It’s hard to imagine there’s a place in the world that has some of the most infamous ancient vestiges from one of the greatest civilizations, and at the same time share the landscape with breathtaking natural views. Well, this place in fact exists and it’s called Greece. If you’re eager to start planning your next few vacations and you’ve chosen this Mediterranean jewel, here’s a list with the most beautiful places to see, the best things to do, and the best meals to eat in Greece. Let’s dive into this complete Greece travel guide, you’ll end up wanting to book your flight right away!
1. Visit the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum
When you get to Greece it is impossible to miss the Acropolis from wherever you’re standing. This massive marble complex was once the home of the famous statue of Athena (goddess of Athens). Walk through the impressive Doric columns and marvel in the adjacent temples, all a true testimony of Greece’s role in world history. For a beautiful contrast, head to the Acropolis Museum – a huge building made out of glass and steel. Check out famous statues such as the man with a calf on his shoulders, and don’t forget to go out on the terrace and embrace the view of the Acropolis.
2. Hike in Mount Olympus
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of Greek mythology or if you don’t know much about it, chances are you’ve heard of one of the most famous mountains in the world. Mount Olympus sits peacefully in the Litochoro region, and it’s known as the place where Zeus placed his throne, as well as the place from where Hades ruled the Underworld. At the edge of Mount Olympus you can take in the view along with cotton-candy skies, or if you’re feeling adventurous hike all the way to the top.
3. Walk through Santorini
This is a particularly special place for people who are looking for a romantic place for their honeymoon. Santorini is a small coastal town, also known as the island of Thira, and what’s most remarkable about it is their many traditional Cycladic houses; stacked together and shining brightly white in contrast with the beautiful, deep blue waters of the sea. Walk the little town of Santorini calmly and enjoy the impressive views of the ocean. You’ll also find many churches and volcanic crater creations around Santorini.
4. Visit the Delphi Ruins
It’s time to pay visit to one of the cherished UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Delphi ruins are located right next to the bottom of Mount Parnassus, and it used to be a place where people made a pilgrimage to Apollo, the god of healing, music, light and prophecies. Back in the day, people also would come to this place to consult the great Oracle of Delphi. Nowadays, Delphi has some impressive temples, theaters, ruins and a massive stadium. Delphi is located a couple of hours away from Athens, so you can make a day out of this trip.
5. Climb the Steps of the Epidaurus Theater
This is one of the two major archaeological sites in the Argolid region of Greece, along with Mycenae. It’s also important to note that Epidaurus Theater is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This theater was built in the 4th Century BC, and it could hold up to 14,000 people. The Epidaurus Theater is so well preserved and has such an amazing acoustic, that it is still used for antique Greek play representations in the months of July and August – during the Epidaurus Festival. In addition, you can also go and check out the temple of Asclepius, the god of medicine; a stadium and a small archaeological museum.
6. Sail through the Corinth Canal and Visit the Ancient City of Corinth
Corinth is a marvelous city where you can appreciate the modern-day surroundings in contrast with these ancient ruins, that “by the way” are actually a mix of Greek and Roman cultures. Check out the temple of Apollo, an ancient theatre, and see the change from Roman to Greek architecture. While you’re there you might want to pay a visit to the Corinth Canal, a great sign of Greek engineering. This canal’s construction was started by Roman Emperor Nero, and it flows over 6 kilometers in length and is 90 meters wide. You can sail through the canal or you can even do a bungee jump if you like the rush of adrenaline.
7. Swim on Balos Beach
No Greece travel guide would be complete without a place to swim. You can find this beach in the Gramvousa Peninsula, right on the island of Crete. This legendary and famous beach is one of the top places to go surfing or, even lay in the sand to relax. Balos beach is made up of small lagoons that open up onto the deep blue sea waters so, you can enjoy seeing marine life right from the shore. If you only want to chill on this beach, there are plenty of sunbeds and parasols to do some sunbathing or swimming. If you enjoy other activities, Balos beach also offers plenty of day cruises, private sailing and fishing trips and you can even hire a Jeep driver to take you on a bumpy ride through the dunes that lead to the beach.
8. Sunbathe in Psarou Beach
This is another amazing beach where you can leave your troubles behind. Psarou Beach is located in Mykonos and it’s famous because of their signature light blue sun lounges. Lay on the beach or cheer up with its never-ending party atmosphere. You’ll find tons of restaurants and bars, so you don’t have to leave the beach to eat, or even party all night long. Since Psarou beach is more crowded, it offers far more water activities than Balos beach, such as snorkeling, jet skiing, surfing and motor-boating. This place is the favorite of the most luxurious kind of tourists in the world, who park their yachts offshore and come to the beach to party.
9. Melissani Cave
We couldn’t leave this place out of the list for all those who enjoy a little adventure on their trips. Melissani Cave is located near Karavomilo, and it’s almost 4 kilometers long, formed naturally thanks to the erosion of water on the rocks. Inside the cave, you’ll find the infamous Melissani Lake, which was discovered in 1951 and was anciently dedicated to the Nymph Melissani. You can go into the cave by hiring a private boat ride that’ll take you through the tunnel, where you can enjoy the view of this silent cave system that you can admire from your seat including the opening in the sky through which sunlight passes and gives the clear waters its characteristic turquoise color.
10. Greek Cuisine
This is not a place but deserves its own spot in the list. Greek cuisine is one of the most delicious, not only in the Mediterranean, but in the whole world. Don’t miss the chance to try out some typical dishes, since there’s much more than just Greek salad and Greek yogurt. When the sun is at its highest point and you want a fresh snack, look for a place that sells tzatziki. A bowl of tzatziki is made from Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic and several herbs and spices. It is not uncommon to accompany your tzatziki with some tasty gyros and a fasolada soup.
And while we’re speaking of gyros, make sure to try any of the street gyros vendors all around Greece. This is a very popular and quick meal, perfect to eat on-the-go if you don’t want to stop on your tours. However, if you’re looking for a more traditional culinary experience in Greece, you need to eat some moussaka at a restaurant. Moussaka is a baked casserole made with lamb and eggplant, often served with Greek salad. Moussaka can also be made with beef, but always accompany it with a Greek salad so you experience the contrast in flavors.
And for dessert? Try the very special portokalopita, a layered cake specially baked with an orange-flavored Greek yogurt custard. Every tourist who has a sweet tooth won’t resist to take a bite out of this baked goodie.
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Our Greece travel guide is a must for people who love nature, who love history, architecture, and who love a good adventure trip. Don’t hesitate and immerse yourself in this millennial culture while walking through some of the most breathtaking ancient ruins, never-ending museums, simply taking a stroll by the beach and indulging in some of the most delicious dishes you’ll ever taste. This country has something for every type of tourist, and once you check out this coast, we’ll assure you there won’t be enough days on your trip for you to see it all.