Greece vacations are some of the most popular things to do in all of Europe. The country's mild Mediterranean climate, idyllic beaches, and numerous Greek islands mean that a beach vacation to Greece rivals any found anywhere else on the continent. Perhaps only Spain's island of Ibiza surpasses the nightlife and nonstop party atmosphere found on the island of Mykonos. Here is famous Paradise Beach, one of the most popular Greece vacation spots and resorts, drawing both straight and gay visitors, as well as families. It is, in essence, two beaches—a quiet one in a secluded cove and the famous large party beach—meaning families never need worry about the topless sunbathers or partying young people. Mykonos hotels around this resort area range from elegant boutique properties and charming bungalows to apartments and villas. There are even simple beach cabins and permanent tents with electricity and full bathrooms, as well as primitive camping sites.
If you want a beach vacation to Greece in a more remote place, you have numerous choices among the more than 6,000 Greek islands and islets, as well as those beaches along the coastline of the mainland. Only about 227 of the islands are inhabited, and some of those have very small populations and are virtually unspoiled. Ikaria Island, not far from the coast of Turkey, is a perfect example. Its permanent population hovers around only 10,000 residents, and you can find beaches here that are nearly deserted. If you choose Therma Beach on the island's southern coast, you'll also be in an area known for its therapeutic mineral hot springs. As Greece vacation spots go, this is a relatively undiscovered island—something its fans hope will continue to be true.
There is another sort of beach vacation to Greece that can be enjoyed on diving and sailing holidays. There are yachts, catamarans, and traditional sailing vessels of every description available, and these will take you to secluded coves and lagoons on the islands as well as to cities for sightseeing tours and nightlife. The diving is excellent off many of the islands, as well as along the Turkish coast, and some of the Greek islands are within only a couple miles. Even if you're staying on the mainland, you can enjoy Greek getaways on beaches within a few miles of Athens.
In fact, most Greece vacations will begin in the great ancient city of Athens, and just about everyone except diehard beachgoers will spend at least a couple days here visiting the famous sights of ancient Greece such as the Acropolis. The remnants of ancient Greece will be found everywhere, and other prominent sites on the mainland include the oracle at Delphi and the ancient city of Olympia, site of the first Olympic Games. There are many vacation packages available that concentrate on the richness of the archeological sites in Greece, which are also found on many of the islands. An itinerary might include a few days in Athens with excursion to Delphi, followed by taking one of the ferries to Crete where the incredible ancient Minoan palace of Knossos is located. There are seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece, and all of them are of historic or archaeological interest, so Greece vacations with this emphasis are plentiful.
Many Greece vacation spots cater specifically to families with children, so it's not all about parties, nightlife, and young people bent on a good time. All inclusive resorts and hotels are found in virtually every location, and almost all of them—like the two Club Med resorts (Greglolimano and Athenia) north of Athens—have special children's clubs and supervised children's activities and facilities.
Greece Vacation Packages
Greece Vacation Packages
If you want to stay in Athens for your entire trip, many a vacation package Greece option awaits the traveler where flights to Greece are coupled with arrangements for accommodations and tours to many of the city’s wonderful attractions. You could spend days in Athens just skimming the surface of things to do. The Acropolis, museums like the Benaki Museum, and a myriad of ancient churches mix with the new-age Athens that has seen improvements in infrastructure and tourism overall. Take in the Parthenon, then witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Parliament Building. Among the most popular additions to an Athens Greece vacation package is a climb to the top of Lykavittos Hill for an unparalleled view of the city and the Saronic Gulf.
However, being the large metropolis it is, some may prefer a Greece vacation package that has limited time in Athens, with arranged tours throughout the Greek countryside where the people are a bit more down to earth and historic sites also abound. West of Athens, The Oracle of Delphi and the Temple of Apollo await those who have chosen a vacation package that includes these impressive destinations. The Stadium and Theatre at Delphi date back to the 4th and 5th centuries BC, and are steeped in a mountainous atmosphere that is guaranteed to impress. Land-specific Greece vacation packages can begin in Athens, with possible stops in cities and villages like Olympia, Meteora, Poros, Mycenae and the stunning Delphi.
Among the most popular Greece vacation packages are those that include visits to the beautiful Greek islands, like Naxos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini or Rhodes. Booking your airfare and having your accommodations ready reduces the stress of having to find arrangements once you arrive. Most often a Greece vacation package that includes the islands allows you to depart from Athens, which gives you the chance to explore the capital before you head out for the famed sunsets, beaches and nightlife of the Greek islands. On Santorini, the gorgeous village of Oia awaits you, and the unique volcanic landscape is breathtaking. Leave Athens for Mykonos and enjoy the outstanding selection of restaurants, shops and jet-set feel. Stop at Rhodes for a taste of the medieval Old Town at Rhodes city and historic archaeological sites.
Greece Vacation Rentals
Greece Vacation Rentals
Tourism is a large part of the Greek economy, which is of great benefit to those traveling there. In big cities like Athens and Thessaloniki, and on all the inhabited Greek islands, you will find a mix of hotels to satisfy pretty much every budget. Hotels in Athens run the gamut from hostels to 5-star luxury hotels with every amenity. Thessaloniki hotels give you plenty of class options as well, and you should have no troubles finding an appropriate base from which to explore the country’s second-largest city and its nearby beaches. If you are planning on spending your time on the Greek islands, you can be sure to find a horde of hotels. On islands like Santorini, Mykonos or Crete, there are many smaller boutique-style hotels built in the traditional island architecture. The level of service and attention at these smaller hotels is incredible, and often they have the views that will make you consider never leaving.
If you want a little more space and flexibility with your Greece vacation rental, then you might consider looking for a villa near your intended destination. There are villas located all over Greece, and quite often their prices either match or beat what you would pay at a hotel. Villas in Greece allow you full access of what is practically a house, and many have private pools and outdoor gardens or patios that are perfect for entertaining. Sightseeing in Greece can wear you out, and there is nothing more rewarding after a full day then returning to the space and comfort of your villa. If you have a large family, are traveling with a group, or are just vacationing with the one you love, you will find that the experience of staying in a villa in Greece makes for an ideal vacation.
In addition to the villas, vacation rentals in Greece that get you away from the customary hotel routine include vacation houses (similar to villas), cottages, and apartment or studio rentals. The vacation houses can be quite large and luxurious, or small and simple. At some of the more popular island destinations and in the larger cities, you can rent a studio or apartment and usually enjoy a good price. Apartment rentals can be either a modest one-room affair in the center of the city, or a modern 3-room beauty in a quiet neighborhood. Like condos, apartments offer the comforts and furnishings to make you feel at home, and it’s nice to have a full kitchen and a little extra room to lounge around. Studios, while small, are convenient if you are traveling alone, and many have small kitchens and refrigerators so you can cook you own meals if you please.
Especially when selecting an Athens vacation rental, consider what attractions you most want to see, and go from there. A Greece vacation rental in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens, for example, allows you to be close to the Acropolis, the ancient agora, and some of the city’s best shopping and dining. If you want to be able to access Athens, but not stay in the city, then book an Athens vacation rental in or near the suburbs.