A Road Trip through Greece
Greece is a unique country because of its mixture of antiquity and modernity. To experience this combination for yourself, embark on a road trip through Greece. Here, you will quickly discover that this Mediterranean country has much more to offer than just fantastic beaches – as if those weren’t enough already.
We wish we could tell you a lot more about each of the destinations listed in this article, but we’ll save space and stick to the basics. But whether you are a nature, culture, or history lover, you will definitely get your money’s worth with this colorful mix of diverse highlights!
Stops on Your Road Trip through Greece
A road trip through Greece commonly starts in the capital, Athens. Logistics are a crucial factor here, since the vast majority of international flights arrive at the city’s airport. The metropolis with 3.15 million inhabitants (Greece’s total population is 11 million!) is worth a stay of several days.
In this city, you will be able to follow the paths of history’s first democrats. Pay homage to the ancient gods in their mighty temples, such as the Acropolis. In addition to Zeus, the father of all gods, and Apollo, god of the sun, Athens’ temples pay particular respect to Athena, who lends her name to the city.
If the modern era is more appealing to you, we recommend you visit the very lively port district of Piraeus. Here, you can dive into Athens’ elaborate nightlife, making it the unrivaled center of Greece.
The next stop on your road trip through Greece is Mycenae on the Peloponnese peninsula. If you are interested in history, you’re at the right place. The former ruler of Mycenae, King Agamemnon, led the Greeks in the Trojan War. History buffs will be very familiar with this event due to the cinematic epic Troy.
The Treasure Temple and other, well-preserved architectural masterpieces are also reasons to include Mycenae in your road trip through Greece. They are very much worth a visit.
Next stop: Olympia – the original host of the biggest sporting event in the world. If you listen very carefully, you may still be able to hear the echo of the crowd’s enthusiastic applause in the stadium, a.k.a. gymnasium. The origin of the term “gymnasium” makes for an interesting anecdote. It stems from the Greek word for naked! Wrestling was the main sport practiced in the stadium, and the Olympians didn’t wear any clothes during their matches.
Like so many of your stops, Olympia was once dedicated to one of the many Greek gods, in this case Zeus himself. The statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, built by Phidias, once stood in the city’s temple!
Vergina, Pella and Dion
From Olympia, you can travel to the north of Greece and follow the footsteps of Alexander the Great. Once you reach Vergina, you can visit the tomb of his father, Philip of Macedon. In Pella, his place of birth, museums and other cultural institutions commemorate the ruler. This is also the case in Dion, the former religious and military center of Macedonia, and thus the center of Alexander’s reign.
After these rather historical stops on your road trip through Greece, the next one will take you back to the modern age. Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, greets you with a statue of Alexander. A generally lively and quirky atmosphere characterizes the port city. Stroll through the narrow streets and enjoy being amidst some crowds again.
If you don’t want to miss out on your daily dose of Greek culture, pay a visit to the beautiful Hagia Sophia, the White Tower, or the Roman Forum. In Thessaloniki, you can also get small souvenirs for your loved ones at home. Additionally, you can try a variety of Mediterranean dishes. Enjoy the food in one of the numerous quaint little restaurants that can be found throughout the city.
Monasteries of Meteora
The Meteora Monasteries will be a very special highlight on your tour of the Mediterranean country. Built as early as the 15th century, they nestle against the rocky cliff in dizzying heights, and to this day, offer a home to a small group of monks.
If you are ready to master the rather strenuous ascent, proceed with caution. Surefootedness and a head for heights are absolutely necessary. But your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside.
In addition, the monks will gladly show you the monasteries’ interior, which is not only fascinating, but will also help you cool down on hot days, which are quite common in Greece.
Once you have left the impressive monasteries behind, the next mystical stop on the tour awaits you: Delphi. Unfortunately, you can’t ask the world’s most famous oracle what your future holds anymore. However, in the museums, you’ll at least be able to immerse yourself in the history and culture of this city, back when important Greek army and state leaders visited the oracle.
Today, unlike the “customers” back then, we know that it was no divine messenger, but drugged priestesses who made the predictions. However, that won’t diminish the awe you’ll feel when you visit this place.
No road trip through Greece is complete without this very significant characteristic of the country: the countless islands! The most important one of them is probably Crete, former home of legendary King Minos. However, there is more to see here than the sprawling palace that was once occupied by the incredibly wealthy ruler.
Among other things, you can venture into the maze where the dreaded Minotaur once lurked. Or you can have a local guide take you on a tour of the various archaeological excavation sites located here.
Once you’ve seen enough ancient walls, we recommend a trip to Heraklion, the capital of the island. You’ll be greeted by a very serene and laid-back atmosphere, and can enjoy an extremely relaxing stay.
Cyclades and Corfu
Crete is not the only island that should be on your Greece itinerary. The Cyclades, especially Naxos, and Santorini, and Corfu, absolutely have to be part of your trip. Here, you can really unwind at the end of your vacation. Let the clear water and fine sandy beaches entrance you!
Especially, Corfu is famous for its beautiful landscape, which is why it’s also known as the “green island”. A glass of wonderful Greek wine is the perfect end to an educational and fun trip through Greece – don’t you think?
On the islands and on the mainland, you’ll find that the Greeks are an incredibly warm, enthusiastic and hospitable people. You will certainly be invited to participate in local customs and traditions, and enjoy countless delicacies of the local cuisine.
On your tour through Greece, you will certainly visit many fascinating places and learn more about Greek culture and history than you might think.
You can start your journey in the capital Athens and travel to the north of the country via Mycenae, where you’ll retrace the paths of the Trojan War, after which you’ll finally reach Olympia. Here, you will follow the life of Alexander the Great in Vergina, Pella, and Dion before coming face to face with him in Thessaloniki. Enjoy Greece’s second-largest and extremely lively city, and then journey on to the impressive Meteora monasteries, back to a time of divine prophecy at Delphi.
At the end of your trip, you will leave the Greek mainland to enjoy the serenity of Crete, and bring your tour of Greece to a peaceful end in Corfu and the Cyclades. We are sure that you will be as enthusiastic as we are about the country’s diversity, its unique culture and cuisine, and the warmth of its people.