I don’t know that I need to convince you very much that Greece is amazing but just in case you haven’t already fallen in love with this country, here are a few reasons why you must add this country to your bucket list now.
If you’ve tried Greek food, then you know why I’ve listed this as the first reason to visit Greece. Greek food is amazing. Delicious. And healthy.
One of my pet peeves when traveling is trying to find a good salad to curb my veggie cravings but this was an easy task in Greece. Every restaurant in Greece makes a great salad and usually they have more than one option. Even if a restaurant doesn’t have the best food, their Greek salad will always rock. Unlike the USA or other countries that skimp on cheese, most Greek salads come with a chunk of feta cheese. We were pretty shocked the first time we ordered a salad and ours came topped with a block of feta.
Besides your typical Greek salad, you’ve also got great fish options (like scorpionfish) especially if you’re visiting one of the islands. And of course, Greek restaurants specialize in meat options. I’d highly recommend trying pastitcio and moussaka and any grilled meats.
And while many great cooks are not great bakers, Greeks excel in both departments. Their desserts are fantastic, though pretty sweet, so you might want to grab a Greek coffee to go with that slice of baklava.
Greek people are so friendly especially on the more traditional islands. Santorini or Athens maybe not so much as these spots are overrun with needy, boisterous and sometimes obnoxious tourists but the smaller islands have a much more local vibe. If you get a chance to chat with a local, you’ll quickly realize just how warm and welcoming they are. This is one place that feels like home and you’re made to feel like family.
If you find yourself in a traditional village, don’t be surprised if you see little kids playing in the streets late at night while their parents are chatting with friends at a nearby restaurant. We witness this several times and were always amazed at how “homey” it all felt.
Whether you’re into the beach or the mountains or the desert, Greece has got it for you. This country offers some of the most beautiful and unique beaches in the world while also exhibiting interesting rugged terrain as well. The island of Milos, for example, is a mixture of desert-like terrain and soft sand beaches. And of course, most of the islands are renowned for their white washed cave houses or buildings.
Lots to do
Dinner cruises, ATV tours, hiking, biking, swimming, sailing, food tours and countless museums and ancient sites will never leave you bored and wondering what to do. For example, though the island of Santorini is small, there are plenty of things to do. We rented an ATV one day and toured the entire island including the red and black sand beaches, the ancient Akrotiri & museum and a tiny fishing village. On a separate day, we hiked a famous trail between the two largest cities on the island. On a different island we spent a day visiting beaches and then toured an old amphitheater.
There are so many different ruins and museums with ancient artifacts in Greece. Since Greece dates back to Biblical times, there is so much history contained within that each island and city will have something to offer the history lover. You may be surprised to discover that even the tiniest of islands will have some sort of historical significance.
For example, the island of Milos not only contains an ancient amphitheater but also is the site where the famous Venus of Milos sculpture was discovered. You’ll also come across old catacombs, all within a tiny island that many have yet to hear about. A few other historical gems: a Temple of Apollo in Naxos (another small yet beautiful island), Akrotiri in Santorini and of course the most famous Parthenon in Athens to name a few.
Though not quite as cheap as it used to be 5 years ago when I visited, Greece remains relatively inexpensive. Though the more popular cities and islands will boast higher prices, the hidden gems are still very much affordable. Hotels on the smaller islands run around 70 euros with 150 euros representing the most luxurious places. These rates don’t include Santorini, of course, as that island is an anomaly and everything on it is quite expensive. But it does represent most of the other islands pretty accurately.
If you want cheap street food, gyros are your friend. They’ll run around 4 euros apiece and are the perfect grab-and-go food in Greece. Sit down restaurants are a little more expensive, though still quite reasonable. Remember that when you’re in the Greek islands, your entree will most likely come with a side of beautiful sea views.
If you’ve seen any photos from Greece, you’ve probably fallen in love with its stunning water and beaches. Each island has countless beaches in all shapes, sizes and forms. There are black sand beaches, red beaches, soft white sand beaches and plenty of unique cave-like beaches with boulders and rocks. Each one is stunning in its own sense. You’ll also come across beaches that are only accessible by boat so even if you’re not an avid beach lover, you’ll still be able to enjoy a cruise through beautiful waters accompanied by delicious food and hopefully great company!
Many islands to discover
If you think Greece is finite, think again. A quick look at a map will reveal just how vast it is and just how many different islands it boasts. Everyone has heard of Santorini and Athens and Thessaloniki and Zakynthos but what about Symi, Kos, Folegandros, Antiparos, Sifnos, Skyros or Alonnisos? There’s a charm in each of these destinations that is waiting to be explored!
And there it is: 8 reasons why I think you should visit Greece… even though you probably didn’t need much convincing.