Where to Go in Greece?
There are several incredible sites in this spectacular country to see. Indus Travel offers a wide range of small group tours in Greece to suit various interests. For example, guided sightseeing around Athens and Greece is certain to pique your interest if you are a history buff. The historical sites in Athens are scattered across the city, so it is best to see them with a tour guide who can show you around. A Greece group tour typically includes visits to the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and other ancient ruins.
However, if you are more interested in the natural beauty of Greece, then you may want to consider a tour of the Greek Isles. These Greece tours typically include stops on some of the most popular islands, such as Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete. Each island has its unique charm, and you're sure to find something that you'll love.
Finally, if you are looking for a more unique experience, Greece tours also offer tours of the country's less-visited areas. For example, you can explore the stunning mountain villages of Meteora or the remote beaches of Kefalonia. These tours are perfect for those who want to get off the beaten path and see a different side of Greece.
Now that we know a bit about Greek history, let's explore what you can expect to see on a visit to some of the country's most famous sites.
What to Expect on Your Tour to Greece
The Acropolis in Athens
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece is the Acropolis in Athens. The Acropolis is a hilltop citadel that was home to some of the most important buildings in Ancient Greece, including the Parthenon. The word “Acropolis” translates to “highest point,” an accurate name for this ancient citadel situated atop a hill.
From the Acropolis, one can see the expansive city below, home to 665,000 Athenians. The Acropolis is a prominent limestone crag perched high above modern-day Athens as a monument to the city's past grandeur and Greek culture, recalling the civilization that flourished more than two millennia ago.
The Parthenon is the most iconic and well-preserved temple on the Acropolis. It was built in 447 BC in honor of Athena, the goddess of arts, crafts, and peaceful pursuits, whom the people of Athens considered one of their most important patrons.
The Parthenon is not the only attraction worth visiting among these ancient ruins. As you walk through the plethora of archaeological vestiges of the Acropolis, you emulate Socrates, Pericles, and Sophocles by walking in their footsteps and unveiling the Meteora of Western Civilization. The historical monument of the Acropolis is iconic for anybody interested in Greece, history, or democracy.
Ancient Monasteries in Meteora
The topography around Meteora is very strange and pillar-like, with some of the rocks standing alone and others integrated into the hillside. This creates valleys and an overall unpredictable landscape. The area got its name from the pillars of rocks that jut out, which translates to "suspended in the air." However, this is not the only amazing thing you will encounter at this historical site.
Meteora's main feature is its Greek Orthodox monasteries, which were erected in the Middle Ages on many of the rock cliffs. These monasteries are a big part of why Meteora is considered a World Heritage Site. How they were constructed is also very interesting and unique. The builders of these monasteries intentionally situated them in these remote areas to make it difficult for invading Turks to find them. As a result, the monasteries look like they are "suspended in air".
Although there used to be 24 monasteries in Meteora, today only 6 of them remain active. Tourists come here specifically to see these six monasteries and the religious people who live inside of them. Whether as an individual or as a part of a Greece group tour, you can explore this ancient landmark to get a taste of ancient Greece.
The Windmills in Mykonos
The most beautiful scenery in Mykonos consists of the stone-made windmills located in Kato Mili. These mills provide a panoramic view of Chora (Mykonos Town) and Little Venice. In the past, the windmills were used for grinding wheat and barley around the 16th and 19th centuries.
Cycladic rusks, an important part of Greek cuisine, were once made from the abundant flour produced by these mills, which relied on the powerful north “Meltemi” winds. Today, they are one of the most photographed spots on the entire island. It is a perfect site for small group tours in Greece.
The windmills of Mykonos are some of the most distinctive and interesting structures on the island. Remember that windmills are a trademark of most Cycladic islands, not just Mykonos. If you are looking for a breathtaking view, the mills are for you.
The Village of Oia in Santorini
The village of Oia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Santorini. It is known for its whitewashed buildings, blue-domed churches, and stunning sunsets. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the unique beauty of this Greek island.
One of the most well-known sights in the village is the Venetian Castle of Oia, which is located on a cliff above the archeological site. The 15th-century castle, also known as the Castle of St. Nikolas, was built during the Venetian occupation. Because of its location, it has become one of the most popular places to watch the sunset.
Oia is located on the northwestern tip of Santorini, and it is the highest point on the island. From here, you can see incredible views of the Aegean Sea, the nearby islands of Ios and Anafi, and even the active volcano of Nea Kameni.
The village is also home to many traditional Greek shops, restaurants, and cafes. You can find everything from hand-painted pottery to jewelry and souvenirs. Oia is the perfect place to relax and experience the best of what Santorini has to offer.
The Temple of Apollo in Delphi
The archaeological site of Delphi is located 100 miles northwest of Athens, above the Gulf of Corinth. It can be accessed via route EO48. The Sacred Way is a marble stairway that winds its way upwards from the sanctuary to the Temple of Apollo, with many turns and gradations.
In ancient Greece, people from all over the country would travel to Apollo's temple to give offerings.
The ancient Greeks were experts at construction and designing tiny temples was one of their architectural feats. These structures, known today as treasuries due to their contents, were designed to contain sacrifices given during ceremonies which included wine, olive oil, votive statues, silver, gold, or other items desired by the gods.
Today, the ruins of these temples are scattered along the Sacred Way. They're among many ancient landmarks you'll see on your journey to Apollo's temple on a Greece group tour.
Chania's Old Town in Crete
Chania's Old Town is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved Venetian towns in Greece. It is located on the site of ancient Kydonia and was first inhabited in the Neolithic period. In Chania, ancient Greek and Byzantine structures stand alongside Venetian and Ottoman buildings. This is a result of the town's long and complex history.
Those visiting Chania will find more than enough local attractions and activities to fill multiple days. A good example of this is the Municipal Market, which gives you a taste of the island's traditions. The Municipal Market is a landmark monument, and one of the most important public markets in the vicinity, where visitors can acquire fresh local produce of high quality.
Another fun pastime to do in this town is hiking. Chania is home to the exceptional Samaria Gorge, which makes for a great hiking adventure.
The path extends for 15 kilometers (10 miles) and passes through a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and some of Greece's most distinctive natural features.
Lastly, tourists who want to simply have fun on their vacation will find more to do in this town, like enjoy the beautiful beaches and look forward to trying new foods at fantastic restaurants.
When is the best time to visit Greece?
Summer is the ideal time to explore Greece, as the weather then is perfect for island-hopping and adventuring. From June to September, the average temperature is a comfortable 28°C (82.4°F). Keep in mind that July and August are the busiest months for tourism, so if you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting Greece during shoulder season instead.
The best period to visit Greece is during the off-season if you have the flexibility to go at other times of the year. Temperatures will be cooler in the off-season, allowing you to experience Greece comfortably. The off-season also has its perks, as you'll find cheaper flights and accommodation rates.
Finally, note that during the winter, certain islands are not accessible, but this period is ideal for traveling to the mainland.
What are some packing tips for Greece?
Always check the weather conditions in advance for where you'll be visiting so that you can pack appropriately. In general, we advise packing just one suitcase and one carry-on bag for each passenger to allow you to easily move about.
If you're visiting the islands, for example, you'll almost certainly have to carry your luggage on the ferry with you, so make sure it's not too heavy. When packing for your trip, keep in mind the types of activities you'll be doing. Make sure to bring clothes that you can easily layer and a good pair of walking shoes if you plan on doing any exploring.
A few other key items to remember to pack for your trip include sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, swimwear, and comfortable shoes. And don't forget your camera so you can snap some photos of Greece's stunning scenery!
Finally, keep in mind that the currency might be different in Greece than it is in the country you reside in. Exchange for some of the local currency by ordering euros from your bank before you depart or use your debit card at an ATM once you arrive.
How many days do you need in Greece?
If you're planning a trip to Greece individually or as a part of small group tours in Greece, we recommend that you budget for at least seven days. This will give you enough time to explore the country's most popular islands, including Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete.
Of course, if you want to explore more of Greece beyond the islands, you can always extend your trip. If you're short on time, though, seven days is a good amount of time to get a taste of what Greece has to offer.
When Should You Avoid Traveling to Greece?
Greece has no bad times to visit, and there is no such thing as a time to avoid traveling to Greece. However, certain times of the year may be more ideal than others depending on your travel style and definition of a great trip.
If you're looking to avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting Greece during the shoulder season instead of peak summertime. You'll still be able to have a fantastic time in the sunny weather and lovely scenery without having to be around large tourist groups. Similarly, if you're looking for more affordable Greece tours, the off-season is typically when flights and accommodation rates are at their cheapest.