Put These 7 Greek Destinations On Your Bucket List
Greece is home to Homer, meze platters, mythological glories, ancient temples, archeological wonders, white-washed villages and mesmerizingly blue seas that stretch as far as your imagination will take you. These days, Greece is still a relatively inexpensive place to visit in comparison to other parts of Europe. It’s also incredibly beautiful and full of gorgeous watery vistas, fresh food and warm people. In the summer, the islands attract tourists from all over. If you don’t mind the crowds, Greece is the perfect destination for a summer beach vacation steeped in ancient history.
Athens is the motherland of Greece. You’ll fly into this capital and be prepared to be amazed. It’s a bustling city with a fascinating Greek feel. No trip to Athens would be complete without a visit to the Acropolis. Here you’ll get a good dose of Greek history along with some amazing views of Athens. The Acropolis stands as Athen’s most treasured and ancient icon, for it’s visible from just about everywhere in the city. The Parthenon, that ancient temple dedicated to Athena, is the most famous structure in all of Athens. For students and lovers of art and architecture, the Acropolis will keep you mesmerized for days. Athens is a bustling city and while most travelers immediately take to the islands, it’s worth exploring for a day or two before hopping a ferry out to sea. If you’re in Athens over the summer, don’t miss the Hellenic Festival, which showcases concerts and theater - complete with reenactments of Greek tragedy.
Overlooking the Aegean Sea, Athens boasts balmy weather and a wide-variety of dining options for every palette. Of course, fresh seafood is plentiful and you’ll want to take some time to sample some of the beloved local dishes at the city’s fine-dining establishments. Eating in Greece is truly one of its main attractions. If you’re on a super-tight budget, kebabs are everywhere. You can eat gyros to your heart’s content without spending more than a few euros each time. For the frugal traveler, buying groceries in Greece is loads of fun and you won’t spend more than around $40 a night. Rent a nice apartment on one of those gorgeous Greek islands and you’re all set to live like a local.
The Greek Islands
After Athens, which Greek island do you choose? Overnight ferries make trips to many of the islands. However, one island in particular is a short, fast ferry ride away. Hydra is popular for its proximity to Athens as well as its gorgeous harbor. What’s more, the only way to traverse the island is by foot or donkey! Be sure to watch a sunset from the island’s popular sunset lookout point by the main port.
Many travelers favor the picture-perfect Santorini, seen in all the postcards and photos of Greece. Santorini is known for amazing sunsets over Oia town and its cliff-hugging white-washed buildings with technicolor blue domes. Wine tasting in Greece is more than just sipping on Retsina. Santorini has vineyards to explore as well. Horseback riding is popular among families and couples. Red Beach is one of the island’s most beautiful, with its red volcanic cliff. Hiking, scuba diving, visiting Minoan ruins - there’s even a hot springs at the Santorini volcano. Santorini is a popular island for travelers of all ages.
Meteora is situated in central Greece and is known the world-over for its cliffside monasteries. These desolate dwellings make for a fascinating trip into an Eastern Orthodox adventure back in time. Today, six of the monasteries remain active and you can hike to the top of these impressive pillar-like mountains to explore monastic life while getting some great exercise in the process. The scenery is dramatic and stunning. Don’t miss it.
Zorba marched his way through Crete and so should you. The large southerly Greek island is so diverse it’s worth spending several days here. The ancient city of Chania on the western part of the island is a good place to begin your Cretan odyssey. Greek taverns overlooking the harbor make this a lovely spot to eat and eat and eat. Try the wild fennel pie at Portes Restaurant. The sun-dried tomato fritters and spicy pork over couscous cannot be beat. Crete is also home to the Minoan civilization at Knossos. Known as the island of festivals, Crete hosts a Chestnut Festival, Sardine Festival, Sultana Festival and Raki Festival. There’s much to do on this island as it’s the largest in all of Greece and the 5th largest in the Mediterranean.
Corfu is an under-the-radar Greek island located in the Ionian Sea. It’s also the second largest after Crete. If you can make the trip there, you will not be disappointed, for the island has pretty mountains, hidden beaches, lovely hillsides covered with olive groves and cypress trees. The island has a remarkably different look to it compared to its neighbors because of its Venetian influences. This charming architecture is all over Corfu town lending an elegance to the island unlike many others.
We’ve only just scratched the surface of Europe’s mythical gem of a country. You can’t go wrong wherever you choose to go. Greece is on of the most beautiful countries on the planet, and now is as good a time to go as any. What are you waiting for? OPA!
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Greece The Land Of Summer!
In my heart of hearts there are two places in this world that I would gladly live my entire life. Greece and Brazil. The Summers in Greece are incredible, the ocean, the tavernas, the beaches, they all call to me like the sirens called to Odysseus. The cool thing about Greece is, if you want romantic .... they got it. If you party central, they got it. If you want to see 3000 year old sites, they got it! Whatever you want... it is there! I highly, highly recommend Crete, Santorini, Ios.