Greece is a mosaic of culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. Pearly white sandy beaches, beautiful sunsets, blue-domed churches perched on cliffs, colored buildings with adorned bougainvillea, and dormant volcanoes are just but a few of its striking characteristics. One of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world, Greece is not only a country rich in history, but it is a paradisaic nature lover's getaway.
Athens and Santorini attract newlyweds, lifelong couples, friends, family, and tourists from all over the world. These two gems boast of spectacular architecture, savoring cuisines, luxurious resorts, and much more. There are beautiful villas which provide stunning ocean views. Both Athens and Santorini feature a relaxed and laid back atmosphere that provides an unforgettable experience. With this in mind, here's a guide of the best places to visit, things to do, and facts about the country of Greece.
Places to Visit
Although Greece is a vast country full of many tourist hubs. In this section, we will focus on the two main tourist attractions of Athens and Santorini. These two hotspots attract millions of tourists all year round primarily because Santorini and Athens are home to several historical and cultural monuments. The two cities are also excellent entertainment hubs with a fantastic nightlife.
So, here are the best places to visit in and around Athens and Santorini.
The Temple of Poseidon
If you were fascinated by Greek mythology while growing up, this should probably be your first stop. The Temple of Poseidon is a one hour drive from the city center. On your way, you can adore the beautiful coastline.
The Temple has been featured in many novels and films. Explore first-hand where people used to worship the ancient Greek god of the sea. There are several taverns nearby where you indulge in local drinks and cuisine.
The New Acropolis Museum
Athens is the heart of Greece’s culture, and the New Acropolis Museum confirms this. Here you will learn about Greece’s cultural heritage while viewing the museum’s collection of archaeological excavations. Suffice to say; there are many sculptures and historic marvels available for viewing.
No matter how busy your schedule is, Plaka is a must-visit. It is the oldest neighborhood in Athens, and its appeal is immeasurable. You will fall in love with the neoclassical buildings, cobbled alleys, artisan shops and much more. If you still have some time, head to the Athens Central Market and get yourself a souvenir while interacting with the locals.
Remember when we talked about blue-domed churches perched on cliffs? Well, this is where you can find them. Firá is a beautiful place made up of whitewashed cubic houses which face the sea. It is the capital of Santorini. You can trek there by walking, or you can hire a mule to carry you. However, we recommend you travel via the cable car so that you can get a panoramic birds-eye view of the region.
Located 12 km from Firá, this town also features a similar setting. The whitewashed houses, hotels, and boutiques comprise most of the town. Most were built overlooking the caldera so that you can enjoy a beautiful seaside view. Tourism is the town’s main economic activity, and this is why you can expect first-class treatment when you visit this gem.
We have talked so much about how hotels in Firá and Oia have been built facing the caldera. But, what’s so special about the caldera? It is a sea-filled volcanic crater, formed centuries ago, that you can explore via boat.
Things to Do in Greece
Without a doubt, Greece is a mosaic of culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes. Although it’s made up of idyllic islands, most of them are full of fun-filled activities, engaging museums, and coastal towns with lots to offer. Coming up with a list of things to do can be overwhelming, so take a look at our picks of the best things to do in Greece.
Tour The Acropolis
Touring the Acropolis is the first thing you need to do in Greece. It has dominated the skyline of Athens for years. Touring it will allow you to explore several ancient architectural monuments, Parthenon inclusive.
Trek to the Top of Mount Olympus
For Greek Mythology fans, the mountain of Olympus is legendary. It is where Zeus sat on his throne. Don't leave without trekking at least a portion of Mount Olympus.
Adore Santorini’s Beautiful Architecture
Santorini is where most celebrities go for their honeymoons. Over the years it has become the haven for honeymooners. The town is uniquely beautiful thanks to its architecture.
Go Surfing at Balos Beach
Being a country full of islands, you can expect to find many beaches in Greece. Located on the island of Crete, Balos Beach is unique in its way. Unlike other beaches, Balos Beach is made of stunning lagoons that open up into azure water. You can dive into the water and admire marine life. When the tides are friendly, you can go surfing.
Visit The Delphi
The Delphi, located in Mount Parnassus, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historically, it was a popular spot where people used to pay homage to the ancient Greek god of music, prophecy, and healing. You will find ancient ruins in the Delphi as well as temples and a theatre.
Best Time to Travel to Greece
Greece has had a massive influence on the world’s art, sports, philosophy, politics, and culture. It has been identified as the cradle of western civilization by many. The country’s beauty and serene environment have made it a major tourist hub. Tourists flock Greece all year round, so if you decide to visit, you should familiarize yourself with the best times to visit.
Some might argue that early summer and spring are the best times. But, this all depends on vacation plans. Anyway, here are our best times to travel to Greece.
Spring/Fall: April to May and September to October
Spring or Fall are the best times to visit Greece. Reasons being, spring is considered an offseason. The number of tourists is low, and so are the prices. Your trip here will be affordable. The lack of crowds will allow you to enjoy the available features such as beaches peacefully. Also, during the fall, the weather is terrific. You will be able to spend more time outdoors.
You could also travel to Greece during the summer and winter. However, summer is considered to be a peak season in Greece. It is the busiest time of the year since tourists flock in from all corners. The accommodation rates are likely to skyrocket. During summer, however, the waters are warm; therefore, you can swim all day long. The nightlife also becomes more active during the summer.
Visiting Greece during winter does have some drawbacks. Your outdoor movement will be limited. The weather can get chilly, therefore no swimming. But, the rates will be relatively low. You can also expect to find most infrastructures closed during this period.
Greece Facts: Population, Language, and Country
The country has a population of 11 million people, and Greek is the primary language. Interacting with the friendly locals is fun. Tourism is amongst one of the leading economic activities here. Their currency is the Euro, but in most destinations, you can use currencies such as the dollar and the pound. Athens is the capital city and has lots of attractions.
It is often considered the world’s first democracy. If you love history, then there is a lot to learn from the country. Their cuisine is exceptionally delicious. You can try out the Greek salad, calamari, moussaka, and feta cheese. Did you know that during summer, there are more tourists in Greece than the actual Greeks?
The Bottom Line
Greece, as a country, is full of many wonders. Not only is it the source of the famous Greek mythology, but it has contributed immensely to the world’s politics, arts, sports, and philosophy. It’s a beautiful country full of fascinating landmarks, architecture, and historical landmarks. There are lots of places to visit and hundreds of things to do in Greece. Now that you are familiar with the best time to travel to Greece and what to do when you get there, you can begin planning the vacation of your lifetime.