Hedonists rejoice! Greece is ancient sun-bleached ruins piercing blue skies, the balmy Aegean lapping an endless coastline and a culture alive with passionate music, wonderful cuisine and thrill-seeking activities.
Cultural Treasure Chest
The roots of Western culture are in Greece. Step into the ring where Olympians first competed. Climb steps hewn out of stone to Meteora’s monasteries, perched atop towering rocks. Contemplate the oracle’s insights from the grandeur of Delphi, take in a starlit drama at an ancient outdoor theatre and be stunned by massive marble sculptures dredged up from the Aegean. But then you’ll encounter bold modern art, the melancholic throb of rembetika (blues songs) and artisans creating new work from traditional techniques. Greece has endless cultural pursuits and a calendar bursting with festivals, holidays and exhibits.
Whether you're a serious adrenalin junkie or dedicated beach bum, Greece delivers. Days melt from one to the next under wide open skies and a sea speckled with islands fringed with the white-sand, pine-tree shade beaches of your dreams. Wander along cobbled Byzantine footpaths, hike up volcanoes, watch for dolphins and sea turtles, and cycle through lush forests. Meander through olive groves, idyllic villages and petrified forests. Thrill seekers will discover world-class kitesurfing, wreck diving, and rock-climbing locations with dizzying views. Or simply hop on a boat and set sail into the glittering blue beyond.
The core ingredients of Greek cooking are often found in the chef's garden. Feta and olive oil are universal across the country, but unique regional produce and cooking styles make travelling here a culinary adventure. Taste herbs and mountain greens you've never heard of, mussels steamed in ouzo, bread baked with olives, and fish straight from the sea. Taste-test crumbling feta, honeyed soft cheeses and sharp, hard rounds. Find Italian influences in risottos and pastas and Turkish spices woven into delicate sweets. A traditional-cooking renaissance has chefs lifting time-honoured recipes to new gourmet heights.
Socialising is more than a pastime in Greece – it's a way of life. Cafes overflow with youngsters gossiping or older locals in heated debate. Restaurants are filled with long tables for big gatherings and friends amble arm in arm down the street. Squares are the focal point, where life unfolds collectively. Immerse yourself, whether it's a coffee, a shot of ouzo, a chorus on the bouzouki or a local celebration. Greeks are passionate and live life to the fullest, even at the most difficult times. The result is a country seemingly riddled with challenges, yet full of people loving life.
10 incredible Greek hiking trails you can tackle right now
6 min read — Published July 1st, 2021
Lonely Planet EditorsWriter
Whether you're looking for challenging scrambles or relaxed strolls, Greece has a hike to suit you.
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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Greece.
Archaeological SiteAncient Olympia
This is where the Olympic Games took place every four years for over 1100 years, until their abolition by Emperor Theodosius I in AD 393. The Olympic…
Archaeological SiteAncient Mycenae
On a hilltop backed by powerful mountains stand the sombre and mighty ruins of Ancient Mycenae, home of Agamemnon, the legendary king who commanded the…
Archaeological SitePalace of Knossos
Crete’s most famous historical attraction is the Palace of Knossos, the grand capital of Minoan Crete, located 5km south of the city of Iraklio. The…
Spread over a steep mountainside and surrounded by verdant olive and orange trees, this former Byzantine capital and fortified city is the single most…
Archaeological SiteSanctuary of Apollo
Serving as the heart of Ancient Delphi, the hillside Sanctuary of Apollo is where pilgrims would journey to hear prophecies from the god Apollo, voiced…
This dazzling museum at the foot of the Acropolis' southern slope showcases its surviving treasures. The collection covers the Archaic period to the Roman…
Designed to be the pre-eminent monument of the Acropolis, the Parthenon epitomises the glory of Ancient Greece. Meaning 'virgin's apartment', it's…
The Acropolis is the most important ancient site in the Western world. Crowned by the Parthenon, it stands sentinel over Athens, visible from almost…
Archaeological SiteAncient Delos
Delos has a special place in Greek mythology. When Leto was pregnant with twins Apollo and Artemis, she was relentlessly pursued by a vengeful Hera – the…
This lush, tranquil site is named for the potters who settled it around 3000 BC. It was used as a cemetery through the 6th century AD. The grave markers…
MuseumDelphi Archaeological Museum
Delphi’s magnificent modern museum, 500m east of town, perfectly complements the ancient site alongside. Which you visit first doesn’t matter, but the…
Historic SiteKastro – Medieval Village
Almost wholly surrounded by ocean, Monemvasia's fortified medieval village is divided into the lower town, bisected by a main cobbled street lined with…
MuseumOlympia Archaeological Museum
This superb museum features finds from the adjacent archaeological site of Olympia. Visiting it in conjunction with the ruins helps to put the ancient…
Historic SiteAncient Agora
The Agora was ancient Athens' heart, the lively hub of administrative, commercial, political and social activity. Socrates expounded his philosophy here;…
TombVergina Royal Tombs Museum
A grass-covered tumulus (burial mound) has been converted into a truly spine-tingling museum where visitors can descend to unspoiled royal Macedonian…
The cloud-covered lair of the Ancient Greek pantheon, awe-inspiring Mt Olympus is simply spectacular. It fires visitors' imaginations today, just as it…
MuseumByzantine & Christian Museum
This outstanding museum, based in the 1848 Villa Ilissia, offers exhibition halls, most of them underground, crammed with religious art. The exhibits go…
Archaeological SiteAcropolis of Lindos
A short, steep-stepped footpath climbs the rocky 116m-high headland above the village to reach Lindos’ beautifully preserved Acropolis. First fortified in…
MuseumHeraklion Archaeological Museum
This state-of-the-art museum is one of the largest and most important in Greece. The two-storey revamped 1930s Bauhaus building makes a gleaming showcase…
MuseumBenaki Museum of Greek Culture
In 1930 Antonis Benakis – a politician's son born in Alexandria, Egypt, in the late 19th century – endowed what is perhaps the finest museum in Greece…
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Greece.
Islands of unforgettable experiences
There are journeys that stay in our memory forever. Moments that create an emotion that can convey what we are looking for in a particular destination. Madeira and Porto Santo offer you all of this. From the very first minute, there is a question that will be asked time and time again: “What are we going to do next?” These islands are not just for any particular group of visitors. They are not just landscape, culture, food, sport, surprises and entertainment. They are much more than that. They are the awakening of a thousand wishes every day of the year.
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