By Dr Charlotte Russell, Clinical Psychologist
Those of you who know me will know that Greece is my favourite place to visit. I love the laidback culture, the beautiful scenery, and the fantastic food. I have been visiting since my teens and quite frankly, I can’t get enough of the place. So after twenty years of travelling in Greece, here are my absolute top 10 things to see and do in this beautiful country. This is not intended to be a list or an itinerary to be ‘ticked off’ as that would go against being intentional and mindful with our travel. However these are the 10 experiences that I have really enjoyed and felt connected with, and hope that some of them may resonate with or inspire you.
1. Lefkes – featured in my guide to Paros, in the Cyclades Islands Lefkes is a peaceful and tranquil village with a pretty little square. In fact, Greece is full of sleepy little villages and I’m sure you will find a quiet spot like this on any of the islands. Grab a coffee and a book, or even just people watch; it is the perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon.
2. Watching the sunset in Oia, Santorini – of course the Santorini sunset is legendary and is hands down the most beautiful that I have ever seen. This volcanic island provides a dramatic backdrop as the sun sets across the vastness of the sea. Whilst it is now a very touristy and busy place, it is truly spectacular and worth the visit. My top tip would be to combine your visit to Santorini with visiting the other Cyclades islands which are more affordable and provide a more authentic experience.
As Santorini can be crowded and expensive in the summer months, it can be worth considering visiting Santorini In Winter
3. Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos. Featured in my guide to Skiathos, Koukounaries beach is really one to write home about. Lined by pine trees, with its soft, white sand and crystal-clear waters. It is really a perfect place to spend summer days swimming and relaxing.
Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos
4. Drinks on the Venetian Harbour in Chania. Situated on the West Coast of Crete, Chania is a beautiful city with historic charm. The streets are perfect for wandering and the food and wine on this island is top notch. Due to the aspect of Chania harbour it is perfect for watching the sunset, and there are plenty of bars to choose from. My favourite is Barbarossa.
5. Kos Town – Whilst it is often seen as a touristy Island, Kos is a beautiful place to visit with a lot to offer. In particular the town is very picturesque and has lots of interesting history including a castle and the Tree of Hippocates, the Father of medicine. Sadly the Town was badly damaged in an earthquake in 2017, including the beautiful mosque in the main square. Reparation work is still ongoing and I hope to visit again one day when it has been restored.
Kos Town prior to the earthquake in 2017
6. Boat trips – No visit to a Greek Island would be complete without spending a day out on the water. I couldn’t possibly choose between all of the boat trips I’ve done over the years. There is no feeling quite like cruising around beautiful blue waters and swimming around to your heart’s content. My advice would be to go down to the nearest port wherever you are staying as there are usually lots of options for different trips depending on whether there are certain sights that you want to visit or if you just want to spend time swimming.
Boat trip around Antiparos
7. Moriatis Winery – also featured on my guide to Paros, this winery is highly recommended. They provide a fantastic options for tasting with a range of snacks available. Despite Greece not necessarily being known for it’s wines, we found their selection to be top notch.
8. The Temple of Apollo – Naxos is the largest Island in the Cyclades, and is close to Paros and Mykonos. It has a laidback and friendly atmosphere and a fascinating history. Its most famous landmark is the Temple of Apollo, which was intended to be part of a grand temple. However it was never finished. Nonetheless the monument is huge, and spectacular to see.
If you are visiting Naxos, I would also recommend you eat at Irini’s Restaurant, which looks very unassuming. However their seafood pasta is out of this world and I’d highly recommend you try it!
Naxos is a beautiful island with lots to explore. Check out this great post about the best villages to visit in Naxos
9. Kallithea Springs in Rhodes – There is lots to see in Rhodes, including the medieval castle in the Old Town and the clifftop acropolis in the town of Lindos. They are both well worth a visit. A beautiful and less well known place to see is Kallithea Springs which was tastefully restored in 1999.
Kallithea Springs, Rhodes
10. Cats of Greece – I could fill a whole a website with photographs of the cats that I’ve met on my travels to Greece. Instead, I will show you one of my favourite and very Instagram-able shots of a cat in Mykonos Town.
So that’s it for my list! I’d love to hear what experiences that you have enjoyed and connected with in Greece. Get in touch by Instagram or Twitter to let me know!
Please note our destination guides contain personal recommendations and not professional advice
If you liked this post check out Skiathos: The Boomerang Island