10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Greece

Greece is a country in Southern Europe, on the southernmost tip of the Balkan peninsula, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It shares borders in the north with Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. It has an ancient culture that has had a significant influence on the arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports of western society, including the genres of comedy and drama, western alphabets, Platonic ideals and the Socratic method, democracies and republics, and the Olympics. Furthermore it’s a geographically appealing place to visit, with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches.

Greece is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world’s top 20 countries. According to the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the nation received about 20 million visitors in 2013, a large number for a small country of 11 million. Visitors are drawn to the country’s beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites and natural beauty.

1. Anthens

Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple. The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preservessculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece.
Athens is also a contemporary city, and it’s not uncommon for the nightlife hubs of Kolonaki, Psiri and Gazi to stay busy until dawn. Some areas of the city are pedestrian-only, such as the winding lanes of the Plaka neighborhood, lined with cafes, traditional tavernas and neoclassical houses. Near Syntagma Square, whose Old Royal Palace houses Greece’s parliament, is the Ermou shopping boulevard. Here, fashion boutiques mix with stores selling silver and handmade art. The Grand Promenade walkway, created for the 2004 Olympics, circles the Acropolis, passing fabled remains such as the crumbling Ancient Agora of Athens complex.

2. Santorini

Santorini is a volcanic island in the Cyclades group of the Greek islands. It is located between Ios and Anafi islands. It is famous for dramatic views, stunning sunsets from Oia town, the strange white aubergine (eggplant), the town of Thira and naturally its very own active volcano. There are naturally fantastic beaches such as the beach of Perissa, maybe the best beach in Santorini, the black pebble beach of Kamari, white beach and red beach.

Akrotiri, a Bronze Age settlement preserved under ash from the eruption, provides a frozen-in-time glimpse into Minoan life. The ruins of Ancient Thera lie on a dramatic bluff that drops to the sea on 3 sides. Fira, the island’s commercial heart, has the Archaeological Museum of Thera and boutique shops. It also has a lively bar scene and tavernas serving local grilled seafood and dry white wine, made from the Assyrtiko grape. Oia is famous for sunsets over its old fortress.

3. Mykonos

Mykonos is an island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. It’s popularly known for its summer party atmosphere. Beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise have bars that blare thumping music. Massive dance clubs attract world-renowned DJs and typically stay open well past dawn. Iconic landmarks include a row of 16th-century windmills, which siton a hill above Mykonos town.
Chora, the local name for Mykonos town, is located in a sheltered bay on the west coast. Here, narrow, mazelike lanes are lined with white cubiform houses trimmed with bougainvillea and blue doors and shutters. Matoyianni Street is the heart of the retail scene, with chic, high-end shops, cafes and art galleries. The town’s Little Venice quarter is filled with waterfront bars, seafood restaurants and houses with colorful balconies. Nearby, Panagia Paraportiani is a whitewashed church with a famously lumpy, lopsided shape.

4. Oia

Oia is a coastal town on the northwestern tip of Santorini, a Greek Aegean island. The town has whitewashed houses carved into the rugged clifftops, and overlooks a vast caldera filled with water. In a 19th-century mansion, the Naval Maritime Museum has exhibits on local seafaring history, including old figureheads, sailors’ chests and models of old ships. Nearby is the ruined Oia Castle, known for its sunset views.

5. Rhodes

Rhodes, the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, is known for its beach resorts, ancient ruins and remnants of its occupation by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. The city of Rhodes has an Old Town featuring the medieval Street of the Knights and the castlelike Palace of the Grand Masters. Captured by the Ottomans and then held by the Italians, the palace is now a history museum.
The village of Lindos features traditional white stucco buildings, a wide beach and an ancient hilltop acropolis with sweeping vistas across the Aegean to the nearby coast of Turkey. Ancient Kamiros is an archaeological site protecting the ruins of a clifftop settlement. Ialysos has the hilltop Monastery of Filerimos, surrounded by gardens and woodland. Between Lindos and Rhodes City, Faliraki Beach is a lively strip with a wide range of water activities. Prasonisi, at the southern tip of Rhodes, is popular for windsurfing. The interior of the island is home to mountain villages and wooded valleys.

6. Corfu Island

Corfu, an island off Greece’s northwest coast in the Ionian Sea, is defined by rugged mountains and a resort-studded shoreline. Its cultural heritage reflects years spent under Venetian, French and British rule before it was united with Greece in 1864. Corfu Town, flanked by 2 imposing Venetian fortresses, features winding medieval lanes, a French-style arcade and the grand Palace of St. Michael and St. George.
Built by the British, the palace is now home to an extensive collection of antiquities in the Museum of Asian Art. South of town, the 19th-century neoclassical Achilleion Villa has terraced gardens dotted with statues. On Corfu’s west coast, Palaiokastritsa has the medieval clifftop Angelokastro Castle and a rugged shore with a cluster of grottos that invite diving. The island’s beaches range from the fine sand and shallow waters of quiet Agios Georgios Bay to the water sports and party atmosphere at Kavos. The island’s interior has villages and farms, plus olive and fruit trees.

7. Meteora

Meteora (Greek:Metéora Μετέωρα, literally. “middle of the sky”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above” — etymologically related to Meteorite) is one of the gems of Greece and second only to Mount Athos as being the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. 6 Eastern Orthodox monasteries listed as a World Heritage site, built on top of rock pillars.

Located near the towns of Kalampaka and Kastraki in northwestern Thessaly it consists of a number of rock pinnacles topped with a total of 24 monasteries. These immense, solid rocks, split by earthquakes, weathered by water and wind over millions of years, are nature’s authentic masterpieces.

8. Zakynthos Island

Zakynthos is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea and a well-known summer resort. The harbor city of Zakynthos is the capital and major hub, centered around waterfront Solomos Square. Popular beaches like Agios Nikolaos, Alykanas and Tsilivi offer swimming and water sports. Accessed by boat, Navagio beach is the site of a famed 1980 shipwreck resting in a sandy cove framed by cliffs.
Coastal resorts in the south include Laganas, known for its clubs and bars, and family-oriented Kalamaki. Both are protected areas for loggerhead sea turtles. At Cape Skinari on the island’s northern tip, boat tours offer access to the Blue Caves, known for their naturally blue-lit water. Ruins of a medieval Venetian castle stand in the pines above Zakynthos city. The west coast’s dramatic shoreline features sheer cliffs and turquoise coves. Divers and snorkelers can experience sea caves and marine life including moray eels, monk seals and sea turtles.

9. Heraklion

Heraklion, also known as Iraklio, is a port city and the capital of the Greek island of Crete. It’s known for the Palace of Knossos, just outside the city. The huge archaeological site dates back thousands of years to the Minoan civilization, and includes frescoes and baths. Guarding the city’s Venetian port is the 16th-century Koules fortress. Heraklion Archaeological Museum has a large collection of Minoan art.

The city has many Venetian and Turkish fountains, including the 17th-century Morosini Fountain, surrounded by sculpted lions. The nearby Venetian Loggia, dating from the 17th century, is an ornate, 2-level arcaded building. The huge Agios Minas Cathedral was built in the late 19th century and has 2 bell towers. Much of the old city walls are still intact, including the Martinengo Bastion, just south of the center. The bastion is also the burial site of acclaimed 20th-century writer Nikos Kazantzakis. East of the city, CretAquarium houses Mediterranean Sea creatures such as stingrays, sea turtles and sand tiger sharks.

10. Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is a Greek port city on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. Evidence of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history remains, especially around Ano Poli, the upper town. The ruins of Roman Emperor Galerius’ 4th-century palace include the Rotunda that has been both a church and a mosque. Much of the city center was destroyed in the Great Fire of1917. The rebuilt 20th-century city has a modern European layout.
Byzantine Hagia Sophia Church was modeled after its namesake in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). 5th-century Hagios Dimitrios Church, with its well-preserved mosaics and paintings, is dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the city’s patron saint. On the waterfront, the iconic Ottoman White Tower has a museum on the city’s history. Nearby Aristotelous Square is the hub of city life. Tsimiski and Proxenou Koromila are shopping streets with chic cafes and boutiques. The city also has 2 universities, 2 symphony orchestras, a flourishing arts community and a renowned nightlife scene.