Top 13 Must-Visit Places in Mainland Greece & the Greek Islands according to Lonely Planet
Mykonos is famed as a cosmopolitan destination amongst the Greek islands and widely recognised as one of the great travel meccas. It is one of the most touristed islands in the Aegean. This means that any visitors should be prepared for loud dance clubs, English breakfasts and over-priced merchandise.
12. Nisyros’ Volcano
Nisyros, with fewer than 1000 permanent inhabitants, is famous for having the only ‘active’ volcano in Greece together with Santorini. The island is essentially a volcanic cone with a large collapsed caldera in the center. It is possible to walk into the volcanic crater and view the smoking fumaroles at close hand.
11. Corfu Town
Corfu, known also as Kerkyra, is the northernmost of the Ionian Islands in Greece. Corfu Town is the largest and most important town on the island. This is where the airport is located and where most cruise ships and long distance ferries dock. It is a small, pleasant city catering well to tourists.
Patmos is one of the most religious Greek Islands because it is where Saint John the Divine had its revelation and wrote the Apocalypse. Many orthodox people still come to the island on pilgrimage – hence the coachloads of people heading up to the cave where St. John wrote.
9. Rhodes Old Town
Rhodes is the largest settlement and capital city of the island of the same name. It is famous as the former site of the Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and the oldest inhabited medieval town in Europe.
8. Preveli Beach, Crete
Preveli beach and lagoon, sometimes known locally as “Palm Beach”, is located below the monastery, at the mouth of the Kourtaliótiko gorge. Behind the beach is an extensive glade of palm trees. The beach is regularly served by tourist boats from the nearby resort of Plakias.
Santorini is a volcanic island in the Cyclades group of the Greek islands. It is famous for dramatic views, stunning sunsets from Oia town, the strange white aubergine (eggplant), the town of Thira and naturally its very own active volcano. There are naturally fantastic beaches such as the beach of Perissa, maybe the best beach in Santorini, the black pebble beach of Kamari, white beach and red beach.
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years. Classical Athens, as a landlocked location was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus.
5. The Mani
Holding a magic unlike anywhere else in Greece, the footpaths and landscape of the Mani beckon hikers from around the world. With everything from rugged rocky highlands reminiscent of Scotland and hidden lush green oases, to small fishing tavernas and severe rock-solid tower houses, this pocket of the Peloponnese is well worth exploring.
4. Odeon of Herodes Atticus
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla.
3. Ancient Delphi
In ancient times it was the site of the most important oracle of the god Apollo. Delphi was revered throughout the Greek world as the site of the omphalos stone, the centre of the universe. In the inner hestia, or hearth, of the Temple of Delphic Apollo, an eternal flame burned.
Meteora is one of the gems of Greece. Located near the town of Kalampaka in northwestern Thessaly it consists of a number of rock pinnacles topped with a total of 24 monasteries. The Metéora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos.
1. The Acropolis
The Athenian Acropolis is the ancient high city of Athens, a prominent plateaued rock perched high above the modern city with commanding views and an amazing array of ancient architecture, mostly from the Classical period of Ancient Greece, the most famous of which is the Parthenon