The Greek coastline is punctuated by superb beaches, while its mountainous interior urges you to dust off your hiking boots and explore. Yet perhaps its greatest riches are the Greek islands, ranging from backwaters where the boat calls twice a week to resorts like Santorini and Mykonos.

The simple pleasures – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars, eating fresh, uncomplicated food – are just as appealing. Also, the genuine welcome you receive at the simplest taverna is enough to get you booking next year’s break as soon as you get home.

Greece travel facts
Language: Greek (spoken by 99% of the population)
Unit of currency: Euro (EUR)
Population: 11.3 million. Nearly one-tenth are immigrants, half of whom are from Albania.
Tourist numbers: 29 million in 2016.
Politics: Greece is a democractic republic, where the Prime Minister is the head of government and the President is the head of state.
Geography: Greece shares land borders with Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Republic of North Macedonia and comprises almost 132 square kilometers.
UNESCO World Heritage sites: as of 2020, Greece has an impressive 18. Our favourites are the ancient site of Delphi, Rhodes Old Town and the mighty Acropolis.
Where to go in Greece
If you’re travelling around Greece as part of a bigger trip, Athens is a necessary stop. Home to a third of the population and the magnificent Acropolis, the Greek capital is a true metropolis.

Further north, Thessaloniki gives the capital a run for its money, with sophisticated restaurants, a buzzing nightlife and its own culture scene.

Don’t think the Greek islands hold the country’s only beautiful beaches: the long, sandy stretches of the Peloponnese are well worth a visit and easily accessible from the mainland.

Take the tourist road less travelled with a trip around the Central Mainland or Northern Mainland, with brilliant mountain hiking and trekking opportunities as well as tonnes of history and the all-important spectacular beaches.

The islands are really the jewel in Greece’s crown, though and a must when you visit Greece. Depending on how much time you have, it’s best to pick one group of islands to explore (or to sit back and relax on). The Argo-Saronic Islands, just a stone’s throw from Athens, are the perfect destination for multi-stop holiday.

Over on the west coast, you’ll find some of Greece’s most famous spots in the lush green Ionian islands, including Corfu and Kefalonia.

The beauty of the Cyclades. The size and close proximity of Santorini, Mykonos and co are ideal for a short stay on each.

Further north, the Sporades are easily navigable, with Skiathos an easy starting point thanks to its international airport. For a more authentic Greek atmosphere, the islands of the East and North Aegan are worth visiting.

Further southeast in the Aegean sea, you’ll find the Dodecanese islands. Here, Rhodes and Kos, two of Greece’s largest and most-visited islands, are the stars of the show.

If you don’t have time to spare, a stay on Crete just might give you everything you could want in a Greek island and more, with its top notch beaches, remote spots and friendly people.

Aegean sea

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