Once the heart of one of the most powerful empires in history, Greece’s grandeur remains long after Alexander the Great. The country wraps around the Aegean Sea, with six thousand islands mottling the peaceful azure waters. Holidaymakers from all walks of life will fall in love with Greece’s majestic heart and romantic soul.
Culture vultures and history lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to revisiting the country’s rich past. After all, Classic Greece influenced everything from art to language worldwide. You’ll be hard pressed to find a city more historic than the Greek capital of Athens, which attracts discerning travellers all year round thanks to its iconic Parthenon, stunning Acropolis and vibrant nightlife.
Island hopping is a great alternative for couples, and there are no islands more romantic than the Cyclades. The coastal paradises of whitewashed buildings and blue accents include Mykonos, Santorini and Milos. Party animals should head to Crete, where wild nights await in the region from Malia and Stalis to Elounda. Boozy beach resorts are not all Crete has to offer. Home to the stunning Samaria Gorge canyon and plenty of charming old fishing villages, the island has something for everyone.
Greek cuisine is as rich as the country’s history. Whether you visit the capital or go on a tour of the islands, we definitely recommend bringing trousers with elastic waistbands – the extra holiday pounds will be more than worth it.
Greece’s economy may have taken a beating, but the country isn’t slowing down and continues to be one of the top tourist destinations for brilliant bargain holidays.
Greece’s capital city was also the heart of Ancient Greece civilisation. This is more than evident in the many Hellenic ruins scattered across Athens’ sprawling cobbled streets and beyond. The Classic era is honoured in the shape of monuments like the iconic Parthenon, but there are also modern museums and galleries to feed your contemporary art cravings. The city is best suited for couples, culture vultures and self-confessed foodies.
Greece has no shortage of beautiful islands to discover, but the Cyclades are certainly the most iconic. The name evokes whitewashed cuboid houses with bright blue shutters spilling over a rocky hillside. But the Cyclades are actually much more diverse than the collective imagination surrounding them might imply, with each island’s culture changing as much as its landscape. From tourist favourites like vibrant Mykonos, picture postcard Santorini, lively Naxos and rugged Milos to the less frequented but ultra-trendy Folegandros, hidden Sikinos or naturally wondrous Kea, there’s an island to suit every traveller’s needs.
Crete may have become a favourite amongst party animals flocking to Malia’s boozy strip, but the island was once the cradle of Minoan civilisation. Known as the ‘Great Island,’ Crete’s distinct cultural, historic and natural landscape set it apart from the rest of Greece. Party towns aside, Crete has plenty of quieter spots to escape to for a relaxing beach holiday with the whole family. There are also plenty of opportunities to get your culture on by visiting the many Minoan palace ruins and Renaissance chapels. Self-confessed foodies won’t want to miss this delicious spot – the local produce is some of the best in Greece.
When you think of the Greek islands, the image that comes to mind will most likely be inspired by Santorini – whitewashed villages topped with blue domes tumbling over a cliff, rugged volcanic coastline lined with hidden coves, and boats nestling in the crystal clear Aegean Sea by a picturesque harbour. The reality is even more beautiful. Holidaymakers from all walks of life will find a home away from home in Santorini’s winding villages, lively ports and striking natural surroundings – those looking for a peaceful, romantic getaway will find it especially magical. From watching one of the most striking sunsets in the world by Oia’s Byzantine castle, to setting sail across the Aegean, there’s something for everyone.
Mykonos is Greece’s very own Ibiza – a hedonistic island boasting effortless glamour, both from the superclubs that line its shores and the celebrities that frequent them. Party animals can revive themselves the next day by soaking up the sun or with a classic hair of the dog in one of the many bars lining the promenade at Paradise beach. Ready for another wild night? Head to Psarou or Paraga for an unforgettable beach party. If partying is not your thing or you’re travelling with children, don’t despair – there’s more than just endless partying to the liveliest of the Cycladic islands. Elia beach, for example, is a paradise of white sand ideal for families, while the capital, Hora, is brimming with historic and cultural landmarks to explore.
Kos is a large island, which means it has enough space to cater for all holidaymakers, from families with small children and couples, to lads and gals on tour. You’ll find compact resorts like Kardamena, especially designed for tourists looking for a spot to relax and soak up the sun, but you can also get off the beaten track in hidden gems like Kamari or Mastihari. Even nature lovers will fall in love with Kos’s rugged beauty, especially if they hike up the Dikeos mountains, stretching just a stone’s throw from Kos Town. Whatever you’re looking for in your Greek holiday, Kos is likely to have it.
Soak up the sun
Greece’s golden beaches lapped by azure waters are worthy of a tropical dream. The Hellenic paradises are perfect to work on your tan, take a boat ride across the Adriatic or enjoy water sports. Elafonisi beach on the south coast of Crete is deemed by many as Greece’s best beach. Perfect for families, it’s a hidden gem off the beaten track. If you do some island-hopping in the Cyclades, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From party central Paradise Beach in Mykonos to the romantic Mylopotas beach in Ios, there’s something to suit every holidaymaker’s needs.
Revisit Ancient Greece
Be transported back in time to Ancient Greece by visiting the country’s many historic landmarks. Athens’s very streets are an open-air museum, with beauties like the Parthenon – considered a landmark of Western civilisation – the Acropolis of Athens overlooking the city from its hilltop locations and vibrant districts like Plaka and Anafiotika. The Meteora Monasteries are a little more recent – early Christian times – but equally breath-taking.
Visit Samaria Gorge
Whether you’re a nature lover or a novice hiker, exploring Samaria Gorge is a must experience if you visit Crete. The rocky trail stretches for sixteen kilometres and boasts some of the most stunning views of the Hellenic countryside.
The influences of Ancient Greece, Byzantine empire and Ottoman rule are still visible in the beautiful rugged land of Peloponnese. The peninsula is home to many archaeological hotspots like Olympia, Mycenae and Tirynth. But a trip to this mythical spot off mainland Greece is not just for the culture vultures to enjoy – its golden beaches are equally appealing.
Seek out the sunset
Greece has plenty of prime spots to watch the sunset, but Santorini is definitely the best. The picture-postcard island offers spectacular views of the sun’s drop into the sea, whether you choose to hike up to the Profitis Ilias Monastery – the highest point in the whole island – or you stick to the whitewashed walls by Oia’s Byzantine castle. If you want to push the boat out, literally, hire a private yacht for front-row seats.
Explore Little Venice
Mykonos’s Little Venice, so named because of the balconied medieval houses rising over the water’s edge, is a must-visit for shopaholics and culture lovers alike. Independent boutiques line the winding, cobbled streets, with plenty of art galleries where you can discover the work of artists both local and beyond the Aegean. It’s also home to the Archaeological Museum and a handful of hidden gem cafés.
Greek cuisine blends elements of the Mediterranean with Balkan flavours and Turkish influences to create an eclectic gastronomy that will tantalise your taste buds. Fresh fish and seafood are a staple of every menu, and there are plenty of vegetarian-friendly dishes. Dips like tzatziki, melitzanosalata and taramasalata are a great way to kick start your meal, while nothing can beat a bowl of moussaka or a delicious spanakopita. Fancy dessert? You can’t go wrong with honey and baklava.
From laid back restaurants by the beach to hidden gems in Athens’s cobbled streets to Cyclades foodie marvels, there’s something to suit every palate – even international cuisine if you tire of Greek.
Visit Greece and experience a taste of ancient grandeur and Hellenic charm. A golden coast lapped by the Aegean Sea, a wealth of monuments honouring the country’s rich history and a rugged countryside make Greece the perfect spot for discerning travellers from all walks of life.
Booking your holiday to Greece with easyJet holidays is a sure way to get to this beautiful country hassle free. Best of all, you can save on your holiday when you book your flight and hotel with easyJet holidays.
If Greece doesn’t catch your eye, have a look at our Portugal destinations for further inspiration.