The first thing I think of when someone asks me to recommend a good place in Europe for young people looking to party – is Greece. The Greek nightlife is insane, and there are so many places to choose from.
Unlike many other places, Greek nightlife stands out with its diversity, every place in Greece is different from the other, and attracts so many different people.
In the past I have gone on many “party holidays” with friends in Europe, with those all inclusive holiday deals, and so far nothing has beaten the Greek nightlife.
What I love most about the Greece is that it really offers something for everyone.
There are plenty of places to enjoy some of the local culture where the nightclubs aren’t quite as crazy, and there are other places which have been built just for tourists coming to Greece to go nuts.
Here are a few places in Greece that are known for its great nightlife:
Nightlife in Thessaloniki – Autumn Destination
There is definitely a difference between the way people party on the islands and the mainland, but that doesn’t mean one is better than the other.
Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, is known for its awesome nightlife: it offers everything from modern to traditional, Greek music to jazz, soul and rock.
Thessaloniki is a perfect destination in autumn, and the city is everything but dead.
In fact, in Thessaloniki things work opposite from on the islands.
The city is actually at its most vibrant and alive, and the nightlife is are the best, outside of the summer season.
Thessaloniki is one of the biggest student cities in Greece so people come back from their summer holidays and make the city go wild during the weekends.
In fact, many clubs in Thessaloniki actually shut down over summer, moving east towards the airport, so during the summer time it’s definitely best to be heading out to the islands.
Nightlife On The Greek Islands – Summer Destination
The best way to enjoy the variety of the Greek nightlife and experience both the crazy party towns built for tourists as well as the smaller places where you can find plenty of Greek taverns and party more like the locals, is to do some island hopping around Greece.
That way you can see a few places first and then decide which one you want to spend some more time in.
Island hopping is pretty easy to do on your own, and as soon as you step off a boat on an island there will be several other travel agencies standing outside their shop waving you in, eager to help you plan your next step.
Ios has become a huge hit during the past few years, and is often referred to as the “party island”, but there is also a lot of history and culture to find there.
Another place which has long had a reputation for its nightlife is Mykonos – there, the party mood sets in already at 2pm, and the beach bars are busy.
Kos is another big favorite among party-goers. It has the pretty villages, beautiful beaches and awesome nightlife – a little bit of everything.
But from my own experience, you can find good nightlife on pretty much all the islands, even small ones like Samos have some pretty crazy clubs during peak season.
Day in Rhodes
You know the moment on holiday when you imagine what life would be like if you were always on holiday?
If you could just up and leave and live a sun-kissed delight every day?
On a recent holiday to the large Greek island of Rhodes, the moment came to discuss this very subject as we sat on our balcony out the back of the villa.
We were staying in easy breezy Pefkos, on the east of the island.
‘No way,’ said one girl, ‘I would miss the things we take for granted at home, like the Daily Mail.’ ‘I don’t like ouzo,’ said another.
‘I would get bored,’ said a third. With no affinity to the Daily Mail, a penchant for ouzo, and perfectly capable of entertaining myself and discovering new things, Rhodes, and its second city, Lindos made a persuasive argument for me.
As a big fan of sunshine (not sunbathing or beach bumming but feeling its warmth lick my shoulders) I was well aware that, named after the Greek sun god Helios, Rhodes has a reputation (presumably backed up by the relevant scientific stats) of being the sunniest island in the Mediterranean.
From beautiful sunrises to glimmering sunsets, and the hours in between, the stunning landscape and its whitewashed towns that punctuate the hills, mean that the whole island radiates a lustrous light, highlighted by the cornflower blue sky.
The main city, Rhodes, was built by those architectural whizzes, The Knights of St. John, and its warm grandeur is of their style and elegance.
Narrow roads, winding walkways and bustling squares nuzzle against each other, a soft cacophony of life and living filling the four kilometres of walls that envelope the old town.
They are a delight to stumble around. The archaeological museum that once houses the Knights Hospital and the beautiful Palace of The Grand Maters and its imposing arches, stonewashed walls and steady decorations of grand mosaics and bronze statues are two of the historical highlights of this World Heritage Site.
On entering the city through one of the eleven gates that punctuate the walls, one finds themselves in the moat, a cool green calm in limbo between the bustle of the new town and gentle hubbub of the old.
Before the merger of three cities in the early fifth century to create the grand city of Rhodes, Lindos was the main site on the island, and still holds a gentle grandeur.
‘Lindos is its rock,’ a local saying goes, and when you see the ruined acropolis on the rugged cliff, its sheer face overlooking the sea and the snowy colored buildings nestled in its grooves, you can see why.
The tumbling steps up to the Doric temple can be traversed on foot or via local taxi – donkey, the animals and their owners congregating in the main square at the nape of the town.
Steep and sunny, the climb is rewarding, with views across the sea impressing, lulling waves lapping and churning far off into the distance.
In the coves that surround the coast, white beaches provide a playground for local and foreign visitors alike; parasols on the sand and sails on the boats flickering all around.
The slippery yet stunning streets that wind the town are full of roof-top restaurants and bars where local delicacies can be indulged in.
And a cool tzatziki duo followed by a soft lamb kofta turns out to be a winning combination after a day sightseeing.
And a roof-top setting means we can keep “seeing sights.”
My trip to Lindos started with me doing something I do often – missing my bus.
Rather than wait for the next, I decided to walk the few kilometres from Pefke, the small but sweet tourist resort just down the coast on the east side of the island.
A steep and unsteady staircase leads up the road leaving Pefke to the small concrete chapel of Prophet Illios.
Apparently a model of the contemplative life, he was also the prophet who in folkloric tradition represented hail, wind and rain, things that this sunshine island must have rarely seen.
A humble homage, the chapel was simple and charming, candles, matches and scents left in an old baklava box, and the worn statue bases coated in foil, and the whole feeling was one of calm and serenity.
There were still four kilometres of blistering sunshine and sandy roads to go.
But on entering Lindos, I did something I never do.
Clearly flagging from my walk in the midday sun, I went straight into the first cafe I saw and was glad I did.
Settled on a sofa, fresh salad, homemade bread and chilled lemonade on the table, and a breeze slightly skimming the roof top, I asked the South African owner how long she had been here.
‘A few years ago, I was traveling around Europe, and well…just look at it.’
I smiled and nodded.
‘And I fell in love,’ she winked.
At that moment one of the many tanned, toned, dark Greek men whizzed past on his scooter.
So if the 300 days of sunshine, the ouzo and the lazy life wouldn’t persuade my friends.
Sail Around the Greek Islands
The Greek Islands are known for their stunning natural beauty, 360-degree views, exciting beaches, their unique culture and history, and food and wine.
There are more than 2000 Greek islands but 20 to 30 are among most popular islands among tourists.
There are limitless numbers of things to do and see in these popular Greek islands and if you own a private yacht, you can expect to have all the best experiences the Greek islands have to offer.
A luxury yacht has everything that you can ask for in a hotel room.
So, you are always in utmost comfort and can move from one Greek island to another and enjoy your time on the crystal clear seawater.
The best way to admire the beauty of Greek islands is to see them from afar on a boat or ship and when you have your own yacht, you have all the flexibility and comfort to do that.
Take a Historical Holiday to Crete Greece
Crete is not only the largest of the Greek islands, it’s also the most popular given its unmatched splendor and beauty which elevate it far and above the rest of the Greek Isles.
It’s not just the striking landscape that’ll make it hard for you to leave, either; the people of Crete are famed for their hospitality and warmth, too.
The weight of Crete’s culture and history is considerable, and you’ll feel it everywhere you go on the island.
Holidays to Crete are usually measured by how much history you’ve managed to experience while you’re there.
After you’ve done some research on cheap holidays to Crete, make sure you do some research on which historical sites you’re going to set aside time to visit.
The island is scattered with monasteries, but if you have to visit one, let this be it.
The drive there is long and beautiful, leading you up a winding mountain road.
This was the site where hundreds of Cretans – 300 resistance fighters, along with 700 women and children – were slain by occupying Turkish forces in 1866.
The monastery therefore is an important symbol of Cretan independence.
There’s an ossuary on site where the skulls and bones of those who died in the fight have been preserved.
The church’s golden stone façade survived the fire and is still on display.
The refectory is where 36 of the resistance fighters were executed.
Still visible are the sword marks on the wooden table and benches.
There’s also a room upstairs with portraits of various Cretan patriots throughout the ages.
All that remains of Gortys, a Greco-Roman city, are small but sprawling ruins that are strewn across beautiful fields and olive groves.
Make sure you take a day out to explore these, as the ruins are tucked into a lovely place that is worth wandering through.
There’s a 6th-century church named AyiosTitos as well as the ruins of a market.
More importantly, don’t miss the Europe’s first ever Code of Law, present here carved into massive stone blocks and dating back to 500BC.
If you desire to see the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilisation, The Palace of Knossos is the most extensive and famous of all.
The Palace is Crete’s biggest attraction and is definitely worth taking time out for.
There used to be over a thousand rooms in the Palace, some of which have been recreated to give you an idea of the scale.
There were two palaces that stood here.
The first was built around 2000 BC, before being destroyed by an earthquake 300 years later.
A second, much grander palace was built in its place, which was also destroyed – in 1450 BC – when the volcano on Santorini erupted.
If you’re visiting during the summer, remember to take extra bottles of water because the site itself can be unbearably hot.
Be patient, too; some tourists give up because the site is a little confusing to navigate.
There are more ruins of the Minoan Palace at Phaistos.
If Knossos is too rammed with tourists for it to be enjoyable, consider exploring Phaistos instead, as it tends to be overlooked by the majority of visitors.
The ruins sit on a hill overlooking a plain, with a beautiful central courtyard, the royal apartments of old, the huge staircase and the discovery site of the Phaistos Disc.
The Disc itself is a total mystery.
Discovered in 1903, estimated to have been made in around 1700-1600 BC, nobody knows what the pictographs that adorn it actually mean.
It would be criminal of you not to walk the Samaria Gorge while you’re in Crete.
It’s the longest gorge in Europe and one of the most exhilarating experiences that the island has to offer.
This is where the scenery is at its best.
Make sure you’re prepared for it, as it can be an ordeal unless you’re in shape.
It’s just under 20 km long.
The feeling of achievement and joy when you reach the gorgeous Libyan Sea at the southern end (if you came down from the White Mountains) is unparalleled.
It can get crowded and hot during the summer, but it’s completely worth the effort.
Rethymnon is Crete’s third-largest town.
It does have a modern side to it, along with a good beach and a charming port.
However, its historical aspects are not to be missed.
It has a massive Venetian fortress that was built around the 1570s, which some claim is the largest ever built.
Top Things To Do In Chania Crete Greece
Chania is a beautiful port city on the north-western coast of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands – this bustling place has a charming atmosphere reflecting its Venetian and Turkish past, and is often described as one of the most beautiful cities in Greece.
Chania offers everything from beach-life, shopping, walking, scenery, nature and great cuisine.
Here are some great tips to get the most out of Chania and what the area has to offer…
Visit The Old Town
The old town is centered around the harbor, and is the most charming area of the city.
Take a romantic stroll along the 14th century Venetian harbor, visit the famous historical light house and St Nicholas Bastion, and let yourself be brought back a couple of centuries as you explore the maze of narrow streets and alleyways, old houses and local taverns.
Visit the Maritime museum by the Firka Fortress to learn more about the islands history, sit down and enjoy a refreshing Frappe, or shop for local handicrafts in the boutiques.
Day Trips To Beaches, Gorges & Lagoons
You can’t visit Greece without spending at least a couple of days at the beach.
The beach in Chania city, Nea Chora is ok for a short swim, but nothing to write home about.
Instead, go a little bit further and visit Agi apostoli and Kato Stalos, which are easily reached from the city.
Two other great day trips would be to Elafonissi Lagoon, with its pretty pink sands and beautiful sunsets, and Samaria Gorge.
Samaria Gorge is a national park, and many people choose to take the 16 kilometer long hike through the gorge, which has plenty of scenic spots along the way.
If you decide to spend the night before an early flight to Crete at the Gatwick Hilton by the airport, don’t get tempted to shop and fill your bags before you’ve even arrived, because Chania is the perfect place in Crete for shopping.
The streets of the Old Town are full of boutiques selling traditional handicraft, with charming handmade souvenirs to take home.
The traditional products that are typical for Chania are leatherboots, silverware, knives and woven rugs.
There are also a lot of artists in Chania with their own galleries and shops, selling glass, ceramic, and jewelry.
For the more modern, head to the new town and shop til you drop at the many boutiques.
Tip! Remember that shops are open from 9am – 2pm, and on tuesdays, thursdays and fridays they are also open from 6pm – 9pm.
On Sundays everything is closed.
Indulge In Seafood
Greece is famous world wide for its delicious cuisine, and in Chania, the sea food is especially good.
Calamari is very popular, but if that’s not for you, give the traditional Greek dish of Moussaka a go – delicious and authentic.
Another dish typical for Chania is Boureki, a pie consisting of layers of potatoes, zucchini, myzithra and mint.
Crete is easily reached during summer, with flights from many UK airports.
You can lower the costs by taking advantage of great value airport extras, such as airport hotels, offering convenience and great rates – check out the Courtyard by Marriot at Gatwick Airport if flying from Gatwick, or alternatively, the Sofitel at Gatwick.
These are merely just a few things to do when visiting Chania in Crete, what are your favorites?
Mythical Volos Greece
Mythical Volos, located 320 km north of Athens, boasts a captivating aura of Greek mythology that includes the ancient birthplace of the race of the Centaurs and a church of the Virgin Mary called Panagia Tripa of Goritsa.
A visit to Volos, Greece may include tours of mansions and museums, the Volos Castle, and the Church of Agioi Konstantino.
Fantastic views of the city and the sea from the top of Goritsa Hill make of this city a mythical destination with lovely walking paths and seafood restaurants along the bay.
Traveling to Greece maybe low on your bucket list but with services that offer low-priced holidays abroad you can certainly make this dream come true.
A trek to the top of Goritsa Hill in eastern Volos must not be left out as eerie paths exude mythological mysteries of times past.
Believed to be the birthplace of the Centaurs who were part man and part horse, the imagination can be carried away by stories of ancient times.
Walking paths up Goritsa Hill take you to the site of Zoodochos, the larger of 2 churches found at Goritsa Hill.
At the bottom of the hill lies the cave that is an ancient church called Panagia Tripa of Goritsa, believed to be the site of Jesus’ birth.
Visitors to Volos spend time near the seashore to taste delectable fresh sea food in one of many restaurants and take a stroll along Argonauts Avenue, a long time favorite place to wander or ride bikes along the seashore.
Volos is known as the loveliest and one of the largest and most prominent cities in Greece.
Also enjoyed by all who visit Velos is Agios Knonstantino Park, an early 1920’s park, a place for outdoor recreation and enjoyment of the statues of mythological gods and goddesses.
A visit to this very prominent port city should also include a tour of Volos Castle that once served as a center for building ships in the 1930’s and the 1936 architectural landmark, the Church of Agioi Konstantino and Eleni.
The lovely sea port city of Volos is visited by students and tourists from all over the world.
It continues to hold a mystical fascination for it’s history of Greek mythology and ancient beliefs of the race of the Centaurs.
The mansions, museums and churches have long been famous for their rich architectural design and the sea shore is a place of peace and beauty.
Useful Tips On Visiting Greece
Greece is and has been a popular destination for travelers ever since the 60’s, and there are many good reasons for that – the first one being the incredible weather and beautiful beaches during summertime.
But summers are busy times, and if you don’t plan in advance chances are you won’t have the best time, because you will be stuck in a city built for tourists in a hotel that’s only average and during a week when it’s so hot you can’t even go outside.
So before you plan a holiday to Greece, and intend on taking a cruise among the islands – then check out the advice below.
Choose Travel Agent Carefully
If you decide to book your holiday with a company, choose carefully.
There are many companies that are only out to get your money and don’t care about giving any value in return.
We suggest you arrange your trip well in advance.
The earlier you book everything, the wider range of hotel options and destinations you get.
Don’t get sucked into the last minute “unspecified” trips.
Sure, they may turn out great, but they may also be a waste of money.
Always make sure you know the hotel you will be staying at so that you can decide if the location is what you’re looking for.
Travel During Shoulder Season
July is generally very hot and very busy, and although it’s the most popular month it’s far from the best month to go.
September, however, is a better month.
By then, the locals are back at work and school, the tourist crowds are gone, but the weather is still warm and sunny, and the water is still very enjoyable.
It will also be easier finding a good hotel that isn’t fully booked, and the streets will be quieter giving you more time and space to really enjoy.
Going early is another good option, May and even early June is the beginning of the tourist season and you will just manage to beat the crowds.
Choose Your Island
Greece is very varied, and each island is different from the next.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re all the same, because that’s far from the truth.
But there are too many islands to read about to make up your mind, so first decide what you’re looking for, and then find an island that has it.
Ancient Athens – Sights Not To Miss
Greece holidays in Athens makes for an awesome trip for anyone with even the slightest interest in history and Ancient Athens.
Whether you opt to spend your entire break here or you’re just planning to visit on a day trip, there are some sights you really shouldn’t miss.
Actually, you could easily spend weeks exploring all the different ancient buildings in this historical treasure trove, but below you’ll find a quick introduction to the essentials.
Athens’s most famous archaeological site is the Acropolis – a sprawling citadel perched high above the city centre (making it very easy to find!).
Home to a number of really important buildings, such as the world-famous Parthenon, it’s the number one place to visit if you want to get to grips with some ancient Greek history.
As well as having a nose around the buildings themselves, you should also plan to visit the Acropolis Museum, which is about 300 m away from the site itself.
What makes this so interesting is that it houses all those amazing finds discovered in the Acropolis and nearby foothills, so be prepared to see some real gems!
Dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, the Parthenon is one of those buildings that always looks familiar, even if you’ve never seen it in person, since there are images of its in countless books and TV programmes.
So, why’s it so special?
Well, it’s widely regarded as the most important example of surviving classical Greek architecture and it’s also a really vital site in terms of Greek art, thanks to its impressive decorative sculptures.
Don’t miss out on a trip here – it really is a wonderful slice of history and no visit to the city is complete without it!
Theatre of Dionysus
Also in the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus dates back to the 6th century BC, when it was built in timber.
Between 342 and 326 BC, it was redone in marble and stone to seat a whopping 17,000.
It’s still an impossibly vast site, though just 20 of the original 64 tiers have survived.
When you visit, make sure you take a peek at some of the thrones situated on the lower levels.
Once upon a time, these were used by powerful officials and one of the most important thrones (thought to be reserved for the Priest of Dionysus) features carvings of griffins and lions’ paws.
Temple of the Olympian Zeus
If you thought the Theatre of Dionysus was big, wait until you see the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
In fact, this is the largest temple in Greece, but knowing that will probably still not prepare you for its sheer size – its columns are 17 m high and, back in its heyday, there were 104 of them.
Today, just 15 remain, but it’s still a seriously impressive sight.
An interesting fact about this temple is that it took 700 years to build..!
Its stop-start construction (thanks to a lack of funds) explains why you can spot different architectural influences in the temple, which was finally finished by Hadrian in 131 AD.
Last, but not least, you should make sure you see Hadrian’s Arch -built in 132 AD (also by Hadrian), it is a vast monument intended to act as a dividing marker between the ancient and Roman cities.
So, it stands as a kind of symbolic entrance to Athens’s most richly historical area, making it a must-visit during your stay.
Have you traveled to Greece before?
If so, which was your favorite historical site?
From beginning to end of our stay there we kept getting lost in the streets, despite having a map!
We never learned that the streets were shorter than we thought, and kept walking too far everywhere – for me the highlight of this city was the amazing greek food an the view from the Upper city over-looking the sea.
The Greek islands have to wait for another time but trust me, I will make sure we do some island hopping there some time.
Our time spent in Thessaloniki, Greece was great – we had never been on the main land of Greece before, and the Northern parts were different from the islands in so many ways, but it still had that lovely Greek vibe and architecture all around.
I would have loved to see more of Northern Greece, but this time we put the focus on Thessaloniki with its many ruins, architecture, history and amazing food.
We hope you enjoyed our Thessaloniki video!
Thessaloniki, Greece – Served Up On A Plate
Ok, so Greece was on the map for countries you can travel to with an Interrail pass, so of course, we were going there – but traveling by train to Greece has become somewhat of a joke.
I remember hearing a comedian talking about traveling in Europe, and how you can book a train ticket and end up on a bus or book bus ticket and end up on a boat – that couldn’t be more true in Greece.
Since the economy totally crashed in Greece, they have been cutting down on a lot of things to save money – too many things…
During the time we were there, riots started down in Athens, because people have seen no real improvement despite all the cuts.
One of the things they have cut down on is train travel.
From now on, there are no longer any international trains to or from Greece.
They have completely secluded themselves from their neighboring countries, and seem to have the intention of keeping it that way for quite some time.
So now you can’t travel by train to Greece, but you can still travel by train in the country.
So yes, we kind of cheated by taking a bus – but since it was the only option, I don’t know how we could have done it differently.
Getting out of Greece to Bulgaria, we were looking for a bus company which went there.
It turned out that the most frequent bus is run by OSE – the Greek railway company, and you can only book it from the train station, where no trains went…
But I have to say it was definitely worth the hassle.
Our time spent in Thessaloniki was great.
We had never been on the main land of Greece before, and the northern parts were very different from the islands in many ways, but it still had that lovely Greek vibe and architecture all around.
I would have loved to see more of Northern Greece, but this time we put the focus on Thessaloniki with its many ruins, architecture, history and amazing food.
With emphasize on the latter: FOOD. Thessaloniki is known for having some of the best food in Greece, and their mezes were to die for!
Churches, ruins and history in all honor, but the best of Thessaloniki is served on a plate, or many many plates