Greece is one of the best places in the world for a holiday! Along with epic ancient ruins, it’s home to beautiful islands blessed with sandy beaches, white-washed villages, romantic hotels and countless Insta-perfect blue-domed churches.
We’ve visited Greece several times (and can’t wait for our next visit). Here, we share useful and must-read Greece travel tips to help you plan a stylish vacation to Greece.
Practical Information: Greece travel
Best time to visit Greece
If we had to pick the absolute best time to travel to Greece, we’d say mid-September to early October (autumn) is prime.
The blazing heat of summer has eased. It’s pleasant enough for touring ancient ruins, and it’s still warm enough for soaking up some sunshine. Indeed, you can comfortably swim in the sea right through to mid-October.
Another good time to go is April and May. But while you may get some days hot enough for relaxing by the pool or beach, the sea water may be a bit chilly for swimming.
In summer (July and August), the temps regularly push up into the 90s F (30s C) and higher. You won’t feel like doing much apart from lying on the beach and forgetting about the world. Summer is also high season, so be sure to book your accommodation in advance.
In winter (December to March), Athens is great to visit. You can tour the Acropolis and museums like the National Archaeological Museum without crowds.
But the Greek islands are another story. Ferries stop running to most islands, and hotels and restaurants close down. You won’t find much to do on the islands in winter.
We love the Mediterranean food in Greece! And it’s all so healthy too, brimming with fresh juicy tomatoes, thick yogurt, fish straight from the sea, chick peas (for hummus) and, of course, olive oil. (Here’s just one of the 101+ cool Greek facts we’ve learned – Greece is the world’s largest producer of virgin olive oil.)
Places to visit in Greece
So you know Athens is the birthplace of democracy. And you know it’s famous for the Acropolis. But you really are itching to head out to the Greek islands. So, is Athens worth visiting? Should you stop over in Athens and spend two or three nights there?
Yes! It’s home to amazing museums, cool rooftop bars and great shopping. At one time, it was just a jumping-off point for the islands. But no more.
Mykonos is the glam Greek island. Check out the happening beaches. Walk the winding streets of the town of Mykonos. Watch the sunset from the quaint “Little Venice” waterfront. And just enjoy the posh Greek island vibe.
Shaped like a crescent moon, Santorini has a dramatic moon-like landscape.
It’s known for its pretty white cubist villages clinging to the sides of the island’s volcanic caldera, gorgeous sunsets and OMG views. Pssst! You get some of the best views when hiking along the spine of the island from Oia to Fira (or vice versa).
You’ll also see lots of donkeys in Santorini (some visitors ride them for a lift up from the old port to the capital of Fira).
The largest Greek island, Crete is a mix of seaside medieval towns, beaches, rugged gorges and famous ruins.
With a rich historical past, the Greek island of Rhodes is known as the “Knights’ island.” The walled Old Town of Rhodes – the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe – was where the Knights of St. John lived centuries ago. Today it’s a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to stay in one of the gorgeous boutique hotels there to really soak up the atmosphere!
Also head to Lindos, one of the most charming villages in Rhodes. It boasts some sweet beach coves too.
Gems and unique places
Have you heard of Kefalonia, possibly the most beautiful Greek island? No?
How about Meteora? It’s where monasteries perch high atop towering rock pinnacles.
You’ll definitely want to know about these places!
Fabulous Greek ruins
Named after King Philip of Macedonia (Alexander the Great’s father), the ancient city of Philippi is famous for a couple of reasons. It’s the place where Julius Caesar’s assassins (Brutus and Cassius) fought Mark Anthony and Octavian in 42 BC – marking the end of the Roman republic. And it’s also where the Apostle Paul sowed the seeds of Christianity in Europe.
Once the center of one of the most powerful civilizations in the ancient world, Knossos was the capital of ancient Minoan Crete. The beautiful royal palace is said to have been home to the labyrinth of the fabled bull-headed Minotaur. See intricate restored frescoes, the royal throne room, grain storage facilities, porticoes and water drainage channels.
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