A country with rich history, interesting monuments and wonderful places to see, sightseeing in Greece are limitless. Very popular are the island hopping excursions from one island to another, as tourists want to see as many Greek islands as possible during their holidays. Road excursions in the Greek mainland are also a great idea, as this is where very important archaeological sites and monuments are found.
Our guide proposes information about the most popular sightseeing in Greece and the Greek islands.
Greek island hopping tours
Greek island hopping tours in the Greek islands can have many combinations. Most tourists arrive in the airport of Athens and start their island tour from there, usually heading to Mykonos and Santorini, the two most popular islands of Greece. Generally the island complex of Cyclades is getting much frequented in summer months and receives a large part of tourists.
Paros, Naxos, Milos and Ios are also getting very popular. As the ferry connection between the islands of Cyclades is good and the ferry ride is short, tourists love to see many islands in their holidays. Many visitors also arrive directly to the airports of Mykonos, Paros or Santorini and start their hopping from there, without transfer via Athens.
Another very popular island group in Greece is Dodecanese. In fact, Rhodes serves as a major transportation hub for this group, as it receives many flights from Athens, Thessaloniki and from abroad. Also it has daily ferry connection with the other Dodecanese islands and serves ferries from Marmaris Turkey. Therefore Rhodes is frequently used as a base for day trips to close islands, like Simi or Halki, and as a starting point for island hopping tours.
Good ferry connection also exists between the Ionian islands. In summer, there are ferries between Corfu and Paxi and also between Kefalonia, Lefkada, Ithaca and Zakynthos. This allows for day or multi-day excursions during your holidays.
Greek mainland sightseeing
The Greek mainland is an amazing place to explore by car. There are many interesting historical monuments, archaeological sites and towns to see. The most popular region of the Greek mainland is Peloponnese. Day trips or multi day tours from Athens go to Peloponnese and usually include Olympia, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Nafplion in their schedule. Very interesting is also the trip to Ancient Delphi, in central Greece. Many visitors also choose to rent a car and drive around to see the unexpected side of the country.
Off the beaten track
There are so many places with sightseeing in Greece if you just want to rent a car and drive around. The Greek mainland is large and the road network is good. Most national highways are in good condition, although some parts are still under reconstruction. The regional roads are usually narrow (one line per direction) and windy due to the mountainous landscape, but if you drive carefully, no problem will come up.
Pelion is a great region to discover off the beaten track in Greece. Located in the centre of the country, it is easy to access from Athens and Thessaloniki. Its amazing nature and authentic lifestyle charms visitors. Another secluded region is Zagoria, on the north western side of the country, where you will have the chance to do rafting, canoe kayak, trekking, climbing and skiing in winter.
Not to miss in the mainland of Greece is also the area of Meteora with the impressive monasteries on top of huge, limestone rocks. Although Meteora receives visitors all year round, it is a region that has kept its original spirit.
Popular tours in Greek islands
As Santorini is the top destination in Greece, the tour to the volcano is very popular on the island. These tours usually continue to the hot springs and end in the picturesque village of Oia at the sunset time. Very interesting is the tour from Mykonos to Delos, an uninhabited island that was a religious centre of god Apollo in the antiquity.
Another amazing excursion is the boat trip to Navagio and Blue Caves in Zakynthos. Navagio (the Shipwreck) Beach is among the best Greek beaches and is accessible only by sea. The boat trip from Corfu to Paxi and Parga is also fabulous as it combines picturesque seaside villages and exotic crystal waters.
Important Greek monuments
As the country has along history and rich culture, thousands of monuments and sightseeing are found all around the mainland and the islands. These monuments date from all periods of the Greek history, from the antiquity till modern times. The most typical monuments of ancient times are usually marble temples and sanctuaries dedicated to gods, including the Acropolis of Athens, the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion, the temple of Aphaia in Aegina, the temple of Apollo in Bassae Peloponnese and many others.
Very impressive are also the ancient Greek theatres that are scattered around the mainland. There are ancient theatres in Athens, Epidaurus, Delphi, Dodona, Dion, Phillipi and in many other sites. The Herodeion Theatre of Athens and the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus are the most beautiful. Many of these ancient theatres host drama performances in summer as part of festivals.
Many important monuments in Greece also date from the Byzantine and Venetian times, such as towers, castles and monasteries. The most typical monuments of these eras are the Byzantine churches of Mystras, the monasteries of Meteora, the Old Fortress of Corfu, the Venetian Castle of Nafpaktos and many others. Over the last years, many Greek sights are included in the Unesco list of world heritage monuments.