Open Travel, a site for tourism, gathered preferences and opinions of travellers over social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as its own resources and reviews to compile a list of the 25 most irresistible things to see and do on a Greek vacation. From emerald seas under azure skies to mind-blowing ancient ruins and staggering natural treasures where the “sun never fails to caress the body and the sounds of Zorbas warm your blood”, here’s a bucket list of the top 25 things to see and do while in Greece.
1. Santorini Architecture
Location: Santorini, Cyclades, Aegean
Described as heavenly bliss. Perched atop the volcanic caldera with picturesque views of Cycladic white-washed homes and blue-domed churches that everyone expects f Greece.
2. Acropolis (Akropolis)
Location: Athens, Greece
The iconic marble structure dedicated to the city’s patron goddess, Athena, rises high and proud to manifest the unsurpassed grandeur of Ancient Greek civilization. A visit to the city is not complete if you don’t take the stone-paved paths to the Parthenon.
Location: Meteora, Greece
An asylum for monks seeking a retreat from the expanding Turkish occupation. The inaccessible rock pillars are scattered over a uniquely sculpted landscape ideal for spiritual contemplation. From more than twenty monasteries that used to perch on the steep rocks, only six remain today.
4. Little Venice
Location: Mykonos, Greece
A vibrant place that knows how to party like crazy into the night. Once notorious for narcissists, the Cycladic island with its winding streets, colorful balconies and oiled-up bodies seduces holidaymakers.
5. Epidaurus Theater
Location: Palaiá Epídavros, Greece
One of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture. The theater is a healing and cultural center from the 4th century BC dedicated to the god of medicine at a time when the spirit and body were considered to be linked.
6. Beaches of Crete
Location: Crete, Greece
From enchanting coves to pinkish tinted beaches, from the exotic balm beach of Vai to Chryssi Akti or old hippy haunt at Matala, chances are there’s a beach for you on the island of Crete.
7. Delphi Ruins
Location: Dhelfoí, Greece
In antiquity, the site was known as the “navel” of the earth and universe.A place of spiritual significance, Greeks rushed to the omniscient Oracle to be advised by the gods. A visit to the Temple of Apollo is obligatory.
8. Melissani Cave
Location: Sámi, Kefalonia, Ionian
Let the gondolier help you circumvent a small fig-covered island and continue inside the roofed section through a narrow passage of the fairytale land. It is here that an ancient lantern was found in 1951 giving rise to further successful excavation projects, and ultimately to the partial collapse of the inner cave’s roof.
9. Lake Plastira
Location: Kardítsa, Thessaly
The artificial lake of Thessaly is immersed in oak and chestnut trees. With scenic views, rustling leaves and gargling water, it is known as “Little Switzerland”. Holidaymakers are spoilt for choice here with action-packed holidays offering everything from horse riding to rafting.
10. Benaki Museum
Location: Athens, Greece
A trudge through the several floors of the Benaki will take you on a journey through various periods of Greek history, introduce you to the heroes of the Greek Revolution and let you witness the birth of the modern state of Hellas.
11. Mount Athos
Location: Halkidiki, Northern Greece
Rising high from the easternmost “leg” of the Halkidiki peninsula, Mount Athos is the “Holy Mountain” in the heart of Macedonia, Greece. The hub of Eastern Christian Orthodox Monasticism, 20 monasteries dot treeless slopes. Only male visitors are allowed access.
Location: Mikínai, Peloponnese
Perched between two conical hills, spread ruins of a powerful palatial complex of the Late Bronze Age in Greece that dates back to the second millennium BC.
13. Acropolis of Lindos
Location: Líndos, Rhodes
Reached by foot or donkey, the 4th century temple of Lindia Athena surrounded by a medieval castle is an impressive sight to behold followed by a mandatory swim in the crystal waters of Lindos Bay afterwards.
14. Mount Olympus
The imaginary abode of Greek gods, the mountain is the highest peak of Greece, cutting the sky at 2,919 metres and it is shrouded in divine mystery as the place that Zeus sat on his throne.
15. Ancient Port of Pythagoreion
Location: Pythagóreion, Samos
The port itself is picturesque and the architectural structure of the Eupalinian aqueduct is impressive.
16. Sissi’s Palace (Achilleon)
Location: Corfu, Greece
Corfu, the most northern of the Ionian islands, is ideal for a family vacation. Those with more refined tastes can enjoy Sissi’s Palace located in Achilleon atop a mountain with a breathtaking garden and an Austro-Hungarian flair.
17. Vikos Gorge
A stupefying gorge with exquisite vistas nomatter where you turn. The gorge leads a long way through charming illages tucked into the rolling scenery with Byzantine monasteries along the way. A hiking trail that offers both a physical and spiritual workout.
18. Delos Archaeological Sites
Location: Cyclades, Greece
The sacred island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, is filled with landmarks and splendid sights, such as the Minoan Fountain, the Terrace of the Lions, the Doric Temple of Isis, and the age-old Synagogue.
19. Dirou Caves
A gondolier will glide you through crystal clear surfaces as you meander into the underground space meandering gracefully through the dimly lit narrow passageways with stalactites and stalagmites.
20. Gulf of Corinth
Ancient sites, charming towns, romantic ports, and soothing beaches scattered along the edge of the Gulf cater to a multitude of tastes. Don’t forget to peep down the Corinth Canal.
21. Taverna Christos
Location: Plakiás, Greece
Travellers rave about the smells, tastes and colours of this culinary gem. Taverna Christos at Plakias is as Greek as it gets and value for money.
Location: Saronic Gulf, Greece
The picturesque island with its absence of vehicles has a mellow pace with its charming cobblestone streets and cosmopolitan outlook.
23. Monastery of the Apocalypse
Location: Pátmos, Greece
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Chora’s cobblestoned narrow streets take you past stately mansions and whitewashed houses enveloping Saint John’s castle monastery perche atop the hill encapsulating both sheer beauty and traditional charm.
24. Old Monemvasia
Location: Monemvasía, Greece
The medieval fortress town has witness the splendour of the Byzantium and drama of war – it inhales history and exhales admiration.
25. Ladadika Jewish Quarter
Location: Thessaloníki, Greece
Ladadika is what remains of the notable Jewish quarter before the Nazis put a tragic end to the vibrant community. Now, it is a trendy spot with its vibrant colours and winding streets.