10 Must-See Places in Greece that Aren't Santorini
Thursday, 14 January 2021

With stunning blue waters, gorgeous white sand beaches, and mysterious ancient ruins, it's no wonder that Greece is such a desirable destination for both tourists and adventurers alike.

When many travelers think of Greece, the first image that comes to mind is Santorini's iconic white and blue buildings. While Santorini is definitely a must-see destination, there's so much more that Greece has to offer. Here are 10 other must-see places to add to your list.
 
 

Meteora

 
Meteora is one of the most incredible places in the world. This stunning array of monasteries atop cliffs and columns is so awe-inspiring that you'll forget you are still on Earth. Many of these buildings and overlooks can only be accessed by stone stairs and bridges. When the monasteries were first constructed, old rope bridges were the only way to access them. If those ropes broke, it was deemed the will of the Gods.
 
Visiting Meteora takes some careful planning, as some portions are closed during certain periods throughout the year. It's well worth getting up in the early morning hours to make it up to the top before sunrise - and the influx of tourists.
 

Mykonos

 
Mykonos is a popular Greek tourist destination. In recent years, many travellers have been choosing to spend more time here than in Santorini. Mykonos offers the best of everything. It has incredible nightlife, stunning beaches, the iconic blue and white houses, and ruins.
 
This classic combination of Greece's best features makes Mykonos the perfect destination for a luxury vacation. For a glimpse of what that could look like, you can check out luxury villas in Mykonos. While you're there, stop by The Temple of Dionysos - the God of wine and fertility - a shrine that perfectly encompasses the long-standing party atmosphere on Mykonos.
 

Ouranoupoli

 
This lesser-known destination tends to get overlooked by tourists, despite having some of the best diving and snorkeling in Greece. Ouranoupoli, known as "Sky City" by the locals, is a small village on the tip of the popular Athos peninsula. It's a great starting point for day trips to popular destinations such as the ancient Petralona Cave and Mount Athos.
 
While staying in Ouranoupoli, be sure to visit the Phospfori Tower, a silent sentinel watching over the beach and village below.
 

Zakynthos

 
Zakynthos is one of the most stunning islands in Greece. While it's become more popular in recent years, it's not in an ideal location for island hopping. If you're heading here, you'll want to plan for a few days to enjoy the island before moving on.
 
Boasting amazing food and a vibrant nightlife, Zakynthos is also ideal for nature lovers. There are numerous beaches and hiking trails that give visitors a chance to experience the island's natural splendor. One of the most popular destinations on the island is the world-famous Navagio Beach, also known as Shipwreck beach.
 
As the colloquialism implies, this incredible vista is home to an old ship that landed in the cove 40 years ago. The contrast between the stunning blue water and the old ship creates a sense of intrigue and mystery, appealing to any adventurous spirit.
 

Hydra

 
Hydra is a small island that's just a short distance from Athens. Hop a ferry from the mainland, and you'll arrive in this quaint village in less than two hours. While this hidden gem has a lot going for it, one of the best features is that there are no motorized vehicles to be found. To get around Hydra, you need two feet and a heartbeat - or a donkey!
 
Take a stroll around Hydra to enjoy the incredible architecture, or spend the day lounging on one of the gorgeous beaches. This quaint destination is meant for relaxation and exploration. There's no better place to hit the local shops to find souvenirs for everyone back at home.
 

Milos

 
Milos is the new Santorini, boasting a similar topography and a variety of luxury retreats to take it all in.
 
Take a boat to Kleftiko's white cliffs, where you can explore the caverns where pirates used to hide from passing authorities. Take your family to the calm waters of the Firiplaka beach, where you can walk out for miles and still be at thigh depth. Finally, stop by the otherworldly landscape of Sarakiniko, where the rocks have been bleached white by the sun and volcanic material on the island.
 
Milos has everything from ghostly ruins to hidden beaches where tourists rarely roam. You could spend the majority of your Greece vacation exploring its hidden gems alone.
 

Delphi

 
Delphi is a small town known primarily for its ruins. While you can make a day trip from Athens to Delphi, it's best to stay at least one night for the full experience. Getting an early start to the ruins will help you bypass the majority of the tourists and enjoy the area in peace.
 
While in Delphi, visit the incredible Temple of Apollo, the Theater and the Stadium of Delphi, and the hike through the forests of Mount Parnassus to the mysterious Corycian Cave. Delphi is where the Greek oracles were said to converge and share their prophetic visions, primarily due to the natural hallucinogens that were once released in the air.
 

Andros

 
Andros is located in the Cyclades archipelago, not too far from Milos, and is the ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. This settlement doesn't have much in the way of tourist attractions. However, it has lush green surroundings and 18 marked hiking trails. As many of the best beaches on Andros are only accessible by foot, it's well worth exploring the trails and hidden treasures along the way.
 
While in Andros, you won't want to miss Mesaria, a medieval village, and Menites, which is known for its natural springs.
 

Kefalonia

 
Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands and a must-see for island hoppers. With mysterious caves, local vineyards, and quaint villages, this island has something for everyone. Kefalonia is considered one of the most biodiverse islands in Greece, boasting both stunning beaches and endemic coniferous forests that can't be found anywhere else on Earth.
 
When you go to Greece, make time to venture beyond Santorini and explore all the hidden gems this ancient wonderland has to offer.
 
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