The most beautiful cities of Greece
The cradle of civilization, the birthplace of philosophy and democracy, the land of ancient gods and the Olympic Games, the citadel of art reflected in later eras – all this is Greece, which can be talked about endlessly. It attracts tourists with its spectacular beaches, the atmospheric islands of the Ionian and Aegean Seas, and one of the best excursion programs in the world. Even a dozen trips will not be enough to see all the sights of Greece. The magnificent rock monasteries of Meteora, the Temple of the Oracle of Delphi, Ancient Olympia, Sparta, Mycenae, the theater of Epidaurus and the famous Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens are just a small part of the historical heritage.
Top 10 most beautiful cities in Greece
Visitors to Greece will find small and cozy island towns, atmospheric historical settlements on the mainland and bustling Athens and Thessaloniki. Each of them has its own soul and its own unique charm. When planning your travel destination, you should set your expectations beforehand. You should go to the resort islands for a measured beach vacation, Athens and mainland Greece for an immersion in Greek history, Mykonos and Santorini for a luxurious vacation, and to get everything at once, you can go to Peloponnese, Crete or Rhodes. Without exception, all the settlements of the country, from small villages of a dozen houses to the capital, picturesque and authentic.
The ranking of the most beautiful cities in Greece includes:
- Ia on the island of Santorini.
- Nafplion on the Peloponnese peninsula
- Mykonos on the island of Mykonos
- Asos on Kefalonia
- Rhodes on the island of Rhodes
- Chania in Crete
- Agios Nikolaos on Crete
- Parga in Epirus
Iya – a white-washed city with beautiful sunsets
One of the most recognizable views of Greece are the snow-white houses with blue roofs of the island of Santorini. It’s a favorite vacation destination for honeymooners: the island’s measured island life, small number of tourists, and stunning locations for romantic dates and photo shoots make the island suitable for lovers.
Iya is the smallest and most picturesque village of the island, which is located in the northern part of the island. It is here where the very landscapes are waiting for guests: atmospheric windmills, narrow quiet streets, white-washed houses and small churches. It is pleasant just to wander here, and the absence of large crowds of tourists will give walks a special atmosphere of immersion. Traffic is banned in Ia, so in the evenings, when the town sleeps, you can hear only the singing of cicadas and the sound of the sea. Also, Ia has some of the most stunning sunsets in the world, which can be seen in the western part of the resort.
Nafplion – interesting from a historical point of view
Nafplion is located in Peloponnese on a beautiful cape overlooking the Argolic Gulf. In a small town of about 13,000 inhabitants, sights, beautiful houses and architectural monuments await at every turn. Start your walk with the Old Town, which the Venetians used to call “Greek Naples”. There are many small squares with interesting architectural ensembles, houses with Venetian balconies and wandering streets.
The fortresses of Palamidi, Bourzi and Akronafplia are the main attractions of Nafplion. The fortress of Palamidi, built on the top of a hill, is impressive and offers the best panorama of the city. You can get up to the fortress by car or on foot, though, to do it you will have to overcome 899 steps zigzag stairs. Akronafplia stands on the site of the ancient acropolis and Bourzi guards the entrance to the port.
Nafplion is on the way from Athens to the coast of the Ionian Sea, where some of the best beaches in the country are located. The Peloponnese is an ideal destination for those who want to combine a vacation at the sea with a fascinating excursion program. The homeland of the Olympic Games – ancient Olympia, one of the oldest cities in Europe – Mycenae, the famous Sparta, the theater of Epidaurus with its unique acoustics and many other world famous attractions are located on the peninsula.
Mykonos is a popular resort for celebrities
Mykonos is the capital of the island of the same name and is considered the most expensive resort in Greece. There are excellent beaches and luxurious hotels, which, by the way, not so much: have to book seats in advance, so even in high season, there is no sense of crowding. While Mykonos has a celebrity following, the atmosphere is democratic and cosmopolitan and the parties are world-famous.
The white windmills on the beach are a calling card. In the city center, too, there are enough white houses, which makes the city light and incredibly picturesque. The most famous neighborhood is Alefkandra, nicknamed “Little Venice” because of the miniature houses overhanging the water. The city also has many churches, with more than 350 on the island.
Asos is a cozy fishing village with a special charm.
Kefalonia is the largest and one of the most picturesque islands in the Ionian Sea with plenty of natural and man-made attractions. The most charming town is the small town of Assos, where one goes for a measured vacation and beautiful views. It is located in a small bay with incredibly clear water of azure and deep blue colors. Right down to the beach on the slopes of the hill, there are many colorful houses, and light white boats swaying in the water.
The population of Asos hardly exceeds a hundred people, so it is always quiet and peaceful. Along the waterfront stretched cozy restaurants with fragrant Greek cuisine, the urban architecture is dominated by pink and white, shaded by bright colors of numerous flower gardens. The main attraction of the resort is a Venetian fortress of the 16th century, towering over the city on a hill. Not far from Assos is the best beach of Kefalonia, Myrtos, awarded with the prestigious “Blue Flag” of cleanliness.
Rhodes is one of the best tourist destinations
The city of Rhodes is the capital of the island of the same name, the largest in the Dodecanese archipelago. It is one of those destinations that can meet the needs of a variety of tourists. Great beaches, lots of entertainment, a well-developed infrastructure, including children’s facilities, a rich program of excursions, as well as many beautiful towns and small atmospheric villages.
The capital of the island is one of the most beautiful cities of Rhodes, where the main attractions are concentrated. It was once home to one of the wonders of the world, the famous Colossus of Rhodes. Today, the oldest monuments of the II century BC are preserved on Mount Smith, among them the ruins of the ancient temples of Apollo, Athena and Zeus. The main attraction of medieval Rhodes is the Palace of the Grandmasters, which belonged to the Knights Hospitaller Order. You can experience the charm of the city by wandering through its picturesque streets, the most interesting of which are considered streets of the Knights and Socrates. In addition to the capital, Lindos is also a great place to visit.
Chania – beautiful and authentic
One of the most ancient and atmospheric Greek cities is Chania, located in Crete. It is the second largest city of the island, where modern hotels neighbor the monuments of Turkish, Venetian and Byzantine culture. The old town of Chania is considered the best in Crete and the Venetian built harbor is claimed to be the most beautiful in Greece.
In the old town and the harbor there are interesting buildings from the Venetian domination period. There are Turkish mosques and baths here and there, and the museums contain traces of the city’s ancient past. Nearby is a real miracle of nature and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world: in the lagoon Balos you can see dozens of shades of water. In addition, three seas meet here: the Libyan, the Aegean and the Ionian.
Agios Nikolaos – popular with tourists and full of history
Agios Nikolaos is the largest town of the island and is located in one of the most picturesque bays of the country, the Mirabello. It is a bustling and modern town with hundreds of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, souvenir stores and boutiques, as well as all the entertainment typical of a resort town, hotels for every taste and good beaches. For its high level of comfort and service the city is called the “Greek St. Tropez”.
The busiest in Agios Nikolaos are the quarters around the port, built up with colorful low-rise houses. The main attraction is the lake Voulismeni, which has a diameter of 130 meters. There is a legend that Aphrodite bathed here, so the water of the lake gives youth and beauty. From the capital go excursions to the famous island of Spinalonga, famous well-preserved large fort. In addition to Agios Nikolaos and Chania, Crete has many charming villages and the main attraction is the Labyrinth of the Minotaur. Among the three most beautiful cities on the island is also Rethymnon, with interesting architecture and cozy streets.
Athens is a must-see.
The capital of Greece cannot be called the best option for a vacation: the city is too big, noisy and dusty. However, you must visit it, as it is one of the oldest cities in the world, where the foundations of European civilization, democracy, philosophy, and art were born. The Acropolis hill rises above the city, where the historical sites known to everyone since childhood are located: the world famous Parthenon, the Agora and the ruins of ancient Greek temples.
Every tourist should see with his own eyes the theater of Dionysus built in V century and built for 17 000 spectators, the perfectly preserved temple of Hephaestus and the ruins of one of the most monumental structures of the ancient world – the temple of Zeus the Olympic. At the foot of the Acropolis lies the most ancient quarter of the city, the Plaka, the best place for a walk which has preserved its antique atmosphere. Thanks to careful restoration there are no ruins: only atmospheric houses that now house hundreds of cafes, souvenir stores, and hotels. There aren’t any landmarks worth exploring, but the maze-like, intricate streets of Plaka are worth exploring for the atmosphere of the ancient city.
Parga – beautiful and tranquil
Parga sits on the Aegean coast in a surprisingly beautiful location, surrounded by olive groves and green hills. This small and somewhat sleepy town has a surprising charm: not flashy and noisy, but soulful and truly Greek.
Parga attracts tourists who prefer excellent beaches, a measured and contemplative vacation. The main attraction of the city is the Venetian fortress of the XI century, located on a hilltop in the city center. Despite the tedious climb, it is worth visiting, because from the top of the hill you can see a stunning panorama of the city and the sea.
Kalambaka is a famous religious center
Situated on the mainland of Greece, the small town of Kalambaka is pretty much unremarkable except for the cathedral, which was erected in the 12th century. However, it is not only a place of tourism, but also a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world, Kalambaka is the starting point of a journey to the famous and astonishing monasteries of Meteora.
Located on top of sheer and impregnable cliffs, they seem to float above the ground, forming one of the main shrines of Greece. The first hermits began to settle here in the XI century, and three centuries later the first monasteries appeared: as far away from secular life as possible. Meteora is one of the most impressive and beautiful sights in the world, which everyone should visit at least once in his life.
The 12 most beautiful cities of Greece
Amazing Greece is covered with myths and legends. Many of its cities are considered the birthplaces of heroes, preserved unique archaeological monuments from ancient times, which allows you to touch history firsthand. The mainland is located on the Balkan Peninsula. The other half of the territory is a scattering of small and large islands. The most beautiful cities of Greece, presented in this article, are unique and worthy of attention.
The most beautiful city of Greece, the capital Athens is tacitly considered the birthplace of western civilization. It is named after the goddess of knowledge, military science, crafts and is a symbol of wisdom. The city has seen ups and downs in different historical epochs. After a long period of neglect, it began to revive in the 19th century, rapidly acquiring political weight and importance.
The historic center of Athens is the Old City and the Acropolis hill where the archaeological sites of antiquity, including the Parthenon, are concentrated. The Plaka neighborhood, with its museums, is a must-see:
- The Plaka district, where there are museums;
- Panepistimiou Street;
- Mount Likavit;
- the National Garden;
- Museum of Greek Folk Instruments;
- the ancient gates of the Propylaeum.
You can spend months exploring the city in detail, constantly discovering new aspects of the amazing and unique capital.
From a bird’s eye view, this picturesque Greek city looks like a snow-white toy, so bright and compact. It is located in the northwestern part of the island of Santorini. The altitude is about 100 meters above sea level. Ia as if at the last moment stopped at the very edge of the high hill, cautiously looking out at the edge of the surf.
Originally it was a seaside town, the convenient docks of the port ensured its commercial popularity. Later, the city gained tourist fame. The most famous sights are considered to be:
- The architecture of the residential houses, where smooth lines and semi-circular roofs prevail as protection from squall winds;
- hotels and inns, which in the past were the homes of sailors and shipowners;
- Venetian fortress.
The wine museum, the Santorini Balcony in Imerovigli and the Akrotiri Nature Reserve are recommended to visit in the surrounding area. Most importantly, don’t miss the stunning sunset, watching it from the open terrace of any of the small cozy restaurants, sitting at a comfortable table.
Many would agree that Mykonos is the most beautiful city in Greece. It has the same name as the island. It is famous for its cruise port, comfortable beaches and unusual historical sites. The most striking are the Old Quarter and the windmills. The Archaeological Museum houses a unique collection of artifacts found in the Purification Pit. The objects date from 426-425 B.C. The narrow, winding streets of Ano Mera lead to the restored monastery, the Venetian fortress and the church of Panagia Paraportiani are very close. It is impossible to pass by the maritime museum, it is there where the unique information about navigators, ships and discoveries is stored.
Lindos is recognized as a historical monument of world importance. In order to preserve the architectural features, the construction of modern buildings is restricted, traffic is prohibited. Tourist attractions:
- XVI-XVIII century houses;
- Rhodes Acropolis;
- ancient fountains still working today;
- The Valley of Seven Springs;
- Monastery of the Archangel Michael.
Simi is a fabulously beautiful Greek town, located on the island of the same name. This place beckons with colorful and exuberant colors. The bright walls of houses are so unlike the calm whiteness of Ia or the restrained tones of Mykonos. The most visited attraction on the island is considered to be the fortress Kastro. It was built on the site where a Byzantine fortress once stood, erected on the foundations of an ancient temple. The old Cali Strata street is recommended for walks for connoisseurs of antiquity. It consists of 500 wide steps and leads to the top of the hill, during the ascent you can see the original facades of the houses of the past centuries. There are interesting displays in the Maritime Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the Folklore Museum. You can visit the monasteries of Roukouniotis and Panormitis.
The island of Ios is situated in the south of the Aegean Sea. Chora is the main settlement. There are no special sights, but there is a necklace of beautiful beaches, guided tours to Imbroz Gorge and a maze of narrow stone-paved streets with facades of old houses and small white-washed churches, where there is peace and tranquility. A successful conclusion to the walk will be a visit to the quarter of “Little Venice”.
7. Agios Nikolaos
A very colorful and amazingly beautiful city in Greece, full of natural and architectural monuments. It is considered one of the most visited by tourists, who are attracted by the magnificent views of the sea from Mirabello Bay and the unique climate. The island of Crete is interesting for both beach lovers and history lovers.
- Lake Vulizmeni;
- Statue of Europe;
- The island of Spinalonga;
- The ancient village of Lato;
- Panaghea Kera;
- olive oil farm.
The resort is crowded, the daytime bustle is replaced by evening events, it seems as if it never falls asleep.
One of the most unusual cities in Greece, occupies part of a wooded peninsula near a picturesque lake. One rarely comes here for the sights. The city’s main treasure is furs and fur coats. Historically, the settlement was located in a lively place where trade routes intersected. Fur hunting was a traditional occupation.
After a successful purchase, many go on a tour of Lake Orestiada. Swimming in it is not accepted, it is intended for water walks and fishing. Interesting from a tourist point of view is the Ethnographic Museum, located in a mansion of the XVIII century, the Byzantine Museum, the old churches.
The exquisite beauty of the spa town of Parga attracts architectural monuments. It curves along the coastline, taking the shape of a horseshoe. They say it’s for good luck. Indeed, the resort is always lively and crowded. For the guests of the city are organized excursions to the Venetian fortress and the fortress of Anguz, Castle Aya, built for Ali Pasha in the early 19th century, an abandoned village Vrahonas. River-trekking along the valley of the Aheron River takes you to a world of myths, where Charon takes the souls to the kingdom of Hades, and the island of Panagi will delight you with a charming castle and a church with a small bell tower. The coast has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best in Greece, the beaches are always crowded, especially the famous Valtos.
Nafplion is called the Mycenaean period. It is located on the Argolis peninsula. The city has changed hands throughout history and has reverted to Turkish rule, giving it an inimitable flavor stemming from the mix of architectural styles. The most important monuments are the castle of Palamidi on a rocky hill and the small island fortress of Burdzi in the harbor.
Both sites have the status of museums, fascinating tours introduce the peculiarities of construction, interspersed with a mass of interesting legends and myths associated with these structures. Nafplion is especially beautiful in spring, when the orange trees are in bloom.
The uniqueness of this beautiful city in Greece lies in the peaceful coexistence of modern quarters, which resemble the best European cities and the ancient part, where every grain of history, imprinted in stone, is carefully preserved. The colorful center of the old part is called Kasteli. Tourist routes through the city are varied, but are sure to lead to sights such as:
- The lighthouse, considered one of the oldest in the world;
- the old Venetian harbor;
- Kucuk Hasan mosque;
- St. Nicholas Church;
- Firkas Fortress;
- the famous covered marketplace Agora;
- soccer museum.
We should not forget about the luxurious beaches of this part of Crete, awarded with the blue flag for purity and environmental friendliness.
It is impossible not to include Rhodes in the list of the most beautiful cities in Greece. The old part of the city is considered an important international monument of cultural heritage, included in the UNESCO lists. It has preserved its cobblestone streets, ancient houses, monasteries and churches. The most famous structure is considered to be the Rhodes Fortress. Its length is 4 km, to get inside you have to pass through 11 gates. The walls are so thick that the cannonballs could not penetrate it and remained lying on the perimeter, as a confirmation of its impregnability.
Excursion programs in the city are very rich, include a tour:
- Lindos acropolis;
- Street of the Knights;
- Clock Tower;
- Jewish Quarter;
- Museum of Modern Art;
- Temple of Aphrodite;
- Rodini Park.
In the surrounding area there are also many interesting places, such as the valley of butterflies, the ostrich farm, the seven springs. The beaches are a special topic, they are an almost uninterrupted sequence with no clear boundaries.