For thousands of years, popular cities like Athens and Rhodes, and islands such as Santorini and Mykonos, have attracted travelers hoping to experience the beauty and magic of Greece. Today, travelers are also interested in getting to know a different side of the country, and are hoping to explore more underrated, unique places to visit in Greece.
Exploring the country’s lesser known cities and seaside towns promises a new view of these stunning Mediterranean havens. From ancient ruins to white-washed buildings and rolling mountains against seaside backdrops, Greece has no shortage of historic places and romantic landscapes to discover.
These are some of the best destinations to see Greece off the beaten path.
The seaside town of Nafplio is known as one of the most romantic places in Greece and is a perfect getaway for a honeymoon or anniversary celebration. Just two hours away from Athens, Nafplio provides a restful break from the hustle and bustle of Greece’s capital.
Stroll through Old Town on foot, or stop in the Archaeological Museum for an in-depth look into ancient Greek artifacts. Later, tour the Fortress of Palamidi, which offers panoramic views of Nafplio from below.
Thousands of years of history are beautifully preserved at the Epidaurus Theatre, where over 10,000 spectators once piled in to watch entertaining shows and attend local events. Easily walkable, Nafplio’s coast has plenty of cafes, beautifully preserved castles and fortresses, and secluded beaches that will give you plenty to see and do.
A stunning island bordering the Aegean Sea, the car-free island of Hydra is one of the most unique places to visit in Greece. As beautiful and photogenic as Santorini or Mykonos but nowhere near as well known, Hydra boasts art galleries and restaurants that offer elevated Greek staples and cafe comforts.
Head to Bisti Beach to cool off in the summer, where you can sit and sunbathe beneath a thatched umbrella. Unpretentious and family-friendly, Bisti Beach is a quiet spot with a calmer vibe than other Greek resort beaches. If you want to do more than lay around in the sun, you can always snorkel in the bay and keep an eye out for starfish and sea urchins.
Corfu is a Greek city beloved for its cobblestoned Old Town, which is also a UNESCO Heritage World Site. Shop in the town’s bazaar and boutiques, sampling food and drink at quaint cafes and tavernas along the way.
Stop in Chrisomalis, a local tavern that has been in business for over 150 years, offering must-try traditional Greek cuisine. Or, satisfy your sweet tooth at Rosy’s Bakery.
Relax on Glyfada Beach and sip a cocktail at an upscale beach club. Take a four-wheeler through olive groves and discover a beautiful bayside bordering the Ionian Sea. Or, enjoy a wine tasting in the countryside just outside the city.
Corfu’s waters are more than just crystal clear. Rumor has it a swim in the Canal d’Amour at Sidari Beach means you’ll meet your soulmate. Don’t miss a chance to see Achilleion Palace up close, where Austrian royalty once lived, and which promises some of the best photo ops of the island behind you.
Katakolon, with a population of only 600 or so people, is known for its markets and local shopping. The birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games is in nearby Olympia.
History buffs will find plenty to love here. See the lighthouse, built in 1865, then spend an afternoon discovering treasures at the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology.
Don’t forget to stop at the Mercouri Estate, a local wine and olive oil producer that has been making goods for over 150 years, and sign up for an afternoon wine tasting.
Once of the most unique places to visit in Greece is Chania, which blends the mansions of Venice with the flair of Ottoman architecture.
Take a dip in the warm waters of Agioi Apostoloi Beach, where families with young children will enjoy the shallow waters. Slip your toes into deep gold sands and listen to the sway of the eucalyptus trees, or discover the four different areas of the beach where you can spread out.
While you’re in Chania, sample local wines at Braoudakis Winery, and try traditional dakos, a Greek meze that pairs crispy soaked bread with diced tomato, fresh feta, capers, and more.
If you’re craving exotic plant life and a breath of fresh air, a tour of the Botanical Park of Crete is a must-do.
On a cruise to Greece, explore the best the country has to offer on a modern luxury cruise ship. Stylish staterooms, endless options for world-class dining, thrilling entertainment, and once-in-a-lifetime excursions await.
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