Few European countries can match Greece when it comes to a varied, action-packed holiday. Ready to party hard? Rhodes and Mykonos have you covered. Culture vulture? Check out the Acropolis museum and the other attractions in Athens. Sun-worshipper? Try island hopping through the country’s 2000 islands. Whatever you’re into, a Greece travel adventure has got the lot.
“This sailing trip was really awesome! we had a fantastic time, the skipper was very friendly yet knowledgeable. We enjoyed authentic Greek meals on the boat, and got help out with sailing which was really fun. The ports/islands are beautiful! It was a good mix, of scenery, adventure, swimming, and good fun!!”
“Best way to go relax and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and party hard by night. Yet another unforgettable experience !! :) This must be on your bucket list !! Been there done that ;) My Contiki was: #BeachLife, #Party, #AwesomePeople”
“Hello fellow Contiki friends! I just finished the Spotlight on Greece tour, it was my first tour with this company. It was absolutely amazing couldn't of asked for a better time! Thanks so much!”
It would take you a lifetime to explore Greece’s galaxy of Islands, discover all of the country’s archaeological wonders and sample every different adventure on offer. But that’s why we’re here, to help you plan your Greece travel 2015. Here are our top tips for things to do in Greece:
Marvel at the iconic Sagrada Familla in Barcelona.
Gaudi’s majestic creation has been wowing crowds since it first began construction in 1882. Since then, multiple architects have taken up the reins on the project, some honouring Gaudi’s original designs, other’s redefining the creation completely. The multiple and varied facades of the building, plus its sheer size and majesty, make it a must do for any traveller visiting Barcelona.See all trips that visit Barcelona
Indulge in traditional Andalusian delicacies in Seville.
Seville is renowned for its gastronomic offerings, and whilst the traditional dishes may be simple to prepare, they’re bursting with fresh regional flavours. Gazpacho, Pescaito frito and Huevos a la Flamenca are all famed Andalusian specialities, or for those preferring traditional tapas, Seville has around 4,000 tapas bars to choose from – take your pick!See all trips that visit Seville
Live like a King in the Royal Palace of Madrid.
Get a glimpse of life as the other half live with a guided tour of the Royal Palace in Madrid. The largest palace in Europe, the Palacio Real de Madrid is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, though is only used formally for state ceremonies. Gorge your eyes on the many works of art by famed Spanish painters as you delve a little deeper into Spain’s rich history.See all trips that visit Madrid
Party till dawn in the clubbing mecca of Ibiza.
Nowhere on Earth will you experience clubbing quite like Ibiza. Home to some of the world’s most infamous clubs, come and join the party as night after night revered world class DJ’s play their hearts out to adoring crowds. Get into the mood with sunset cocktails at Café Del Mar then party till sunrise at Space, DC-10 or Ibiza Rocks.See all trips that visit Ibiza
Bask in sunlight on Barceloneta Beach.
Some cities are fortunate enough to have the perfect city/beach balance, and Barcelona is one of them. Whilst Barceloneta Beach may be man-made, the water is clear and refreshing and the beach is alive with travellers and locals alike chatting, swimming and generally loving life. Spend long leisurely lunches in the surrounding cafes and restaurants, hire bikes or rollerblades or just relax in the sunshine.See all trips that visit Barcelona
Explore the Islamic inspired fortress of Alhambra.
Rising from woods of cypress and elm, the Alhambra reigns supreme on the hillside of Gibraltar. Born in the 11th Century and then further developed over the 14th and 15th century’s, the fortress holds an extensive network of lavishly decorated palaces and irrigated gardens and gives those who visit it a glimpse into the rich history of the Spanish empire and the influence both Islam and Catholicism had on the Alhambra’s design.See all trips that visit Gibraltar
1. Rockwave Festival, Athens – The Athens & Epidaurus Festival is a celebration of dance, theatre, music and the visual arts, and is one of the most famous cultural festivals in Greece. Events take place at venues right across the city, meaning you can get a dose of culture while seeing as many sights as possible. Job done.
For more information on Rockwave Festival, click here.
2. Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Athens – The Athens & Epidaurus Festival is a celebration of dance, theatre, music and the visual arts, and is one of the most famous cultural festivals in Greece. Events take place at venues right across the city, meaning you can get a dose of culture while seeing as many sights as possible. Job done.
For more information on the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, click here.
3. Sani Jazz Festival, Halkidiki – With a backdrop of ancient ruins and azure seas, you’d be hard pushed to find a more stunning setting for a festival than the Sani Resort. Throw in an international roster of fantastic musicians and you’ve got one of Europe’s most unique festival experiences.
For more information on Sani Jazz Festival, click here.
4. Aegina Fistiki Festival – Even among Greek festivals, this celebration of the humble pistachio stands out as one of the nuttiest. Still, there’s more to Aegina Fistiki than mass nut-munching sessions. The festival also features music and dance, while the island of Aegina itself is a hotspot for artists and foodies alike.
For more information on Aegina Fistiki Festival, click here.
5. Kastoria River Party – This all-time camping and music festival is the highpoint of Greece’s alternative music scene and attracts a fair few international stars and partygoers thanks to its beautiful riverside setting. If the music doesn’t grab you, the location certainly will.
For more information on the Kastoria River Party, click here.
1. Acropolis Museum, Athens – The brand new Acropolis Museum opened in 2009 and houses some 4000 artefacts gathered from across the Acropolis. The museum’s unique glass floors also mean you can look straight down into the archaeological excavations. It’s a combination that makes this one of the most unique museums on earth.
For more information on the Acropolis Museum, click here.
2. Palace of the Grand Master, Rhodes – This wonderful medieval castle on the sun-kissed island of Rhodes was built by the Knights of Rhodes for their Grand Master and endured a violent history. It was finally restored in the 1930s as the holiday residence for the King of Italy and, later, Mussolini. Today, it is a museum full of priceless art, artefacts and antique furnishings.
For more information on the Palace of the Grand Master, click here.
3. Herakleion Archaeological Museum, Crete – The Herakleion Archaeological Museum on the beautiful island of Crete hosts the world’s most important and complete collection of Minoan Art in the world. Experts count it as the greatest museum in Greece, and we’re with them: this is one of the essentials things to do in Crete.
For more information on the Herakleion Archaeological Museum, click here.
4. Athens War Museum – Built to honour the armies of Greece through the ages, the Athens War Museum covers the history of Greek warfare from antiquity to the modern day. Expect to see jet planes and tanks fighting for space with spears, swords and sandals.
For more information on the Athens War Museum, click here.
5. Frissiras Museum, Athens – Out with the old and in with the new - the Frissiras Museum in Athens is an island of contemporary art in what can sometimes feel like an ocean of ancient artefacts.
For more information on the Frissiras Museum, click here.
Food in Greece is the product of climate, geography and thousands of years of feasting. As you might expect from a nation with so many miles of coastline, fresh seafood is everywhere, while traditional aromatic flavours such as olives, fresh herbs, honey and wine leave a sensation of goodness and purity on the palate.
Spanacopita – Basically crispy filo filled with seasoned spinach, feta and onions, this rich, authentic pastry is arguably Greece’s best street food.
Best eaten at – Ariston, Voulis 10, Athens
Moussaka – The Greek answer to lasagne, this deliciously satisfying main course is comprised of layered ground lamb, sautéed aubergine, feta cheese and an assortment of traditional herbs and spices.
Best eaten at – Taverna Mariou, Agiou Vasiliou, Plakias, Crete 74060
Kolokythokeftedes – Crafted from grated courgette, crumbled feta, a blend of dill, mint and spices and a dash of ouzo, these fried patties are a lip-smacking Greece delicacy not to be missed.
Best eaten at – Paradosiako, Vourváhon 9B, Iráklio
Fasolatha – Brimming with fresh vegetables and herbs, this nourishing bean soup is a national dish and vegetarian’s delight.
Best eaten at – Naoussa, Fira Santorini, Mitropoleos, Fira Town Santorini 847 00
Baklava – Got a sweet tooth? Say hello to your new favourite dessert, a rich, sweet combination of filo pastry and grated nuts drenched in honey and rosewater.
Best eaten at – Tamam, G. Leontos str.1, Eikostis Ogdois Oktovriou 28, Rhodes
Snorkel and mask - How else are you going to find your own Atlantis submerged among Greece’s many islands?
A copy of Homer’s Odyssey - Catch up on the adventures of the original island hopper as you follow in his mythical footsteps.
Sandals/flip flops - Exploring 9,000 miles of coastline and the country’s many secluded, sandy beaches is hot work.
Swimwear - Even if you can’t swim, you’ll need one to get the tan of a lifetime.
Sun protection - You’re almost guaranteed 13 hours of sunshine in midsummer so don’t forget to tan sensibly and always wear sunscreen.