See the best of Greece with Aegean Airlines and Kiwi.com

See the best of Greece with Aegean Airlines and Kiwi.com

Destinations

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Here’s our guide to the best things to see and do in Greece: Athens highlights and hidden gems, the top Greek island destinations, adventure holidays and city breaks. Find out what to do, where to go, what to eat and drink and how to book cheap flights to Greece from Aegean Airlines on Kiwi.com

Greece has always been one of Europe’s most popular destinations, with its blend of history, culture, big cities and tiny villages, beach life and love of a party. We’re going to show you why, no matter what sort of trip you’re looking for, Greece might just be the perfect destination.

City breaks in Athens

Top sights and hotspots

There are a few sights that scream Athens like nowhere else, and top of the list is the Acropolis — literally “high city” — crowned by the Parthenon. Dating from the fifth century BCE, it’s been an ever-present throughout the long, turbulent history of the city, sitting above the rest of the skyline, permanence across two and a half millennia of change.

The Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Shot from the nearby Pnyka hill.The Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Shot from the nearby Pnyka hill.

Below, you’ll visit the Agora, a sort of meeting place, market, forum and general center of ancient Athenian city life. It sprawls out from the Temple of Hephaestus and though it may not seem like much nowadays — grass, trees, ruined buildings and outlines of archways — it’s where pretty much all of western religion, philosophy, law, politics, culture and more began. Quite the thought.

You might also fancy the Roman (161 AD) Odeon of Herodes Atticus, the steep-sided stone amphitheater. It was restored in the 1950s and now, again, acts as an open-air theater with performances generally running from May to September.

Otherwise you can be sure you’ll find yourself on Dionysiou Areopagitou at some point, a long, pedestrianized street popular with street performers, shoppers, cafe-goers and every other stratum of Athenian life. But what if you fancy the slightly less-touristy side of Athens?

Lesser-known Athens

You’ll probably be aware of the Plaka area of the city — narrow streets linked by winding steps, tiny tavernas and whitewashed walls — but so are many other tourists. Try instead Anafiotika: equally typically Greek but with fewer people about.

Anafiotika neighborhood and Acropolis in the old town of Athens, Greece.Anafiotika neighborhood and Acropolis in the old town of Athens, Greece.

You could also try Psiri. Again, it’s not exactly unknown to tourists, but it’s now an achingly hip part of the city with indie shops, bars, street art and lots of live music. It’s also home to the Varvakios market, a huge covered food market selling the freshest fish, meat, fruit and vegetables around.

Another market can be found in Monastiraki. The area is known for its second-hand shops generally, but also for the vast flea market that takes place every Sunday. Wander around and wonder what on earth you’d do with that lamp / chair / fake Byzantine icon / military helmet. The rest of the week it’s a sort of Grand Bazaar hawking everything from jewelry to t-shirts, second-hand books to musical instruments. If it all gets too much, grab a coffee or a glass of wine at one of the nearby outdoor terraces on Adrianou street and look out over the Agora.

Getting from Athens airport to the city center

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos is Aegean’s base and that’s where you’ll fly into. Getting from the airport to Athens is simple enough, with Metro Line 3 connecting the airport to the city center at Syntagma Square. The journey time is approximately 40 minutes, and trains run every 30 minutes, seven days a week from 6:30 am to 11:30 pm. One-way tickets cost €9 (€4.50 for children, teenagers, over 65), return tickets cost €16.

Top Greek island destinations

Whether you want to spend a week relaxing on a beach, discovering a spot of ancient history, spending your time partying or combining all three, here are our recommendations for the best places to visit in the Greek islands.

For a laid-back life, consider Folegandros. One of the little brothers of the always-popular Santorini, it manages to supply the same whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, but with far fewer people. Consider also Symi, the “jewel of the Dodecanese” with its pastel-colored harborfront buildings and splendid, waterside Panormitis Monastery; the volcano that makes up the island of Nisyros gives it dark sand and hot springs; and the less-considered Syros was once Greece’s commercial hub but is now simply an elegant, relaxed destination.

The village of Oia in Santorini IslandThe village of Oia in Santorini Island

On the flip side, you can also spend your entire trip partying (and then using your time on the beach to recover!) in places like the aforementioned Santorini, the open-air gatherings and beach raves of Kos, and the famously-raucous town of Zakynthos. Most of these places will let you go at your own pace, however, with hundreds of bars and clubs to choose from, and even real VIP experiences like yacht parties. Whether it’s clubbing, pubbing or a bit of both, you’ll easily get the party started whichever place you pick.

Adventure holidays in Greece

It’s not all beaches and coastlines though, you can also find some fabulous hiking and cycling trails weaving across the country, many suitable for all levels of fitness and ability.

If you want to hit something challenging right away, you could try and commune with the gods by climbing Mount Olympus. Typically it’s a two-day hike, initially on a steep path through pine forests then, on day two, a tricky, technical scramble. This is why, despite it only (“only”) being 24 kilometers, it’s split into a two-day trek.

An easier option is the Samaria Gorge on Crete, a deep tear through some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe: sheer mountain sides with a sparkling river below. Give yourself four to six hours to do the 16 kilometer walk and enjoy the amazing views.

Want to walk for a week? The Menalon Trail (75 kilometers, 5 — 8 days) stretches from Stemnitsa to Lagkadia on the Peloponnese peninsula, encompassing mountainside slopes, gorges, valleys and conveniently-spaced villages to stock up on supplies or find a place to sleep.

The Menalon trail in the Peloponnese peninsulaThe Menalon trail in the Peloponnese peninsula

Other extreme sports available for the brave or foolhardy include whitewater rafting and kayaking along raging rivers, climbing on the island of Kalymnos (it boasts over 70 climbing routes, from beginner to pretty much Olympic difficulty), heading to the Attica region for amazing diving experiences to reefs, wrecks and ravines and even an underwater car cemetery(!) or discovering the surfer’s paradise of Lefkada.

No matter what sort of adrenaline rush you’re after, there’s a part of Greece that’s seemingly designed with you in mind.

Fly to Greece by booking with Aegean Airlines on Kiwi.com

Head to Kiwi.com now and check out all the deals to destinations across Greece. Aegean Airlines flies to 29 Greek destinations, so you’ll be able to find your perfect fit cheaply and easily on Kiwi.com.

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David Szmidt

David is a lead writer for Kiwi.com, as well as a football-watcher, music-listener and beer-appreciater. @UtterBlether