“Greece; Most beautiful places to visit. Culture
Traces of a centuries-old and important history is etched in every corner of Greek land: findings from the Prehistoric and Archaic Periods, unique works from Classical, Hellenistic, Medieval, and Byzantine monuments, creations from folk art cultures, traces from the passing eons of other civilizations and different religions, that coexist with current creations, constructions and modern works of art.
Greece is a true paradise for cultural tourism, a large journey into history and art. Educational excursions, theatrical productions, festivals, pilgrimages, visits to archaeological sites, monuments and museums, excursions to study the natural environment, folk art, and culture – these are just a few of the many things that Greece has to offer in the cultural tourism sector.
Whoever really wants to understand Greece, its history, and its people, will find an unrivaled cultural experience through traveling into the area and chronological period of Greek culture.
During your holidays in Greece, you will have the opportunity to discover various and enjoyable ways, for your free time. Traditional market areas but also famous fashion labels are offered for shopping, wellness, and spa centers for luxury time, traditional restaurants “tavernas” or café by the sea or in the mountain, cinemas, and theaters, are able to satisfy all trends and desires either you are in the city or in the island.
Greece is famous for its especially intense and multifaceted nightlife, which is not restricted to the weekends, in difference with the other European countries; the fun lasts until the early hours of the morning.
Touring in Greece
Trips of a lifetime! Greece is a country teeming with myths, traditions, history, and living culture. Travelers choose it as a destination not only for its incomparable natural beauty, but because it is a magical place, full of discoveries, charm, and secrets. Traveling in Greece is at the same time a way of becoming acquainted with the origins of western civilization. Let yourself be captivated by its historical wealth and singular modern reality. A trip to Greece is the experience of a lifetime that leaves the pleasant feeling that the world is ultimately very rich, very beautiful, and very interesting.
In the footsteps of Pausanias
Pausanias is without doubt, the greatest traveller in antiquity. His many-volumed, multifarious work is the archaeologists’ ‘bible’, as by following his descriptions they have managed to excavate significant ancient cities and bring to light unique treasures.
Pausanias journeyed throughout Greece. He was the archetypal travel writer, collecting myths, legends, traditions, folklore, as well as information on the everyday life of the places he visited. At the same time he recorded in great detail the layout of cities, important sanctuaries and major architectural works, along with administrative arrangements and social relationships. In honour of this great social scientist, the National Trail 031 in the Peloponnese is called the ‘Pausanias’ trail’. It is an exceptional route that starts from Patras and ends in Olympia, passing through some of the most beautiful areas of Achaia, Arcadia and Ileia. Many societies organize trips to walk the trail and in this way one can enjoy the route – especially in spring or autumn – with other nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.
Flavours, colours and aromas
Travelling around the Greece of Dionysus and fine wines is a trend that has conquered the hearts of tourists. Lovers of fine wines and spirits follow the wine roads, combining their acquaintance with the Greek natural world and the ‘hunt’ for that splendid, liquid treasure.
As one sets out along these charming roads, they will at the same time experience local culture. Hamlets around the vineyards, traditional guesthouses and ‘temples’ to authentic Greek cuisine go to make a world filled with enjoyment and excitement.
Greek caves – the depths of nature
The Greek land is scattered with caves exceeding 8500 in number. Major geological processes have endowed the bowels of the Greek earth with true monuments to nature, filled with charm and mystery.
Some of the caves are renowned all over the world for their significant anthropological findings, such as Petralona cave in Chalidiki and Franchthi cave in the Peloponnese.
Human history has been linked to these mystical caves. Many of them were refuges for primeval man; others were important places of worship. The power of nature, manifesting itself in the silence, unseen by human eyes, has captivated all cultures. Great chthonic deities were regarded as the protectors of caves in Greece, like the mythical “Pories”, beings with great intelligence and bodily features both human and serpent-like.
Greek caves, like Melissani on Kefalonia, those at Alistrati and Prosotsani in Macedonia, the Perama cave in Ioannina, Epirus, the famous cave of Paiania in Attica, the caves of Limnes and Diros in the Peloponnese, Diktaion Antron (Diktaean Cave) in Crete, fascinate visitors with their inner, complex decoration. Stalactites and stalagmites of incredible beauty, an ‘architectural’ structure that forms halls similar to those in royal palaces, underground waters, crystal-clear and mystical, create unparalleled underground landscapes.
Many caves have been linked to religious tradition, like Mega Spilaion in the Peloponnese and of course, the famous Cave of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos. There are also many small caves that were always considered sacred places, which have been converted into Orthodox churches, like Agios Konstantinos in the Peloponnese at Pellini.
Apart from being one of the special sights to see when traveling around this country, a visit to a Greek cave is a deeply mystical experience.
The 20 most beautiful places to visit in Greece
1. Parthenon Acropolis, Athens the striking historic monument and a truly striking place to explore in Greece
There are many breath-taking historical sites to explore in Greece but this world-famous Greek destination is considered to be the most important surviving building of Classical Greece.
Found in the center of the Greece capital Athens, it’s ruins of an ancient temple on the Athenian Acropolis dedicated to the maiden goddess Athena and built for a couple of decades starting 447BC.
The Acropolis of Athens is the most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing in our times. It was dedicated to the patron goddess of the city, Athena since Parthenon means also the apartment of the virgin.
The Acropolis of Athens in Greece is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. This is one of the most recognizable and imitated buildings in the world.
2. Mykonos; The lively and very pretty Greek island
Welcome to Mykonos, welcome to Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island!
This island stands out as one of the most beautiful in the Aegean region and makes a fantastic destination to explore in Greece. Belonging to the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea, although Mykonos is a popular party island there is still plenty of natural and traditional beauty on offer. Mykonos has a collection of unique Cycladic architecture set around a picturesque fishing village bay.
The square whitewashed buildings set closely together forming a maze of narrow alleyways and streets and are highly photogenic. The island’s beautiful beaches also make a perfect backdrop to watch the sunset.
Mykonos is one of the most famous Greek islands for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and vivid nightlife! It’s popularly known for its summer party atmosphere. Beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise have bars that blare thumping music. Massive dance clubs attract world-renowned DJs and typically stay open well past dawn. Iconic landmarks include a row of 16th-century windmills, which sit on a hill above Mykonos town.
3. Santorini Island; The famously romantic island which is one of the best places to visit in Greece
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands nestled in the Aegean Sea. This is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and romantic islands in the world.
Spectacular sunsets, traditional whitewashed houses and the breathtaking sights of the ocean is what make this island so special.
Head to Oia for the iconic village of pastel-washed houses hugging the cliff-face. The majority of shops selling postcards in Greece will have photographs from Santorini and once you visit you’ll realize why this is Greek place is so cherished.
4. Meteora, Kalabaka; An iconic rock formation that is one of the most stunning places to visit in Greece
Found in central Greece, this striking and unusual rock formation is home to a monastery founded in the 14th century and now has UNESCO World Heritage site status.
The complex of six monasteries is built precariously perched atop 1,300 feet high sandstone pinnacles, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the beautiful Pineios river and the Pindus Mountains.
The occupants of the buildings located atop vertically steep rocks definitely had a rough time climbing down, but so was their climb up. It is an awesome apparition that has the ability to leave you speechless – easily one of the best places to discover in Greece!
5. Delphi; A spectacular ancient site which makes a great place to visit in Greece
Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.
The Delphi theatre was constructed atop a hill facing the beautiful valley in the 4th century and is now classed as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Built as the sanctuary and oracle of Apollo, its 35 rows could hold up to 5,000 guests who in ancient times enjoyed plays, poetry readings, and musical events. The stunning historic site in Greece and the sheer beauty of the landscape below easily makes it worth the effort to get to.
6. Nafplio is one of the most beautiful towns in Argolis
In the Eastern Peloponnese region of Argolis is Nafplio, a romantic Greek seaport town and an earlier capital of the new state of Greece between 1821 and 1834.
In mythology, Nafplio was founded by Poseidon’s son Nafplios and maintains marks of conquerors since antiquity from Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians to Ottomans in the traditions, architecture, culture, cuisine, and life of the town. Any visitor to this top Greek travel destination will be awestruck by diverse medieval castles, Ottoman fountains, and ancient walls, statues, and monuments, neoclassical and Venetian buildings.
With Athens just 94 kilometers away, a bus or car ride will get you there. Make the clear blue sea your backdrop as you discover the Turkish fountains and medieval Old town, preserved neoclassical mansions, and narrow cobblestone alleys. Stop by Syntagma Square and take in the monuments and historic buildings before stopping at the Palamidi Castle standing tall at 216 meters above sea level.
Remember to take a boat ride to the Venetian fortress of Bourtzi, Nafplio most photographed plug. Other worthwhile stops in Nafplio include the War Museum, Acronauplia view and clock tower, the Byzantine 12th century church, and a view of the open sea and striking Nafplio from the Palamidi.
7. Mystras; A picturesque fort town which is one of the best places to go in Greece
Mystras, Sparta; Awesome places to explore in Greece! Ancient Sparta; Home of the Spartan warriors, famed for their fearless spirit and resolute self-discipline.
Mystras is a mountainous village close to Sparta, Laconia which is classed as a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO. It is famous for its archaeological site as Mystras used to be a very important medieval town in the Byzantine Era.
The archaeological site consists of well-preserved Byzantine churches and a strong Fortress and this popular place to explore in Greece has impressed even the most discerning of visitors.
Sparta fearing no one was without city walls or fortifications, which is probably why so few traces are left of a remarkable people. In antiquity, it was a powerful city-state with a famous martial tradition, famous for its powerful army as well as its battles.
8. Monemvasia Fortress; An awe-inspiring medieval site
Monemvasia Fortress is located along the Peloponnese east coast with the first settlement traced back to the 6th century and is one of the most dazzling historic sites to travel to in Greece.
A gigantic Byzantine fortress and superb beaches nearby open to locals and tourists are conspicuously prominent. The rugged beauty is a refined refreshing escape for anyone and a perfect place to spend idyllic and refreshing days tracing Ottoman, Venetian, Frankish, and Byzantine influences across the town courtesy of its impressive history and architecture in almost every place you step on.
Kastania Cave is arguably the islands’ iconic attraction formed millions of years ago with lots of rare geological marvels, including a church and café close by. Monuments worth visiting include Upper Town’s Church of Aghia and Lower Town’s Church of Christ Helkomenos and Church of Panaghia Myrtidiotissa.
9. Zakynthos island; A scenic island famed for its shipwreck and an amazing place to visit in Greece
A gift of the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos might bear a Venetian name but was mentioned by Homer in both the Odyssey and Illiad.
This beautiful Greek gem of a place is famous globally for its crystal clear blue waters, golden beaches, and intense adventures, especially at night.
Zakynthos offers lots of scenic outings, especially the Shipwreck Beach of Navagio in a secluded cove, including Banana, Porto Zoro, Kalamaki, and Gerakas. Zakynthos Town is home to dozens of museums and an interesting Venetian Castle on the hilltop. Picturesque mountainous villages are scattered across the countryside, including old monasteries easily discovered by car.
Adventure and thrill-seekers can go surfing or hire a sailboat, trek across the scenic mountainous region, go snorkeling, swim among sea turtles, and scuba dive in underwater caves between rocks in crystal clear surroundings. One of the most attractive travel destinations in Greece!
10. Kefalonia Island; A beautiful Greek island made famous by a popular novel
The popular Greek holiday island made famous by the novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which was set here.
This is one of the most picturesque spots to discover in Greece. Although there some development it still retains a traditional Greek way of life. For all those who wish to know what a beautiful beach looks like, just visit Myrtos located on the island.
It can be found located in the region of Pylaros, in the north-west of Kefalonia island. The sheer contrast of the bright blue waters and the sparkling white beach makes an exhilarating scene especially when viewed from the very steep mountains and cliffs.
11. Rhodes island; A popular and attractive holiday island and a great place to visit in Greece
Rhodes, a stunning place to visit in Greece, and the largest of Greece’s Dodecanese islands!
Rhodes is another popular holiday island in Greece, and although it’s home to some lively resorts there are still many areas of outstanding natural beauty to discover and explore. Here you can find Lindos and St. Pauls Beaches.
Lindos is more popular because of its turquoise waters and the view of the raised white-painted town from the beach. Both beaches are sandy, white, and exceptionally beautiful. Agathi Beach is another pretty beach on the island known for its soft sand and emerald green waters. Looking for history? There are many ancient ruins here and also remnants of its occupation by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades.
12. Naxos Island; A stunning hidden gem in Greece
Undiscovered Naxos. This is an island on the southern side of Greece which is home to the myth-surrounded Mt. Zeus.
Relatively undiscovered by the tourist masses Naxos is one of the highlights of traveling to Greece. It’s one of the greenest islands in the Cyclades with high mountains and fertile valleys.
The beaches here are among the most beautiful in Greece – long and sandy and perfect for swimming, water sports and relaxing. The traditional white-painted villages and winemaking factories are also another draws as well as port towns filled with whitewashed, cube-shaped houses and medieval Venetian mansions.
13. Thassos island; Often known as the jewel of the Aegean sea
With a history that goes back beyond 1100 BC and colonized or inhabited by Phoenicians, Persians, Byzantine Empire, and Ottomans to Nazis throughout the years.
Thasos is a natural beauty to visit and explore in Greece blended by contrasting blue sky and blue sea, green flora, and sandy beaches strewn in the most picturesque golden slushes. Lying on the North Aegean region, the Greek island offers an alluring traditional taste and beautiful beaches, excellent hotels serving local cuisine, trails for archetypal hikers, and lots of secrets to discover.
Nature lovers traveling to Greece with a sweet tooth for the good life will be spoilt by water sports to rewarding footpaths, cascades, ravines to beaches from Hirsi Ammoudia-Limenas, Kallirahi-Prinos to Maries-Prinos. Arrive at Thasos capital Limenas and witness the sanctuaries of Greek gods and heroes from Poseidon, Artemis, Dionysos, and Cassius to Heracles with an incredible view of the Acropolis and a theatre constructed in 5 BC.
From scuba diving, water skiing, windsurfing to boat riding, Thasos fun and games extend from its golden sandy beaches such as Marble beach and Chrysi Akti to beach bars, tavernas to Thasos archaeological museum and summer festivals amidst a phantasmagoria of picturesque little villages dotting the island.
14. Thessaloniki; The city that is easy to fall in love
Explore Thessaloniki through the history, arts, monuments, the unique gastronomy, the fun, and the neighborhoods.
The city has beauty, strong entertainment, history and culture, remarkable cuisine, and wonderful vast sea views. Thessaloniki (also known as Salonika or Saloniki,) is a Greek port city on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, the second-largest city of Greece, and the most important center of the area. The city has given Greece some of its greatest musicians, artists, poets, and thinkers.
Evidence of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman history remains, especially around “Ano Poli”, the upper town. The ruins of Roman Emperor Galerius’ 4th-century palace include the Rotunda that has been both a church and a mosque.
It is also known as literally “the co-capital”, a reference to its historical status as a “co-reigning” city of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, alongside Constantinople.
15. Astypalea; The island that steals your heart
The island is exactly the kind of idyllic Greek destination in which those who know the country well, dream of escaping.
In Greek mythology, Astypalaia was a woman abducted by Poseidon in the form of a winged fish-tailed leopard. Its white cubist houses have a Cycladic scent, its beaches are crystal clear and rugged, and the hospitality there is generous and authentic. Do not forget to collect some of the saffron of the island to take with you.
Astypalaia is a truly picturesque Greek island, that lies exactly where the Dodecanese meets the Cyclades, in the southeastern Aegean Sea. It’s an island butterfly-shaped and ideal for those who want to travel off the beaten track.
It’s a land rich in emotions, with magnificent views and hospitable residents. It’s one of the places that keep their profile low, maintains their authenticity, their pure beauty and you get to know about them by word of mouth.
16. Olympia; The most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece
Olympia is among the most important archaeological sites in Greece, home to incredible archaeological ruins and museums.
Discover Ancient Olympia (Altis), the sanctuary to the gods, which has one of the highest concentrations of masterpieces from the ancient Greek world in Olympia, Greece.
The sanctuary of Ancient Olympia, one of the most important sanctuaries of the ancient world, was situated in the lush green valley formed by the river Alpheios, and the western side of the Peloponnese, has hosted the original Olympic Games.
Ancient Olympia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only one of the most recognized tourist destinations in Greece but also one of the most powerful brand names worldwide.
17. Lefkada island; A beautiful island which is often said to be the Caribbean of Greece
One of the must-see attractions in Greece is an island in the Ionian Sea, Lefkada!
Lefkada can be found towards Greece’s west coast and connected to Greece’s mainland through a floating bridge and causeway. In Greek mythology, the island is remembered for the Cape Lefkada suicide of Sappho with links to Odysseus and Aphrodite. One of the few Greek islands you can actually visit by car, its crystal blue waters and golden beaches are a visitor’s heaven and are often said to be similar to the Caribbean.
It’s full of fish taverns and lovely villages contrasting with its lush green surroundings. Egremni, Kathisma and Porto Katsiki beaches are perfect photography spots while the Panagia Faneromeni monastery and Nidri waterfalls are a must-see. Don’t miss the strong and prominent Castle of Santa Maura along the sea lake waters built in the early 14th century.
A romantic and charming island to spend a few days discovering the timeless villages concealed by wild olive groves and hills, it has spectacular inlets and little bays towards the south with perfect conditions for windsurfers and kite surfers.
18. Chalkidiki; The most popular holiday destination in northern Greece
Chalkidiki is famed for its cosmopolitan day and night life, seaside resorts, beautiful natural landscape, and exotic beaches. Halkidiki is a peninsula, with a breathtaking combination of blue and green, shaped like Poseidon’s trident, Halkidiki’s prongs jut out into the Aegean Sea. The Chalkidiki Peninsula regroups, in fact, 3 peninsulas located Southeast of Thessaloniki.
- Kassandra peninsula
- Sithonia peninsula
- Mount Athos peninsula, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The first two peninsulas are well-known for having many luxurious seaside resorts and hotel complexes. There are Spas, casinos, golf and tennis courts, private marinas, and luxury shops. Here, tourists can also enjoy splendid beaches with turquoise water, small coves, and the land is covered with pine forests.
The atmosphere is completely different in the Mount Athos peninsula! It’s the home of the Monastic State of Agion Oros, an autonomous state inside Greece and Europe. There are still nearly 2,300 Orthodox monks living in the 20 monasteries located around the Mount.
19. Argolis; The Argolis Peninsula was the center of Greek culture from 1600 to 1100 BC
Nestled within the north-eastern Peloponnese, Argolis is a historic region to visit in Greece.
Now, once you’re here, make sure to visit Mycenae (that’s near Mykines). About 4,000 years ago, Mycenae was one of the most important cities in Greek civilization and a thrive of activity. Nowadays, you can still explore the ruins and learn more about the history of this incredible spot.
Once here, make sure to see the Lion Gate, The Tomb of Aegisthus (outside the walls of the ancient city), and the Treasury of Atreus. It really is one of the best places in Greece to visit if you love ancient history. Oh, and of course, don’t forget to partner this region with a trip to the theatre of Epidavros, too.
20. Crete; The Mediterranean jewel
Crete is the birthplace of the king of the Olympian gods, and of modern European civilization!
The island is a tapestry of splendid beaches, ancient treasures, and landscapes, weaving in vibrant cities and dreamy villages.
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is a spacious land of pleasing contrasts where landscapes range from stunning coastline to rugged mountains and rolling countryside dotted with olive trees.
Bustling metropolitan cities spread beyond to quiet villages centered around outdoor coffee shops. Steeped in history, Crete still bears archaeological traces of the many civilizations that inhabited it down through the centuries.
Here Find The 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Crete
Stunning Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, and also the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. It boasts gorgeous beaches and mountains and is dotted with quaint villages. During the Bronze Age, this beautiful island was the home to the Minoan civilization, which is considered to be the first advanced European civilization, so there are also many historical attractions in Crete. Besides Minoan ruins, visitors can also still see the remains of Ancient Greece, the Venetian era, and the Ottoman period scattered around this island today.
1. Palace of Knossos, The #1 of Tourist Attractions In Crete
Located some 5 km (3 miles) south of Heraklion, the Palace of Knossos is the most important and best-known Minoan site in Crete. Knossos is also often associated with the legend of the Athenian hero Theseus killing the Minotaur. The great palace was built gradually between 1700 and 1400 BC, with periodic rebuildings after destruction until it was devastated once and for all by fire. Knossos incorporated numerous rooms such as the Throne Room, named for a large chair that is built into the wall, facing several benches. The main function of the palace is still under debate. It could have been used primarily as an administrative or a religious center.
2. Heraklion Archaeological Museum
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum enjoys the reputation of being one of the most important museums in Greece, especially when it comes to its collection of Minoan artifacts and artwork. Visitors to this museum can enjoy seeing fragments of the original frescoes from the Minoan Palace of Knossos. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum also has exhibits dedicated to all of the periods of Crete prehistory and history, up until the late Roman periods. Highlights include statues of the Snake Goddess, the famous bull-leaping Fresco, and the enigmatic Phaistos Disk. In addition, the artifacts found in this museum were all discovered in Crete.
3. Rethymnon Old Town
The old town of Rethymnon (or Rethimno) is located in the midst of the modern city and features a rather unique blend of Venetian and Crete architecture. Rethymnon was established in 1204 after the Venetians had conquered Crete, so most of the remaining buildings in the old town area are of Venetian creation. The Old Town’s narrow streets and its small Venetian harbor are wonderful for walking, shopping, enjoying dinner at a small tavern, and taking in Rethymnon’s remarkable architecture. Travelers will want to check out the nearby Fortezza Castle, which was built in 1590, and sits on a low hill in the middle of Rethymnon
4. Agios Nikolaos
Situated on lovely Mirabello Bay in eastern Crete, Agios Nikolaos offers visitors a mix of the modern and the traditional. It is a medium-size port town that is extremely picturesque and has some style and charm, which it exploits to the full. The town’s Lake Voulismeni, which is lined with charming small cafes and boutiques, has been the subject of a number of legends. One myth is that the goddess Athena used to bathe in this almost perfectly circular body of water. Another legend claims that this beautiful lake is bottomless. Agios Nikolaos is one of Crete’s most popular tourist destinations.
5. Elafonisi Beach
While all of Crete’s beaches are beautiful, there is something very special about the beaches that can be found on the island of Elafonisi. Located in South-west Crete, Elafonisi is separated from Crete’s shores by a very shallow lagoon. In fact, it is so shallow that visitors can easily walk the 200 meters (650 feet) to the island. The waters around this island are crystal clear, and its sand ranges from sparkling whites to a soft pink hue. This island’s beaches are very popular with locals and visitors, so it can be a bit crowded in some areas. Travelers who want to avoid the crowds can just walk a little farther in, where they’ll find plenty of nice, quiet spots.
Spinalonga is an island fortress on the southwestern entrance to the Gulf of Elounda. It used to be part of the nearby Peninsula Spinalonga, however, in 1526, the Venetians cut a canal through it to separate the two. The island was also fortified and, for many years, was the first line of defense for Elounda. From 1903 to 1957, Spinalonga was used as a leper colony for people from all over Greece who were suffering from the disease. Today, Spinalonga is just a short boat ride away from both Elounda and Agios Nikolaos and is popular with tourists, who come to the island to see the remnants of the abandoned leper colony, the fortress, and numerous old structures. However, visits to this island are limited to a few hours, as there are no accommodations on Spinalonga.
7. Balos Lagoon
One of Crete’s most beautiful beaches, Balos Lagoon is located near the town of Kissamos. Sandwiched between the small island of Imeri Gramvousa and Crete itself, the beach is accessible by boat or car. Visitors are greeted with a stunning vista created by an outcropping of rock that is surrounded by pink sand and blue and turquoise water. This is arguably the most photographed natural attraction in Crete, which causes tourists to visit in massive numbers. The months of July and August are the busiest.
8. Arkadi Monastery
The Arkadi Monastery was the site of one of the most tragic incidents in Crete’s history. In 1866, the Cretan residents, who were then under Turkish rule, decided to revolt. At one point during the rebellion, more than 940 Greeks, mostly women and children, took sanctuary in the monastery. The Turks lay siege to the monastery for three days and were finally able to break into its gates. At that point, the refugees decided to end their lives rather than be taken prisoner and blew up barrels of gunpowder, which ended up killing hundreds of Turks and Cretans. The incident sparked sympathy and worldwide attention for the plight of the people of Crete. The monastery, which has been around since about the 12th century, was restored in 1870.
9. Chania Old Venetian Harbor
This harbor was built between the years 1320 and 1356 by the Venetians and was an important trade center until the early 20th century. The harbor could not accommodate larger ships, so the port was eventually abandoned by big vessels in favor of Souda’s harbor. Today, though, Chania’s old harbor is still used by smaller boats and yachts. The harbor’s crowning jewel is its lighthouse, which was built by the Venetians around 1595 to 1601, and is one of the oldest in the world. Most people come here to enjoy a stroll through the harbor, sip their coffee or have breakfast with a view of the lighthouse or enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants and ouzo shops.
10. Samaria Gorge
Some sites require more effort to enjoy than others, and Samaria Gorge is one of those. Located in the National Park of Samarai in the White Mountains, this stunning gorge is a ten-mile downhill hike that ends at a black-sand beach in Agia Roumelli on the Libyan sea. It passes through forests of ancient cypresses and pines, then cuts between vertical cliffs through the mountains. Depending on a person’s speed and fitness level, this hike can take between four to seven hours. At the end of the trek, most hikers hire a boat to take them to Chora Sfakion.
20. Olympia, Greece; The most celebrated place in the world
More Of Greece
Voidomatis River; A spectacular waterway popular with rafters
Rafting on Voidomatis River Greece. The eye of the ox’ as Voidomatis is colloquially known due to its blue waters as clear as the blue eyes of the ox runs for 15 kilometers.
The river is a famously attractive natural site in Greece and is popular for kayaking, rafting, and other diverse water sports.
Voidomatis is on top of the list of cleanest rivers anywhere in Europe, powered by the Vikos Gorge and Tymfi water currents and run by the Vikos-Aoos National Park. It’s dotted by diverse stone bridges such as the Kledonas Bridge and Aristi Bridge where kayak and rafting fans meet and begin their cascading adventures down the clear waters.
For five kilometers from Aristi, boat riders will be blown away by the Agioi Anargyroi monastery of the 16th century now deserted with caves and upright precipices. Get there via Epirus and make Konitsa, Ioannina, or the stone-built charming villages of Zagori your base with lots of beautiful mansions, guest houses, and hotels.
Zagori; An unspoiled beautiful wilderness in Greece
In northwestern Greece in Epirus is the Zagori municipality in the mountainous region of Pindus.
Zagori is iconic for its remarkable geology, dazzling natural beauty, and two popular National Parks. Zagori is dotted with over 46 villages interconnected with modern roads. 18th century stoned arched bridges still stand.
Easily one of the most attractive and unspoiled places to visit in Greece, the region’s beauty comes alive while walking across the divine Vikos Gorge from the Astrakas Mountaintop to the cascades of the Voidomatis River over a backdrop of Mt. Timfi.
Scenic surroundings in Zagori include the stunningly gorgeous Drakolimni alpine lake, zagorohoria village gems of extreme beauty and traditions and the Kalogeriko stone bridge. Hidden heartthrobs to discover include the swimmable Ovires natural waters in summer, 15th century Agia Paraskevi monastery and a spectacular melancholic view from the monastery of Spileotissas on the Viodomatis River.
Mount Olympus National Park; A popular Greek beauty spot
Mount Olympus National Park Greece.
Mount Olympus National Park Greece. Declared a National Park in 1938, Mountain Olympus is Greek’s highest mountain rising 9,573 feet on its highest peak. The area is popular for stunning and charming features from thick forests, alpine fields, prominent rock peaks and intensely deep gorges. In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is famous as the residence of the 12 gods of ancient Greece. Olympus is rich in fauna and flora with rare and typical 1700 plant species spread around the region.
Due to the popularity of this beautiful area in Greece, numerous campsites and inexpensive hotels have sprung up. Litochoro is the main village easily accessed from Athens by train and bus. The Ancient Dion Archeological Museum at the base of Mount Olympus is a must-visit.
Due to the popularity of this beautiful area in Greece, numerous campsites and inexpensive hotels have sprung up. Litochoro is the main village easily accessed from Athens by train and bus. The Ancient Dion Archeological Museum at the base of Mount Olympus is a must-visit.
Mountain refuges, climbing and mountaineering routes are organized for adventure seekers setting off at Litochoro. Private trekking is available too, especially along the Enipeas Canyon with immense hiking trails. Local cuisine is famous for its traditional tastes and scents served with locally produced red or white wine.
Lake Kerkini; One of the most important wetlands in Europe
Lake Kerkini is a flora and fauna miracle artificially engineered in 1932 and easily one of the best naturally beautiful sites to discover in Greece.
Situated at the heart of bird migration route and flyway on their way to the Black Sea, Hungarian steppes, and the Aegean Sea. It’s the home of thousands of protected and rare birds, gigantic square meters of water lilies, diverse fish varieties while offering a fantastic vista of the Krousia and Belasica mountains. Apart from hosting over 227 non-migratory birds, Kerkini is also the home of exceptional buffalo herds, over 10 species of amphibians, 19 species of reptiles, and hundreds of insect varieties.
The extinct-threatened Pygmy Cormorant, Pelicans, and heron colonies can be seen in the reclaimed marshland. Situated in Serres with Thessaloniki 100km away, Kerkini is a birdwatcher’s paradise in autumn and spring and any day throughout the year. The reclaimed reservoir is also famous for romantic traditional place boat rides, horseback riding, canoeing, 4×4 off-roading, biking, and hiking along the mountain range footpaths.
Source: ”Visit Greece” and ”Athens Tours Greece”