Exploring the Best Places to Visit in Greece for an Ultimate Vacation


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Greece, a land of renowned philosophers and rulers, has rich cultural heritage and history. You can spot various pretty cities, refreshing beaches, ancient ruins, architectural monuments, and a myriad of visiting spots. Whether you are looking for an adventurous vacation or a relaxing one, this country is worth visiting for all travellers and explorers.

As a popular tourist destination, Greece is quite tourist-friendly as well - you can easily get around here with a well-connected transport system. With a seemingly endless number of places, however, making a checklist of the best places to visit in Greece can be quite difficult.

In this article, we will have a look at the top places to visit in Greece that you should not miss while visiting this country.

An Overview of the Best Places to Visit in Greece

Check out the table below for the top places to visit in Greece as per various parameters -

Best Places to Visit in Summer Best Places to Visit in Winter Best Places to Visit in Greece with Family
Thassos Island Zagori Athens
Pelion Arachova Heraklion
Rethymno (Crete) Kalavryta Agios

1. Thassos Island

Situated in the Macedonia province, Thassos Island is one of the top places to visit in Greece. The island has abundant natural vegetation and plenty of beaches where you can spend refreshing hours. Apart from this, the island is a homeland for different types of wild birds and is under the special observation of the local authority.

With this island generally being less crowded, it is a perfect place to enjoy a tranquil vacation.

Some popular attractions on Thassos Island are:

  • Gkiola: A natural lagoon, Gkiola is a popular place in Thassos which is perfect for exploring wildlife and vegetation. In addition, you can enjoy swimming and diving here.
  • Trypiti: Trypiti is one of the largest beaches in Thassos. It is surrounded by pristine blue water and is a great option for water sports lovers. With that said, it is a good place to visit in Greece if you want to simply enjoy sunbathing.
  • Psili Ammos: If you want to enjoy an energetic summer in Greece, you should certainly check out Psili Ammos. Different summer parties are organised on this beach, making it an ideal one for Gen Z people.
  • Pachis: This white sand beach is another cool one in Thassos. You can plan a great vacation with your family and kids here, with the low-deep water here being perfect for hanging out with your family.

2. Pelion

Situated in Magnesia, Pelion is among the best places to visit in Greece. This is especially the case in summer, when the region is filled with the lush greenery of natural vegetation.

Apart from its diverse landscape, Pelion is also associated with mythology, with the place believed to be the residence of the Centaurs. In addition, the local villagers make traditional products that you can collect as souvenirs of your travel journey.

Your go-to summer destinations in Pelion are as follows -

  • Agios Ioannis: Situated in the eastern part of Pelion, the Agios Ioannis beach is mainly famous for its watersports activities. Additionally, there are plenty of villages and bars surrounding this area that make for a great exploration opportunity. 
  • Plaka: Plaka is another famous destination near Agios Ioannis and an exotic site for beach lovers. Apart from regular beach activities, you can also indulge in various adventure sports here. If you’re up for it, you can also try out snorkelling and explore the exquisite Poseidon Caves nearby.
  • Afissos: Afissos is a unique cosmopolitan area made up of a collection of multiple beaches. You will find a variety of beaches as per your mood. For instance, if you want a peaceful experience, you can simply go to Agio Eythimia and Razi beaches. Similar beaches are there if you want to engage in sea-related activities. 
  • Papa Nero: Papa Nero is a neatly organised beach full of nature and golden sand. Besides indulging in watersports, you can enjoy camping and other beach activities in this region, with this beach also having luxurious lodging options.

3. Rethymno (Crete)

Rethymno is a beautiful city on Crete island and one of the best places to visit in Greece. The city always remains bustling because of the famous universities. In addition, it has historical value that can certainly pique the interest of history lovers here.

Discussed below are some of the famous places in Rethymno -

  • Ammoudi: A popular destination in Crete, this beach is all about white sand and clear turquoise water. You can enjoy diving or simply soak in the sun here. 
  • Preveli: Preveli is an exotic beach full of natural vegetation in Rethymno, Crete. You can spend refreshing hours at the palm tree-surrounded areas of this beach. Moreover, with boating services available in this region, you can leisurely explore the waters at your own pace. 
  • Skinaria: A well-organised but relatively quiet beach, this is a famous summer destination near Rethymno where you can enjoy a plethora of water sports activities. You can also enjoy exploring the caves and cliffs in the surrounding areas.
  • Archaeological Museum: This is a small archaeological museum in Rethymno which nevertheless is one of the top places to visit in Greece with family. In this museum, you can explore the history of the country in Hellenic, Roman, Minoan, and other eras.

4. Zagori

Zagori is a famous winter destination in Greece. Known for its incredible mountains and wilderness, it has a lot to offer to you with its cascading waterfalls, rivers, adventurous caves, and more. For nature lovers, hikers, and climbers, this is certainly among the best places to visit in Greece.

Here are some destinations in Zagori for your winter itinerary:

  • Ioannina: Ioannina, the capital of the province, is a marvellous city in Zagori and a great place to start exploring the region. It also happened to be an epicentre of the Ottoman Empire. The region has several mosques, museums, and architectural places to visit - make sure to include Ioannina Castle, the oldest Byzantine castle in the country!
  • Vikos Gorge: This is one of the deepest gorges in the whole world and a land of rich natural abundance. It is also home to the Vikos-Aoos National Park, one of the prime attraction spots near this gorge.
  • Pindus Mountains: This place truly transforms in the winter, with the mountains being covered with snow. You can visit the Pindus Mountains in winter and enjoy snowboarding, skiing, and other activities here.
  • Zagori Villages and Stone Bridges: Zagori villages with stone houses and a famous 18th-century bridge called gefiri are famous as national historical spots in Zagori. You can check out these natural wonders and more here.

5. Arachova

Next on our list of the best places to visit in Greece is Arachova, which is also called the ‘Mykonos of the Winter’. This semi-urban settlement is situated in close proximity to Mount Parnassos, among the top-rated ski resorts in Greece. You can also find and explore gorgeous bars, luxury hotels, shops, spas, and more here.

Listed below are the top tourist attractions in Arachova -

  • Corycian Cave: Around 10 km from Arachova is the Corycian Cave or Sarantavli, which is perfect for hiking and adventure sports. The breathtaking natural view of this region has made it a photographer’s paradise as well. You can find incredible stalagmites and stalactites here, which are mineral deposits growing from the floor and the ceiling of a cave, respectively. 
  • National Park of Mount Parnassos: Established in 1938, this is a famous natural site in Arachova spread over an area of around 36 square km. While the main attraction of this site is the ecosystem of pine forests and Mediterranean vegetation, it is also one of the best places to visit in Greece for bird lovers, with birds like woodpeckers, thrushes, robins, linnets, and others being spotted here.
  • Churches: Churches in Arachova are also among the special winter attractions for visitors. Besides the Church of Agios Ioannis, one of the famous ones in this region is the Church of Agios Georgios which has 250 marble steps that you need to climb to reach the top. You can also visit the Monastery of Hosios Lukas nearby, which is a UNESCO heritage site around 30 km from Arachova.
  • Ethnographic Museum: This is a great place in Arachova if you wish to learn and explore local traditional arts and crafts. You can find artefacts related to local dresses, goldwork embroidery, weaving, and others here. The building itself is worth visiting, as it is a remarkable instance of a neoclassical building.

6. Kalavryta

Kalavryta is another popular winter destination in Greece. This region is situated on the slope of Mount Helmos and is filled with forests, springs, and lakes. The city perfectly blends modern cityscape and a picturesque natural landscape, making it a major attraction for tourists.

Here are some of the popular activities and destinations to check out in Kalavryta -

  • Skiing in Helmos: Skiing in Helmos is an experience that you should have at least once in Kalavryta! The ski centre here was built in 1988 and is quite popular among tourists. You can also catch magnificent snow views, with the higher ski lodge being located at a height of 2,440 metres
  • Cog Train Travel: Also known as Odontotos, the history of this Cog train goes back in time to the 19th century. Covering 22 km from Kalavrykta to Diakofto, it is cited as one of the most beautiful train experiences in the world. This is because in its journey, the train passes through sites like Vouraikos Gorge, old Mega Spilaio Monastery, and more.
  • Monastery of Mega Spileo: This is a historical orthodox Greek monastery situated in a hilly landscape. Build in the 4th century, it is near a steep hill that makes it a great tourist attraction spot for its architectural excellence, religious relevance, and natural views.
  • Holocaust Monument: This monument is dedicated to the casualties caused by the Nazi troops in December 1943 in World War 2. You can find this monument on the Kapi hill.

7. Athens

Athens, the capital city of Greece, truly symbolises living history, art, and culture. It is one of the top places to visit in Greece, with numerous city attractions and natural spots present. The history of Athens is an incredible one, with eminent Western philosophers like Socrates being associated with it.

When exploring Athens, you can find many natural as well as historical sites and make a choice for visiting as per your preferences.

Here are the best places that you can explore in Athens -

  • Ancient Acropolis: Considered the epitome of the glorious past of the great Greek civilisation, the Acropolis was the main functional area in ancient times. Besides the Parthenon, an incredible temple of antiquity,  you can also explore the Temple of Athena Nike, the sanctuary complex of Erechtheion, and other places here.
  • National Archaeology Museum: This 19th-century archaeological museum is a great source of exploring the rich heritage of Greece. Apart from exploring the elements from prehistoric times to the classical Roman era, you can also check out the Neoclassical structure of the museum building.
  • Ancient Agora: If you are a history buff, you should certainly explore these ruins of an ancient marketplace in Greece. True to its meaning in Greek, Agora was also a place of public oratory! Some of the most famous attractions here include the Stoa of Attalos and the Temple of Hephaistos.
  • Museum of Cycladic Art: Established in 1986, this place includes more than 3,000 artistic objects of Cypriot, Greek, and Cycladic artwork, with the Cyclades being a group of islands in Greece. The museum is extremely popular among art enthusiasts and offers you a great peek into different forms of art and sculpting here.

8. Heraklion

Heraklion is another on our list of the top places to visit in Greece. The city is the emblem of ancient Minoan civilisation, with the remains scattered everywhere. There are plenty of things to do for kids as well. The most prominent site in this regard is Cretaquarium Thalassocosmos, which is an incredible aquarium home to more than 2,500 marine species.

You can visit the following places in Heraklion by yourself or with your family -

  • The Palace of Knossos: This ancient Minoan palace in Heraklion is a popular tourist site owing to its relation to Greece's history, art, and culture. Believed to be the Labyrinth of King Minos, most of the construction of this palace dates back to around 1450 BC. 
  • Old Town: Spending time in the Old Town in Heraklion is a great way to chill and visit interesting places. If you are into forts and ancient construction, you should certainly check out the 16th-century Venetian Fort of Koules.
  • Heraklion Archaeological Museum: Another fascinating place to visit in Heraklion is the Archaeological Museum, which has a spectacular collection of artefacts related to the glorious past of Greece. The museum features 27 galleries that cover the history of more than 5,500 years.
  • Morosini Fountain in Lion Square: Constructed in 1628, it is a town square in Heraklion surrounded by trees. The fountains are functional - you can see water drizzling out of the lions’ mouths here! It is certainly an important place to visit in Greece for its history, as it earlier made water available (connecting to Mount Juktas) to the people of the city. 

9. Agios

The final place in our list of the best places to visit in Greece is Agios, a coastal town that is a perfect family holiday destination in Greece. A relatively relaxed place, this place has great sites related to nature and the region's cultural heritage. In addition, there are several beaches in the surroundings where you can unwind.

Here are some of the top destinations to visit in Agios:

  • Lake Voulismeni: Lake Voulismeni is an attractive lake, with picturesque cliffs and cityside cafes surrounding it. This is also a great place to visit in Greece with family, as you can spot groups of ducks in this lake that can be especially delightful for kids. Although you can visit this lake at any time, it is advisable to see it at nighttime as well. At this time, you can catch a majestic view of the lake and its surroundings while enjoying dining at luxurious open-air restaurants here.
  • Spinalonga Island: Spinalonga Island is another tourist destination in Agios where you can enjoy refreshing day trips. You can take a boat ride to reach this place, from where you can have a great view of the White Mountains of Crete.
  • Kritsa: Kritsa is a mountain village in Crete and a relaxing place to explore. You can buy several handcrafted souvenirs from the local villagers here such as hand-made rugs, leather products, embroidered tablecloths, and more.
  • Almyros Beach: Almyros Beach in Agios is a great natural hotspot and beach to explore in the region. With the sea being shallow here, you can enjoy safe swims with your family here. You can also sunbathe and savour the surrounding mountain views.

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