Greece draws tourists year-round for its gorgeous isles surrounded by blue water, rich history, and incredible cuisine. We’re travel nuts, and this country happens to be one of our favorites. So, without further ado, we present our 15 favorite things to do in Greece.
15 Best Things to Do in Greece in 2023
Visitors travel to Greece from all over the world to experience the warm weather, incredible landscapes, and endless sites of historical significance.
So, if you’re considering a trip to Greece, you can rest assured that there is no shortage of incredible experiences to be had in this beautiful country.
If you’re in the planning phase of your upcoming Greek vacation, make sure to add a few of these experiences to your itinerary.
1. Hike to the Top of Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus is known in Greek Mythology as the home of the Gods, which is why it is also referred to as the Mountain of the Gods. This gorgeous mountain is the tallest in Greece and stands at an impressive 9,570 feet tall.
There are several day hikes on Mount Olympus that are the perfect spot if you want to absorb yourself in some of Greece’s backcountry, but if you’re a true lover of the outdoors, you can spend a few days and hike to the top of the mountain.
For the entirety of the hike, you’ll be rewarded with impressive views, lush Greek forest, and gorgeous water features.
2. Enjoy the Cafes in Corfu
Corfu is a Greek island, but it’s also the name of the island’s city. The first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this list, Corfu is the perfect blend of old-world charm and modernity.
Travelers will love the charming streets of Liston, which is a pedestrian-only area of the city studded with cafes. The rest of the island features gorgeous, lush foliage, and the coastline is unparalleled.
Best of all, there’s an airport on the island of Corfu, which means that you can fly to it from the mainland areas or reach the island by boat.
3. Visit the Ruins at Delphi
One of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece, Delphi is an incredibly popular tourist attraction in Greece, and when you visit it, you’ll understand why.
These archeological ruins have major historical significance, as it is where ancient Greeks would come to seek counsel with the Oracle at Delphi. The site’s remains are nestled in Mount Parnassus, west of Athens.
A trip to Delphi is a must for history buffs and lovers of Greek mythology, as it was a sight in which Ancient Greeks would come to worship the Greek God Apollo. Consider a guided tour if you want to learn more about the historical significance of this World Heritage Site.
4. Take in the Views on Santorini
Any list of the best things to do in Greece would be incomplete without a trip to Santorini. With the quintessential turquoise waters providing a backdrop for the hillsides dotted with classic white architecture with blue-domed roofs, Santorini truly is one of Greece’s most spectacularly beautiful places.
However, with the beauty of the area also comes a higher volume of people, so you should prepare to be surrounded by other tourists and slightly higher prices on this island than some of the other spots in Greece.
Many accommodations in the area, particularly in the towns of Oia and Fira nestled in the cliffsides, feature outdoor plunge pools and hot tubs, which allow travelers the opportunity to watch the sunset from their private balconies. For this reason, Santorini is a favorite amongst couples looking for a romantic getaway.
5. Take in the Volcanic Rocks of Lemnos
If you’re looking for a truly unique Greek experience and consider yourself to be someone who avoids typical “tourist traps,” then you need to see the volcanic rocks of Lemnos.
Locals to the area call the rocks Falakram, and they’re found on the shores of Cape Falakro on the northern portion of the island.
The rocks are volcanic formations that occurred when the lava reached the sea and look similar to the bubbles that form in bread right before they burst. Lemnos has a starker look to it than many of the other Greek islands.
However, it offers several interesting natural features, making it an ideal spot for visitors who are more drawn to the natural landscape than the hustle and bustle of more touristy destinations like Athens and Mykonos.
6. See the Shipwreck on Navagio Beach
Navagio Beach is a supremely remote beach on the Greek island of Zakynthos. It has one single ship that has been stranded upon the sands of the beach, giving it the nickname ‘Shipwreck Beach.’
Navagio Beach is nestled within a cove of the island, and the waters that lead to the beach are impossibly blue.
Unfortunately, the beach can only be reached by boat, so it’s recommended to make reservations with a touring outfitter as soon as possible to ensure you will be able to see this spectacular attraction during your visit.
While you may have to work a little harder to see this attraction, it’s well worth the effort, and you’ll appreciate just how unique the site is upon your arrival.
You can also spend a few days enjoying the island of Zakynthos, which, while small, has a vibrant city and stunning beaches that are far easier to access during the remainder of your trip.
7. Visit the Parthenon at the Acropolis of Athens
The Parthenon is one of the most iconic buildings in all of Greece, and every history buff that makes their way onto Greek shores is desperate to stop at this historic site.
The ancient citadel sits high at the top of the Acropolis of Athens, accompanied by other significant landmarks, and is a beacon of historical significance. While the Acropolis is open to the public, you will need to make reservations ahead of time.
However, you may consider a guided tour of the Parthenon to be the best way to learn the history behind this temple and the other crumbling buildings scattered around the Acropolis. Many outfitters offer tours of the Acropolis, so you should go with one that offers the most value to you.
8. Enjoy the Nightlife in Mykonos
If you were expecting the island of Mykonos to be a beautiful but sleepy island that you could enjoy quiet and relaxing evenings on, think again.
Mykonos is known for its nightlife, and although the island has historically significant sites, it draws tourists more because of its luxury accommodations, gorgeous beaches, and party atmosphere.
Mykonos has spectacular architecture and incredible sandy white beaches with opportunities to swim and snorkel in the turquoise blue water, but as soon as the sun goes down, get ready to hit the clubs!
Mykonos has tons of live music venues and draws famous DJs from all around the world and other A-list celebrities making the most of the island’s luxury hotels. Mykonos also features several fancy restaurants and great shopping.
9. Get Off the Beaten Path at Naxos
If Mykonos doesn’t sound like the Greek island getaway that you were looking for, consider visiting the island of Naxos instead. While hardly “off the beaten path,” this incredible island is significantly less trafficked than other Greek destinations like Mykonos and Santorini.
Naxos is one of Greece’s largest islands, and you can find some of the most spectacular beaches in the world here. Naxos is perfect if you’re looking for a bustling island that’s large enough to spend a few days on but calmer than Mykonos and less touristy than Santorini.
Naxos offers delicious but casual restaurants, miles of pristine coastline to relax on, and excellent access to activities like swimming, snorkeling, sailing, and kiteboarding.
10. Hike the Samaria Gorge
While people typically travel to the island of Crete for the gorgeous beaches and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Corfu Town, it’s also home to one of the most incredible hiking trails in the world.
The Samaria Gorge hike is a point-to-point hike that begins in a dense Greek forest and eventually meanders down to an incredible black sand beach.
Unlike hiking to Mount Olympus’ peak, you can complete the Samaria Gorge hike in a single day and appreciate the changing landscape as you make your way down. The hike is roughly nine miles long and features forested, canyon, and coastal terrains.
This hike is relatively challenging, so you should be in reasonable physical fitness if you choose to attempt it, but the bulk of the work comes at the beginning of the hike, meaning you can relax and enjoy the payoff for the majority of the hike.
11. Be Wowed at Meteora
Meteora is one of the most impressive sites in the entire world, and if you find yourself even in the remote vicinity of this attraction, you should make every effort to see it.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site features ancient monasteries sitting atop vertical stone pillars that are up to 1,300 feet tall.
You won’t believe your eyes when you see it in person; it’s hard to believe that the monasteries were built there in the first place, much less that they’ve survived for nearly a millennium.
You can hike around Meteora, visit the various monasteries, and enter the monasteries to get a feel for the historical significance of this site. If you’re a history buff, you may appreciate a guided tour of the site for the most educational impact.
12. Appreciate the Foliage at the National Gardens in Athens
The National Gardens in Athens is another Greek historic site and is well worth a stop on your trip to Greece. Athens is one of the most expensive places in Greece, so activities like the National Gardens are the perfect way to spend a day in the city without spending an excessive amount of money.
The National Gardens is Athens’ largest park, and was constructed in the 19th Century and features native plants from all over Greece.
If you’re an outdoor lover, but you’re visiting Greece on a budget and are pressed for time, the National Gardens are the perfect way to get a feel for the plants and nature of Greece without having to go as far off the beaten path.
13. Get Lost Wandering Around Crete
If you thought Naxos was big, you’d have your mind blown when visiting Crete. This massive Greek island is 3,263 square miles, so you could spend your entire vacation here and just barely scratch the surface.
If you can only visit one Greek island, Crete is a safe bet because the chances are high that every person in your party can find activities they are happy about. In addition, Crete has sparkling beaches, beautiful hiking trails, and many sites of historical significance.
Heraklion is the largest city on the island, and it features incredible architecture, including the Palace of Knossos, shopping, and restaurants. You can also enjoy unbelievable outdoor activities like hiking the Samaria Gorge and visiting Balos Lagoon.
14. Eat Your Way Through Modiano Market
If you find yourself in or near Thessaloniki, Greece, you should make sure to stop at the Modiano Market. This marketplace is the ideal Greek farmers’ market-style market but features far more than just local produce.
At the market, you can grab lunch from all kinds of authentic street food purveyors and locally made wares from several sellers. If you have any souvenirs you need to buy on your trip to Greece, this is the place to get them!
15. Try New Foods!
Greek food is widely considered to be some of the best food in the world, and there’s no better place to try it than in Greece itself!
Whether you choose to dine at a five-star restaurant or grab a snack from a street vendor, this is the place to branch out and try new things. Much of Greek food uses rich ingredients like olive oil, cheeses, meats, and spices, which means that the flavors are rich and delicious.
There are endlessly sweet and savory pastries, and you can enjoy dishes like pastitsio (Greek lasagna), moussaka, and spanakopita.
Things to Consider
Traveling requires planning and preparation, especially if you’re traveling to a foreign country where you might not speak the language. To make the most of your trip, it’s best to prepare for some basic complications that come along with traveling and bring essential items with you.
Here are some basic things to consider to ensure you’re adequately prepared for your upcoming vacation to Greece.
- You should have a copy of your passport on you at all times. You may be required to provide identification, and in the event of an emergency or unforeseen complication, you may need to tell authorities your passport number.
- If you don’t speak Greek, make sure you travel with a smartphone or translation book that can help you communicate. While you may find some people that speak your native language, you shouldn’t assume that will be the case, and the ability to communicate is an essential safety tool when traveling.
- Greece is known for the hundreds of white sand beaches that dot the coastline, but this invites the risk of sunburn and heatstroke. Make sure you pack appropriate clothing, including items like hats to shield you from the sun and sunglasses and sunscreen.
- Make sure to familiarize yourself with the basics of beach safety before heading to the water. It’s essential to not only know how to practice beach safety, such as minding rules like never turning your back on the water, but also how to protect yourself if you lose control in the water.
- If you plan to do any hiking on your trip, make sure you pack appropriate clothing and footwear. You should also bring items like navigation devices and translation books on your hike to help prevent getting lost and aid in communication if you need to find your way back to the trail.
- Always be respectful of the culture and natural surroundings in which you find yourself. Remember that you are a visitor, and it should be your role to respectfully observe local customs and treat the people and land in which you’re traveling with the utmost regard.
- Many of the popular tourist destinations in Greece will require reservations in advance. If you want to ensure you can have all the experiences you want, you should do research ahead of time to determine whether those experiences will be available to you during the dates on which you’re traveling to the area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions people have when visiting Greece.
Is it expensive to travel to Greece?
Traveling, in general, can be quite spendy, and depending on where you’re traveling from, simply getting to Greece can be a considerable cost. However, once you’ve made it to Greece, you’ll realize that this country isn’t quite as expensive as you may have thought.
That’s certainly not to say that Greece is the cheapest country to travel to, but it’s pretty reasonable compared to other European countries.
Of course, how much money you spend wholly depends on the type of experience you want to have. There are plenty of luxury resorts and pricey Athens restaurants, so if you’re willing to spend a lot of money, you can have some incredible experiences here.
That said, it’s very doable to have a fantastic time in Greece without spending nearly as much money if you stay in modest accommodations like hostels or Airbnbs and stick to cooking at home and lower-priced street food and restaurant offerings.
What is Greece’s most well-known dish?
Greece is known worldwide for having a diet of flavorful and healthy foods, and foodies love traveling to Greece for the opportunity to enjoy authentic Greek food. Greece has many well-loved dishes, but perhaps the most famous dish that hails from Greece but has international recognition is Moussaka.
Moussaka is a dish traditionally made with minced beef, eggplant, and thinly sliced potatoes, which are all separately fried before being layered together and smothered in a delicious bechamel sauce and slowly baked. The dish is stylistically similar to Italian lasagna.
Depending on where in Greece you are, there are many variations on this classic dish, but you should be sure to try it while you’re visiting.
What is a typical breakfast in Greece?
Greece has a long history of rich agriculture and farming, which meant that breakfast played a considerable role in the lives of the Greek people throughout history. Because breakfast was meant to sustain you for hours of hard labor, Greek breakfast is rich in fatty foods.
Modern Greek breakfasts are less rooted in the need for energy but have kept high-fat foods at the forefront; when traveling to Greece, you’re likely to experience breakfasts that feature bread, cheese, sliced meats, scrambled eggs, greek yogurt with honey, and more.
Do people in Greece speak English?
Like many European countries, there is a strong likelihood that you’ll be able to navigate your way through Greece by speaking English. Most locals are bilingual, especially those working in tourism industries like the hospitality, food, and transportation industries.
The official language in Greece, however, is Greek, and it’s always a good idea to pick up a few key phrases like “hello,” “excuse me,” and “thank you” whenever traveling to foreign countries.
The farther outside of major tourist destinations you get, and the more remote areas you travel to, the less likely it is to encounter English-speaking people, so always remember to keep a smartphone or translation guide on you in case you need translation assistance.
How safe is Greece for tourists?
Traveling anywhere comes with certain risks, and it’s essential always to take basic safety precautions. Greece is a relatively safe travel destination, and in all likelihood, you are most at risk for petty crimes like pickpocketing and theft.
There are no recommended immunizations for traveling to Greece, but it’s always best to check for any travel advisories before traveling anywhere new.
To ensure that you have a fun and safe trip to Greece, take precautions such as keeping an eye on your luggage, being aware of your surroundings, avoiding leaving drinks unattended, and other basic safety measures.
So, What Are the Best Things To Do in Greece?
Whether you’re drawn to Greece for its stunning islands like Mykonos, sites of historical significance like the Acropolis or the Parthenon, or your love of Greek mythology, this stunning nation has something to offer everyone.
There is no shortage of incredible activities to enjoy in Greece. While any trip to this wonderful country is sure to be memorable, adding a few of the experiences on this list will provide you with stories you can share for the rest of your life.
Whether you hike to the top of Mount Olympus or eat your way through the countryside, these experiences will ensure that you can make your Greek vacation your own.