With hot, majestic landscapes and sun-bleached ruins to explore, Greece is the destination of choice for millions of holidaymakers every year. Indeed, a record 23.5 million tourists visited the country in 2015, generating more than fourteen billion euros for the industry. But if you do plan a trip to the beautiful Greece, where should you go, and what should you do? Below, we’ve rounded up some top tips for you to consider.
Explore everything Athens has to offer
Created more than two and a half thousand years ago, Athens is a tourist destination that cannot be missed on a visit to Greece. The ancient Greek city is most famous for its Parthenon and Acropolis, which are both now served by the recently-refurbished National Archeological Museum, where you’ll find Greek antiques and rich historical splendour. The city is also packed with cafes, restaurants and some of the best nightlife in the country, ranging from open-air cinemas and street markets to classical drama concerts and malls crammed with designer clothing stores. It’s a mish-mash of both history and modern life.
Photograph the Meteora
In Greek, the word Meteora means to be “suspended in the air” – and this tourist destination certainly lives up to its name. The Meteora cliff is home to historic monasteries and stands proud at more than 1,200 feet in the air. It overlooks villages such as Kalambaka and Kastraki and offers stunning views from all angles. The only hard part is climbing it!
Take in The West Coast
It’s not just California that’s home to the West Coast – Greece has one of its very own, that’s packed with attractive beaches between Igoumenítsa and Préveza. Each beach has its fair share of white sand and turquoise seas, but Egremni Beach is a favourite for tourists and locals alike. This slice of paradise wins the award for its serenity and exclusivity – to reach it, you’ll need to travel down its winding road in your car, and then brave a 720-step descent. Damaged by an earthquake in 2015, the beach has now returned to its former glory.
Scale the Samaria Gorge
If you’re into hiking or you just want to take in some sights, Greece offers something for everyone. Samaria Gorge is one experience that must be seen to be believed – a 16km-long trail in Crete. With vertical walls measuring in at 500m high, Samaria is for the thrill-seekers. The area is also home to a kri-kri; a rare, endangered wild goat.
Stock up on goodies in Corfu
Corfu has everything you’d want in a Greek holiday – white, sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and great food – but it’s also home to most of the country’s tourist offering. Corfu Town was a commercial hub in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and that remains the same today. Stock up on jewellery, trinkets and souvenirs for your friends and family back at home, and take in the Angelokastro, which is the highest sea-facing fort on Corfu.
The best holidays are the ones where you get to explore all of the sights and sounds that the country has to offer. Greek getaways can be as simple or as action packed as you want them to be – you can spend your days lazing on the beach, or you can fit in as much as possible into your days. One of the best options is to book a day trip so that you can spend time with like-minded explorers who are keen to learn about everything Greece has to offer. Many travel operators offering holidays in Greece, such as Imagine Holidays, include excursions as part of holiday packages, allowing you to enjoy more of what Greece has to offer for less.
Eat authentic cuisine… anywhere
Our final ‘must-do’ of Greece isn’t tied to a particular location – indeed, you can sample many of the country’s authentic dishes in the destination of your choosing. Take in olives, grilled meats, dolmades, fresh fish and courgette balls, or try octopus and feta (and other cheeses!). No holiday to Greece would be complete without trying out some of these delicious dishes.
The suggestions above are just some of the places you should visit and things you should do on your next visit to Greece. If you want to make the most out of your trip and take in as much as you can, then consider planning your excursions and events before travelling. That way, you’ll know exactly what you’ll be doing and when you’ll be doing it. Wherever you end up in Greece, be sure to stock up on sun cream, stay hydrated and enjoy your holiday!