Greece is a blessed country that grants visitors’ wishes and desires for exquisite experiences.
Indeed, besides the spellbinding sugary shores of the beautiful Aegean and Ionian islands, the birthplace of democracy, the Olympic Games, and so many more, fascinates with exceptional flavors, intoxicating aromas, incredible natural scenery, idyllic sunsets, fantastic archaeological sites, and soils drenched in history, culture, myths, and heroic fights for independence.
No wonder mainland Greece holidays have been a top option for millions of travelers for nearly a century.
From the scenic Prespa Lakes in the north of Greece, the massive pinnacles of Meteora and the in-rock-built monasteries, to the magnificence of the Peloponnesian peninsula, the pulsing heart of Ancient Greece, the rugged terrain of the imposing Mani Peninsula to the south, Epirus and its stunning waterfalls and deep gorges, and ancient Delphi, mainland Greece has a unique way to make you fall helplessly in love with a land you only thought existed in your imagination or books!
Mainland Greece Holidays – Top Holiday Destinations
Covering the largest part of northern Greece, Macedonia’s diverse landscape impresses. From large plains and imposing mountainsides to a long coastline and some of the most beautiful mainland Greece beaches, it is the ideal place for mainland Greece holidays year-round. Some of the most popular summer destinations are Kavala, Pieria, and Halkidiki, primarily for their pristine shores and laid-back vibes. In the winter, you can visit Mount Olympus, Pozar Baths, and the Lake of Kastoria, all renowned for their natural allures, as well as the archaeological sites of Dion and Philippi.
It is the far north-western part of Greece, geographically, bordering Albania, which bewilders with its mountainous terrain and the lush vegetation. Places like Sivota and Parga are popular among Greeks and tourists alike for their charming shores, interesting sightseeing (especially if you love history and culture), and the green scenery. In the winter months, Epirus is mostly visited for the mind-blowing mountainous Zagoria villages and the idyllic Ioannina Lake.
Perhaps one of the best options for exceptional mainland Greece holidays, given its prime location in the country (it sits in the heart of Greece, connecting the north with the south of Greece). One of the most impressive sites here is Meteora, the area with massive rocks sitting amidst a verdant valley, and monasteries built inside and on top of these rocks! Pelion Mountain (the land of the Centaurus, half-horses half-men creatures, according to Greek mythology) is another heart-stopping summer and winter destination with profound natural beauty and scenic villages dotting the pristine shores.
– Western Greece
If your mainland Greece holidays must include picture-perfect beach resorts and lots of outdoor activities, then this is where you need to be. Expect a wide range of natural attractions, such as the spectacular Vikos Gorge (the second-largest gorge in Greece), Pindos Mountain, and scenic villages adorning the hills in-between ancient trails and paths leading to unspoiled lands.
– Central Greece
This refers to the region above the Peloponnese that is watered by two seas, one from each side (the Aegean and the Ionian seas). As expected, it is home to powdery mainland Greece beaches, crystalline waters, and lovely seascapes, while also giving visitors the chance to dive into the allure of the ancient Delphi oracle. Other famous places worth your time are Evia, Arachova, Nafpaktos, and Karpenisi.
Hands down, a top summer destination for mainland Greece holidays very close to Athens, which makes it an ideal place for daily (or multi-day) Athens private tours. Here, you will find important archaeological sites, such as Epidaurus, Olympia, and Mycenae. Other than that, you may also want to make arrangements for Athens private tours with stops at other beachside locations, or even famous areas like iconic Monemvasia and quaint Nafplio.
Athens Private Tours – Best Options
For utterly gratifying and soul-pleasing mainland Greece holidays, we suggest the following Athens private tours, which can be organized to fit your schedule and needs. For example, they can be combined to create longer day trips from Athens (i.e., you can spend 3 days in Athens), or be perfectly suited to your desired stay, be it 1 day in Athens or 2 days in Athens.
Suggestion 1: Athens to Meteora
Kalambaka is a cheery rural town, from where you can visit the soaring Meteora and its six suspended monasteries built in the late Byzantine times by monks and hermits to provide much-needed isolation and self-preservation, when the Christians were severely attacked and even killed by the Ottomans. What started as a hideout in the rocks, though, has now grown into perhaps the most impressive (size-wise) monastery buildings, allowing visitors to see one or all six of them from up close after climbing a few hundred stairs! Admittedly, the closer you get to the Meteora monasteries, the more mind-blowing the scenery becomes. Other things you can do at Meteora include rock climbing and hiking.
Suggestion 2: Athens to Delphi
Believed to have been the beating heart of the known world, Delphi used to be a bustling place where paupers, princes, and kings would come to seek counsel from the oracle – perhaps the most famous of its kind of the ancient world that drew the cultural elite like bees to honey back in the day. Today, Delphi serves as both a museum and archaeological site that tourists love to visit for the majestic Temple of Apollo, a sanctuary where the Delphic Oracle would give her spirit-inspired prophesies, the Delphi Archaeological Museum and its stunning artifacts that complements the sanctuary, the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, the most photographed Delphi landmark, and the Kastalia Spring, where countless purification rituals used to take place. And, if you happen to be around Delphi during sunset, take a moment and give your brain a few seconds to try to comprehend the spellbinding swirl of colors and sights your eyes see in an utterly mystical atmosphere!
Day Trips from Athens
If you have one or only a couple of days, you can narrow the incredibly long list with exclusive Athens private tours and include the following:
– 1 day in Athens
If you want to get the gist of Athens, then head to the city center, where all the main attractions are located and can be easily visited on foot. Despite its large size, Athens’ city center is small and inviting (at first it may seem edgy but give it a couple of minutes to change your mind!). You can start with a visit to the Acropolis, the Parthenon Temple, and the Acropolis Museum and follow it with a stop at the Odeon of Herodotus Atticus. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to attend a concert there. In this case, be prepared for an incredibly electric atmosphere. End the day with dining in either Psyri or Plaka regions right under the Acropolis. For a tad more authentic experiences, we suggest Psyri neighborhood!
– 2 days in Athens
You can include all the activities mentioned before, plus a cable car ride to Mount Lycabetus so you can soak up the most breath-taking views of Athens. Once you reach the top, you may grab a bite or have a drink before you decide to walk all the way down to the feet of the hill. Your day could even include a stroll through the bric-a-brac market at Monastiraki – a flea market where you will find everything, from vinyl records to swords.
– 3 days in Athens
If you have time, you may add a stop at the Parliament building on Syntagma Square where you can see the Changing of the Guards through a heart-stopping procedure. For the full show, featuring a marching band and elaborate Evzone Guards costumes, consider heading there on a Sunday (around 11:00 am).
All the above are just illustrative ideas and travel itineraries so you get a first taste of your options. Nevertheless, feel free to opt for Athens private tours and ask for a personalised tour around your most beloved destinations so you can claim the dreamy mainland Greece holidays you have always wanted.
At Be A Greek, we help you create your dream vacation in Greece without any hustle. There are countless ways to plan your vacation in Greece and we are here to provide you some of the best Greece vacation packages, tailored to your own needs and keeping up with your own pace.
You do not need to spend hours looking for all the different destinations in Greece and trying to combine some of them throughout your available days here. We will create your vacation package from scratch and will choose a Santorini trip corresponding to your own needs and your own preferences. Just drop us a line and we will design your trip to Greece!