving Permit is also required.
  • Bring a water bottle – The tap water here is generally safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to save money and reduce your plastic use. LifeStraw is my go-to brand as their bottles have built-in filters to ensure your water is always clean and safe.

Where to Stay in Greece

Greece has something for everything and you can often find small family-run operations on the islands. It’s not hard to even find budget accommodations with nice extra like pools either! Here are my suggested places to stay in Greece:

  • Selina (Athens)
  • Athens Hawks Hostel (Athens)
  • BedBox (Athens)
  • Athens Hub (Athens)
  • Studio Eleni (Mykonos)
  • Caveland (Santorini)
  • Fira’s Backpacker Place (Santorini)
  • Bedspot Hostel (Santorini)
  • Asterolithos Hotel (Santorini)
  • Youth Hostel Plakias (Crete)
  • Rethymno Youth Hostel (Crete)
  • Cocoon City (Crete)
  • Intra Muros (Crete)
  • The Pink Palace (Corfu)
  • Angelica’s Backpacker’s Hostel (Corfu)
  • Francesco’s (Ios)
  • FarOut Beach Club (Ios)
  • FarOut Camping (Ios)
  • Castle View Camping and Bungalows (Sparta)
  • Lakonia Hotel (Sparta)

How to Get Around Greece

View of a bell tower at the end of the busy narrow streets in the city of Corfu, Greece.

Buses – KTEL is the main bus operator in Greece. You can look up schedules and prices online, but their website is pretty outdated and you’re better off booking tickets at the actual bus station. Getting from Athens to Sparta takes around 3.5 hours and costs around 20 EUR, while Athens to Thessaloniki takes around 5.5 hours and costs around 35 EUR. Thessaloniki to Ioannina takes 3.5 hours and is just 13 EUR.

Trains – Train travel in Greece isn’t great. Trains are unreliable and slow and there are only a few routes in the country between Athens and other major cities, like Thessaloniki and Patras. You’re better off driving or taking the bus. However, if you do get the train, a trip from Athens to Thessaloniki takes about 4.5 hours and costs at least 20 EUR.

Ferries – Because Greece has a lot of islands, you have to deal with taking ferries to get around. Expect to spend an average of 35 EUR per trip, though you could spend as little as 12 EUR if the islands are really close together. From Athens, most ferries to the Cyclades cost around 70 EUR.

Taking the overnight ferries can save you up to half off the normal price plus save you a night of accommodation so if you’re not in a rush, book those!

There are many different ferry companies, and most are created equal. High speed ferries or catamarans cost a lot more (book in advance). You can research routes and ticket prices using FerryHopper and .

If you’re ok traveling on the slower ferries and your routes match the available routes, the Eurail/Interrail ferry pass is worth considering as you’ll get discounts with this pass. Search routes on FerryHopper to see if it works for you.

Flying – Flying is a quick and affordable way to get around Greece and between islands (though not all islands have airports). A one-way flight from Athens to Santorini or Mykonos takes less than one hour and costs around 25-35 EUR. Flights can dip to as little as 10 EUR when booked in advance.

Scooter/Quad rentals – Renting a scooter or ATV is a really popular way to discover many parts of Greece, particularly the islands. It lets you explore at your own pace and is quite affordable. Scooter rentals cost between 15-25 EUR per day depending on the location and if it is peak season or off-season. ATVs cost around 30-45 EUR per day.

Car rental – Car rentals here are super affordable, starting at just 20 EUR per day for a multi-day rental. Expect manual transmissions. Drivers need an International Driving Permit before renting as well and need to be at least 21 years old. For the best rental car deals, use Discover Cars

When to Go to Greece

Peak season in Greece is from June-August. Temperatures hover around 33°C (92°F) and popular destinations like Santorini and Mykonos experience a huge influx of visitors. Prices increase during this time as well. But the overall atmosphere and weather are great during this time, so it’s still worth visiting during peak season.

Personally, I think the best time to visit Greece is shoulder season (March-May and September-October). It’s still warm during these times but there aren’t as many crowds and prices are cheaper. It’s also easier to meet locals during this time. Overall, it’s a particularly great time to hang out in the Mediterranean.

Winter is from November to February. It gets cold and tourist crowds thin out considerably. Temperatures vary quite a bit from north to south, with it sometimes dropping to 11°C (52°F) in some places (Athens sometimes gets snow). Many of the islands — particularly Santorini and Mykonos — almost shut down entirely during the off-season. In short, I’d skip a winter visit unless you’re only planning to visit museums.

How to Stay Safe in Greece

Greece is very safe for backpacking and solo travel. Violent attacks are uncommon. Petty crime is about the worst that could happen to you, specifically pickpocketing in Athens, where it is prevalent. Fortunately, Greek police have really cracked down on perpetrators. Nevertheless, be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables out of sight when you’re in markets, on busy streets, or when using public transportation.

Solo female travelers should generally feel safe here, however, the standard precautions apply (never leave your drink unattended at the bar, never walk home alone intoxicated, etc.).

You won’t find a lot of travel scams in the country but read this article on common travel scams to avoid if you’re worried about getting ripped off.

If you go out hiking, always check the weather first. Bring sunscreen, water, and a hat. It can get incredibly hot here!

Be careful when driving as Greek drivers tend to be on the aggressive side and some of the roads aren’t very well maintained.

If you experience an emergency, dial 112 for assistance.

Always trust your gut instinct. Make copies of your personal documents, including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary along to loved ones so they know where you are.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to purchase good travel insurance. Travel insurance protects you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. You can use the widget below to find the policy right for you:

Greece Travel Guide: The Best Booking Resources

These are my favorite companies to use when I travel. They consistently have the best deals, offer world-class customer service and great value, and overall, are better than their competitors. They are the companies I use the most and are always the starting point in my search for travel deals.

  • Skyscanner – Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine. They search small websites and budget airlines that larger search sites tend to miss. They are hands down the number one place to start.
  • Hostelworld – This is the best hostel accommodation site out there with the largest inventory, best search interface, and widest availability.
  • – The best all around booking site that constantly provides the cheapest and lowest rates. They have the widest selection of budget accommodation. In all my tests, they’ve always had the cheapest rates out of all the booking websites.
  • HostelPass – This new card gives you up to 20% off hostels throughout Europe. It’s a great way to save money. They’re constantly adding new hostels too. I’ve always wanted something like this and glad it finallt exists.
  • Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide is a huge online marketplace for tours and excursions. They have tons of tour options available in cities all around the world, including everything from cooking classes, walking tours, street art lessons, and more!
  • The Man in Seat 61 – This website is the ultimate guide to train travel anywhere in the world. They have the most comprehensive information on routes, times, prices, and train conditions. If you are planning a long train journey or some epic train trip, consult this site.
  • Rome2Rio – This website allows you to see how to get from point A to point B the best and cheapest way possible. It will give you all the bus, train, plane, or boat routes that can get you there as well as how much they cost.
  • FlixBus – Flixbus has routes between 20 European countries with prices starting as low 5 EUR! Their buses include WiFi, electrical outlets, a free checked bag.
  • SafetyWing – Safety Wing offers convenient and affordable plans tailored to digital nomads and long-term travelers. They have cheap monthly plans, great customer service, and an easy-to-use claims process that makes it perfect for those on the road.
  • LifeStraw – My go-to company for reusable water bottles with built-in filters so you can ensure your drinking water is always clean and safe.
  • Unbound Merino – They make lightweight, durable, easy-to-clean travel clothing.
  • Top Travel Credit Cards – Points are the best way to cut down travel expenses. Here’s my favorite point earning credit cards so you can get free travel!
  • Ferry Hopper – If you’re looking to book your ferries, this website is an easy way to search the various companies, piece together routes, and book your tickets.
  • Take Walks – This walking tour company provides inside access to attractions and places you can’t get elsewhere. Their guides rock and they have some of the best and most insightful tours in all of Greece.

Greece Travel Guide: Related Articles

Want more info? Check out all the articles I’ve written on Greece travel and continue planning your trip:

The 6 Best Hotels in Athens

The 6 Best Hotels in Athens

The 6 Best Hostels in Athens

The 6 Best Hostels in Athens

Where to Stay in Athens: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

Where to Stay in Athens: The Best Neighborhoods for Your Visit

The Best Walking Tours in Athens

The Best Walking Tours in Athens

Traveling Greece: How Much Does It Cost?

Traveling Greece: How Much Does It Cost?

Fulfilling Childhood Dreams in Crete

Fulfilling Childhood Dreams in Crete

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  • Where To Stay
  • Transportation
  • Booking Resources
  • Related Blogs


Greece Travel Guide

Where blue-domed villages perch on the edge of Aegean islands, and sweeping olive groves surround ancient ruins.

Best time to visit Greece

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Following a Mediterranean climate, Greece’s weather is fantastic, particularly from May - October when the country sees hot, dry summers. Spring and Fall are the best seasons to visit, with mild temperatures, clear skies, and fewer visitors.

Cyclades islands

Santorini travel guide: things to do in santorini, greece, greek island hopping: ultimate greece travel guide, how to rent a car in greece, best travel insurances.

  • Find Hotels via
  • Find Hostels via Hostelworld
  • Find a Rental Car via Sunny Cars
  • Find Flights to Greece via Skyscanner
  • Get a Travel Insurance via Heymondo
  • Book Tours & Attractions via GetYourGuide
  • Book a Bus/Train/Transfer via 12Go
  • Get a Visa via iVisa
  • How to pack light for your trip
  • How to plan your trip our tips

Why is Greece worth visiting?

Greece is a paradise for travelers who want to combine history, island life, and mouthwatering food. Drift on turquoise waters, get lost among ancient ruins, and dine on Greek salads and local olives.

Is Greece cheap to visit?

Greece is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe, so it can have a slightly higher price tag than other vacation spots. However, choose lesser-known islands or off-radar city neighborhoods, and you can still find accommodation for under $30 or a tasty gyros for $3.

Can I drink tap water in Greece?

The tap water in Greece is safe to drink in cities and on popular islands like Santorini or Mykonos. However, on smaller islands, we suggest bringing a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter system. Ask locals for advice on arrival to be on the safe side.

Do I need a visa for traveling in Greece?

Most travelers from the EU, USA, and Canada don’t need a visa for Greece for stays of up to 90 days. Check your country’s entry requirements in advance and make sure to have a valid passport ready for your Greek adventure. 

What language do they speak in Greece?

Expect to hear the melodic tones of the Greek language while on your trip to Greece. This language is hard to master, but don’t worry, as most Greeks in popular vacation destinations speak English. We recommend learning a few Greek phrases so you can connect with the friendly locals on your travels!

Do I need travel insurance for Greece?

Travel insurance is your safety net during your trip to Greece, protecting you from unexpected events. Explore remote ruins, jump into cave pools, and scooter around the Greek islands with total peace of mind!

Is Greece safe?

Greece is generally a very safe destination. However, like all countries, we recommend being aware of pickpockets in touristy areas, keeping an eye on your belongings, and only walking down well-lit streets at night.

What power plug type does Greece have?

Greece primarily uses type C and F plugs, which are two-pin plugs used across Europe. Make sure to bring an adapter with you so you’ve always got your battery charged for photo opportunities!

Why do people love Greece?

Greece is famous for creating the Acropolis, Olympic Games, and democracy, but it’s so much more than that! Among this ancient history are thousands of mesmerizing islands, endless olive groves, and sun-drenched white villages — in one of the sunniest nations in Europe!

Travel to Greece

Greece, a land of ancient history and mouthwatering dishes, welcomes visitors to its glistening turquoise shores and blue-domed villages. Whether it’s gazing in awe at the Acropolis in Athens , savoring zesty cocktails in the bustling beach bars of Mykonos, or driving on clifftop roads in Kefalonia , there is something for every traveler on their vacation in Greece . 

How to plan your trip to Greece

Follow our Greece travel guides to plan an unforgettable trip in this sparkling ocean paradise. There are so many amazing things to do in Greece , including visiting the ancient capital of Athens, rowing through stalactite-filled caves in Kefalonia , or soaking up Aegean Sea views in Santorini .

Are you all about the beach? See the coastal highlights with our Greek Island Hopping travel guide, covering Santorini , Milos , Mykonos, Naxos, and Paros .

Ready for an incredible Greece vacation ? The country has a temperate climate most of the year, which means you can plan your holiday in Greece for most months of the year! However, this is dependent on the kind of activities you want to do and the places you wish to visit.

High Season (June – August): Consider visiting during these months if you want to make the most of Greece’s hot and dry summers. These are the peak summer months for tourists, and it’s easy to see why, with warm temperatures, clear skies, and almost no rainfall. The beaches come to life at this time when locals and travelers alike make the most of the refreshing water for sports, swimming, and snorkeling. This is also the season where nightlife peaks, especially in the famous party islands of Mykonos and Paros . Make sure to book accommodation well in advance if you’re planning your Greece holiday for the summer months.

Shoulder Seasons (April – May / September-October): If you’re traveling on a lower budget and prefer quieter beaches and streets, then the shoulder seasons are generally the best times to visit Greece . During these months, the climate in Greece is still warm and sunny, the tour operators, bars, and restaurants are still open, and the crowds are thinner. Additionally, if you’re planning a Greek Island hopping trip, the ferries will still be operating regularly. 

Visit in the shoulder season if you want to hike or go sightseeing in cities like Athens, as it’s more manageable without the hot summer temperatures. 

Love wine? The harvesting season takes place in early Fall, so visit during this time for wine tastings and grape festivals.

Low Season (November – March): The winter can still be a great time to visit Greece, especially in the coastal areas and islands where there will still be mild temperatures and clear, sunny days. Be aware that in more mountainous regions of the country, temperatures can drop, and you can even experience snow. Pack layers for a winter vacation in Greece !

Whichever season you choose for your Greece holiday , you’ll find a city or island that suits your needs. 

Coastlines and beaches in Greece

Greece has the longest coastline in Europe, with hundreds of paradise islands that pepper the three different bodies of water: the Aegean Sea in the east, the Mediterranean Sea in the south, and the Ionian in the west. With a diverse range of islands, from pebbly shores to sandy horseshoe bays, there’s something to suit every traveler.

Island Hopping: One of the best things to do in Greece is to go island hopping, cruising through the turquoise waters to reach beautiful islands, each one with its own unique personality. 

For the partygoers, head for islands like Mykonos, where you’ll find world-famous beach clubs, legendary DJs, and first-class music festivals. During the summer, people come here to dance until the sun rises, making the most of the relaxing beaches to recover from the night before.

Those looking for relaxation and calm should head for charming Santorini or the natural wonderland of Kefalonia. Santorini, although popular and busy in the summer season, offers the ultimate romance if you know where to go. Stroll its steep white-washed streets, gaze over the sea from panoramic viewpoints, and explore some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole country. Alternatively, head for one of the best places to visit in Greece : Kefalonia. This island remains relatively untouched, home to dramatic clifftop roads, verdant green forested hills, and secluded coves perfect for a crystal clear dip.  

For a bit of everything, Naxos, Paros, and Milos (the Cyclades Islands in the Ionian Sea) offer a mixture of nature and seclusion, as well as some livelier spots with fantastic bars, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.

Whether you’re looking for total zen or an adventurous backpacking trip, the Greek islands will fulfill your vacation dreams!

Food, culture and religion in Greece

Visiting Greece is like stepping into a time capsule to the past as you soak up a tapestry of rich history, ancient architecture, and perfectly preserved landscapes. 

Food: Eating in Greece is more than just consuming food, it’s a feast for the senses and a party for the whole family! People come together to dine on local ingredients and fresh seafood, including famous Greek dishes like moussaka, tzatziki, and souvlaki. With such an abundance of vineyards and olive groves, visitors will have fantastic wine to choose from and fresh salads of cucumber, tomato, and feta — all with a healthy dousing of rich olive oil. As you travel Greece , your taste buds will also be treated to the flavors of the sea, with freshly caught fish taking prime position on restaurant special boards. 

Culture: Greek culture is unlike any other, with Greek mythology and ancient history playing a significant role in daily life, even today. A nation famous for creating the Olympic Games, philosophy, theater, and many other principles that have shaped Western society as we know it, Greece is exceptionally proud of its past, demonstrated by local patriotism throughout the nation. Iconic traditions such as Greek dancing and plate smashing still live on – keep an eye out in the cities and villages, and you might be lucky enough to witness a wedding or celebration party doing these exact things.  

Religion: The majority of the population in Greece follow the religion of Greek orthodoxy. It’s still a devout nation, home to beautiful blue-domed churches, ceremonies, and religious holidays. Easter is a particularly important time for Greeks, when travelers will witness church services at midnight, incredible fireworks, and locals cracking dyed red eggs in honor of the resurrection of Christ.

Why you should travel to Greece

One of Europe’s most beloved vacation destinations, there’s something infectious about Greece that keeps travelers returning again and again. With such diversity, it offers something truly captivating, from dazzling turquoise ocean islands to breathtaking natural parks and awe-inspiring cities. As you go Greek island hopping, sailing from shore to shore, you’ll encounter UNESCO ancient ruins, iconic movie film sets abandoned ghost villages, jaw-dropping ocean caves, blue and white clifftop villages, and much more.

The coastline of Greece is certainly the jewel of the country, home to both pebble and sandy beaches and offering both vibrant nightlife and wild, rugged landscapes. However, among this rural beauty is an ancient Greek civilization, where well-preserved Greek theaters and temples sit adjacent to yacht-studded shores and cosmopolitan cities. 

As you travel Greece , expect to not only fall in love with the country’s landscapes and buildings but the warm hospitality and smiles of the Greeks themselves. Everyone is eager to help, offering a wave, a glass of ouzo, or a cheer as they point backpackers in the direction of the nearest hostel, history-lovers towards Athen’s Acropolis, or sunseekers to the top beaches on the island. 

Safety and travel advice Greece

Greece is generally a very safe travel destination, but it’s essential to stay informed about safety measures and travel tips when planning your vacation.

Natural Disasters: Greece is not prone to major natural disasters, however, the occasional earthquake may occur. Additionally, as the earth’s temperature rises, forest fires have grown more common in Greece, often taking place during the hot and dry summer months. During this time, it’s a good idea to stay updated by following the local news and weather, as areas may be subject to evacuation. To stay updated on potential emergencies, check your government information online before travel.

Crime and Safety in Greece: Greece has a low crime rate. However, as in all busy tourist areas, petty crimes like pickpocketing can happen. We recommend leaving valuables at home, keeping an eye on your belongings, and avoiding walking down poorly-lit streets with few people late at night. 

Traffic and Driving: Greece does have a reputation for aggressive driving, so exercise caution when renting a car , particularly when driving on narrow mountainous roads that may be well-known by locals but are unfamiliar to you. Take it slow, wear a seatbelt, and download Google Maps offline so you can stay on track even without data or signal.

Travel Insurance: It is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance for your vacation in Greece , ensuring peace of mind in case of unexpected events, such as a canceled flight, missed ferry, or lost luggage. Find the best travel insurance to best suit your needs.

Please Help Support this Guide: When I had to find a way to support my web sites I had 2 choices. I could use modern advertising technology like most sites use with pay-per-click ads all over my pages and spy-ware that collects information and posts the ads each individual reader is most likely to click on. Or I could choose to promote a handful of travel agents, and a reliable hotel booking system and keep my sites relatively ad free. No obnoxious pop-ups, fake news articles, or gathering of information through cookies. I chose the second. If you book through the links on my site I will receive a commission which supports my work. But if you book elsewhere, (like Air BnB for example) but still find my website useful I ask you to  send a donation through Paypal or you can use Venmo at If you prefer to send a check you can email me . Any amount helps. Thank you for your support!

You can also my find my travel tips for your Greek holidays on Tiplr

best greece travel guides

Important Note : There is a lot of information on my website and it is all free to anyone whether you booked through the travel agents, the hotels or Air BnB. But it is the commissions I get from hotel bookings on my affiliate website with that supports this website and enable me to continue doing the work I enjoy.  So my request to you is that if you are using other sites to book hotels and apartments and using my websites for everything else and are thankful for the information you have received from it please think about donating whatever you can afford so I can continue to be creative. If you are appreciative of all the free information you get on my websites you can send a donation through Paypal Or you can use Venmo at .

You can read what others have said about my Greece Guides and the travel agencies and services on my Testimonials Pages

Remember if you have any questions about services, itineraries, problems or anything having to do with Greece or if you are looking for something on the site and can't find it you can e-mail me and I will respond quickly. There is no fee. All info is Free.  I hope to see you in Greece! Matt Barrett

Donate to the Starfish Foundation of Lesvos

Starfish Foundation, Lesvos

Help Support Matt's Greece Guides Do you enjoy using my site? Have you found it entertaining as well as useful? If so please show your appreciation by booking hotels through the travel agencies and the links found on my Hotels of Greece site. The small commission I make on the bookings enable me to keep working and in most cases you won't find them any cheaper by searching elsewhere. You can find hotels in Greece by location, price, whether or not it has a swimming pool, and see photos and reviews by using this link to which also contributes to my website when you book.

Join Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guides Group on Facebook for comments, photos and other fun stuff. If you enjoy this website please share it with your friends on Facebook. If you are appreciative of all the free information you get on my websites you can send a donation through Paypal or Venmo

Introduction: My Greece Websites

Athens survival guide, greek island guides.

Greek Island Guide

Index of My Greece Websites

best greece travel guides

Using Travel Agents in Greece

Greece hotel search and automated booking.

best greece travel guides

You can also use my old hotel directory at which I completely redid in 2021 while I was waiting for travel to begin again. More on that below. And in 2022 I completed my Book Hotels in Greece Directly page for those who want to avoid a middleman and book directly with hotel and villa owners.

Important Note : There is a lot of information on my website and it is all free to anyone whether you booked through the travel agents, the hotels or Air BnB. But it is the commissions I get from hotel bookings on my affiliate website with that supports this website and enable me to continue doing the work I enjoy. So my request to you is that if you are using other sites to book hotels and apartments and using my websites for everything else and are thankful for the information you have received from it please think about donating whatever you can afford so I can continue to be creative. If you are appreciative of all the free information you get on my websites you can send a donation through Paypal

Acropolis from Lykavettos


This year I got so many e-mails from people nervous about taking a ferry to the islands that I made a page of islands with bridges, islands with very short ferry rides, and places on the mainland that are just like being on the islands. See Greek Islands for Ferry-phobics

My Guide to the Peloponnesos has been rewritten and new photos added with several new towns and a lot more wineries.  Matt's Greek Archaeology Page  is where I have gathered every page that has anything to do with archaeological sites, museums, history, licensed guides and historical and archaeological tours. Also close to the same topic I have a new index of Licensed Tour Guides and why you should use them.  I have also revisited and updated my Santorini Guide , re-wrote and added new photos to my Pelion Guide. If you are a gay or lesbian wondering what the scene is in Athens and the islands the news is all good and you can read about it on Alexia Amvrazi's Gay-Athens/Gay-Greece . Alexia also recently contributed  Healing Arts in Athens: Yoga, Pilates, Accupuncture, Shiatsu and more . And with the help of Diana Farr Louis who wrote about Southern Evia and the Joys of Karystos , I finally have a somewhat completed Guide to Evia . Am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah, I added some stuff to Marc Dubin's Guide to Ipiros and I wrote a page about Metsovo which was probably my favorite place of 2018. See Matt's Metsovo Page . And finally... I got together with some of the ladies in my Greece Travel Facebook Group and did a page called  Is Greece Safe for Women which focuses on women traveling alone in Greece. And when I discovered that I had somehow become a senior citizen while I was not paying attention I took lemons and made lemonade with Greece Travel for Seniors . For those who are interested in adventure, eco-tourism, hiking, mountain climbing, kayaking, food tours and more, see  Trekking, Hiking, Adventure, Cultural and Alternative Travel in Greece which is a work in progress. Finally, for those who are going to Paris on the way to or from Greece I have rewritten and added new photos and a new look to Matt's Paris Guide . Like my Greece pages it is also free of obnoxious pop-up ads and has no spy-ware or cookies.

Santorini Hotel

Matt's Best Hotels in Greece

My biggest project of 2020-21 was the facelift and reorganizing I did to Matt's Greek Hotel Guide which I am quite proud of. I basically went through every hotel on every island, village, town and city in Greece, and picked out the best ones, in all categories, with a representative photo (thousands of them) which link to more photos, descriptions, guest reviews, maps and booking information. Some of these can be booked through the travel agents or directly with the hotels, but the vast majority go through my affiliate pages. Not only were their prices the best, but in 2020 when Covid caused thousands of cancellations, the people who had booked through these pages had no problems getting refunds because their cards were never charged. (Credit cards are used to save reservations. You actually pay at the hotel.) So please have a look at and if you are planning on not using a travel agency consider using this site to find and book hotels. Not only will you be getting the best deals at the best hotels but you will also be supporting this website. Remember to save it to your favorite places.

At the end of 2021 I completed my Book Hotels in Greece Directly page made up of hotels, villas, apartments and holiday homes that can be booked directly with the hotels themselves. If you don't want to use a Greek travel agent or you have discovered that many hotels on don't have availability, then you can use this page to go directly to the hotel's booking system.

I have also made a page of Budget Hotels in Athens , another for Youth Hostels in Greece and also a page for Campsites in Greece .

New Economical Greece Packages

Santorini, Greece

Aegean Blue: Athens-Naxos-Santorini

best greece travel guides

Cabin Charter Cruises of the Greek Islands

Sailing in Greece

Far from the Maddening Crowd-Stay at the Beach in Athens!

best greece travel guides

Matt's Greece Travel Blog and Facebook Group

New or updated greece travel information.

best greece travel guides

Support the People of Lesvos: Visit Lesvos

Amarandi in Sigri, Lesvos

Winter in Greece

best greece travel guides

Easter and other Important Holidays in Greece

Easter in Greece

Apokreas is a two week Carnival Season just like New Orleans and Rio that comes to an end with Clean Monday and Lent 40 days before Easter Sunday. This is a great time to be in Greece too with parties and parades and lots of eating and drinking in Athens, Patras, Skyros and just about every island with a decent winter population. 40 days after Orthodox Easter is the Agios Pnevmatos Holiday , similar to our Memorial Day weekend but this is celebrating the Holy Spirit. The hotels and ferries to the islands are usually full that weekend, going there on Friday and returning on Monday or Tuesday. In August everyone leaves Athens for the villages and the islands and on August 15th it is the Celebration of the Panagia (Virgin Mary) and finding hotels or space on the ferries during this period is almost impossible if you wait too long. Many people stay in Athens during this period because even though it is hot, it is practically empty, by Athens standards at least. See also Holidays in Greece

Traveling with Children in Greece

Greece with Children

Getting Married or Honeymooning in Greece

Santorini honeymoon

Greek Ferry Boats

best greece travel guides

George the Famous Taxi Driver

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Driving in Greece

best greece travel guides

Sailing in Greece

Sailboat, Greek islands

Greece Sail Cruises and Charters

The authentic way to sail the Greek islands with Captain Alex and his comfortable traditional wooden sailing yachts on the Aegean and the Ionian Seas. Rent a cabin or the entire boat for you and your family and friends. These beautiful boats are large enough to accommodate 16 passengers comfortably and offer several itineraries that will allow you to visit the different island chains when they each have the best weather. Or you can charter the entire boat and go wherever you want. See their website.

GM Sailboat and Yacht Charters

Group discounts, suggestions for interesting tours in greece...., fantasy travel's greek island packages, budget tours.

Many people write that they want to go to Greece on a very meager budget, but they are nervous about doing all their hotels, and ferry bookings on their own. They would like to stay in economical hotels but the thought of trying to figure out the metro, buses and taxis scares them a little. So I asked Fantasy Travel to put together a 10-day package for people who think they can't afford to go to Greece. They came up with something pretty special that includes 3 days each in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini, all transfers, breakfast, ferry tickets and a one day tour of Delphi or the one day Saronic cruise for as low as 62 euros a day per person. And everything except lunch and dinner is taken care of. Even entry fees at the archaeological sites are included. See my Budget Travel site and Fantasy Travel's Special Offers Page .

Weekend in Athens

Greece Cartoons: While playing with my camera one day, (a Sony Cybershot DSC-HX20V), I discovered that if I combined two settings I came up with a way to make my photos look like comics and my friends look like comic book characters. At first I began posting them as they were, but then I decided that if I could add word balloons my photos really would be like comics. All I needed was to think of something funny to say in each one, which is not as easy as it sounds. Well you can decide whether or not they are funny by going to my Greece Cartoons Page

Also take a one minute spin with my video All My Friends from Greece . It's a commercial I would make if I were the head of the Greek National Tourist Organization. I wrote the song and sing and play it with some of my rock and roll pals.

Dave's Travel Pages

Greek Island Hopping | Greece Travel Ideas | Bicycle Touring

Greece Travel Guides – Greek Mainland and Greek Islands 2024

In these Greece travel guides, I share my local knowledge about travel in Greece to help you plan a perfect Greek vacation.

Greece Travel Guides - Everything you need to plan your trip to Greece

Guides to the Greek Islands and Mainland Greece

Hi, My name's Dave, and welcome to these Greek travel blogs and guides!

I've been living in Greece for over six years, and during that time, have traveled all over the country.

Dave from Dave's Travel Pages in Kimolos island, Greece

I've cycled around the Peloponnese , gone island hopping in the Cyclades , spent months exploring Athens , and have visited most of the major archaeological sites and places of interest .

In addition to spending a lot of time traveling in Greece, I've also written hundreds of travel blog posts about the country.

Visit Greece

Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Figuring out how to travel around Greece, and what to see and do isn't always easy though.

The aim of this page, is to help you find what you are looking for a little more easily, so that you too can enjoy Greece as much as I enjoy living here.

On this page, you'll find the most important Greece travel guides which you read by clicking through on the orange link.

If you can't seem to quite find what you are looking for, feel free to use the search bar at the top of the page. If you haven't already, sign up to my newsletter list so I can deliver everything you need to know about Greece directly to you!

Where to travel in Greece

Greece may be a small country when compared to others, but the sheer number of regions and islands make seeing it all quite a challenge! With ancient ruins, excellent beaches, and a culture stretching back thousands of years, and do you choose the best places to visit?

In order to get you started, I've included links to my guides to the main regions of Greece below.

  • The Greek Islands (Over 230 inhabited, and thousands of smaller ones!)
  • 10 Largest Greek islands
  • The Peloponnese (An area rich in beauty, history and culture)
  • Meteora (Such a fascinating landscape!)
  • Thessaloniki – (The second biggest city in Greece)

Enjoying a sunset meal at the winery in Sikinos island

Why travel to Greece?

Greece appeals to a wide variety of people. Whether you are an island lover, history buff, culture vulture, or outdoor enthusiast, there's somewhere in Greece for you!

Foodies in particular will quickly fall in love with Greek food, and you'll find that restaurants offer amazing quality meals at very reasonable prices.

You might already know a little about Greece's history and some of the islands, and this has made you want to go to Greece. There's certainly a lot more about Greece you might be unaware of though.

Take a look at these blog posts for some inspiration on what might be worth visiting and where to travel in Greece:

  • UNESCO sites in Greece
  • What is Greece famous for?
  • 10 Amazing historical places in Greece
  • Why go to Greece?
  • Best Tours of Greece

Walking up the Acropolis in Athens

Greece Travel Itineraries

As you can imagine, there's an almost endless variety of vacation itineraries for Greece you could come up with. How you decide to explore Greece is really up to you!

Here's a few suggestions which seem to be popular with readers planning to travel Greece.

  • 7 Days in Greece
  • 10 x 10 Day Greece Itineraries
  • 2 Week in Greece (Athens – Santorini – Crete – Rhodes)
  • Road trips in Greece
  • Driving adventures in Greece
  • Road trip in Crete
  • Santorini Island Hopping

One day in Santorini - things to do

Useful Travel Posts About Greece

Here's a few more blogs you may find useful in planning your trip to Greece:

  • Best time to visit Greece
  • Money in Greece  
  • How to travel in Greece
  • Things to know before traveling to Greece
  • Greek coffee culture

And now, a few more guides that may help you travel Greece!

I've literally written hundreds of guides to Greece now, and it's impossible to list them all here.

Instead, I've listed what I consider to be the core travel blogs about Greece in Europe, each one of which links out to other related articles.

Greece Travel Guides

best greece travel guides

Greece Itinerary: 7 Days in Greece for First Time Visitors

If this is your first time to Greece, the chances are you might be interested in the classic Athens - Santorini - Mykonos itinerary. If so, this travel guide explains the best way to go about it.

best greece travel guides

Ultimate Athens Guide - Plan Your Trip To Athens

Everything you need to know about planning the Athens section of your Greece vacation in one place. From how to get from the airport to the centre, to what to see and do, this complete Athens guide is essential reading before visiting the city.

best greece travel guides

2 Days in Athens - Things to see in Athens Greece

This is my most popular guide to Athens, and the title says it all. Rather than attempting to squeeze every single possible thing into a 2 day itinerary, this takes things at a relaxed pace. It's easily doable, and enables you to see the essential highlights of Athens in 2 days.

best greece travel guides

The Best Athens Hotels Near Acropolis - Ideally Located For Sightseeing

If you only plan to be in Athens for a couple of days, staying at one of the hotels near the Acropolis makes sense. You are centrally located and nearby to all the main highlights of the city. Here, I've picked the best hotels near the Acropolis in Athens.

best greece travel guides

Top 5 Museums in Athens - Must Visit Museums in Athens, Greece

Athens has over 100 museums, and I have nearly visited them all. Clearly, this is beyond the scope of visitors to the city who may have just a few days to explore. Here's my top 5 museums in Athens to make your life easier.

best greece travel guides

Day Trips From Athens Greece | Athens Day Trips to Delphi, Sounion and more

Athens is ideally situated as a base to take several day trips to important UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Delphi and Epidaurus. Other potential day trips from Athens include the Temple of Poseidon, the Saronic Islands, Meteora and Mycenae.

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Santorini Travel Blog - Plan your perfect Santorini itinerary

Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. As such, you'll want to take a little time in planning your stay there. This in-depth guide to Santorini includes when to go, where to stay, and what to do.

best greece travel guides

Santorini Itinerary: 3 Days in Santorini Greece For A Dream Vacation

Santorini is the most visited Greek island, drawing in people attracted to the air of romance and beautiful surroundings. You've probably seen those photos of whitewashed buildings and blue domed churches. What else is there to see and do though? This Greece travel guide to 3 days in Santorini will give you a good base from which to build up your own travel itinerary.

best greece travel guides

How To Book A Santorini Hotel Without Breaking The Bank

Santorini has a reputation as being something of an expensive destination. If you'd like to visit Santorini without spending a fortune, these simple but insightful travel tips for booking a hotel in Santorini will help.

best greece travel guides

Hiking from Fira to Oia in Santorini - 2019 Guide to Walk from Fira to Oia

There is a well marked and enjoyable walking route you can follow between Fira and Oia. Anyone with a reasonable level of fitness will enjoy the hike as it winds through villages on a coastal route that takes in amazing views from the Caldera. Find out more in this guide to hiking from Fira to Oia in Santorini.

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10 Fun Things To Do In Mykonos island Greece

Start planning the Mykonos part of your trip to Greece with these ideas of things to see and do.

best greece travel guides

Things to do in Naxos Greece - The Best Naxos Beaches and more

Looking for a more family-friendly version of Mykonos? Do you want to visit an island with great beaches, authentic culture, and tasty food? Naxos is calling you....

best greece travel guides

Milos Travel Guide - Essential information for your Milos holidays

Many Greek islands claim to have the best beaches in Greece. Few come as close as Milos to backing up the claim! A popular island with couples, Milos has all the charm of the classic Cycladic Island with none of the crowds.

best greece travel guides

Patmos, Greece - The Island of the Apocalypse

A guide to the Greek island of Patmos. Famous for the Cave of the Apocalypse and Monastery, there is a lot more to this quiet Greek island than meets the eye. It attracts the type of people who appreciate where they are, and want to taste good food, spend time on great beaches, and want to relax in a friendly environment.

best greece travel guides

Crete Travel Blog - Plan your trip to Crete here

Crete is almost a country in itself, and so it is difficult to know where to start when planning a trip there! My Greece travel guides to Crete should be a good starting point though.

best greece travel guides

Best things to do in Crete, Greece - What to do in Crete on a road trip

Crete is the perfect Greek island to take a road trip. You can pick off the major attractions in a couple of weeks, but it will still leave you with that feeling there is a lot more to see. Which there is of course! Here's my highlights of a 2 week road trip around Crete.

best greece travel guides

Palace of Knossos in Crete | Visit Knossos and enter the Minotaur's lair!

Every first time visitor to Crete is going to want to visit Knossos. Home to the legendary Minotaur, and possibly the famous Labyrinth itself, it is the most famous archaeological site in Crete. Here are some great tips for visiting the Palace of Knossos.

best greece travel guides

Meteora Monasteries Greece - Legendary landscapes and majestic monasteries

Back over on mainland Greece, Meteora is an area that impresses everyone who visits. Meteora is just about reachable on a day trip from Athens, but I would suggest spending a couple of days in the area. Take your time exploring the area which includes majestic rock formations and centuries old monasteries. This guide to Meteora should provide all the inspiration you need!

best greece travel guides

Things to do in Peloponnese Greece

The Peloponnese is one of the most fascinating regions of Greece to explore. With Venetian Castles, UNESCO sites such as Mycenae, great beaches and stunning landscapes, what isn't there to love? This Greece travel guide to the Peloponnese will help you plan exactly what to see and do.

best greece travel guides

Mycenae - Explore Ancient Greece with Dave's Travel Pages

Ancient Mycenae was one of the most important city states in the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age. There influence stretched far and wide, but along with many other Bronze age civilisations, their society mysteriously collapsed around 1200BC. Today, we have the magnificent ruins of Mycenae, and of course the legends of Troy to entertain us! Find out more about Ancient Mycenae here.

best greece travel guides

Mystras - Byzantine Castle Town and UNESCO Site in Greece

You have probably heard of the word Byzantine, but what do you know about the empire? Have you heard of Mystras, a huge walled city in the Peloponnese? Add it onto you itinerary, as you should spend some time there! Find out more here – A guide to Mystras.

best greece travel guides

Messene - Why you need to visit Ancient Messene in Greece

In my humble opinion, Ancient Messene is one of the most impressive ancient sites in Greece. Often overlooked by people who head to the ‘big name' sites, Messene is a vast complex that requires several hours to walk around. If you are planning a road trip through the Peloponnese, you should include a stop here! Find out more – Ancient Messene in the Peloponnese.

best greece travel guides

Best places to visit in Greece - Road Trip and Vacation Idea in Greece

If you've just gone into overwhelm, and don't know where to start planning a road trip in Greece, don't panic! This guide to road trips in Greece details several different options you might take.

best greece travel guides

2 Weeks in Greece Itinerary: Athens - Santorini - Crete - Rhodes

This 2 week itinerary for Greece is ideal for first time visitors. It takes in the highlights of historic Athens, the beauty of Santorini, revels in the authenticity of Crete and finishes in the wonders of Medieval Rhodes. This guide for 2 weeks in Greece is a good starting point to planning your next vacation!

best greece travel guides

Koroni and Methoni Castles, Greece

I guess it only makes sense that Greece markets its beaches, waters, islands, and Ancient Greek culture as main attractions to the country. There is far more history than that here though, especially in the Peloponnese. Koroni and Methoni castles are two very impressive examples of Venetian fortresses, and you should consider visiting one or the other if you take a vacation in the Peloponnese.

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Ultimate Guide To Greece

It's no wonder that Greece is a popular tourist destination. With its stunning beaches, archaeological sites and charming villages, there is something for everyone in this beautiful country. Our free Greece travel guides will help you plan the perfect vacation to this amazing corner of the world.

8 thoughts on “Greece Travel Guides – Greek Mainland and Greek Islands 2024”

Hi Dave, Just found your site. Great information here! I’m planning a trip in April/May to Northern and Central Greece. I’m planning on a week in Halkidiki and have narrowed it down to Kassandra and Sithonia. I’m not much for crowds and partying anymore and I won’t have a car. Any recommendations of towns I should stay in? Thanks

Hi Cindy, I haven’t spent much time in Halkidiki, so no specific advice to give here. One thought though – April and May is very much the off-season for this area. I’d suggest picking as big a town as possible so that there is more variety of places to eat etc. Some smaller coastal village resort areas may not be fully opened before Easter.

Hi Dave Great website and information!! My husband and I are looking to cycle from Istanbul via northern Greece and into North Macedonia. Do you have any tips or recommendations? We are novice riders so looking for the flatter option where possible and we are riding a tandem. Thanks Kim and Daz

Hi Kim and Daz, Epic trip you have planned there – and on a tandem as well! I’ve only cycled south from Bulgaria to Istanbul in that region, so not much I can advise. There’s not much in the way of avoiding hills in Greece though – probably worth getting in some extra training now!!

Hey Dave, Heading to Greece in early June for the first time and would love to get your opinion on my itinerary.

Athens 2 Nights – land at 9am on day 1 Mykonos 2 Nights – plan to hang by pool/beach after long travel/athens Paros 3 nights Santorini 3 nights athens 1 night & depart

I originally had 3 nights in Mykonos and 2 nights Paros but after a lot of thought, I feel like Paros may be the more relaxed less touristy option.

Hi Stu, Apologies for the late reply – I thought I had answered this one already! The itinerary looks sound to me! Definitely a good option to extend in Paros rather than Mykonos in my opinion. You can also take a day trip to Antiparos from Paros (try an evening trip if possible as it has a great nightlife atmosphere).

Aloha Dave, Really enjoy your travel pages! I’m planning a 23 day trip to my homeland in September 2021, Covid permitting. My ancestors hail from the Sparta area, it’s the 200 year celebration of Greek independence, 50 years since I’ve been to Greece, and 20 year anniversary. I can’t think of a better time to visit. I need advice on planning my driving trip to the Peloponnese. We are active 60-something surfers from Hawaii, eager to see the world. Please advise Day 1-5 Explore Athens, Cape Souinon, maybe boat to Hydra, Day 6 Take train to Meteora overnight Day 7 P/U car@ Athens airport drive to Galaxidi Day 8 Explore Delphi, drive to Olympia maybe overnight somewhere before Olympia Day 9 Explore Olympia, drive to Stemitsiana/ Demitsiana Day 10-12 Sparta/Mystras Day 12-14 Drive to Kalamata or Phylos for base for Methoni/Koroni castles Day 14 Drive to Agios Nicholas, overnight Day 15 Explore coast Aeropoli to Gythio Day 15-17 Explore Gythio, Vathia, coast Day 17 Drive to Monmevasia, overnight Day 18 Drive coast to Pavlopetri/ Elephonisis/ Neapoli overnight somewhere?. Day 19-21 Nafphilo, Epidarvos, Methane Peninsula Day 22-23 Drive back to Athens airport via Nemea, Corinth Canal, Acrocorinth

Whew, I’m exhausted just writing this down. Maybe scratch Meteora and Olympia completely and do a clockwise tour starting in Nafphilo and hitting Delphi on the way back to the airport from the Athens side. Still would like to fit in Demitsiana somewhere. Thank you for you time and patience, Aloha, Heidi

That sounds like a great itinerary! The Meteora part is one potentially long journey that throws things a little. That said, it is a fantastic area! I would be tempted to sacrifice an Athens day to give you a full day in Meteora.

As you plan your itinerary, if you have a choice, spend more time at Delphi than Olympia. Delphi is a much more interesting site overall. There’s also very cheap accommodation to be found in Delphi town.

On the drive down from Olympia, try to squeeze in a quick side-trip to Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae . It’s a ‘hidden’ UNESCO World Heritage site!

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Embark on your own Greek odyssey: The ultimate Travel Guide to Greece

With a historical heritage spanning millennia, shimmering beaches (each more idyllic than the last), fresh cuisine that tastes simultaneously indulgent and healthy, and a warm, welcoming culture beckoning to be embraced, it’s no wonder that Greece is one of our favorite travel destinations. When you join us on one of our Greece tours , you’ll experience all of the diverse beauty, fascinating history, and unrivaled hospitality of this sunny Mediterranean country up close.

“While visiting Greece, I loved learning about Western Civilization and the birthplace of democracy, theater, [and] the Olympic Games,” said traveler Tonya after returning from our Grand Tour of Italy & Greece . “It was amazing visiting and learning about ancient history and ruins. I loved their culture and food and gorgeous mountains and landscapes. The best trip ever.”

Read on for our ultimate travel guide to Greece, including things to see, places to visit, and tips for traveling to Greece.

The basics The best time to go Cities to visit What to see What to eat and drink What to do Souvenirs to buy What to pack

Greece travel guide basics

Currency: The euro

Language: Greek is the language spoken throughout Greece, although many people speak some English, especially in the larger cities. However, many signs outside of cities do not include English translations and are written in the Greek alphabet, as traveler Cristol noted when she returned from our Greece’s Cyclades Islands: Naxos & Paros tour : “Everyone in Greece seemed to speak at least some English… English is prevalent, but sign-reading is a different issue, as many outside Athens are not in the Latin alphabet.” One of our best Greece travel tips? Jot down a few key words or phrases and enlist your Tour Director whenever you need help deciphering something.

UNESCO-listed sites: Greece is home to 19 UNESCO-listed sites, including the Acropolis in Athens, the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Meteora, the Archaeological Site of Olympia, and the Old Town of Corfu.

Best way to get around: The best way to get around the major cities and historical sites is on foot so that you’ll have access to hidden-gem neighborhoods and off-the-beaten-path ruins. We’re also partial to ferries and catamarans for a different perspective when [touring the Greek islands] (/guided-tours/greece-cyclades-islands-naxos-paros). When you join us on a trip to Greece , you and your fellow travelers will move from one location to the next together on a private coach.

Fun fact: Many villages in Greece, especially on the islands, don’t use formal street addresses. Instead, they’re identified by their proximity to landmarks—for example, “the house at the end of the street across from the signpost.”

best greece travel guides

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Best Greek islands to visit in your lifetime

Book your individual trip , stress-free with local travel experts

  • best-islands-greece

written by Nick Edwards

updated 27.02.2023


Greece offers well over two hundred inhabited islands of all shapes and sizes, set like gems in the sparkling Ionian and Aegean seas. It can be hard to pick which ones to visit on your trip. Former resident and Rough Guide to Greece author Nick Edwards picks the best Greek islands to visit.

1. Crete: one of the best Greek islands for archaeology

2. milos: the island with the most beautiful beaches, 3. pátmos: perfect for spirituality, 4. lefkada: best greek island for ocean activity, 5. lésvos: the island with a little bit of everything, 6. skiathos: an ideal mix of relaxation & nightlife.

  • 7. Skopelos: Greece's greenest island

8. Zákynthos: best of Greek Islands to visit with family

9. sérifos: one of the best greek islands for a calm stay, 10. náxos: the happiest of greek islands, 11. rhodes: one of the best greek islands for exploring the mediterranean sea, 12. corfu: an island with a beautiful, lush landscape.

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to the Greek Islands , your essential guide for visiting Greek islands.

When planning your Greek holiday, take a look at our list of tips for travelling in Greece .

Tailor-made travel itineraries for Greece, created by local experts

The Historical and Mythological Cyclades islands

10 days  / from 2657 USD

The Historical and Mythological Cyclades islands

The Cyclades islands include two of the most famous Greek Islands: Mykonos and Santorini. Visit these and some of the smaller, quieter, islands. With white washed houses, narrow cobbled streets, blue domed roofs and stunning beaches, they are what Greece is all about.

A secluded villa stay on Mainland Greece

9 days  / from 2246 USD

A secluded villa stay on Mainland Greece

Stay in a secluded private villa with magnificent views to the sea and explore this beautiful corner of Mainland Greece with your own rental car. Under the impressive Mt Taygetos in Southern Peloponnese, the region of Mani will give you a snapshot of authentic Greece.

Along the Coast of Crete: from Heraklion to Platanias

10 days  / from 2030 USD

Along the Coast of Crete: from Heraklion to Platanias

As Greece's largest island, Crete's culture and atmosphere is distinctly different from mainland Greece. Thousands of years of unique culture and rich history complement the island's untamed natural beauty. Explore Crete at your own pace with this unique self-drive trip!

Tailor-made trips for   Greece

As Greece’s largest island, Crete is something of an all-rounder. Crete boasts the dramatic White Mountains, kilometres of fine beaches, the delightful Samaria Gorge and several interesting cities, not least the island capital of Iraklion. For anyone interested in archaeology, however, it’s the obvious place to combine the joys of an island with a variety of ancient remains to rival the mainland.

Just 5km outside of Iraklion lies Knossos , the island’s preeminent ancient site, with its grand, second millennium BC Minoan palace, where King Minos once kept the legendary Minotaur. The layout of the interconnected halls and rooms is truly labyrinthine and much of the palace amazingly well preserved.

Here you can marvel at superb ancient art, such as the famous dolphin fresco. Iraklion’s archaeological museum, meanwhile, is also one of the country’s finest, with a host of fascinating Minoan treasures. East along the coast, Malia Palace is another great site from the same era.

A fine fresco in Knossos Palace, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

A fine fresco in Knossos Palace, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Other star Minoan attractions near the south coast are the Palace of Phaestos, which enjoys a splendid hillside location and view of Mount Psiloritis, and the smaller remains at Ayia Triada.

In the same region, the ruined capital of a Roman province that encompassed Crete and a chunk of north Africa can be seen at Gortys. Further afield the Dhiktean Cave and Palace of Zakros are yet more ancient sites to be enjoyed.

If a beach holiday is what you're looking for in Crete, explore our guide to the best beaches in Crete .

Where to stay on Crete:

  • For families: Corinna Mare
  • For peaceful and stunning surroundings: Kavos Hotel & Suites

Find more accommodation options to stay in Crete

Despite being one of the lower profile Cyclades , most beach connoisseurs rate Milos as one of the best Greek islands. Perhaps that is not so surprising, thanks to its volcanic nature and horseshoe shape, it boasts an impressive seventy-five beaches, yet is barely 20km across.

Rarely crowded except in the height of peak season, Milos has a laidback feel and offers plenty of choices in accommodation and eating.

One of the best beaches on the south coast is sandy Paleohóri, gently heated by underground thermal currents and linked to a second strand, hemmed in by colourful cliffs, via a tunnel through the rock. The headland that encompasses the northern settlements of Adhámas and Plaka is punctuated by a variety of coves.

The long sandy stretch at Pollonia in the northeast is shaded by tamarisks. It is the rugged west coast, however, that offers the purest beauty and most undeveloped beaches of Triadhes, Ammoudharaki and Kleftiko, the latter accessible only by boat.

Get to know the most exotic island in the Aegean with this tailor-made trip to Milos . Volcanic rocks paint the beaches red, pink and orange, white rock formations, emerald green waters and caves eroded by the sea, are steeped in stories of pirates. Milos is truly unique.

Where to stay on Milos:

  • For budget stays: Hotel Eleni
  • For beach location: Artemis Seaside Resort

Find more accommodation options to stay in Milos

Sarakiniko beach in beautiful island of Milos, Greece © leoks/Shutterstock

Sarakiniko beach on the beautiful island of Milos - one of the best Greek islands © leoks/Shutterstock

Given the ever-present significance of religion in Greece, diminutive Pátmos is regarded as one of the best Greek islands. It’s where St John holed up and received the visions that he dictated to his disciple Prohoros as the Revelation, the final book of the New Testament.

Hike up early in the morning to the cave where this took place. It's now enclosed in an eleventh-century chapel. Here you'll have the best chance of getting the place to yourself and even being able to rest your head in the niche where the saint laid his. Gazing out across the sea to the surrounding islands is enough to get even hard-nosed cynics feeling spiritual.

Monastery St. John, Patmos Island, Greece

Monastery St. John, Patmos Island, Greece © leoks/Shutterstock

Further up the hill, another eleventh-century monastery, that of Ayiou Ioannou Theologou, commands more wonderful views and is home to a community of monks. Much of the solid structure is off-limits to visitors but the church is delightful.

Likewise, the museum displays some dazzling Orthodox paraphernalia, dark and brooding medieval icons, and some parchment manuscripts. Needless to say, there are some fine sandy beaches and plenty of secular delights to detain the visitor back down at sea level.

Where to stay in Pátmos:

  • For luxury: Patmos Aktis Suites & Spa
  • For charming atmosphere: Skala Hotel

Find more accommodation options to stay in Pátmos

Mid-sized Lefkada has one of Europe’s largest windsurfing centres (near its southern tip) and a gleaming new marina on the edge of the island capital. This makes it one of the best Greek islands for those who love to spend time on the water. It also boasts easy accessibility, being joined to the mainland by a causeway.

Look out for dramatic mountain scenery and a few of the most stunning beaches in the Ionian Sea on its west coast. In addition, Lefkada Town is an attractive and cultural place, with some fine old churches.

Lefkada island, Ionian Sea, Greece © Heracles Kritikos/Shutterstock

Lefkada island, Ionian Sea, Greece © Heracles Kritikos/Shutterstock

Yachties flock here for the great facilities at the marina, the large dry dock at Vlyho and the ease of mooring at the various bays on the east coast, such as Dessimi, Rouda and Syvota. The satellite islands opposite the main resort of Nydri constitute good sailing territory too, while Nydri itself offers the usual range of watersports.

Meanwhile, at Lefkada’s southern end, the bay that stretches from Vassiliki to Pondi draws a youthful crowd. They take advantage of the favourable wind patterns and shallow water that are ideal for windsurfing. At any one time, you might count literally hundreds of colourful sails flapping in the breeze.

Where to stay in Lefkada:

  • For sea view: Florena Hotel
  • For calm stays: Katerina Lefkada

Find more accommodation options to stay in Lefkada

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Souvlaki © Shutterstock

The third-largest island behind Crete and Evvia, versatile Lésvos (often referred to as Mytilini after its capital) is, surprisingly, little visited. Mytilini itself is a large town with a rather grand seafront, an extensive fortress and several absorbing museums, plus plenty of places to eat and drink.

Among the smaller towns that impress architecturally, Molyvos (aka Mithymna) and Ayiassos stand out. The former sits on a north coast headland crowned by an imposing castle. The latter straddles a mountainside valley and has a warren of streets around the picturesque central church. Various other beautiful monasteries are dotted around the island.

The coastline is blessed with numerous excellent beaches. None are better than the 9 km-long stretch of pebble and sand at Vatera on the south coast. But there are more geological features than just rock and sand. The large shallow Gulf of Kalloni includes salt marshes that are a birdwatcher’s dream. Over in the west there’s a petrified forest; and thermal spas punctuate the eastern half.

Lesvos island, view of town Molyvos (Mithymna) with old castle above © leoks/Shutterstock

Lesvos island, view of town Molyvos (Mithymna) with old castle above © leoks/Shutterstock

As the home of Greece’s most highly rated ouzo, there are a fair few lauded distilleries, such as Varvayianni and Samara. Yet the island also produces great wines, such as Methymneos, and olive products.

Finally, there is a strong cultural aspect to Lésvos, which has had a literary reputation since ancient times, as the birthplace of the poets Sappho, Aesop and more recently Elytis. It is also the birthplace of the twentieth-century artists Theriade and Theophilos, who have museums in their honour on the island.

A lot of Sappho’s erotic poetry was addressed towards other women (quite a thing for the sixth century). Her legacy is perpetually sustained at lively Skala Eresou, which draws visitors from all over the world.

Where to stay in Lésvos:

  • For town stays: Lesvion Hotel
  • For romantic stays: Villa Molivos Castle

Find more accommodation options to stay in Lésvos

Undulating green countryside, some fine rural monasteries and a labyrinthine old town notwithstanding, the real business of Skiáthos is beaches: by far the best, if also the busiest, in the Sporades. There are nearly 60 strands, most with fine, pale sand, but still barely enough room for the legions of visitors.

The main road along the south and southeast coasts serves an almost unbroken line of villas, hotels, minimarkets and restaurants. Although they’ve not impinged much on Skiáthos’ natural beauty, they make it difficult to find anything particularly Greek here. But by hiking or using a 4WD vehicle, you can find relative solitude, refreshing vistas and charming medieval monuments in the island’s north.

Lalaria beach, Skiathos, Greece © Shutterstock

Lalaria beach, Skiathos, Greece © Shutterstock

Skiathos Town, the only real population centre on the island, is set on a couple of low hills around a point, with the ferry harbour and new town to the east, and the picturesque old port, with the old town rising above it, in the west.

There are few specific sights in Skiáthos, though the Alexándros Papadiamántis Museum, housed in the nineteenth-century home of one of Greece’s best-known writers, is worth a look.

The peninsula that separates the two harbours, the Boúrtzi, makes for an enjoyable stroll. Surrounded by crumbling defences and a few rusty cannon it is today a peaceful setting for the one-room Maritime Museum, a café with great views, and an open-air municipal theatre, with regular summertime music and drama performances.

Where to stay in Skiathos:

  • For budget stays: Babis
  • For bay location: La Luna Hotel

Find more accommodation options to stay in Skiathos

7. Skopelos: Greece's greenest island

Skopelos is bigger and more rugged than Skiáthos, and its concessions to tourism are lower-key and in better taste, despite a boom in recent years fuelled by the filming here of Mamma Mia!.

Much of the countryside, especially the southwest coast, really is as spectacular as it appears in the movie, with a series of pretty cove beaches backed by extensive pine forests as well as olive groves and orchards of plums. Skópelos Town (Hóra) and Glóssa, the two main towns, are among the prettiest in the Sporades.

Skopelos island, Greece © Shutterstock

Skopelos island, Greece © Shutterstock\

Away from the main roads there’s plenty of walking on Skópelos. Among the better hikes are those east of Skópelos Town, where three historic monasteries, Metamórfosis, Evangelístrias and Prodhrómou stand on the slopes of Mount Paloúki. Near Glóssa, there’s a beautiful 45-minute trail to the renovated village of Palió Klíma, via the island’s oldest settlement, Athéato (Mahalás).

The town beach doesn’t amount to much, but there are a couple of excellent alternatives very close by: towards Stáfylos is a busy road around which cluster many accommodation options; north to Glystéri is less populated.

Hop between the islands of Milos, Naxos, and Amorgos on this romantic tailor-made Greek Island-Hopping Honeymoon . Drive around stunning coastlines, explore mountain villages, visit ancient sites, and luxuriate on golden beaches as you are transfixed by the allure of the Aegean’s turquoise waters.

The Rough Guides to Greece and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Mini Rough Guide to Athens

Where to stay in Skopelos:

  • For stylish stays: Panormos Beach Hotel Skopelos
  • For natural surroundings and views: Mando Beachfront

Find more accommodation options to stay in Skopelos

Zákynthos (Zante), southernmost of the six core Ionian islands, is divided between relative wilderness and indiscriminate commercialization. However, much of the island is still green and unspoilt, with only token pockets of tourism, and the main resorts seem to be reaching maximum growth without encroaching too much on the quieter parts.

The biggest resort is Laganás, on Laganás Bay in the south, a 24-hour party venue that doesn’t stop for breath during the busy summer season. There are smaller, quieter resorts north and south of the capital, and the southerly Vassilikós peninsula has some of the best countryside and beaches, including exquisite Yérakas.

Navagio beach with shipwreck and motor boat on Zakynthos island in Greece © Samot/Shutterstock

Navagio beach with shipwreck and motorboat on Zakynthos island in Greece © Samot/Shutterstock

The island still produces fine wines, such as the white Popolaro, as well as sugar-shock-inducing mandoláto nougat, whose honeys weetened form is best.

The town, like the island, is known as both Zákynthos and Zante. The town stretches beyond the length of the wide and busy harbour. Its main section is bookended by the grand, recently renovated Platía Solomoú at the north, and the church of Áyios Dhionýsios, patron saint of the island, at the south.

Neighbouring Kefalonia also has a lot to offer. Read our guide to the best things to do in Kefalonia and perhaps you'll find inspiration to visit the place in question.

Where to stay in Zákynthos:

  • For couples: Balcony Hotel
  • For luxury: Arkadia Hotel

Find more accommodation options to stay in Zákynthos

Sérifos has long languished outside the mainstream of history and modern tourism. Many would-be visitors are deterred by the apparently barren, hilly interior, which, with the stark, rocky coastline, makes Sérifos appear uninhabited until the ferry turns into postcard-picturesque Livádhi Bay. This element of surprise continues as you slowly discover a number of lovely beaches around the island.

Sérifos is one of the best Greek islands for serious walkers, who can head along documented paths for several small villages in the under-explored interior, plus some isolated coves for swimming. Many people still keep livestock and produce their own tawny-red wines, which are an acquired taste.

Windmills of Greece. Serifos island, Cyclades © Shutterstock

Windmills of Greece. Serifos island, Cyclades © Shutterstock

Most visitors stay in the port, Livádhi, which is set in a wide greenery-fringed bay and handy for most of the island’s beaches. The usually calm bay is a magnet for yachts, here to take on fresh water which, despite its barren appearance, Sérifos has in abundance.

The very attractive curve of Avlómonas, the long Livádhi town beach, has the advantage of overlooking the inland capital, so that when you’re swimming in the sea you have a great inland view. Heading away from the dock, climb over the southerly headland to reach Livadhákia, a golden-sand beach, shaded by tamarisk trees.

A further ten-minute stroll across the southern headland brings you to the smaller Karávi beach, with its clear, blue-green waters, but no shade or facilities.

Where to stay in Sérifos:

  • For beaches: Naias
  • For the friendly atmosphere: Serifos Palace

Find more accommodation options to stay in Sérifos

Náxos is the largest and most fertile of all the Cyclades islands and with its green and mountainous inland scenery, it appears immediately dissimilar to its neighbours. Today Náxos could easily support itself without visitors by relying on its production of potatoes, olives, cheese, grapes and lemons, but it has thrown in its lot with mass tourism, so that parts of the island are now almost as busy as Páros in season.

The island has plenty to see if you know where to look: the highest peak in the Cyclades, intriguing central valleys, a spectacular north coast and long, marvellously sandy beaches on the southwest coast. It is also renowned for its wines, cheese and kítron, a sweet liqueur distilled from the leaves of this citrus tree and available in green, yellow or clear varieties depending on strength and sugar level.

Naxos island in Greece, Cyclades © Shutterstock

Naxos island in Greece, Cyclades © Shutterstock

As your ferry approaches Náxos Town, you can’t help sensing that this is a really special place, if only because of the looming, fortified kástro. A superficial glance at the waterfront may be enough to convince you that most of the town’s life occurs by the crowded port esplanade, but don’t be deceived.

There is a lot more life in Náxos Town in the vast network of backstreets and low-arched narrow alleys that lead up through the old town, Boúrgos, to the kástro itself. And don’t miss out on the second centre of activity to the south, around the main square, Platía Evripéous, where there are more tavernas, shops and cafés.

Stay in a secluded private villa and explore Naxos at your own pace in your own rental car. Lasting just above 1 week, this tailor-made trip to Naxos leaves plenty of room for relaxation and exploration of the amazing island of Naxos, with its authentic mountainous villages and magnificent sea views.

Where to stay in Náxos:

  • For boutique stays: Argo Boutique Hotel
  • For price and quality: Sunday Studios

Find more accommodation options to stay in Náxos

Rhodes (Ródhos) is deservedly among the best of Greek islands. Its star attraction is the beautiful medieval Old Town that lies at the heart of its capital, Rhodes Town. Elsewhere, the ravishing hillside village of Líndhos, topped by an ancient acropolis, should not be missed. It marks the midpoint of the island’s long eastern shoreline, adorned with numerous sandy beaches.

At the southern cape, Prassoníssi is one of the best windsurfing spots in Europe. If you want to escape the summer crowds, take a road trip into the island’s craggy and partly forested interior. Worthwhile targets include the castles near Monólithos and Kritinía, and the frescoed churches at Thárri, Asklipió and Áyios Yeóryios Várdhas.

View at Lindou Bay from Lindos Rhodes island, Greece © Shutterstock

View at Lindou Bay from Lindos Rhodes island, Greece © Shutterstock

The Citadel of Rhodes was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and is one of the best-preserved Old Towns in the world. It is an absolute gem, a superb medieval ensemble that’s all but unique in retaining the feel of a genuine lived-in village – it neither grew to become a city nor became overly prettified for visitors.

Set on a stark headland 50km south of Rhodes Town, Líndhos is almost too good to be true. A classic Greek village of crazily stacked whitewashed houses, poised between a stupendous castle-topped acropolis above and sandy crescent beaches below, it’s the island’s number-two tourist attraction.

Where to stay in Rhodes:

  • For families: Lardos Bay
  • For luxury: Eden Roc Resort

Find more accommodation options to stay in Rhodes

Dangling between the heel of Italy and the west coast of mainland Greece, green, mountainous Corfu (Kérkyra) was one of the first Greek islands to attract mass tourism in the 1960s. Indiscriminate exploitation turned parts into eyesores but a surprising amount of the island still consists of olive groves, mountains or woodland.

The majority of package holidays are based in the most developed resorts and unspoilt terrain is often only a few minutes’ walk away. The capital, Corfu Town, has been one of the most elegant island capitals in the whole of Greece. Although many of its finest buildings were destroyed, two massive forts, the sixteenth-century church of Áyios Spyrídhon and some buildings dating from French and British administrations remain intact.

Idyllic Agios Stefanos on the Greek island of Corfu © Shutterstock

Idyllic Agios Stefanos on the Greek island of Corfu,© Shutterstock

The most famous excursion from Corfu Town is to the islets of Vlahérna and Pondikoníssi, 2km south of town below the hill of Kanóni, named after the single cannon trained out to sea atop it. Reached by a short causeway, the tiny, white convent of Vlahérna is one of the most photographed images on Corfu.

Pondikoníssi, tufted by greenery from which peeks the small chapel of Panayía Vlahernón, is identified in legend with a ship from Odysseus’s fleet, petrified by Poseidon in revenge for the blinding of his son Polyphemus.

Where to stay in Corfu:

  • For stunning views: Oasis Hotel
  • For peaceful stays: Chandris Apartments

Find more accommodation options to stay in Corfu

Discover the variety of holiday opportunities Greece has to offer with our guide best things to do in Greece .

Ready for a trip to Greek Islands? Check out the snapshot The Rough Guide to the Greek Islands or The Rough Guide to Greece . If you travel further in Greece, read more about the best time to go , the best places to visit and best things to do in Greece.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Greece without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn commission from some of the external websites linked in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

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Travel the Greek Way

30 Best Places to Visit in Greece in 2024

This post is about 30 of the best places to visit in Greece including both Greek island and mainland destinations. It is fair to say that Greece is a travel destination that ticks a lot of boxes:

  • Magnificent islands, sandy stunning beaches, nightlife
  • Fascinating ancient monuments of many historic eras & civilizations
  • Hiking destinations
  • Traditional mountainous villages and picturesque fishing settlements
  • Bustling cities
  • Top-rate Greek and international cuisine

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Astypalaia island

If you are planning your trip to Greece and this is your first time visiting the country then my post on the top 30 best places to visit in Greece will offer plenty of ideas.

Itinerary tip for the islands : If you only have a week or 2, and you would like to hop around the islands, you better stick to the same group of islands, to save time.

* Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you click and buy. The commission comes at no additional cost to you.

best greece travel guides

Here are the best places to visit in Greece, separated for your convenience into regional groups as well as a Google map of the places mentioned. That way you can organize and plan your itinerary for Greece.

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Best Places to Visit in Greece (North)

1. thessaloniki.

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Thessaloniki seaside and White Tower at dusk

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city and the financial center of the north of Greece. It is built around the Thermaikos Gulf, a modern vibrant city ideal if you love historical monuments and …food-tasting.

Thessaloniki was built in 316 BCE and it was a Byzantine and Ottoman center which is evident in the numerous monuments in the city. It is also one of the most popular and favorite culinary centers in Greece, renowned for its food and wine. Thessaloniki is a great base for visiting Chalkidiki, Meteora, and Olympus Mt.

Related Posts:

  • The Best Hotels in Thessaloniki
  • Top Things to Do in Thessaloniki
  • Open Markets Food Tasting Tour

2. Chalkidiki

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Posidi Beach in Chalkidiki

Chalkidiki is an area with three beautiful peninsulas – Kassandra (great for nightlife), Sithonia (stunning beaches), and the seaside town of Ouranoupoli and the famous monastic state of Mount Athos. It is the favorite vacation destination not only of the whole of northern Greece but also of the other countries of the Balkans.

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Athos Mt Monasteries

Chalkidiki is a stunning area to visit for beaches and history and one of the best places to visit in Greece. The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle who founded the Lyceum in Athens comes from Ancient Stagira in Chalkidiki. As Chalkidiki is quite an extensive area, you will need at least a week to explore and a private car.

Entrance Tip: Women are not allowed in the Athos Mt and Monasteries.

3. Prespes Lakes

Greece in Winter, Prespes Lake

248 km west of Thessaloniki, in the mountainous northwestern Macedonia part of Greece, you will find the National Park of the two Prespes lakes . The Prespes lakes are shared by three countries: Greece, North Macedonia, and Albania.

Greece in Winter, Agios Achilleios

Prespes Lakes is a virgin natural paradise, a beautiful wetland, and one of the best places to visit in Greece for nature, and bird watching (260 species of birds and 23 species of fish). Moreover, the coast of the lakes is dotted with gorgeous small settlements and historical monuments of archaeological interest.

Where Best to Stay in Prespes Dora’s House at Agios Germanos .

Travel Tip : When I visited Prespes we also went to Pisoderi Ski Resort, Florina town, and Nymfaio village where the brown bear shelter is.

4. Mount Olympus National Park

Hike Safely in Greece, Olympus hiking & trek

The National Park of Mount Olympus is probably the most famous Mt in Greece and according to Greek mythology, it was the home of the gods. Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece and the second highest in the Balkans. The highest peaks of the mountain are Mytikas (2.918 m.), Stefani (2.909 m.), Skolio (2.911 m.), and Skala (2.866 m.).

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Olympus Mt in spring with flowers

The National Park of Mount Olympus is not only an international hiking destination that is considered quite demanding in certain areas. It also contains a large diversity of flora and fauna, some of them unique. As it is a highly protected area (no camping or fishing), you can reach its shelters only on foot. If you are planning to reach Mytikas, then I strongly advise you to do so between May and October. Olympos is one of the best places to visit in Greece!

The best place to stay for Mount Olympus is the nearby Litochoro village at Mythic Valley Hotel .

Best Places to Visit in Greece (Central)

5. zagori, epirus.

best greece travel guides

Zagorochoria or Zagori may sound like it is one place but actually, it is a cluster of 46 lovely villages! It is located in the northwestern region of Greece amidst the mountains of Pindus in Epirus. In the summer of 2023, the area was listed in the UNESCO monuments list.

Zagorochoria is one of the favorite winter destinations among Greeks and gets busy in December, especially during Christmas. Some of the best things to do in Zagori are:

best greece travel guides

  • Walk the cobblestone villages full of traditional stone mansions. The most popular villages are Monodendri , Mikro, and Megalo Papigko.
  • Hiking at Aoos National Park.
  • Hiking Vikos Gorge (if weather permits it).
  • Hike at the Dragonlake of Tymfi.
  • Try the local cuisine and the famous milk, cheese, pumpkin, or sweet pies.

6. Parga, Epirus

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Parga town general view on a sunny day

Parga town is one of the best places to visit in Greece for couples. It is a beautiful, popular seaside tourist destination in western Greece. It has some lovely beaches like Sarakiniko and during summer, it is connected daily by ferry with Paxos, and Antipaxos , Corfu , and Lefkada.

Fifteen km from Parga lies the most important ancient monument of the region, the Necromancy of Acheron . Here the Ancient Greeks believed that the river Acheron was the Gates of the Underworld.

7. Meteora, Thessaly

best greece travel guides

Meteora is one of the top destinations in Greece for nature and culture!

The rocks are an extensive complex of gigantic sandstone rocks shadowing the local town of Kalambaka, 347 km north of Athens. There were initially 24 Monasteries founded by Greek Orthodox monks in the 14th and 15th century but today only 6 of them are working.

The Meteora Monasteries have been a UNESCO World Heritage Monument since 1988 and it is today the second most important monastic complex in Greece after Mount Athos Monasteries in Chalkidiki.

A monk in Meteora Monasteries

Meteora is one of the best places to visit in Greece if you love impressive natural scenery, monastic life, and religious art. For details on how best to get to Meteora and the schedule of the Monasteries read my dedicated post here.

8. Pelion, Thessaly

What best to do in Pelion Greece, Chorto seaside village

Pelion (or Pilio) is my favorite place in Greece. It is a large mountain (peninsula) between the Pagasetic Gulf and the Aegean Sea located halfway between Athens and Thessaloniki and my favorite place in Greece. It is full of chestnut forests, deep gorges with streams, and stunning beaches with authentic mountainous villages making Pelion one of the best all-year-round destinations in Greece.

best greece travel guides

Because of the dense forests and variety of terrain, Pelion is a paradise for outdoor activities. Its most popular part is the east Pelion facing the Aegean Sea. One of the villages Damouchari was one of the Mamma Mia Film Locations.

  • Related Article: A complete travel guide for Pelion

9. Delphi, Phocis

Best Places to Visit in GreeceL Delphi Oracle Apollo Temple ruins

Delphi is a spectacular, UNESCO-listed archaeological site where the mystical Oracle of Delphi was founded at a strategic point. The function of the site as a cult center of Apollo is archaeologically attested since 860 B.C. Delphi was built on the remains of a Mycenaean settlement. We know that the archaic temple of Apollo was constructed in 510 BCE along with the rest of the monuments.

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Iniochos charioteer Delphi Oracle museum

The Delphi Archaeological Museum houses some awe-inspiring ancient masterpieces. The modern 10-km far picturesque Arachova village offers complete touristic facilities and on top of Parnassos Mt, you can ski in the biggest ski resort in Greece.

Do not miss visiting the nearby UNESCO monument of Osios Loukas Monastery , a Byzantine masterpiece of the 11th century AD. Some call it, the most beautiful church in Greece.

Tour to Delphi & Meteora

Delphi and Meteora are often combined on a 2 or 3-day tour such as 2-Day Delphi and Meteora Tour from Athens . That way, you can see together two of the best places to visit in Greece.

Best Places to Visit in Attika

best greece travel guides

Athens is the ancient capital of Greece and the vibrant financial, commercial, and historical center of the country. It houses the spectacular archaeological site of Acropolis Hill and Ancient Agora, along with dozens of other monuments of all historical eras that you come across as you walk inside the city.

best greece travel guides

One of the best places to visit in Greece, specifically in Athens is Plaka and the Anafiotika. It is called that because they were built by sailors from Anafi island. In Athens, you can also visit two of the most significant museums in the world: the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum.

Related Articles:

  • Best Acropolis View Hotels in Athens
  • The Ancient Agora of Athens
  • The Ottoman Monuments in Athens

11. Athens Riviera, Cape Sounion, and Temple of Poseidon

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon Evgenia of Travel the Greek Way

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon is one of the most popular half-day tours from Athens, located at the northernmost point of Athens. You can get there taking the scenic road of Athens Riviera , 65 km by the beautiful Attika seaside.

Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon

There you will reach the Sanctuary of Poseidon and its Temple, built between 444 and 440 BCE. The temple of Poseidon was part of the sacred triangle, along with the temple of Aphaia in Aegina and the Parthenon in Athens.

Cape Sounion is one of the best destinations in Greece to admire an important archaeological site and the spectacular sunset from it.

  • Athens Riviera
  • Athens Beach Hotels
  • Cape Sounion and Sunset Private Tour from Athens

12. Ramnous

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Ramnous archaeological site overview

Ramnous is located in the Marathon area of Attika, 55 km northeast of Athens center. It is one of the top destinations to visit in Greece if you love fortified ancient cities.

Most of the other famous Greek archaeological sites you visit, like the Acropolis of Athens or Epidaurus, were mostly sanctuaries dedicated to gods. Ramnous was a real town, with everyday chambers, soldiers to guard it, and fortifications as it was built at a strategic point, just like Sounion.

Ramnous Archaeological Site Fortess entrance with a sign and a woman

Ramnous offers an amazing opportunity for visitors to see how ancient Greek cities around 500 BC used to be. Furthermore, as the site is divided into two distinct areas, the top site includes the most important Temple of Nemesis in ancient Greece.

Related Article: Travel Guide to Ramnous Site

Best Places to Visit in the Peloponnese

best greece travel guides

Peloponnese is the southern mainland of Greece, home to some of the most impressive archaeological sites, lovely beaches, and authentic villages. Peloponnese needs a lot of time to be explored but as this is not always possible find below some of the best places in Greece for history and beaches!

13. Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nafplion (Argolis)

best greece travel guides

Argolis region is situated in the eastern part of the Peloponnese and contains some very popular and amazing sites:

  • The Mycenean Palace and Domed Tombs of Mycenae (UNESCO-listed)
  • The Sanctuary of Asklepios and the Theater of Epidaurus (UNESCO-listed)
  • The Mycenean Fortress of Tiryns
  • Argos and Tolo
  • Nafplio town, a gorgeous medieval town with 3 castles
  • Porto Heli and Spetses island

14. Monemvasia, Laconia

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Monemvasia rock and town from a drone

Monemvasia is a large Byzantine fortress on a rock that broke away after a great earthquake in 375 CE. Today it is connected to the mainland by a road of about 400 meters.

Monemvasia has medieval houses with arches on cobblestone alleys in front of the Aegean Sea, synthesizing a magical atmosphere.

Best Property to Stay in Monemvasia: Casa Felicia-The Castle Mansion .

15. Mystras, Sparta

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Mystras ruins and mountain views

6 km away from Sparta, the ancient kingdom of Leonidas, lie the Byzantine Castle ruins of Mystras a UNESCO-listed monument. Built in the 13th century AD by the Frankish, Mystras became the capital of the Despotate of Morea and an important center for the next 2 centuries.

Hike Safely in Greece, mystras and taygettus mountain in Greece hiking

The layout of the castle city is in three distinct zones, with a significant difference in altitude: Upper, Lower, and Outer Chora. In addition, there is the Acropolis at the top. Today Mystras is by far the most important Byzantine monument in Greece.

16. Kardamili, Western Mani

best greece travel guides

Kardamili is a beautiful, low-key seaside village with tavernas in picturesque little coves. As you stroll the village you pass by stone-built traditional houses, towers and turrets, cobbled streets and flowered courtyards.

Kardamili, set at the foothills of the Taygettus range is a fantastic destination in Greece, ideal to explore the stark and powerfully wild terrain of the area. Travel south to some spectacular villages such as Limeni, Areopoli, Gerolimenas, Caves of Diros, and Vathia to Porto Kagio.

Best Hotel in Kardamili: Salvia .

17. Voidokilia Beach

4-Day Peloponnese Tour: Voidokilia beach

Voidokilia beach, set on the southwestern Peloponnese on the Ionian Sea is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. Shaped like the Greek letter Omega (Ω) and surrounded by gold, soft sand, and a Natura-2000 lagoon, this is one of the best destinations in Greece.

Best Places to Visit in Greece: The Mycenean Palace of Nestor in Pylos, Peloponnese

Voidokilia Beach is near Gialova town, a popular seaside town, the Mycenean Archaeological site of Nestor’s Palace , beautiful Pylos and Methoni villages.

The best hotel to stay near Voidokilia is Costa Navarino .

  • Related Article: Hiking Voidokilia Beach

18. Ancient Olympia

best greece travel guides

Ancient Olympia is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, another UNESCO-listed site. The ancient stadium marks the site where the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia were held. The stadium took its final form in the early 5th century BCE when the great Sanctuary of Zeus was built.

In the in-house Museum, you will get the chance to see some masterpieces of the Greek ancient world, such as the Hermes of Praxiteles.

The best hotel to stay overnight in Olympia is Hotel Europa.

Best Islands to Visit in Greece

Greece has about 6,000 islands and islets with about 100 of them inhabited with permanent populations ranging from 680.000 (Crete) and 152.000 (Rhodes) to 2 (Agios Minas Fournoi). That makes it hard to decide which island to go to if you are planning to travel to Greece for the first time.

So let’s jump to the best islands in Greece that I believe are amazing and you should visit:

19. Santorini, Cyclades

best greece travel guides

  • Santorini is a top destination in Greece famous for its stunning caldera views, mesmerizing sunsets, and a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
  • July and August are the busiest, hottest, windiest, and most expensive months on Santorini island. If possible, avoid those months.
  • There are dozens of things to do in Santorini but 3-4 days is enough to see the best of the island.
  • The best hotel in Santorini is Canaves Oia Suites & Spa .

20. Naxos, Cyclades

best greece travel guides

  • Naxos is ideal for family vacations. It is also large enough to never get bored with so many choices: traditional villages, ancient sites (Portara in the main town), stunning sandy beaches, hiking trails, and glorious food.
  • Check my dedicated post on Naxos’ best attractions here for more details.
  • The best family apartment in Agia Anna Beach is Sunday Studios .

21. Tinos, Cyclades

Best Places to Visit in Greece: A child walking under a dome with flowers in Tinos island

Tinos is a classic Cycladic whitewashed island with some of the most beautiful villages in Greece. It is an important pilgrimage center of Orthodox Greeks and it has 750 chapels and churches, 600 dovecotes, and 34 settlements, both Catholic and Orthodox. It has also the sanctuary of Poseidon, where pilgrims were purified before passing to the important island of Delos in Mykonos .

22. Chios, Northern Aegean Island

Best Places to Go to Greece in April, Chios Mastichochoria

  • Chios island is the home of medieval villages producing the famous mastic, of UNESCO Monastery of Nea Moni of Chios, the Castle City hanging over the cliff, and the spectacular nature and beaches from Kardamyla to Diefha.
  • From Chios, you can hop to Lesvos island which is 3 hours away by ferry.
  • Best medieval property to stay in Chios: St. George Sykoussis Traditional Residence .

23. Patmos Island, Dodecanese

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Patmos island alley with a church and red flowers

Patmos is a small but remarkable island, also known as the Jerusalem of the Aegean. You can visit the dark Cave where Apostle John wrote the Apocalypse and the UNESCO Mοnastery of John the Evangelist. Stroll the medieval villages of Gothic and neoclassic architecture and swim in the impressive Twin or Ligginou beaches.

The best place to stay is at Skala in Patmos at this gorgeous property: Patmos Eye Traditional Luxury Villas .

24. Astypalaia island, Dodecanese

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Astypalaia seaside village with whitewashed houses

Astypalaia is one of the most authentic islands to visit in Greece. Shaped like a butterfly, it will charm you immediately with its whitewashed villages, its picturesque main town laden with bougainvilleas, its Venetian Castle and the old windmills, the turquoise waters, and the peaceful fishing villages. Best place to stay: Ihthioessa Boutique Hotel .

25. Hydra Island, Argo Saronic

Best Places to Visit in Greece: Hydra's scenic port with yachts

Hydra is a cosmopolitan and classy island and a very popular yachting destination. A completely car-free island, it will stun you with its impressive architecture, the stone mansions, and the bougainvillea alleys. Hydra is one of the most romantic destinations in Greece.

26. Skopelos island, Sporades

Mamma Mia Greece Locations, Skopelos beach

Skopelos is one of the greenest islands as most of it is covered by pine forests. It was the main location of the Mamma Mia film in Greece. If you love wonderful sandy beaches with turquoise clear waters and the green of the pine trees surrounding them, this is your island! Skopelos is also famous for its rich gastronomy.

Best place to stay: Villa Glysteri .

27. Lefkada Island, Ionian

Best Places to Go to Greece in April, Lefkada beach

Lefkada is a stunning island famous for its breathtaking beaches like Katsiki Beach (photo on the left) or the Egremni, a long, unyielding wall of cliffs, with bright translucent turquoise waters. It is connected to the mainland with a metallic floating bridge that you can cross by car. Best place to stay: Horizon View Apartment .

Best Places to Visit in Crete

Wherever you go on Crete Island will be stunningly beautiful, and you will have one of the best travel experiences in your life. Crete is the largest island in Greece and even if you spend a month on the island, you would have scratched just the surface.

If I had to choose only three locations in Crete then I would choose spectacular nature such as the Balos beach, the Samaria gorge, and the archaeological site of Knossos Palace.

28. Balos Chania Crete

Best Time to Go to Greece, Balos Lagoon Crete Chania

Balos Beach and Lagoon is located in the Chania region, in the northwest of Crete, and is one of the most impressive beaches in the world. It has white soft sand, but in some places, the sand has a special pink color, due to the crushed shells! Balos is an exotic and spectacular place with turquoise waters and a large variety of rare flora and fauna.

  • Related Post: What to do in Chania Crete

29. Samaria Gorge, Chania

Crossing Samaria gorge in Chania Crete

If you love hiking then Samaria Gorge is one of the top destinations to go to in Greece! The 15,9 km Samaria Gorge is a real gem of hiking. It makes a challenging downhill hike of 5-7 hours and at the end is the scenic seaside village of Agia Roumeli . It is open to hiking between May and November.

If you are traveling with a group of up to 8 people you can stay at the beautiful stone Villa Samaria in Omalos.

30. Knossos Palace, Heraklion

Best things to do on Crete island, Knossos Palace heraklion

The Palace of King Minos in Knossos in the Heraklion region is the largest of the preserved Minoan (2000-1350 BCE) palatial centers. Minoan four wings are arranged around a central courtyard, containing the royal quarters, workshops, shrines, storerooms, repositories, the throne room, and banquet halls. It is also connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur, and the story of Daidalos and Icaros.

  • 12 Best Things to Do in Heraklion
  • The Best Hotels and Villages on Crete Island
  • The Top Sites to Visit on Crete Island

Plan My Trip to Greece

Do you need a custom travel itinerary or a transfer within Greece ? Are you traveling solo, with your family or friends and need a tailor-made multi-day tour or a transfer?

If yes, please visit my dedicated Plan My Trip Page for a free itinerary!

I’d love to hear about where you’re spending your vacation this year, especially if you have any exciting travel plans! There are so many things to do in Greece and I hope that you get the chance to visit as many as possible. Till next time, Evgenia❤️

How to Get to Athens Port (Piraeus) from Athens Airport

Bus X96 Peiraias Port to Athens Airport

  • Bus: If you are arriving at Athens International Airport you can travel straight to the port by taking the X96 express bus (€5.5, children <6 yo, free entrance) , which departs every 40 minutes and the average trip lasts 1 hour – runs 24/7.
  • Metro : (€9) is easily found across airport arrivals (blue line – M3) going directly to Piraeus port. The average trip to Piraeus lasts 1 hour.
  • Taxis are available in front of the airport (around €40 to Athens, €55-60 to Piraeus (depending on the traffic in Kifisos), and take up to 3 or 4 people with small luggage)
  • Rent a car with Discover Cars for reliable, new cars at affordable prices
  • You don’t like driving but love hassle-free solutions? Book a Private transfer with an English-speaking driver from Athens International Airport to Piraeus Ferries, or anywhere else in Greece
  • Are you looking for domestic flights in Greece ? Check out the official Aegean Airlines Website.

Greece Travel Guides

  • Greece Packing List – What to pack for a 10-day trip to Greece
  • First Time to Greece – Most Important FAQ
  • Athens Hotels Near Acropolis
  • When is the Best Time to Go to Greece

Travel to Greece Information

  • ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in Greek: “Ya sou” and “Efharisto”
  • : I use because I can get the best deals on hotels and apartments, free cancellations, and great prices!
  • All-Inclusive Resorts in Greece
  • FerryScanner to book f erries to the Greek Islands
  • Rent an Affordable Car in Greece
  • Athens Metro Website (timetables and ticket info)
  • Map of Athens Metro
  • Trains (Hellenic Train)
  • Public Buses KTEL
  • Get Your Guide : For all your day or multi-day tours and city guide needs, I use Get Your Guide
  • Emergency Numbers Anywhere in Greece: AMBULANCE 166 – FIRE 199 – POLICE 100 – EMERGENCY NUMBER 112

All rights reserved © Travel the Greek Way. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (photographs, text, links) is strictly prohibited.

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About Santorini Dave Updated: March 10, 2024

Where to stay: • Athens • Crete • Milos • Mykonos • Naxos • Paros • Santorini • All destinations

Santorini, Greece.

The village of Fira overlooking the caldera in spectacular Santorini .

Greece is my favorite country in Europe. It’s loaded with great beaches ( Naxos , Mykonos , and Paros have the best sand and swimming), iconic historical sites ( Athens , Crete , and Delphi top the list), fantastic hotels , and stunning natural beauty ( Santorini , Milos , and the Meteora are my favs). The magical Greek islands are perfectly scattered for island hopping and adventure, while mainland Greece is packed with ancient cities and less-visited regions that will surprise and reward the unhurried traveler. The 2024 Greece Travel Guide Skip to our Greece FAQ Travel Guides Athens Crete Mainland Greece Mykonos Naxos Paros Santorini My two sons and I on a boat tour in the Santorini caldera. Where to Stay in Greece Aegina – Best Areas Andros – Best Areas Athens – Best Areas Chios – Best Areas Crete – Best Areas Delphi – Best Areas Folegandros – Best Areas Hydra – Best Areas Meteora – Best Areas Milos – Best Areas Monemvasia – Best Areas Mykonos – Best Areas Nafplio – Best Areas Naxos – Best Areas Paros – Best Areas Poros – Best Areas Rhodes – Best Areas Santorini – Best Areas Spetses – Best Areas Syros – Best Areas Tinos – Best Areas What to Do in Greece Athens – Things to Do Crete – Things to Do Delphi – Things to Do Meteora – Things to Do Monemvasia – Things to Do Mykonos – Things to Do Nafplio – Things to Do Naxos – Things to Do Paros – Things to Do Santorini – Things to Do Where to Eat & Drink in Greece Athens – Best Restaurants Athens – Best Bars & Clubs Delphi – Best Restaurants Meteora – Best Restaurants Monemvasia – Best Restaurants Mykonos – Best Restaurants Mykonos – Best Bars & Clubs Mykonos – Best Beach Clubs Nafplio – Best Restaurants Naxos – Best Restaurants Naxos – Best Bars & Beach Clubs Paros – Best Restaurants Santorini – Best Restaurants Santorini – Best Bars & Clubs Santorini – Best Wineries & Wine Tours

Greek island in Greece.

Island hopping by ferry is a great way to get between the Greek Islands .

Where to Go in Greece Best Greek Islands Greece with Kids Mainland Greece – Where to Go Peloponnese – Where to Go Halkidiki – Where to Go Where to Go in Greece Paros or Naxos? Crete or Santorini? Mykonos or Santorini? Greece Itinerary Greece & Italy Itinerary Greece for First-Timers The Best Beaches in Greece Best Beaches in Greece Andros – Best Beaches Mykonos – Best Beaches Naxos – Best Beaches Santorini – Best Beaches Syros – Best Beaches Tinos – Best Beaches When to Go to Greece Best Time to Visit Greece & Greek Islands Athens – Best Time to Visit Crete – Best Time to Visit Mykonos – Best Time to Visit Naxos – Best Time to Visit Santorini – Best Time to Visit Greece Travel Videos Athens Travel Videos Mykonos Travel Videos Naxos Travel Videos Paros Travel Videos Santorini Travel Videos

Best beach resort in Greece.

The Calilo Hotel in Ios is one of our favorite new beach resorts in Greece.

The Best Hotels in Greece Antiparos – Best Hotels Athens – Best Hotels Athens – Family Hotels Athens – Budget Hotels Athens – Airport Hotels Corfu – Best Hotels Corfu – Family Hotels Crete – Best Hotels Crete – Family Hotels Folegandros – Best Hotels Folegandros – Family Hotels Ios – Best Hotels Kefalonia – Best Hotels Kos – Best Hotels Kos – Family Hotels Milos – Best Hotels Milos – Family Hotels Mykonos – Best Hotels Mykonos – Family Hotels Mykonos – Budget Hotels Mykonos – Beach Hotels Mykonos – Honeymoon Hotels Naxos – Best Hotels Naxos – Family Hotels Naxos – Beach Hotels Paros – Best Hotels Paros – Family Hotels Paros – Beach Hotels Paros – Best Antiparos Hotels Rhodes – Best Hotels Rhodes – Family Hotels Rhodes – Boat Tours Santorini – Best Hotels Santorini – Family Hotels Santorini – Cheap Hotels Santorini – Luxury Hotels Santorini – Boutique Hotels Santorini – Honeymoon Hotels Santorini – Beach Hotels Santorini – Cave Hotels Santorini – Sunset View Hotels Santorini – Hotels with Private Pool Santorini – Best Villas Serifos – Best Hotels Sifnos – Best Hotels Skiathos – Best Hotels Skopelos – Best Hotels Syros – Best Hotels Thessaloniki – Best Hotels Zakynthos – Best Hotels Zakynthos – Family Hotels

Mykonos in the Greek Islands.

Mykonos Town harbor in Mykonos , Greece.

Getting To & Around Greece Greece Rental Cars Flights to Greece Greek Ferry Guide Greek Island Hopping Italy to Greece Ferries Maps of Greece Athens – Getting Around Athens Athens – Airport Car Rental Athens – Ferry Port Guide Athens – Maps for Travelers Athens to Delphi & Meteora Athens to Mykonos Ferries Athens to Santorini Ferries Athens to Crete Ferries Athens to Milos Ferries Athens to Mykonos Ferries Athens to Naxos Ferries Athens to Paros Ferries Athens to Santorini Ferries Crete – Heraklion Ferry Port Guide Crete – Heraklion Airport Car Rental Crete – Maps for Travelers Crete to Santorini Ferries Crete to Athens Ferries Crete to Santorini Ferries Milos to Athens Ferries Milos from Athens Ferries Mykonos – Ferry Port Guide Mykonos – Car Rental Mykonos – Water Taxi Mykonos – Maps for Travelers Mykonos to Athens Ferries Mykonos to Santorini Ferries Mykonos-Santorini Helicopter Naxos – Maps for Travelers Naxos to Athens Ferries Naxos from Athens Ferries Naxos to Santorini Ferries Naxos from Santorini Ferries Paros – Getting Around by Bus Paros – Maps for Travelers Paros to Athens Ferries Paros from Athens Ferries Paros to Santorini Ferries Paros from Santorini Ferries Santorini – How to Get There Santorini – Ferry Port Guide Santorini – Airport Guide Santorini – Car Rental Santorini – Maps for Travelers Santorini to Athens Ferries Santorini to Crete Ferries Santorini to Milos Ferries Santorini to Mykonos Ferries Santorini-Mykonos Helicopter Santorini to Naxos Ferries Santorini to Paros Ferries Frequently Asked Questions about Greece See Also: Greece: Itinerary for First-Timers Where is Greece? Greece is located in southeastern Europe, at the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula. Greece has a land area of over 50,000 square miles and comprises a large mainland peninsula between the Ionian and Aegean seas, surrounded by an archipelago of about 6,000 islands and islets. Sharing its northern land borders with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey, Greece is positioned at a historically rich crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Location of Greece.

What is the population of Greece? The population of Greece was estimated by the United Nations to be 10,445,365 in 2021. Some estimates put the current population as high as 10,600,000. The country’s population grew from 5,000,000 in 1920 to a peak of nearly 11,000,000 in 2010. The five largest cities in Greece are Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Larissa, and Heraklion. The vast majority of Greeks live in Mainland Greece. Approximately 1.2 million people live in the Peloponnese and 1.3 million on the Greek islands. How many islands are in Greece? Greece has between 1,200 and 6,000 islands depending on the measure used to establish an island vs an islet. The number of inhabited islands is variously cited as between 166 and 227. The ten largest Greek islands by land area are Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Rhodes, Chios, Kefalonia, Corfu, Lemnos, Samos, and Naxos. The ten largest Greek islands by population are Crete, Euboea, Rhodes, Lesbos, Corfu, Chios, Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Kos, and Samos. The Peloponnese has technically been an island since the completion of the Corinth Canal in 1893 but is generally not considered to be an island due to its artifical nature. What language is spoken in Greece? The official language of Greece is Greek, spoken by 99% of the population. The most common foreign languages learned by Greeks are English (48%), German (9%), French (8.5%), and Italian (8%). English is widely spoken in the largest cities and on the most popular Greek islands. What are the best things to do in Greece? The must-do destinations and attractions in Greece: • Acropolis in Athens • National Archaeological Museum in Athens •  Caldera hike in Santorini • Boat tour in Santorini • Wineries of Santorini • Helicopter ride around Santorini • Staying in a caldera hotel in Santorini • Nightlife & beach clubs in Mykonos • Beaches of Naxos • The beaches and solitude of Antiparos • Sarakiniko Beach on Milos • Staying in Chania Old Town • Staying in Rhodes Old Town • Visiting Delphi • Meteora Monasteries • Staying in Nafplio • Island Hopping by Greek ferry

Naxos is one of my very favorite islands in Greece. Relaxed vibe, wonderful local food, and great beaches . How to get to Greece? Most people will fly from a hub in western Europe (usually London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Frankfurt, Rome, or Venice) to Athens , Crete , Santorini , Mykonos , Kos, Rhodes, or Corfu. If you’re arriving from the east you could fly via Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Dubai, Mumbai, Delhi, or Singapore. My top tip for choosing flights is to fly into and out of different airports so you don’t waste time and money backtracking to your arrival point. For example, fly from London to Athens, then ferry to Mykonos, ferry to Paros, ferry to Santorini, then fly Santorini to London (and don’t go back to Athens for your return flight). You may pay slightly more for 2 one-way tickets than a round-trip ticket, but it will be more than made up for by the savings for the extra ferry and hotel night. How long is the flight to Greece? Flying times to Athens, Greece. For direct flights to the Greek islands (when available) flight times can be up to 30 minutes longer or shorter. • Rome to Athens: 1 hour, 50 minutes • Barcelona to Athens: 2 hours, 50 minutes • Paris to Athens: 3 hours, 10 minutes • Amsterdam to Athens: 3 hours, 15 minutes • London to Athens: 3 hours, 40 minutes • Boston to Athens: 9 hours, 15 minutes • New York to Athens: 9 hours, 30 minutes • Toronto to Athens: 9 hours, 30 minutes • Chicago to Athens: 10 hours, 10 minutes • Atlanta to Athens: 10 hours, 50 minutes • Istanbul to Athens: 1 hour, 25 minutes • Dubai to Athens: 5 hours, 10 minutes • Delhi to Athens: 10 hours, 15 minutes • Singapore to Athens: 11 hours, 30 minutes

Map of direct flights to Athens, Greece

Boarding a Sky Express flight from Athens to the Greek islands. When is the Best Time to Travel to Greece? To enjoy Greek beaches and hot weather, travel between June and September. For sightseeing, tours, hiking, and exploring the best months to go to Greece are late March to early June, and late September to and early November. Travel to the Greek Islands is not recommended between November and March; the weather will be gray, windy, and often rainy, and many most hotels and restaurants will be shuttered for the season. Athens is a good year-round destination; the weather is best in the spring and fall, but archaeological sites and museums are open throughout the winter, and there is the benefit of lower rates and thinner crowds in the off-season. The Acropolis Museum in Athens . Though travel to the Greek Islands is best in the spring and summer, Athens can be a great destination at any time of year. What are the Best Greek Islands? All the Greek islands are wonderful. Really! I have never met someone that went to an island and said, “what a mistake, big disappointment.” It just doesn’t happen. They’re all different but all very special. Perhaps a better question is what are the best Greek islands for a first time visitor to Greece? For that I would answer Santorini , Naxos , Paros , and Mykonos . Crete is also great for first-timers but it’s so big that it’s good to do on its own or perhaps along with Santorini – not much more or you’ll spread your time too thin.

What are the best Greek Islands?

Santorini is famous for its fantastic luxury hotels and caldera views. How do you get between the Greek Islands? Greek ferries are the primary mode of transport between the islands – especially for the islands in the Aegean (e.g. Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes). There are also some flights between the islands and (more commonly) flights via Athens between different islands but these are expensive and have inconsistent schedules. For most itineraries, using the ferry is best. is the best website to search for and purchase tickets for all Greek ferry routes.

Ferry travel in Greece.

Passengers boarding a ferry in Mykonos. Traveling between the Greek Islands by ferry is easy, fun, and a highlight of a trip to Greece.

What are the best places to visit in Mainland Greece? I love the Greek Islands, but there are so many great places to visit in mainland Greece that it’s worth making a trip to explore it all on its own. Just west of Athens is The Peloponnese, a vast peninsula peppered with romantic harbor towns, olive groves, and archaeological ruins. North of Athens are the ancient ruins of Delphi and the incredible clifftop monasteries at Meteora. In Greece’s far north is the three-legged peninsula of Halkidiki , famous for its excellent beaches and mountain monastic republic .

Map of the top destinations on Mainland Greece.

The romantic harbor town of Nafplio is located in the Peloponnese peninsula, about two hours by car or bus west of Athens. What are the Best Beaches in Greece? My favorite islands for beaches are Naxos , Mykonos , Paros , Ios, Rhodes, and Crete. But there are many more with wonderful beaches and every island has great swimming even when the beaches don’t have the typical golden sand you’re expecting. Outside of the islands, the Halkidiki region of northern Greece also has excellent beaches running all up and down the coast of its three popular peninsulas.

Kid-friendly beach in Greece.

With its pink sand and calm turquoise water, Elafonisi Beach in southwest Crete is my all-time favorite Greek beach.

What are the best places in Greece for kids? The whole of Greece is incredibly kid-friendly . And with great beaches, interesting history, a laid-back vibe, and incredible (and kid-friendly) food, the Greek islands are an especially excellent choice for a family vacation. Greek island hopping adds a bit of adventure to a family trip and an opportunity to see several very distinct destinations – plus, riding the ferry is always fun. My favorite island for families is Naxos , but there are many others that are also kid-friendly and great for families: Mykonos , Crete , Rhodes, and Corfu are four more islands that have great beaches, cool towns, and a friendly atmosphere. Paros is an idyllic mix of Naxos (slow pace, traditional, great beaches) and Mykonos (trendy, luxurious, lots of nightlife). What currency is used in Greece? Greece is part of the European Union, and the currency used is the Euro (€). Most major shops and restaurants across Greece accept credit cards, but there may be a minimum purchase required to use them. It is a good idea to have some cash on hand for bus trips and small purchases like bottled water and snacks. ATMs are plentiful in Athens and generally easy to find in most villages and beach towns across Greece. Do you tip in Greece? Tipping is not expected in Greek restaurants but is appreciated. Rather than a percentage of the bill, a restaurant tip in Greece can be a few Euros left on the table as a recognition of good service, or simply rounding up the tab to the nearest convenient amount. The more touristy (and expensive) a restaurant is, the more a tip is expected.

Amoudi Bay below Oia in Santorini.

A seafood tavern in Ammoudi Bay below the village of Oia in Santorini . Most restaurants and stores in Greece accept credit cards, but it is a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases.

Santorini, Greece.

The spectacular walking path along the Santorini caldera.

  • Athens Travel Guide
  • Halkidiki Travel Guide
  • Mainland Greece Travel Guide
  • Mykonos Travel Guide
  • Naxos Travel Guide
  • Paros Travel Guide
  • Peloponnese Travel Guide
  • Santorini Travel Guide
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About Santorini Dave

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Greece Travel Guide

Planning on travelling to Greece? From when to visit and what to pack, I’ve got you covered with my ultimate Greece travel guide.

Greece. Home of one of history’s great ancient civilisations, a thousand perfect beaches framed by sparkling waters – not to mention that cuisine. Greece may very well be the closest thing to a slice of heaven that we have on this earth.

All that’s to say that you should be excited if you’re planning your very own Greek odyssey – and I’m going to help you to do it. 

In this guide, I’ll cover the places you have to visit, essential information and other practical tips – such as handy phrases – to make your Greek trip easier.

The Acropolis

The Best Things to do in Greece: 17 Unmissable Sights & Attractions

Top picks for greece.


Greek Island Hopping: Everything You Need to Know

Paros island, Greece

When Is the Best Time to Visit Greece?

Erechtheion Acropolis Athens

19 Incredible Things to do in Athens: Discover Greece’s Ancient Capital

Paralia Vorini Iraklia - Cyclades Greece

What to Pack for Greece: A Handy Greece Packing List

How to plan a trip.

Athens at Sunset

Best time to visit

Although Greece is somewhere you can visit all-year round, you should visit between April to June and September to November for the best experience.

These are the shoulder months in Greece, so you can expect lovely warm weather without overheating. You can also find cheaper accommodation as these months fall outside the peak season.

Handy Resources

These handy tools will help plan your Greece trip to perfection.

  • Use Skyscanner to compare flights, find the best flying times and affordable prices.
  • Island-hopping is best done by ferry. Use Ferryhopper to keep track of your tickets and the ferry operating times.
  • If you don’t want to worry about meticulously planning out your Greece itinerary, look at the fantastic all-inclusive tours with G Adventures.
  • If you’re visiting Athens, purchasing this combo ticket for museums and hop on hop off bus is a great way to save some cash.

Read Next: My Review of Sailing Greece with G Adventures .

Where to Stay

Hotel Accommodation is easy to come by in Greece – you can even find fantastic accommodation in the most remote parts of the country. You’ll be able to find the perfect hotel on .

Guesthouses and B&Bs are also popular ways of staying in Greece, especially on the smaller islands such as Sifnos. These lodgings offer the perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals and are usually very budget-friendly, with some available on Plum Guide .

Recommended Hotels

Phos Milos

Packing For Your Trip

  • Your Greece packing list should contain high SPF sunscreen first and foremost. 
  • Clothing-wise, Greece is very casual, so packing light and airy clothes will help you fit in with the locals. 
  • I recommend getting a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face from the sun. 

Read my ultimate Greece packing list for a more detailed dive into the nitty gritty bits of preparing for your Greece trip.

Travel Insurance

When visiting any part of the world, travel insurance is a must. From theft to accidental injuries, travel insurance will always have you covered and should be one of the first things you look for when planning a trip.

Suggested Guidebooks

The best Greece travel guide book is Fodor’s Essential Greece or the Lonely Planet Greece travel guide. Both are available in paperback or as an e-book.

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Greece Visitor Guide: What to Do During Your Greece Trip


Top Things to Do

Explore athens.

Journey around the Greek capital of Athens and see iconic monuments such as the Parthenon, the Acropolis of Athens and Mount Lycabettus.

Take in the Views at Santorini

Santorini is an island known for incredible sunsets and luxurious accommodation. But it’s more than just that, with quaint villages filled with boutique cafes and restaurants, the island is a travellers’ paradise.

Climb the Steps to Meteora

This UNESCO World Heritage Site nestles on the top of a pillar-like mountain. Climb the 140 steps to the very top to the monastery and you’ll be greeted with dream-like views.

Go Sailing Through the Greek Seas

With 227 islands to explore in Greece, it’s no wonder people can get overwhelmed. However, this is where a sailing tour of the Greek isles comes in handy, as you can explore Rhodes, Santorini, Milos , Paros , and much more.

Read Next: Island Hopping in Greece

Scale Mount Olympus

At 2,916 metres in the sky, Mount Olympus provides unforgettable views of the rolling Greek foothills. This outdoor experience will make you fall in love with Greece.

Party it Up in Mykonos

Visit the island that never sleep s and experience some of the best nightlife in Greece. Enjoy some extravagant parties you won’t forget anytime soon at the best beach clubs in Mykonos .

Explore the Iconic Shipwreck Beach

With towering sandstone cliffs encapsulating a soft white-sand beach, it’s no wonder the exclusive Shipwreck Beach is so famous.

Explore Kefalonia

Kefalonia is the largest island in the Ionian Sea, so you can imagine there are plenty of wonderful things to see on the island. From the small town of Fiskardo to the breathtaking Drogarati Caves, there is plenty for you to explore.

Enjoy the Pretty Cafes in Corfu

Aside from its mesmerising blue caves, Corfu has lovely cafes that offer beautiful views of beaches such as Paleokastritsa.

Admire the Cycladic Architecture

Greece is well known for its Cycladic architecture – whitewashed adobe with rounded corners and flat roofs. You can experience this iconic style everywhere, from hotels to beautiful churches across the country.

Suggested Greece Itineraries

Explore mainland greece.

Athens – Corinth – Sparta – Monemvasia – Olympia – Delphi – Kastoria – Thessaloniki – Mount Olympus – Volos – Athens 

Go Island Hopping Through Greece

Mykonos – Paros – Santorini – Milos  – ferry to Athens –Zakynthos- Kefalonia  – Lefkada – Corfu – Paxos

Recommended Tours

G Adventures Sailing Trip - Cyclades Greece

Hidden Greece: Off the Beaten Path

Enjoy a bike ride around Lake Pamvotida in the Turkish-style town of Ioannina. You can admire the remnants of Ottoman mosques throughout the town.

If you are in Greece during winter, visit Mount Timfristos , also known as the ‘Switzerland of Greece’. Get cosy in log cabins and ski down the lovely slopes of this mountain paradise.

How to See the Best of Greece for Free

While Greece is a major tourist destination, you don’t have to spend your entire savings to have fun.

Some of Greece’s best beaches, like Myrtos, are free to visit. In fact, you’ll rarely need to pay to access a beach (although you will need to shell out if you want to get a lounger).

Free walking tours are perfect for exploring Greece’s towns without dipping into your pockets. And, most of the country’s hiking trails are free, so you can explore the Greek wilderness at your own speed.

Dishes to Try in Greece

Bougatsa – Start your day right with light phyllo pastry stuffed with creamy custard and a sprinkling of icing sugar and cinnamon.

Moussaka – A classic Greek dish, Moussaka is layers of beef mince, soft potatoes, decadent béchamel, and tender eggplant.

Dolmadakia Yalantzi – A unique Greek delicacy, these appetisers consist of fragrant rice wrapped with tender grape leaves straight from the local vineyards.

Greek Olives and Feta – You can’t say you’ve been to Greece without trying the local olives and feta. They are to die for!

Top Drinks in Greece

Ouzo – With hints of aniseed, this classic Greek beverage is best with rich dishes and is a lovely palette cleanser.

Raki – Made from local grapes, Raki is a crystal clear drink that packs one hell of a punch. You can drink it straight or have it warm with honey and cinnamon.

Map of Greece

best greece travel guides

Read All Greece Guides

17 Brilliant Things to Do in Santorini 

17 Brilliant Things to Do in Santorini 

A Complete Guide to Oia, Santorini – Top Things to Do in the Island’s Most Iconic Spot 

A Complete Guide to Oia, Santorini – Top Things to Do in the Island’s Most Iconic Spot 

3 Days in Santorini: The Perfect Santorini Itinerary

3 Days in Santorini: The Perfect Santorini Itinerary

Klima, Milos: A Guide to the Island’s Colourful Fishing Village 

Klima, Milos: A Guide to the Island’s Colourful Fishing Village 

13 Must-Visit Islands in the Cyclades

13 Must-Visit Islands in the Cyclades

Kleftiko Beach: Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring Milos’ Stunning Gem

Kleftiko Beach: Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring Milos’ Stunning Gem

A Complete Guide to Exploring Plaka, Milos’ Charming Capital

A Complete Guide to Exploring Plaka, Milos’ Charming Capital

Where to Stay in Milos: Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Milos: Best Areas & Hotels

18 Best Things to Do in Milos, Greece

18 Best Things to Do in Milos, Greece

Sarakiniko: A Complete Guide to Exploring Milos’ Stunning Lunar Beach

Sarakiniko: A Complete Guide to Exploring Milos’ Stunning Lunar Beach

The Best Restaurants in Milos, Greece

The Best Restaurants in Milos, Greece

19 Incredible Things to do in Athens: Discover Greece’s Ancient Capital

Is Corfu Worth Visiting? Definitely. Here’s Why.

Chania, Crete Travel Guide: Discover the Top Things to Do

Chania, Crete Travel Guide: Discover the Top Things to Do

1 Week in Crete: The Perfect Crete Itinerary

1 Week in Crete: The Perfect Crete Itinerary

Stunning Walks in Crete: Trails to Help You Discover Crete

Stunning Walks in Crete: Trails to Help You Discover Crete

When’s the Best Time to Visit Crete?

When’s the Best Time to Visit Crete?

Best Airbnbs in Crete: Cool, Quirky & Stylish Accommodation in Crete

Best Airbnbs in Crete: Cool, Quirky & Stylish Accommodation in Crete

The Best Hotels in Crete: 16 Stellar Places to Stay

The Best Hotels in Crete: 16 Stellar Places to Stay

The Best Things to Do in Crete, Greece: 18 Fabulous Attractions

The Best Things to Do in Crete, Greece: 18 Fabulous Attractions

Rethymno, Crete Travel Guide: Discover This Stunning Greek Island City

Rethymno, Crete Travel Guide: Discover This Stunning Greek Island City

Where to Stay in Crete: The Best Areas + Hotels For Your Trip

Where to Stay in Crete: The Best Areas + Hotels For Your Trip

The Best Airbnbs in Naxos

The Best Airbnbs in Naxos

The 11 Best Beaches in Naxos for Total Relaxation

The 11 Best Beaches in Naxos for Total Relaxation

Visiting Delos, Greece – A Complete Guide

Visiting Delos, Greece – A Complete Guide

When Is the Best Time to Visit Greece?

Best Hotels in Syros, Greece

Syros, Greece Travel Guide: Explore The Enchanting Capital of the Cyclades

Syros, Greece Travel Guide: Explore The Enchanting Capital of the Cyclades

Best Airbnbs in Mykonos: Cool, Quirky & Stylish Mykonos Accommodation

Best Airbnbs in Mykonos: Cool, Quirky & Stylish Mykonos Accommodation

The Best Hotels in Sifnos, Greece: 9 Stunning Places to Stay

The Best Hotels in Sifnos, Greece: 9 Stunning Places to Stay

Sifnos, Greece Travel Guide: The Greek Island Getaway for Those In-The-Know

Sifnos, Greece Travel Guide: The Greek Island Getaway for Those In-The-Know

best greece travel guides

Follow me on Instagram for travel inspiration, tips, and guides.

Greek Island Bucket List

Greece Travel Tips: The Ultimate Guide For First-Timers

Greek Island Bucket List is an Amazon Associate and participant in other affiliate programmes. I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

If you’re travelling to Greece for the first time you probably have all sorts of questions. Whether it’s how to travel within Greece or more to do with day-to-day etiquette and practicalities. I’ll answer some of the most common questions here and give you some essential Greece travel tips.

Note that this Greece travel guide for first-timers is HEFTY so pin it to refer back to.

best greece travel guides

When is the Best Time to Visit Greece?

If you’re going to the islands, the season runs from around April until November however it does vary a bit from place to place.

Best Time for Everything to Be in Full Swing

Mykonos, for example, has a shorter season and things are really packing up by mid-September. The season in Santorini runs for longer and activities are still being offered well into November.

In most other places I’d expect to see a distinct difference in what’s open after the 15th October.

The best time for everything to be open and the sea to be pleasant is from June to late September. Before and after that the weather can be changeable and fewer places are open so plan accordingly.

Although the sea in April and May can be cold, it holds its temperature through October and November.

Read about Paros and Santorini in October

best greece travel guides

Best Time for Hiking

If you’re interested in hiking the islands, the best months are April , May, the beginning of June and then September, October and the beginning of November.

Late spring and early summer are lovely times to go because you can generally expect good weather, blossoming bougainvillaea, warm seas and services that are up and running.

At the same time, you’ll avoid the blistering heat of July and August and the biggest onslaught on visitors.

best greece travel guides

What to expect in High Season

July and August are the peak months when you can expect summer crowds. In the first three weeks of August, Greek people flee the summer heat of Athens and head for the islands too.

The main tourist areas can be overwhelmingly busy so consider some of the smaller islands. July and August will be much busier than normal for them too. But it’s also when you’ll find sea taxis running to take you to some of the most beautiful places

Many Greek beaches are only accessible by boat, so you’ll have a hard time getting to them outside of July and August.

How Do I Decide Where to Go?

Since there are a number of different island groups it can be hard to decide which is the best option, especially for your first trip.

What Are You Looking for?

My advice is to start with what are the most important things to you. For example, are you looking for amazing beaches?

Perhaps you want somewhere with good hiking trails, masses of history, a great nightlife, particularly delicious food or that’s perfect for families.

Maybe you’re looking for the perfect place to hide away and relax, far from other tourists. Once you know what you’re looking for from your trip you can start to narrow down the best places for those things.

Then you can look at how to travel between those places or find alternatives that are closer to each other.

best greece travel guides

How Long Do You Have?

Another big consideration is how much time you’ve got. If you’re really limited and are spending time in Athens then hopping about the Saronic Islands might make the most sense.

Alternatively, if you’re besotted with social media pictures and videos from the Ionian Islands then just go ahead and book there and cross it off your bucket list!

What Temperatures Do You Want?

Be aware that like other European countries, Greece in the summer season gets HOT. The Peloponnese is renowned for its scorching temperatures. One of the reasons some of the islands are so popular is because of the winds that help keep the temperatures down.

Less is More

My biggest piece of advice though is not to try and cram too much in. Less is more when it comes to deciding on how much of the mainland to explore or how many islands to visit.

Ferry travel can take up a lot of time. And although it’s a quintessential part of Greek travel, you don’t want to be spending more time on a ship than at your destinations.

Although you might be keen to see as much as possible, make time to just absorb the Greek culture, sample local food and watch the world go by. You can always add places to your list to visit next time.

best greece travel guides

Should I Avoid the Main Tourist Destinations?

People will tell you that Santorini and Mykonos are overrated, touristy and not the real Greece. I can’t deny they are touristy and that there are many other islands to discover (not to mention mainland Greece).

Greece is a beautiful country and there are many popular destinations to choose from as well as off-the-beaten-track options.

But I can’t say that Santorini is overrated. It’s about the most popular tourist destination in Greece for a reason. The view of the caldera is truly spectacular and it’s something I think is worth seeing once.

best greece travel guides

Similarly, Mykonos is a rather unique and diverse place. I used to think it was a really tacky destination for package holidays from the UK.

But having been, there’s something about seeing all the wealth and the way other people live that always makes me want to up my game.

I think it’s fun, glamorous and inclusive and it does have beautiful beaches. The Unesco World Heritage Site of Delos next door is really special too.

I think it’s nice to go to Mykonos for a short time but include some other islands in the mix. Tinos right next door is a great place to combine with.

Should I Fly to the Greek Islands or Take the Ferry?

The most common way of getting to the islands is via ferry. I recommend it although I know it’s not the easiest way for everyone. If you have children then flying might be easier than the sensory overload and organised chaos that comes with getting the ferry in high season.

best greece travel guides

For more information about flying see the Best Greek Airlines For Island Hopping .

Things to keep in mind about flying:

  • some of the large islands do have national or international airports but lots of islands don’t
  • if you’re going to smaller islands like the Small Cyclades you could fly to Naxos and then get the boat from there
  • Athens is a hub and most island flights radiate out on “spokes” so you’ll have to fly in and out of Athens to get from island to island
  • there can be a few exceptions in peak times like flights directly between Santorini and Corfu
  • leave enough time between arriving on an international flight and your departure time for the islands (about 3 hours)

If you decide to fly then I recommend Skyscanner to book your plane ticket. They show you all the flights to a particular location on the date you specify, or across the whole month.

If you’re booking connecting flights then they also offer you options to buy tickets through travel agents.

That can be helpful if you’re booking connecting flights as you’ll have more support if you’re delayed on the first leg and miss your connection. Note that Delta has partnered with SKY Express to offer tickets all the way through to your final destination.

What is the best website for Greek island hopping?

If you’re heading to the Greek islands then get on , I love it. It’s the easiest site I’ve found to search for dates and several “hops” at once.

Plus they send you an email with all your booking details filled out so it’s super easy to check in online with just a single click.

Once you check in they’ll send you e-tickets so you don’t have to go and collect paper copies. (There are a few exceptions to this but you can see when booking if e-tickets aren’t available.)

When Should I Book my Ferry Tickets?

If the ferry schedules are out, then the best time to book your tickets is probably as soon as you’ve booked your hotel. If the schedules for the month of your visit aren’t yet published then just keep checking back.

See: Greek Ferries Guide for People Who Don’t Know Where to Start

People will tell you it’s fine to get your tickets on the day of travel. And while I am a last-minute person I wouldn’t advise leaving this too late.

One, if you do need to collect paper tickets it’s better not to be rushing about trying to get them. And two, tickets do sell out. It doesn’t happen all the time, but in the summer season, I have seen sold-out trips.

Plus there are finite numbers of economy seats, cabins and pet cabins, so if you want any of those you need to book when they’re available.

What do I need to hire a car in Greece?

I’ve answered all your Greece car hire questions here and tell you everything you need to know about driving in Greece here. Depending on where you’re coming from you probably won’t need an International Drivers Permit now but do check.

For many islands, it can be good to hire a car to really explore. But it depends on how long you’re staying and how comfortable you are about driving in Greece whether it’s worth it.

People can find driving on the islands a unique experience and sometimes one that’s more stressful than it’s worth.

Think twice (or three times) before hiring an ATV /quad bike. They’re really not safe and there are tons of accidents each year (many fatal).

See Do I Need a Car in Naxos?

Using buses on the islands

Bus facilities on the islands vary greatly. Places like Paros and Syros have good frequent buses around their islands. Mykonos has good transport to the various popular beaches there.

Where I stayed in Tinos there were only buses on Mondays. But the more popular parts for tourists had pretty regular routes. I’ve included bus information as part of many of the island guides.

During July and August, there are usually a lot more buses serving popular routes. Outwith these months buses can be cut right down or entire routes stopped altogether. If there are a few of you travelling together it can often work out cheaper to get a taxi.

Often there’s a small bus stop/shelter on one side of the road where you can wait for the bus. If you need to travel in the other direction just wait opposite it if there’s no obvious sign of a stop on the other side.

Luggage on Buses

In Greece, you put your luggage or any big or bulky items in the storage areas under the bus. If there are handles on the doors just open them up and put your suitcase in yourself. If there are no handles then the driver will open them up from the dashboard.

Keep valuables with you but I’ve always felt comfortable leaving the rest of my stuff under the bus. It was the same in Spain when I lived there.

Don’t try and take your stuff onto the bus with you. You can’t take up a seat for your bags and there’s not much space to put them anywhere else.

Paying your fare

On some buses, you pay the driver directly. On others, you take a seat and a conductor comes round and takes your money. I’ve seen both options on the same route too, sometimes. It’s usually ok to pay with notes if you don’t have change.

All About the Money

How can i exchange dollars or access euros in greece, euro only in greece.

Just to clarify, Greece uses the Euro. I’ve seen a surprising number of people ask if it’s possible to pay in US dollars when you get here. The answer is no.

However, if you’ve been travelling in Turkey, I can understand why you might think you can use alternative currency.

Exchanging money at the airports

You can exchange money at Athens airport. If you fly directly to an island then this is also possible in some places like Rhodes, Crete and Mykonos.

However, it’s always likely to be more expensive than if you were to exchange money with your bank at home before travelling.

Withdrawing foreign currency from the cashpoint/ATM

As I fly by the seat of my pants a bit, I tend to withdraw money from the cashpoint when I arrive. You get charged a fee each time but I don’t think it’s more than what you would pay to an exchange place.

Because of the fee, make sure that during your stay you pull money out in chunks rather than frequent, small withdrawals. The ATM will usually ask if you want the conversion to be in Euros or your home currency converted.

My bank won’t let me do this, but if you can choose the Euros option for calculating the amount.

(Side note: same when you’re paying by card. Sometimes the card terminal will ask if you want to be charged in Euros or your home currency like Dollars or Sterling. Choose the Euro option as it’s pretty much guaranteed to be cheaper for you.)

Have Cash When You Arrive

It’s probably sensible to have at least a bit of cash on you when you arrive in Greece. Many taxis won’t take cards. So at least if you have some physical money on you, you can get to your hotel. (Assuming you haven’t already organised some kind of transfer.)

The airports have ATMs but from time to time these things don’t work and the smaller airports won’t have a lot of options.

Having said that, I’ve asked taxi drivers to stop at ATMs on the way to where we’re going plenty of times (because I’m highly disorganised at times). Although, perhaps it’s not ideal for a female traveller, especially if you’re travelling at night in an unfamiliar area.

Avoid Euronet ATMs

Look for a normal bank ATM rather than these yellow and blue convenience ATMs. They’re installed in smaller, touristy areas, often next to tourist supermarkets. Usually, they’re seasonal too and only operate from April to October.

The exchange rates aren’t good and they charge a much bigger one-off fee to use them. They’re ok if you’re stuck – hence paying more for convenience – but I’d advise against using them regularly.

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Paying by card in Greece

I use my contactless bank card for most things in Greece. However, I heard that a lot of US credit cards don’t have this facility. You can still use chip and pin or you may be asked to sign the receipt.

A lot of taxi drivers won’t accept cards and some smaller shops and restaurants may not either. Of those that do, American Express and Diners Club are probably less widely accepted than others.

As I mentioned above, if you get the option on the PDQ machine, it’s usually the most cost-effective to pay in local currency. I.e. choose the option to pay in euros rather than in dollars or pounds or whatever you’re home currency is.

How Does Tipping Work?

Tipping is different to what you’re used to if you’re from the USA. It’s normally just to round up your bill after a meal and just leave the change. Otherwise leaving 1 or 2 euros in the dish when you leave the table is normal.

For tour guides and private drivers, you can leave more but all of it is up to you and the type of service you received. People won’t be expecting the type of tips you might leave in the US but they will appreciate anything you do give them.

What to Pack and Wear

My first piece of advice here is to pack light. If you’re going in the winter months that’s a bit easier said than done. And if you’re hiring a car and exploring only on the mainland then it’s less of a worry how much you take. You can chuck everything in the car and off you go.

But if you’re going to the islands in the summer months then I’d really aim to only take hand luggage. It’s the best way to do things since you’ll encounter lots of steps, uneven pavements, dirt roads and the like.

Having said that, if you’re arranging transfers everywhere to your hotels and someone else is taking care of your luggage, it’s less of a concern.

Just tip well if someone’s traipsing up and down the caldera steps in Santorini with loads of heavy luggage. And don’t make the donkeys do that work either.

Pack things that:

  • will help keep you cool
  • are suitable options on particularly windy days
  • can be washed and dried easily
  • that work well together so you can make a number of outfits from the same pieces

See What To Wear In Santorini Greece For A Happy Trip, and if you’re travelling in the summer the Ultimate Summer Greece Packing List: What to Pack for the Greek Islands

You’ll also want:

  • some cooling shorts to stop your thighs chaffing
  • comfortable flat shoes/sandals – you’ll walk miles round ancient ruins and archaeological sites not to mention village steps
  • skirt/sarong that covers the knees or that you can use for your shoulders to enter monasteries and churches
  • light jumper or jacket for the evening in the shoulder season

On The Beach

Are you imagining yourself on a beautiful golden sand beach by the Ionian Sea, or maybe the Aegean Sea? If so, here are a couple of things you might want to know about Greek beaches.

See also: 11 Top Black Sand Beaches In Santorini for a relaxing day read up on the 10 Best Beach Clubs In Santorini For A Luxurious Day and for golden beaches near Santorini Anafi Island: Beautiful Beaches A Hop From Santorini

Organised and unorganised beaches

These are the categories that Greeks split their beaches into. Unorganised means it’s a normal beach with no beds/umbrellas etc. There may or not be facilities nearby to get drinks or snacks.

An organised beach is one where you’ll find sunbeds and umbrellas and often a beach bar of some kind. Sometimes that’s a little hut and sometimes it’s a full-on restaurant or beach club .

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They’re normally a cost involved in taking a bed. It’s either a set charge for a bed and umbrella and prices can be set differently for each row, i.e. you’ll pay more for a front-row spot next to the sea.

Or, you can use the sunbeds if you buy food or drink from the bar. Prices can vary wildly depending on the island.

Usually, there’s some space on the organised beaches where you can lay down a towel so you can go without having to pay for a bed.

Nudist Beaches

Technically these don’t exist in Greece although you might find some on Google Maps. People go topless or fully nude on some of the tucked-away beaches or at the far end of some more popular ones.

Solo Travellers at the Beach

As a solo traveller , I always leave my belongings unguarded on the beach. There are waterproof pouches you can get to take things with you while you’re swimming, but I worry more that I’ll lose everything in the sea.

Make up your own mind about what you’re comfortable doing but know that it’s common for people to do this without a thought. You can always leave your valuables in your hotel room safe.

Dogs on the Beach

Unless it’s a Blue Flag Beach, dogs are allowed on Greek beaches so be aware of that.

Getting Around

There is an Uber app in Athens but it will just call you a normal yellow taxi. I haven’t used it but have used the Free Now app many times which is the same sort of thing.

See also the 15 Best Apps For Greece Travel In Athens & The Islands If you’re heading to Santorini this is a must-read Santorini: How To Get Around By Car, Quad, Bus & Taxi As is this if Mykonos is on the agenda Get Around Mykonos Easily: Travel the Famous Island |

Public transportation in Athens is good with an easy-to-use Metro system , train travel, a tram network and many buses. On the islands, the quality of public transport really varies, particularly on the small islands. Check my island guides for getting around before you go.

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Do I Need to Be Concerned About Petty Crime?

Like all big cities, Athens does see some petty and opportunistic crime, particularly in touristy areas. When you’re in the city centre wherever you’re visiting be sensible with your belongings.

I’ve heard of a lot of tourists from the United States who like to use a money belt under their clothes. I haven’t done that, but I do tend to keep my valuables zipped away in an internal pocket in my bag.

Keep your bag close if you’re enjoying a meal at a Greek restaurant in tourist area or when you’re around tourist sites. Don’t make it easy for someone to grab your stuff.

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Also, keep your wits about you on the Metro and around the city in general. Some groups have scams where they’ll divert attention and then pickpocket.

In rural areas like on the islands, things are very laid back. It can be one of the best things about them! You might be asked to leave the keys under the mat in your rental car when you go.

Or if you arrive at your hotel late at night, they’ll just leave the key in the door for you.

Accommodation FAQs

Why am i being asked for my passport number.

It’s quite common in Greece to give your passport number for things so don’t be alarmed. It’s not about recording you, it’s about the recipient allocating payment for tax purposes.

Hotels will normally take a copy of your passport when you check-in. That’s normal in many countries.

Every Airbnb needs to take your name and passport number to be recorded for tax. I’ve also had to give my passport or Greek ID when I’ve booked a car through an app (using iMove in Mykonos, for example) or other private transfer.

What is the city tax I’m being charged?

City tax is a compulsory charge that you often have to pay in cash at your accommodation even if you’ve paid for your room online. Sometimes, it’s included if you’ve paid upfront on or similar.

The listing will tell you when you book whether the city tax is included or not.

If you need to pay it when you leave, it’s usually around 50 cents per night, although I think Santorini’s is a bit higher. You need to pay your city tax in cash.

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Why am I being asked to pay by wire transfer?

In the UK and Europe, it’s not at all unusual to pay friends or sometimes businesses by bank transfer. That might be different to what you’re used to if you’re from the US. But don’t immediately think you’re being scammed.

Even established hotels might ask for you to pay this way. I’ve noticed that a lot of businesses in Greece use a Facebook page as their website. So many simply don’t have the facilities set up to take payments online.

If you feel uneasy about any transaction, then go with your gut. But just be aware it’s not necessarily an unusual request. I saw a thread in a travel group on Facebook where someone asked about this and all the advice was that it must be dodgy and to stay well clear.

People were saying this particularly because the accompanying email was written in less-than-perfect English. Understand that the culture is different in different countries.

Also, be aware that if someone is responding to you in a second or third language, their English is unlikely to be perfect. It doesn’t mean there’s an issue.

Day-to-Day Practicalities

When are greek public holidays.

You can see upcoming  Greek public holiday dates  here. Shops and businesses are normally closed although tavernas remain open. During the summer season, touristy places will run on.

Orthodox Easter  is usually end of April/beginning of May and can be a busy time for accommodation and ferries.

15th August Holiday  (called the Fifteenth of August!) is also a huge day in Greece. The islands can be ferry crowded as Greeks are usually on holiday with their families at that time anyway. Tinos is mobbed on this holiday.

Do shops/Stores close on Sundays?

Sundays are also public holidays,  but touristy places during the summer season will open all week. In the off-season, you might find some mini-markets / small stores that are also open on Sundays.

Chemists/pharmacies on the islands are usually closed at the weekend, although it varies. When I lived on Paros, they were open on Saturdays, but that wasn’t the case when I lived on Naxos. There are phone numbers on the door for each weekend though, that will tell you which pharmacy is on call for emergencies.

Main supermarkets are usually closed on Sundays.

Are the opening hours on Google Maps accurate?

Be aware that many businesses are seasonal. Often they put in their opening hours for summer and then leave them year-round. Probably they don’t expect people to be looking in the off-season.

If you’re travelling in the winter, you can see if the business has updated its hours recently. (You can see if there’s a message from Google saying the hours have been updated X number of days or weeks ago by the business).

If there’s no message and you’re making a special trip, then call before you go. Other restaurants and tavernas are really helpful and mark themselves as temporarily closed.

What are afternoon quiet hours?

Quiet hours are like Spanish siesta times. They change with the season but are usually around 3/3:30pm – 5-6pm.

Because it gets so hot in summer Greeks stay up late to take advantage of the cooler air and then sleep in the hottest part of the day. You’ll see whole families, including toddlers, going for a walk or a meal at 10pm.

Business hours for shops are usually along the lines of Monday and Wednesday 9am – 3pm and Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday 9 – 2pm and 5:30pm – 9pm . It can vary a bit and some places don’t open again on Saturday evenings. Department stores and supermarkets tend to stay open all the way through.

The quiet hours between 2/3pm and 5:30pm are taken seriously. You aren’t allowed to blare music from your car radio, talk loudly outside etc and builders can’t usually work through quiet hours. It’s like breach of the peace after 11pm in the UK would be.

Please be respectful of quiet hours. In island villages, holiday accommodation is often mixed in with residential accommodation and in very close proximity.

Be aware that people in the apartments around you might be sleeping in the afternoon. They usually have to get up early after being up late so they need the extra nap time.

Power Sockets, Plugs and Voltage

The plugs, sockets and voltage in Greece are different to many areas of the world. Unless you’re coming from somewhere with European appliances you’ll need a travel adapter for your device plugs. You might also need a converter so that your items work on the Greek voltage and electrical frequency.

See also: Power In Greece

Where can I do laundry/washing?

If you just want to do a little bit of handwashing during your stay, don’t bother bringing travel wash. Pick up a small box of powder from the shop. It’s really cheap, I think it’s more effective, and many places will provide a small washing bowl in your room

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Chuck everything in overnight, rinse it and hang it out to dry in the morning.

For a mid-stay load make sure you book at least a night or two in an apartment with a washing machine. Or head to the local laundry/laundrette.

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Note that not every island will have a laundry, and many that do literally are laundries, not self-service laundrettes. I’ve used a few in different places, and the turnaround time has been about 2 hours.

On average, I’ve paid between 5 euro for wash up to 15 euro (Santorini) for wash and dry. Although I think one place in Mykonos was something ridiculous, like 18 euro. If you don’t want them to use fabric softener you need to really insist that they don’t.

I usually just get my stuff washed and I dry it where I’m staying as I think that’s much nicer to dry it outside. However, it will depend on the size and facilities of your accommodation plus the time of year you visit.

Easywash is a brand of self-service laundrettes and you can see all their locations here . You can also use Google Maps to find laundries in the area you’re visiting. This post on 15 Best Apps For Greece Travel might be helpful.

How do I open the windows/doors?

Ok, this sounds like a random one. But I know from my experience in the hospitality industry, and now in Greece, that windows and doors can flummox visitors in different countries!

The type of window below is quite common in Greece (and Europe), and the same design is used for doors too.

If you’re playing around with the handle to see how it works, you can get a fright when the door angles back from the top. The first time I encountered a door like this in the UK, I thought the whole thing was falling on me!

Close the window with the handle down

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Turn it 180 degrees, and it opens at the top only (secure but lets air in)

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Turn it 90 degrees, and it opens normally

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How do I get hot water?

Solar-heated water is common in Greece. You’ll have water when the sun has had a chance to heat the tank. In that case, you might not have water first thing.

Once the water’s heated, it could cool down in the evening if it’s not hot enough outside to keep it warm. So, you may need to be strategic about when you have a shower.

Some water tanks are heated electrically, like an immersion heater. More than likely, the switch on the fuse board will be kept off until you need it.

If you’re staying in an apartment or villa, this might be the case. If so, you’ll need to flip the switch for about 20 minutes to let the tank heat up.

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Make sure you turn off the switch before you get in the shower.  Water and electricity don’t mix, and standards of installation might not be as high as you’re used to.

Can I drink the tap water?

The general answer you’ll find on the islands is no, however, there are exceptions. Like on Paros . But don’t worry, you don’t necessarily need to buy single-use plastic bottles for your whole stay.

The Greek water supply is subject to the same levels of cleanliness as the rest of the EU. Unless you’re somewhere remote you’re getting water from the mains.

So cleanliness isn’t really the issue. It’s more that seawater can mix with the mains water. Many islands don’t have desalination plants and don’t remove any of the excess minerals/salts that the water contains.

@bucketlistmylife Don’t drink the tap water here! Walk with me… #greekislandlife #bucketlisters #over40andloveit #housesitter #naxos ♬ From Now On – Hugh Jackman & The Greatest Showman Ensemble

If you’re in cities like Athens, it’s ok to drink the water from the kitchen tap. However, on most islands, you’ll be told not to do that. The villages have public taps in the street but check locally whether this is good to drink.

In some places, I understand they’re supplied by a spring, and it’s fine to drink. In other places I’ve stayed, the public taps in the village were the same as the kitchen tap water, and I was told it was not a good idea to drink from.

10 litres of water for 10 – 20c in Syros and Paros, Free in Andros

In the supermarket, a 1.5l bottle of water will cost about 30c. Although there’s a  big awareness campaign on Paros  to show people the water is safe to drink, you might still prefer filtered. In which case you’re in luck.

Syros and Paros both have big units in several points across the islands where you can get 10l of water for 10c (Paros) or 20c (Syros). You’ll obviously need a few bottles to fill, or ideally a 10l container. Find out more about the locations in Paros here .

In Syros, I’ve seen them on the road to Vari (just before the village, travelling from town) and on the big roundabout along from the Lidl and the bus station, where the taxis stop. Ask about them at your accommodation.

In  Andros ,  these machines are free to use.

Is it true I can’t flush the toilet paper ?

Yes, it is. Greece was ahead of its time and invited toilets before toilet paper was a thing. Therefore, the pipes used were really narrow. As things changed, it didn’t make sense to overall the entire country’s plumbing system so the same tiny pipes are still used today.

You’ll find a small bin in the toilets where you throw your toilet paper (and anything else you need to dispose of).

The bin bags get thrown out with the normal rubbish when they’re full. If you’re staying in a hotel or serviced apartment, housekeeping will come in regularly to remove and replace your bin bags.

I hate it, and as a rule, I take the bin bag out myself. What a horrible job for someone else to have to do for me. If that’s not practical, I always tie the top to try and make it marginally less unpleasant.

Are public toilets easy to find?

It’s generally quite acceptable to pop into the nearest taverna and ask to use their loo. I always think it’s polite to buy a drink to take away, but I’m not sure it’s expected.

You will find public toilets on the more popular islands, but the state of them can’t be guaranteed. I’d recommend always having some tissues in your bag. Oh, and they’ll likely be holes in the ground with a porcelain plate to stand on.

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There’s often   a toilet at the port of the larger islands. In my experience, they’re generally not awful during the peak season.

Alternatively, petrol stations usually have public toilets. The larger chains like BP mostly keep them in good condition. Local ones might ask you to wait a moment while they clean it for you!

Supermarkets are another option you can ask in. AB Supermarkets always seem to have a decent customer toilet.

Travel Insurance

All I have to say about this is make sure you get some for Greece travel adventure. Get something that repatriates you to your home country if you have an accident or get ill with something like COVID.

Historically I’ve been really rubbish with this because a lot of my travel was within the EU while the UK was part of it. But I’ve heard a lot of horror stories recently about people travelling without insurance. (Globally, that is, not necessarily in Greece.)

Insurance will cover you if there’s an issue with your flights or baggage (check the terms carefully) as well as medical issues. So it can really save your vacation if things go awry.

Animal Welfare

It’s really common to see stray cats all over Greece . They’re supposed to be cared for by the local Municipality (council) who should provide water and dry food.

But often, the responsibility is, wrongly left to animal welfare associations. These are usually set up by foreigners.

You can help by taking a cat to the vet to get neutered; perhaps talk to the welfare association first. A clip in the ear means that a cat has already been sterilised.

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If you’re self-catering for any part of your trip and are eating anything from a tin can, please crush it before binning it. Many cats live in and around the bins, and they will scavenge anything.

If there is the tiniest bit of food in a can, they’ll get their head in to eat it. The problem is, they can’t always get their head back out again.  So please crush your cans .

Although there used to be an issue with packs of stray dogs, over the last 10 years, that’s really changed. At least on the islands. On the mainland, particularly in the north, I’m aware that you might still encounter packs of dogs.

However, you will still see stray dogs on the road. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether they really are stray. Many Greek owners let their dogs run about on the road. If a dog has a collar on then that usually means it belongs to someone.

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If you see a dog in a bad way, regardless of whether it has a collar, report it to the island’s animal welfare association.

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Farm animals

Many Greek farmers are using modern farming techniques and treat their productive animals well. But something you might see is hobbling, where horses, goats, sheep and cows have their front and back legs tied together with rope or wire.

This is illegal and you can report it to the local police. You need to take pictures but  there are guidelines you can read here

Visiting Greece in Winter

A lot of the travel tips I’ve given above hold true whatever time of year you visit the Greek isles. But if you’re thinking of visiting Greece in winter, there are things to know.

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Greek Islands in Winter – Do they Close?

This is such a common question. The answer is that no Greek island “closes” in winter . People live on the islands all year round.

But, in terms of what’s available from a tourist point of view, many of the restaurants, shops, services, hotels and tours provided for them do close down over the winter.

If you want to visit the islands between October/November and April, then be aware you’re going to have a different experience than in the summer.

Here’s what it’s like in Santorini in October and November and Paros in October .

You can still enjoy Greek culture and indulge in Greek cuisine. The incredible beaches are still there. But unless you’re a hardened cold-water swimmer, you’re not going to be doing anything other than going for a bracing walk along the sand.

If you want to visit Greece in the winter, you’re best doing a city break in Athens or exploring the mainland.

Here’s what to expect from Greece in November , and Christmas time in Athens .

Island-hopping is still possible if you stick to a particular ferry route. For example, Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini. But you’ll be going for the views, hiking and food and not beaches, boat trips and partying.

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Important Greece Travel Tips for Winter

  • staying in island accommodation that’s designed for the summer isn’t fun in winter. A lot of homes are drafty, damp, have no heating and only have hot water if the sun shines for long enough.
  • most touristy tours and trips don’t run in winter. For example, if you visit Mykonos after October/November there’s no way to get over to Delos to see the ancient ruins
  • local public transport routes can reduce after the peak season
  • ferry routes and flight options vastly reduce after October and sea journey times can be much longer than in summer
  • generally, it doesn’t snow on the islands although it can. Mostly, it’s rainy and windy, although it can vary between the island groups
  • If you’re particularly looking for snow and cosy cabins, then head to the mainland for ski resorts and mountainous destinations

Do I Need a Visa?

Currently, citizens from the UK, USA, Australia and the EU do not need a visa to enter Greece for a period of up to 90 days within a rolling 180-day period.

From 2025, you still won’t need a visa, but third-party nationals from countries like the US, UK and Australia will need an ETIAS. This is a visa waiver and is required before travel. You apply online and once approved, the ETIAS is valid for three years.

Greece Travel Tips: The Ultimate Guide For First-Timers

Suzie Young

Suzie writes informative posts for solo, nervous or first-time travellers to Greece, Turkey and other countries on her 50-before-50 bucket list. She became a Greek resident in 2020 and intends to visit every inhabited island (13 down!).

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    Greece Tours & Trips 2024/2025. Bask in the tranquillity of Amorgos, party 'til dawn in Mykonos or admire the blue-domed roofs in Santorini. A Greek vacation combining the gems of the Greek Islands with the wonders of Ancient Greece creates the perfect escape. Take an escorted adventure and see the Parthenon in Athens, hear tales of myths and ...

  4. The Ultimate Greece Travel Guide: All You Need to Know

    Greece Travel Guide: At A Glance . ️ Capital City: Athens . ️ Official Language: Modern Greek. ️ Official Religion: 90% of the population identifies with Greek Orthodox Christianity. ️ Currency: Euro (€). ️ Major Cities: Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras. ️ International Airports: Greece boasts 14 airports, but only 7 of them are international airports.

  5. 13 things to know before going to Greece

    5. Book everything in advance during peak season. In peak season, prices are high, and demand for car hire, accommodations and ferry tickets is even higher - this is not the time for ad hoc bookings on the fly. Greece is an incredibly popular summer destination, and the best options get snapped up well in advance. 6.

  6. 10 best places to visit in Greece

    5. Epiros. In Greece's west lies Epiros, a remote region of soaring mountain peaks, fast-flowing rivers and hidden rock canyons. Hike to the alpine heights of Mt Tymfi's Dragon Lake, which freezes over in winter, or traverse the thick forests, inclines and descents of spectacular Vikos Gorge.

  7. Greece country guide

    Explore Greece holidays and discover the best time and places to visit. Greece's best sights and local secrets, from travel experts you can trust. Greece country guide - Lonely Planet | Europe

  8. Discover Greece

    Your complete guide for Greece. Discover Greece is the go-to place for Greek holidays, with destination guides, bookable experiences and best-of lists of unmissable things to see and do. Top beaches and water sports spots, cultural highlights, outdoor activities, food & wine tours, villages, boat trips … you name it.

  9. Greece Travel Guide

    4-Day Classical Greece Tour: Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora from Athens. Meteora Hike with Transport from Kalambaka. Zakynthos Island: One-Day Tour to Navagio Shipwreck Beach Blue Caves & Top View from Zakinthos. ATV-Quad Santorini Experience Tour from Perissa.

  10. Greece Travel Guide (Updated 2024)

    5. Explore the islands. The Greek islands are some of the best and most popular in the world. Soak in the sun, admire the white sand and blue-roofed houses, see the windmills (an iconic feature of the Cyclades) and just relax. Some highlights are Milos, Santorini, Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Zakynthos, Rhodes, and Kos.

  11. Greece Travel Guide

    Read about itineraries, activities, places to stay and travel essentials and get inspiration from the blog in the best guide to Greece. New! Trips. Tailor-made Travel. Destinations. Blog. Shop. Travel Guide Greece ... The Rough Guides to Greece and related travel guides. In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice. Buy US$12. ...

  12. Greece Travel Guide 2024 · Itineraries, Top Places, Islands

    A Travel Guide to Greece with ️ Travel Itineraries, ️ Top places to visit in 2024, ️ Best Islands, and more! Discover our Greece travel guides. ... Greece: 12-day Travel Itinerary Best Things to do in Santorini Athens: Top Things To Do. Best time to visit Greece. Apr-Oct. Renting a car. in Greece. Milos. Santorini. Kefalonia. Athens. Paros.

  13. Matt Barrett's Guides to Greece and the Greek Islands

    The most popular Guide to Greece for over 25 years with more than 5000 pages of information, beautiful photos and entertaining articles about the Greek Islands, Athens, hotels, restaurants, travel agents, reviews and photos, Matt's Guide has been called the best Greece Travel Resource on the net

  14. Matt Barrett's Guide to the Greek Islands, Athens and Mainland Greece

    Welcome to Matt's Greece Travel Guide: Hi. My name is Matt Barrett. I have been traveling or living in Greece since 1963. ... Matt's Best Hotels in Greece. My biggest project of 2020-21 was the facelift and reorganizing I did to Matt's Greek Hotel Guide which I am quite proud of. I basically went through every hotel on every island, village ...

  15. The Ultimate Greece Travel Guide • The Blonde Abroad

    Starting sometime around November 2023, US travelers between 18-70 years old will need to fill out an ETIAS visa-waiver form prior to their trip, and pay a €7 ($7.25) entry fee, to travel to European countries within the Schengen Area. It's a quick form, and you will most likely receive instant approval—but it's important to plan and ...

  16. Greece Travel Guides

    2 Weeks in Greece Itinerary: Athens - Santorini - Crete - Rhodes. This 2 week itinerary for Greece is ideal for first time visitors. It takes in the highlights of historic Athens, the beauty of Santorini, revels in the authenticity of Crete and finishes in the wonders of Medieval Rhodes.

  17. Embark on your own Greek odyssey: The ultimate Travel Guide to Greece

    Greece travel guide basics. Currency: The euro Language: Greek is the language spoken throughout Greece, although many people speak some English, especially in the larger cities. However, many signs outside of cities do not include English translations and are written in the Greek alphabet, as traveler Cristol noted when she returned from our Greece's Cyclades Islands: Naxos & Paros tour ...

  18. Greece Travel Guides

    Explore the 5 best vacation spots in Greece with in-depth travel guides. Discover the best things to do, when to visit, where to stay, how to get around, and how to save money.

  19. 12 Best Greek Islands To Visit In Your Lifetime

    Skopelos: Greece's greenest island. 8. Zákynthos: best of Greek Islands to visit with family. 9. Sérifos: one of the best Greek islands for a calm stay. 10. Náxos: the happiest of Greek islands. 11. Rhodes: one of the best Greek islands for exploring the Mediterranean Sea.

  20. 30 Best Places to Visit in Greece in 2024

    19. Santorini, Cyclades. Santorini is a top destination in Greece famous for its stunning caldera views, mesmerizing sunsets, and a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. July and August are the busiest, hottest, windiest, and most expensive months on Santorini island.

  21. Greece

    For direct flights to the Greek islands (when available) flight times can be up to 30 minutes longer or shorter. • Rome to Athens: 1 hour, 50 minutes. • Barcelona to Athens: 2 hours, 50 minutes. • Paris to Athens: 3 hours, 10 minutes.

  22. The Insider's Greece Travel Guide

    These handy tools will help plan your Greece trip to perfection. Use Skyscanner to compare flights, find the best flying times and affordable prices.; Island-hopping is best done by ferry. Use Ferryhopper to keep track of your tickets and the ferry operating times.; If you don't want to worry about meticulously planning out your Greece itinerary, look at the fantastic all-inclusive tours ...

  23. Best Places to Visit in Greece

    Embrace Greece, a country where ancient myths come to life amidst sun-soaked islands and stunning archaeological sites. Wander through the iconic ruins of the Acropolis in Athens, unwind on the idyllic beaches of Crete, or watch a spectacular sunset in Santorini. Savor the mouth-watering Greek cuisine, explore the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos ...

  24. Greece Travel Tips: The Ultimate Guide For First-Timers

    The plugs, sockets and voltage in Greece are different to many areas of the world. Unless you're coming from somewhere with European appliances you'll need a travel adapter for your device plugs. You might also need a converter so that your items work on the Greek voltage and electrical frequency.