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How to Spend 11 Epic Days Exploring the Ruins, Islands, and Cities of Greece

by Matador Creators Feb 6, 2023

With its stunning beaches, thrilling nightlife, and ancient ruins, Greece is an ideal destination for travelers looking to explore Mediterranean Europe. And it takes more than just a long weekend to see everything the country has to offer. Planning a trip to Greece can seem overwhelming since there’s so much to see and do, but with a bit of planning, you can easily fit all the highlights into an 11-day itinerary.

Greece is home to some of the world’s most well-preserved ancient ruins. From the Acropolis in Athens to the ruins at Delphi, these sites offer visitors an up-close look into the daily life, ritual, and customs of Ancient Greek civilization — not to mention simply being architecturally beautiful in their own right. Whether you’re marveling at the many-columned Parthenon or admiring the Temple of Apollo, these ancient structures will give you an appreciation for the ancient past like few other sites in Europe.

Don’t just stick to the capital, either. From bustling Thessaloniki in the north to the sleepier Crete and Rhodes Town on Rhodes Island, there are many cities worth exploring in Greece. Take a stroll through winding cobblestone streets lined with cafés, shops, and galleries; enjoy views from atop ancient fortifications; or simply relax with a cup of coffee while people watching in one of the many old city squares. The great thing about Greece is the sheer diversity of its cities and landscapes, from bucolic island villages to busier urban environments.

Greece is also known for its delicious food, so be sure to sample some local favorites while you’re here. Savory dishes like moussaka and dolmades are perfect for dinner, while sweet baklava makes a great snack or dessert. And don’t forget about gyros—the iconic Greek sandwich made with meat, tzatziki sauce, and fresh vegetables stuffed into a pita. You’ve probably had a gyro before from your local sandwich shop, but nothing compares to having the classic dish on Greek soil.

When many travelers talk about visiting Greece, they’re really referring specifically to the Greek islands, famous for their tranquil vibe and Instagram-ready beauty. With hundreds of Greek islands scattered throughout the Mediterranean, there’s no shortage of places to explore. Hop on a ferry from one island to another or rent your own boat for more flexibility—either way, you won’t be disappointed with the stunning views. Be sure to visit Santorini and Mykonos for their picturesque villages and sunsets. Santorini is one of the most popular destinations in Greece due to its white-washed buildings and views from atop its cliffs. Other islands worth visiting include Corfu (famous for its rich cultural heritage), Crete (largest island in the country), Lesvos (great hiking trails) and Zante (for an amazing beach holiday).

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