The cradle of democracy, philosophy and the Olympic Games; this incredible country has a diverse landscape with beautiful beaches, islands, mountains and ancient ruins. It deserves the status of a dream destination for tourists from all over the world.
In this article we’ll explore the best of what Greece has to offer including its ancient history, modern attractions and unrivalled Mediterranean cuisine.
What are the most popular tourist cities in Greece?
Immortalised by its paradise islands, also known as jewels of the Aegean due to the perfect combination of colours and climate, the Greek islands are a must for any traveller but which cities you should visit will depend on what you are looking for.
It is the capital of the country with the largest and main airport. It is undoubtedly Greece’s most popular tourist destination and home to some of the country’s most iconic monuments including the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
The perfect starting point on your Greek tour, Athens receives over 14 million visitors annually; it has a vibrant nightlife, a wide selection of restaurants as well as its rich history and culture.
If travelling during the summer, don’t miss Plaka for an unforgettable afternoon full of food and drink in one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Athens.
Explore the Monastiraki market as well. This colourful market is a great place to look for souvenirs and enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere.
Other must-see places are the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Panathenaic Stadium, and the National Gardens. The Gardens are considered an oasis of tranquillity and a great place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
The island is known for its luxury resorts, breathtaking landscapes, and exciting nightlife. A popular destination for single adults looking to enjoy themselves. It receives more than 4 million tourists annually, primarily in the summer.
Receiving more than 3 million tourists annually, Santorini is favoured by families looking to connect with nature and enjoy its crystal clear waters. This beautiful island in the Aegean Sea is known for its stunning blue-domed buildings and gorgeous sunsets.
Santorini is a popular destination for honeymooners and there are a variety of activities perfect for stirring up the romantic mood!
This island is not as famous, but every year it receives more visitors in search of its warm crystal clear waters and more affordable prices. A very popular destination with British and European travellers.
The largest of all the Greek islands, Crete is home to beautiful scenery and many ancient ruins including palaces at Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, and Kato Zakros. Famous for its paradisiacal beaches like the Balos Lagoon in Chania.
Located in northern Greece, Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in the country and is known for its lively nightlife. It houses several important ancient monuments like the White Tower and the Church of Hagia Sophia and St. Dimitrios.
Home to the impressive Old Town of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as the Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes is the perfect blend of traditional and modern.
Located in central Greece, Delphi is home to the ancient sanctuary of Apollo, where the Oracle of Delphi once stood.
A group of 46 traditional villages known for their stunning natural beauty. It is a popular destination for those who love being outdoors.
This picturesque island in the Ionian Sea is known for its beautiful beaches, historic monuments, and exciting nightlife.
How to get to these greek cities?
If you are not from Europe, Athens is most likely your final destination. Otherwise, finding direct flights to any of the islands isn’t difficult, especially in the summer.
To go from Athens to any of the islands, there are 2 options: by plane or by ferry boat.
The latter is generally cheaper compared to airline tickets, but the journey takes longer. It is worth mentioning that the ferries operate according to the weather for safety reasons.
There is also the option of enjoying a wonderful cruise through the Greek islands. These cruises last a minimum of 5 days, with options to visit and explore each of the islands.
What is the best time of year to visit Greece?
Greece has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. However, the best time to visit depends on what you want to do during your trip.
To enjoy the warm weather and spend your days on the beautiful Greek beaches, the best time to visit will be between May and September when the temperatures are warm and the climate is dry. However, because it is peak tourist season, you will most likely encounter long queues at tourist attractions, see a lot of people on the streets and pay higher prices.
To avoid the crowds and enjoy the milder weather, April and October can be a good time to travel. The weather is still nice and dry, but you’ll find fewer tourists and lower prices on hotels, flights, and restaurants.
To take advantage of the cooler weather and avoid crowds, the winter months between November and March are a good option. The climate is colder and more humid, but you can still enjoy cultural activities and visit internal attractions; however, you won’t be able to enjoy the beaches.
What are the best low-cost airlines to use to visit Greece?
Low-cost airlines are very popular in Europe and if you are already here, it is worth checking for deals.
Some of the main low-cost airlines to Greece are:
- Wizz Air
To find good deals, it is advisable to buy in advance. It is possible to find tickets for Athens for as little as 20 euros per person each way.
What to expect from Greek cuisine?
Based on Mediterranean cuisine, Greek food is known for its abundance of fresh ingredients including vegetables, fruits, seafood, and meats.
Olive oil is present in many dishes and herbs such as oregano and thyme are commonly used for flavouring. Some examples of Greek dishes are:
This popular street food in Greece is made from ground chickpeas. It can be served as an appetiser or as part of a meal.
Traditional Greek dish made of layers of eggplant, ground meat and creamy bechamel sauce, topped with grated cheese and baked until golden brown.
Grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, herbs and sometimes minced meat. They are often served as a meze (appetiser) and are usually accompanied by tzatziki sauce.
Grilled skewer of lamb or pork that originated in Greece. It can be easily found in restaurants or street stalls and is usually served with tzatziki sauce, pita bread and pickles.
Similar to souvlaki, gyros are thin slices of grilled meat (usually pork or chicken) served on pita bread with vegetables and tzatziki sauce.
Puff pastry made from layers of phyllo dough stuffed with chopped walnuts and sugar syrup. It can be found throughout Greece but is especially popular in Athens.
Layers of puff pastry stuffed with a mixture of spinach, feta cheese and herbs. It can be served as a main course or as a side dish.
Refreshing sauce made with yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and herbs. It is often served as a dip for vegetables or as a topping for souvlaki.
Classic salad is made with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives and feta cheese and dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. It is a staple of Greek cuisine and is often served as a side dish.
Beautiful landscapes, beaches with clear blue waters, Mediterranean food and thousands of years of history all around.
Greece is truly worthy of the legends and sagas that have captured our imagination for generations.