Athens is the capital of Greece and is known for its rich cultural heritage, monuments, and stunning scenery.
Athens has many attractions, from the Acropolis and the University of Athens to the ancient ruins, the Parthenon, and more. Athens is a great place to explore, and there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above Athens. It is noted as a World Heritage site comprising the Parthenon, Erechtheion, Temple of Athena Nike, and Propylaea. Situated on the main hill of ancient Athens, the Acropolis was constructed in the 5th Century BC with building materials sourced from around Attica. It continues to maintain its importance in Ancient Greek culture. Furthermore, it is widely recognized for its exceptional architecture, which has significantly influenced modern neoclassical architecture and design.
The first building to be built on the Acropolis was the small Hekatompedon temple dated 570 BC, which predates the more famous Parthenon constructed between 447-438 BC on orders from Athenian leader Pericles. The Parthenon’s construction represented allegiance to Athena, who was an essential part of Athenian culture and mythology, being regarded as a protector Goddess and symbolizing enlightenment and intellectualism in society. This function is also reflected amongst other structures such as the Propylaia or Gateway of King Xeres II as well as many statues that decorated temple structures, most notably Nikai (Victory Figures) bearing war shields depicting chariots pulling sun survivors encircled by snakes that held up capitals surrounding temples or lined outer walls such as those discovered at Agora (Market Place).
Along with architectural marvels within its walls, other attractions within Acropolis include local wildlife habitats such as multi-colored anemones and remains from ancient Greek settlements providing insight into what life may have been like within culture’s most impressive monument.
The Parthenon is a towering ancient Greek temple located at the Acropolis in Athens and one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. It was built in 447-432 BC to honor Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. It was constructed out of Pentelic marble and is considered a masterpiece of classical architecture. A beautiful testament to its mythical past, the Parthenon is considered one of the defining symbols of Ancient Greek civilization and remains an imposing presence in Athens today.
The Parthenon was constructed on a peripteral plan (i.e., with a continuous colonnade around its perimeter) and used several triangular elements known as pediments. In addition, it featured three divisions in front and back called stoas – two on each side containing 13 columns each – and two wings with six columns each on either side to support its dramatic size and scale.
Materials used for its decoration included limestone, marble, wood, and terracotta sculptures by leading artists such as Phidias and Kallikrates; busts were utilized for the metopes (decorative panels set between Doric triglyphs); and two friezes – one running around the sides figure base with representations from famous epics such as The Odyssey – were placed around each side partitioned by several cannon shot-like elements known as drums. Fragments from these friezes are now kept at British Museum in London. At the same time, other artifacts found onsite can be appreciated at Acropolis Museum nearby or sometimes put under display at archaeological sites throughout Greece. The remnants continue to attract visitors who marvel at their long-forgotten stories dating back thousands of years.
National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is Greece’s largest and most visited archaeological museum. Located in the city’s heart, it houses some of the country’s most exceptional artifacts, offering insight into over 5,000 years of Greek history.
The collection at the National Archaeological Museum includes works from prominent civilizations like Mycenaean and Cycladic cultures, Minoan and Archaic sculpture, vases and vessels, coins from ancient Greek City-States, and jewelry. The museum also features exhibits from the Neolithic to Roman periods, including crafts, frescoes, and panels.
The most valuable pieces of this magnificent collection are several golden artifacts excavated from graves at Mycenae during Heinrich Schliemann’s excavations in 1870–1890. Among them are engraved gold disks with intricate floral designs called funerary buttons, which were used to cover a wide variety of objects found in tombs, including metal vessels, musical instruments, figurines, and more.
Take a stroll through ancient Greece’s history with a visit to the remarkable National Archaeological Museum of Athens—a must-see tourist attraction for anyone interested in understanding Greek culture or learning more about European history.
Santorini is one of the most iconic Greek Islands and a paradise for those who love nature and culture. With its breathtaking whitewashed houses, pristine beaches, and lively nightlife, Santorini is a must-visit destination in Greece. From the beautiful sunset views to the archaeological ruins, Santorini offers an extraordinary experience for every traveler.
In this section, we will explore the attractions and experiences that Santorini has to offer:
Oia is an attractive small town on the north side of Santorini and is connected to Fira by a footpath corridor. It offers incredible sunset views from its clifftop location. Visitors can tour the winding alleyways, explore the quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants, or head to Skaros Rock for some of the island’s most impressive views. With bright white houses built into rugged cliffs and the area’s many churches, Oia is a photographer’s paradise.
Sunset at Oia village is a must-see; it draws huge crowds who come to experience its majestic beauty as the sun dips below in shades of pink and orange, creating a magical atmosphere. Unfortunately, the village has recently become quite crowded, so try making your way up early to one of the charming spots on top of a cliff to watch the show in peace. Most cafés offer tables with incredible sunset views if you want an even more relaxed way to appreciate this unique sunset experience. The views may be touristy, but they remain worth visiting out of curiosity!
Oia is considered Greece’s most beautiful Cycladic destination. It is renowned for its characteristic blue pebble roofs nested atop white cube buildings set against dramatic seascapes and spectacular caldera vistas that can be witnessed from anywhere within anyone within its confines. Be sure to spend at least half a day exploring this idyllic area and venturing onto some of Oia’s picturesque paths or secret stairways leading you further into its interior for more incredible views with fewer people around!
Fira is the picturesque capital of Santorini and one of Greece’s most visited cities. Situated on the west of Santorini, high above the deep volcanic crater that gives it its unique landscape, Fira is a village full of winding cobbled alleyways, has plenty of stunning views, and offers visitors a wealth of attractions.
Famed for its iconic whitewashed buildings, blue-domed churches, and spectacular sunsets, Fira is an ideal place to explore if you’re looking for a tourist place with a great atmosphere. On your head up to Fira, you’ll meet small souvenir shops and cozy traditional taverns offering mouth-watering dishes accompanied by breathtaking views of the caldera at sunset and panoramic viewpoints that deserve selfies.
Take some time out to explore this remarkable city and discover some hidden gems as well as some more popular places, including:
- The Catholic Cathedral
- The Museum of Prehistoric Thera
- Garden Of Saints
- Barlovento restaurant
- La Ponta Viewpoint
- Archaeological Museum Of Thera
For more activities in beautiful Fira, consider renting an ATV or take advantage of horseback riding opportunities for a truly unique experience!
The Red Beach of Santorini is one of the most breathtaking Greek tourist attractions, located in the southeast part of the island. It’s a remarkable place for beach lovers because of its exotic Cambrian and black volcanic rocks surrounding a breathtaking shoreline and azure seascape. The sand here is composed chiefly of iron oxide from lava and ash from the explosive eruption forming the caldera. It gives off a fascinating red color mixing with black pebbles and offering a unique landscape like no other in Greece or Europe. Since the sea floor slopes very gradually, it also makes an ideal spot for swimmers due to its shallow crystal clear waters. This popular summer destination has some outstanding amenities, including umbrellas, sunbeds, snack bars, showers, and changing cabins, making it quite suitable for tourists who wish to enjoy the sun on their vacations in Greece.
In addition to being a great beach destination with world-famous aesthetics, there are also nearby attractions such as:
- Ancient Thira (considered one of the leading archaeological sites in Greece)
- Ammoudi (the picturesque port village where seafood tavernas offer freshly caught fish prepared by renowned local chefs)
- Akrotiri (the famous archaeological site located on cliffs along the southern coast)
Also, numerous restaurants serve traditional dishes and delicious cocktails – ensuring travelers an unparalleled holiday experience!
Mykonos, located in the Cyclades islands of Greece, is a cosmopolitan and vibrant holiday destination. With beautiful scenery, picturesque landscapes, and endless attractions and activities, Mykonos is a popular destination for travelers looking to explore the country.
In this section, we will dive deeper into the attractions of Mykonos and what makes it a must-visit destination.
Little Venice is one of the most photographed areas of Mykonos, located in the capital city, Chora. It is a cluster of whitewashed homes perched above the sea with colorful balconies, fishing boats lining the waterfront, and attractive restaurants nearby. Many visitors come here in the early evening and stay until sunset to capture fantastic photographs of this vibrant area at its best.
The Venetian influence on Little Venice is evident – many of its white buildings are decorated with colorful wooden balconies, similar to those in Venice. However, the homes still have their original architecture intact, making for some interesting outside viewing. Not only does it look spectacular when lit up at night, but visitors can also take a stroll along its winding pathways with a plenty of cafes and restaurants offering stunning views across neighboring islands.
Little Venice was once an important port used by merchant ships trading between surrounding Aegean islands; today it simply provides an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. Whether you come here to indulge in fantastic food or pass away your day by simply lounging around watching boats drift past, Little Venice is sure to become a frequent destination during your weekend getaway to Mykonos Island!
The windmills of Mykonos are a sight to behold, perched high atop the picturesque island’s hills. An iconic symbol of the island, they are one of the most visited attractions and can be seen from many parts of Mykonos. The tallest mill stood at 15 meters (50 feet) and was constructed in 1804. It is thought to be the oldest example on the island; others were destroyed in 1871 by strong winds. Today, only 16 remaining windmills have been painstakingly preserved as a reminder of Mykonos’ past.
These magnificent structures have been featured in films such as Mamma Mia and Get Low, helping to enhance Mykonos’ reputation as one of Greece’s most stunning islands. The windmills still act as an essential part of life on the island; locals often use them to feed their families, grind the wheat for flour and even process olives for olive oil production. Their beauty is truly an asset to this remarkable destination – visiting these iconic monuments a must-see experience for any visitor fortunate enough to explore this spectacular part of Greece!
Paradise Beach is located on the southernmost tip of Mykonos, in a long and wide circle surrounded by rocks. This awesome beach offers crystal-clear water, fine sand, and all kinds of facilities: beach bars, restaurants, umbrellas, and sunbeds for renters.
One of the longest beaches on Mykonos, Paradise Beach is somewhat divided into two distinct parts. On one side is “Super Paradise,” with wild beach parties where jet-setters mingle late into the night! Here you can find a variety of turf clubs, music bars, and nudism. On the other side, near the Agios Ioannis hill paradise is more peaceful and calm with traditional Greek taverns serving delicious local cuisine.
This gorgeous landscaped terrain area framed in an impressive setting packed with entertainment possibilities makes Paradise Beach one of Greece’s most popular summer destinations.
Crete is an island in Greece renowned for its stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant culture. It is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and the largest of the Greek islands. With so much to see and do, it’s no surprise that Crete is one of the most popular destinations in Greece.
Here are some of the top attractions in Crete that you should consider visiting:
Knossos is an important archaeological site located in Crete, Greece. This site is believed to have been the capital of the ancient Minoan civilization and features ruins from the Neolithic period. It is renowned for its well-preserved palace with decorative frescoes, pottery, and carvings which provide insight into their culture, making it one of the most visited sites on the Greek island of Crete.
The structures at Knossos are incredibly complex and are believed to have been built around 1900 BC. The main structure consists of a palace that comprises more than 1,000 different rooms along with expansive courtyards surrounded by columns and frescoes painted walls. From this base extended, four artificial islands connected with causeways were constructed to take advantage of water courses created by flooding during particular times each year.
Knossos was abandoned sometime in the 17th century BCE but continued to serve as a sacred burial place until Roman times, which explains why much of its artifacts remain intact today. Experts estimate that at this period, Knossos might have held up to 80,000 inhabitants, making it one of the largest cities in Europe during that era.
For two millennia, this majestic palace remained largely forgotten until 1878 when it was rediscovered by archaeologist Minos Kalokairinos who later deduced its significance and began excavating it with the help of his team in 1900, allowing further exploration into ancient Greek civilizations and ultimately transforming our knowledge about them through recovered relics and artifacts like:
- stone tools
- pottery remains
Situated in the White Mountains of Crete, Samaria Gorge is the longest gorge in Europe. The 16-kilometer (10-mile) walk takes visitors from Xyloskalo, through the National Park of Samaria, to Agia Roumeli. While some difficult sections along the route require careful negotiation, it’s an accessible hike for most hikers, and you will be rewarded with stunning views of the rugged rocks and streams carved by years of earth movement.
Much of the trail runs along a cobblestone path, giving this area its nickname “The Magic Path,” but some parts are steep and challenging. Along most sections, you can take shorter or longer routes depending on your ability and appetite for adventure; some span as long as 5 kilometers (3 miles). During your trek, you may see deer, wild goats, and an array of flora growing within this unique ecosystem. Despite what it may seem, the hike has been professionally mapped out to provide easier access and reduce risk while walking this natural wonder.
At the end of your journey, you will find crystal clear turquoise waters emptying into a small fishing village called Agia Roumeli – where locals greet visitors who arrive from all corners of Crete every morning. Keep your eyes peeled during your hike, as if luck is on your side, then perhaps you’ll spot a few endangered species like wild cats or crested snakes living freely within these vast landscapes. With so much beauty to admire inside this natural gorge, don’t forget to pack any gear needed for photos or videos – after all, those memories you capture will last a lifetime!
Elafonissi Beach, located on the island of Crete, is a beautiful and secluded beach known for its backdrops of pink sand and crystal blue waters. It has some of the best snorkeling in Greece and is also a great spot to relax and unwind during your vacation.
The beach lies on an isolated peninsula connected by a thin strip of sand, so there is usually plenty of space to spread out. In addition, the waters around Elafonissi are shallow, making it perfect for those who want to enjoy the sights without worrying about deep-sea diving.
One of the top attractions is ‘the lagoon,’ which can be reached through a natural stone archway. Visitors can spot many species of fish amongst the coral reef and the colorful chasms surrounding them.
There are also plenty of restaurants nearby with fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes. This serene haven truly is one of Crete’s most stunning treasures!
Delphi is one of Greece’s most popular tourist attractions, and it draws visitors worldwide. Located in the heart of the Greek mainland, Delphi is an ancient city with a rich history and beautiful archaeological ruins. It is located on the site of the famous Delphi Oracle and is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
Delphi is a great place to visit and explore the many ancient ruins, temples, and monuments:
Temple of Apollo
The Temple of Apollo is one of the most important ruins in Delphi, Greece. Situated on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, it was once regarded as the center of the ancient world.
Once worshipped as a god of music and prophecy, Apollo has also been associated with many other forms of divinity, such as poetry, medicine, and knowledge. The Temple of Apollo was an important historical site from 700–200 BCE. It served as a Panhellenic sanctuary for pilgrims who sought prophecy from the famous Pythia – the priestess at this temple site.
The remains that visitors can still see today include columns originally built by artisans called amphictyony in honor of three gods – Apollo, Artemis, and Hercules to thank them for their protection and prosperity during dangerous times. Also visible are parts of what would have been a grand setup to perform events in honor oracles in front of thousands. Visitors can also look at bronze plates hung during the Hellenistic era inscribed with inscriptions dedicated to various gods. These bronze plates displayed mantras such as “thy will be done” sent by people celebrating life events or written with pleas for help.
Today tourists marvel at the beauty and magnificence that remains from what was once one of Greece’s most notable temples.
Delphi Archaeological Museum
The Delphi Archaeological Museum is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in the picturesque Greek town of Delphi. The museum was built between 1903-1906 and displays various artifacts from nearby archaeological sites, creating an essential connection to antiquity for visitors.
The items on display range from statues of gods and animals to votive offerings, weapons, and everyday objects used by the ancient Greek inhabitants of Delphi, dating back as far as 7,000 BC. Some highlights include a unique marble head believed to be a portrait of emperor Hadrian and the funerary monument for Kreousa, mother of Dionysos.
The museum is renowned for its impeccable restoration work, which creates an emotional experience when exploring the collection. Visitors can also explore two ancient theatres on the premises – an indoor theatre with 86 remarkable stages used during religious ceremonies and an outdoor theatre used for musical events and games during festivals and rituals.
Aside from its permanent collection, the museum also offers guided tours and educational programs focusing on various topics such as history and art history. In addition, the venue is equipped with cafe facilities where visitors can enjoy some Easter specialties while soaking up picturesque views over Mount Parnassus before their journey home begins.
Easily found on a visit to the picturesque mountains of Delphi, the Castalian Spring was an important destination for pilgrims in classical times. Its healing power is renowned – according to legend, those who drink from it become prophetic. The Castalian Spring still runs today in a cleft rock above an ancient chasm at the foot of Mt. Parnassos.
Although referenced by several Classical poets, Plutarch was probably its most dedicated fan. He wrote about it about 150 CE, claiming that it ran continuously and sacredly held the taste of its liquid source at Mount Helicon near Thebes – quite a feat considering that this is 50 kilometers away! Plutarch also celebrated its connection with Apollo and sang praises for its healing power when consumed.
To experience this famous geographic landmark, look for signs and paths to the right-hand side of the area called Prima Porta, off the main road leading up to Delphi. Once you arrive after a short walk along tranquil pathways surrounded by pine and bay trees, you can take in majestic views and have direct access to cast your cup into these famous waters!