We Discovered 22 Undeniable Reasons to Visit Greece Before You Die
In 2018, Crete was voted the 5th most popular destination in the world by TripAdvisor's Traveler's Choice awards and the year before Reader's Travel Awards gave Greece the 2nd place in the Best Countries to Visit category. Telegraph also included Greece on its list of the 30 best countries to visit, proving that this country with its unique beauty and traditions should be very high on your travel bucket list.
Bright Side has found for you the best places to visit in Greece, the best food to try, and the most interesting activities to take part in.
1. Backpack around mount Pelion.
Makrinitsa is located on Mount Pelion in the city of Volos in Central Greece and it is the most renowned village thanks mainly to its magnificent views and traditional architecture. Even during the hottest days of summer the temperature is always cooler there.
There are many trails throughout Pelion that lead from one village to another and offer great views of the city of Volos and the natural landscapes that are simply breathtaking and tension-melting.
2. Visit Zakynthos and take a trip around the island.
The island of Zakynthos on the Ionian Sea is home to one of the most famous shipwrecks in the world, on Navagio Beach which can be reached only by boat. Most tourists board small or large boats and take a tour of the entire island.
The same boats that take tourists to Navagio Beach also take them to see the Blue Caves. The smaller boats will even enter the larger caves offering the opportunity to witness something truly unique.
For those who are thrill seekers, the island also offers rope jumping from the highest cliff on Navagio Beach. People from all around the world visit the sight just to experience this amazing activity.
3. Witness Santorini's sunsets and its unique architecture.
The sunsets in Santorini, and especially in the area of Oia, are some of the most renowned in the world. People travel from all over the globe just to get married in front of the sunset here.
The traditional architecture with the white and blue houses gives the island its unique identity.
The night views in Oia are simply magnificent with the moonlight falling over the sea water creating a magical atmosphere.
4. Visit the island of Lesvos and its beautiful scenery.
Mythimna on the island of Lesvos is a large, striking settlement with taverns and coffeeshops where tourists can sit and enjoy traditional Greek food while enjoying the beautiful nature of the island.
The Big Lake in Lesvos.
5. Visit Spinalonga, the island that was used as a leper colony.
The island of Spinalonga is located near Crete and was used as a leper colony in 1903 and 1957. Today the island is uninhabited and is used mainly for tourist visits with visitors stopping to take a dive at the small pebble beaches.
6. Enjoy seafood and ouzo by the sea.
Most taverns hang octopuses from cords in order to dry them so they can cook them later the same day and to show people what they have to offer.
Ouzo or tsipouro is served with small plates of food, called meze, which most commonly include seafood and other light, refreshing fare like vegetables and olives.
7. Visit the Pozar Thermal Baths and go hiking in Neda.
The Pozar Baths are located in the middle of a green forest and the open ponds offer the opportunity to bathe surrounded by magical scenery. The water of the baths is said to be extremely beneficial for human health.
The waterfall on the Neda river in Kyparissia is one of the prettiest in Greece and just a small piece of the breathtaking scenery in the area. This is also an excellent place for hiking.
8. Try souvlaki and other traditional Greek food.
Greece's top fast food choice is either souvlaki on a stick or souvlaki wrapped in a pita with tzatziki, tomato, onions, mustard, and ketchup.
9. Attend the local festivities during the summer.
During the summer months, thousands of local festivities happen all around Greece. The Greeks call them panigiri and they include live music accompanied by traditional dancing, lots of wine and beer, and barbequed meat.
Every group of dancers wears their own uniform, which was derived from the area where the various types of dances originated.
Kokoretsi, kontosouvli (various types of meat on a large stick), and various other barbequed meats are offered at these festivities.
10. Try Greek coffee and frappe.
A frappé is an iced coffee made with an instant coffee blend and enjoyed with or without the addition of milk.
Many Greeks drink 2 or 3 frappé a day. But keep in mind that this is a rather strong blend and it might affect your stomach if you drink it more than once a day.
11. Visit as many archaeological sites as possible.
Delphi is located on the mountain of Parnassus and is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This place has been mentioned in mythology dating as far back as 510 BC.
12. Take a trip to Meteora and visit its monasteries.
Meteora is a group of rock formations on which monasteries of the Greek Orthodox Church have been built. It is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
6 monasteries have been built, with the oldest dating back to the 14th century.
13. See Skiathos, the island where Mamma Mia! was shot.
The island of Skiathos offers incredible beaches with clear blue water and it is one of the most visited islands in Greece.
Most of the scenes on the fictitious island of Kalokairi, for the movie Mamma Mia!, were shot in Skiathos and many locals were cast in the movie.
14. Visit the Valley of Butterflies in Rhodes.
The Valley of Butterflies in Rhodes is where thousands of butterflies go when the wet period ends (at the end of May) at the end of their lifecycle. The area is perfect for reproduction, but sadly the female butterflies die after giving birth.
However, due to an increased number of visitors, the number of butterflies has decreased in the past few years and tourists are advised to be very discreet and not disrupt the environment.
15. Find seashells, sea urchins, and clams from the sea.
Many Greek beaches are filled with urchins and clams. While urchins are quite easy to notice (and also easy to step on), clams require an experienced diver, who knows how to spot them, and dig them out of the sand.
In many souvenir stores, tourists often buy various objects that are made of seashells. But, instead of buying them they can collect them from the beach and make their own memorabilia.
16. Walk through Aggitis Cave and enjoy the unique scenery.
The roof of the cave is filled with stalactites creating a fairytale-like atmosphere.
17. Take a trip to Thessaloniki and walk on its beautiful pedestrian road next to the sea.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city after Athens. The White Tower is its most famous landmark and it leads to the new pedestrian road next to the sea where an umbrella sculpture beautifies the area.
The best way to start your walk on the road next to the sea is to grab an iced drink and a dish of loukoumades from a food cart.
The Market of Kapani is a must for those who want to buy traditional Greek sweets to bring back home. The market has everything from clothes to liquor.
18. Walk through the Samaria Gorge in Crete.
The Samaria Gorge is located in Crete and has been used as a national park since 1962. It is 18km long and starts at an altitude of 1,250 m. Gates, the most famous part of this national park, is where the sides of the gorge come together and create a passage that is only 4 m wide.
A rare species of kri-kri, a Cretan goat, can be found in the gorge, as well as other endemic species.
19. Go windsurfing and fishing with a spear gun.
The Aegean Sea offers great winds and waves that are perfectly suitable for windsurfing and many other water sports.
The clear water of the Greek seas offers a great opportunity to spearfish while admiring the rich archipelago and crystal clear waters.
20. Enjoy the lively nightlife.
Mpouzoukia is the setting for Greece's most popular nightlife scene. As the country's most famous singers perform live on stage here, fans throw them flowers and enjoy the concert sitting comfortably in their seats while having drinks.
There are many restaurants who offer live music entertainment for customers to enjoy while eating their dinner. Mpouzouki and klarino are the 2 instruments that you will most likely hear being played.
21. Take a trip to Melissani Cave in Kefalonia.
Melissani Lake leads into the cave which is surrounded by forests and goes 20 meters underground. The level of water varies from 10m - 30m in depth.
The natural entrance to the cave was created after part of the ground fell into the water. The local government has since created an entrance with steps and a long underground path which leads to the inside of the cave.
22. Explore the Acropolis and the surrounding area.
The Parthenon in Athens.
Have you ever visited Greece and, if yes, where did you go? Please share your experiences in Greece, and what you thought of it, with us in the comment section.