Whitewashed houses, vibrant bougainvillea, crystal waters and fresh seafood – dream no more: with most Covid restrictions dropped, now is the time to return to the Greece we all know and love.
From today, Greece waves goodbye to vaccine passports, previously required before you could sip a beer or savour souvlaki in Greece’s restaurants and bars. You’ll still have to occasionally don a mask – for example, when stocking up on local snacks at the supermarket – but that’s a small price to pay. Whether it’s pristine beaches and remarkable history, or breathtaking scenery and a captivating creative scene, there are so many reasons to love this part of the world, and so many ways to explore it, from discovering Thessaloniki’s diverse food scene and hiking Crete’s Samaria Gorge, to paddling in the Aegean and skiing on Mount Olympus. Here are 20 of our favourites.
Explore the ‘hovering’ Byzantine monasteries of Meteora
With its name derived from the Ancient Greek metéōros, meaning ‘in the air’, Meteora pretty much does what it says on the tin: this group of 24 monasteries (six still functioning) are perched atop towering stone pillars, some 400m above the Peneas Valley. A must-visit for history and geology enthusiasts, the Unesco site also offers excellent hiking. Set in the Thessaly region of central Greece, it’s easy to visit on a day-trip from Athens or Thessaloniki, while the nearby town of Kalambaka is a prime overnight spot for anyone wanting to explore a little longer.
How to do it
A one-day tour of Meteora with Meteora Thrones (meteora.com) from Athens costs £75, with a two-day tour including accommodation in Kalambaka and a Meteora sunset experience (£127). Departures are also available from Thessaloniki.