In the past few decades, the world has become increasingly cosmopolitan. That being said, the number of options available to globetrotters, adventure-seekers, and wander lusters has grown rapidly to the point that choosing a destination even managed to become akin to a burden for those of us lucky to have time and money to go on vacation abroad. Yet, even with such a wealth of choice, Greece has always remained one of the most sought-after spots for travelers from around the globe. How did it manage to gain such appreciation? Well, it is hardly a difficult quest when you are basically a Mediterranean paradise with loads to offer – from beautiful beaches to breathtaking views, from ancient sights to modern nightlife, from romantic sunsets to luxurious yacht trips. Here is a shortlist of some of the best locations to get introduced to Greece in all its opulence and glory.
With its turquoise waters, divine beaches, and some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world, Santorini is the diamond of the Aegean. Thousands are drawn to the island’s majestic charm every year and leave already dreaming of coming back. Given Santorini’s extreme popularity in the past years, the island has a very well-developed infrastructure and a plethora of lodging options for travelers of all budgets and demands but its luxury hotels are world-renowned and routinely gain the most prestigious awards every year. Therefore, if your clients are looking to transform their vacation or honeymoon into a real-life fairytale, Santorini is a mighty contender for winning over their hearts.
Years of multicultural influence have left their mark on Nafplio and turned it into the true playground of the Athenian elite and a coveted location for the rich and famous. The Ottomans, Byzantines, Venetians, and many others have all lived in this little seaside metropolis for various years. As a result, citadels and fortresses dot the hillsides gifting Nafplio with its irresistible appeal.
This friendly and patriotic town was once the capital of Greece, and locals will most probably take every opportunity to mention this during an amiable chat. As well as history, Nafplio also boasts top-of-game restaurants and beaches, turning it into one of the best-suited destinations for couples and families wishing to relax while watching a million-dollar yacht moor into the nearby harbor.
Looking at the northwest coast of the country, one can spot the island of Corfu. Along with its rich cultural heritage, the island also offers rugged mountains to adventurous tourists and some of the most pristine beaches in Greece to those more leisurely-minded.
Along with white sandy beaches, multiple picturesque towns and villages, such as Perithia and Corfu old town, are hiding in plain view and are waiting to be discovered. Here travelers can discover the remains of the Venetian buildings and anti-pirate castles from centuries ago, feeding their inner Indiana Joneses.
A short car or bus ride from the Cretan capital Heraklion lie the Minoan ruins of Knossos. Over 5000 years ago this curious region was dominated by the mighty Minoan civilization, and it still has impressive relics to show as proof of its old-time glory.
The ruins of Knossos are the best-preserved bronze-age artifacts in the whole of Greece and are an unmissable sight to see. Along with breathtaking mosaics and fine pottery, there is also the hall of kings, where the famous legend of Minotaur Labyrinth supposedly took place. While on Crete, Knossos is a definite must and will surprise not only the antiquity aficionados but the general public as well.
Home to some of the Greek Islands’ best nightlife, Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful spots in the entire Mediterranean. Clear water, white sandy beaches, and huge chalk-white cliffs transform Zakynthos into one of the most sought-after destinations in the whole country. The island also boasts one of the most photographed and instagrammable spots in Greece – the awe-inspiring Shipwreck Cove. Otherwise known as Navagio beach, this beautiful stretch of land alone makes Zakynthos a must-visit destination. Nevertheless, the heart of the island is somewhat less explored than the coastline, and the untouched fir trees and olive groves add to the island’s charming vibe.
The next Greek destination on our list is a bit different. Located in the north of the country, Meteora is home to some of the world’s most spectacular Orthodox churches, which turns it into a truly unique area not only in Greece but in Europe as a whole! The Meteora Monasteries are one of the very few UNESCO world heritage sites that have been given a double status – one for art and one for nature. Meteora’s astonishing bluffs and hoodoos have received both and continue to bewilder the curious crowds to our days.
This is a land where numerous Orthodox monasteries are perched precariously on the tips, while people live well above the ground and still worship God with a passion of a bygone age. Built in the 14th and 16th centuries, Meteora is certain to leave any visitor wide-eyed and inspired.
Here is another destination for history lovers. Scores of people of all ages and walks of life – including kings – once used to travel from all around the country to hear the wise words of the Oracle, residing on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. The Oracle of Delphi is one of the most respected characters of Greek history and the priestess of Apollo’s words have echoed through the ages. The Temple of Apollo still graces the city with its beauty and is one of Delphi’s points of pride. Along with it, tourists could marvel at the Athena Priene, a theatre, and an ancient stadium. Taking a stroll among the ruins would surely transport anyone back to a time when Delphi filled itself with the cries of the Oracle, while kings bowed before the Temple of Apollo.
Beautiful beaches, jagged coastline, and idyllic villages – all these things are to be found on Skyros in the heart of the Aegean Sea. Steeped in tradition and still relatively untouched, Skyros is set to steal the hearts of those looking for a quiet getaway. Rolling farmlands and pine trees to the north, arid hills and rocky shorelines to the south – the wide choice of scenery is perfect for nature lovers. Skyros has managed to stay relatively unnoticed for years and does not attract masses of tourists like many other Greek destinations.
Once on Skyros, keep an eye out for the legendary wild horses. For millennia, these Skyrian animals have roamed the island, yet nowadays, their population has reduced greatly, and one must exude great patience to get a chance to see them. Perhaps, luck would be on your side.
Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, is another must-visit Greek destination. Located in the hallowed Valley of the Gods, the ancient stadium and the training grounds of the famed Olympians of the past can still be marveled at.
Along with these two breathtaking sights, the UNESCO-accredited Olympia also boasts some of the best-preserved monuments and temples in all of Greece, dedicated to the mighty Zeus and Hera, for example. Located in the rugged hills of the Peloponnese, the Valley of the Gods is an astonishing piece of ancient craft and diligence that would surely leave even the most indifferent visitor mesmerized. And for more sport-minded guests, the valley offers incredible hiking and mountain bike trails and is situated close to the gorgeous Alfos River Valley.
Famous for its beaches and nightlife, Skiathos has recently found its way onto the itinerary of many travelers. With crystal clear waters and high-quality venues, along with attractive nightlife establishments, it is no wonder why.
Despite the influx of tourists, the island still shines in all its beauty. With over 60 gorgeous beaches and mind-boggling hiking trails, Skiathos is a nature lover’s dream come true. Apart from the natural beauty of the island, the city dwellers can also enjoy the cozy Skiathos town, a deceptively small, yet rich in attractions, gem of the area. Homey restaurants spill out onto the streets inviting you to sit and dine the evening away as the sun slowly dips into the Mediterranean.
Overall, it is easy to get lost amid all the splendor Greece has to offer. The gorgeous natural sceneries, incredible historical heritage, warm hospitality of the locals – all of that may become a bit overwhelming even for the most experienced travelers. However, fret not! At Amuse Bespoke we are always happy to recommend you and your clients the spots most suited to their needs, as well as help out with all the possible inquiries – from logistics to filming crews, from local permits to booking best-of-class catering services – so that your and their Greek experience becomes the one to pass down the generations!