Greece is a heart stealer. Holiday here and you’ll know just what we mean. The sun-kissed beaches are carpeted in golden sand and lapped by twinkling waters, while dinky villages dazzle with bright-white buildings embellished with the nation’s signature sapphire blue. Locals welcome you into traditional tavernas with open arms, serving carafes of wine and feta-topped dishes to check-covered tables. And boy is it easy to while an evening away on a seafront, hopping from bar to bar.
Aside from tucking into Greece’s glorious cuisine, when it comes to things to do, the list bounces between ancient historical sites, culture-stuffed cities and natural treasures. If you can tear yourself away from the beautiful coastline, that is…
But where to go in Greece? We've added six new destinations to our Greek line-up! So if you’re looking to try somewhere different, take a look at this set of stunners…
You don’t have to stray far from the mainland to discover Lefkas. This showstopping island is an unspoilt joy, reinventing the classic Greek getaway with its powdery white-sand beaches and relaxing seaside resorts. Its charm extends all the way into its mountainous interior – this lush wonderland boasts winding walking trails and pretty waterfalls. And if it’s vineyards you’re looking for, you’ll come up trumps on this isle.
Lekfas Town is the island’s beating heart and the place to stay if you like a resort with a buzzy feel. But if you’re after something a little quieter, try Sivota on the south coast or peaceful Poros.
Sleepy Lesvos is a little slice of paradise. If all you want to do is unwind in the warm Greek sun, this is the island for you. Explore your surroundings and you’ll find this patch of Greece is blessed with naturally beautiful landscapes. Dramatic mountains blanketed in forest expand in one direction and unspoilt beaches and hills peppered with olive groves in the other.
Mop up a day of exploring with a glass of ouzo, the island’s trademark tipple. Try it while dining out in Molivos, the Ottoman-era town with quaint cobbled streets and a castle-capped harbour.
You’ll feel like you’ve flown into the Italian Riviera when you pitch up in Parga. This pretty part of Greece’s Ionian coast is wrapped around a breathtaking bay, where colourful houses tumble down to the waterfront in quaint fashion. Wander the streets here and you’ll be greeted by a spectrum of scents. The heavenly aroma of baklava drifts out from bakeries and the smell of fresh fish sizzling on grills tempts you into tavernas. Yep, this is a foodie haven…
A large part of life in Parga and the wider area is the coast – and the beaches don’t disappoint. Many are wild, coated in white pebbles and fringed by eye-popping crystal-clear waters. Float around under the warmth of the sun or see if you can spot any colourful fish darting through the shallows.
Seeking solitude? Put the Peloponnese on your radar. This part of mainland Greece stretches out across a largely untouched peninsula. Explore and you’ll find dense forests, sweeping valleys and long sandy beaches unfold before your eyes. Our favourite? Voidokilia – here you can lounge on the shore with the sea on one side and a lagoon on the other.
History buffs, you’ll be in heaven here too. The ancient city of Messini is tucked into a hillside, speckled with remains dating back to 371 BC. Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, is another must-do, where you can experience mighty ruins of times gone by.
Seductive Santorini oozes romance. This postcard-perfect island will sweep you off your feet with its dramatic volcanic landscape, dotted with oh-so-white clifftop houses. To see them in all their glory, head for Oia – one of Greece’s most spectacular spots. And the sunsets? They’re a sight to behold.
An enormous caldera is a must-see while holidaying here. Wander the edge and admire the views. Dark sand beaches around the island are further nods to Santorini’s volcanic past. Another item to add to your to-do list in Santorini is wine tasting. Lip-smacking whites are the treasured tipple here, with numerous vineyards scattered among the hinterland for you to visit.
What is the best area of Santorini to stay in?
If you’re after a bit of hustle and bustle, then make a beeline for Fira, the island’s capital. You’ll recognise this clifftop town from many of the island’s picture-perfect postcard scenes with its iconic sugar cube buildings and bright-blue domes. For something a bit more low-key, give Perissa or Agia Paraskevi a try.
One of Greece’s headliners, Skiathos is a beautiful island to escape to this summer. The beaches here are pure magic, with velvety sands to pad along and azure waters to dip into. Not to mention, fragrant pine trees are peppered among the hills here, creating a scent-filled wonderland to explore. Bliss.
Life revolves around Skiathos Town on this Sporades island. Colourful boats bob in the harbour, which you can enjoy watching from one of the many bars strung along the promenade. While in the hillside old town, follow cobbled streets to uncover traditional restaurants, eye-catching churches and small squares. If you’re after a place to unwind in peace and quiet, teeny resorts such as Achladies or Kolios will do just the trick.
Posted: 13th Jan 2021. Updated: 7th Jun 2023.