Greek Vacation Checklist: 7 Essential Places to Visit in Greece

The first stop on your big fat Greek trip is right here! Working out where to go in Greece can seem like its very own labor of Hercules.

Leave the mainland and you could be heading to one of the country’s six thousand islands. Never has the expression, ‘So many places, so little time’ been so appropriate. Here’s our choice of must-see places to visit in Greece.

1. Athens

The Greek capital was the birthplace of democracy and where Western civilization began. It boasts some of the most famous sites on earth from the Parthenon to the Acropolis.

Fitting in so many archeological sites can be tough but educational tours are a great solution. They take away the logistical stresses and ensure you’re informed about all the key places to see.

2. Santorini

Santorini is a diamond in the Aegean Sea. This island boasts spectacular scenery. It has beautiful villages with whitewashed houses that seem to cling to the cliffs. Fira and Oia are towns where you’ll have superb views and sunsets.

3. Mykonos

Like Santorini, Mykonos is one of a group of islands called the Cyclades. The winding streets of the town are enchanting with whitewashed buildings and colorful blue doors and window frames.

It’s a cosmopolitan island popular with the jet-set and has a sophisticated nightlife. Head to Paradise and Super Paradise for two of the best beaches on the island.

4. Olympia

This is where the Olympic Games began. Olympia is awe-inspiring and set in the hallowed Valley of the Gods. The ancient stadium and training areas are still visible to this day.

You’ll also find some of the best-preserved temples and monuments in Greece. Some are dedicated to the most famous gods of all, Zeus and Hera. There are great mountain bike trails and hikes close by, all set in some wonderful scenery.

5. Crete

This is the largest of the Greek islands and feels like a country within a country. It has a varied landscape with rugged mountains and countryside full of olive groves. Its size means it has cosmopolitan cities but plenty of small villages too.

You’ll find the renowned Heraklion Archaeological Museum in the island’s capital. It’s full of Minoan artifacts. You’ll also be able to visit Knossos or the Labyrinth which is a large Bronze Age settlement.

6. Halkidiki

Halkidiki is famous for its fabulous beaches. It has three different peninsulas. Kassandra is where you’ll find the nightlife. Sithonia boasts clear waters and is full of hidden coves and clear waters. Athos is famed for its monastic community.

7. Rhodes

This island is just off the coast of Turkey. Rhodes has it all from pretty villages to pristine sandy beaches all steeped in ancient history. It’s popular with everyone from back-packers to the rich and famous.

The Best Places to Visit in Greece

You’ll be spoiled for choice for places to visit in Greece. Plan well ahead so that you can fit in both the mainland and a bit of island-hopping.

Keep reading our European section to get more ideas for your next big adventure.

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