Greece is one of the most popular destinations of Europe and known for its wonderful beaches and fascinating history.
Besides the iconic Athen with its plethora of incredible historical sites, the Hellenic Republic
has a delightful array of cities with some nestled among rocky hills with others overlooking the beautiful waters that surround the country. Both on the mainland and on the numerous islands, you can explore the beauty of nature on countless hiking trails.
If you love long walks on natural sandy beaches with turquoise blue water or even water sports enthusiasts will get their money’s worth on Greece’s coast. Wind conditions and water quality are often ideal conditions for kitesurfers and divers and the warm weather attracts couples for a romantic walk by the sea in the sunset.
Here are the 15 best cities in Greece, located in the most breathtaking and impressive environments.
Piraeus is the largest port in the Mediterranean, just 10 kilometers from the center of Athens. The port, with its many endless quays, is the center of the Greek maritime trade and the basis for its large merchant navy.
Actually, Piraeus resembles more a gigantic industrial area and is therefore not very worth seeing. Only the cafes, restaurants and bars of the smaller adjacent ports Zea Marina and Mikrolimano are regularly filled with people who’ve disembarked from cruise ships for the day.
Nevertheless, more than 20 million travelers pass through Piraeus every year, because the port is also the hub of the Aegean ferry network and it is best to get by boat to one of the innumerable beautiful Greek islands.
The university town of Larissa, located about 350 km north of Athens on mainland Greece, is the capital of Thessaly. The city is located in the very fertile plain of the river Pineios and is over 8000 years old.
Therefore, you will ind here many historical ruins of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire. The ancient theater and the remains of the Neolithic Acropolis are also very impressive.
However, the months of July and August are less suitable for city breaks or adventure holidays in Greece. The weather is dry in the summer months and the thermometer often rises even over 40 ° C.
Ioannina is on the shores of Lake Pamvotis with its charming old town an ideal place for a stopover. Its historic minarets, the fortress and the old walls invite you to wander around.
There are a number of great day trips in Ioannina’s surroundings, such as the monasteries on Nissi Island or the amazing caves of Perama.
Again, it should be noted that especially in the summer can be very hot in Greece and that it draws people more to the sea.
Not far from Ioannina is the Greek city of Kalambaka with its amazing Meteora battlements. Worth seeing is also a beautiful tenth-century church, but Meteora is the main attraction and houses twenty-four monasteries on the rocky peaks.
The area around Kalambaka invites to hiking, many small waterfalls and old bridges as well as caves and hiking trails characterize this fascinating landscape.
The idyllic Kalamata, in ancient Pharai, is a beautiful coastal town on the Peloponnese peninsula on southern Messinian Bay.
In the picturesque old town visitors will find an impressive cathedral as well as a fortress and some beautiful museums. Many visitors use Kalamata as a base to visit other places in Messenia.
The city of Corfu is the capital of the eponymous Greek island and municipality of Corfu. It is located on the east coast on a sloping northwest promontory opposite the Italian “boot heel” and has an international airfield.
The port city on the Ionian Sea attracts its visitors with its beautiful Venetian architecture and a wealth of ancient churches. The narrow streets of the old town make Corfu a beautiful picturesque place.
Worth seeing are also the forts Angelokastro and Gardiki, which were built on the tops of the surrounding hills.
Kavala is a port city in Northern Greece and also known as the “Blue City” or the “Mecca of Tobacco”. Byzantines, Ottomans, Jews, merchants, tobacco workers, refugees and intellectuals have been living here for centuries, as reflected in the various districts of the old town.
Panagia, the old town of Kavala, will delight you with the Acropolis and the old lighthouse. Always impressive are the turquoise waters of the picturesque beaches, not far from archaeological art treasures and architectural wonders of the centuries.
Also, this port is used by many travelers as a springboard to the neighboring islands in the Aegean Sea.
Rethymnon reminds a bit of Venice, but is located in the middle of Crete and is the third largest city of the island. In the Greek port city, Venetian and Ottoman heritage has been concisely preserved in the cityscape and makes especially the old town one of the most popular destinations.
At the foot of the old town you will find at the promenade the most beautiful restaurants and bars overlooking the sea and the harbor. And with luck, you can watch the most romantic sunsets from here.
Patras is the Greek carnival city, a fun, playful fun metropolis. Although many travelers use the port city on the northern tip of Pelepones only as a gateway to the Greek islands, Patras has much more to offer.
In the picturesque old town you will find diverse squares and footpaths through narrow streets, archways past traditional houses. Here it is worthwhile to visit one of the countless, lively pubs, cafes and restaurants with a subsequent walk on the lively harbor mile.
The castle of Patras, the old conservatory, the Pantokratoras church and the Roman amphitheater are especially recommended destinations.
The capital of the eponymous island of Rhodes was built in the fifth century BC. Built in the 6th century. With the Acropolis of Lindos, the ruins of the ancient cities of Kamiros and Lalysos and the Butterfly Valley, it offers a number of attractions for culture lovers.
Framed by the ancient walls, Medieval Rhodes Old Town is simply heavenly to explore and beautifully lit at night. Rhodes also offers many entertainment options. Numerous gourmet restaurants, quaint tavernas, cafés, bars and clubs are to be found above all at the marina and the promenade of Mandraki.
If you travel to Crete, you may also plan a trip to the capital of the island. Heraklion is very diverse and with its many platies and pedestrian areas a very lively city.
In the city there are a number of excellent museums and one of the largest aquariums in Europe. Just beyond the city limits you will find the glorious Knossos, one of the most important sights in all of Greece, with its palace of King Minos and the myth of the Minotaur.
The Venetian harbor and its ramparts are also ideal for a nostalgic walk through history.
Nafplio is in every sense an amazing port city, surrounded by fortresses, neoclassical buildings and an old town with expansive squares.
Especially the historic streets and the picturesque harbor are very popular with tourists and Athenians.
It used to be called the “Naples of the East” by the Venetians and was the first capital of Greece.
Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Venetians, Ottomans left their mark in Chania and made this corner of Crete, with its architecture from the different eras, a multicultural place. A walk along the harbor will take you to the Venetian Lighthouse, the Armory, Kum Kapi Castle and Halepa. Numerous bars and restaurants as well as a number of cultural highlights lure the guests into the vibrant nightlife.
Outside the town in the west are the well-known beaches of Agia Marina, Stalos and Platanias. If you do not dare to venture further, you will be rewarded on the exotic beaches of Balos and Falassarna with a wonderful view of turquoise waters. In southern Chania, the world-famous gorge of Samaria invites to a hike.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and the economic and cultural center of the entire Greek region of Macedonia.
On the Gulf of Thessaloniki, the port city can look back on more than three years of history. It is a wonderful place to take a historical journey back in time.
Thessaloniki is a significant, modern university and cultural city. The old warehouses on the harbor with their museums, restaurants and bars are a cultural center for students and tourists.
It is also worthwhile to rent a boat-bar in the evening. This small excursion boats revolves around the Thermaic Gulf, a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the nightlife of the city.
Athens is the center of European history and modern culture. With its endless beaches, the Greek capital offers easy access to the beautiful islands of the Saronic Gulf.
The whole city is an open-air museum full of exciting discoveries. The Acropolis, the Parthenon and the new Acropolis Museum and the Plaka district are just a few of the most famous sights.
The culinary possibilities in the city are overwhelming. In and around Athens there are ouzeries and mezedopolia, taverns, kitchens, beer halls, wine bars, cafes and restaurants serving traditional Greek cuisine and live music. Near the beach, the waterfront taverns serve fresh seafood with ouzo and wine. Even a visit to one of the luxurious restaurants with a terrace directly overlooking the Acropolis is a lasting experience.