Greece offers sunshine, seafood, whitewashed houses with bright-blue shutters, and a relaxed, Zorba-the-Greek lifestyle. As the cradle of Western civilization, it has some of the world's greatest ancient monuments. While it's a late bloomer in the modern age and retains echoes of a simpler, time-passed world, contemporary Greece has one of Europe's fastest-changing cultural landscapes. With its classical past, hang-loose present, and edgy future, Greece offers something for every traveler.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Athens Greece's capital, featuring the ancient world's most magnificent sight — the Acropolis — a pair of world-class museums, an atmospheric Old Town, and funky neighborhoods bursting with avant-garde nightlife.
▲▲▲ Hydra Idyllic island getaway, convenient to Athens and the Peloponnese, with picturesque harbor, casual beaches, enticing coastal hikes, and no cars (but plenty of donkeys).
▲▲▲ Santorini Romantic island destination built on the remains of a volcano crater, renowned for cliff-clinging white villages punctuated by blue-domed churches, volcanic black-sand beaches, and spectacular sunsets.
▲▲ Nafplio Greece's first capital and finest midsized town, with a cozy port, an elegant Old Town, a cliff-topping fortress, and energetic street life; handy to nearby ancient sites (Mycenae and Epidavros).
▲▲ Olympia Birthplace of the Olympic Games, with stunning temple ruins, a still-functional stadium, and an intimate museum of ancient masterpieces.
▲▲ Kardamyli Cozy, unspoiled beach town, providing a handy jumping-off point for the Mani Peninsula.
▲▲ Monemvasia Greece's Gibraltar-like fortress on an imposing rock peninsula jutting out into the sea, blending Venetian and Byzantine charm, traffic-free cobbled lanes, and million-dollar views.
▲▲ Delphi Mountainside draped with the Sanctuary of Apollo and other once-grandiose structures, where ancients came to consult the oracle.
▲▲ Mykonos Quintessential (and very popular) Greek isle with postcard-perfect whitewashed village, old-fashioned windmills, and pulsating nightlife; ruins on nearby Delos mark the birthplace of Apollo and a once-mighty shipping center.
▲ Epidavros Best-preserved theater of the ancient world, with unbelievable acoustics.
▲ Mycenae Legendary mountaintop palace/fortress with iconic Lion Gate, massive beehive tomb, and mythic links to the Trojan War.
▲ Mani Peninsula Remote, rustic region with dramatic hill towns, spectacular caves (Pyrgos Dirou), and breathtaking jagged coastlines.