- Acropolis of Athens
- Corinth Canal
- Cyclade Islands
- Ionian Islands
Greece is a destination for everyone: backpackers, jetsetters, families, couples, honeymooners, retirees… everyone! Another amazing thing about visiting Greece is that you can have the more diverse trip of your life! You can visit ruins in the morning, relax on a black sand beach in the afternoon, then have the best dining of your life to finish with a night of party and fun. Can you ask for more? Yes! You could do all of this at one of the cheapest cost in Europe.
Since Greece has a large number of islands, with more than 1,400, Greece has more coastline than any other country in Europe and it is one of the best place in the world to go island-hopping. You can choose from the semitropical lushness of the Ionian and Northeastern Aegean Islands to the bare, sunbaked rocks of the Cyclades. You can get your own sailboat cruise, or you can travel by ferry. Every island has a ferry service of some sort, ranging from the giant ‘superferries’ that work the major routes to the small, ageing open ferries that chug around the backwaters.
Or why not island-hop swimming! The sea is idyllic – aquamarine and flat as a pancake – making it perfect for long distance swimming. The Cyclades are a good place to start: densely packed so crossings are not too arduous, yet little visited.
The best island for parties? Mykonos, with Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach is the party hotspot full of travellers and backpackers.
You’re more on the romantic or relaxation side? Santorini is the perfect destination. With its red and black sand beaches, its domed blue roofs, and the most stunning sunsets at Oia.
I have to admit though that the most beautiful beaches we have seen on our trip were on Rhodes. Lindos Beach is breathtaking, and Anthony Quinn Beach with its small bay with refreshing crystal green waters is awesome.
Now if it’s shopping and fashion you look for, besides the obvious Athens, Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city, has style, with plenty of fashionable shops and salons, and has also great nightlife.
For the epicurean inside you, Greece is an exceptional destination. You can share delicious mezedhes (starters) with a glass of ouzo on the rocks. Or you can enjoy a novel selection of dishes made from local produce in a delightful ambience. I traveled in Greece for 3 weeks, ate constantly and didn’t even put on weight! Their cuisine is so healthy… please indulge!
And then there are the sites that make Greece a travel destination that cannot be overlooked, since it has such a long history. Much of Western philosophy finds its basis in the thoughts and teachings of Greek philosophers as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
You HAVE to visit the Acropolis and the Parthenon! Athens exists because of the Acropolis, one of the most important ancient monument in Europe. It’s visible from almost everywhere in the city, and it is so impressive!
Another unique site in the world is Meteora with its monasteries, precariously perched atop the sheer natural sandstone rock pillars, are spectacular to behold. Once used successfully as a refuge by hermit monks seeking a retreat from expanding Turkish occupation, they now open their doors to travellers – and James Bond in the 007 movie For Your Eyes Only.
You could also ascent Mount Olympus, the home of the Greek gods, in a 2 day trek to reach the 2917m Mytikas peak, through verdant forests and past striking views!
Other impressive historical sites are worth the journey, such as Olympia, home of the ancient Olympic Games. Delphi, navel of the gods and home to the famous oracle, influenced Alexander the Great. Epidaurus’ theatre is known for its exceptional acoustics: you can easily hear from anywhere in the theatre the sound of a match struck at center-stage.
From my travel through Greece, I learned tons of interesting things that made me grow as an individual. A lot of our culture and history come from that astonishing country! And, seriously, who could resist such island charm?
Here’s my ultimate 3-week Greece itinerary, as an inspiration for your next vacation!
ULTIMATE 3-WEEK GREECE ITINERARY
- Day 1 to 3: Visit of the Acropole and the Parthenon; walk around Plaka (the old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture); Lonely Planet walking tour of Athens.
- Day 4 to 7: Tour of classical historic sites of Greece: Corinth, Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora.
- Day 8 to 11: Ferry from Piraeus (port of Athens) to Mykonos; we explored the island of Mykonos by scooter: Paradise Beach, Super Paradise Beach, shopping, eating delicious greek cuisine…
- Day 12 to 16: Ferry to Santorini; we explored the island of Santorini by scooter: watching the sunset in Oia, Red Beach with its red sand, Kamari Beach, Perivolos Beach with its black sand, fine dining, good white wine, donkey rides…
- Day 17 to 21: Overnight ferry to Rhodes; we explored the island of Rhodes by scooter: Rhodes’ Old town, Rhodes port with huge yachts, Lindos and its Acropolis, Lindos Beach, Anthony Quinn Beach, shooting photos in the clearest aquamarine water we have ever seen, still eating exquisite meals… hhmmm I miss the best Mediterranean cuisine I have ever tasted!
- Day 22: Back to Athens, and then back home. Snif snif… it’s over!