If you’re planning your ultimate Greek vacation and don’t want to miss out on the must-sees, this is the guide for you! Keep reading for travel inspiration and visa tips.
Greece is known for its island hopping, blissful beaches, fishing villages, and breathtaking blue waters. However, Greece has far more to offer than just great beaches and weather.
Not sure how to start planning your trip to Greece? We’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Greece during your 2023 vacation.
1. Visit the Acropolis Museum and Parthenon in Athens
Every adventure in Greece should begin with a visit to the legendary Acropolis Museum in Athens, which was once a 5th-century BC temple complex. From there, visit the Parthenon, a temple that rests on the rocky outcrop of the Acropolis.
You can enjoy these UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the many temples with a mobile audio guide. It is available in Greek, English, Spanish, or French. You simply need to upgrade your tour access ticket to include the Official Audio Guide, curated by historians.
Fun fact: The temple on UNESCO's logo is the Parthenon.
2. Explore the ancient ruins of Delphi
One of the most important and exciting archaeological sites in Greece is Delphi. These ancient ruins sit on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. It boasts a unique natural landscape that melds with the area's historical significance.
It was once the home of the renowned Oracle of Delphi, where pilgrims from all over the Mediterranean gathered to receive the prophecies of the ancient Greek god Apollo. It is believed that the prophecies were delivered from Apollo through the words of Pythia, the high priestess at the Temple of Apollo.
Today, many travelers visit Delphi to explore the remains of the Oracle of Delphi and reminisce about ancient times.
3. Take a cruise around the Greek islands
Greece is one of the most unforgettable destinations because it offers a chance to explore many of the country’s gorgeous islands. Each Greek island boasts its own unique history, myths, landscapes, architecture, and culture.
There are more than 200 islands in Greece, and visiting each individually will be costly. On the other hand, an all-inclusive cruise includes stops at several islands, unlimited onboard dining, activities, and live entertainment, thus making it the perfect solution to explore as many places in Greece as possible.
4. Walk through the old town of Nafplio
The “Naples of the East,” Nafplio is renowned for its quaint romantic vibe. Built on a small peninsula in the Peloponnese’s Argolic Gulf, it was the first Greek capital after the country gained independence from the Turks in the 1800s.
The Venetian influences in the city, from the lofty fortifications to the gelato, ensure it stands apart from other Greek cities. While strolling through the town, make sure to visit Palamidi Castle and the taverns serving local dishes.
5. Visit the ancient city of Epidaurus
Epidaurus is best known for the town’s ancient theater, which is mentioned on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list as part of the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine.
Since the 1950s, the ancient theater has been a stage for plays during the Athens & Epidaurus Festival every summer. If you visit during this time, make sure not to miss this amazing thing to do in Greece!
6. Take a dip in the hot springs of Therma
The spa town of Therma is located on the Greek island of Ikaria. Known for its healing properties since ancient times, the hot springs in the area draw crowds from all over Greece and surrounds.
The ancient spa town still retains the ruins of the ancient acropolis and spa facilities. Their construction began during the Byzantine Empire and continued to be used during the Ottoman Empire by local elders. This is sure to be one of the best things to do in Greece!
7. Explore the streets of the Plaka neighborhood in Athens
Plaka is an atmospheric neighborhood characterized by narrow streets, historic houses, and ancient ruins. The stunning area is the perfect place to take memorable pictures and remember your time in Athens.
In fact, the area is so picturesque that many professional photographers offer private photoshoots to tourists exploring the neighborhood.
8. Visit the Palace of Knossos in Crete
Discovered at the end of the 19t century, the archaeological site of Knossos is the largest site on the island of Crete. Visitors can explore the original ruins at the Palace of Knossos, which date back to approximately 1700 BC.
You can also see a partial reconstruction of the palace which shows how it would have looked based on the findings of early 20th Century archaeologists.
9. Take a ferry to the island of Santorini
Catch a ferry to the island of Santorini, also known locally as “Thira.” Located in the southern part of the Cyclades, Santorini is renowned as a vacation destination worldwide, due to the distinct white village and blue rooftops looking out over the gorgeous sea.
Take a ferry from Athens, which is the most comfortable and affordable way to reach the island. There are frequent ferries from two ports in Athens, and they run throughout the year.
10. Explore the ancient city of Mycenae
If you want to explore another famed archeological site, then Mycenae in Greece is a true must-see. One of the most famous sites in the country and located in the Argolis region, it was once a very prosperous town.
Mycenae was the kingdom of the legendary king Agamemnon, the ruler of the Greeks in the Trojan War. Gigantic walls once surrounded the ancient town, with an intricate Lion Gate at the entrance to the town.
11. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Elafonissi Beach
You can’t visit Greece and not visit one of the most beautiful beaches on the Greek islands, Elafonissi. This beach on Crete Island dazzles visitors with its breathtaking shoreline of fine, subtle pink sand and aquamarine water. A perfect holiday destination to take your lover!
Whether you dip in the water or stroll along the mile-long beach after visiting one of the snack bars along the beach, it is one of the most relaxing places in Greece.
12. Visit the birthplace of the Olympics
Despite Olympia sounding like Mount Olympus, it is nowhere near Mount Olympus in northern Greece. Instead of being the home of the ancient Greek gods, Olympia is the birthplace of the Olympic Games.
The site was also a place of worship for the Greek god Zeus from the 10th century BC. Hence there are many interesting places to visit in Olympia! We recommend spending at least a day or two exploring the city.
13. Do a hike in the Samaria Gorge
Another fun thing to do in Greece for those seeking adventure is hiking the Samaria Gorge on Crete Island. The gorge boasts a 9.0-mile point-to-point trail near Lakki, Crete.
Note that it is considered a moderately challenging route and often takes nearly 14 hours to complete. Since it is a popular attraction, you’re bound to meet other explorers during your hike.
14. Visit the religious sanctuary of Delos
We highly recommend that your next stop in Greece is the important religious and cultural center of Ancient Greece: Delos island. Now a designated archaeological and UNESCO World Heritage Site, it lies just a few miles from cosmopolitan Mykonos.
Grab the chance to walk around Delos town, where, according to ancient myths, the god Apollo and goddess Artemis were born.
15. Explore the ancient city of Pergamon
Another wonderful ancient city to visit in Greece is Pergamon. Founded in the 3rd century BC, it was the capital of the Attalid dynasty.
Pergamon became known as the heart of the Antique World and the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East located in the Aegean Region. It therefore holds great cultural, scientific, and political significance, even today.
16. Walk around the island of Hydra
Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Aegean Sea. It sits between the Myrtoan Sea and the Argolic Gulf. The island is only separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of water and, in ancient times, was called Hydrea in reference to the natural springs on the island.
The island has crystal clear beaches, vibrant festivals, no motor transport, bustling nightlife, and fine restaurants; it also boasts quaint villages and beautiful architecture. So take a walk through the island of Hydra’s charming streets and embrace everything it offers.
17. Explore the monasteries of Meteora
It is also relatively easy to visit the island Meteora. It’s possible to explore the island either by driving or using public transport. You can even drive yourself to some of the amazing monasteries perched on top of the rocks, offering amazing views over the island and surroundings. We highly recommend a local tour to gain insight into the monasteries.
18. Relax on the family-friendly island of Naxos
One of the best things to do in Greece is visiting the family-friendly island of Naxos in the South Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Cyclades island group and boasts beautiful landscapes, mountain villages, ancient ruins, and long stretches of beach.
The capital city of this region is a striking blend of cube-shaped white homes and grand Venetian mansions from medieval times. Perched atop a hill, the 13th-century Kastro castle serves as a museum of archeological finds, making it the perfect place to embark on a journey through time.
19. Play in the waters of Zakynthos
Zakynthos Island in the Ionian Sea boasts popular beaches like Alykanas, and Tsilivi, where you can swim and indulge in other water sports in the turquoise waters. You can also take a boat trip to the famous Navagio Beach, where the famed 1980 shipwreck rests.
20. Walk the charming streets of Rhodes
Finally, the last thing you absolutely must do in Greece is walk through the city of Rhodes. Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Colossus of Rhodes, it is an absolute must-have.
A great way to explore the city is to download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities," which allows you access to a personal tour guide. The app works offline, and you do not need to have a data plan needed when traveling abroad.
Do you need a Visa to travel to Greece?
Convinced to visit Greece soon, but unsure if you need a visa? Check out the handy Visa Checker Tool to find out if you can apply for the Greece Schengen Visa.
We know how stressful visa applications can be, so save yourself the hassle and let iVisa help you apply for a Greek Schengen Visa today!