Greece

Things to do in Greece

There are so many things to do in Greece for culture seekers and history buffs. From the Turks to the Venetians, a number of people and cultures have left their mark on Greece and many historic relics are still present today. Even in the most obscure towns and villages you are likely to happen upon a shrine to Apollo, a crumbling temple or imposing ancient monastery. The Delphi Theater, the Metéora monasteries and the Acropolis are just some must-see heritage sites.

Wondering what to in Greece on an active holiday? From skiing to hiking to golfing there is something to suit every outdoorsman. For hikers there are so many incredible trails to choose, from the Vikos Gorge to Pelion to Hydra, the landscape of Greece is so beautiful and diverse.

For party-seekers, the islands offer a hedonistic list of things to do in Greece. Whether lounging on the beach in Crete or Naxos or dancing until the sun comes up in Ios and Mykonos, the Greek islands are a young person's paradise.

Between wine tasting, exploring and soaking in the summer sun you will never be left wondering what to do in Greece.

An entire floor of the eight-story flagship bookstore of the publishing giant Eleftheroudakis is devoted to travel books on Greece; another one is exclusively for crime fiction (in Greek, English, Spanish, and Italian)—just the thing for beach reading.

The sophisticated spot with views over the caldera is the perfect counterpart to Fira's more raucous late-night lounges. Opera drifts across from the sound system, leaving patrons free to sip champagne cocktails and admire the view in a serene setting.

Just opposite the old Grand Master's Palace in Rhodes Town is an antiques store that is considered to be the island's top destination for ancient furniture, carpets, and decorative pieces. Its mosaic floors and airy gardens are works of art.

If touring ancient sites all day drives you to drink, bypass the touts luring you into Plaka’s mediocre restaurants and slip into this narrow, 100-year-old hideaway, allegedly the second oldest bar in Europe.

The gardens are awash in color, the museum features an epic corkscrew collection, and the wines are nothing if not polished.

The nouveaux riches of Athens love anything foreign—cars, TV shows, even coffee (some of Kolonaki’s snootier cafés refuse to serve café frappés, opting for the chic Italian import, cappuccino freddo).

The charming bookstore is run by a pair of hyper-literate Brits, who love films and books in equal measure. The shop hosts frequent readings, as well as midnight screenings on the outdoor terrace of both classic cinema (Casablanca) and contemporary flicks (Napoleon Dynamite).

The legendary Greek jeweler crafts his designs out of his Athenian workshop. On offer at his Rhodes satellite store is a wide range of signature pieces in gold, inspired by both classical and contemporary Greece.

One of the great pleasures of the Athenian summer is enjoying a movie (and a souvlaki and a beer) alfresco at one of the open-air cinemas. The swankest is the Aegli, in the leafy Zappeio Gardens near Syntagma Square, which often plays Hollywood blockbusters with Greek subtitles.

Athens is full of jewelry stores whose creations range from whimsical to wow. Lalaounis is one of the most serious (you get buzzed in at the door) and famous.

Jeweler and winemaker Kostas Antoniou's work puts a modern twist on classical Minoan pieces. His shop also stocks vino and offers tastings—but drinking and shopping could be dangerous: Antoniou's gold necklaces don't come cheap.

Rhodes' answer to the Body Shop stocks locally produced, all-natural cosmetics, plus olive oils, spices, liqueurs, and Greek sweets, such as moist sesame halva and sinfully rich baklava.

The shores south of Athens are known as the Athenian Riviera, with beaches spanning roughly 25 miles. One of the nicest of these belongs to the Astir Palace resort, on its private peninsula south of Athens.