• Acropolis

Athens, Greece Viewing spot: Filopappou Hill So Acropolis admission is going up this year (because, Greek debt crisis), but hold onto your Euros: one of the best spots to admire the ruins is actually totally free. Climbing up Filopappou Hill, you can get an awesome panorama of Athens, the Aegean, and even a full shot of the Acropolis -- no backdrop of tour groups necessary.

  • Airbnb - Santorini

Oia is the place to be. This is where you’ll find the traditional cave houses perched overlooking the ocean. There are plenty of similar houses to choose from on Airbnb no matter what your budget, or you can stay in the one we found.

Caldera Villas - Santorini

This one’s an easy choice if you find pool time essential. The terrace at the Caldera Villas features stunning ocean views and they often run deals on their rooms and suites.

  • Charisma Suites - Santorini

For a direct view of the sunset each night, book a stay at the Charisma Suites and prepare to be pampered. If it looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen their dreamy suites on Instagram!

  • Sunset Ammoudi Taverna - Santorini

At Sunset Ammoudi Taverna, fresh octopus and fish are caught daily from the bay right where the restaurant is located. The best part about eating here is that you can dive into the water after lunch – you’ll be dining inches from it.

  • Sunset Restaurant - Santorini

For the best sunset view on Santorini, reserve a table early on the upstairs patio at Sunsets Restaurant and watch the crowds queue up below for an unforgettable evening.

  • Lolita’s Gelato - Santorini

Don’t miss this popular spot for gelato and ice cream on the island. Their flavors rotate often, but mango and pistachio are just some of the tasty flavors you’ll find there.

  • Pito Gyros - Santorini

This is the perfect spot for a casual lunch of tasty Gyros and fries. Remember, afternoon naps are encouraged on the Greek Islands.

Floga - Santorini

Consistently delicious, fresh dishes are served at Floga — and the views overlooking the caldera don’t disappoint either.

  • Ammoudi Bay - Santorini

Head down to Ammoudi for a leisurely afternoon starting with lunch. Around the corner is Agios Nikolaos rock, which is a great spot for cliff diving and sunbathing. Facing the water, just head left down the path past the restaurants until you see it.

  • Red Beach - Santorini

This unique red sand beach is situated at the bottom of the island. Tip: go in the late afternoon once the crowds have cleared for a sunset dip. Many beaches on Santorini are rocky, so you might find yourself opting to lounge instead of swim.

  • Fira Town - Santorini

Lined with boutiques overlooking the ocean, it’s easy to spend an afternoon here wandering the quaint streets and hunting for products from local designers.

  • Byzantine Castle Ruins - Santorini

For beautiful views of Oia and beyond, I suggest visiting this spot and exploring the winding streets nearby.

  • Perissa Beach - Santorini

This beach is famous for its black sand. There are also plenty of nearby tavernas where you can grab lunch and an afternoon drink.

  • Rent an ATV - Santorini

If you’re a skeptic, hear me out – this really is the best way to see the island. We found a completely empty beach on Santorini with our ATV, all thanks to the freedom of being able to explore the smaller roads.

  • Hike from Fira to Oia - Santorini

This two and a half hour hike features beautiful views of the ocean. If a long trek isn’t in your plans, visit Skaros Rock instead and stroll towards Oia, or explore the small paths leading downhill. It’s not uncommon to find an old structure on the cliffside around here.

  • Visit the Akrotiri Ruins - Santorini

Check out the preserved remains of this ancient Greek settlement, which are said to have inspired Plato’s story of Atlantis.

  • Atlantis Books - Oia
  • Hydra

“My favorite island is Hydra, which is defined by distinctive beauty, grace, and simplicity. Arriving at its marble-quayed harbor, you’ll be mesmerized by the mansions—most of which once belonged to ship owners. No wonder the island has hosted emblematic figures such as Henry Miller and Leonard Cohen. Horses, donkeys and mules are the main means of transportation as the use of motor vehicles is banned, except for a few miniature garbage trucks. This gives the island a one-of-a-kind tranquility. Beneath this lack of vehicle noises, you can walk the cobblestone streets or enjoy a fresh seafood dinner at one of its restaurants. If you prefer pizza and pasta to seafood, you should definitely visit Da Barba Dimas, a small restaurant serving the best Italian food I have ever eaten. Don’t forget to spend an afternoon sitting in front of Hydroneta’s famous blue windows while reading a book and drinking a glass of mastiha liqueur with crushed ice. But put your book aside when the sun begins to set. The view is memorable.”

  • Zagorohoria

“Worth visiting are the...mountainous areas of northwestern Greece, called Epirus. I like hiking through the forest [where you can see] some unique, very old, stony and protected bridges; canoeing and kayaking, rafting and swimming in the Voidomatis river during summer, and the great hospitality and food that one can experience in most of the boutique hotels, hostels and restaurants all year round. I love staying at Mikro Papigo and looking at the view of Gamila peak (gamila means camel in Greek), or going to the monastery of Agia Paraskevi, a short distance from the center of picturesque Monodendri village and right above the Vikos Gorge. I also like going there for mushroom hunting. The very first village of Zagorohoria, called Asprageli, is only 25 minutes away from Ioannina, the capital of Epirus, a vibrant city with a big lake that is also worth a visit.”

  • Nisyros

“Located in southeastern Greece, Nisyros is close to the island of Kos. It sits on the eastern end of the Aegean volcanic arch, and is still active. With the shape of a typical caldera volcano, it is one of the most unique places in Greece. Nikia, a village some 1,300 feet above sea level, has great views of the water and of the volcano’s crater, which you can walk inside. The volcano is still hydrothermally active, so there are hot springs around the island. There is an old community spa/bath building outside Mandraki, which hasn’t changed since the 1960s. There is also the outdoor church of Panagia Spiliani (“Mary of the Cave”), with a cave where the temperature rises to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and there are a lot of trekking routes around the island that involve the five volcano craters. Beaches on the island are dark, with volcanic rocks similar to Santorini. The most famous beach is Pachia Ammos (meaning thick sand), and it takes 10-15 minutes walking over hills to reach. Is one of the most famous places for free camping in Greece, as camping outdoors in non-designated places is outlawed in the rest of the country.”—Sotiris, postgraduate student

  • Nafplio

“Nafplio, an easy-to-get to destination just two hours from Athens, has a lot to offer whether you’re interested in historical sites, shopping, or just relaxing. I visit Nafplio about three or four times a year, as keeping in touch with my father’s birthplace and enjoying time away from hectic Athens is a change I need in my routine. The first ever modern-day capital of Greece, featuring Bourtzi (a castle in the middle of the harbour) and Palamidi (a fortress), Nafplio is history-packed. I always find something interesting to do, whether it’s taking a two-minute boat ride over to Bourtzi to explore, renting a bike to wander, enjoying freshly-made ice cream or eating at the cutest restaurants in the back streets. With such rich history, beautiful sunset scenery, and that salty smell of the sea, you can’t help but fall in love with it. Nafplio is perfect for year round getaways, even day trips, and it’s also close to the majestic ancient theater of Epidaurus and the historical site of Mycenae.”

  • Lefkada

“Lefkada is one of the seven islands of the Ionian Sea, along with Corfu, Paxi, Kefallonia, Ithaca, Zakynthos, and Kythira, and it’s one of the very few in Greece that you don’t need a boat to reach. It’s a five-hour trip from Athens, so arm yourself with patience, but if your vacation is about great beaches, this is where to go. The first place to visit should be the village of Agios Nikitas, where a pedestrian road with taverns and hotels on each side leads to a small, colorful beach. From there, you can swim or snorkel to the cape and reach the first “major beach” of the island, Mylos, which has beautiful flat sand and turquoise waters. You should also visit Egremni beach—lots of people consider it one of the two best beaches in Greece, along with Elafonisi in southern Crete. The steep cliffs (which is what egremni means in Greek) come down to meet thick sand and light blue sea for the most impressive scenery I’ve ever seen.”—Vasilis, engineer

  • Pylos

“When I first visited Pylos, it felt like being to an unexplored place, a hidden treasure in mainland Greece. I was surprised by its wilderness: sandy beaches and the fourth-longest coastline in Greece, rivers, waterfalls, vineyards, and olive groves. Pylos is one of the first places in continental Greece where birds visit in spring migration, and the EU has designated many areas around it as protected. The Gialova lagoon hosts 271 of the 442 bird species in Greece and is next to Voidokilia, a breathtaking bay that is also an archaeological site with centuries-old ruins. This area is good for road trips: the western end of the Greek National Road 82 begins in downtown Pylos, running east to west, and linking Pylos with Kalamata and Sparta. Stop for traditional recipes such as hilopites (chicken with noodles) and diples (a crunchy dessert), in any of the old-time tavernas along the way.”—Petros, naval architect

  • Crete

“Of all the Greek islands, Crete is one of the most distinctive, not only because it’s the largest one, but also because it has its own unmistakable culture. I visit Crete every summer with my family or my friends. Its landscape is remarkable—there are a number of gorges such as the roughly 10-mile Samaria Gorge, in southwest Crete, where local operators provide tours. Also, there are villages...like Spili, one of the most beautiful spots situated south of Rethymno. In Spili, see if you can find the Venetian fountain with 19 lion heads: Its drinking water comes from the nearby Psiloritis mountain. Crete is also very popular in summer because of its gorgeous beaches. One of the most well-known is Balos, an amazing beach in Chania with crystal-clear water. Another one is the exotic beach of Elafonisi in Chania as well as the long, sandy beach of Falassarna. Crete also stands out because of its history: labyrinthine Minoan palaces in Knossos and a lot of museums are just a taste of its cultural treasures.”—Ioanna, university student

  • Paxos, Greece
  • Nafplio, Greece
  • Paros, Greece
  • Sarakiniko, Greece
  • Katikies, Santorini
  • Anafiotika Cafe - Athens
apr 25 2016 ∞
mar 24 2019 +