Why Visit Greece? The big 5 reasons to travel to Greece now

Why Visit Greece? The big 5 reasons to travel to Greece now

Author’s Note: I’m a Greek travel expert and a cultural anthropologist, and I travel around Greece for a few months each year and have done so for many years now. I haven’t been to every place in Greece yet – but the list is getting much shorter every year!

Why visit Greece at least once in your lifetime? To imprint its colors on your brain forever. To eat the freshest, simplest foods with the sand between your toes.

  • To see the jaw-dropping remains of Ancient Greece.
  • To exist on Greek time for a while – where everything will happen eventually, and always with a smile.
  • To swim in the iridescent turquoise waters where pirates once had their hideouts.
  • To swoon over the white sugar cube architecture and the blue-domed churches.

As you can see, I love visiting Greece as an anthropologist I am fascinated by its culture and rich history.

Church in Mykonos Chora, Greece
Church in Mykonos Chora, Greece

I like to think about it lying on the deck of boats while sailing around the Greek islands, or when eating polpetti and drinking coffee in mountain villages.

There’s no other country I can think of with this combination of beauty, relaxed Mediterranean vibes, and deep history. At Take Me To Greece you’ll find an endless and irresistible number of reasons to visit Greece.

Here’s an expanded list of reasons to visit Greece in 2024.

1. An Astoundingly Rich History and Culture

Greece is known for its rich ancient history and culture that dates back thousands of years. From ancient ruins like the Acropolis in Athens to the Palace of Knossos in Crete, there are countless historical sites to explore.

It’s the birth of democracy that drew me to this ancient place, and the mythology of the Ancient Greeks – the Mycenaens, the Minoans, and the great historical figures like Socrates, Pythagoras, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Plato, and Homer – the list is seriously impressive!

Temple of Apollo at Corinth, Greece
Temple of Apollo at Corinth, Greece

Greek museums are astoundingly good – Heraklion Museum in Crete, the Acropolis Museum, and the National Archaeological Museum just make my draw drop. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to go to museums in my life.

Did you know that monumental sculpture was invented in Greece? Or that it’s the home of the Minotaur, Daedalus’ Labyrinth, the Olympian Gods, the first Olympic games, and 19 UNESCO World Heritage ancient sites?

Photo of the side and front of the Parthenon with the front covered in scaffolding on a grey early evening at the Acropolis of Athens, Greece
Parthenon, Acropolis of Athens, Greece

You don’t just have to look at old rocks though. You can also experience Greek culture by attending traditional festivals, trying local cuisine, and interacting with friendly locals.

Winter in Greece, and especially the Christmas to New Year (Apokries) period is joyful and festive and you can ski on day trips from Athens!)

2. Stunning Beaches

If it couldn’t get any better, Greece is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. For me, this is an unbeatable combination.

Tsigrado Beach, Milos island, greece
Tsigrado Beach, Milos Island, Greece

From famous Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia to the lesser-known Voidokilia Beach in the Peloponnese, there is a beach for every type of traveler.

The crystal clear waters and picturesque scenery make Greece the perfect destination for a beach vacation.

Sandy beaches abound in Greece, but so do volcanic beaches and pebbly/stony beaches. Some volcanic islands, like Santorini, have a rainbow of colored volcanic sand beaches.

Sarakiniko Beach, Milos Island, Greece
Sarakiniko Beach, Milos Island, Greece

The black sand beaches of Perissa, Perivolos, and Kamari in Santorini, the stark white luna-like landscape of Sarakiniko Beach on Milos Island, and the pink sand of Elafinisi Beach in Crete are just a handful of unique Greek experiences.

Beautiful beaches are not just found on Greek islands, though. That treasure trove of archaeological sites – the Peloponnese region – is fringed by some seriously impressive beaches.

3. Delicious Food and Wine

Greek cuisine is known around the world for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, simple preparation methods, and as a basis for the Mediterranean Diet.

Stuffed Peppers and Baked Potatoes, Aegina Island, Greece
My favorite Greek meal – stuffed vegetables with Naxos potatoes, Naxos Island, Greece

From classic dishes like moussaka and souvlaki to sweet treats like baklava and loukoumades, there is no shortage of delicious food to try.

I beg you to stop by the main square in Pyrgos village on Tinos Island and eat everything and anything you can get your hands on at the local cafes all around the square.

As you waddle or roll back down to Tinos Chora, you can stop small stores selling products made on the island like honey and tiniako cheese.

My lunch in Pyrgos Village, Tinos Island, Greece
My lunch in Pyrgos Village, Tinos Island, Greece

Greece is also home to many wineries and breweries, many of which use indigenous grapes introduced by the Venetians, making it an exciting destination for food and wine lovers.

Now I have to say a thing here about Greek coffee because my love for warm bougatsu smelling of cinnamon and a freddo cappuccino is one of life’s great love stories.

A Freddo cappuccino is a double shot of espresso mixed with iced, foamed, thick milk. It’s a bit like a very cold, very thick milkshake for grownups.

From what I can tell, it’s the national breakfast for taxi drivers.

4. Beautiful Landscapes

Greece is a country of diverse landscapes, from the rugged mountains of Parnassos and Olympia on the mainland to the idyllic islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas.

Porto Timoni Beach, Corfu Island, Greece
Porto Timoni Beach, Corfu Island, Greece

You can hike through the Samaria Gorge in Crete, explore the Meteora monasteries on mountain pinnacles in central Greece, or relax on the beaches of Rhodes or any other Greek island.

There is no shortage of diversity of natural landscape in Greece, but most tourists don’t often get into the wonderful northern parts of the country or discover its wintery side.

Summertime in the Greek Islands is all about swimming in pirate coves and fishing villages, snorkeling in stunningly clear green and blue waters, and enjoying the beach clubs and seaside tavernas.

Amazing white cliffs and crystal clear water in Kleftiko Bay, Milos Island, Greece

There is a stark natural beauty to the Cycladic islands and also the Dodecanese islands that is a sharp contrast to the forests and gardens of North America and mainland Europe.

Standing on the deck of ferries crossing the Aegean Sea is magical – the deep, dark sapphire of this large bathtub impresses itself upon your eyeballs and is planted firmly in your memory – easily conjured up whenever you think about the need for a holiday!

5. Warm Hospitality

Greek hospitality, or philoxenia, is a way of life in Greece. The locals are known for their warm and welcoming nature, making visitors feel like family.

Reina at Pension Sofi, Naxos Island, Greece
Reina, a queen of philoxenia – Pension Sofi, Naxos Island, Greece

There’s nothing new about this in Greece. The word philoxenia was around in Ancient Greece (φῐλοξενῐ́ᾱ –philoxeníā).

It’s about kindness to foreigners and although it is not universally practiced towards all foreigners in Greece, it is alive and well in many parts of the country.

In its modern form, philoxenia is a cultural practice that mainly takes the form of sharing.

My favorite bakery in Mykonos Chora, Mykonos Island, Greece
My favorite bakery in Mykonos Chora, Mykonos Island, Greece

If you’ve traveled to cities in another European country where tourists are unwelcome, you’ll feel a great sense of ease and relief when you wash up in Greece and are treated with stunning kindness.

And of course, the key to a Greek’s heart is through their stomach, so you’ll find philoxenia practiced in everyday life by giving away the most delicious food and by sharing family meals with guests and strangers – what a country!