E very year, Greece welcomes visitors from everywhere in the world, especially during the course of summer. As the Greek sun is synonymous with freedom and a carefree lifestyle, yet the country’s mild climate and many attractions, along with its excellent infrastructure, have made Greece a favourite destination in winter too.
One can travel to Greece via many different means: by road, plane, train or sea. There are major road links for going to Greece with Europe and Asia. The country’s airports provide top-notch services. Rail connections with Europe allows lovely nostalgic journey. On the other hand Greek ports welcome ocean-going ships and local ferries all year round.
Places to explore in Greece
Visit the Acropolis – Located in Athens, this magnificent temple is a great place to learn about Athen’s history while you get a great view of the city and the nearby ruins. During the summer, the place is swarming with tourists and sadly, the Parthenon is always under construction, but the views are great!
Explore the past – Greece is where western civilization began and everywhere you turn, you will find ruins that are thousands of years old. Start in Athens with the museums, the Acropolis and surrounding ruins (the Agora is wonderful), and then set off to explore the ruins of Delphi, Sparta, and Crete. If you love history, you’ll love Greece.
Explore the beaches – From Crete to Santorini to Corfu, the Greek islands are some of the best in the world. Soak in the sun, admire the white sand and blue-roofed houses, and just relax. Santorini is famous for couples, while Ios is great for parties and meeting other young travelers. Some off the beaten path islands include Rhodes, Kos, or the ones in the far east. During the summer, most of the islands are full so book early. Read More: My guide to the Greek Islands.
Attend the Hellenic Festival – Every summer, the Hellenic Festival in Athens has concerts and performance theatre, including re-enactments of Greek tragedy. It’s one of the country’s top cultural events and if if coincides with your visit, you’ll see just how proud the Greeks are of their past.
Olympia – See the ruins of Olympia, the place where the famous Olympic Games all started. There is also a great reconstructed Temple of Zeus here. Meteora – Located mid-way through Greece, Meteora is famous for its monasteries that sit at the top sheer of Rock Mountains. It’s a wonderful experience to see and worth the steep trek up to the top. Although more than twenty monasteries used to perch on the steep rocks, only six remain today.
Take in the sun in Corfu – The Greek Islands may get all the press but sunny Corfu on Greece’s west coast is also a good place to enjoy the beach too. It’s a popular destination for young backpackers.
Delphi Ruins – Delphi has always been a place of historic and spiritual significance. This is where the omniscient Oracle would contact Apollo and give advice to those seeking good fortune.
Melissani Cave – A boat tour will take you into these caves, where you can admire the magical quality of ultramarine water and monumental walls that surround you.
Mount Olympus – Mount Olympus is the home of ancient gods. From here the gods would control the lives of mortal men. Any climb to Mount Olympus starts from the town of Litochoro. A walk up this mountain will be strenuous and mystical and you’ll see why Greeks thought it was this mountain from which the gods ruled.
Hike the Samaria Gorge – For the outdoor enthusiasts out there, this is considered one of the best hiking experiences in Greece. The Samaria Gorge does promise beautiful landscapes, fantastic photo opportunities, and a great workout.
Patra Carnival – Every year in midJanuary, the city of Patra is host to what is basically a month-and-a-halflong party. There are a slew of events, both major and minor; increasingly crazy weekends; and various costume parades, which even feature floats. It’s usually a good idea to make hotel reservations well in advance for this shindig.
Archaeological Museum of Heraklion – The number one attraction on Crete, this museum also happens to be Greece’s second largest archaeological museum next to the museum in Athens. There is a stunning collection here, which highlights the Cretan civilization (dating back from Neolithic times, through to the Roman Empire).
Santorini – Although it but one of the numerous Greek islands, many consider it to be the most spectacular. Aside from the beautiful landscape and volcanic presence, it is a great place for beachside camping, winery tours, scuba diving, and more.
Temple of Olympian Zeus – While you are walking about Athens, this is a great archaeological site to stop at. This temple is massive and took over 700 years to construct (dating back to the sixth century). There are a number of Corinthian columns still standing, though many have fallen. It’s quite an impressive sight. Greece is not only beautiful with its ocean landscapes, distinct architecture and delectable food, but it’s also incredibly affordable. Things costs half what they do in other parts of Europe. As one of the continent’s most popular destinations during the summer times, people from around the world flock to its famous islands for the sun, and to the cities for the history. I love Greece. It’s warm; it’s cheap; it has delicious food, beautiful islands, and lively and friendly l ocals. It’s the perfect summer destination.