Greece is a gorgeous country in southern Europe, with the mainland and thousands of islands sprinkled throughout the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It has stunning landscapes with changing terrain. Moreover, Greece has a rich culture, history, and archeological ruins. Find out more about the must-see islands, cities, and sights in this Greece travel guide.
The Greek islands are famous for having a spectacular coastline with pristine sandy beaches, hidden bays and coves, pebble beaches, and caves. There are 227 inhabited islands out of thousands in total. Enjoy sun-filled beach days, go for a sail or cruise, check out some of the distinctive architecture, and brush up on history with a trip to one of many famous archaeological sites. Here are some of the most popular Greek islands worth visiting.
Crete is the largest Greek island and the most populated. There are plenty of places to visit, such as Vai Beach, the Minoan Palace of Knossos, and Bronze Age ruins found in the countryside. It’s best to plan a trip to Crete from the middle of May through the end of June or from September to October. The water is warmer, and stunning wildflowers can be seen all throughout the island.
Mykonos is excellent for enjoying soft, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. It also has many bars and clubs open all day and night. Other popular activities include visiting famous churches like Panagia Paraportiani and sailing to Delos Island.
Picturesque beaches and history beckon travelers to Milos, Greece. Kleftiko Beach is a must-see spot great for snorkeling. Boat tours are an excellent way to discover sea caves and marvel at the rock formations. Of course, no visit to Milos is complete without a trip to the Catacombs and the Ancient Theater of Milo. This island is also where the famous Venus de Milo statue of Aphrodite was found in 1820.
Greek cities are well-known for their upbeat party atmosphere, exciting nightlife, and fantastic food. You can also explore popular tourist destinations. Continue reading to learn more about some of the best cities to check out on your travels.
Athens is the capital city of Greece and home to the Ancient Agora, the best example of an ancient Greek agora. Make sure you see the wonders of the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus and devote some time to exploring the Plaka, the oldest neighborhood in the city. The best times to visit Athens are March to May and September to November. This time of year is pleasant with comfortable weather, no rain, and smaller crowds.
The second largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki boasts the White Tower as a standout landmark. Other noteworthy things to do in Thessaloniki include a trip to Eptapyrgio Castle, the Rotunda, and the Arch of Galerius.
Bourtzi Castle is one of the most recognizable sites in Nafplio. The Venetian fortress sits in the middle of the bay. A short drive south from here is Karathona Beach, a popular bathing spot.
Aside from the stunning scenery, Greece offers a wealth of ancient historical sites and ruins that provide plenty of fascinating sightseeing opportunities. Take a guided tour to learn more about Greece’s impressive past, or indulge in some of the many activities available for fun and relaxation.
The monastery perched on a steep sandstone cliff is genuinely an impressive view. First created and inhabited centuries ago, they are still home to around 60 monks and nuns.
A visit to the Acropolis is typically one of the highlights of a trip to Greece. This ancient citadel sits on a rocky hill and is the location of the ruins of the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena.
Delphi is a world heritage site that is as beautiful as historically significant. It holds one of the most important temples of the god Apollo. Another interesting fact is that Delphi was known as the home to the Oracle of Delphi and priestess Pythia, revered in ancient Greece for having the power of future divination.
Make the most of your vacation by getting familiar with the basics of this dazzling country.
Greece follows Eastern European Time, Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) +2, or UTC +3 during daylight savings. Greece is one hour ahead of central European countries and two hours ahead of the United Kingdom. There is a seven-hour time difference between Greece and New York.
Greece uses the Euro, which is the official currency of 19 countries of the European Union. The current exchange rate (at the time this was written) is 1 Euro to 1.06 United States dollars.
Tips are not expected in Greece. However, it has become customary for tourists to tip 10% to 15% at restaurants and for services like taxis and tour guides. While not entirely obligatory, tipping is generally considered the polite thing to do.
Yes, Greece is the southernmost country of Europe, located in the Mediterranean. The mainland shares borders with Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Republic of North Macedonia.
Yes, it is common for snow to fall in the mountains of the northern mainland during the winter months of November through April. However, the winters in the southern part of the mainland and the Greek Isles are mild.
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