Special Covid-19 refund policy: We'll refund you in full if you can't travel due to Covid-19 governmental changes in travel restrictions. Details here.

Things to Do in Greece, From Coast to City

With its 6,000 islands, and miles of coastline and historic cities, Greece is calling your name

~

A close up of a church tower with bells and a Greek flag in Skiathos, Greece

Sun, sea, mountains, beaches, feta, coffee frappes, a rich history - Greece is many things to many people. What it always is, however, is a great place to spend a vacation. From partying to quiet contemplation, and hiking to sunset cocktails - whatever your poison, you’ll find it here. With so many islands (6,000, to be exact, although only 227 are occupied), there’s almost too much choice when it comes to where to stay and what to do. Luckily, we here at Plum Guide have your back, with our flawless properties and expert insights making your life easy - after all, we love nothing more than removing the paradox of choice. So without further ado, here is our guide to the very best things to do in Greece.

  • Relax on the beach in Paros
  • Have a party in Mykonos
  • Watch the sunset in Santorini
  • Visit the Athenian Acropolis
  • Venture to Monolithos Castle
  • Hike along the Fira - Oia Trail
  • Spend a day in Corfu Old Town
  • Head over to the Paleokastritsa Monastery
  • Take a trip to the Panathenaic Stadium

Relax on the beach in Paros

Clear blue water in a port town in front of white buildings in Paros, Greece

Clear blue water in a port town in front of white buildings in Paros, Greece

Paros is the island to visit when all you want to do is say goodbye to the routine of home for a while, and say hello to wine with lunch and sand between your toes instead. Some of the very best beaches in the country can be found in Paros, and luxuriating on the soft sand should definitely be on any list of things to do in Greece. There are more than 40 beaches to choose from here, but our top pick has to be the aptly names Golden Beach. One of the island's most popular sandy stretches, this beach consists of golden sand (did you guess that?), and overlooks the most serene, crystal-clear water you will ever see. It’s so striking that even those of you with a slight phobia of the sea will consider taking a dip. Parikia, the island's capital, is a charming port town with cobbled streets and narrow alleyways leading to charming shops and eye-catching churches. Make your way here to experience life as a local, before returning to the beach for your afternoon sunbathe. You've got your priorities spot on.

Marble Masterpiece, Plum Guide home in Paros, Greece

Marble Masterpiece, Plum Guide home in Paros, Greece

Have a party in Mykonos

A street full of white buildings and small Greek flags in Mykonos, Greece

A street full of white buildings and small Greek flags in Mykonos, Greece

Yes, we know you’re not 18 anymore, but you don’t have to be young to let loose a little on holiday. Don’t let your kids tell you you’re an embarrassment - you deserve to drink as much ouzo on the beach as you want (as long as you ignore the inevitable hangover in the morning). Mykonos has a reputation as a party island, it’s true, but it’s also a beautiful place to spend some time (whether or not you plan to stay out until the sun comes up), and to enjoy some romance while in Greece.

Throw on your most glamorous swimwear and line your stomach for Paradise or Super Paradise beaches, famous for their social scenes. Psarou and Paraga are other well-known favourites for spraying champagne and meeting new people. You work hard, you deserve to let loose. If you’re more excited about finishing the latest beach blockbuster book, head to Elia beach, the island’s longest stretch of pure white sand. Our stylish home Ioannis is within walking distance, so is the perfect retreat when the sun starts to sink below the horizon. Firing up the barbecue to grill up some classic Greek dishes for dinner will certanly keep you warm, too.

Ioannis, Plum Guide home in Greece

Ioannis, Plum Guide home in Greece

Watch the sunset in Santorini

A view over the buildings and hills in Santorini, Greece

A view over the buildings and hills in Santorini, Greece

It’s practically illegal to have a list of things to do in Greece without including Santorini’s famous sunsets. Each evening, crowds of tourists swarm the streets of Oia, renowned for its sprawling caldera, blue-domed churches, and impeccable views over the sea. With Plum Guide, though, you don’t need to fight your way through the hordes to watch the sun sink over the horizon - you can stay at one of our exclusive vacation rentals and enjoy the view from your private plunge pool. For dinner with a perfect view of the romantic sunset, our top choice is The Athenian House.

We might go so far as to say that it has the best views of the caldera and of the setting sun of any restaurant in Santorini, so make sure to book in advance. Located in a cave, the menu is inspired by local favourites, and they have a sizeable collection of vintage wines, including rare bottles from the island’s own wineries. Santorini is also known for both its black and red sand beaches, and for the Akrotiri Archaeological Site, a town buried by the large volcanic eruption here in around 1600 B.C. The volcano is dormant rather than dead, somif you want your kids to behave, tell them to keep an eye out for lava while they’re swimming - that will keep them on their toes.

Head of the Household, Plum Guide home in Santorini, Greece

Head of the Household, Plum Guide home in Santorini, Greece

Visit the Athenian Acropolis

A low-angle view of the Parthenon at the Acropolis, Athens, Greece

A low-angle view of the Parthenon at the Acropolis, Athens, Greece

When you think of Greece, you don’t have to wait too long before the Acropolis jumps into your mind, and that says almost everything you need to know. The famous remains of the ancient Athens citadel are an incredibly popular attraction in Greece, claiming roughly one million visitors a year - so you probably won’t be alone. Discover the fascinating remains of a number of historic buildings, including the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, and of course the world-renowned Parthenon, built in dedication to the Goddess Athena. Exploring the original architecture will launch you back in time, and the views from the peak of the small mountain will have you feeling on top of the world - quite literally.

Once you’ve seen all you need to see at the site, pop into the Acropolis Museum to learn even more about the stories and secrets that you weren’t able to discover from the stones themselves. Wander through the 11th best museum in the world (that’s official) and set your eyes on over 3,000 historic artefacts from the Acropolis. You’ll leave knowing just about everything there is to know about the famous Athenian citadel, so don't hesisate to show off your new-found knowledge to friends back home.

Acropolis Lookout, Plum Guide home in Athens, Greece

Acropolis Lookout, Plum Guide home in Athens, Greece

Venture to Monolithos Castle

A view of Monolithos Castle on top of a tall hill overlooking the sea in Rhodes, Greece

A view of Monolithos Castle on top of a tall hill overlooking the sea in Rhodes, Greece

Out of the capital and over to Rhodes. The fourth largest of the Greek islands, Rhodes is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, and it isn't hard to see why. With attractions like the Monolithos Castle available to explore, and of course the typical warm weather, Rhodes is perfect as both a primary holiday destination, or a day trip from one of the other highly recommendable Greek isles. The eye-catching Monolithos Castle sits at the top of a 300 foot rock and offers unforgettable views of the surrounding sea, as well as a taste of history that is always so hard to ignore. The path up to the top of the hill is a steep one, so make sure you’ve had a good breakfast, but the scene waiting for you up there is more than worth the effort.

As we’re sure you are aware, the majority of the castle is now ruins, but this simply adds to the historic aura of the long-standing monument - the castle dates back as far as 1480. A portion of the outer walls are still standing to this day, as are the remains of a chapel, so there’s more than enough to feast your eyes upon - not to mention the sprawling oceans, of course. It was originally built as a lookout, and the views are aguably what makes this attraction so incredible. So not only can you enjoy the glistening sights, but you can also imagine yourself as a 15h-century watchman tasked with spotting approaching pirates. How niche.

Hike along the Fira - Oia Trail

We’ve already mentioned the famous Oia sunset, so we won’t go into that too much here - it really is a special sight though. Thankfully, the incredible sunset (sorry) isn’t the only appeal of this hiking trail, with the route widely being regarded as one of Santorini’s finest. It is hugely popular for a reason, with the 6 mile walk offering an array of captivating views of the sprawling sea, the surrounding islands, and of course the famous clustered buildings synonymous with Santorini.

You can hike the route in either direction, but starting in Fira will have you closing in on the breathtaking views of Oia with every excited step, and spending the rest of the day here is a special way to enjoy the success of your walk. Should you want to avoid the bustling crowds of both the settlements and the trail, you can even hike in the darker hours of night to experience the island in a new light. The glow of the towns illuminates the island as you march along, and you’ll even have the option of ending the trip with dinner and a glass of wine - whether you tackle the trail day or night, this part is essential.

Spend a day in Corfu Old Town

A view of two bells in a building's tower, Corfu Old Town, Greece

A view of two bells in a building's tower, Corfu Old Town, Greece

This is a slightly more conventional day out that requires little effort and little planning, but that doesn’t take away any of the enjoyment. Corfu Old Town is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its array of captivating architecture and eye-opening history, so don't let this occasion pass you by. This is the perfect spot for a family day out, with enough to see and do to keep even the most stubborn teenagers interested - they might even forget they own a phone for a moment. Follow the narrow cobbled roads as you weave in and out of the historic buildings - the town has roots dating as far back as the 8th century B.C.

Admire the aforementioned architecture, inspired largely by Venetian architecture of the past, and marvel at the stories told by the long-standing buildings, including the renowned Bell Tower of Annunziata. Of course, being in Corfu, there are inevitably sea views wherever you look, making for a truly unforgettable day trip. Spend your money on incredibly necessary souvenirs (or so you’ll tell yourself) and mark the occasion with a bite to eat - you’ll find a huge variety of restaurants dotted around, so even the fussiest eaters will be catered for.

Head over to the Paleokastritsa Monastery

Staying in Corfu for this next one too - it’s difficult to overstate the appeal of the Paleokastritsa Monastery, so it’s certainly one to add to your to-do list. History, views, and a truly eye-opening experience all wait for you at the top of this tall hill on the north-western side of the island, in Paleokastritsa. Originally established in the early 13th century, this monastery is unsurprisingly one of the oldest in Corfu, and boasts an abundance of intriguing finds. You can discover the skeleton of a whale, believed to have been killed by a 19th-century fisherman, and spend time in the beautifully designed church built in dedication to the holy Virgin Mary.

The monastery is actually home to monks (jealous?), so there are small areas that aren’t accessible to the public, but you are more than welcome to experience the site’s most noteworthy features. Check out the well in the upper courtyard, and grab a picture of the cannon, dating back to 1799 - we don’t think it’s loaded anymore. On top of all this, the views out to sea are second to none, and can’t help but induce some sense of utter tranquillity. That’s exactly what holidays are for, right?

Take a trip to the Panathenaic Stadium

A view of the white podium in front of the seats at Panathenaic Stadium, Athens, Greece

A view of the white podium in front of the seats at Panathenaic Stadium, Athens, Greece

To round off this expertly curated list, we’re heading back to the capital. Come on, pack your bags, because you won’t want to miss this one. The Panathenaic Stadium is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece, and for numerous reasons. It is the only stadium in the entire world to be made solely out of marble, and also has a history dating back to the incomprehensible times of 330 B.C. But on top of all that, it was actually the location of the very first modern Olympics, back in 1896 - that is some serious heritage. It hosted both the opening and the closing ceremonies, as well as almost half of the contested sports that took place throughout the competition.

And as if that wasn’t enough, it was also an Olympic venue when the games returned to Greece in 2004 - an event slightly more familiar to you. The famous stadium can seat roughly 45,000 people, and is quite the spectacle both full and empty. Like many of the activities on this list, this will send you on a trip back to years long before your time, giving you everything from a history lesson to an incredible photo opportunity (which is more important is up for debate). We’ve done the hard work curating this guide, now all you have to do is enjoy it.

Related Articles

Stay in the world's most beautiful homes

Search for a holiday home