There’s a big reason Greece is a summer favorite. With its beautiful islands and beaches, legendary history, and second-to-none cuisine, it’s easy to see why!

I’ve realized that tourists are quick to forget that Greece has a spectacular mainland dotted with vineyards, mountains, lakes, and national parks.

So, I’ve created this one-of-a-kind guide to the most beautiful places in Greece, from tourist hotspots to hidden gems.

Pack your walking shoes and your bathing suits and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime as I run you through the epic beauty of the Greek islands, historical attractions, and inland gems.

Onto the good stuff. Here’s my handpicked guide to the most beautiful places in Greece.

A top view from Mykonos port, Greece
A little piece of heaven

1. Mykonos

Another one of the most famous islands in the Cyclades: Mykonos! It’s a bustling island that is almost synonymous with the term ‘Greek islands.’

While it sure is no relaxing beach haven and is instead filled with overpriced restaurants and tacky beach clubs, there is nothing bad to say about the beauty of Mykonos.

Still one of the top ten places to visit in Greece, this island is STUNNING!

A feast for the visual senses, Mykonos has a collection of traditional Cycladic architecture surrounding a truly Instagram-worthy fishing port. So, be sure to bring your camera along with you for this adventure!

The best way to explore the island is by quad bike. Cruise your way to the gorgeous Mykonos Windmills, the Paraportiani Church, and some more beaches like Platis Gialos Beach.

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    2. Oia, Santorini

    Santorini is LITERALLY one of the most beautiful Greek Cyclades islands. Its fame rests on its unique architecture and traditional craftsmanship. Whitewashed houses terrace their way from the tallest hills down to the crystal-clear waterline. 

    The white buildings and blue domed churches on the cliffs of Santorini, Greece
    The classic Santorini postcard shot!

    This picturesque island is located in the majestic Aegean Sea. And no matter which area of Santorini you stay in, it’ll be awesome!

    The heart of these pastel-colored houses is in Oia, an iconic village that hugs a sunken volcano, pictured on just about every quintessential Santorini postcard. The best way to experience the beauty of Oia is to stay in one of these buildings and watch the sunset.

    Today, there are plenty of high-end hotels or relaxed B&Bs that offer private infinity pools and cafes overlooking the Aegean.

    3. Mystras

    Let’s take a step into the Peloponnese, an area well known for its archaeological remains and historic buildings.

    Mystras is a mountainside village with enough archaeological importance to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And let me assure you, the title is well deserved! For anyone backpacking around Europe, make sure Mystras is on the bucket list.

    The church of Saint Dimitrios (Metropolis) in Mystras
    The church of Saint Dimitrios (Metropolis) in Mystras

    During the Palaeologan Renaissance, the town served as the capital of the Despotate of the Morea. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find one of the best-preserved Byzantine churches and fortresses in the world.

    Perched on the slopes of Mount Taygetos, the fortress is an example of the grandeur of the old world. You have to visit this place with a guided tour.

    4. Antiparos Cave, Antiparos

    Even if you haven’t visited Greece, you’ll likely have heard that some islands are tragically overcrowded with tourists. Well, to your pleasant surprise, Antiparos is the antithesis of this – pun intended. 

    It’s one of the most beautiful islands for an off-the-beaten-track vacation, packed with one of Greece’s best beaches.

    Staircase leading into a dark cave with geological formations in Antiparos
    I’m really digging this cave!

    White-stone rocks merge with shimmering turquoise water, which is only disturbed by the odd sailboat or kayak.

    Naturally, some of the best things to do here are to relax on the beach, swim in the warm water, and stroll around the island. It’s so small that you can lap it with a bike.

    Best you take advantage of this unique place to visit in Greece before its beaches are packed with frolicking children and edgy youths.

    5. Apiranthos, Naxos Island

    The Greek islands sure aren’t known for their greenery and flora (aside from the flourishing bougainvillaea and wildflowers). However, with its mountain landscapes and fertile valleys, Naxos is one of the greenest islands in the Cyclades.

    Beaches here are among Greece’s most idyllic, largely unpopulated by the tourist rush. Stay in Naxos, and you’ll soak up the beautiful sunshine while relaxing on the powdery Greek sands.

    Apeiranthos mountain village

    Apiranthos is a local village with century-old origins. Supposedly founded by Cretan prisoners in the 10th century, this town is home to only 1,000 people. Yet it houses five of the island’s most prominent museums. 

    This artsy village sits on the slopes of Mount Fanari, overlooking the Naxian Mountains. It’s most famous for its stone-built towers, churches, and marble alleyways lined with craft shops and boutique exhibitions. It’s the perfect spot for slow travelers.

    6. Navagio Beach, Zakynthos

    Navagio Beach is arguably the most photographed bay in the Cyclades. Translated to ‘Shipwreck Beach,’ the beach is named after the shipwreck resting on its golden sand. 

    Its origins are largely unknown, with some believing it to have been a smuggler’s vessel.

    The beach is located on the north-western coastline of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea. To get there, you’ll need to arrive by boat or venture down a challenging hike through the white cliffs. 

    A top view from Navagio beach with the shipwreck
    The illustrious island life awaits.

    Take my advice and visit the island between late May and October. That’s the best time to visit Greece! When the sea is perfect for swimming and the sands are ideal for sunbathing.

    If you’re adventurous, cycle through the inland villages and visit old stone homes, monasteries, and churches along the way.

    7. The Zagori Villages

    Located in northwestern Greece, Zagori is one of the most naturally striking regions, home to around 45 traditional villages, each one more picturesque than the next. 

    Blink once, and you might think you’re in Yosemite National Park. Blink twice, and you could mistake your surroundings for the Swiss Alps.

    If you’re an avid hiker or trekker, you should add Zagori to your bucket list of adventures.

    View of the traditional village Mikro Papigo in Zagori
    Picturesque vista!

    Spend your evenings in sleepy hamlets that have been standing for thousands of years. Also, you can have some days out in the pine-clad mountains cutting through one of the deepest canyons in the world. Trails link the 45 villages with century-old staircases and stone bridges. 

    When you’ve reached your wits end with hiking, take off your hiking shoes and visit the hilltop castle, museums, and tasty restaurants. That’s where you find the real taste of history, culture, and local life in Zagori.

    8. Mount Olympus National Park

    Mountain views from Mount Olympus national park
    Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece

    A short distance from the beaches of the Cyclades, Mount Olympus National Park is home to the iconic Mount Olympus. 

    This mountain is the home of the Greek gods. It’s the center of the ancient Greek world and one of the most beautiful places in Greece.

    Other than its iconic history, the expansive mountain range is a floral wonderland, home to a rich diversity of plants and animals. 

    Hiking, mountaineering, and trekking are popular activities here. You can choose to join a group tour or venture into the unknown with a map and a bit of confidence.

    Luckily for budget travelers in Greece, there are plenty of affordable hotels and campsites across this park. Well-maintained trails snake through the deep gorges, alpine flower fields, and thick forests, reaching the highest points in the country.

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    9. Kefalonia Island

    Located in the heart of the Ionian Sea, Kefalonia Island is a Mediterranean gem known for its beautiful beaches, rugged landscapes, and warm hospitality.

    It makes a great place for adventures and water sports, like sea kayaking, boat tours and sailing, hiking and trekking,

    Myrtos beach in kefalonia island

    Put on your comfiest shoes and rent a bike. Cycle through the fishing villages of Psilithrias, Chalikeri, and Fiskardo. Even better? Visit Petani Beach and Myrtos Beach for a day of coastal bliss.

    Another incredible place to visit here is the Agios Gerasimos Monastery. It’s a 16th-century church complex that is a treat to explore on foot. 

    Unlike other Greek islands, Kefalonia isn’t crowded with tourists, and as a direct result of this, it’s quite affordable.

    10. Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes

    History lovers, this one’s for you! The Acropolis of Lindos is one of Greece’s famous archaeological sites.

    It has recently boomed as an upscale destination for its gorgeous beaches, but its historical heritage has kept Western resorts from overriding the peaceful environment.

    Ancient ruins at Acropolis of lindos, greece
    The ancient Acropolis in all its glory!

    Standing 380 feet above the ocean, overlooking the Old Town of Lindos, the Acropolis of Lindos is as old as the history of ancient Greece itself.

    The majestic fortress ruins are linked to the goddess Athena Lindia. It boasts a history involving the ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Knights of Saint John, and even the Ottoman Empire. If you’re interested in brushing up on your Greek history and culture before you go, here’s our list of the best books about Greece.

    There aren’t too many places where you can experience such rich history, culture, architecture, and natural beauty converge in one setting! So, do yourself a favor and take a guided tour!

    11. Meteora, Kalabaka

    A castle on top of the rocky mountains of Meteora, Kalabaka
    The 14th-century monastery on pillars of stone

    Close your eyes and picture a castle on a hill in your favorite fairy tale. Got it? Welcome to Meteora.

    The UNESCO WHS of Meteora is a rocky mountain home to a 14th-century monastery perched atop sandstone pinnacles. 

    The hike might be a challenge, but not as challenging as it must have been for those who built it.

    12. Kanali tou Erota, Corfu

    Famous canal of love in corfu island greece

    Named the “Canal of Love”, Kanali tou Erota is an iconic coastal village. Legend has it, that a swim in this water brings lovers luck. Pretty cool right?

    It’s set on the popular island of Corfu yet is hidden between rock formations, making it a more private beach alternative.

    13. Old Town Nafplio, Argolis

    A restaurant in the narrow streets of the Old Town of Nafplio, Athens
    Small streets, big vibes

    There is no shortage of beautiful towns in Greece, but the Old Town of Nafplio has to be up there with the best.

    The romantic Greek seaport founded by Poseidon’s son, Nafplios, was once the capital of the country. The Neoclassical and Venetian town is just a short drive from Athens, perfect for a day trip.

    14. Lake Kerkini

    View of Kerkini Lake at sunset in Greece
    Lake Kerkini, Central Macedonia

    I bet you didn’t know Greece was home to one of Europe’s most important wetlands!

    At the heart of the migratory bird route between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, this inland lake is a hotspot for flora and fauna and one of the unique places to visit in Greece.

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    15. Ermoupolis, Syros

    Town of Ermoupoli on a cliff overlooking a harbour in Syros island
    Turquoise waters, mountains, and a postcard-perfect view

    The authentic Cyclades island of Syros is your answer to a less-busy version of Mykonos or Santorini.

    The capital city of the island, Ermoupolis, is a seafaring village that was once one of the most prosperous in Greece.  

    16. The Old Venetian Port of Chania

    Old Venetian Port of Chania in Greece

    Take a step into the past, where the Old Venetian Port of Chania used to be a thriving seafaring harbor in the 14th century.

    Today, you can sip cocktails on the harbor wall and enjoy a night out among the historic buildings.

    17. Pyrgi, Chios

    Buildings with black-and-white geometric motifs in Pirgi village, Chios Island
    Painted Village, Pyrgi

    Pyrgi, or the “Painted Village”, is an exquisite local town that could be mistaken for a Moroccan, Turkish, or Portuguese village.

    Each building is intricately painted with unique black-and-white geometric motifs. It’s one of the few towns in the region that wasn’t destroyed by the 1881 earthquake.

    18. Thessaloniki

    A statue of a man in front of the White tower of Thessaloniki, in Greece
    The “White Tower” is actually kind of grey.

    Not your average beautiful destination, Thessaloniki is a large Greek city famed for its incredible street food scene and rich cultural heritage.

    The area experienced influences from the East and the West, culminating in a cultural melting pot of color and flavor.

    19. Samaria Gorge National Park

    Mountain views from Samaria Gorge National Park in Crete, Greece
    Thinking of a hike? Samaria Gorge National Park!

    Because one national park on this list wasn’t enough, explore more of Crete’s coolest places, like the Samaria Gorge.

    One of the most magnificent places for a hiking or kayaking trip, this deep gorge cuts through the rugged white-stone mountains of Crete. One thing you should consider however if visiting is that it can be hard to reach, so you should consider car rental in Crete as a transport option.

    20. Thassos Island

    Marble Beach surrounded by mountains in Thassos islands

    Nestled on the northern island of the Aegean Sea, Thassos Island is the perfect spot for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

    Here you can visit the archaeological museum of Thassos, visit some olive groves during harvest, or enjoy the calm atmosphere of “Marble Beach”.

    21. Lalaria Beach, Skiathos

    People enjoying a day of swimming and sunbathing in Lalaria Beach Skiathos
    Great spot for sunbathing. Just don’t forget your sunscreen!

    Topping off the list with one last beach-of-note, Lalaria Beach is no doubt one of the most exquisite in the country.

    With massive white cliffs and natural bridges rising from the clear sea, this white sand beach looks like the quintessential dreamscape.

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    How to See Beautiful Places in Greece

    For digital nomads in Greece, it’s important to understand that getting from one island to another is super well-thought-out in Greece.

    Chances are, your first point of entry will be Athens. If you’re headed to the islands, plenty of ferries are connecting the islands, as well as local flights to islands like Santorini, Corfu, and Mykonos. 

    The price of a ferry depends on the time of year, route, and operator. Overnight ferries cost nearly half the price of a fast-ferry ticket, and less-popular islands are usually cheaper to travel to.

    A ferry from Athens to Mykonos costs between €38 and €68 each way, while high-speed ferries can cost up to €85.

    You can also use the city buses, electric trolleybuses, and Athens trams. Exploring the islands is best done by renting a car, which can cost between €14 and €55 per day.

    Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

    I would recommend ALWAYS getting good quality insurance when traveling, especially adventure style.

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

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    FAQs About Beautiful Places in Greece

    Here are some answers to a selection of the most frequently asked questions about Greece’s beautiful places.

    Final Thoughts on Beautiful Places in Greece

    And there you have it, twenty-two of the most beautiful places in Greece! It wasn’t easy picking just a handful of places in such a large and diverse country.

    We covered everything from exquisite natural coves to the best beaches on the map, impressive national parks, stunning ancient monasteries, and charming local towns across the country.

    Greece has so many gorgeous places; you just have to visit to believe it. If you can only fit one of these places into your itinerary, do yourself a favor and head to Zagori and its villages.

    This impressive canyon and mountain region offers the perfect combination of natural beauty and historic wonder!

    A view of Santorini, Greece at sunset
    Looking for more info on travelling to Greece?

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