Greece is a peninsular country that juts out into the Ionian Sea and Mediterranean Sea. It’s located in Europe, east of Turkey and south of Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria. The country also includes over 1, 000 islands, the largest of which are Crete and Cyprus. While Greece is known for its picturesque coastlines, much of the country is mountainous. The Pindus mountain range is the most prominent, while Mount Olympus is the highest point in Greece.
Best and Worst Times to Visit
Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Greece because the weather is pleasant, and the summer vacationers aren’t around. It’s warm enough to swim in the sea and the sun is out. Keep in mind though, Easter is one of the most popular holidays in the country, so hotel availability can be sparse at this time. Also, many shops open in June and close in October, so you could face fewer options during the off-season.
If you don’t want to deal with swarms of vacationers and soaring temperatures around 100 degrees F, avoid visiting during August. The scorching summertime attracts visitors, which causes rates to skyrocket. Also, temperatures drop from November to February, and Greece becomes chillier and cloudier. This time span is considered one of the worst times to visit if you’ve got your heart set on beach weather.
Greece is a hot spot for honeymoons, family trips, and solo getaways. Here at Expedia.com, we offer the best selection of affordable hotels in Greece that suit all your vacation preferences. Whether you’re traveling with your kids or celebrating your anniversary, there’s a place for you. Some of these hotels feature restaurants with authentic Greek cuisine and complimentary breakfasts. Many of them provide a bar, 24-hour front desk service, and Wi-Fi access in public areas, too.
You’ll also find a selection of Greece resorts that include additional amenities than those offered at the hotels. Some feature full-service spas and outdoor pools, while others present poolside bars and nightclubs. When you browse our assortment, you’ll find cheap deals on resorts and hotels in Greece that fall within your travel budget.
Things to Do
If you’re venturing to Greece to bask on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, head straight to Crete. As Greece’s largest island, Crete flaunts a picturesque coastline and secluded beaches. Balos Beach is a top pick and has been compared to the Caribbean for its white sand and clear water, while Vai is another favorite beach, surrounded by Europe’s largest palm tree forest. Island hop to other picture-perfect destinations, such as Mykonos and Santorini, which boast magnificent sea views, cobblestone streets, and the famous white-washed houses.
There’s more to this Mediterranean paradise than the aqua water and white villas stacked along the coastline. The country is steeped in history, and Athens is one of the top places to see some of the most celebrated landmarks. Visit the Acropolis of Athens, which is an ancient citadel, and discover the Parthenon that dates back to 440 BC. While you’re in town, browse the exhibits at the National Archaeological Museum, explore Syntagma Square, and then rest up at one of the nearby hotels in Athens.
Turn up the adventure during your Grecian getaway. Hike around the ancient sites in Delfi or explore the serenity of nature at the Aoos Gorge. Get some height with a rock climbing excursion at Mount Timfi, paraglide over Drama for a bird’s-eye view of the region, and whitewater raft in Tzoumerka. From sea kayaking around Kefalonia to mountain biking in Mount Olympus, you’ll see a different side of the Greek islands.
Greece has an extensive history, and much of its past is still celebrated and preserved today. The concept of theater was developed in Athens, while the Olympic games are traced back to Olympia. The Greek people are responsible for creating marble and bronze sculptures along with the style of Greek Romantic art.
There are also a number of festivals that take place in Greece. Carnival is one of the most famous celebrations the country. During the three weeks leading up to Clean Monday, the streets become a colorful sea of carnivals and parades. Live music blares, while costumed performers dance along elaborate floats. Teams compete in treasure hunts, searching for clues throughout the city; children play games; and fireworks fly through the sky.
After observing Carnival and Lent, the Greek people host Easter, which is one of their biggest holidays. They start the celebrations on Maundy Thursday by dying eggs red, and then decorating the Epitaph on Good Friday. Easter Sunday marks the end of their 40-day fast, prompting a massive lamb feast.
Greek food follows the Mediterranean diet. Many of the dishes feature olive oil, fish, and vegetables, however, each region of Greece adds its own spin. While there are variations on many of these meals, some of the most popular fare includes dolmades, moussaka, and courgette balls. Olives and feta cheese often accompany the cuisine, while honey and baklava make for a sweet desert.