20 Stunningly Beautiful Places to Visit in Greece
Hospitality, delicious food, an azure blue sea, warm beaches, beautiful nature, charming cities and a pleasant climate are some of the reasons why Greece is such a popular holiday destination. Whether you are in lively Athens for a city trip or have booked a long, relaxing holiday on one of the Greek islands, there are so many stunningly beautiful places to visit in Greece.
From cities to beaches and more, here are my best picks for the best places to stay in Greece on your next holiday.
Best Cities to Visit in Greece
Athens has a rich history that you can easily see anywhere in the city. I’d highly recommend walking the many streets of Athens in the off season. The temperatures can rise considerably in the summer, so it’d be better to head for the islands or beaches rather than the cities.
That said: Athens is full of beautiful buildings and history. Don’t miss the Acropolis, the Temple of the Olympic Zeus, the Olympic Stadium and the Temple of Hephaistos. You can always book a nice walking tour if you’re short on time.
Curious about what else there is to see? Read on in my Athens city guide which also contains tips for restaurants and places to go out!
Not entirely surprising, but Rhodes City is the capital of the island of the same name. The addition “city” therefore serves purely to prevent confusion.
The island’s capital has an old and a new part. In the old city you walk through narrow streets, past impressive churches and old city walls. This part of Rhodes City is rightfully the most loved and famous piece. Try this nice walking and tour to see all the best sights.
However, do not skip the other side of Rhodes. You can go shopping and enjoy a drink on one of the sunny terraces. I really like the Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes because you can watch people walking along the promenade and going to and from the moored boats. Many excursions around Rhodes also depart from this location.
One of the largest cities in Greece that is also on the sea is Thessaloniki. Yes, city trip & beach combination! Thessaloniki is a versatile city where you are regularly surprised by the beautiful views and all the culture and history you’ll encounter in nearly ever corner.
For example, admire the Hagia Sophia that has been in Thessaloniki since the 8th century. Sounds familiar? This Hagia Sophia is based on the variant that is in Istanbul. Incidentally, it is even more impressive inside than outside, so be sure to take a look. The White Tower, once a defense tower of the Ottomans and now a museum, and the Arch of Galerius, a triumphal arch dedicated to the Roman emperor Galerius, are some of the gems in this Greek city.
The large city of Patras is located on the largest peninsula in Greece, Peloponnese. Like many larger cities in Greece, Patras is also on the water, making this port a lively destination. For many Greeks, Patras is the place to be when you celebrate Carnival. Many ships also depart from Patras to the Ionian Islands. It’s such a nice view from the harbor!
One of the longest cable bridges in the world is in Patras: the Rio-Antirrio Bridge that connects the peninsula with the mainland. Because Patras is one of the less well-known large cities in Greece, it is considerably quieter than in Athens, for example. It’s a nice, quieter option if you’re visiting in high season and still want a city break.
Heraklion is the capital of Crete and sits along the north coast. You really can’t miss visiting this city if you go to Crete! Don’t just sip through, enjoy the area. Shop in the cozy streets, enjoy the weather on the terraces of the restaurants, and visit the sights. There is the Morosini Fountain, various churches and the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion which features different treasures found around the island. You can book a tour of the museum here.
Best Beaches in Greece
Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia
Kefalonia is one of the most beautiful Greek islands (more on that later). It has some beautiful beaches that should not be missed during a relaxing holiday. Myrtos Beach is an easily accessible pebble beach where you can take a dip in the sea. There are various facilities such as beach chair and umbrellas rentals, and there is a small restaurant where you can go for drinks and food. The beach is surrounded by some rock formations, which gives it an idyllic feeling.
Voutoumi Beach, Antipaxos
One of the Ionian islands of Antipaxos is the home of Voutoumi Beach. Where many Greek beaches are pebble beaches, Voutoumi Beach is a breathtaking sandy beach. You can lie on the light-colored sand and swim in a clear, blue sea. There are several beach bars where you can enjoy a refreshing drink. Around the beach are beautiful green trees spread over a hilly landscape. Definitely worth a walk when the weather is not too hot. Voutoumi Beach often gets the title of “paradise” from its visitors and that is completely understandable when you stand on this beach in Antipaxos.
Egremni Beach, Lefkada
The island of Lefkada also has a beautiful, light-colored sandy beach. Until an earthquake in 2015, Egremni Beach could be reached via a staircase down. Although they are busy rebuilding this route, it is not yet clear when it will be accessible again.
Fortunately, you can still reach the beautiful beach via the water. Definitely worth it, because the beach consists largely of sand mixed with pebbles. The sea is beautiful blue and there are some beach bars where you can go.
Voidokilia Beach, Messinia
In the south of Greece you will find the Peloponnese peninsula, where you will also find the aforementioned Petros. The beach is a nice place where you are protected from the strong wind, thanks to its somewhat hidden location. The shallow seawater that you overlook from the sandy beach is perfect for a swim.
Good to know: Voidokilia Beach has little to no amenities, so go prepared! The shallow water also makes it a very child-friendly beach where you can snorkel with confidence.
Elafonisi Beach, Crete
That there are beaches on the Greek islands is of course no surprise. Elafonisi Beach is one of those island beaches on Crete. The accessibility is great, the facilities are diverse, and the surroundings are beautiful. In addition, Elafonisi Beach has fine sand and an endless blue sea. You can therefore enjoy excellent snorkeling, enjoy the sun on the island, and explore the area on foot.
The Most Beautiful Islands in Greece
One of the gems of Greece is the island of Santorini. Enjoy beautiful views, the classic whitewashed houses with blue elements, vineyards, attractive restaurants, and wonderful beaches. Oia is one of the beautiful villages on the island. You have a spectacular view over the sea, so experiencing the sunset here is a particularly beautiful gift.
There are also many wineries and vineyards where you can take a tour or participate in tastings. You will also find one of the most extraordinary beaches on this island: Red Beach. The name gives it away somewhat, but on this beach you will find a red-colored rock formation adjacent to the darker sand. A special place to see for sure.
Earlier we mentioned Myrtos Beach on this beautiful island. Kefalonia is one of the lesser-known Greek islands, while it is beautiful and there are more than enough facilities for a pleasant holiday. The villages are cozy, and you can find beautiful, colored houses and friendly inhabitants.
The beaches are also worth a visit. In addition to Myrtos Beach, there is also the special Xi Beach where fine red sand stands out against the clear blue water. You will see Kefalonia at its best when you tour the island and admire the views at your own pace. Discover the Melissani Cave and stop for a snack at one of the local restaurants.
When you discover the island of Skopelos, you will soon come to the conclusion that pine trees prevail here. While you drive across the island you will pass various pictures, paradisiacal beaches, and you can drive over the beautiful mountains that shape the island.
Skopelos is also a beautiful island to discover on foot. There are many hiking trails that make it possible to discover nature in a different way. Moreover, if you walk briskly, you can enjoy a spectacular view from the church where Mamma Mia! was filmed. After about 200 steps you have reached Agios Ionnis Kastri, an impressive rock with a small church on top.
The landscape on Zakynthos is beautiful and immediately explains why this is such a popular holiday destination. Enjoy the blue sea and the warm sun on beautiful sandy beaches. Or go exploring on the island and discover the blue caves and the natural environment.
In the capital ofZakynthos City, you can find various museums, cozy restaurants, and special buildings. Zakynthos also has the Bay of Laganas where the Caretta Caretta turtles lay their eggs every year. No worries, that part is protected so that the turtles can go about their business in peace.
You may have noticed that Crete is doing well in this list! It is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Greece. Crete is, of course, the place where party destination, Chersonissos, can be found. However you can also find the atmospheric resort of Plakias as well.
That’s the power of Crete: there’s something for everyone. The landscape is diverse, the beaches are beautiful, and the cities are cozy. As the largest island in Greece, you’re sure to find something to fall in love with. Book a full day tour of the island here
Natural Places to Visit in Greece
Olympus National Park
The highest mountain in Greece is Mount Olympus, the top of which is at its 2,900 meters. The varied landscape in the park yields a beautiful picture with a particularly large number of plant and animal species. The hiking trails in National Park Olympus are gorgeous and provide breathtaking views. Definitely worth it when you visit Greece. Book a tour here
Samaria Gorge, Crete
Crete, again! As I said, the island offers a great deal of diversity. One of the most beautiful nature reserves is the Samaria Gorge. This also bears the title of national park, because there are special plants and animals. Where you walk through the gorge in the summer, water simply flows through it in the winter. The walls are up to 500 meters high and at the narrowest point one wall is only 4 meters away from the other. Another spectacular experience on Crete. Book a day trip here
Vikos Gorge, Zagoria
One of the other impressive gorges in Greece is the Vikos Gorge. The gorge has a considerable length of about 20 kilometers, the majority of which lie in the North Pindos National Park. The Vikos Gorge is one of the deepest in the world. Whether you are at the top of the gap or right in the middle of it, you’ll be able to witness just how incredible it is. Book a hiking tour here
Cape Sunion, Attica
On the 70-meter high rock that belongs to the Attica peninsula you will find Cape Sunion. It houses the remains of the Poseidon Temple around 5th Century BC. It is part of the Sounion National Park. The park ensures that Cape Soenion and the surrounding area are well maintained and protected. There are regular day trips to Cape Soenion or you can drive the 1.5 hours there yourself. Book a day tour here
Stymphalia Lake, Peloponnese
The largest lake in Peloponnese is Stymphalia. It is a so-called wetlands area where many animal and plant species can be found. The lake is also mentioned in Greek mythology when Hercules had to exterminate the Stymphalian birds.
In the museum of Lake Stymphalia you can learn more about the ecological value of the area. The lake and the immediate surroundings are also a beautiful area to walk.
And there you have it! From incredible mountains to picturesque beaches, those were the most beautiful places to visit in Greece!
What are your favorite places to visit in Greece?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe and Tiqets for specific attraction deals.