This past summer, I spent 1-month living in Greece, and quickly fell in love with the country. There are so many amazing places to see in this historic and incredibly beautiful place. It feels like I barely scratched the surface of all Greece has to offer, visiting just 4 islands and Athens.
To help you decide which places in Greece are worth adding to your bucket list, I’ve enlisted the help of several travel bloggers. Together, we’ve come up with this list of the top 20 places to visit in Greece!
Which of these dream destinations will you be heading to?
1. Athens, Mainland Greece
A trip to Greece wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the country’s capital, Athens. I so enjoyed my visit to this incredible city, and it was definitely a highlight of my month spent in Greece. There were so many amazing historic sights to see like the famous Acropolis, ancient agora, and Temple of Zeus. I especially enjoyed the city’s world-class museums filled with ancient Greek art and artifacts. It honestly feels as if the whole of Athens is a museum-you never know when you will turn a corner and run into yet another impressive ruin! If you are planning a visit, be sure to check out my top 10 things to do in Athens, or consider taking a day trip to the seaside Temple of Poseidon!
Submitted by me, Miss Adventures Abroad!
2. Santorini, Cyclades Islands, Greece
Santorini is one of the most popular island destinations, and, after visiting this summer it is easy to see why! This stunning island is known for its whitewashed hillside homes and iconic blue church domes. In addition to the beautiful manmade features you’ll find on the island, Santorini is filled with natural wonders. The island is part of a caldera, and visitors can even visit the volcano and swim in hot springs located just offshore. Santorini is also home to some pretty amazing beaches, including a black sand, red sand, and white sand beach! While there were so many amazing things to do in Santorini (discover my top 1o here!), my favorites were ATVing around the island, cliff jumping in Ammoudi Bay, and jumping into the volcano’s hot springs.
Submitted by me, Miss Adventures Abroad!
3. Mykonos, Cyclades Islands, Greece
When you dream about walking among the white-washed buildings and alleyways of Greece, Mykonos is the place to be! We loved every moment of exploring these unique alleyways that vary in widths and levels. There were wonderful surprises around every corner! Cute little coffee shops, large and luscious Bougainvillea flowers, and inviting shops all make the island incredibly charming. Some of the unique treasures you can find include jewelry, scarves, umbrellas decorated with patterns linked to the culture, and beautifully designed clothes to bring out the (Greek) goddess in you!
The edge of the island is lined with restaurants with the best ocean and island views. There’s no doubt that when it comes to good food and beautiful views, Mykonos is a true travel gem. Be sure to visit the Mykonos Panagia Paraportiani church for its stunning panoramas and “Little Venice”. These are also two of the most romantic places on the island!
4. Crete, Greece
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands. Ask a Cretan where they are from and they will undoubtedly tell you Crete, not Greece. This is because Cretan culture is so unique- they have their own music, dance, and poetry. Crete is also home to historical sites that date to the Minoan civilization as well as Knossos, Europe’s oldest city. I grew up reading Greek mythology, so to stand where Theseus was said to have defeated the Minotaur was a very surreal experience!
No trip to Crete would be complete without a visit to some of the island’s natural wonders. I recommend renting a car (if you think you can handle the narrow, winding roads!). You won’t want to miss Elafonisi, Crete’s pink sand beach!
If you really want a white-knuckle drive on some of Crete’s narrowest roads, pay a visit to Balos Lagoon. The drive is an experience in itself, with spectacular views along the coast. Swimming in the lagoon is ice cold but, luckily, there is a part where you can swim in the sea. Crete took me by surprise and gave me many awe-filled moments. For me, it’s the perfect Greek island!
5. Skopelos, Sporades Islands, Greece
I was fortunate enough to spend 1 unforgettable month in Skopelos, Greece (almost) for free! I quickly fell in love with this island paradise, as do all who visit. Skopelos is far less touristy than many of Greece’s more popular islands but is equally (if not more so) beautiful. Skopelos is so picturesque that you might recognize it from the film Mamma Mia, as much as the film was shot on the island. I spent my month paddleboarding around the island (I was helping out at a paddleboard company, after all), getting lost on ATV adventures, scouting out the Mamma Mia filming locations, and getting a killer tan while frolicking in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean. If you are looking for a more under-the-radar Greek getaway, then Skopelos is the place for you! You can read more about my time in Skopelos here!
Submitted by me, Miss Adventures Abroad!
6. Delphi, Mainland Greece
By far one of the most surreal places I’ve ever visited was the archeological site of Delphi. Located along the side of Mt. Parnassus, it’s best known as the home for Apollo’s Oracle in much of Greek mythology. The Oracle played such a critical role in advising ancient kings and heroes, that Delphi was once considered the center of the world. It’s incredible to see what’s left of the massive complex and imagine what it must have been like throughout history. The other nice thing about Delphi is that it’s in its own area, so you won’t have the distractions of modern life nearby like many ancient structures in Europe.
Submitted by Samantha of There She Goes Again.
7. Rhodes, Dodecanese Islands, Greece
The island of Rhodes lies in the Aegean just off the coast of Turkey, and is one of the sunniest islands in the world with 300 days of sunshine a year! It is also an island that is steeped in history. In fact, the main harbor is where the colossus once stood, and Rhodes Old Town is recognized as a World Heritage Site.
Visitors are sure to love the long stretches of beach and the beautiful clear blue water of Rhodes. There are also plenty of small coves and harbors with tavernas to while away an afternoon. You won’t want to miss the white houses of Lindos dotted below the Acropolis. Here, donkeys are the only means of transport! Spend some time discovering local shops, or sit on a roof terrace and take in the view. Rhodes has a variety of boutique hotels, hostels, 5-star all-inclusive hotels or even villas. Visitors can enjoy bus tours, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, history, nature, and more-Rhodes truly is an island that has something for everyone.
8. Antiparos, Cyclades Islands, Greece
Small and unnoticed by many travelers, Antiparos is a true hidden treasure of Greece. Antiparos might have fewer activities to offer than some of the other more popular islands of the Cyclades, but is perfect for a quiet relaxing vacation away from noisy crowds. Even during the peak vacation season you won’t be fighting for access to the beach! The waters here are crystal clear, and you do not need to dive to see your toes.
With a few cute summer houses neighboring stars such as Tom Hanks, Antiparos will feel like your own private island. You can get here by taking a short ferry from Paros island – its bigger twin.
Make sure to bring a few books and snorkeling gear, as there is not much else to do besides relax!
9. Alonissos, Sporades Islands, Greece
Alonissos is the least touristic island among all the islands in the Sporades region. This was surprising to me, as I found the island to be extremely charming and absolutely gorgeous. I loved that we didn’t have to deal with loads of tourists at the beautiful beaches. Additionally, we were able to experience authentic Greek island living. My favorite area in Alonissos is the Old Chora, or the Old Town. A walk through its narrow alleys takes you back in time and you can truly sense the history that envelops this island.
10. Hydra, Saronic Islands, Greece
Less than 90 minutes from Athens by Ferry, Hydra is part of the Saronic Islands and neighbors the islands of Poros and Spetses. The island is popular with many wealthy Athenians and a growing number of international yacht owners and bohemian hipsters. There are no cars or scooters on Hydra which is part of the island’s unique charm. Donkeys and water taxis are the most popular forms of transportation, and the azure waters and picturesque cliff top bars attract many visitors during the summer, as well as writers and creatives throughout the year. There is little to do other than drink, eat, sleep and swim. The island is also home to several beautiful converted mansions that are now used as B&B’s and hotels. Hydra is the type of island that you could happily spend the rest of your life on (and the one after!).
11. Meteora, Mainland Greece
Meteora is famous for having the most important Eastern orthodox monasteries in the world. The monasteries all sit on rock pinnacles dotting the landscape, and the area is filled with volcanic rock formations that are weathered by water and wind over millions of years. The name “Meteora” translates to “in the heavens above,” and was given this name due to this unique setting.
I love the beautiful setting of Meteora and how visitors have the opportunity to visit the monasteries and see how the monks live in this unique location. Most of these monasteries used to be quite isolated, as they were constructed by monks choosing to live a solitary lifestyle. Today the monasteries are easy to reach by concrete roads or stairs which allow tourists of all ages to take a peek.
12. Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece
I was blessed to visit Corfu while on a 5-month sabbatical. You could say it was an accidental Greek love affair! With its medieval history, unique shopping, and delicious cuisine, it baffles my mind on why many skip this island paradise that 31,000 call home.
- The Old Town – explore the unmatched architecture that was named a Unesco Heritage site in 2007!
- Old Fortress: Are you a budding historian? If so, you will love this preserved heritage site. Dating back to medieval times, you can marvel at ancient artifacts while taking in the views of the Albanian coast. Admission is €4 for the day.
- Corfu was named “Castle City” thanks to being surrounded by ruins left from the Mythology days of battles and conquests.
- The Corfu Golf Club is a world renowned club offering a great 18-hole course. Head here for a great game and shot of ouzo at the 19th hole.
- Water sports at the beach will keep you both busy and entertained. Go on, give abseiling a try – you know you want to….
- Head over to their shopping district for olive wood, leathers, and artisan jewelry. Some of the most unique rings are offered here by local artisans.
- Do yourself a favor and add Corfu to your Island Hopping itinerary. It truly is worth the trip.
13. Thessaloniki, Mainland Greece
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in all of Greece, and is an important port city on the Greek mainland. The city is famous for its bustling port, as well as the history. Romans, Byzantines and the Ottomans all once called Thessaloniki home. Today, visitors to Thessaloniki won’t want to miss the seaside White Tower of Thessaloniki, the 4th century Arch of Galerius, the UNESCO World Heritage site of Thessaloniki’s Hagia Sophia, and many museums.
Submitted by me, Miss Adventures Abroad!
14. Aegina, Saronic Islands, Greece
Aegina is the closest island to Athens, but it has somehow managed to remain immune to mass tourism. Just a one-hour ferry ride from the mainland, Aegina receives mainly Greek weekend visitors and foreigners visiting for a day trip. Contrary to other more popular Greek islands, Aegina preserves all the charms of authentic Greece.
There are so many reasons to love Aegina, and even after visiting Mykonos last year Aegina is still my favorite Greek island. The journey from the port of Piraeus to Aegina along the Saronic Gulf is an experience in itself. This was definitely one of the most beautiful sailing trips I can remember. Immediately upon arriving at Aegina town, I fell in love with this picturesque village, colored by small fishing boats and tanned fishermen, narrow flowered streets and little tavernas and handicraft shops. Aegina is also rich in archaeological sites. Koloni, once a temple to Apollo, has a stunning view over Aegina town. The Temple of Aphaia is Aegina’s top attraction and one of the most important archeological sites in all Greece. Finally, there are the incredible beaches, they are sandy with turquoise crystal waters that are my definition of paradise.
If you’re looking to see genuine Greece and visit a real living and working Greek island, Aegina is everything you can wish for, and more. You can read more about Aegina here!
15. Milos, Cyclades Islands, Greece
Milos was unbeknownst to me until I met a Greek girl on my flight from Paris to Istanbul. True to her words, Milos is nothing like the tourist filled islands of Santorini and Mykonos. Milos is indeed an underrated and unspoiled island, which perhaps is the reason why I found it to be so charming. Milos is the epitome of true turquoise Aegean beauty. The waters are aquamarine in color and so clear!
You won’t want to miss the villages of Adamas, Plaka and Pollonia. Their seafood is so fresh and delicious! Pro tip: Hike up the Kastro in the Plaka village for an unobstructed view of the sunset.
16. Naxos, Cyclades Islands, Greece
Naxos is a great little island in the Cyclades, and it’s proximity to Santorini means that it’s perfect to visit both islands on the same trip. The island has that genuine, laid back Greek feel to it, and the old town is filled with traditional whitewashed, maze-like passageways to navigate through. Fishing fleets come into the coastal villages each day with their catch, and the eateries serve fresh, wholesome and tasty food. I highly recommend Metaxi Mas in Naxos old town area. The serving sizes match the generosity of the people!
The island is rustic, with stunning scenery, great beaches, historical sites, and a church every few meters! Inland, you can taste locally distilled kitron liqueur in Halki, or grab some local cheese, meats, and bread to picnic somewhere with a view. I also recommend the drive to Appollonas, as there are spectacular views and a picturesque beach to enjoy when you get there. Back in Naxos town, head up to the Portara (Temple of Apollo) and relax, enjoying the view as the sun sinks into the sea.
17. Olympia, Mainland Greece
Fans of history or the modern day Olympics won’t want to miss Olympia, the historic site of the ancient Olympic games, held here between the 8th century BC to the 4th century BC! Visitors can check out the Temple of Zeus, the ancient stadium, the Philippeion, and The temple of Hera among other archaeological sites. A trip to Olympia is a much for the art and architecture-obsessed!
18. Paros, Cyclades Islands, Greece
Paros is part of the Cyclades islands and is the first port of call for all ferries to the Cyclades. It is only a 3-hour ferry ride from Athens, and the island is often described as Mykonos 10 years ago. Paros has all of the amenities and you need with a good mix of old and new, and doesn’t have the crowds and price tags of its more famous neighbor!
Paros has its own airport, as well as 3 large towns and numerous other villages. There is plenty to do, but the island is still small enough to drive around. Paros truly offers something for everyone – shopping, great restaurants and bars, wineries, golf, water sports, historical buildings and sites, boating, and easy day trips to neighboring islands including Anti-Paros, Naxos and the Small Cyclades.
19. Nafpaktos, Mainland, Greece
Walking around Nafpaktos castle feels as if you are walking through a living gallery! It is one of the most beautiful castles in all over Greece and it is located on a hilltop at a height of about 200 meters. Here you can admire the magnificent castle area, the traditional Church of Profitis Elias and the gorgeous views of the city and Rio – Antirio bridge.
From the castle, all small streets and roads lead down to the port. One you reach the port, you will you find yourself surrounded by numerous cafes, restaurants, bars, traditional buildings, the beach and various shops. During the summer, the nightlife is rich, and the port and surrounding streets are filled with locals and tourists alike. You won’t want to miss taking a stroll in Stenopazaro, a picturesque cobblestone alley with two-story traditional buildings near the harbor.
20. Ios, Cyclades Islands, Greece
Ios is a gorgeous island located in the Cyclades Island group. The island is a popular stop for tourists visiting other islands in the Cyclades such as Santorini and Naxos, and is known for its hilly terrain, beautiful beaches, and fun nightlife scene. An excellent choice for island hoppers looking to find a fun and beautiful location in the Cyclades.
Submitted by me, Miss Adventures Abroad!
There you have it! The top 20 places to visit in Greece according to travel bloggers! Have you been to any of these destinations, or have you been somewhere else in Greece that you loved? Let me know by commenting!
You might also like my other posts on Greece, or these popular posts:
- The Ultimate Budget Guide To Santorini
- Top 10 Things To Do In Athens
- How I Spent 1 Month In Greece (Almost) For Free!
- Top 10 Unforgettable Experiences To Have In Santorini
Don’t forget to pin this for inspiration later!