Caution! Contents very hot & very delicious

Greece is a country that runs on excess caffeine consumption. Whether you are looking for a coffee shop to sit down and relax, or for  something made on the spot, this coffee blog might just be for you. Coffee first arrived in Greece via Greek residents of Constantinople and it has its roots in the Ottoman period. The coffee habit had already spread throughout the country in the 18th century and since then it has become a significant source of our energy and social life!

Greeks have always loved coffee. From Greek coffee, which became part of our tradition and culture, and frappé coffee, which is one of the most popular ice-cold drinks among modern Greeks, to freddo espresso and freddo cappuccino, which in recent years have gained their own zealous fans.

Greece is one of the countries with the highest per capita coffee consumption in the world. Specifically, it has been calculated that approximately 5 billion cups of coffee are consumed yearly by Greeks, which corresponds to 510 cups of coffee per person.

In general, there are three degrees of sweetness you can order for your drink:

  • “Sketos” for your no sugar challenge day!
  •  “Metrios” for one teaspoon sugar brown or white!
  • “Glykos” for the fans of sweet drinks!


A very Greek thing to do when you are in Greece is to try the iced frothy revolution of Frappé! It was accidentally invented by a Greek Nescafe representative named Dimitris Vakondios in 1957 in Thessaloniki and it’s been Greece’s ultimate summer drink ever since! All you need is instant coffee, water, sugar, and evaporated milk shaken in ice! Frappé can come in many variations, depending on the amount of added water and ice, sweetness levels, foam thickness.


Greek people always had a thing for cold coffees and the Italian signature espresso coffee couldn’t stay out of our list. One can describe it as an upgraded version of frappé! Instead of using instant coffee Greek baristas started experimenting with espresso in the early 90s. And just like that freddo espresso was born, blending high quality espresso with ice cubes, by mixing them in an electric mixer, in order to achieve a creamy texture. And if you can’t get your coffee without a dose of milk, go for the incredible and refreshing freddo cappuccino. Same preparation as with the freddo espresso, but with the difference of adding on top a rich cold milk foam. Don’t forget to add a generous sprinkle of cinnamon to spice up your coffee. 


Greek coffee is a ritual, it is a faithful companion in times of loneliness, an occasion to gather with friends, to welcome house guests; it is also connected with consolation, since it is the only coffee that is served at funerals and memorial services. Greek coffee is also one of the richest antioxidant drinks and it provides several benefits as long as it is consumed with moderation. What has remained unchanged is the way we drink it: Greek coffee needs time and relaxation, it is drunk slowly, it can be further enjoyed with company and conversation. In fact, “Greek” coffee is not so Greek, it is Turkish, and so it was known until the persecution of the Greeks of Constantinople in the early 1960s; out of reaction, Greeks started calling it “Greek coffee”. Nevertheless, there are some basic differences from the Turkish version. It has a specific blend and baking, which gives it a blonde tinge, and it is finely ground. It is served in small quantities, and is usually accompanied with sweet tidbits, such as Turkish delights or cookies.

Best online art destinations in Greece

Greece has a wealth of wonderful archaeological sites and museums with some of the world’s most spectacular collections of ancient Greek art. Yt it has some lesser-known, exceptional art galleries featuring both Greek and international artists. Fasten your seat belt, we are taking you on a journey to explore the top art destinations in Athens and Thessaloniki in the comfort of your own home.


This iconic gallery located in the centre of Athens allows virtual visitors to view paintings, sculptures, engravings, and other forms of Greek art covering from the post-Byzantine period until today. You can also explore here an online exhibit on nineteenth century Greek history paintings from their collection, developed in partnership with the Google Art Project.

Find out more: National Gallery


The Thessaloniki Museum of Photography may be closing its doors due to the current outbreak, but don’t despair it can still be explored from your couch thanks to its digital archives which can be found here. The Museum is part of the Metropolitan Organisation of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki and its an all-time favourite spot for photographers. 

Find out more: MOMus

View of the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography


Anyone who is a fan of modern art can virtually explore an important nucleus of works by Greek and international artists. The building which was designed originally as part of the old FIX brewery now houses the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum’s website is constantly enriched with new material and anyone can wander its halls from anywhere in the world. Here you can browse through all the artworks of the EMST Collection.

Find out more: National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens


Established only last year in Athens the new Museum which bears the name of the founders Basil and Elise Goulandris exhibits one of the most important private collections to be assembled during the second half of the 20th century. The foundation’s interactive website will inspire you to explore their exceptional collection of contemporary art.

Find out more: Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation

Edgar Degas
Little Dancer Aged Forteen
Circa 1878 – 1881
Basil and Elise Goulandris

An Easter Experience in Corfu

Considered by the majority of the Greeks to be the ultimate celebration of the year, Easter celebrations start on Palm Sunday each year in Corfu Old Town with a splendour and glory not seen anywhere else in Greece. The Easter traditions have a relationship with the beginning of Spring, highlighting the uniqueness that has made the Corfu Easter a pole of attraction for Greek and foreign travellers. A week full of brilliance, glamour and excitement make Easter in Corfu a truly special experience.

You shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see the procession of Saint Spyridon. On Palm Sunday, it is held in memory of the plague epidemic that took place in 1629. During this celebration, all 18 philharmonic orchestras of the island take part. While on Holy Monday, the city lights in Liston, the Palace and the streets of the island are illuminated in purple, with the same mourning colour as the Cross in the Old Fortress.

The Philharmonic Union “Kapodistrias”

At dawn on Holy Thursday, the Twelve Gospels are read in all the churches of the island, while in the Catholic Duomo there are twelve lighted candles, and every time one of the Gospels ends, it is extinguished by one. Also, the “Washbasin Ceremony” is revived which is the representation of the “washing of the feet of the Apostles by the Lord”. The Catholic Archbishop, as defined in the ritual, after the end of the 12 Gospels will wash the feet of twelve believers, usually children, thus representing the religious tradition, according to which Jesus washed he feet of his disciples.

The purple Venetian lights of Liston during Holy Week.

On Good Friday, the Epitaphios processions, during which the embroidered image of the dead body of Christ is placed on richly decorated biers that are carried through the streets have a very different colour, following an impressive ritual as they come out in a certain order and intersect in the Old Town Centre. However, the last procession which starts from the Orthodox cathedral at ten at night and is accompanied by a philharmonic orchestra and Venetian lanterns, catches the eye.

Taking a short break won’t hurt!
Those processions can last up to 3 hours!

The grandest and most dazzling celebration may be set up on Holy Saturday in Corfu. Starting at sunrise, an artificial “earthquake” occurs in the Church of Our Lady of Foreigners in a representation of the earthquake that occurred, according to the Bible, during the Resurrection. Afterwards, the Epitaphios of the Church of Agios Spyridon, the custom that began during the Venetian occupation, takes place, carrying the relics of Saint Spyridon around Corfu Town, in memory of the salvation of the island from famine. However, the Resurrection in Corfu takes place at eleven in the morning and all the locals and visitors are waiting on their balconies and windows to throw pots referred to as the “botides”,  full of water, with the music background of the bells of the churches ringing joyfully.

Pot throwing tradition.
Locals believe the custom helps ward off bad spirits!

On Easter Sunday in each Church, there is a procession of the Resurrection, and of course, the philharmonic orchestras have once again the honour of accompanying the Resurrection procession. After the end of the Sequences, the procession of the Orthodox and the Catholics begins, with a meeting point on the main square. Upon hearing the joyful message of the Resurrection, the city’s philharmonic orchestras will simultaneously play the “Graecoi” march in a spectacular atmosphere. Corfu will shine from the hundreds of sparklers that will fill the sky with colours and will be “poured” into the Ionian Sea, making Easter in Corfu unique and incomparable with the rest of Greece.

You will find musicians in every little alley of the Old Town!

The First Cemetery of Athens: Discover the City’s 19th-Century Necropolis

Bursting with fascinating history and a vibrant cultural tapestry, Athens is a treasure trove of stories and monuments, an ideal destination for travelers who like to go off the beaten path and discover new sides to their favorite destination. Of its many eras, the 19th century, the days of the Kingdom of Greece, is one of the most often overlooked, and yet it’s also one of the most extraordinary.

From the House of Parliament and the Presidential Mansion (formerly the Old Royal Palace and the Crown Prince’s Palace respectively) to the much celebrated Athenian Trilogy, Zappeion Hall and the Museum of the City of Athens, the city boasts numerous magnificent neoclassical buildings—a testament to the optimism, confidence and flamboyant grandeur at the dawn of the newly independent Greek state

Established in 1837, the First Cemetery of Athens is a gem among gems, an otherworldly 19th century necropolis in the heart of the city that offers visitors a unique opportunity to discover the city’s relationship to art, life and death during the 19th and early 20th century.

The cemetery is the resting place for many of the city’s — and indeed the country’s — most prominent figures. Statesmen, including a number of prime ministers, artists, poets, industrialists, philanthropists, visionaries and famous philhellenes are buried here in marvelously ornate tombs and mausoleums—the most famous of which is, without a doubt, Yiannoulis Halepas’s magnificent “Sleeping Girl” sculpture.

Lined with cypresses and bitter orange trees—with some Greek pines and olive trees thrown in for good measure—the First Cemetery combines the cosmopolitan airs of 19th century Europe with a distinctively Greek spirit, evident in the Orthodox chapels, wandering priests, and winding gravel paths that seem to follow no order but their own. Off the beaten path (but just slightly), this hauntingly beautiful site is a wonderful opportunity to experience an entirely different side of Athens.

Here’s some basic info to help you plan your visit.

Where: The entrance to the First Cemetery is located at 3 Logginou Street, just a few hundred meters from the Panathenaic Stadium and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and just a 15’ stroll from Acropolis Metro Station.

When: The site is open daily, 08:00-17:00 during the winter and 08:00-20:00 the rest of the year.

Cost: Admission to the cemetery is free

Top tip: The terrain can be uneven and, depending on how much you want to explore, the walk through the grounds can be long, so wear comfortable shoes and remember to bring along a bottle of water.

Keep in mind: While a listed a historic monument, this is still a working cemetery with funeral services and burials taking place on a regular basis. Appropriately respectful will be appreciated.

Local legend: According to urban legend, the cemetery is haunted by the ghost of a Nikolaos Batsaris, who worked there as a wreath bearer until his death at age 90. According to the legend, Batsaris accumulated a tidy sum by snatching jobs from his coworkers and to this day wanders the cemetery with a wreath around his neck.

Want to find out more about neoclassical Athens and the Kingdom of Greece? Our Neoclassical Athens private tour is a great way to discover the city’s fabulous neoclassical heritage and the magic and opulence of 19th century Athens.

Outdoors in Athens: Discover the City’s Breathtaking Nature

With the holiday celebrations behind us and the weather getting cooler, it’s tempting to hunker down indoors and wait for spring, but Athens is full of opportunities to keep that holiday cheer going and explore gorgeous nature just a stone’s throw from the city center. After all, is there a better way to start the new year than experiencing Greek nature?

Go East!

Just 6 km (under 4 miles) from Syntagma Square, you’ll find yourself entering Kesariani Forest on the slopes of Mount Ymittos. There’s plenty to see and do here: You can visit the famous 11th century Byzantine monastery, see the quaint Chapel of Ascension, walk along the many hiking trails that wind among the pines and cypresses, and reach the forest’s many lookout spots to take in the splendid views of the city.

Go South!

Head to the coast and discover the Athens Riviera, which stretches from Paleo Faliro all the way south to Cape Sounio and the famed Temple of Poseidon. With views out across the Saronic Gulf toward the island of Egina and the Peloponnese in the far distance, the Athens Riviera is known for its fabulous beachfront restaurants and cafés, gorgeous city beaches, and spectacular sunsets. Seafront properties give way to pristine coves the further south you go.

Go West!

Diomedes Botanical Garden, in the western suburb of Haidari, is one the city’s hidden gems and, at 460 acres, is the largest botanical garden in Greece — and the southeastern Mediterranean! About a fifth of the area serves as a typical botanical garden, hosting more than 2500 plant taxa, while the rest of the terrain is covered by spontaneous flora, including the oldest natural pine forest in Attica. With its stunning collection of hundreds of plant species, the garden is as fascinating as it is beautiful — a veritable oasis in the Greek capital.

Go North!

At 1,413 m (4,3636 ft), Mount Parnitha is the highest mountain in Attica and is an ideal place for nature lovers and those who need an escape from the city. A large area of Mount Parnitha is designated a National Park; densely forested with firs and pines that form a lush green blanket over its slopes, it provides a habitat to a host of wildlife including red deer. The mountain boasts numerous hiking trails, as well as notable monasteries and ancient sites, and of course Tatoi Palace, the summer palace of the Greek Royal Family.

Whichever direction you choose, Athens will surprise you with its stunning nature and landscapes. To make the most of your visit, make sure you’re well prepared (don’t forget to check weather forecasts, opening times and transport links!), stay safe, and have fun exploring the city’s great outdoors!

Discover Athens: The Wonders of the Golden Age

Spectacular. Magnificent. Epic. The Golden Age of Athens was without a doubt the single most important and influential period of Greek history — a period that transformed and shaped not only Greece but the entire world to this very day.

So when was the Golden Age of Athens? Who led Athens during its Golden Age? And what exactly happened during this Golden Age that made it so remarkable?

A time of wonders

The Golden Age of Athens roughly corresponds with the brief period of relative peace between the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War during the 5th century BCE. But even though it lasted for less than a century, it laid the foundations of Western civilization. Athens, under the leadership of the visionary ancient statesman Pericles, flourished and produced some of the world’s most important and enduring ideas and cultural artifacts. No wonder this period is also known as the “Golden Century of Pericles” and the “Age of Pericles.”

As part of its lasting legacy to humankind, the Golden Age of Athens gave the world democracy and an extraordinary wealth of philosophy and art. This was the age of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, great thinkers whose ideas changed the cultural norms of their times and continue to inspire and provoke even today. This was also the age of great playwrights such as Aeschylus and Sophocles, who played a key role in the development of theater as a deeply complex art form that explores the ethical and emotional dimensions of its characters. And this was also an age of spectacular artistic achievement, producing such masterpieces as the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace, and of course the most iconic of ancient Greek monuments: the Parthenon.

Discover the magnificent Golden Age of Athens with our best-selling Classical Athens, Classically Greek tour

Much more than just an Acropolis tour, Classical Athens, Classically Greek is designed to showcase the marvels of the Golden Age of Athens while giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself and explore the wonders of the age and the boldness, optimism and vision that made these extraordinary achievements possible.

Covering the top things to do in Athens, it includes guided tours of the Acropolis archaeological area and the Parthenon as well as a private guided tour of the award-winning Acropolis Museum. Led by expert tour guides, it introduces you to the history and secrets of the Parthenon, the city’s great theater tradition, and the treasures of Athenian democracy—and it also includes a taste of Greek hospitality and opportunity to sample Greek wine and delicacies.

Busy mornings? No problem. Our Afternoon in Athens tour offers the same itinerary with a later starting time, while our family-friendly Young Explorers range, includes three specially-designed fun tours that introduce classical Athens and key concepts such as democracy to children as young as five! Get in touch with our team to book your tour, and don’t forget to check out our Athens Tours collection for more ideas for fabulous private tours in the Greek capital.

Discover Greece: Day Trips from Athens to Top Greek Destinations

Athens is without a doubt a world-class cultural tourism destination, bursting at the seams with history, heritage, and culture. It has ancient temples and Ottoman monuments, Byzantine churches and lavish neoclassical architecture. There are ancient traditions and contemporary arts, festivals and happenings, and food that blends together the flavors of East and West in that magnificent — and distinctively Greek — way. There is loads to see and experience, and no shortage of fantastic Athens private tours  to help you make the most of your time in the city. But it doesn’t have to stop there.

Just a stone’s throw from the Greek capital are some of the best places to visit in Greece. Steeped in culture and history, they are a brilliant opportunity to experience different sides of Greece, get a taste of the enchanting Greek countryside and discover what Greek culture is really all about. And did we mention these destinations make for perfect day tours from Athens?

Visit top UNESCO World Heritage Sites and treat yourself to a winery tour—complete with wine tasting and, optionally, a local gastronomy experience—with our celebrated Wine and History in the Peloponnese tour, which takes you across the Corinth Canal to a breathtaking land of legends where you’ll have the opportunity to discover the intertwined stories of viticulture and Ancient Greek civilization.

Discover ancient goddess worship, go wildlife spotting and see one of Greece’s most famous seaside temples, with our From Athens to the Aegean Sea tour, the perfect introduction to the grand temples and breathtaking nature beyond the Greek capital, which includes a private guided tour of the Sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron, an expert-led tour of the protected Vravrona Wetland, and a visit to the renowned temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio.

Journey to the center of the ancient world, and explore one of the most influential sites of its time with our Visions of Ancient Delphi tour, which takes you on an inspiring journey into the spiritual center of classical Greece for a private guided tour of Ancient Delphi on stunning Mount Parnassus.

Or why not plan your very own custom tour? Get in touch with a member of our team to design a bespoke itinerary made exactly to your specifications. After all, with the holiday season just around the corner, what better gift to give than an unforgettable cultural experience?

Discover Athens: Experience the City’s Art and Culture Scene

Following one of the toughest decades in the country’s modern history, Athens has emerged as one of Europe’s top art and culture hotspots. Inspired and defiant, the city channeled the experience of adversity—ten years of economic hardship, political turmoil and social upheaval—into inventiveness and creativity, transforming previously rundown industrial areas in the city center into studios, galleries and workshops.

Over 2500 years of art and culture

Today, Athens is widely touted as one of Europe’s most vibrant art and culture destinations: buzzing with raw creative energy and chock full of all kinds of creative spaces and projects. And with the city’s art scene literally going back over two and a half millennia, art lovers are spoiled for choice.

There’s a wealth of excellent Athens walking tours that showcase the city’s extraordinary classical heritage and modern history, exploring the key role of art in Greek culture and architecture through the centuries, from the classical masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens to the magnificent architecture and lavish decorative objects of the early days of the Kingdom of Greece. You can even book Bespoke Experiences that offer you the opportunity to hold precious artifacts in your hands. Best of all? You can now delve right into the heart of the city’s vibrant art scene with a specially designed contemporary art tour.

Experience the heart of the city’s art scene

A work of art among Athens tours, our Modern Muses tour has been carefully designed to give you the best experience of contemporary art in the city in true Athenian style. Going beyond classical heritage and Acropolis tours, this half-day private tour is an introduction to the capital’s art and style in a nutshell, a fantastic experience of a different side of Athens.

With gallery visits, walks through some of the city’s top creative districts, plenty of background and context, and an opportunity to visit a real artist’s workshop to talk inspiration and process and what makes the capital’s art scene tick, Modern Muses is hands down one of the top things to do in Athens for anyone with a passion for contemporary art.

Visit the Modern Muses tour page to book your tour and discover the Greek capital’s fabulous contemporary art scene and how it has taken shape from the daring experimentation of the 20th century to the unbridled urban creativity of today.

Autumn in Greece: A Season for Indulgence

As Greece bids farewell to its long summer and slowly welcomes the crisp mornings and changing colors of autumn, there’s never been a better time to indulge in a bit of cultural self-care. From fabulous private dining and winery tours to exclusive handling sessions in the vaults of some of the country’s foremost museums, here’s how you can treat yourself to indulgent cultural experiences in Greece this autumn:

Explore the Breathtaking Peloponnese

A land of grand legends and spectacular beauty, the Peloponnese is one of the top destinations to visit in Greece and perfect as a day tour from Athens. Make the most of the changing seasons and steep yourself in the history and culture of this magnificent destination.

Unravel the intertwined stories of viticulture and ancient Greek civilization: Blending history and culture and bridging the ancient past and the present, our Wine and History in the Peloponnese is an opportunity to marvel at the region’s striking landscapes, explore a UNESCO World Heritage Site, take a winery tour, sample exquisite wines and take a gastronomic journey through the flavors of the Peloponnese.

Discover Hidden Treasures in Athens

The Greek capital offers a wealth of world-class attractions and opportunities to explore the city’s cultural heritage, from private Acropolis tours to fascinating walking tours of Athens’ historic city center. This autumn, go beyond mere sightseeing and delve deeper into the city’s extraordinary cultural heritage.

Step into the shoes of a jewelry conservator and discover the timeless beauty of one of Greece’s oldest art forms: Our Treasure Trove of Jewelry tour invites you to hold precious 19th century jewelry from the Benaki Museum’s vast collection and learn about Greek jewelry crafting from an award-winning jewelry designer.

Treat yourself to a museum lovers’ dream: Explore the Age of Revolutions and journey through the origins of modern Greece, with our Touching History tour that gives you the opportunity to enjoy a hands-on experience of artifacts and heirlooms at the Benaki Museum’s underground vaults.

Enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience: Wander through the heart of old Athens and enjoy a private catered dinner at a historical Athenian townhouse. Our Heritage Dinner experience gives you the chance to dine in a unique historical setting and get a taste of time-honored Greek hospitality in a place of timeless beauty and awe.

Experience Island Magic

From the verdant shores of the Ionian Islands to the otherworldly beauty of the Cyclades and Santorini’s magnificent caldera, the Greek islands are consistently voted amongst the world’s best destinations, year after year. As the crowds of beachgoers head home, surrender to autumn’s golden light and prepare to be enchanted.

Delve deeper into the magic of Santorini: Walk the fault lines between landscape, history and culture, on our The Time-Honored Treasures of Santorini tour that combines ancient heritage and traditional hospitality for a chance to savor the essence of the island.

Experience the magic and opulence of 19th century Corfu: Walk in the steps of European royals and aristocrats with our Art and Empire tour that gives you the unique opportunity to explore the island’s palaces, enjoy an exclusive private viewing of rare artifacts, and discover Corfu’s distinctive flair and elegance.

Neoclassical Athens: A Different Side of the Greek Capital

As the Parthenon towers resplendent over the Greek capital and dozens of ancient sites are there to be explored throughout the city, it can sometimes be easy to forget that there’s so much more to Athens than its ancient classical heritage. After all, Greece has been at a geographical and cultural crossroads for the past… well, several thousand years. So while Acropolis tours might top the lists of the best things to do in Athens, it’s discovering that extraordinary, multifaceted heritage that will really make your trip complete.

A Century of Change and Glory

A fascinating period in the city’s—and indeed the nation’s—history, the 19th century gave us Greece as we know it today. The Greek War of Independence, which started in 1821, resulted in the recognition of an independent Greek state in 1830 and the establishment of the Kingdom of Greece in 1832. The capital was moved from Nafplio to Athens in 1834, signaling the beginning of a unique period of optimism and splendor.

Renowned architects from across Europe came to Greece to oversee the construction of some of the world’s most elegant and magnificent neoclassical buildings. Meanwhile, the newly introduced Greek Royal Family and the city’s aristocracy and upper class infused their world with opulence and charm. By the end of the century, Athens had been transformed from a small modest town into a refined European capital, elements of which can still be experienced today.

Explore the Kingdom of Greece

A gem among Athens walking tours, Neoclassical Athens: An Introduction to the Little-Known Kingdom of Greece is a fascinating look into the city’s 19th-century heritage. Taking you on a wander through the city’s modern history, this fabulous Athens day tour showcases some of the city’s best neoclassical architecture, including the work of Theophil Hansen and Ernst Ziller, takes you on a stroll through the National—formerly Royal—Garden, and gives you a taste of royal life, with a private tour of the Museum of the City of Athens, the Greek royal family’s first residence in the city.

A fantastic opportunity to experience a different side of the Greek capital, this private walking tour deserves a place among the top things to do in Athens. Experience Neoclassical Athens for yourself and discover another layer of the city’s extraordinary heritage.

The Luxury of Choice: Enjoy Tailor-Made Private Tours in Greece

Bright blue skies and sparkling seas, magnificent ancient monuments and brilliant contemporary art, breathtaking nature and vibrant modern cities. From its spectacular landscapes to its fascinating history and rich cultural tapestry, Greece is enchanting—and thanks to Discover Greek Culture, you can now experience its magic on your terms.

Designed for exacting travelers, our award-winning cultural tours go beyond sightseeing to deliver cultural experiences that celebrate Greek culture and showcase our country’s fabulous nature and heritage. We focus on offering opportunities to discover and explore Greek culture, providing top-of-the-range customer service and giving our guests the opportunity to enjoy exclusive access to locations and artifacts.

Our exclusive Tailor-Made Tours service is the next step in our extraordinary cultural tours collection. Moving beyond our fixed itineraries, this service offers the luxury of choice, allowing you to design your own tailor-made private tour and experience Greek culture on your terms.

Choose from dozens of options — including museums, galleries, ancient sites, monuments, culinary tasting sessions, and exclusive experiences — and our team of experienced tour consultants will help you create your own cultural experience in Greece.

Tailor-Made Tours by DGC are available in Greece’s top destinations: Athens, Mykonos, Paros, Crete, Costa Navarino, Delphi and Santorini.

Experience Greece the way you want it. The magic’s in the details.

Summer in the City: Top Things to Do in Athens This August

August has traditionally been the month when most Greeks take their annual leave. Partly to escape the heat and partly to take advantage of the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God on August 15—which is a major holiday in the Orthodox Church and is observed as a public holiday in Greece—Athenians leave the capital in droves to go on their summer holidays. And with the crowds gone, it’s a perfect opportunity to experience the magic of the Greek capital.

So, as the sun shines in the bright blue Greek sky and the cicadas sing, let your city become your playground, waiting to be explored, experienced and enjoyed. Here are some of your favorite experiences and tours in Athens to enjoy this summer!

Ancient Wonders

If you haven’t already, take an Acropolis tour and visit the Parthenon. A private tour is the best way to make the most of the experience, with an experienced tour guide at your side to bring the sites to life, answer your questions and pace the tour to work for you. Our Greek Essentials and Classical Athens, Classically Greek tours are our most popular classical heritage tours in Athens, including a private guided tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon, a private guided tour of the award-winning Acropolis Museum, and an opportunity to experience Greek hospitality and sample some Greek flavors!

You can even combine a morning at the beach with An Afternoon in Athens, to enjoy a private afternoon tour of the capital’s most iconic landmark and a chance to admire the city’s ancient marvels in the afternoon sun. Sounds perfect, right?


For families with young kids, summertime is family time, so we’ve even got a dedicated kids-and-families range: Our Young Explorers tours are specially designed with younger travelers in mind, using principles of experiential learning to deliver cultural tours that are fun and engaging for the whole family!

Modern History and Heritage

To discover more of the city’s fascinating multifaceted heritage, take our new Faces of Athens walking tour that will take you on a journey from antiquity through to the 20th century without ever leaving the historical center of the capital.

You can also opt to explore a different side of Greek history and discover the magic and opulence of Neoclassical Athens and the 19th century Kingdom of Greece, including visits to the former royal gardens, the Athenian Trilogy and the Museum of the City of Athens.

In the Mood for Something Different?

Go for A Taste of Greece to experience Greek cuisine and the city’s fabulous local gastronomy, from traditional herbs and delicacies to some of the capital’s best street food—including the opportunity to taste a selection of Greek wines!

Alternatively, surrender to the city’s Modern Muses and experience contemporary art in true Athenian style, including gallery visits and an opportunity to meet a local artist in their workshop to learn about the city’s thriving art scene.

Try Something Unique

Treat yourself to a unique dining experience: The Heritage Dinner gives you the opportunity to enjoy a specially catered dinner in a private neoclassical townhouse in the historical and picturesque neighborhood of Plaka.

Arranged exclusively for you and your guests, dinner may be served on the roof terrace of this listed home which boasts marvelous views of the illuminated Acropolis.

Can’t wait to book? Private, guided and fully adaptable to your needs, our tours and experiences are guaranteed to help you make some fantastic memories on this trip to Athens. Get in touch and get ready for an unforgettable summer in the city!

Just One Day in Athens? We’ve Got Just the Tour for You!

It’s high summer, and as the temperatures soar and the sky takes on the brightest of blue hues, everyone is rushing to catch flights and ferries to make their way to Greece’s wonderful islands and stunning beaches. Making those connections, however, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the world-class attractions and cultural experiences the Greek capital has to offer.

Designed for travelers that are briefly passing through the city, Classical Athens, Classically Greek gives you the chance to visit the city’s top attractions, get a taste of Greek hospitality and still make your afternoon connection at the airport or port. In fact, it’s also a fantastic choice for those looking for great Athens tours from cruise ships!

So, how do we make the most of your one day in Athens? You’ll enjoy a private Athens walking tour that will give you the opportunity to experience the Acropolis of Athens and the magnificent Parthenon, as well as the city’s Ancient Agora and the picturesque old neighborhood of Plaka. You’ll also enjoy a private guided tour of the award-winning Acropolis Museum.

And while it’s not an Athens food tour, Classical Athens, Classically Greek also includes an opportunity to sample Greek wines and delicacies — because culture really is a multifaceted lived experience (and we just love Greek food and wine!).

This fantastic private tour of Athens is a perfect half-day tour for anyone who wants to discover the best of classical Athens and experience Greek cuisine, wine and hospitality while on a tight schedule.

Coming in at just over four hours including the wine tasting and light lunch, this private tour can be adjusted to fit your needs. Need to arrange a pickup and/or drop off at the port or airport? Need to change the start time to work with your arrival in the city? Have any special requests? Not a problem! Just get in touch with a member of our team and we’ll do our best to meet your needs and make sure you enjoy your day in Athens.

The Myths & Wonders of Ancient Athens

Summer is here—but learning doesn’t have to end just because school’s out.

Without a doubt, experiential learning is the future of education, and Greece is full of opportunities to pursue learning outside the classroom. In fact, Discover Greek Culture has created fantastic family-friendly tours that focus on providing experiential learning activities for children while also making sure that accompanying adults have a great time too. After all, the most important thing about family outings is having fun together as a family and making memories that will last a lifetime. Tall order? Well, we’ve got it covered.

Designed for children aged 5–12 and fun for the whole family, The Myths and Wonders of Ancient Athens is an unforgettable family experience of the Acropolis and Parthenon that brings to life the ancient world through fun facts, fabulous storytelling and games.

This guided walking tour through the Acropolis archaeological area is the perfect way to introduce children to the history and culture of ancient Greece. From competition between gods to the early days of medicine and from epic architecture and art to rowdy theater festivals, there’s plenty to keep inquisitive young minds interested and engaged as parents take in one of the world’s most iconic monuments and a host of facts and anecdotes that are guaranteed to inspire awe at the marvels of antiquity. Of course, the tour includes a private guided tour of the award-winning Acropolis Museum.

The Myths and Wonders of Ancient Athens is part of our Young Explorer collection of tours that have been designed by experienced tour guides and specialist museum educators to make cultural tourism accessible to younger travelers. These private Athens tours have all been crafted with younger guests in mind and are based on the principles of experiential learning. The goal is to introduce kids to ancient Greek culture and history at a pace that keeps them happy and engaged, meaning they’re learning while having fun. And since we know that kids are unlikely to take themselves on a family tour, we’ve made sure that our itineraries are grown-up friendly too.

This might just be the perfect family tour!

Discover Athens: A Greek Cuisine and Local Gastronomy Food Tour

It is Easter time and Greeks up and down the country —and around the world!— are looking forward to sharing festive treats and seasonal delicacies with friends and family. After all, food is much more than just sustenance to Greeks.

From the humble yet irreplaceable olive to viticulture and winemaking and from the traditional vasilopita New Year’s bread to the iconic souvlaki, food and drink are at the core of Greek culture. From helping to shape ancient Greek civilization and trade (historians agree: wine has always been popular) to preserving folklore and customs and bringing together families for celebrations and shared memories, our culinary traditions are an integral part of who we are.

The essence of Greek culture is inextricably tied to the aromas and flavors of our food and drink, and the best way to fully experience this is to savor it!

Our new A Taste of Greece food tour is all about providing an authentic Greek culinary experience. Led by expert tour guides who just so happen to also be foodies, this Athens private tour invites you on a journey of discovery, away from the chain restaurants and usual tourist traps, straight to the culinary heart of the Greek capital.

Wander through the bustling streets of the old city center, explore the flavors and aromas of Greek cuisine, sample delicacies and staples from across the country, and experience some of the best and most iconic cafés, eateries, markets and wine bars in Athens.

Try traditional breakfast foods to discover why “all day breakfast” really is a thing in Greece, take in the sublime aromas of the Greek countryside, treat yourself to some sweet doughy goodness, and explore the city’s iconic 19th-century central market. You’ll also visit a traditional deli, sample meze and tsipouro, enjoy a cup of slow-brewed Greek coffee, eat some of the best souvlaki in town, and enjoy a wine tasting session of Greek vintages.

A Taste of Greece is a fabulous opportunity to experience the city’s delicious culinary traditions while the aromas, flavors and stories carry you on a journey through time and space, across the enchanting Greek countryside and through the country’s rich and fascinating history. Without a doubt, this is a perfect tour for foodies, gourmets and culinary adventurers!

Greece in the Spring: The Best Day Trips from Athens

Spring is in the air! The days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, and it’s all big blue skies and wonderful sunshine. The great outdoors is calling, and we have some great ideas for day tours from Athens that will hit the spot!

Athens may be a large, bustling metropolis, but there are spectacular nature areas just a stone’s throw away. In fact, thanks to the country’s rich and fascinating heritage, the Greek countryside boasts a wealth of extraordinary cultural and historic sites, so if you’re torn between visiting world-class monuments and taking in some the magnificent natural landscape, we have the perfect solution.

From Athens to the Aegean Sea is a fantastic day trip from Athens that gives you the opportunity to discover the grand ancient temples and breathtaking nature of Attica’s Aegean coastline—and even make it back to the city in time for the dinner! Accompanied by one of our expert, multilingual tour guides, you’ll wander through the Sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia, one of the major sacred sites of Greek antiquity, and learn all about the importance of the goddess and nature in ancient Greece.

Surrounded by green hills on three sides and looking out toward the Aegean to the east, the sanctuary is located in the Vravrona Wetland, a beautiful Natura 2000 protected natural area that’s home to a number of rare and endangered species of birds and fish. Respectful of the delicate environment, this part of your tour will be guided by a qualified field expert, who will provide an introduction to the area’s remarkable biodiversity, giving you unique insight into Vravrona’s fauna and flora.

Of course, no tour of Attica’s Aegean coastline is complete without a visit to the world-famous Cape Sounio. Located at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula, Cape Sounio is the site of the renowned Temple of Poseidon, one of the most spectacularly situated ancient Greek temples. Hint: It comes with fabulous views of the Aegean Sea.

And if upon returning to Athens, you find yourself wanting more, why not treat yourself to one of our other fantastic Athens day trips?

Our Visions of Ancient Delphi tour is an inspiring journey to the spiritual center of classical Greece and gives you the opportunity to take in the stunning nature of Mount Parnassus, learn about the Oracle of Delphi and visit the picturesque village of Arachova and the UNESCO-listed Monastery of Hosios Loukas.

Or, if you feel like a taste of the south, our Wine and History in the Peloponnese tour is designed to introduce you to the intertwined stories of viticulture and ancient Greek civilization. Crossing the famous Corinth Canal, the tour includes a visit to the celebrated Ancient Theater of Epidaurus or the UNESCO-listed Ancient City of Mycenae—your choice!—as well as a tour and wine-tasting session at the award-winning Domaine Skouras Winery.

Combining natural beauty and cultural heritage, these three tours are hands down some of the best day trips from Athens. It turns out, that one of the top things to do in Athens this spring is to simply head out of the city!

Kid-Friendly Athens: Culture and Fun for Young Explorers

The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and school holidays are just around the corner. It’s time to enjoy some unforgettable family outings — and Athens is the perfect destination!

Chock-full of world-class monuments, historic sights, museums and cultural attractions, Athens is one of the world’s top destinations for cultural tourism. But while people come from all over the globe to enjoy the city’s rich history and cultural heritage, parents sometimes worry that Athens is too highbrow a cultural destination for a family trip. And what a misconception that is.

Athens is a fantastic destination for families with children, and a new generation of family-friendly tours designed with younger travelers in mind is delivering world-class cultural experiences that are fun for the whole family.

Cultural Adventures Young Explorers!

Firm believers that there’s no such thing as “too young for cultural tourism”, Discover Greek Culture has been offering specially designed kid-friendly tours since 2015. Our Young Explorers collection is a range of tours developed specifically with younger children in mind. Using games, activities and fantastic storytelling, these tours deliver fun learning opportunities that encourage children to engage history on their own terms—and thanks to loads of fascinating details and anecdotes, these tours are just as engaging for grownups too!

A Walk Through History, our fantastic introduction to the myths and wonders of ancient Athens, is a fun tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon that helps children (and their parents) learn about Greek mythology, early medicine and the arts in ancient Greece.

A Day in the Life of a Young Athenian makes children the center of attention, giving young travelers the opportunity to find out what life was like for kids in ancient Athens, while they walk around the Ancient Agora and assemble their very own replica of a popular ancient Greek toy!

The Myths and Wonders of Ancient Athens is our longest and most comprehensive family tour, covering not just the Acropolis and Parthenon but the award-winning Acropolis Museum too.

These three tours are fantastic opportunities to enjoy cultural experiences with the whole family, exploring the Greek capital’s rich cultural heritage while creating shared memories that will last a lifetime. What a fabulous way to experience Athens!

Book your Young Explorers tour directly through our website, or get in touch with a member of our team to plan the perfect custom tour for your family.

Discover Athens: The Many Faces of the Greek Capital

Since day one, Discover Greek Culture has been committed to providing world-class cultural tourism experiences for travelers—as well as locals—who want to truly experience Greek culture and gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of our country’s history and identity. Our tours are inspiring and unique, because we always strive to go above and beyond, designing and providing fantastic experiences in Athens and across some of the best places to visit in Greece. With our new tour, we’ve achieved just that.

Faces of Athens is so, so much more than your run-of-the-mill Athens tours. Let’s face it: Basic sightseeing is, well… basic. So we’ve designed a tour that shows you some of the city’s best sights while taking you on a journey through 2,500 years of Greek history, all guided and narrated by our expert tour guides.

Starting with the city’s most iconic landmark, the Acropolis and Parthenon, Faces of Athens will lead you from Classical Athens through the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras and into modernity, with the early days of the modern Greek state and the transformation of the city into the vibrant metropolis it is today.

You’ll marvel at the Parthenon, wander through the city’s most picturesque neighborhood, visit important ancient sites, and stand at the steps of some of the country’s most renowned and important buildings. And while you’re taking in these photo-worthy sights, you’ll also enjoy the opportunity to learn about the city’s turbulent history, from the rise and fall of classical Athens to the intrigue and opulence of the 19th century Kingdom of Greece. And did we mention there’s a subterranean surprise at the end of it?

Our guides aren’t just qualified experts; they’re passionate about what they do, and that passion is the key to our outstanding tours, bringing sights and locations to life and transporting you through time to give you the chance to experience key moments of Greek history and culture.

Packed full of world-class attractions and fascinating stories and anecdotes, this private tour is easily one of the top things to do in Athens for anyone who wants to really get to know the city’s rich history and authentic character.

Click here to read more about Faces of Athens, or go ahead and get in touch with a member of our team to plan your perfect private tour!

Discover Arachova: A Cosmopolitan Winter Wonderland

Greece is arguably one of the world’s top year-round destinations, with spectacular nature, a wealth of culture and history, and exciting places to visit 365 days a year. And with plenty of options to choose from around the capital, you can easily add a fun day tour to your trip even if you’re based in Athens. Our favorite destination for February? None other than the winter wonderland of Arachova!

Nestled on the slopes of the legendary Mount Parnassus, Arachova is the country’s most cosmopolitan winter destination, beloved by Athenians who come here for their winter holidays, short weekend breaks or even just for a day on the slopes. Its close proximity to Athens—just a two-hour drive—makes it ideal, and with so much to offer visitors, Arachova is simply irresistible.

A quintessential Greek small mountain town, Arachova is built at an elevation of approximately 970 m (3182 ft) and boasts breathtaking views across the surrounding countryside. The town itself is picturesque, with gorgeous traditional architecture and cobbled streets and alleyways.

What to See and Do: Explore Arachova

  • Wander through the town’s cobbled streets and winding alleyways to get a feel of Arachova’s character: unspoiled, authentic, unique.
  • Warm up with a coffee and a sweet at one of the town’s many cafés, or treat yourself to traditionally brewed Greek slow coffee at one of the traditional coffee houses aka kafeneia.
  • Visit the town’s Byzantine churches and chapels, and admire their characteristic architecture and well-preserved frescoes.
  • Check out the shops and bag some souvenirs! From local delicacies to handicrafts, there’s an excellent selection of small—and large—gifts to choose from.
  • Sit down to a delicious meal at one of the local tavernas, and try local cuisine. Winter weekends can be busy, so don’t forget to ask about reservations!
  • Enjoy a night out. During the busy winter season, there are plenty of options for going out, whether you prefer a casual evening wine bar or want to dance the night away.

What to See and Do: Explore the Surrounding Area

  • Enjoy the luscious nature of Mount Parnassus and explore Parnassus National Park and its breathtaking flora and fauna—a treat even in winter.
  • Of course, Mount Parnassus is home to Greece’s best-known ski resort, so hit the slopes and enjoy the snow!
  • Take a guided tour of Ancient Delphi, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important and sacred destinations in the ancient world.
  • Stroll through one—or more!—of the area’s gorgeous villages including Amfikleia and Pavliani.
  • Visit the Monastery of Hosios Loukas, one of the finest monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art and a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Take in even more traditional architecture and natural beauty with visits to the nearby town of Livadia and the coastal town of Itea-Galaxidi.

With such a wealth of natural beauty and cultural heritage, the possibilities are limitless. For travelers based in Athens, Discover Greek Culture offers a fantastic day tour that includes visits to the area’s top attractions, including Arachova, the world-famous Delphi archaeological area, and the Monastery of Hosios Loukas.

Just like all our tours, Visions of Ancient Delphi is a private tour that can be fully adapted to your specifications. You can follow the expert-designed itinerary as is or choose to customize one or more aspects of your experience. Just get in touch with a member of our team to explore the options and book the perfect day trip to Greece’s most cosmopolitan winter wonderland!

Christmas in Athens: Top Things to Do in 2018

It’s that time of year again! December is here, the air is getting crisp, and Christmas is just around the corner. And as decorations, lights and holiday music take over the town, we’ve put together a list of some of the best things to do in Athens this Christmas.

Art and Culture

As the weather gets colder, the holidays are a great opportunity to head indoors and discover some of the Greek capital’s best museums and top art exhibitions. Visit the Yannis Moralis Retrospective at the Benaki Museum, to discover the work of one of the greatest Greek painters of the 20th century; explore the depictions of Women in Neo-Hellenic Painting at the B&M Theocharakis Foundation’s; or step further back in time to experience the Countless Aspects of Beauty, from the Neolithic period up to late Antiquity, at a unique multi-sensory exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum.

Fantastic options for ballet lovers include The Nutcracker performed by the St. Petersburg Ballet Theater of Russia at Galatsi Olympic Hall and the Greek National Opera’s rendition of Swan Lake—with an environmental twist!

There is a plethora of excellent tours that will allow you to experience more of the city and discover its history and cultural heritage, but you can also try a modern art tour, such us our Modern Muses private guided tour of the city’s vibrant art scene, designed to give you a taste of contemporary art in true Athenian style.

Winter Wonderland

Christmas is almost here and Santa’s elves are busy preparing presents. As excitement for the world’s most beloved holiday builds up, there are plenty of opportunities to explore a fairytale winter wonderland in the Greek capital.

Children will love the Christmas market at Technopolis—which offers loads of themed activities, shopping, workshops and of course a great selection of seasonal treats—and the whole family is guaranteed a fun day out at Santa Claus Kingdom at Aidonakia amusement park. If you’re looking for something more traditional, grab your gloves, scarves and woolly hats and head to the ice skating rink at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

Our top picks in the Not Quite as Seasonal, But Definitely Fun! category are the Dinosaur Theme Park at Helexpo Marousi (where tours can be arranged in English as long as you get in touch in advance) and, of course, our very own Young Explorers tours that are tailor-made for young travelers and their families!

A Taste of Christmas

It goes without saying that if you’re in Athens for the holidays, you should take the time to stroll through the city center and see the city light up with Christmas decorations. And while you’re at it, why not go on a little culinary adventure?

Enjoy the aromas of fresh baked goods spiced with cloves and cinnamon as you walk past the bakery windows, and stop along the way to sample various local foods and delicacies. For an even better experience, ask us about a private food tour. We’ll create a perfect itinerary just for you, to introduce you to some of the best flavors in Athens this Christmas, including the country’s favorite seasonal treats: kourambiedes (butter cookies coated in fine powdered sugar) and melomakarona (olive oil cookies flavored with a honey and cinnamon syrup and sprinkled with chopped walnuts).

A Touch of Luxury

If ever there was a season to indulge, this is it. Spoil yourself with a day out Christmas shopping in the upmarket boutiques of Kolonaki, or visit one of the city’s excellent department stores and shopping centers, including Attica in the city center and Golden Hall in Marousi. Unwind with an authentic hammam experience in Thisio or pamper yourself with a luxurious thalassotherapy session in the Athenian Riviera. Then head out for an unforgettable Christmas dinner at one of the city’s luxury hotels. Top contenders, such as Hotel Grande Bretagne and Athenaeum Intercontinental Athens, offer exquisite menus and festivities at this time of year—just don’t forget to make a reservation!

The possibilities are endless. Get in touch with us to explore even more options for tailor-made tours and bespoke experiences.

Discover Corfu: Culture, Heritage and Ionian Finesse

Corfu, or Kerkyra as it is known in Greek, has been one of the most coveted islands in the Mediterranean for millennia. Empires and kingdoms—from the ancient Corinthians to the Romans and from the Byzantine Empire to the Venetians, French and British—have fought battles to lay their claim to its stunning verdant landscapes and sparkling blue seas. And for centuries, Corfu has also been a favorite destination for royals and aristocrats, who built their summer palaces on the island’s lush hills to enjoy the Greek sun and the glorious Ionian Sea.

UNESCO World Heritage

With its roots in the 8th century BCE, the Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO recognized world heritage site, internationally renowned for its cultural significance and the numerous monuments that line its streets. Explore its two forts, which stand magnificently over the Old Town—the Old Citadel, which in its earliest incarnation has stood on the site since 6th century CE, and the New Fortress, which was built in the 16th century—and visit the Campiello, the Old Town’s oldest district, to wander the narrow alleyways and small plazas and let its enchanting atmosphere transport you through time.

Dedicated to showcasing the inimitable charm of Corfu’s Old Town, Discover Greek Culture offers private tours that introduce you to Corfu’s Venetian heritage, its internationally renowned historic center and a number of key attractions—hands down the best way to experience Corfu’s Old Town. And because no experience is complete without a little indulgence, we also offer options to sample local treats and enjoy a wine tasting session at a one of the island’s best wineries.

Art and Empire

Corfu has long been a favorite destination with some of Europe’s most demanding travelers. From the First French Empire to Empress Elisabeth of Austria, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, and the Greek Royal Family—and countless lords, ladies, dignitaries and acclaimed artists in between—Europe’s most influential forces and figures have been drawn to Corfu for centuries. Royals and aristocrats have holidayed here, basking in the island’s magical atmosphere and, in turn, imbuing it with an air of finesse and sophistication.

Discover the magic and opulence of 19th century Corfu with a private guided tour of some of the island’s most splendid sights. Experience that era’s almost fairy-tale world as you visit a royal villa, explore a palace, and discover exquisite art collections in the heart of cosmopolitan Corfu. Discover Greek Culture also offers exclusive access to private locations and artifacts: a remarkable opportunity to not only experience history but also hold it in your hands.

Private, Exclusive, Extraordinary

Natural beauty, history, and a wealth of culture and heritage are just the tip of the iceberg. Corfu is a crown jewel among the Greek islands: elegant, charming and effortlessly sophisticated. Building on this, Discover Greek Culture offers expertly crafted tours for discerning travelers: private and fully customizable to meet your specifications, offering exclusive access opportunities, and guaranteeing extraordinary experiences. Contact us to find out how we can bring your dream tour to life.

It’s time to discover the magic of Corfu!!

Autumn Break in Crete: Sun, Sea and Fabulous History

Few destinations evoke quintessential images of an ideal autumn break more than Crete — and rightfully so. Greece’s largest island — and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica — is situated at the southernmost reaches of the Aegean Sea, with the Libyan Sea and Egypt to its south. It boasts some of the best beaches and top resorts in Greece and the entire Mediterranean, but it’s also home to the Minoan Civilization, one of the earliest and most influential civilizations on the planet.

Named for King Minos — who according to myth ordered Daedalus to build the infamous Labyrinth of Knossos to house the half-bull half-man Minotaur — the Minoan Civilization was an Aegean Bronze Age civilization that flourished throughout Crete and other Aegean islands from about 2600 to 1100 BCE. Today, following over a century of excavations, Crete is peppered with world-class Minoan to visit, and the majority of them just happen to be located a stone’s throw from one or more of the island’s gorgeous beaches.

Want to combine sun, sea and fabulous history? Read on to discover our top five Minoan destinations to infuse your autumn break  holiday with a touch of history and culture.

Knossos and Heraklion

You can’t visit Crete without visiting the renowned Palace of Knossos, arguably one of the world’s most important ancient monuments. The largest, and most important Minoan site, on the island, the Palace was unearthed in the early 20th century, bringing to light a fabulous palace complex, with luxurious quarters, a majestic throne room and a number of extraordinary, elegant frescoes including the famed Bull Leapers, the Dolphins, the Prince of the Lilies, and the Ladies in Blue.

Make sure to visit the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion too, and while you’re in the city, make time to stroll the beachfront, visit the Venetian Fortress and view the city’s impressive cathedrals. The long sandy beaches of Amoudara and Karteros are just a short drive away and offer a full range of amenities and plenty of seafood tavernas to choose from.

Phaistos and Matala

About an hour south of Heraklion, near the island’s south coast, is the Palace of Phaistos. This is the second most important Minoan site on the island. It is also where the famous and rather mysterious Disc of Phaistos was discovered: a 4,000-year-old clay disc covered in spirals of enigmatic writing that has perplexed archaeologists for decades.

Just 15’ away, the town of Matala is another must-visit. The picturesque town has long been a favorite with visitors from around the world. Its famous caves, carved into the cliffs during the Neolithic Age were home to hippies from around the world during the 1960s and continue to attract visitors even today.


Just east of Heraklion, Malia is home to the island’s third most important Minoan site, the Minoan Palace of Malia. But this is a clear case of Come for the culture, stay for the nightlife. Malia is one of Crete’s best-known nightlife hotspots and is a particularly popular destination with holidaymakers looking for a destination where the fun continues well into the small hours of the night. In addition to the Palace of Malia, make sure to visit the nearby village of Krasi, famous for its ancient giant plane trees that adorn the village square.

Mochlos and Agios Nikolaos

Mochlos is a tiny islet located in Mirabello Bay near the town of Agios Nikolaos. Evidence suggests that before becoming an island, Mochlos was actually connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land — and this would have been the case during the Minoan period. A Minoan settlement was excavated on the island during the early 20th century, and the area still hosts regular excavation projects by Greek and international teams.

Mochlos can be reached by boat from the popular seaside town of Agios Nikolaos. While in the area, take the opportunity to see the gorgeous Lake Vouliagmeni, visit Istros beach for a swim, enjoy a stroll along Agios Nikolaos’ promenade and tuck into some tasty seafood at one of its beachfront tavernas. Craving a bit more local flavor? Visit the nearby Cretan Olive Oil Farm and Votania Herb Farm for a taste of local culinary traditions.


Situated on the island’s east coast, the archaeological site of Zakros is ideally combined with a day trip to the Crete’s easternmost reaches. Visit the ruins of the Minoan palace, head north to explore the magnificent palm forest of Vai — the beach is amazing too! — and continue your trip to visit the renowned 15th-century Toplou Monastery, which regularly attracts visitors from all corners of the Earth. Toplou is also home to some of Crete’s best vineyards, so make sure to make time for a winery tour and wine tasting.

Not sure where to start or how to combine it all? With years of expertise as one of Greece’s top cultural tour operators, Discover Greek Culture has a range of itineraries to choose from, all completely customizable to your specifications. All our tours are led by experienced tour guides and can be tailored to your wishes. What’s more, our specialty is providing unique cultural experiences and exclusive access to off-the-beaten path sites and locations. Can you think of a better way to treat yourself to the perfect holiday on Crete?

Cyclades: The Dream Destination

Whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches, bougainvillea-lined alleys, sun-kissed ancient marbles and the mesmerizing sparkle of the Aegean Sea. No matter how far and wide you venture, few places on the planet compare to the idyllic beauty of the Cyclades.

Which Islands?

The popular Cyclades island group, located right in the middle of the Aegean Sea, includes some of the most famous Greek islands including Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, and Ios. But it is also home to other popular islands such as Amorgos, Milos and Delos — not to mention the (not so) hidden gems of Folegandros, Schoinousa and Koufonisia.

Which Beaches?

The Cyclades boasts some of the best beaches in Greece, the Mediterranean, and the entire world: Super Paradise beach on Mykonos is trendy, cosmopolitan and ideal for anyone who wants their beach visit to come with lots of sunbathing and beach bar parties; Mylopotas beach on Ios is its rock-n-roll counterpart.

Shift the focus to gorgeous landscapes, and the stunning rock formations at Sarakiniko beach on Milos, the multiple sandy cove-lets at Kolymbithres on Paros and the crimson cliffs of Santorini’s Red Beach are the perfect exotic getaway from city life.

Meanwhile, movie buffs will appreciate a visit to Agia Anna on Amorgos which featured in Luc Besson’s acclaimed 1988 film The Big Blue.

Which Sights?

The Aegean was the center of the ancient Greek world, and many islands in the Cyclades flourished as trade, cultural and religious hubs, exporting their produce, raw materials, and arts across the known world.

Explore the Aegean’s ancient heritage at Santorini’s renowned Akrotiri archaeological area, visit the kouroi and the Temple of Apollo on Naxos, walk across the Avenue of the Lions on Delos, and take a boat trip to the Sanctuary of Apollo on Despotiko. Jumping forward in time, don’t miss Panagia Ekatontapiliani and the Venetian Kastro on Paros and make sure to visit the iconic windmills and ‘Little Venice’ beachfront on Mykonos.

With literally hundreds of options to choose from in places to visit and things to see and do in the Cyclades, it’s impossible to recommend just one destination. The solution is simple: Treat yourself to an exclusive, tailor-made island-hopping holiday!

From swimming at some of the world’s best beaches to visiting top attractions and world-class archaeological sites, Discover Greek Culture can design the perfect tailor-made holiday experience for you. Wine tastings, culinary adventures, unique cultural experiences and access to exclusive locations are just the beginning. With years of experience as one of the top cultural tourism operators in Greece, we can design the ideal itinerary and take care of all the logistics and details. All you have to do is show up and have the time of your life.

Eat Like a Greek: Easter Favorites

Easter in Greece is a time of celebration and feasting. It’s a perfect time to explore the countryside and get a taste of authentic Greek culture: the customs, traditions and foods that bind communities together and create that uniquely Greek sense of hospitality and belonging.

Whether you’re in the countryside or in Athens, there are plenty of opportunities to sample Greek Easter food. And although we whole-heartedly recommend partaking in a rural village feast if you have the opportunity, city tavernas and back yards can be just as great. All across the country, the air is thick with celebration—and the smoke and aromas from traditional slow-roasting lamb on the spit go a long way toward setting the mood.

Lamb is the basis of much of Greek Easter cuisine: Whole on the spit, grilled offal, and even soup made from the head (and it’s better than it sounds, honest!) are all on the traditional Easter menu, accompanied by rich phyllo-pastry pies, crisp green salads, stuffed vine leaves, and a host of regional specialties. Of course, no Greek Easter menu is complete without the traditional red dyed eggs (and the obligatory egg tapping games) and a thick slice of fresh, buttered tsoureki sweetbread.

If you can’t make it to Greece this Easter, let Greece come to you. We’ve put together a short list of fantastic Easter menus and recipes. Have a look, choose your favorites and get cooking!

Cape Sounio: The Eclectic Experience

Perched atop the craggy promontory of Cape Sounio and overlooking the sparkling Aegean Sea, the famed Temple of Poseidon has inspired the popular imagination for thousands of years. The temple—and the Cape itself—is the stuff of legend and poetry and has fascinated artists and scholars throughout the ages.

Cape Sounio features prominently in the myth about how the Aegean Sea got its name. The story goes that Theseus, son of King Aegeus, traveled to Crete to face the Minotaur in his labyrinth, setting off on a ship with black sails. He promised his father that if he succeeded and survived, he would hoist white sails for his return. With the help of Ariadne, and the ball of string she gifted him, Theseus beat the beast and escaped the labyrinth victorious. Yet in the tumult of his return, Theseus forgot his promise. Standing upon Cape Sounio, King Aegeus saw the black sails returning and, thinking his son dead, threw himself into the sea, to his death. And so the sea became known as the Aegean Sea.

The Temple of Poseidon was built in the 5th century BCE, during the ascendancy of the Athenian statesman Pericles, and stands on the site of an earlier, Archaic-period temple. Over the centuries, it has attracted some of the brightest minds of Europe’s literary and academic world, and its praises have been sung by the likes of Sir George Wheler, William Falconer, Lord Byron and Martin Heidegger.

Now, Discover Greek Culture’s unique new Cape Sounio tour—available as a day trip from Athens—gives you the opportunity to step into the shoes of great thinkers who visited this glorious landmark and were inspired to write poetry, memoirs and treatises on the meaning of beauty and being.

Led by expert tour guides, the Theseus Paradox Sounio tour combines fabulous sightseeing with an introduction to ancient Greek mythology and philosophy, exploring the interplay between the two and grounding them in the spectacular Mediterranean landscapes that gave birth to them.

Staying close to the myth about Aegeus and Theseus, the tour uses the story of Theseus’s ship to introduce you to some intriguing ideas of Greek philosophy: According to Plutarch’s Life of Theseus, the ship Theseus returned in was preserved by Athenians as a memorial for centuries. “They took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place,” the philosopher wrote. But when all the original parts have been replaced by new ones, is this still the original ship?

The Theseus Paradox is a thought experiment in the metaphysics of identity that invites you to question concepts like change, memory and personal identity, and to participate in an exciting intellectual discussion about how we perceive ourselves and human nature. Your setting? The magnificent marble columns of the Temple of Poseidon, the glittering Aegean Sea, and the endless blue canopy of the Greek heavens.

This is a tour for lovers of Greek culture and philosophy, for inquisitive minds and cerebral adventurers who want to be treated to a truly extraordinary experience. More than a great tour to one of the best places to visit in Greece, the Theseus Paradox Sounio tour is an eclectic twist on one of Greece’s top landmarks.

Six Thinking Hats at the Acropolis | Greek Culture Stories

One of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, the Acropolis of Athens stands magnificent over the Greek capital, an enduring symbol of Greek and Western culture, of human accomplishment and human potential. From the myths and ideas that emerged around the imposing rock to the Parthenon’s sublime geometry that tricks the eye, the Acropolis is a monument to the power of thought. And what better way to experience this than to let it challenge and inspire you?

Based on Edward de Bono’s acclaimed Six Thinking Hats system, Discover Greek Culture has designed a unique tour of the Acropolis for those among us keen to combine aesthetic pleasure and intellectual stimulation. Arguably the best tour of its kind in Athens, Six Thinking Hats at the Acropolis is great for families or groups of friends looking to share a different experience historic Athens, and also makes for an exceptional corporate tour.

Peeling away the semantic layers that envelop this world-class monument, participants are invited to engage with the Acropolis and the Parthenon on an intersectional, dialectical level. To kick off the experience, they’re encouraged to ask “What’s so great about the Acropolis?” The intellectual exercise that ensues is a fantastic team-building activity that brings together teams and co-workers, drawing on each individual’s distinct perspectives and the group’s own unique dynamics to promote cooperative thinking and creative problem solving.

The experience starts with a private tour of the Acropolis and then uses the Six Thinking Hats technique to get participants to look at, think of, and appreciate the importance of the Acropolis from different standpoints: data, creative thinking, process control, risk management, emotional intelligence, and optimistic utilitarianism. Equal parts challenging and entertaining, this exercise teaches participants to interact with each other in new ways, find their shared values and explore alternative perspectives and parallel thinking — all while promoting creativity and team bonding.

With its unique mix of philosophy and critical thinking, and set against the backdrop of the Acropolis and Parthenon, Six Thinking Hats at the Acropolis is a quintessentially Greek tour: a fantastic day out and a fabulous team-building activity in the heart of historical Athens.

Time to put on your thinking hat and experience the Acropolis like you’ve never imagined.

Athens Half Marathon 2018

A unique opportunity to run a race in view of the iconic Acropolis and Mount Lycabettus, the Athens Half Marathon is one of the most popular running events in Greece. This year, 2018, it will be held on Sunday 18 March. The main event, the Half-Marathon Race will start at 09:00 in the morning from Syntagma Square, and there will be three additional shorter runs or 5km, 3km and 1km—the latter open to children as young as ten years of age!

Expected to draw more than 20,000 participants from Greece and around the world, the Athens Half Marathon aims to be not just a race but also a celebration of Greek culture and heritage. Everybody who has ever looked at ancient Greek art—be it statues, frescoes or pottery—knows that good health and physical fitness were held in very high regard in ancient Greece. In fact, ancient Greek thinking on the matter was millennia ahead of its time.

The motto was simple: A healthy mind needs a healthy body. Basically, ancient Greeks practiced wellness 2500 years before modern science confirmed that exercising and staying fit are key to happiness, mental health and cognitive performance. Indeed, athletic events and physical fitness were just as important in ancient Greek culture as education and practicing democracy!

Young and very much cultural, the Athens Half Marathon aims to promote running as part of a healthy lifestyle and to encourage participants to discover the wonderfully rich world of Greek culture: from the love of sport and the deliciously healthy Mediterranean cuisine to the history, art and monuments of a civilization that clearly knew how to make the most of life.

Whether you’re in town to run the Half Marathon or to cheer on as a spectator, make sure to explore the city and discover its wonderful cultural heritage. Visit the 2500-year-old Panathenaic Stadium (aka Kallimarmaro), walk around the Acropolis to get to know one of the planet’s most iconic monuments, and tuck into some scrumptious Greek cuisine—including delicious vegan and clean-eating options.

If you’re only in town for a short stay, a private guided tour is essential. Expert tour guides are master storytellers that bring the ancient world to life, turning top cultural tours of Athens into unforgettable authentic experiences.  So book a tour now to get started on your adventure.

Here are some of our top suggestions:

  • Two birds…
    To really get the most out of a day-trip to the capital, choose an afternoon tour in Athens .After spending the morning at the Half Marathon, you’ll visit the Acropolis, explore the capital’s ancient marvels in the afternoon sun, and taste a selection of Greek wines in the evening.
  • Make a day of it
    If you can plan in an extra day, take a private tour from Athens to the Aegean Sea, to visit the Sanctuary of Artemis at Brauron, the Vravrona Wetlands, and the famed Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio—all complete with private transfers.

  • Fun for the whole familyTraveling with kids? No problem! Our Young Explorers tours have got you covered. Designed especially for children, these family-friendly tours are packed full of fun activities and related themes that kids are guaranteed to love! Younger visitors will have the time of their lives discovering the secrets of ancient Greece through play, and the tours pack enough fascinating anecdotes and details to keep adults happy too.

Athens is buzzing with tours that celebrate its ancient heritage, but its modern culture and spectacular gastronomy are equally captivating. Not sure where to start? Look for tours that combine different aspects of Greek culture, such as culture and gastronomy tours that introduce you to the best of the Greek culinary tradition in unique settings that make for unforgettable dining experiences. Dine like Athenian aristocracy with a 19th-century-themed lunch at a former residence of the Greek royal family (kids get to play dress up too), or treat yourself to a moonlit heritage dinner on the terrace of a unique historical private townhouse with a view of the Acropolis. Because quite frankly, when it comes to experiencing Greek cuisine and culture, it doesn’t get more authentic than this.

The ancient Greeks knew what it’s all about. On occasion of the Athens Half Marathon, treat your body, mind and spirit with a day of sport, culture and exquisite Greek cuisine.

Greek Carnival in Patras and the Peloponnese

Apokries, as the carnival season is known in Greece, is a big deal throughout the country and local traditions make for a range of striking and unique celebrations—from the street parties and burning effigies in Rethymno (Crete) to the Venetian-style carnival on Corfu and the traditional, rustic celebrations in Tyrnavos and Naxos that bear obvious similarities to the pagan carnival traditions of central Europe. The biggest, liveliest and most famous carnival in Greece, however, is without a doubt the carnival in Patras.

Going back over 180 years, Patras Carnival is the biggest festival in Greece and one of the biggest in Europe. It kicks off with the beginning of apokries (this year on January 28) and, over the next three weeks features a number of events, including balls, parades, street theatre, and of course the Children’s Parade (February 11, 2018). The festival culminates with its two major events on the last weekend of the carnival: the Night Parade on Saturday February 17, 2018 and its world-famous Grand Parade on Sunday February 18, 2018.

While the modern, cosmopolitan character of the Patras Carnival might not give it away, the Greek carnival actually has its roots in ancient Greece and in the worship of the god Dionysus. For ancient Greeks, Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, ritual madness, fertility, theater and religious ecstasy—a hefty title, and they made sure to celebrate him accordingly. Epic feasts, processions, singing, plays, masked dancing, and lots and lots and lots of wine.

And we have the perfect way to give a nod to Dionysus and the origins of the apokries carnival season. Our Wine and History in the Peloponnese tour takes you on a journey that introduces you to the intertwined stories of viticulture and ancient Greek civilization: Enjoy a private guided visit to the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus and a guided winery tour of the award-winning Domaine Skouras Winery—complete with a wine tasting session showcasing four exquisite ambassador wines. Available as a day trip from Athens—or from Patras, upon request—Wine and History in the Peloponnese is the ideal tour to combine with a weekend at Patras Carnival.

Culture, wine, and splendid celebration are just the right ingredients for an unforgettable apokries experience in Greece.

The main Carnival dates for 2018:

Jan 28: Triodion – The beginning of the carnival period

Feb 8: Tsiknopempti (Smoky or Barbeque Thursday) – Traditionally a day on which Greeks head to tavernas—or fire up their grills—and tuck into some serious quantities of grilled meat prior to the arrival of Lent

Feb 16-18: main Carnival weekend – The last three days of apokries during which carnival lovers don their costumes and take to the streets in numbers

Feb 19: Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday) – The first day of the Great Lent, usually spent outdoors, flying kites and picnicking on delicious Lenten fare

Ski & Snowboard Holiday

Greece is an undiscovered gem in Europe’s snow sport scene: a winter wonderland with almost 200 km of pistes and 24 resorts of various sizes up and down the country, Greece is a must-visit destination for skiers and snowboarders looking for new slopes and a unique take on snow sports.

Whether you’re in north, central or southern Greece, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a day out on the slopes. There are dozens of ski resorts and centers throughout Greece, from the northern borders to the Peloponnese, and experienced skiers and snowboarders can also enjoy a wealth of opportunities for cross-country skiing and backcountry rides in pure untouched powder—even as far south as Crete!

Greek ski resorts are mostly medium-sized, and a number of them are actually smaller ski centers, so don’t expect the massive networks of pistes you’d typically find in the Alps. Instead, prepare yourself for a real treat: a variety of runs across gorgeous terrain, often with spectacular views across the Greek countryside and—you guessed it—the Aegean Sea. Even the tiniest ski center has heaps of character and comes with plenty of options for sightseeing, cultural tourism, and great food in the vicinity. After all, where else in the world could you go straight from enjoying excellent snow to savoring a delicious souvlaki or tucking into some authentic Mediterranean home-cooking at a local family-run taverna?

Transportation and Gear

If you’re based in Athens or Thessaloniki and don’t mind a bit of a drive, you can plan in some time on the slopes as a day trip. Two of the biggest resorts in Greece, Parnassos Ski Center on Mount Parnassus and Kalavrita Ski Center in the Peloponnese, are just under a three-hour drive from Athens, while Thessaloniki is surrounded by resorts, including Elatohori, 3-5 Pigadia, Vitsi, and Kaimaktsalan. Remember that mountain roads can be challenging even on a good day—much more so if you have to drive over snow or ice. Make sure your vehicle can handle the terrain and is equipped with appropriate tires, and have snow chains at hand just in case.

If you don’t feel like driving up the mountain yourself, you can take advantage of a number of “snow bus” services—shuttle services that transport snow sport enthusiasts from the city to resorts and back, leaving in the early hours of the morning and bringing you back in the evening.

Snow bus services usually stop at gear rental shops, where you can rent anything from skis and boards to goggles, but it’s always a good idea to confirm this in advance with the company you’re using. If you’re thinking of trying a smaller ski center and/or are driving yourself, call in advance to confirm the possibility of renting gear from them or check with local snow sport shops in the city.

The Resorts

Central Greece:

Agrafa – Karamanoli

Agriolefkes – Pelion

Koziakas – Pertouli

Mount Olympus – Vryssopoules

Mount Parnassos – Fterolakka/Kellaria

Mount Parnassos – Gerontovrachos

Tymfristos – Velouchi

Northern Greece:

3-5 Pigadia – Naoussa

Hriso Elafi

Elatohori – Katerini


Lailias Ski Area – Serres

Orfea Valley – Paggaio



Vigla Pisoderi/Verno – Florina

Vitsi – Kastoria

Voras – Kaimaktsalan



Profitis Elias – Metsovo


Helmos – Kalavrita

Ostrakina – Mainalon


What to See and Do

Chasing the snow takes dedication, but if you’re only visiting Greece—or as specific area—for a short time, you’ll want to treat yourself to a complete, well-rounded experience. The best place to start is with one of the great guided tours that will introduce you to the Greece’s fascinating history and rich cultural heritage. There’s a wealth of unique cultural experiences to choose from in Athens, and longer ski or snowboarding trips to resorts like Kalavrita or Mainalon can be combined with a wine and history tour to discover the highlights of the Peloponnese. Heading north from Athens, a trip to Mount Parnassus and the country’s most cosmopolitan ski resort is ideally combined with a stay in the picturesque village of Arachova and a tour of the world-renowned Delphi archaeological area. Or why not combine snow sports in the north of Greece with visits to some of the country’s most popular destinations to enjoy the unique blend of ancient Greek heritage and Ottoman influences and the region’s rich and distinctive cuisine to match it!

Useful Links – Information and updates on the status of various resorts throughout the country – Weather and snow condition information – Piste information and resort facts (including piste categories and lengths per resort)

VisitGreece – Winter Vacations – Inspiration for ski resorts and things to do in the winter in Greece

The Thing About Greece – A documentary about snowboarding in Greece

Plan Your Trip to Greece

Greece is one of the top tourism destinations on the planet—and rightly so! From city breaks to rustic countryside getaways, from sunbathing to skiing, and from archaeological treasures to modern art, Greece has it all. It’s not just one of the best places to visit—in the world!—it’s a place to keep coming back to.

Read on for some tips and suggestions on planning your trip to Greece. Explore your options, prepare it all, and get ready to fall in love!

First Things First: Regions and Seasons

Don’t be fooled by the sun-and-sand image of Greece that’s promoted by most package tour operators. Sure, we have some of the best beaches in the world (in face you’ll find them all along the 13,676 km of coastline!), but the country’s interior is just as magnificent.

In addition to some impressive white-sand beaches and turquoise waters, the Peloponnese boasts a mountainous interior that offers visitors plenty of options for outdoors activities, from gentle hiking to rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and paragliding. The Greek mainland offers all these as well, as well as a number of excellent snowsport resorts, including Kaimaktsalan, Vasilitsa, and Pelion. In fact, there are approximately 24 working ski resorts of varying sizes in Greece (including two in the Peloponnese), with a total of 197.1 km of slopes. The most cosmopolitan of these is on Mount Parnassus, just under three hours from Athens and a stone’s throw from the world-class archaeological site of Delphi and the winter resort town of Arachova.

Further north, Mount Olympus is a four-season favorite, offering skiing and alpinism at its peaks and luxury beachfront resorts at its foot, with Litochoro being a popular destination with visitors from all over the world looking for a taste of ancient Greek myths and adventure. Even more adventurous types, will enjoy the wilderness of the Rhodope Mountains in Greece’s northernmost corner on the border with Bulgaria.

Not quite the outdoorsy type? We’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach and pamper yourself on the magical Santorini or the popular Chalkidiki Peninsula or you want to take a walk in an enchanting mountain landscape without straying too far from the comforts of city life, there are plenty of destinations to choose from. In the north, cities like Serres, Kastoria and Ioannina combine rich culture with exquisite nature and are ideal winter getaways, while cities like Nafplio in the Peloponnese or Agios Nikolaos in Crete make for perfect romantic retreats all year round.

Of course, wherever you go in Greece, you can expect plenty of opportunities to discover the country’s rich cultural heritage through world-class archaeological sites, monument and museums—and of course, the folklore, arts, and excellent Mediterranean cuisine.

Invest some time to researching Greece’s top destinations and determine the region and season that’s right for you. Actually, make that a list. Once you’ve had a taste of Greece, you’re guaranteed to come back for more.

Practical Info: Get the Basics Right

When you know when and where you want to go in Greece, it’s time to start preparing. Your dream itinerary might already be on your mind, but don’t forget the essentials. Here’s some practical info to get you started.

  • Visas: Greece is party to the Schengen Agreement, and visas are generally not required for stays of up to 90 days. Those with passports from non-Schengen countries may require a visa, so make sure to check well ahead of time as some embassies and consulates have lengthy procedures.
  • Weather: The overall climate is temperate Mediterranean, but the country’s unique geography means there’s a remarkable range of microclimates. In other words, temperature and weather phenomena really vary in different areas of the country, depending on altitude and proximity to the sea. To be sure, check the weather forecasts for your specific destinations.
  • Low and High Seasons: Low season is generally November to March, and this is a good time to get cheaper flights and ferries and good deals on accommodation. However keep in mind, that December to February is the busy season for winter and ski resorts, so book your accommodation (and lift passes!) well in advance to avoid disappointment. For the rest of the country, high season is Easter and then May to August, so expect most flights, ferries, accommodation and tours to be fully booked. To avoid disappointment (and sky-high prices) book in advance.
  • Money and costs: Greece uses the Euro, and prices can be very competitive compared to other European destinations. On the tighter end of the budget, you can stay at a hostel for under €20 and enjoy a couple of souvlakia on the go for €5. At the mid-range, hotel accommodation will set you back anywhere between €60- €150 a night and you can expect to have a hearty meal at a local taverna for €20- €25. At the top end, expect to pay upwards of €160 a night for accommodation and €60 for dining. Activities and tours can vary greatly in price, but beware of deals that sound too good to be true: The extra cost of booking a tour with licensed guides and well-developed itineraries is definitely worth it.
  • Getting Around: Athens has a well-developed public transport network with buses, trolleys, trains, metro and tram routes that will get you to pretty much anywhere you need to go in the city. Major cities across Greece also have good public transport links, primarily buses and trolleys. Taxis are relatively affordable in Greece, and, in the countryside, can also be hired for longer trips and even sightseeing! Car and moped rentals are also reasonably priced, and you can find rental offices throughout the country, including most islands. For longer distances, options include flying (with local airports throughout the islands), an extensive rail network, and ferries, particularly during the summer months.

For more inspiration on top places to visit and top things to do in Greece, check out our list of top Greek destinations or explore our selection of some of the best tours in Athens and other popular destinations like Delphi, Santorini, and the Peloponnese. If you’re looking to plan something truly unique and memorable, have a look at our Bespoke Experiences and get in touch with us to arrange an exclusive, tailor-made tour just for you.

Greece is magnificent. Get ready to fall in love with it.

Christmas in Athens: Top Things to See and Do

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! As days get ever shorter and the temperatures dip, Athens is gearing up for the holiday season. Christmas decorations and lights adorn city streets and squares, and seasonal attractions and events are opening their doors to the public.

December is a great time to visit Athens, as the usual summer crowds are gone, and Christmas holiday magic is in the air, transforming the city and promising a fantastic holiday experience.

Read on for some ideas on top things to see and do in Athens this Christmas!

Explore the City

Winters in Athens are mild, with the average temperature during December through February hovering around 10°C. The sun continues to shine and, with the exception of those rare stormy days, the skies are bright and blue. Put simply: ideal conditions to explore the city!

Why not walk up Lycabettus Hill—a much better experience in the crisp winter air than under the scorching summer sun—or wander through the picture-perfect alleyways of Anafiotika on the slopes of the Acropolis? This is also a great time of year to visit the city’s green areas like Filopappou Hill and the National Garden or to just go on a bit of an urban adventure to explore the side streets and neighborhoods of the bustling city center.

Our half-day Neoclassical Athens and full-day Getting to Know the City of Athens walking tours combine guided tours of the National Garden with visits to some of the city center’s top modern history attractions, introducing you the fascinating world of 19th and early-20th century Athens.

Give the Kids a Taste of Christmas Magic

Kids will love to visit the Christmas Factory and to discover Ancient Greece

The holiday season brings out the child in us all, and it’s the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together making wonderful memories for the whole family. Children—of all ages!—will love a visit to The Christmas Factory at Technopolis in Gazi. Open 10:00-22:00 from December 1 to January 7, the Christmas Factory sparkles with lights and decorations and features various craft and activity workshops, face painting, a fun park, a school of magic, and a Christmas market—and younger kids can meet Santa too!

For a break from elves and reindeer, you can take advantage of the holiday season to enjoy a fantastic day out discovering Greek culture with one of our fantastic family-friendly tours. Our Young Explorer Tours are designed with younger guests in mind and use fun games, activities and expert storytelling to create fun and engaging experiences for the whole family!

Discover Greek Culture and Heritage

Now that the summer crowds are gone, it’s a perfect time to visit those world-class attractions, iconic monuments and top museums without the queues and hassle of the peak summer season. Experience the Acropolis and the Parthenon and make sure to visit the renowned Acropolis Museum.

To make the most of your time—and to complement the experience with best anecdotes and insider scoop about these magnificent monuments—book our top-selling Classical Athens, Classically Greek or Greek Essentials itineraries, which include private guided tours of the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum. And why not get away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours, with a day trip to Cape Sounio and the Aegean coast to discover the ancient grand temples and breathtaking nature beyond the Greek capital?

Sneak in Some Christmas Shopping

Certainly not as famous as London or Paris, Athens is nonetheless a great shopping destination that offers everything from top luxury brands to local craftsmen and artisans. The best Christmas shopping is to be had in the city center, with the area between Ermou Street and Kolonaki brimming with retailers, international and local. Other key shopping areas are Glyfada and Kifissia, and there are also a handful or large shopping centers and malls on Kifissias Avenue.

Looking for a truly special present? Our Bespoke Tour Experiences offer exclusive access to artifacts, private locations and unique collections, allowing behind the scenes access at some of the country’s foremost museums. These exclusive cultural experiences are the perfect gift for a special occasion.

Visit Megaron

One of the city’s foremost cultural venues, Megaron, the Athens Concert Hall, is a hub of art and creativity and a great place to catch performances and exhibitions.

Ilias Karellas creates and performs Karagiozis shadow plays, bringing this traditional art form to life for modern audiences.

Karagiozis shadow puppet and creator Ilias Karellas and the Grigorovich Ballet Theatre of Russia

Our top pick: See Karagiozis’ Christmas at the Moon by Ilias Karellas Theatre Company to witness the wonderful art of shadow theater and meet Karagiozis, its most famous character. The play is a modern twist on the traditional stories. “The Grand Vizier wishes to spend Christmas at the moon along with his daughter and the entire palace. While making preparations for the Vizier’s moon stay, a group of astronauts led by Karagiozis face a group of uncanny, alien creatures…” [Dec 16-30]

Other exciting performances during the holiday season include:

  • The Athens State Orchestra: A Different Nutcracker I – Dec 16, 17
  • The Nutcracker by Yuri Grigorovich, a dazzling show by Bolshoi legend Yuri Grigorovich featuring the Grigorovich Ballet Theatre of Russia and Bolshoi principal dancers that promises to be the most spectacular performance of Christmas Athens – 20-30 Dec
  • Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, performed by Les Musiciens du Louvre on period instruments – Dec 20
  • Yiannis Markopoulos: The Greek Christmas Carols – Dec 21, 22

Chase the Snow

Greece might be famous for its fabulous beaches and seaside resorts, but with 24 ski centers of varying sizes and a total of 197 km of slopes, it’s also an undiscovered gem for snowsport lovers. Weather permitting, you can enjoy one of the two options near Athens: Parnassos Ski Center on Mount Parnassus and Kalavrita Ski Center in the Peloponnese. Both are just under a three hour drive from the capital, and Athenians often make a day of it, leaving in the morning and returning in the evening after a day on the slopes. Don’t want to drive the distance? No problem! A number of Athens-based providers operate special “snow shuttle” services that depart the city in the early morning and bring you back in the evening. You can generally arrange gear rental through them too.

Parnassos and Kalavrita are also great for short getaways and sightseeing. Parnassos is a stone’s throw from the world-class archaeological site of Delphi and the picturesque winter resort town of Arachova, while Kalavrita is ideally combined with a couple of days exploring the Peloponnese. Still, if you’re not quite up for an adventure to the Greek countryside, Mount Parnitha in the north of Athens, can make for a fantastic day out with the family and often gets a sprinkling of snow during the colder months.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Greece is known for its unique sort of Mediterranean cuisine, and holiday dishes just up the ante. From turkey and stuffing to traditional pork roasts or creative fusion dishes to please the most adventurous of palates, festive menus in restaurants across the capital promise a feast of culinary delights. Even the humble Christmas cookies—the beloved kourambiedes (butter cookies coated in fine powdered sugar) and melomakarona (olive oil cookies flavored with a honey and cinnamon syrup and sprinkled with chopped walnuts)­—are so good that Greeks up and down the country look forward to December when these make their appearance in the shops.

But there’s more to the season than the Christmas feast! Foodies can enjoy a number of gastro-tours of the city or even take a day trip to discover wine and history in the Peloponnese, complete with glorious ancient monuments and a winery tour. For a unique culinary experience of Athens, why not try dining like Athenian aristocracy with a period-themed private dinner at the Museum of the City of Athens or treat yourself to a private Christmas feast in a unique Athenian setting?

Greek Christmas Traditions to Look Forward To This Holiday Season

Christmas is just around the corner, and as scores of people are looking forward to decorating Christmas trees and wrapping presents, here is a look at some of the things that give the Greek holiday season its special character.

A traditional three-masted ship of Christmas lights in a town square

Christmas lights in the shape of ships and sailboats celebrate the Greek tradition that predates the arrival of decorating trees in the country.

Decorating: Trees and Ships

Like much of the world, Greece has adopted the Christmas tree as the most easily recognizable seasonal decoration. Cities, towns, and villages up and down the country adorn their streets and public squares with themed displays, garlands of Christmas lights and impressively decorated trees. In fact, this is a great time of year to take one of many available tours in Athens—each year, the city strives to put up one of the tallest and best Christmas trees in Europe, making the tree in Syntagma Square an attraction in itself. You can read here about experiencing Athens during Christmas.

But before Christmas trees made their way into the popular consciousness, Greeks up and down the country used to decorate miniature sailboats and ships. This custom honors the country’s millennia-old maritime tradition and is no-doubt a nod to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of seafarers, whose feast is also celebrated in December. Sailboats and ships are still popular in households across the country, and many can also be seen adorning public spaces throughout the mainland and across the Aegean, on islands like Santorini.

Kallikantzaroi: The Malevolent Goblins Trying (and Failing) to Ruin Christmas

According to folklore, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the only time of year when the mischievous goblins known as kallikantzaroi can leave their underground homes in the bowels of the earth and venture out among humans. Always operating under the cover of night, they are said to sneak into homes and cause havoc, misplacing things, spoiling the food, and creating mess and damage.

To ward them off, Greeks would traditionally keep a fire burning overnight or hang a tangled rope of flax by the front door—a trick that was said to keep the dim-witted kallikantzaroi busy till daybreak counting the threads. Another popular ritual, still observed by some today, is to hang a sprig of basil and a wooden cross from a string suspended over a bowl of water and to use it to sprinkle the house with holy water every day. The best results, of course, come from the priests’ blessing of the waters on the Feast of the Epiphany.

The old tales explain that the creatures live below the earth, sawing endlessly at the world tree the whole year round. When Christmas comes and they realize they can roam above ground, they abandon their work to wreak havoc among humans. But when the Twelve Days of Christmas pass and the priests’ blessings drive them below ground again, the kallikantzaroi realize that in their absence, the world tree has healed itself, and so begins another cycle of sawing and resurfucing.

Kalanda: Early-morning Caroling

In Greece, caroling—known as kalanda—is a favorite holiday season activity for children, who walk through neighborhoods in groups, call on houses, and sing traditional festive songs. These are accompanied by music from triangles and talk about the birth of Christ and bringing good tidings to the household. In some places, it is customary for the children to carry with them a decorated model boat. Traditionally, children who sang well would be rewarded with sweets and nuts, but today it is customary to give them small sums of money. Kalanda are sung on three separate occasions: 4 December, 31 January, and 5 January. What makes the activity particularly unusual for visitors is that the singing of kalanda tends to take place quite early in the morning.

Whether traditional or chocolate-covered, melomakarona and kourambiedes are the two most beloved of the Greek Christmas treats.

Greek Christmas cookies, melomakarona and kourambiedes, on platters

Seasonal Treats: It’s All About the Cookies

Greeks love good food, and the holiday season is just the excuse to go the extra mile and prepare a host of scrumptious dishes for a family feast. Traditional meals center around roast pork or lamb, with a spread of pies and salads to accompany it, although many also opt for a Western European style réveillon, an often more formal affair that focuses on French-inspired cuisine. The one thing that everyone agrees on, however, is that the best, most irresistible treat to be had around the holiday season is Christmas cookies.

Among all the sweets that are available this time of year, the most beloved by far are diples, kourambiedes, melomakarona—three words that sound like magic to every Greek’s ears. Originally from the Peloponnese but now popular throughout Greece, diples are made of thin, sheet-like dough that is folded over itself, fried, and then dipped in a honey or sugar syrup and served with a sprinkling of cinnamon or ground nuts. Kourambiedes are small crumbly butter cookies that are coated in fine powdered sugar and are often made with the addition of chopped almonds to the dough. The most distinctively Greek of the three, melomakarona are olive oil cookies that, after baking, are drenched in a syrup made of honey and cinnamon and are sprinkled with chopped walnuts, resulting in delightfully moist cookies with characteristically Greek flavor.

Boasting its own, distinctive Christmas traditions and combining them with the renowned hospitality of its people, Greece an ideal alternative for a great Christmas holiday. Whether you are hoping for a white Christmas in the quaint mountain villages near Delphi or around the Peloponnese, you want to visit the Greek islands for a decisively different Christmastime experience, or you want to enjoy a festive take on Thessaloniki or Athens, Greece is guaranteed to charm you with its distinctive Christmas traditions and celebrations.

Want to see it all? Get in touch with a member of our team to request a custom itinerary—a tailor-made private tour of the best Christmas destinations in Greece.

Top Greek Destinations

Rich culture, fascinating history, stunning nature and outstanding gastronomy. From the white-sanded beaches on the southern coast of Crete to the snow-capped mountains on the northern borders and from world-class archaeological sites to fabulous contemporary art and culture, Greece is full of great places to discover.

Greece is full of spectacular destinations: ancient marvels, mountaintop villages, breath-taking nature, sacred islands, medieval fortresses, picture-perfect beaches, vineyards, museums, and extraordinary historical and natural landmarks. With so much to see and do, private tours are a fantastic way to make the most of your visit and really discover Greece and Greek culture.

With years of experience at the front lines of Greek tourism, archaeology and culture, we’re able to offer some of the best tours and excursions in the country, and when it comes to choosing destinations, the sky’s the limit.

Greece really is full of spectacular destinations. Whether you’re looking to enjoy one of the most popular tours in Athens, visit the spectacular Delphi, enjoy wine and history in the Peloponnese, or lose yourself in the magic of Santorini, Discover Greek Culture offers one some of the best private tours available in the country. Browse our tours to find the perfect one for you or — why not? — treat yourself to one of our exclusive bespoke experiences. Looking for something even more extraordinary? We can design a custom tour just for you, built around your favorite destinations and activities anywhere in the country.

In addition to our unique cultural tours in key locations around Greece we also organize custom itineraries and trips to must-see sites throughout the country.

Browse below to be inspired by some of the most popular places to visit in Greece!

Terrace of the lions in Delos

The birthplace of Apollo and the most sacred island in the ancient Greek world, Delos is one of the most important archaeological and historical sites in Greece and the Mediterranean. Its numerous excavations and artefacts span a period from the 3rd millennium BCE to the Paleochristian era and have earned the island its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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With its imposing crimson columns and charging bull fresco, the North Entrance of the Palace of Knossos is one of the most recognizable archaeological landmarks in the world and one of the top attractions in Greece.

The Palace of Knossos was the capital of Minoan Crete and is thought by some to be Europe’s oldest city. Located near Heraklion, on the popular island of Crete, the sprawling palatial complex boasts a number of restored areas and glorious preserved frescoes that bring to life the flair and grandeur of the Bronze Age Minoan civilization.

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Meteora, with their impressive Byzantine monasteries and the breathtaking silhouettes of the sandstone boulders, are a popular destination with visitors from around the world.

One of top places to visit in Greece, Meteora is the definition of awe-inspiring. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed in 1988, comprises a number of Byzantine monasteries built on the almost inaccessible peaks of massive, perpendicular sandstone boulders.

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Stone-built medieval buildings in the old town of Monemvasia house boutique hotels and excellent restaurants, inviting visitors to relax and enjoy the magical atmosphere over a glass of local Malvasia wine.

Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian influences, traditional architecture, bougainvillea-lined streets, spectacular views and crystal-clear waters are just a few of the things that make this medieval island fortress in the Peloponnese so popular. With fantastic boutique hotels, a splendid selection of restaurants, and a complete ban on motorized vehicles in its old town, Monemvasia is an opportunity to step into the past and enjoy the magic of the Peloponnese.

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Once the seat of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, Mystras is a formidable fortress town at the heart of the Peloponnese.

Perched high on the slopes of Mount Taygetos near the modern city of Sparti in the Peloponnese, Mystras is a UNESCO World Heritage Site often called the ‘wonder of the Morea’. Built in the 13th century and abandoned in 1832, the breathtaking medieval ruins of this formidable fortress boast spectacular views over the surrounding landscape.

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A wealth of history and culture, picturesque pedestrian areas, and a seafront promenade to die for make Nafplio one of the best places to visit in Greece.

Elegant and cosmopolitan, Nafplio is one of the most charming towns in the Peloponnese. It boasts numerous archaeological and historical sites, ranging from antiquity and the Ottoman and Venetian periods all the way through to the modern era, when it served as the first capital of modern Greece! Rich heritage, delightful architecture, and numerous galleries, restaurants and boutiques make this a favorite destination with Greeks and international visitors alike.

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Ancient Olympia was home to the original Olympic Games and today is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Greece.

Home of the ancient Olympic Games, the Sanctuary of Olympia was one of the foremost sites of the ancient Greek world. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising multiple grand temples and sports structures, all set amid the glorious nature of the Peloponnese.

Request more info

Mount Pelion in central Greece is dotted with traditional villages and boasts pristine nature areas that are breathtaking year-round.

Lush forests, spectacular beaches and a number of quaint traditional villages dotting the landscape make this area of central Greece a perfect option for a quiet getaway. The region’s rich cultural heritage, characteristic architecture, and exquisite local cuisine just make this great destination better.

Request more info

The Old Town of Rhodes has a unique air, the result of the many diverse cultural influences that shaped it over the centuries.

Rhodes is one of the largest and most popular Greek islands, and rightly so: It offers the laid-back glitz of an Aegean Sea and sand destination alongside a sophisticated edge that can only come from rich history and culture. Its Medieval Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its exquisite architecture that combines Gothic and Ottoman elements.

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Built in the 15th century, the White Tower of Thessaloniki has been adopted as they symbol of the city.

Greece’s second largest city is one of the world’s top destinations, as much for its rich cultural heritage and proximity to world-class archaeological sites like Aigai in Vergina as for the splendid beaches of Chalkidiki just a stone’s throw away. And it’s also a bustling modern city with a distinctly young vibe, whose art scene, extraordinary cuisine, and nightlife set it apart in a league of its own.

Request more info

Terrace of the lions in Delos

The birthplace of Apollo and the most sacred island in the ancient Greek world, Delos is one of the most important archaeological and historical sites in Greece and the Mediterranean. Its numerous excavations and artefacts span a period from the 3rd millennium BCE to the Paleochristian era and have earned the island its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Request more info

With its imposing crimson columns and charging bull fresco, the North Entrance of the Palace of Knossos is one of the most recognizable archaeological landmarks in the world and one of the top attractions in Greece.

The Palace of Knossos was the capital of Minoan Crete and is thought by some to be Europe’s oldest city. Located near Heraklion, on the popular island of Crete, the sprawling palatial complex boasts a number of restored areas and glorious preserved frescoes that bring to life the flair and grandeur of the Bronze Age Minoan civilization.

Request more info

Meteora, with their impressive Byzantine monasteries and the breathtaking silhouettes of the sandstone boulders, are a popular destination with visitors from around the world.

One of top places to visit in Greece, Meteora is the definition of awe-inspiring. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed in 1988, comprises a number of Byzantine monasteries built on the almost inaccessible peaks of massive, perpendicular sandstone boulders.

Request more info

Stone-built medieval buildings in the old town of Monemvasia house boutique hotels and excellent restaurants, inviting visitors to relax and enjoy the magical atmosphere over a glass of local Malvasia wine.

Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian influences, traditional architecture, bougainvillea-lined streets, spectacular views and crystal-clear waters are just a few of the things that make this medieval island fortress in the Peloponnese so popular. With fantastic boutique hotels, a splendid selection of restaurants, and a complete ban on motorized vehicles in its old town, Monemvasia is an opportunity to step into the past and enjoy the magic of the Peloponnese.

Request more info

Once the seat of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea, Mystras is a formidable fortress town at the heart of the Peloponnese.

Perched high on the slopes of Mount Taygetos near the modern city of Sparti in the Peloponnese, Mystras is a UNESCO World Heritage Site often called the ‘wonder of the Morea’. Built in the 13th century and abandoned in 1832, the breathtaking medieval ruins of this formidable fortress boast spectacular views over the surrounding landscape.

Request more info

A wealth of history and culture, picturesque pedestrian areas, and a seafront promenade to die for make Nafplio one of the best places to visit in Greece.

Elegant and cosmopolitan, Nafplio is one of the most charming towns in the Peloponnese. It boasts numerous archaeological and historical sites, ranging from antiquity and the Ottoman and Venetian periods all the way through to the modern era, when it served as the first capital of modern Greece! Rich heritage, delightful architecture, and numerous galleries, restaurants and boutiques make this a favorite destination with Greeks and international visitors alike.

Request more info

Ancient Olympia was home to the original Olympic Games and today is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in Greece.

Home of the ancient Olympic Games, the Sanctuary of Olympia was one of the foremost sites of the ancient Greek world. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising multiple grand temples and sports structures, all set amid the glorious nature of the Peloponnese.

Request more info

Mount Pelion in central Greece is dotted with traditional villages and boasts pristine nature areas that are breathtaking year-round.

Lush forests, spectacular beaches and a number of quaint traditional villages dotting the landscape make this area of central Greece a perfect option for a quiet getaway. The region’s rich cultural heritage, characteristic architecture, and exquisite local cuisine just make this great destination better.

Request more info

The Old Town of Rhodes has a unique air, the result of the many diverse cultural influences that shaped it over the centuries.

Rhodes is one of the largest and most popular Greek islands, and rightly so: It offers the laid-back glitz of an Aegean Sea and sand destination alongside a sophisticated edge that can only come from rich history and culture. Its Medieval Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its exquisite architecture that combines Gothic and Ottoman elements.

Request more info

Built in the 15th century, the White Tower of Thessaloniki has been adopted as they symbol of the city.

Greece’s second largest city is one of the world’s top destinations, as much for its rich cultural heritage and proximity to world-class archaeological sites like Aigai in Vergina as for the splendid beaches of Chalkidiki just a stone’s throw away. And it’s also a bustling modern city with a distinctly young vibe, whose art scene, extraordinary cuisine, and nightlife set it apart in a league of its own.

Request more info