The stunning natural beauty of bright blue seas, ancient archaeological sites, charming island villages, and a hot, mainly dry climate, make Greece a fantastic holiday destination. Visitors to this Mediterranean idyll with its archipelago of over 1000 islands are faced with such a range of natural and man-made attractions that they have to prioritize their travel plans. While everyone has an idea of what they prefer, letís have a go at defining what might be the top ten places to visit on a holiday to Greece.
The Acropolis and the Parthenon
The symbol of Athens, the iconic Parthenon sits atop the Acropolis, overlooking the city. The remains of the sacred temple to the Greek godess Athena, the Parthenon, with its simple Doric style, has been copied in public architecture worldwide. Accessed by the Athens Metro, it is always crowded, so try for a visit early mornings or late afternoons.
Considered over-developed by some, but remaining the most famous of Greek islands, Mykonos attracts international sophisticates and budget travelers alike for its stunning beaches (many clothing optional), its vibrant nightlife, classic shopping, and general holiday ambience.
The Minoan Palace of Knossos, Crete
Surrounded by the city of Iraklion and accessible by local bus, the ruins and reconstructed labyrinth of this Minoan palace are from the era when the Aegean King Minos ruled mainland Greeks. To get some of the feeling for the material culture of ancient times, be sure to visit the world-class Heraklion Archaelogical Museum in Iraklion.
Hotels clinging to clifftops, scenic winding roads, a volcanic legacy, great local wines and fine food puts Santorini on the list. Arrive at this stunning Greek island by sea and get the best views of the brown and black-banded cliffs topped by white lava. Be sure to visit the ruins of the once-buried city of Akrotiri.
This bustling, cosmopolitan destination, in the Ionian Sea off the coast of mainland Greece, has streets lined with Venetian-style buildings. If you wish to avoid the pricey high-rise accommodation in the north, head for classic pensions in the wilder south where the coastline meets the placid waters in near perfect union.
This Peloponnesian treasure, only a few hourís drive from Athens, was inhabited since Neolithic times. It sits on a hilltop on the lower slopes of Euboea Mountain and is considered one of the foundation sites of European civilization. One of the earliest restorations was the impressive Lion Gate.
The National Archaeological Museum – Athens
The perfect starting place for an infusion of Greek culture and history, this world-class museum teems with artifacts and sculptures. Look for the tall, dramatic kouroi, archaic statues of young gods, and the stunning gold treasures from excavations of Mycenae’s royal tombs.
The Island of Hydra
Visit this trendy Greek island via hydrofoil from Athens. Its charming harbor, beautiful churches, excellent shopping opportunities, and great tavernas provide a quintessential Greek experience.
Drogati and Melissnai Caves
One of the highlights of Kefalonia, Melissani is a subterranean seawater cave, which turns turquoise daily when the sun reaches a certain point. The spectacular Drogati Cave has impressive stalactites and boasts excellent acoustics.
Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon
This popular cliff-top temple, set above the Aegean Sea, has superb sunset views. Although the Archeological Museum in Athens is home to the bronze statue that was once housed here, it is easy to see why the god of the sea might have been worshipped at this stunning national monument.