A list of 22 beautiful places in Greece. Includes pretty islands, quaint towns, ancient sites, amazing beaches, and a lot more!
Greece – Αn incredible country!
Greece is a small country located in southern Europe. It has a rich culture and history, and is home to some of the most beautiful places in the world.
People travel to Greece from all around the planet. Many of them visit some of the gorgeous Greek islands, each of which has its own unique charm. Others visit Athens, the capital, and other towns and places on mainland Greece.
If you’re looking for a vacation destination that offers everything, from stunning beaches to ancient ruins and picturesque villages, Greece should be at the top of your list!
The most beautiful places in Greece
There are dozens of beautiful places in Greece. First time visitors are often confused, as it’s very hard to choose where to go!
This guide will give you an overview of 22 beautiful places in Greece. It includes islands, towns, national parks, historical sites, beaches, and other places worth visiting in Greece.
1. Santorini – Best for landscapes, architecture and sunsets
Santorini island is one of the most famous places in Greece. Its stunning volcanic landscapes make it popular with all types of travellers, including first-time visitors to Greece.
People enjoy the traditional whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, the premier restaurants and bars, the weird black sand beaches and the iconic sunsets over the caldera.
The island also has plenty of ancient history. Most people visit the archaeological site of Ancient Akrotiri, which was destroyed around 1,650 BC. Make sure you also spend some time at the archaeological museums in Fira.
Activities in Santorini
There are plenty of organized activities in Santorini, such as various boat tours, wine-tasting, hiking, and exploring the many quaint villages. You can book activities in Santorini here:
How to get to Santorini
Santorini belongs to the Cyclades group of islands, in the Aegean Sea. You can get there by international flight from many cities in Europe, domestic flight from Athens, and ferry from Piraeus port in Athens.
Here are a couple more articles about Santorini:
Tip: As the volcanic island is popular with cruise ships, it tends to get very crowded during summer. It’s best to avoid the peak season, and visit in spring, autumn, or even winter instead!
2. Meteora – Best for religious culture, landscapes and hiking
The stunning landscapes of Meteora are unlike anywhere else in the world. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a complex of six monasteries that are built on top of some incredible rock formations.
The views from these monasteries are simply breathtaking, and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. Meteora are a must-see place for anyone visiting Greece.
Each monastery is closed on one day a week. Opening hours vary by season, so make sure you check before you visit.
How to get to Meteora
The Meteora Monasteries are located in an area called Thessaly in mainland Greece. They are near a town called Kalambaka, which is 40-50 minutes walk from the closest monastery.
There are four ways to get to Meteora from Athens: by train / bus, rental car, or organized tour. A tour is the easiest way to visit this amazing destination, especially if you have limited time.
Here are some highly rated tours to Meteora that you can book online:
- Round trip from Athens to Kalambaka and Meteora
- Tour from Kalambaka to Meteora
- Small group private tour from Athens to Meteora
Have a look at some more information about the Meteora Monasteries.
3. The Acropolis of Athens – Iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site
People travelling to Greece for the first time will definitely visit the Acropolis of Athens. It’s one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, and the first place which comes to someone’s mind when they hear of Ancient Greece.
The Acropolis is a whole citadel, located up on a hill in central Athens. The most famous temple is the Parthenon, which was dedicated to Goddess Athena. She was one of the 12 Gods of Mt Olympus, who were worshiped by Ancient Greeks.
Here’s a cool story from the Greek mythology about how Athens took its name. Yup – the ancient city was named after the goddess!
How to get to the ancient ruins on the Acropolis Hill
The only way to get to the Acropolis of Athens is on foot. Get ready for some steep steps! People with reduced mobility can use the elevator, located close to the main entrance of the ancient site.
You can visit the Acropolis on your own, but it’s worth taking a guided tour to find out more about the superb ancient monument. If you are visiting in summer, definitely bring some water and a hat.
If you are planning to visit more historical sites in the Greek capital, take a look at my article on the Ancient Athens combined ticket.
Have a look at these other guides, especially if you are traveling with children:
- The Changing of the Guards in Athens
- Botanical Gardens in Athens
- Museum of Illusions
- Little Kook cafe
- What to do on a Sunday in Athens
- How to visit the Acropolis for free
4. Rhodes Old Town – Best for medieval history
Rhodes Old Town, the capital of Rhodes island, is famous for its medieval architecture. The streets are lined with cobblestones, and the buildings are adorned with intricate details.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In my opinion, it’s one of the most impressive towns in Greece.
It’s easy to spend a few days exploring the Medieval Town. Make sure you visit the Palace of the Grand Master, one of the most iconic buildings, which has been transformed into a museum. You will feel that you’ve been transported back in time!
Apart from the Old Town, Rhodes island has lots more to offer. It’s an ideal destination for anyone looking for good tourist infrastructure, fantastic sandy beaches, and plenty of water sports and other activities.
How to get to Rhodes
Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese group. It’s located in the Southeast Aegean Sea.
You can get to Rhodes on an international flight from numerous European airports, or on a domestic flight from Athens. The ferry from Piraeus to Rhodes takes several hours, so it’s probably not the best option.
Check out my guides about Rhodes:
5. Milos island – Best for landscapes, gorgeous beaches and the outdoors
Milos is a Greek island known for its stunning volcanic landscapes, wild nature, and beautiful, varied beaches. Although it’s an upcoming destination, the island largely retains its traditional character.
People who go to Milos enjoy nature and explore the famous beaches, like Sarakiniko and Kleftiko. Other attractions include historical sites and fishing villages with colorful houses, like Klima.
Most visitors aim to take a full-day sailing cruise to Kleftiko beach and Polyaigos island. This is one of my most memorable activities ever on the Greek islands!
How to get to Milos
Milos belongs to the Cyclades group of islands. There is a small domestic airport, to which you can fly from Athens. Most people travel to Milos by ferry from Piraeus or one of the nearby islands.
Here are some more Milos guides:
Or check out the Real Greek Experiences book about Milos and the nearby Kimolos!
6. Myrtos Beach Kefalonia – Stunning pebble beach
Myrtos is one of the most photographed and iconic beaches in Greece. The large, white pebbles and incredibly blue / turquoise waters attract thousands of visitors every year.
If you are feeling adventurous, the dramatic cliffs behind Myrtos make it an ideal setting for paragliding! Or you can just sit on the beach and observe the people flying down the hillside.
Note: Avoid swimming in Myrtos when it’s too windy. You can easily get swept away by the large waves and hurt yourself on the pebbles.
How to get to Myrtos in Kefalonia
Myrtos is located on the west coast of Kefalonia, one of the Ionian islands. Kefalonia has an international airport, so the easiest way to get there is by flight.
To get to Myrtos, you can take an organized tour where you can see some of the highlights of Kefalonia. Alternatively, you can hire a car / ATV / scooter, or use the public bus.
Apart from Myrtos, Kefalonia has many more beautiful beaches. It’s an amazing place for visitors who are into scuba diving or snorkeling – I saw a couple of sea turtles when snorkeling from the beach!
Have a look at this guide on things to do at Kefalonia in Greece.
7. Symi – Incredibly picturesque quiet island
Symi is one of Greece’s Dodecanese islands, and is located close to Rhodes. Its port town is one of the most stunning towns in the whole of Greece. The pastel-colored houses lining the hillsides will leave you speechless!
Apart from the main town, Symi is famous for its iconic Monastery of Archangel Michael in Panormitis. Several miracles are attributed to the Patron Saint of the island, and people come from far and wide to pay their respects.
The tiny island also has plenty of pristine beaches to relax on. You can reach most of them by road, though the best beaches can only be accessed by sea.
How to get to Symi
Symi is only accessible by sea. The easiest way to get there, is to take a ferry from Rhodes. You can check ferry routes and book your ferry tickets on Ferryscanner.
Many people visit Symi on an organized day trip from Rhodes. However, it’s totally worth spending a few days exploring the quaint island!
And if you want a late summer vacation, Symi, along with Rhodes, are two of the hottest Greek islands in October.
Here is some more information about Symi:
8. Ancient site of Delphi – A mystical experience
Delphi is another fantastic archaeological site in Greece, where God Apollo was worshipped. It was home to the ancient Oracle of Delphi, and one of the most important cultural and religious centers of the ancient world, where the Delphic Maxims were inscribed.
The ancient ruins of Delphi are located on a mountainside, offering stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors will enjoy the awe inspiring beauty and energy of the amazing UNESCO site, and the excellent archaeological museum.
How to get to Delphi
Delphi is located about 3 hours away from Athens. You can visit by public bus, rental car, or guided tour, where you will have a licensed guide showing you around.
Here is a highly rated tour you can take, which also makes a stop at the lovely Arachova village:
For more information on Delphi, check this article: The ancient site of Delphi
9. Naxos island – Best for a beach holiday and authentic Greek culture
The Cycladic island of Naxos is another upcoming destination in Greece. It will appeal to everyone interested in golden sandy beaches, pretty villages, authentic culture, and delicious Greek food.
The island has a rich history, dating back to ancient times. There are several archaeological sites to visit, including the iconic Portara, a huge marble doorway dedicated to the God Apollo.
Visitors will love getting lost in the island’s capital, Naxos Town. Its impressive Venetian Castle, the maze of tiny little alleyways and all the lovely restaurants make it a wonderful place to explore.
Naxos is one of the best places in Greece to have a Greek cooking class! Their rich culinary tradition and exceptional local products are one of the reasons why Naxos has so many repeat visitors.
How to get to Naxos
Like Santorini and Milos, Naxos belongs to the Cyclades islands. There is a domestic airport where you can fly to from Athens. Or you can get a ferry from Piraeus, and enjoy the relaxed trip!
Here is a complete guide on things to do in Naxos Greece.
10. Corfu Town – Fascinating UNESCO site
The amazing capital town in Corfu island is another one of the most beautiful places in Greece. The whole town is full of amazing Venetian architecture, and is a UNESCO Site.
The impressive buildings have been repaired and reconstructed many times. You’ll feel like you’re transported back in time as you explore the old fortifications, cobbled streets and charming squares.
Apart from the main town, Corfu is also famous for its scenic landscapes, lovely beaches, quaint villages and cosmopolitan feel. There are also many day trips you can take from Corfu, like the boat ride to the pristine Paxi and Antipaxi islands!
How to get to Corfu
Corfu is located off the coast of Northwestern Greece, in the Ionian Sea. The island has an international airport, and the easiest way to get there is by plane. Have a look at this guide explaining where is Corfu and how to get there.
11. Nafplio – Picturesque town close to Athens
Nafplio is a charming coastal town, best known for its beautiful architecture and stunning seaside views. It’s one of the most romantic places in Greece, and a popular weekend destination for Athenians.
Nafplio has a long history, and was occupied by several conquerors over the years. The Venetians and the Ottomans have both left their mark in the town. Plus, as Nafplio was the first capital of modern Greece, you will see some amazing neoclassical buildings.
Visitors can explore the well preserved fortress of Palamidi, stroll through the lovely alleys of the town, and enjoy the fantastic views from Bourtzi, a small island in the harbor.
How to get to Nafplio
Nafplio is located in the region of the Peloponnese, and it’s one of the most popular Athens day trips. You can easily get there by public transport, or rental vehicle.
Most visitors choose to take a day trip, which includes a stop at Nafplio, and a visit to the UNESCO sites of Epidaurus and Mycenae.
Book here: Day trip to Nafplio and the ancient sites.
You can read more about these places here:
12. The temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion – Best for sunset views
About an hour and a half outside Greece’s capital city, you’ll find Cape Sounion. This is a place of great natural beauty, with stunning cliffs that plunge into the sea.
Cape Sounion is also home to the temple of Poseidon. This ancient Greek temple was built in 444-440 BC, and offers breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
Seeing the sunset from the temple is a fantastic experience – no wonder God Poseidon wanted his temple right here!
How to get to Cape Sounion
While public transportation runs to the Temple of Poseidon, buses take a very long time and are not too frequent. It’s best to either hire your own vehicle, or take an organized half day trip to Cape Sounion.
Here is all the information you need: How to get to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.
13. Nisyros – A volcanic island off the beaten track
Not many visitors have heard of Nisyros. Yet, this small island offers some of the most spectacular volcanic landscapes in Greece.
In fact, very few places in the world can boast an active volcano where you can walk inside the crater!
Apart from its stunning landscapes, Nisyros is a great place to go if you want to get away from the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet.
The locals are friendly and welcoming, and there’s an air of authenticity that you won’t find at some of the other Greek islands.
How to get to Nisyros
Nisyros is another one of the Dodecanese islands in Greece. As it doesn’t have an airport, the only way to get there is by ferry.
The closest island with an international airport is Kos, and people often visit Nisyros on an organized day trip. Again, it’s worth spending more time – but if you can only go for a day trip, by all means do it!
Here is my complete guide to Nisyros island.
14. Thessaloniki – Best for history, culture and nightlife
Thessaloniki, Greece’s second biggest city, often flies under the radar. But this vibrant city has a lot to offer.
From its long history and stunning waterfront to its lively nightlife scene and delicious food, Thessaloniki is a modern town waiting to be explored.
History lovers will be fascinated by the ancient Roman ruins, the beautiful Byzantine churches, and the White Tower, the city’s symbol.
And if you’re a foodie, you’ll definitely enjoy Thessaloniki’s delicious cuisine!
As for nightlife? With thousands of students and young people, Thessaloniki has some of the best nightlife in the whole of Greece. You will find dozens of chilled bars and lively nightclubs, where you can party until the early morning hours.
Here are a few more reasons why Thessaloniki is worth visiting.
How to get to Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is located in north Greece, and has an international airport to where you can fly from many cities in Europe. If you are visiting Athens on the same trip, you can always take the train from Athens to Thessaloniki.
Overall, Thessaloniki is a compact city, and there are so many ancient ruins that walking is the best way to explore. It’s also one of the best places in Greece to take a culinary tour and learn everything about the wonderful food markets and street food!
15. Mount Olympus – Best for nature and hiking
Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece, and the mythological home of the 12 Ancient Greek Gods. It’s a popular spot for hiking and climbing, and offers stunning views from the summit.
Olympus National Park is a fantastic place to visit, whether you’re looking to hike or simply take in the beauty of the mountains. Apart from the more strenuous hike to the top, there are plenty of easier trails to enjoy as well.
How to get to Mt Olympus
Mount Olympus is located in a region called Thessaly, about 440 kms northwest of Athens and 107 kms south of Thessaloniki.
If you have your own vehicle, you can visit independently. Alternatively, you can take the train to Katerini, and then go on a guided tour.
Related: How to book a train ticket in Greece
16. Chania Old Town – Best for wonderful architecture
One of the most picturesque towns in Greece is Chania Old Town, in Crete island. It is full of narrow streets and alleyways, colourful houses, charming cafes and restaurants, and picturesque waterfront views.
While Chania is a popular destination in Greece, it hasn’t lost its unique charm. With that said, it’s best to visit outside the peak months of July and August, to avoid the summer crowds.
Activities in Chania
There are many organized activities you can take in Chania, such as the following:
- Cretan cooking experience – Crete has some of the best food in Greece!
- Hiking tour to Samaria gorge – available in spring, summer and autumn
- Day trip to Elafonisi, the famous beach with the pink sand!
Also, don’t miss the brand new Archaeological Museum in Chania. It’s a little out of the town – you can walk there, or take a taxi / bus. Have a coffee at the rooftop terrace, and then walk to the nearby Eleftherios Venizelos museum, dedicated to the former Prime Minister of Greece.
How to get to Chania Crete
Chania town is in Crete, Greece’s largest island, which is located south of the mainland. There is an international airport, which connects Chania with several European cities and Athens. There’s also a port, where ferries arrive from Piraeus.
Some visitors combine Crete and Santorini on the same trip. There are numerous ferries from Santorini to Heraklion port, which is a couple of hours east of Chania. Then you could hire a car, or take the public bus.
The whole of Crete is an incredible place to explore. Its golden beaches, numerous ancient sites, fabulous food and amazing people make it one of the best places to visit in Greece.
17. Hydra island – Quiet island close to Athens
Hydra is a small, car free island close to the Greek capital. It is famous for its rich history, the beautiful architecture in the charming port town, and the cosmopolitan vibes.
As there are no vehicles on Hydra, it’s a popular destination for visitors who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Still, there is enough sightseeing and plenty of beautiful beaches to keep you occupied for a few days.
How to get to Hydra
Hydra is one of the Saronic islands, close to Athens. You can easily reach it on a ferry trip from Piraeus port. There are several ferries per day, and you can book your ferry tickets on Ferryscanner.
First time visitors to Greece often book a full day trip to Hydra, along with two more Saronic islands, Poros and Aegina. This is a good option for people who want to take an organized activity without stressing about the logistics.
18. Monemvasia – Best for a romantic getaway
Monemvasia is a small, picturesque town known for its incredible medieval castle built on a large rock formation. Founded in the 6th century AD, it used to be an important commercial centre in the Mediterranean.
The medieval architecture and Byzantine churches make Monemvasia one of the most atmospheric places in Greece. Among the fortifications, you will find cool restaurants, elegant bars, and nice little shops.
How to get to Monemvasia
Monemvasia is located off the south eastern coast of the Peloponnese peninsula. It is built on a large rock, which is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.
Monemvasia is about 4 hours south of Athens by public bus or rental car. You can easily explore the whole town on foot, see the sights and enjoy the amazing views to the sea.
19. Vikos Gorge and Voidomatis River – The great outdoors
Greece is mostly known for its beautiful islands and ancient history. Few people realize that a large part of the country is covered by some incredible mountains, gorges and rivers.
Vikos Gorge, located in the north of the country, is one of the deepest gorges in the world. Visitors will be amazed by the wonderful nature, the varied landscapes and the quaint stone bridges.
There are plenty of lovely villages in the wider areawhere you can find accommodation. Some of the most popular ones are Aristi, Monodendri, Vitsa, Megalo Papingo and Mikro Papingo. They are best known as Zagorohoria, or Zagori villages.
How to get to Vikos gorge
Vikos Gorge is located in the region of Epirus, in north Greece. The closest airport is Ioannina airport, where you can fly from Athens. If you are driving from Athens, allow at least 5 hours to get to Monodendri village.
While you can visit this area of Greece independently, its is recommended to take some organized activities, such as the following:
If you visit the area, make sure you also explore the pretty, quaint town of Ioannina.
20. Mani peninsula – Best for wilderness and incredible natural beauty
Mani, a large area in the Peloponnese, is one of the most beautiful and unspoiled areas of Greece. It is famous for its stone villages, its stunning rugged landscapes and its remote wild beaches.
In Mani, time seems to have stood still. The main activities here are exploring, swimming, hiking, and enjoying the incredible food. You will see traditional villages with impressive stone towers, many of which have been abandoned for several decades.
The more south you go, the fewer people you will find. And once you hike all the way to Cape Tainaron, the mythical entrance to the Underworld, you will literally be at the end of the world!
How to get to Mani
The best way to properly explore Mani is by car. You can fly into Athens or Kalamata international airport, and hire a vehicle there.
We loved driving through the amazing landscapes. Some of the areas are rocky and arid, others are full of olive groves, vineyards and orangeries.
21. Tinos island – Best for amazing traditional villages
If you are interested in traditional Greek villages, Tinos is one of the best places to visit. There are over 30 beautiful villages, and all of them are worth visiting!
Apart from the wonderful villages, you will also find interesting museums, lovely beaches, great food and plenty of hiking paths if you want to explore on foot.
There is also a strong religious culture here, and you will be impressed by the number of churches!
How to get to Tinos
There are several daily ferries departing from Rafina port, close to Athens, and stopping at Tinos on their way to Mykonos. The trip lasts anywhere between 2 and 4 hours.
Here is my complete guide on what to do in Tinos Greece, including some of the best villages to visit.
22. Psili Ammos beach, Patmos – Incredible golden beach
You may never have heard of the Greek island of Patmos, let alone Psili Ammos beach. Yet, this remote sandy beach literally stole my heart!
The sand on Psili Ammos beach is soft and golden, and there are many trees for shade. You can easily spend the whole day here!
There is a lovely taverna on the one end of the beach, once you get off the trail, so you can easily get food and drinks. On the far end of the beach, you may come across some naturists, or some free campers.
Don’t get me wrong – there are thousands of amazing beaches in Greece. However, I found that this one had a very special vibe. You have to go and see for yourselves!
How to get to Patmos
Patmos doesn’t have an airport, so you can only reach it by ferry. The closest islands with international airports are Samos and Kos.
To get to Psili Ammos beach, you will need to take a short hiking path beginning at Diakofti village. It should take you 20-30 minutes to get there. Sometimes there may be small boats that offer a ride from Skala port, so ask around.
Here’s some more information about the beaches in Patmos Greece.
The best places to visit in Greece
These are only a few of the beautiful places that Greece has to offer. With its stunning scenery, rich culture, and fascinating history, it’s no wonder why Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Whether you’re looking for a beach vacation, an outdoor adventure, a historical and cultural immersion, a city break, or just a place to relax, you will love Greece!
FAQ about Greek islands and beautiful Greek places
Travelers planning to visit the most beautiful Greek islands and other interesting places in Greece often ask questions similar to these:
Which Greek island is most beautiful?
There are so many beautiful Greek islands that it’s hard to choose just one. Some of the most commonly cited Greek islands as being particularly beautiful include Santorini, Milos, Rhodes, Symi, Corfu and Crete.
Where is the nicest place to go on holiday in Greece?
The best place to go on holiday in Greece really depends on what you’re looking for. If you are after busy, popular islands, you will like Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Zakynthos, Rhodes and Kos. To get away from the crowds, it’s best to go to lesser known islands, like Andros, Amorgos, Serifos, Limnos, Samos, Chios or Ithaca. And if you are looking for a city break, Athens and Thessaloniki are ideal. No matter what your interests are, Greece has something for everyone!
What are the top 10 places to visit in Greece?
Ten of the most popular places to visit in Greece include Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes, Delphi, Meteora, Nafplio, Chania and Hydra.
What are the most beautiful beaches in Greece?
Some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece can be found on the islands of Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Mykonos, Ios, Naxos, Milos, Lefkada, and Skiathos. People visit these islands for their stunning scenery, crystal-clear water, and lovely sandy beaches.
What are the best Greek islands for nightlife?
The best Greek islands for nightlife include Mykonos, Paros, Ios, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos and Skiathos. These islands are famous for their lively nightlife scene, with a variety of bars and clubs to keep you entertained into the early hours of the morning.
Before you visit Greece, have a look at this article with a few useful words and phrases in Greek. Though you shouldn’t have problems communicating in English, it’s always a good idea to learn a few local words.
Hi! I’m Vanessa from Athens and I love travelling around my country! If you have any questions about these places, or other places in Greece, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more photos and news about Greece 🙂