What about Greece, if not that country with so many archaeological nuggets and natural wonders? Travel to Greece will immerse you in the world and ancient history, in the heart of a warm and unspoiled culture, and in the middle of beautiful mountains, paradisiacal islands, and turquoise waters.
Because Greece is not only a museum of ruins and vestiges of antiquity, it is a country also known for its delicious local cuisine, its breathtaking landscapes, and its traditional hospitality. Because despite the crisis, the country is going through, visiting Greece will allow you to discover a completely different reality, with a welcoming population who are delighted to introduce travelers to its heritage and culture.
Wondering what to do in Greece? There is no doubt that you'll be amazed during your stay; there are many places to discover. Here, we have listed a list of the ten most beautiful places to visit in Greece.
1. Travel to Greece; Athens
Impossible to visit Greece without discovering the mythical Athens, it is one of the most emblematic ancient cities of the country and today its capital. From the glorious past of Athens, there are many vestiges and monuments that have made it famous. The Acropolis, the hill overlooking the capital, is notably its most emblematic place.
In addition to the monuments, you can learn more about the city's history and the country by visiting the Archaeological Museum, the Benaki Museum, or the Byzantine Museum. But above all, take advantage of your stay, grant yourself superb walks, Greek culinary discoveries, and evenings in the most beautiful city; Plaka and its cultural heritage, Psirri and its preserved authenticity, and Metaxourgeio, to have fun at nightfall.
2. Travel to Greece; Delphi
Located in the heart of mainland Greece, 160 km west of Athens, Delphi has many stories to tell. One of the most important archaeological sites in the country, each stone, each column is imprinted with mythological legends, which date back to the birth of the city. Zeus, seeking to find the center of the earth, sent two eagles in opposite directions, which ended up in Delphi. Thus was born the city, nicknamed "the navel of the world." Sheltered under the slopes of Mount Parnassus, these ancient ruins and their natural setting are classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. But the legend known all over the world is, of course, that of the Oracle of Delphi, a famous priestess consulted by the greatest kings anxious to know their future. It was in the center of the sanctuary of Apollo that these predictions were delivered. Many are the curious who, fascinated by the oracle's myth, come on pilgrimage to this sacred place.
3. Travel to Greece; Olympia
In the Peloponnese, land of the most beautiful ancient sites to visit in Greece lies Olympia. The birthplace of the Olympic Games, this site was the religious center of Greece in ancient times. Thus, the site takes its name from Mount Olympus, the residence of the Greek gods.
Today you can admire perfectly preserved buildings and remains, such as the Temple of Zeus and Hera, and ancient sports facilities. Do not also hesitate to visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, one of the best in the country.
4. Travel to Greece; The Asclepieion of Epidaurus
The sanctuary of Asclepius, the healing god, is a Mecca of Greek medicine. During antiquity, travelers flocked from all over the country to receive treatment from renowned doctors. While there are several milkweeds in Greece, the best known and best-preserved is located in the Epidaurus town in the Peloponnese and is one of the sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are the traditional places where the sick was sent for treatment, namely thermal baths or a gymnasium.
The sanctuary also consists of a large ancient theater with excellent acoustics, which at the time could accommodate up to 14,000 spectators. A unique setting in which it is still possible to attend performances during the "Athens Epidavros Festival," which takes place every summer.
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5. Travel to Greece; Corfu
What to do in Greece? Discover more wonderful islands, of course! The most famous of the Ionian Islands is at the western end of the country. Corfu is a real gem, one of the country's greenest islands, thanks to the summer rains and its olive groves.
Above all, it is one of the most rural, authentic, and peaceful islands in Greece, far from the tourist trails. Here you can experience the famous "philoxenia," the traditional hospitality of the Greeks.
6. Travel to Greece; The Ionian Islands
Corfu, Kefalonia, Zakynthos ... each one is unique, but all of them invite laziness! True corners of paradise, these pieces of land conquered for centuries by the Venetians still bear traces of Italian influence, clearly visible on the architecture of cities and religious monuments. Planted with olive trees, pines, vines, or even lemon trees, the green of the typically Mediterranean vegetation ends up vanishing into the deep blue of the sea. The Ionian Islands have some of the most beautiful beaches and wild coves in the world and are also among the top destinations for lovers of water sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. Thanks to the inter-island crossings, we do not lose a crumb of this magnificent setting; dream beaches, monasteries, medieval castles, authentic villages, museums… not to mention the particularly tasty local gastronomy.
7. Travel to Greece; the Cyclades
You cannot visit Greece without making a stop in the Cyclades. The name of this archipelago alone invites you to get away from it all. Located in the southern Aegean Sea, they have more than 200 islands, of which only 24 are inhabited. This dream destination will charm travelers with magnificent landscapes, charming Greek villages with white houses and azure blue roofs, and amazing beaches.
Among the must-see islands, we can cite Santorini with its volcanic landscapes and the famous village of Oia, Naxos and its wonderful historical sites, Paros and its beaches, or even Mykonos and its unique festive atmosphere.
8. Travel to Greece; Perama caves
Near the Ioannina town, a fabulous geological site awaits visitors just a few meters below their feet, the Perama cave. Formed 1.4 million years ago, this underground labyrinth is the result of the erosion of limestone rock. Discovered during the 20th century, the cave, long closed to the public, was transformed into a natural bunker during the Second World War. Today, a guided path leads visitors to speak, into the bowels of the earth, on an 850-meter path accessible after descending a staircase of 183 steps. A succession of stalactites and stalagmites in phantasmagorical shapes offers a spectacle full of mysteries in the galleries. Upon exiting, a lovely view of the island and Lake Ioannina awaits visitors.
9. Travel to Greece; Crete
Still, wondering what to do in Greece? Crete, nicknamed the Island of the Gods, can certainly occupy an entire trip, as it offers so many wonders to discover. Among the most beautiful, we can list Heraklion, the capital and its archaeological museum, Agios Nikolaos and its charming little port, Rethymnon and its fortress, the great canyons of the Samaria Gorges or the pink lagoon of Elafonissi.
10. Travel to Greece; Meteors
Geological wonders located in the plain of Thessaly near the city of Kalampaka, Meteora, translate "rocks suspended in the sky," are impressive rock formations of dizzying height, sculpted over centuries by erosion. But even more fascinating, at the top of these huge blocks of stone, are several monasteries erected between the 14th and 16th centuries, which were accessed by ropes and pulleys. Rest assured, today; you can visit them by taking the stairs. Once arrived, one can only be captivated by the spiritual aura that emerges from these sacred places, touching the skies and seeming inaccessible, as if suspended in the air. This natural phenomenon is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the unmissable sights to see on a trip to Greece.
More numerous in the past, today, there are only six monasteries still in operation, guarded by monks. All open to the public, we do not miss a visit to the oldest of them, that of the Great Meteor, the largest and the highest, perched more than 600 meters high. Inside, a church where believers come to worship icons, a museum, and a sacristy where the bones of former resident monks are stored.
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Originally published on Live Positively.