Amazing Places to Visit in Greece

GREECE - SANTORINI - SEA - CHURCH BY THE SEA

When looking for sunshine-packed holidays, one place in the world can guarantee such a request: Greece. If you’ve never been to Greece, it should be on your bucket list. Make it your goal to discover the best places to visit in Greece, you will be rewarded with eternal visuals and amazing memories. And if you’ve already visited, I’m sure you’d be glad to visit again!

Posts include affiliate links to products or services. I might earn a commission if you make a purchase.

🧿 PLANNING A LAST-MINUTE TRIP TO GREECE?
Be sure to book accommodation and tours in Greece ahead of time to ensure availability!

🛥️ Book ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
🛌 Find hotel deals on Booking.com.
🚘 Compare car rental prices with Discover Cars.

📌 Pin for Later
Best places for holidays in Greece

Best Destinations in Greece for a Fantastic Vacation

places to visit in Greece
Sifnos Island, Greece.

If you’re planning your first trip to Greece, you might want to see a little of everything: Greece’s amazing culture and archaeological sites, the old churches, and the interesting museums.

There are so many great places to visit in Greece that deciding where exactly you should go can be puzzling.

Are you into those magnificent whitewashed landscapes and blue domes? Do you wish to wander along the cobblestone alleys adorned with pink bougainvillea? Are you a fan of water sports and stunning beaches?

This list outlines a few hints of the best Greek destinations, with some iconic places you can include in a first-timer’s Greece itinerary or even on your second visit to Greece. Take a look!

Athens

places to visit in Greece
Athens, Greece

Henry Miller once said, “It takes a lifetime to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.”

The capital should be the first place on your quest for the best places to see in Greece. You’ll instantly fall in love with Athens, which will always inspire wonder and wonder.

This ancient city bore the fundamentals of the democracy we enjoy today. It is the cradle of civilization and philosophy, and it will take your breath away.

Athens is a destination that proudly displays the remains of its ancient glory. Nearly 2500 years old, the Acropolis is not the only landmark you can admire. Athens is brimming with countless sites to visit.

>> Read more: Incredible Things to Do in Athens in 3 Days.

The capital’s archaeological sites are all easily accessible by foot, and most can be toured within a day. However, Greece’s cultural importance goes well beyond the capital, as you will see on this list!

Athens is one of the best places to visit in Greece for nightlife, culture, and history. It’s also a wonderful place for families, solo travelers, and couples.

Santorini (One of the most amazing places to visit in Greece!)

places to visit in Greece
Santorini.

Santorini is probably the most famous Greek destination. This incredible island brings visuals that belong to a kind of magical place.

The landscape is surreal, spurring speculation of being part of the long-lost Atlantis. Truth or myth, once you have visited Santorini, it’s easy to see the origin of that myth. 

Santorini is one of the best places to visit in Greece. Even if it’s sometimes overcrowded and too touristic, a trip to Santorini is one of those things you should do at least once in your lifetime!

Plenty of gorgeous views and romantic landscapes exist in every island area. However, if you’re after those idyllic images you’ve seen repeatedly, the Caldera is the first place to visit.

There are hundreds of things to do in Santorini, no matter where you go or stay. My favorite thing to do on the island is to take pictures. I usually get up early, wander around the villages, and have fun with my camera. I’ve been doing it for a while and have also written a guide about taking photos in Santorini.  

Usually, at 10 a.m., the streets start to get crowded. So, after a morning wandering around, it’s time to put my camera away and find a cute, quaint cafe with a view.

Three blue domes Santorini.
Iconic Santorini view.

If you’re looking for places to visit in Greece with children, don’t think Santorini is only about romance and honeymooners! It can be great to visit Santorini with the kids.

The Archaeological Site of Akrotiri is one of Greece’s most important prehistoric settlements, dating back to the Bronze Age. The site is on the southernmost tip of Santorini, and children love to visit Akrotiri.

Akrotiri underwent massive destruction by the Theran eruption (around 1600 BC). Consequently, the city remained buried under the volcano’s ashes for ages, thus being preserved until its discovery a few decades ago.

If you want to explore inland Santorini, rent a car and make your itinerary. Include the hidden gems of Pyrgos and Vothonas villages in your itinerary. They are ideal places to taste the local gastronomy and discover some of the best wineries in Greece.

>> Which car rental service is the best to choose? If you want to rent a car for your trip, consider Discover Cars, a worldwide car rental booking engine.

Crete (My absolute favorite place in Greece!)

places to visit in Greece
Balos Beach.

Cretan customs, cultural, and behavioral patterns are unique to Greece. Crete is one of the best places in Greece, and it deserves a spot on your travel bucket list.

Crete qualifies as an entire region rather than just an island. It has its dialect, variations, and unique local ways of life. Be patient with me, though… It’s the place I chose to call home!

There’s no way I’ll be short of words talking about Crete. Since the island is huge, I’ve divided this destination into regions.

If you’re short on time, jump right to the next place to visit in Greece. Instead, if you are—just like me—all about Crete, check out these 50 unmissable things to do in Crete and my guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets. If you prefer, you can purchase one of the digital travel guides I’ve specifically written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.

When it’s time to plan, explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, and be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches. If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion, Rethymnon, Lasithi, and Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

The Regions in Crete

Crete comprises four distinctly different regions. The more you explore, the more you’ll uncover the best of each.

If your curiosity leads you to explore the island in detail, you’d be better off renting a car. Don’t know where to start? This guide about driving on Crete will make it much easier for you!

Crete is great for a family holiday, although not exclusively. It offers a plethora of vibrant experiences for every kind of traveler.

Chania Region

places to visit in Greece
Chania Old Town

From left to right, west to east, we first find Chania. The region is home to the most astonishing beaches in Crete, including the famous Balos Lagoon and the incredible pink sand beach of Elafonisi.

But there are plenty of other beaches in West Crete, some lesser-known and worth discovering.

Another key place to visit in Greece is the old town of Chania and its romantic Venetian harbor. To stay in an ideal location, choose a top-rated city hotel close to the seafront; the views will be unforgettable.

Chania is a city full of history and legends, making it a unique destination in Greece. Besides, Crete’s mild climate allows extended beach holidays in other parts of Europe, even in colder months.

The Chania region is one of the best places to visit in Greece. It has Great beaches, a gorgeous old town, the imposing White Mountains, and heartfelt hospitality.

Rethymnon Region

places to visit in Greece
Port of Rethymnon.

Similar to Chania, Rethymno also has a picturesque harbor and a Venetian old town worth a visit. The city’s charm lies mostly in its labyrinth of alleyways and impressive buildings from the Venetian and Turkish domination of the island.

Rimondi Fountain is one of those places. It has a unique Renaissance charm, and they say that if you drink from the fountain, you will likely return to the city.

Among some of the best things to do in Rethymno, a visit to the historic Arkadi Monastery is always a good idea.

You must drive towards the mountains for about half an hour to get there. If you’re wondering how much time you would need to visit the top places in the region, check this Rethymnon itinerary.

>> You might also want to read Best Beaches in Rethymnon.

Heraklion Region

places to visit in Greece
Knossos Palace, Heraklion.

Crete’s capital city is Heraklion. It is also the fourth largest city in Greece. Despite being Crete’s most cosmopolitan town, its historical charm will grab your attention.

If you plan to visit, check this itinerary to see the best of Crete’s capital and nearby areas. The port is home to the impressive Koules fortress and the city’s wall fortifications, built during the Venetian era.

However, the reason Heraklion is one of the best places to visit in Greece is Knossos, the magnificent Minoan Palace, just a few minutes from the center.

The Archaeological Palace of Knossos is a remarkable ancient settlement where the mysterious Minoan civilization strived for centuries, as far back as the Bronze Age.A visit to the palace is great to learn about the unique past of the island

You can visit the site by bus (it leaves from the old bus station). The ticket is about €2. A taxi from the city center is about €10. Check this post to learn how to get from Heraklion to Knossos.

Lasithi Region

places to visit in Greece
Spinalonga Island.

My second favorite region in Crete is Lasithi. Lonely and isolated, it’s the perfect place in Greece for a relaxing holiday.

Those who can afford to upgrade their stay can soak in magnificent sea views in Elounda. The village is about 10 kilometers from Agios Nikolaos, facing the beautiful Mirabello Bay.

This is one of the best resorts in Greece, known for being home to some luxurious hotels. Elounda is thought to have the highest rate of private helicopter landings in Greece.

In Elounda, you can enjoy the unique views of the nearby island of Spinalonga.

Those for a more authentic Lasithi should consider renting a car and embarking on a day trip to the Lasithi Plateau. Once there, stop to check the stunning geological formations in the Cave of Zeus in Psychro village.

For great beaches, instead, head south to Ierapetra or read this article on the best beaches in East Crete.

Another pretty mountain village you can check out in Lasithi is Kritsa. It stands in the mountains, less than 30 minutes from Agios Nikolaos.

It’s fairly easy to visit by car or public transport. You can take the bus at Agios Nikolaos’ main bus station, the trip takes about half an hour and the bus ticket is 2 euros.

Don’t be surprised to find Crete on virtually every top-10 list of places to visit in Greece. Crete is perfect for adventure, unique landscapes, and breathtaking beaches.

Naxos

places to visit in Greece
Naxos.

I usually say that if I hadn’t moved to Crete, I would live in Naxos. And I mean it.

Naxos is one of the best places to visit in Greece. It has a unique Cycladic atmosphere, great nightlife, and is less crowded than other popular islands.

Since it’s bigger than most of the islands in the Aegean, there’s plenty to do in Naxos. And certainly, the more you travel around, the more you want to stay.

Among the most surprising things about Naxos are the green valleys and the imposing mountains dominating the landscape. There are also plenty of small villages that treasure the ancient habits and traditions of Greece.

The island is quite big, so renting a car is the best option to explore areas off the beaten path. And don’t forget to explore villages like Halki, Filoti, or Apeiranthos.

They are quite close to each other and can make a great day trip in Naxos. If you’re into Greek gastronomy, make a point to sample the local cheeses and spoon sweets.

Around Naxos, you will find archaeological marvels like the Portara, the Temple of Sangri, and the mysterious Kouroi.

The island of Naxos is one of the best places in Greece for a family holiday or a vacation with friends. It’s a great Greek destination to explore, relax, and have fun too!

Mykonos

places to visit in Greece
Panagia Paraportiani Church, Mykonos.

Mykonos is probably the best island in Greece for partying and having fun. It’s a great place to go with friends if you’re into clubbing and dancing the night away.

Yes, that’s what Mykonos is known for. However, the island is also one of the greatest places in Greece for beaches.

Some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece are on the coast of Mykonos. Pristine shores, soft golden sand, and unique emerald bays are just too pretty to be real.

Besides, the old town of Mykonos, with its typical Cycladic architecture, cobblestone alleys, white churches, and windmills, seems to come out of a perfect postcard.

Although you wouldn’t think of Mykonos as a great place to go with kids, we took a family vacation on the island, and it was magnificent. There are many things to do in Mykonos with children: interesting museums, natural landscapes, and safe, shallow bays.

Mykonos can be a bit overpriced. Yet, if you book in advance, you won’t spend more than on any other destination.

Mykonos is the best place in Greece for partying. There are dozens of clubs, beach bars, and discos. Mykonos is also known for its tolerance of gay tourism and private atmosphere!

Corfu

places to visit in Greece -green emerald sea, beach, cliffs, boat, Corfu - Greece
Corfu.

One of the safest places in Greece to travel with kids is Corfu. It was one of the first islands I visited as a solo mom with my kids, and everything went smoothly.

>> Read about our Magical holidays in Corfu or this article to help you choose between Crete and Corfu

Paleokastritsa is one of our favorite beaches in Corfu. The water is slightly colder than in other places, and it is surrounded by beautiful caves that you can explore with a boat.

A cool day trip to Paxos and Antipaxos by boat took us to explore these small islands with stunning views, pristine seas, and lush vegetation.

Corfu is one of the top places to visit in Greece because of its history, sights, and the relaxed beach life on the island. If you are looking for a great holiday destination in Greece, big enough to explore and have fun, whether as a couple, with the family, or alone, look no further than Corfu.

Corfu has every ingredient for a great holiday in Greece: stunning landscapes, great beaches, and delicious gastronomy. It’s also a very safe place to visit with the family.

Thassos

Pond inside a rock, sea, Greece, Thassos
The gorgeous landscape of Thassos Island.

Thassos is a quiet yet beautiful and most rewarding island in Greece. And there are countless reasons to visit. While you admire Thasos’ natural beauty, note that there is much to do in this remote part of the Aegean.

And you better start with its beaches. Whether you are after golden sand, pebbles, or marble, Thassos beaches have your match.

On the island, you will also find some charming mountain villages where life remains slow and traditional, where their unique identity and traditions have been well-preserved.

History enthusiasts will also love Thassos for its rich background and culture. Whether you are interested in mythology, classical Greece, or modern history, Thassos will surprise you with its archeological and historical sites, not to mention its new museums.

Thassos is a unique, off-the-beaten-track destination in Greece, it is a magnificent island for a relaxing vacation and one of the top places to enjoy and relax.

Hydra

places to visit in Greece
Hydra.

Just an hour away from the bustling city of Athens, Hydra is a small island on the Saronic Gulf. Hydra is also a great city break when spending a few days in Greece’s capital.

It will only take about 90 minutes from the Port of Piraeus to discover a different Greek island vibe. Life on the island is tranquil and slow. There are no cars, bikes, or motorcycles: donkeys and horses are part of the local landscape and are one of the most famous features of Hydra Island.

However, there’s more to do on the island than just checking the donkeys by the port.

If you spend just a day in Hydra, walk along the coast to discover the hidden coves and the small seaside settlements that will come your way. Stop for a swim at the cove that appeals to you the most, and then move on to the next Hydra beach.

If you’re not into walking long distances, you can reach further beaches by hiring a taxi boat at the main port.

Once you’re done swimming and sunbathing, explore the village, have an ice cream by the sea, or eat in one of the many tavernas at the port of Hydra.

Don’t forget to check out the beautiful sunset while you’re waiting for your ferry to take you back to Athens.

Hydra offers a unique place for a city break or a day trip from the capital. Hydra is close enough to Athens for you to visit in a day.

Paros

places to visit in Greece -Bougainvillea, sea, Cyclades, Paros
Paros.

Paros is a top Greek island for holidays and one of the coolest places in Greece! Home to unique beaches, traditional settlements, a quaint little port, and mouthwatering gastronomy, a trip to Paros will create everlasting memories for anybody visiting

Since the island is big and usually busy in summer, there’s plenty to do in Paros. For instance, you can explore the mountain village of Lefkes.

If you visit during the gastronomic festival, you can sample snail dishes that have gained Lefkes and name in the Cycladic islands.

In Paros, you can also visit the Byzantine church of Panagia Ekatontapoliani or the spectacular ruins of the Frankish Castle, a Medieval fortress overlooking the sea. At the same time, Paros has some of the best beaches in Greece. Santa Maria Beach is a paradise for water sports since it has perfect wind conditions.

On the other hand, the stunning beach of Kolymbithres will amaze you with a landscape of smooth rocks and shallow, crystal waters.

Paros has quickly become the new Santorini of Greece but price tags are more affordable.

The island features a perfect Cycladic atmosphere but also has great nightlife, unique gastronomy, beautiful mountain settlements, and heavenly beaches.

Zakynthos

Blue sea, Navagio beach, shipwreck, Zakynthos Greece
Navagio Beach.

The world-famous view of the turquoise waters on the Navagio Beach (also known as the Shipwreck Beach) of Zakynthos is one of those images that make you want to book your holiday in Greece ASAP!

Zakynthos is one of those magical Greek islands you don’t want to miss.

It has become one of the trendy places to visit in Greece chosen by thousands of European tourists every season. But there’s a lot more to do on this island.

The best way to move around is by car. The island is not as big as Rhodes, Corfu, or Crete and can be seen traveling independently.

The coast of Zakynthos is a famous place in Greece to spot sea turtles. There are different tours and immersion excursions to see these beautiful creatures better.

Another cool thing to do in Zakynthos is to visit the spectacular Porto Azzurro. This paradisiac beach features beautiful rocks emerging from the crystal waters. This area is also great for snorkeling.

Patmos

places to visit in Greece
Patmos.

Patmos is an off-the-beaten-track destination in Greece. It’s located in the Dodecanese cluster of islands and is one of the most exclusive places to visit in Greece.

The island, one of the best places in Greece for religious tourism, is visited by hundreds of tourists every year, eager to know everything about the famous Cave of the Apocalypse and the historic Monastery of Saint John.

The monastery stands on top of the old town of Patmos, a place full of stunning fortified mansions and maze-like cobblestone alleys.

There are many more things to do in Patmos. The main settlement and port, Skala, is great for dining, shopping, or sipping a drink in the main square, close to the Marina.

There are plenty of beaches in Patmos to choose from, Agrio Livadi and Lampi are two of the nicest shores on the island.

However, if you’re looking for a beach that takes your breath away, hike until you reach the blue waters of Psili Ammos. The beach is somewhat hard to reach yet its solitary, relaxing vibe makes the hike totally worth it.

Some might consider Patmos an island off the beaten track and somewhat exclusive. However, its calm atmosphere makes the locals proud.

If you’re looking for a different place in Greece, Patmos won’t disappoint you!

📌 Pin for Later!
Guide to the Best Greek Destinations

places to visit in Greece

About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

4 thoughts on “Amazing Places to Visit in Greece

  1. Nick Greek Boston says:

    There are so many great places in Greece to visit that it can be hard to choose! This is a nice roundup of some of the classic places that are worth a visit.

    • Gabi says:

      Hi Nick,

      Exactly, this is simply a round up, the beauty of Greece is never ending and there are many places that could be rightfully added to this list.

  2. Nick @ GreekBoston.com says:

    One of the most amazing things about Athens is the foothold that it has in history. Being able to see the Acropolis and Parthenon in the backdrop while enjoying the city is something that makes the place even more memorable!

  3. S. Murah says:

    Gгeetings! I’ve been followіng your blog fߋr s long time now and want to give you a shout out from Texas!
    Juѕt wanted to say ҝeep up thе worк!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *