Santorini is one of those places you have to visit in your lifetime and one of our top destinations for honeymooners. It is a truly stunning location with magnificent views everywhere you turn. But to visit Greece and only head to Santorini without visiting other parts would be to miss out on what the country truly has to offer.
Below is our list of the top 5 places to visit in Greece other than Santorini.
The ancient archeological site of Delphi, located just over 2 hours from Athens, is by far the most popular day trip from the capital, but it is more than just another collection of ruins. In a country that is full of them, Delphi holds significant importance. According to Mythology, Zeus released two eagles – one to the east and another to the west and Delphi was the point which they met after encircling the world. The site was therefore considered the centre of the world by ancient Greeks, where heaven and earth met and the place on earth where man was closest to God.
The importance and influence Delphi had in the Ancient World is evidenced by the rich monuments built and the wealth of ancient ruins in the area. This combined with its magnificent setting on the foot of Mount Parnassos, make it one of the must visits when in Greece.
Literally translating to “middle of the sky”, Meteora is home to Greece’s spectacular sky monasteries and is without doubt one of the most visually impressive regions in Greece. The area of was originally settled by monks who lived in caves within the rocks during the 11th Century. But as the times became more unsure during the age of the Turkish occupation in Greece, the monks climbed higher and higher up the rock face until they were living on the inaccessible peaks. It was then, from 1356 to 1372, that the first Great Meteoron Monastery was born. Over time 24 monasteries were built, with the steep pillars providing protection from the warriors below. It is believed that were it not for the monasteries, Hellenic culture would have disappeared during the Turkish occupation. Today only six of these monasteries operate, forming the second largest monastic community in Greece.
Once you’re done admiring the beauty of Santorini, take a ferry to nearby Mykonos – the glamour island of Greece, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades group of islands. Particularly known for its nightlife and its St-Tropez-meets-Ibiza vibe, Mykonos has a reputation as a party-town and draws its fair share of entertainment junkies at the likes of its Super Paradise beaches. But beyond this is a town with one of the best examples of Cycladic architecture – narrow marble streets, whitewashed houses with colourful doors and window frames, bougainvillea trees in purple bloom and hidden churches, a lively waterfront and some of the most amazing beaches in Greece.
The largest island in Greece, and the fifth largest one in the Mediterranean Sea, it’s been said that Crete could be its own country. It certainly stands out from the other Greek islands with its unmistakable culture, atmosphere and landscapes. From the sun-drenched beaches in the north to the White Mountain soaring over 2,000m over the western parts to the gorges that criss cross the island and the villges and valleys in between it all, Crete will bring out the adventurer in you.
The island’s natural beauty is equalled only by the richness of its history. Crete was the birthplace of the first advanced society on European soil, the Minoans and was the centre of their civilization. At the crossroads of three continents, the island has been occupied by consecutive invaders from the Venetians to the Ottomans and remnants of their occupation can still be found in the cities, making Crete one of the truly unique destinations in the Cyclades.
No trip to Greece would be complete without a visit to the city which in many ways was the birthplace of Western civilization. Named for Greek goddess Athena, Athens was once the most powerful city in the ancient world and the history of the city goes all the way back to the Neolithic age where the first settlements occurred in 3000BC on the rock of the Acropolis. Now, the Acropolis rises about the sprawling metropolis having borne witness to the city’s many transformations. Walk in the footsteps of the great minds that created democracy, philosophy, theater as you explore the immense history the city before enjoying the stylish restaurants, lively cafes and hip neighbourhoods that modern Athens now has to offer.