There are too many things to do in Greece that it’s almost impossible to make a complete list. You could spend your entire life in Greece and never scratch the surface of things to do.
We’ve spent over three months of our life traveling Greece. It’s one of our favorite countries to visit – we’re even getting married on the Greek Islands! Because of this, we only felt it necessary to share some of our favorite things to do in Greece so you can fall in love with the country as we have!
The Best Things to do in Greece
See the Monasteries of Meteora (Mainland)
The Meteora is a rock formation in central Greece only a few hours from Athens that is host to one of the country’s most impressive and unique monasteries. The six (of an original twenty-four) monasteries are perched high and built on incredible natural pillars that are almost too amazing to be real.
The Monasteries of Meteora provide a fantastic landscape view of spectacular mountains and boulders, and visiting is one of the best things to do in Greece. The beautiful region offers a surreal feel with some of Greece’s most unique and beautiful sites.
The easiest way to travel here is from Athens by train, providing incredibly scenic views of cities, lakes, and rivers. The UNESCO World Heritage Site provides the perfect combination of history and nature, with the mountaintop monasteries described as a marvel of human creativity. The cost to enter the Monastery is €3 each, and day trips from Athens run about €60. It’s best to book in advance as it’s a popular destination!
Spend the Day at Porto Katsiki (Lefkada)
There are many beautiful beaches on Lefkada, but Porto Katsiki is not only the most beautiful one on the island but perhaps in Europe. Steep, white cliffs surround Porto Katsiki, and you must descend 80 steps to get to it. It takes a bit of work to get to, but it’s well worth it.
The beach features clear, bright blue waters perfect for a refreshing dip. Bring everything you’ll need for the beach; once you go down the steps, you won’t want to hike back up for a bite to eat. If you can only do one thing on Lefkada, make sure it is to head to Porto Katsiki.
Visit the Mamma Mia Church (Skopelos)
If you have seen Mamma Mia you know about the iconic ending wedding scene and the beautiful church it was filmed at. This is a real church on a real Greek island that you can visit.
The church of Agios Ioannis Kastri on Skopelos is located in the region of Kastri. This church stands on top of a rock and provides amazing views. You can hike the stairs up, and you can even get married here yourself!
Rent a Boat and Explore Hidden Bays
One of our favorite things to do when we travel Greece is rent a boat for the day on whatever island we are on. We’ve rented boats most recently on Paros and Corfu.
You don’t need a special license to rent a boat in Greece if the boat is under 30 hp. However, it helps if you have driven a boat before as you go out on the ocean. If you don’t feel comfortable driving by yourself, you can hire a skipper to drive you around to the bays as well!
Keep an eye out for the weather when renting a boat; you don’t want to pick a windy and choppy day as it will affect your outing! Depending on what island you are on, you can generally rent a boat between €100-€150 per day plus fuel.
Traditional Greek Theatre
Greek theatre began in the 6th century in Athens with many plays about tragedy and religions. These performances took place in open-air theatres made of stone. You can visit many of these theatres throughout Greece and look around – but a few still perform! Last time we visited Greece, we went to The Athens and Epidaurus Festival to enjoy a play (photo above).
Explore Portara on Naxos
Head to the island of Naxos and enjoy wandering the white-washed homes before visiting Portara. Portara is simply a site that can’t be missed; literally, you can’t miss it as it greets everyone arriving and departing Naxos by ferry. Portara is a monumental marble frame standing 6 meters high. It’s part of what is left of Ancient Greece and the Temple of Apollo.
The structure is on the tiny islet of Palatia, just a five-minute walk from the Naxos old town. Careful crossing over the walkway in adverse conditions, or you may get soaked!
It is a beautiful landmark over the whole island and should be visited by all, especially at sunset. Afterward, make sure to spend some time at one of the best Naxos beaches!
Visit Sarakiniko Beach (Milos)
Sarakiniko Beach is easily the most popular thing to do on Milos Island, and is a natural wonder to see.
Stepping onto Sarakiniko Beach feels like stepping onto the moon. Over the centuries, the sea and wind have shaped this volcanic rock into majestic columns. It’s where pure white rock meets turquoise blue water.
There’s no vegetation here and not much sand unlike other Milos beaches. Sunbathing here means placing a towel on the hard rock, but it’s a small price to pay for the uniqueness of this moonscape. While you may only want to lay out on the hard rock for under an hour, you can quickly cliff jump and swim around these shores for the whole day. There’s also a shipwreck nearby that is interesting to see – on a calm day, you can snorkel around it (if you are a good swimmer).
Hike to the Top of Mount Zas (Naxos)
According to Greek mythology, Mount Zas (also called Mount Zeus) is where Zeus spent most of his childhood. It’s also the highest point in all the Cyclades and is completely hikeable!
From Aghia Marina, the hike up to Mount Zas is just 7km with 300 meters of elevation. Although there is a more challenging option from Aria Spring that is 5km and 500 meters of gain, if you go this way, you’ll pass the Cave of Zeus, so it may be worth it to take the more complicated route! We recommend heading up around sunset to get beautiful colors over the whole island!
Party the night away in Mykonos
Mykonos Island is probably the most famed Greek Island for its nightlife and parties. The hedonistic side to this island is something that, if you’re into drinking and dancing, you should consider experiencing. It’s a popular place to party.
There are tons of places, from beachside bars to late-night clubs and raucous drinking holes to find yourself a slice of nocturnal fun. Many clubs rage until the sun comes up.
The Scandinavian Bar hosts international DJs, which is an excellent place to start (or end) your odyssey; Scorpios equals high prices, but fun times for sure; the famous Tropicana Beach Bar is an excellent place to end up, too.
Hike Mount Olympus (Mainland)
If you want to go hiking in Greece, you may want to consider the best-known peak in the entire Mediterranean region. Mount Olympus is the highest peak in all of Greece and has a mythical status as the home of the gods.
Olympus is a national park, so there are numerous mountain peaks (52, to be exact) and over 160 kilometers of trails suited to various skill levels. The entire area is a haven for wild flora and fauna. Combined with the vistas, this is basically heaven on earth. If you want to hike up to Mount Olympus expect a very long day out – 24.0 km and over 2000 meters of gain, but to say you summited the famous peak is well worth it!
The Menalon Trail
For a tremendous multi trail near Arcadia in the Peloponnese is the Menalon Trail. At 75km long, the Menalon Trail runs through the mountains of Gortynia in central Peloponnese. Through the villages of Stemnitsa, Dimitsana, Zygovisti, Elati, Vytina, Nymfasia, Magouliana, Valtessiniko, and Lagadia. As far as scenery, you’re treated to a little bit of everything on this hike – from mountains and dry canyons to lush valleys.
The route is divided into eight parts, all ranging in difficulty, to ensure that some of the routes are accessible to even novices but not too dull for more seasoned hikers. No matter where you walk along this route, you’ll pass through beautiful landscapes and picturesque ancient villages.
Hike the Corfu Trail
We’re upping the suggested hikes just a little bit more. At 220 kilometers in length, the Corfu Trail on the island of Corfu is a long hike in Greece. Unless you plan to bring plenty of camping gear, most people tend to choose a section and treat it as a day hike, but it is possible to do the whole trail as a multi-day hike.
The trail leads away from the busier tourist areas of the island into more unspoiled natural regions where you won’t see anyone. There is a huge variety of natural surroundings here, like beaches and dunes, olive groves, and plateaus and gorges in the north.
Stroll the Streets of Oia (Santorini)
You can’t visit the island of Santorini and not visit Oia. Heading to this small town is easily one of the best things to do in Santorini and the most popular thing to do in all of Greece. In years past, the town of Oia was prosperous due to its large fleet of merchant’s vessels that carried goods from Greece to Europe, Russia, and the Middle East.
Most of the two-story homes near the top of the hill are the former residences of these vessels’ captains. Though many of the houses were damaged in the earthquake of 1956, they’ve all been restored.
The view from below on the narrow path leading up into the town hearkens back to a different age. The white and cream plaster homes with their wonderful mix of Greek and Moorish architecture and turquoise windows, domes, and doors, all stacked together on uneven terraces framed by the blue sky, are the stuff of which great photographs, paintings, and memories are made.
Walk Down the Street of the Knights (Rhodes)
This medieval street on the island of Rhodes was once the home to the famed Knights of Hospitaller who ruled over Rhodes. The road was divided into seven languages where knights were organized according to their birthplace – France, Germany, England, Auvergne, Italy, and Provence. Each of the knights was responsible for their own section of the fortifications of Rhodes town.
Once you start walking down the street, you feel as if you’ve been instantly transported back in time. It appears as little has changed other than a few lights that could be lanterns in the last 700 years.
Stroll Through the Village of Kioni (Ithaca)
The village of Kioni is on the small Ionian island of Ithaca. We stayed for five days in Kioni and never wanted to leave, mainly because the village of Kioni feels like it’s been stuck in time.
Kioni was founded in the 1500s and has since been a favorite retreat for Ithaki islanders and visitors alike. The little fishing village with its picturesque harbor lined with boats and pretty houses is made all that more unique by the fact that it’s built on the slope of a mountain.
While there are some cafes, small bars, a few seaside restaurants, and boutique shops, you won’t find large crowds, which means you’ll enjoy a peaceful escape.
Descend to Egremni Beach (Lefkada)
Egremni or Egremnoi is a remote beach on the southwest coast of Lefkada. Its remoteness doesn’t mean it’s not popular, though. There’s a road that will take you as close as possible (an earthquake in 2015 destroyed part of the road) before beachgoers must transcend a neverending 350 or so steps. Don’t worry; the view is worth it – until you have to climb back up in the heat of the day.
Once you get to the beach, you’ll enjoy beautiful white pebbly sand, the clearest blue water you have ever seen. You’ll want to bring all that you need down to the beach with you as there is nothing on the beach beside a few locals selling water and umbrella rentals.
Greek Cooking Class
One of the best things to do in Greece is learn how to cook like a Greek! Almost every Greek island destination has locals and companies that offer fantastic Greek cooking classes. Learn all about Greek cuisine and make items like Dolmadakia and Moussaka!
Find Pink Sand on Elafonisi Beach (Crete)
Do the beaches of Crete sound enticing? If you find yourself on the largest Greek Island, make sure to spend at least one day at Elafonisi beach. This beach is not too crowded, is situated next to a national park, and the sand is PINK. Okay, it’s not bright pink like some other places in the world, but in the sunlight, the sand sure does shimmer different hues of pastel pink.
The pink sand is caused by the coral being broken down into tiny fragments. Make sure to get there at the peak of the day when it is exceptionally sunny to see the area really shimmer.
Enjoy a Greek Frappe
My favorite thing to do in Greece, in general, is to sit back, relax, order a Frappe (blended Greek coffee), and watch life go by. You can do this in any of the towns, anywhere in Greece, and I highly recommend the experience at least once.
Visit Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Cove on Zakynthos)
The famous Navagio Beach is the best thing to do in Zakynthos and is one of the most photographed sites in Greece. It’s here you’ll find stunning white sandy beaches and impossibly blue waters; it is a true spectacle almost too beautiful to be real.
The beach is home to the rustic remains of the MV Panagiotis, a ship that became stuck in the cove in the 1980s and has a fascinating history behind it. Located in the northeast of Zakynthos, there are two main ways to see the beach – by water or from the white limestone clifftops.
Well signposted, the viewing points are easily accessed by land, and this is where your best vantage point will be. It’s also the best place to grab a photo of the beach. However, there are no tracks leading directly to the beach, so if you’re looking to head for a swim in the water or get up and personal with the shipwreck, the only option is by boat.
Catch Sunset at Plaka Castle (Milos)
Plaka Castle sits on the second-highest peak on Milos Island. This 13th-century castle used to be a refuge from pirate attacks. While there are no more pirates anymore, it’s the refuge for sunset seekers. Seriously you get panorama views from Plaka Castle at any time of the day, but during sunset the view cannot be beaten.
Visit the Acropolis (Athens)
Probably the most famous landmark in Athens and even Greece, a visit to The Acropolis is one of the best things to do in Greece. The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel on a rocky outcrop and a great spectacle with incredible history around it. The Acropolis itself offers some of the best views overlooking the city!
If you head to The Acropolis just before sunset, the views of the sprawling city are even more spectacular in golden hour.
Eat Delicious Street Food
Greece arguably has some of the best street food in Europe, and it’s pretty cheap too! You must try the local specialty of Gyros, which is either meat or vegetables tossed in a fantastic blend of herbs and spices, tucked into a crispy and warm pita with french fries (potatoes), or tzikiki. If you are a vegetarian, we’ve even had gyros made with delicious mushrooms.
Other foods you should try in Greece are Greek salads, saganaki, and souvlaki.
Enjoy a Greek sunset with a cocktail
Head to anywhere with a view on the coast, order a cocktail, and witness the magic of a sunset in Greece. The most popular place to do this in all of Greece is of course, in Oia in Santorini, but keep in mind it’s bustling here. Some other great spots are at Fly Me on Lefkada (photo above) and from the town of Klima on Milos.
Windsurfing is a popular sport on many Greek islands because there are so many beaches where the winds are just right! If you already know how to windsurf, you can rent equipment from several sports shops. Some of the most popular windsurfing islands are Paros, Naxos, and Rhodes!
Drink Greek Wine
Greece was once one of the top wine products in the ancient world. Today, many people don’t know much about Greek wine unless you visit Greece. Greece has a rich winemaking history, and this is present throughout the country.
With over 300 indigenous varieties and pleasing aromas, there is bound to be a wine you like in Greece. On most islands, you can find a few local wineries and vineyards. They offer exceptional value too. We make it a point to try and visit one winery at each location we visit in Greece. The photo above was taken at one of our favorites – Ambelonas on Corfu!
Wander the Town of Mykonos
As you may be able to tell from the name, The Town of Mykonos is the main town on the island of Mykonos. It’s home to a quintessential jumble of white, boxy houses and winding streets, both of which were allegedly created to confuse pirates. You can see how: it’s easy to get lost!
One of the best things to do in Mykonos, exploring the town is a great way to get to grips with how it all ticks here. Little cafes, tavernas, flowers spilling out over white-washed balconies, laundry drying in the breeze, little staircases – it’s perhaps one of the most charming places in the world!
Wander the Streets of Hydra
Hydra pronounced Ýdra (like ee-dra), is part of the Saronic Islands group of Greece. It is separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strip of water and takes less than one hour via ferry to get to from the mainland. It’s a famous Greek Island to visit, especially with Athenians, since it is just a short day trip away from Athens.
Hydra is a scenic island well known for its artsy scene, many galleries, whitewashed houses, and for its lack of motorized vehicles. Yes, you read that right, the only internal combustion vehicles on the island are the few city-owned trucks and a fire truck. Other than that, you will have to walk, take a donkey, or sea taxi to get around Hydra. The lack of cars and the use of donkeys brings the island back down to earth, even for how busy and popular it can get in the summer months.
Hydra is one of the most unique islands to visit in all of Greece!
Explore the bays of Paleokastritsa (Corfu)
This northwest Corfu area offers the most splendid views and best Greek beaches due to the cliffs and marvelous greenery. Some of the most stunning beaches you can find in Corfu are located around Palaiokastritsa. We particularly loved spending the day at Rovinia Beach!
Dive Into the Sea at La Grotta
La Grotta is a fabulous beach bar on the island of Corfu. This bar is built into the side of a cliff and serves up great drinks, food with music that keeps that party vibe going all day, so make sure to put a bathing suit on your Greek packing list!
A diving board leads those who jump straight into the crystal clear waters. It’s a calm place to swim and enjoy time with friends and other travelers. It’s one of the most exciting beach bars we have been to in Greece.
Go Cliff Jumping
All around the coast are great cliff jumping spots, and one of the most popular things to do in the Mediterranean is find a nice safe jump site, and hop on into the clear blue water. The photo above was taken on Hydra, but you’ll know a good jump spot when you see a group of people jumping into the water. Remember, it is always your responsibility to ensure where you are jumping is safe.
Swim on Balos Beach (Crete)
Balos beach on Crete is one of the most beaches I have ever seen. To many, this is one of the top things to do in Crete and definitely one of the best beaches in Crete. Located on the very western tip of Crete past Kissamos is Balos Beach.
You’ll have to descend many stairs to reach the beach, so bring everything you’ll need for the day. Spending the day here is relaxing, cool, and idealistic. Save some drinking water, though, for the only way out is to walk up all the stairs you just came down.
Stroll Around Naousa (Paros)
Naousa is easily the poshest town on the island of Paros and is fun to wander around during all hours of the day.
Naousa is a unique fishing village that’s colorful and fun to visit at all times. There are tons of seaside restaurants, bars to have a sundowner at, boutique shops, and pretty much everything you could want.
It’s exciting to walk around during the day, and at night the area quickly transforms into a high-end nightlife scene. It’s the most desirable place to stay in Paros and the most expensive.
the Mykonos Windmills
Mykonos is famously called the “island of the winds.” One of the most famous monuments of Mykonos are the windmills. Dating back to the 1500s and originally used to mill wheat (obviously), these round windmills are a cool place to come and enjoy the atmosphere – and the views.
One of the best things to do in Mykonos would be to pack a picnic and make your way from Mykonos Old Town, along the coast and around the bay, to where the windmills are.
take the ferry to Antiparos
Antiparos is the small neighboring island next to Paros. It’s not well known on the Greek island radar, but it is well worth a day trip if you are already in Paros. Only a five-minute ferry ride from Paros will bring you to the small island. Once there, you can explore the cute town of Chora, venture to the many beaches, or check out the Antiparos cave.
This island is where Tom Hanks has a holiday home. Maybe you’ll spot him and his wife, Rita Wilson if you’re there at the right time. Although he is well-loved and protected by locals, so don’t think you’ll find out where he lives easily.
Splash Out in a Greek Villa
Greece is well known for having some exceptional seaside villas. Plan a trip to Greece with friends and family and go all out on splitting a beautiful villa for the week. The islands of Santorini, Crete, Paros, Corfu, and Mykonos are well known for having some exceptional ones.
Ride in a Horse and buggy in Spetses
The island of Spetses is a popular Greek island for Athenians as its close proximity to the Peloponnese mainland makes it easy for day trips. Like Hydra, Spetses feels like another island that got left in time, plus it is relatively quiet.
Like Hydra, private cards are banned here, but unlike Hydra taxis, garbage trucks, and mopeds are allowed. A fun way to see the island and town of Spetses is with a horse and buggy which you’ll see many of!
When is the Best Time to Visit Greece?
The best time to visit Greece, in general, is in May and September when the weather is sunny and mild, but summer tourism is not as present. June, July, and August are the busiest and hottest months on the Islands and is when you will find higher prices and more crowds. My favorite time to visit Greece is always September.
Plan For Your Trip
- Protect Your Trip: We don’t travel without travel insurance, nor should you. You never know what can happen while traveling, so it’s best to be prepared. HeyMondo provides excellent short-term and long-term travel insurance plans.
- Find Cheap Flights: Sign up for Scotts Cheap Flights to get notified when prices get ultra low.
- Travel Adapter: Make sure you find a good adapter to keep your personal electronics charged. Otherwise, you may be paying for a cheap one once you land. Purchase one here.
- Travel Backpack: We like the Nomatic Travel Backpack for our travels. Check the price here.
- Our Favorite Travel Shoes: Our answer to this question is always ALLBIRDS! Check them out on their site!
- Get a Travel Credit Card: We travel worldwide for free because we have leveraged our spending into points. See why you should get a travel credit card and how you can do the same with our favorite travel credit cards.
READ MORE GREECE TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you enjoyed this guide on what to do in Greece! Hopefully, you found it useful. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Greece!