The 12 best places to visit in Greece invite travelers to explore ancient ruins, vineyards, sun-kissed beaches, and walkable cities.
When you think of the country's most beautiful regions, visualize dreamy white-washed towns hanging on volcanic cliffs and crumbling ruins. Think the azure Aegean Sea and white-sand beaches, or ruins bleached by millennia of sunlight.
Looking ahead, here are our top recommendations for places to visit in Greece.
Athens’ ancient wonder and contemporary charm create an alluring ambiance. The capital city is a sophisticated collection of regional cultures, with neighborhoods that feel like villages, all nestled beneath the looming Acropolis.
You can wander the dazzling Plaka walkways covered in street art to the ancient columns of the Agora of Athens. From Hadrian's Library to the mythic Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens is a marvel to explore. You can find more ideas for your stay in our top things to do in Athens and Santorini.
Highlights: The Acropolis • The Parthenon • The Temple of Poseidon • Syntagma Square • Plaka • Agora of Athens • Hadrian's Library
Learn more: Athens & Santorini Vacations
Santorini is one of the best islands to visit in Greece. It is known for its iconic white-washed homes, sun-kissed beaches, and distinct wine-growing heritage.
There are sensational sunsets and famous bleached-white buildings draped in pink flowers. The stunning cliffs plunge into the renowned caldera and beaches bathed in rainbow colors invite exploration.
Highlights: Oia village • Fira village • Santorini cruises • Wine tasting • Amoudi Bay • Red Beach • White Beach • Perissa Beach, a black-sand beach
Learn more: Santorini Vacations
Mykonos is a Cycladic island paradise in the Aegean Sea. It is a favorite with couples, seniors, and families embracing the spoils of the famous Greek destination.
Sunlight spreads across the balmy beaches and glistens off the crystal-clear waters. Quaint fishing ports emerge from the shoreline and historic villages crown the hills. You can explore boutique shops or listen to waves lapping against the shores from a cafe. From Byzantine chapels to secluded medieval monasteries, colorful cubic homes to ruins, Mykonos is endlessly photogenic.
Highlights: Elia Beach • Platis Gialos Beach • Ornos Beach • Super Paradise Beach • Mykonos Town • Delos
Learn more: Mykonos Vacations
From golden sands and turquoise waters to Venetian harbors and seaside cafes, Crete reveals the marvels of Greece.
Remote beaches look across the seas of Crete, quaint seaside villages fill with the aromas of bountiful cuisine, and towns scattered across the hills give way to rich historical tapestries with Minoan roots. Whispers of powerful myths stretch across the scenery, while rural culture remains steadfast, with regional dances and folk traditions.
Highlights: Balos Beach • Plakias Beach • Knossos Palace • Rethymno's Old Town • Samaria Gorge • Heraklion
Learn more: Athens, Santorini & Crete Tours
The splendor of ancient Greece rises out of the inky-blue waters of the Aegean Sea on the island of Naxos.
Beautiful beaches outside the main town and rural villages enhance the dreamy ambiance. White-washed houses and charming plateias, or town squares, hum with locals and visitors. From hiking trails to village marinas, marble quarries to ancient temples, Naxos is a destination full of wonder.
Highlights: Plaka Beach • Agios Prokopios Beach • Aliko Beach • Naxos Town • The Temple of Apollo • The Church of Panagia Drosiani
Learn more: Naxos Vacations
Paros has grown in popularity, its natural beauty, preserved heritage, and marvelous beaches beckoning travelers. The Greek island in the Aegean Sea reveals a stunning history occupied by Cretans, Minoans, Romans, and Byzantines.
Its smaller stature, in the shadows of more famous islands like Santorini and Mykonos, accentuates the Aegean Sea’s breathtaking colors. You can discover white-washed walls of Cycladic architecture and the elegant facades of preserved Venetian mansions off the beaten path.
Highlights: Santa Maria Beach • Kalogeros Beach • Parasporos Beach • Parikia Town • The Byzantine and Christian Museum
Meteora marks central Greece with towering rock formations on which ancient monasteries stand, carved into the faces of cliffs. A spiritual site and home of remarkable views over mainland Greece, the monastic community is breathtaking. Meteora is also a gateway to more of northern Greece and highlights like Mount Parnassus.
The monasteries preserve centuries of tradition. Their paintings share traditional Greek stories and relics form part of the regional history, while embroidered Epitaphios safeguard the location’s connection to religion. There are pilgrimage trails along which travelers can walk in the footsteps of 14th-century monks.
Highlights: St. Varlaam Monastery • Great Meteoron Monastery • St. Stephen Monastery • Holy Trinity Monastery
Greece’s jewel on the Ionian Sea, Corfu, is a vision in green and gold. Lush hills and sandy beaches cover the mountainous island and famous resort towns overlook the turquoise sea.
Royal mansions drape the slopes and bustling promenades connect the beaches to gourmet restaurants serving Greek mezze and seafood delicacies. Catamarans drift with the tides and music hums from cafes, where performers entertain guests mingling with visiting celebrities.
Highlights: Agios Gordios Beach • Rovinia Beach • Old Fortress of Corfu • The Achilleion Palace • Saint Spyridon Church
Learn more: Corfu Island Vacations
Rhodes is another spectacular Greek island bursting at the seams with history. You can spend a day on the beaches, then trade the shores for ancient ruins and landmarks.
Fondly known as the Knights’ Island, the crusading history of Rhodes comes to life on tours of medieval towns and palaces. Venetian castles and stone columns are examples of centuries-old architecture. Modern cafes and lavish resorts contend for attention on an island where history and modernity collide.
Highlights: Saint Paul's Bay • The Lindos Acropolis • The Street of the Knights of Rhodes • The Colossus of Rhodes
Learn more: Rhodes Island Vacations
Southern Greece’s Peloponnese region is one of mainland Greece's best and most popular parts. Medieval rock cities overlook the coastline and rivers, archaeological museums are reservoirs of ancient Greek artifacts, and beaches are breathtaking.
The Peloponnese offers endless possibilities for travelers who choose to explore the mainland. Crumbling ruins, hidden caves, olive groves, and resort towns await discovery as you travel through the awe-inspiring region.
Highlights: Kalogria Beach • Simos Beach • Corinth Canal • The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus • Monemvasia • Gorge of Ridomo • Nafplio
The Aegean Sea’s volcanic Greek island of Milos is a must-visit, with Cycladic charm and spectacular shores. The laidback atmosphere and charming cultural towns invite travelers to relax and unwind, with fewer crowds than on more popular islands.
The towns that cling to Milos’ coastline are painted in bright blues, reds, and yellows, giving the island a distinct character. Families adore exploring the vivid towns in search of authentic Greek mezze and browsing artisanal stores selling timeless Grecian crafts.
Highlights: Kleftiko • Firiplaka Beach • The Catacombs of Milos • Plaka • Ancient Theater of Milos
Learn more: Milos Vacations
Tinos is emerging as one of the best places to visit in Greece. The Aegean island, part of the Cyclades, offers an alternative to the busier Mykonos just beyond the Athenian coast.
In Tinos, travelers lounge on windswept beaches with marine-blue seas. Unique landscapes shape the shoreline, creating unique stretches of sand, with fewer crowds than Greece’s more popular islands. Charming white-washed villages with old churches and vibrant marinas are a pleasure to explore. Tinos also has a burgeoning wine heritage.
Highlights: Kolimvithra Beach • Livada Beach • Our Lady of Tinos • Museum of Marble Crafts • Wine tasting
Greece’s resort towns on breathtaking islands, ancient towns in remote regions, and famous cities steeped in Greek culture are enchanting. You can experience the pleasures of Europe’s iconic destination on Greece vacations.
Consider our top things to do in Greece for ideas to inspire your travels. Or find the best time to visit Greece and more in our Greece travel guide.