Greece is known as Europe’s number one vacation destination which endlessly attracts tourists all year round. Each of its islands is unique and offers something different for their guests, making them well worth the visit.
Famous Destinations for Tourists in a Nutshell
- If it is your first time vising the country, we highly suggest our favorite places; the Islands of Mykonos, Naxos, Paros – most especially Crete and Santorini.
- For travelers with limited time, going to Santorini or Crete is the best choice. And if it’s possible to add one more destination, either the Islands of Naxos or Mykonos can provide you both an easy access to Santorini.
- Couples and for those who are planning their honeymoon, the Island of Santorini is still the best place to pick.
- The Island of Naxos is the best choice for family vacations with its child friendly environment and beaches.
- For an amazing nightlife, try the clubs and beaches of Mykonos, Ios and Santorini.
- Aside from Mykonos and Ios, Paros and Crete also offers wonderful beaches for its guests.
- Enjoy the marvelous foods that Santorini, Crete and Naxos has to offer or take a hike at Sifnos.
- And if you love sightseeing, Athens has got that covered for you. You can easily find amazing tour packages and great hotels accommodations for reasonable prices.
The Best Itinerary
There really are no bad itineraries when visiting Greece but planning smartly can help make your visit more productive and worth your time. The most important thing to remember in your travel itinerary is to carefully plan your fights getting in and out of there.
You have to make sure you’re getting the best deals because you could easily island hop for cheaper using ferry services.
If you have that all straightened out, looking for something to do is pretty easy. And if you are going to visit the country between the months of April until the months of October, a regular ferry ride available 2 times or sometimes even more per day can tour you along Heraklion down to Santorini, going to Ios and to the Islands of Naxos, Paros, Mykonos and the Island of Athens.
Here are some highly suggested Itineraries to help you better plan your vacation.
For a 7-day tour
- A 4-day stay in Santorini and a 3-day stay in Naxos or;
- A 5-day stay in Santorini and a 2 -day stay in Mykonos or;
- A 6 days stay in Santorini and a day sightseeing in Athens.
For a 10-day tour
- A 5-day stay in Santorini, a 4-day stay in Naxos or in Mykonos and a day of sightseeing in Athens or;
- A 2 days stay in Chania (Town in Crete), a day stay in Heraklion (Town in Crete), a 4-day stay in Santorini, and a 3-day stay in Naxos or Mykonos.
For a 14-day tour
- A 5-day stay in Santorini, a 3-day stay in Naxos, a 2-day stay in Paros, a 3-day stay in Mykonos and a day of sightseeing in Athens or;
- A 3-day stay in Chania (Town in Crete), a day stay in Heraklion (Town in Crete), a 5-day stay in Santorini, a 3-day stay in Naxos, and a 2 –day stay in Mykonos.
The 25 Must Visit Places in Greece
If you only have one chance to visit Greece, go to Santorini. This all-time favorite island is definitely magical.
The Elafonisi, which is known to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, is located in the southwestern part of this Island. Being one of the largest islands, Crete houses many great towns including my favorites Chaina, Agios Nikolaos and Rethymon. It also offers different activities and attractions such as Knossos which is a popular museum located in Heraklion and the popular park of Samaria Gorge.
A place that deserves a full day or 2 of sightseeing and a must try cinema which allows you to watch a movie in open-air beneath the Acropolis the Plaka, you tour here is surely going to be a fun experience and one that is unforgettable.
This is a quiet yet a very beautiful town in the Island of Crete.
Wonderful local delicacies, half a dozen amazing beaches, windsurfing spots, and the view of its neighboring Island Paros is the highlight of the place.
It is the place for some of the top notch beaches you can find in the country and is easily accessible from Santorini which is just a 50-minute boat ride away. Traveling here during the summer is more favorable for tourists when there is are continuous ferry rides available.
The nightlife on this Island is very much alive, yet it is still easy to find a quite space to relax and rest away from the crowd. The view and ambiance of the coast is remarkable and a long walk in the coastlines of Psarou down to the Paradise Beach is worth every step.
- The Peloponese
This Island offers beautiful beaches, a lot of history sites, an easy access to Athens and the best part is it never gets too crowded with tourist. It has many exciting towns to explore such as Nafplio, Gerolimenas and Katakolon which is just a few minutes away from Olympia.
This is an amazing Island that looks like a very big rock in the center of the ocean. At the far side of Monemvasia, you can find the Byzantive Village which was built there intentionally to appear visibly hidden from the main Island during the past centuries to avoid invaders. A thin causeway is the only thing connecting it to the land.
- Monatery of Orthokosta
This is a magnificent mountain village in the far southwest side of the Peloponnese peninsula.
- Corinth Canal
This canal serves as a boarder which separates the mainland Greece from the Peloponnese and just an hour away from Athens.
This beautiful Island has amazing views and a flat geography which is perfect for bikers.
- Corfu Town
The town is just a short distant away from many amazing beaches and offers its own brand of natural charm having its private amazing beach coves.
This is a typical city located in Syros and situated in the center of Cycladic Island which is surprisingly not very popular with tourists, yet offers easy access to different popular sites.
This Island offers an amazing countryside that’s perfect for hiking and it’s a close distance away from Santorini.
- Northern Greece
Northern Greece gives a rugged yet beautiful ambiance to its visitors. Try spending the night in the lovely town of Ioannina when you ride the bus from Corfu going to Athens.
- Navagio Beach
This famous beach is located in Zakynthos Island. Zakynthos is a little isolated and not an amazing choice for Island hopping. But if you are not really into transferring from one Island to another, this place has a lot to offer you.
- Karpathos Island
It’s a place near the Island of Rhodes that houses the Olimbus Village located up in its hills. The place is peaceful and often less crowded and gives a traditional Island feel.
A quick ferry ride if you are coming from Athens can bring you to this Island which is famous because people don’t drive cars and experience traffic here.
- The Meteora
Definitely the best destination for me in mainland Greece, this is a mesmerizing natural wonder you can find in the county. The 4 hour ride from Athens to get to the place is all worth it. The view of Monasteries at the rocks located at the top is an unbelievable site.
Milos is not as popular as Santorini but it is as beautiful, judging by the superb geography of the Island.
- Phospfori Tower
Packed with lovely views and amazing beaches, the place is quite popular with the locals but does not often see many visitors. This is situated in the northern side of Greece in Ouranopolis.
This place is not a regular destination for travellers but also offers many beautiful beaches and a go to place for Greeks.
This stunning island is a bit hard to visit because of the limited ferry services and there are no flights going there, yet it is still popular and filled with fascinating history and cove beaches.
You can include this place in your day trip from Athens. But if you want to better enjoy the view, an overnight stay is recommended to visit the temple in the morning or before the middle of the day when the crowd of tourists starts to arrive.
Best Places to Visit based on the Season
The Month of July/August
These months are the summer season and are considered as the peak period for tourists to visit the Islands. For a fun, livelier vibe, Santorini and the Island of Mykonos are the best place to go to during these months. Different outdoor activities and a very energetic nightlife is what you should expect during your stay. You can also go to Naxos, Ikaria, Antiparos, Sifnos, Milos or Folegandros if you want a tamer place to enjoy even during the peak seasons.
The Month of June/September
These months are a lot less intense than the peak summer months. Mykonos and the Island of Santorini are still the best place to go that still offers tourists plenty of things to do. This is also the best time to visit Rhodes, Paros, Naxos and Crete since it is less crowded. But other Islands become very quiet and slow around this time of the year.
The Month of May/October
Santorini, Rhodes and Crete still has a lot going on during the middle of the pick season months. Paros and Naxos are still amazing but not as lively anymore as it was in the previous months and other islands remain open for tourists but are a little more relaxed than before.
The Month of March/April or November
The weather during these months is perfect in Crete and Santorini for sightseeing, hiking, wine tours, trying different restaurants and delicacies and strolling. But though the weather is good, it is often considered a low season which means ferry services are not available and flying via Athens is the only option you have when visiting the two islands together during these months.
The Month of December/January or February
This winter season is also the lowest season in Greece for tourists. You can still visit Crete which is the warmest destination during winter or go to Santorini which is still crowded with tourists even during the cold season.