For many people, Greece is a fantastic choice for a short break. Whether you’re looking for winter sun, an Easter break or simply enjoy a good summer holiday, Greece has something to offer everyone.
What this means is that you can enjoy time off work, consider a family getaway, a romantic retreat or a friends group holiday at a place that promises loads of sunshine and is brimming with season festivities and customs that are worth becoming a part of.
Here are the top five destinations in Greece that will deliver sunny, relaxing holidays full of exciting experiences, in anticipation pretty much any time of the year.
1) Indulge in Cretan Hospitality
Cretan hospitality is one of the most celebrated in the country, as Cretans are always looking for an excuse for a feast! If you are familiar with the Cretan mentality you can safely assume that any festivities will involve… Raki!
The capital of the island, Heraklion, provides the perfect mix between city and seaside so you can still enjoy all the urban pleasures of staying in a city, especially this one that is absolutely inundated in landmarks.
There are a plethora of cool hotels and homes for rent in Greece, and so many things to do in Crete. Are you a fan of golf perhaps? Then you can also experience the newest development at Crete Golf Club, which is easily accessible from the city.
Average temperatures in winter are around 15C and sunshine is always guaranteed. What makes Creete 10 Best Destinations for Winter Sun in Europe.
If you visit during Easter, you will also be enthused by the customs that almost come to greet you as you stroll the streets that smell like rosewater and incense on Good Friday.
Be sure to gather around Heraklion’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the city’s patron saint St. Minas, and observe the beautiful procession of the ‘epitaphios’ which is revered by the faithful, followed by the traditional ‘Magiritsa’ soup dinner, which should be noted, is not suitable for vegetarians.
Being a capital city, Heraklion lends itself to a wide range of holiday types whether you are a family, or a couple, a group of friends or even on a business trip, and you will easily find some great Cretan restaurants serving local food and even international cuisine to suit any needs and tastes.
Furthermore, a trip to this largest Greek island cannot be complete without visiting Crete beaches. Some of them are among the best beaches in Europe!
2) Experience Genuine Island Luxury
The largest and the greenest island of the Cyclades cluster, one of the least explored and a popular alternative to its more well-known siblings: Santorini to its south and Mykonos to its north. Which island are we talking about? It’s Naxos.
An island that boasts its own version of the classic white Cycladic beauty, packed with cube-shaped houses and medieval Venetian castles.
It is the proud bearer of many imposing ancient ruins; it is home to many well-populated villages brimming with local customs and traditions, all of which, in addition to its immaculate natural beauty, offer the visitor a myriad of genuine experiences to be had, with a bit of luxury on the side.
Visiting the Cyclades’ ‘green leaf’ opens up a world of opportunities for the visitor to seize, making his/her holiday experience a glimpse into ‘the good life’.
Naxos has been given the gift of fertility by the ancient gods, thus is a figurative garden of local flavours for you to savour, plus numerous activities to keep you fit and active, and many more experiences to feed your spirit.
For many, it is an unexplored, off the beaten track destination – visit it and find out for yourselves.
3) Choose a Serene Bay in the Peloponnese
A favourite among Greeks too due to its proximity to Athens and being a hub for onward exploration, Porto Heli is a mainland, coastal destination that has a long-standing tradition of being considered a holiday retreat.
Thick woodland that meets golden, sandy shores create a magical landscape of Porto Heli bay offering relaxing, soothing moments that scream summer. With the green islet of Hinitsa directly opposite the alluring bay and a private pier directly onto the beach, Spetses Island in the Saronic Gulf is within your nautical reach for a day excursion!
Being on the Peloponnese mainland has its advantages, as you can easily make your way by car to the impressive ancient Epidaurus theatre, the iconic archaic Mycenaean civilization remnants as well as Greece’s first capital city (before Athens), Nafplion, a gorgeous, modern-day city.
Choosing to spend your holidays in Porto Heli gives you plenty of options to fill your days with adventures that feed the inquisitive soul too.
4) Combine a Short Break and Spa Break!
If it’s pampering and rejuvenation you are looking to get out of your holiday or short break, then look no further than one of Europe’s top 10 medical, thermal, & natural spas. Also accessible by car from Athens, is the coastal Edipsos.
Its spas are suited mostly to adults who seek to find their inner balance while nurturing their skin and deep relaxing muscles and nerves.
A world of wellness awaits the guest, offering a plethora of anti-ageing, anti-stress, detox, beauty and weight loss treatments and therapies.
Children are welcome and since wellness is not associated with age, they can also enjoy the various aspects of the well-appointed spa facilities, plus a number of activities that revolve around fitness in general.
A historic location for natural springs known for its healing powers since 1897, it comprises an ideal destination for achieving regeneration from the core.
5) Smooth Sailing Through Spring Break
Now, if you want to see a handful of breathtaking Greek destinations, with a given factor being the generous Greek sunshine and don’t know where to start, yachting is a great recommendation. It is easy, smooth, comfortable and convenient and accumulates all the best highlights in a single journey, and thus becoming a refreshing voyage of discovery that surrounds you with new, exciting visuals every single day.
Opting to set sail on the Greek coast, will bring you one step closer to exploring Greece’s antiquity by also combining cruising which is a favourite pastime in the Aegean sea. You will feel liberated beyond anticipation by waking up to greet your daily horizon which is none other than the mystical blue.
- If you want more Greek Holidays ideas, check here: 14 Best Places to Visit in Greece
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- Book Your Flight Find deals on airlines on my favorite search engine: Skyscanner. Be sure to read my How to find cheap flights article.
- Rent A CarRental Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal.
- Book AccommodationBooking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. But Hotels.com and Hilton Hotels have very interesting reward programs. If you prefer to rent locals’ apartment, the best option is undoubtedly Airbnb. Here is US$ 30 credit towards your fist booking.
- Protect Your Trip Don’t forget travel insurance! I always use World Nomads for short-term trips and SafetyWing for long-term ones. Find out why Travel Insurance: Much More Than a Precaution, a Necessity.
- Book Tours in Advance Book unforgettable experiences and skip-the-line tickets with GetYourGuide or Viator .
- Book Ground TransportationBookaWay offers a stress-free experience with secure payments and no hidden fees. You pay online and receive your itinerary by email.
- Luggage Solutions Rent your luggage with Cargo or if you need to drop off your own luggage and enjoy your time without dragging it all over a city, find a LuggageHero shop here.
- Get a Travel CardRevolut Card is a pre-paid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries. I’ve been using my Revolut Card for over a year and never paid foreign-transaction fees again. Get your Revolut Card with free shipping here.
- Packing Guide Check out my How to Pack a Carry-on Luggage For a Five-month Trip to help you start packing for your trip. Don’t forget your camera, chargers and other useful travel accessories.