This Greece travel guide will take you to ancient places where gods were living.
Greek mythology never failed to fascinate our childhood. I’m pretty sure that you spent a lot of time reading about Hercules’ impossible labors, Zeus’ cheating spree, the siege of Troy, and Herme’s mischievous acts.
But apart from enjoying the fun stories, Greek mythology also teaches you that Greece is where you’ll find the most amazing things.
A trip to Greece is what you need to experience things related to art, literature, and recreation. Let your eyes rest on this travel guide.
These are the top topics that I’ll discuss:
- Top 3 Beaches in Greece
- Top 3 Historical Sites in Greece
- Top 3 Activities To Do In Greece
- 7 Places That You Shouldn’t Miss While Traveling in Greece
- How To Travel In Greece
Greece plays a vital role in human history. It’s one of the few places here on earth that housed the first cities and human civilization settlements.
Greek mythology played a huge part in the building of the numerous historical sites in Greece. For example, the Parthenos was built to worship and honor Athena as the Athenians’ patron goddess.
On the other hand, the Delphi resulted from people who believe in Apollo’s oracles.
In connection, Homer’s work – the Iliad and Oddysey – featured real places that you can visit up to this day. This includes the city of Athens, Mycenae, the Achelous River, etc.
Simply put, you can say that Greece is a location here on earth that flourished due to people’s belief in the divine.
Do You Have To Speak English?
About 99% of locals speak Greece’s official language. Nevertheless, foreigners like you won’t have to worry about communicating with the locals.
Apart from Greek, locals are very fluent English speakers. Some also know how to speak German, French, and Italian.
Personnel that is working on Greek tourist spots are trained to speak different languages. Therefore, they can accommodate even if you’re not a fluent English speaker.
What Are The Best Stay in Options in Greece?
The safest and easiest way to find a place to stay in Greece is through hotels. Hotels in Greece are numerous. They’re always found anywhere, from the mainland up to the islands of Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros.
Hotels in Greece cost between $80 -$200. They might be expensive or cheap depending on their proximity to tourist locations. For example, the seaside and cliffside hotels in Santorini cost about $100 or even more. In contrast, hotels that don’t have great locations cost about $90 and might offer special offers such as discounted day trips and free food.
If you don’t like hotels, staying in villas aren’t bad too. Just like hotels villas in Greece are scattered in different cities. They offer panoramic views and quick access to nightlife and tourist spots.
Greek villas can accommodate up to 4 or 7 occupants at once. Their prices vary depending on room space and the amenities that they provide.
Top 3 Beaches in Greece
Elafonissi Beach - Crete
Southeast of Crete is the lagoon-like waters of Elafonissi beach. From afar, the pink beach of Elafonissi is very discernible. On its surface are tourists doing the usual beach stuff such as sunbathing, beach volleyball, frisbee, or badminton.
What I love about Elafonissi is the blueness of its waters. The bluish color of Elafonissi becomes very alive as the sun shines at noon. This is a very invigorating sight to see.
Plaka Beach, Naxos
White sand beaches are always a thing for many tourists. On the other hand, brown sand beaches are not up to everybody’s preference. Nevertheless, go to Plaka beach in Naxos, and your perspectives will change.
This brown sand beach stretches up to four kilometers. Just like other beaches in Greece, the blue waters of Plaka is a sight to behold. However, the bluish hue stands out more due to the brown sands that serve as an excellent contrast.
You can also build connections here. In Plaka beach are numerous family-owned establishments that are more than ready to serve you as a friend and not a guest.
Mytros Beach , Kefalonia
The Mytros is a spot for swimming away without any establishments nearby. No cottages are on the coastline, so don’t forget to bring a beach umbrella if you decide to come here.
In the vicinity of Mytros is a giant rock formation that stretches toward the sea. This is free to explore, and you can opt to climb to the top to get overhead pictures of the entire beach.
Top 3 Historical Sites in Greece
The Minoan Palace of Knossos
The Minoan Palaces of Knossos, which is located not far from Heraklion, is one of Greece’s most preserved ruins. In this place, the red stone pillars are the main attraction. Nevertheless, there are other intriguing parts of the ruins that you can interpret yourself.
In Santorini is the ancient city of Akrotiri. This location has witnessed the devastation that the Theran eruption brought to the entire Greek peninsula.
The Theran eruption left Akrotiri an inhabitable place. At present, Akrotiri happily accommodates tourists with its ruins, consisting of houses and other objects that give a glimpse of the lives of ancient Greeks who once lived here.
Mycenae is an ancient Greek city that’s believed to have existed since the neolithic age. This city plays an integral part in Greek mythology. Some events of the Iliad and Odyssey happened here.
The Best Activities To Do In Greece
Ruin hopping in Greece is a must if you’re not on the beaches or in the cities and towns. There are more than 18 archeological destinations in Greece. The three that I mentioned earlier are my personal preference. Still, without minding my recommendation, you can visit the following:
Snorkeling and Parasailing
Beaches in Greece never fails to impress tourist with their excellent water and wind quality. This is why parasailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling are great activities here.
The best snorkeling spots in Greece are areas near the Mykonos, Naxos, Crete, and Santorini. Scuba diving or snorkeling in these Islands will allow you to encounter turtles, triggerfish, barracuda, etc.
Setting the fishes aside, it’s the underwater rock formations that make Greece heaven for scuba divers and snorkellers.
Parasailing is good for intermediates and beginners. The wind that in Greece’s beach are never too strong or too weak. They hold enough power to keep the watercraft moving without any navigational difficulties.
No matter how strange some of the food may be, it would be best if you always tried the dishes served in Greece.
Around Greek cities and towns are numerous restaurants that offer authentic Mediterranean dishes so client. Some adhere to the tradition, while others fuse Greek recipes with recipes from other countries.
One dish that might take you by surprise is the Horta Vrasta. Horta Vrasta directly translates to boiled leafy greens. Cooks make this dish with any leafy greens that are boiled, seasoned, and then left to drip. Afterward, it’s served with a hearty amount of olive oil and slices of lemon.
The moussaka is quite great too. To describe quickly, the Moussaka is Greece’s version of Italy’s lasagna. At first bite, Moussaka has a very crunchy texture, which later turns soft. This is due to the firm dough on the top that covers an abundant serving of richly seasoned meat.
What's The Best Way To Travel All Of Greece?
Riding a motorcycle is the best way to explore Greece. Buses are great too, but they only traverse the mainland. Motorcycles are far better because they will let you access spots that most commuter vehicles can’t traverse.
If you don’t know how to ride a motorcycle, then renting a car and driver will do. Though expensive, you can avail of chauffeur services in Greece. I think that chauffeur services are worth the money because you’ll be certain that you won’t get lost.
For exploring specific Greek towns and cities, the bicycle is your best choice. The bicycle doesn’t go too fast. Therefore, you can take pictures and take note of landmarks while riding.
The Most Famous Tourist Locations in Greece
Away from Athen is an island where a whitewashed building stands. From far away, the most visible towns in it look like locations that only seem to exist in fairy tales.
This place in Santorini. A location that bathes under the radiance of Apollo himself.
During sunset, the sun bathes Santorini with its light. The land starts to redden. It’s as if the sun is roasting it. Soon enough, darkness envelopes. Nevertheless, this is a sight to behold. The lights from houses glimmer like stars under the shadow of the night.
Amari, Imerovigli, and Fira go to these towns, and you’ll experience this.
The Shipwreck Bay
Shipwreck bay is a spectacular bay that’s located in Zakynthos. Aside from the sea that seems to resemble the clarity of the sky, Shipwreck bay has a magnificent cliff drop that’s free for you to explore.
Nevertheless, the shipwreck is the main attraction. It’s a good scuba diving location because lots of fishes swim at the ship’s debris.
Greek mythology played a huge part in making Greece popular. By the time you arrive, it’s common to see souvenirs that are inspired by the mythological gods like Zeus, Athena, Ares, Hades, Poseidon, etc.
The gods that ancient Greeks worshipped might be pure imagination only. However, their proud abode is real. At the northern mainland, lying just between the border between Thessaly and Macedonia is mount Olympus.
A hike in mount Olympus is not that difficult. Administrators made the trails very friendly to tourists. Going to the top is tiresome nonetheless.
However, keep walking and mount Olympus will reward your efforts. Reaching the top will give you a panoramic view of a landscape that features rocks, lush greeneries, and snaking trails.
The Parthenon and Other Ruins in Acropolis
Ancient Athenians built the Parthenon in 447 BC as a temple for the goddess Athena. According to legends, Athena became the patron goddess of Athen’s after a contest with Poseidon.
It turns out all that it took for the goddess to win was the gifting of an olive tree to the populace.
At present, Parthenon was only a shadow of its glorious self in the past. Nevertheless, the remaining parts of the temple – columns, triglyphs, flooring, and steps – provide tourists a glimpse of the important role that the Parthenon played for the ancient Athenians.
By the way, the Parthenon is part of the Acropolis. So after taking pictures at the Parthenon, you can explore the other ruins that the Acropolis has.
The Ancient Delphi is a ruin that’s located on Mount Parnassus. While you’re in here, you’ll get to see the majestic view of the mountains up ahead.
This place has a very mysterious vibe. It seems like Ancient Delphi’s reputation as the home of Apollo’s oracles withstood the test of time. It’s quite noisy during the day. However, there’s a tingling feeling on the back of the neck that feels like someone is watching you from afar.
I must-see in Ancient Delphi is the Temple of Apollo. There’s no artifact to see here. However, you can imagine what it was like in the past by the layout of its flooring.
Greece's Tuscany - Pelion
Almost in Grace, where people reside, are developed. Nevertheless, Pelion is a location that seems to escape Greek modernization.
Towns in Pelion have a very serene atmosphere. During summer months, the trees teem with life and sway happily as the wind brushes them. Also, numerous wildflowers grow on the roadside. Sunny hilltops, lush woodlands, and flamboyant wildflowers, all of these are the reason why tourists call Pelion Greece’s Tuscany.
Hotels in Pelion are rare. However, you can find small ins to rest for the night. As night comes, Pelion becomes very lucid. The sound of crickets and other insects fill the air. The rustling of the trees’ leaves become more discernible. If the weather is good, you’ll see how moonlight cast shadows on the ground and make it a canvass for various plants’ image.
Go to Mykonos for the best nightlife. Mykonos has lots of establishments for late-night social gatherings. This includes late night clubs, wineries, beer houses, and pubs.
Also, there’s a night market in Mykonos that locals call the Langebaan. Langebaan is open for tourists during February. Lots of local musicians perform live in Langebaan. If you’re not shy, you can always ask to jam with them and sing your favorite songs.
Food in Langebaan is great too. There are numerous mobile restos that serve classic Greek dishes. Nevertheless, roasted meals are the best.
Mykonos is very safe even if there are lots of drunk guys around. Administrators dispatch police officers to keep tourists away from being harassed or attacked.
The National Archeological Museum
In Athens is the Greek National Archeological Museum. The National Archeological Museum displays most of the valuable artifacts from archeological sites such as Mycenae, Akrotiri, Rhodes Ancient Settlement, Delos, etc.
Agamemnon’s mask is a very famous artifact here. Many people come to see it because it clearly depicts the facial features of Mycenae’s king. Aside from this, the mask also shows a high degree of Greek craftsmanship when it comes to working with gold in the past.
Tour in the National Archeological Museum is very interactive. The guides won’t talk about the background of each artifact. If you ask the right questions, they will happily answer each artifact’s significance to Greek culture.
Meteora pertains to a beautifully carved rock formation in Thessaly. At first glance, Meteora looks like a large stone that has been divided into two by some terrifying force.
I know that this might seem impossible. But believe it or not, there are monasteries at the top of one of Meteora’s rocks. The monastery is very secluded because it stands 1000 feet above the ground. Getting there is possible because there’s a stairway that you can traverse.
Prepare your feet because you’ll have to put your feet on 300 steps for reaching the monasteries of Rosano, Varlam, and St. Nicolaos.
By the way, do observe extreme precaution while heading to the monasteries. The steps leading to them are uneven and sometimes narrow. A fatal mistake might potentially ruin your trip.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Greece?
May to August is the best time to visit Greece. You won’t have to worry about heavy rains ruining your vacation during these times because Greece will always be bright and sunny.
For honeymoons, the best time to visit Greece is in February. Tons of beaches and restaurants envelop their interior with romantic themes during the month of love. Come, and you’ll experience fine dining with a live string quartet, piano, or violin performances.
Finally, January to July is the best time to come if you want Greece for yourself. During these months, most tourist attractions are very peaceful, and you can take pictures without any photo bombers.