Top 10 Things to Do on the Greek Mainland
Collected by Candice Walsh , AFAR Local Expert
The top 10 things to do on the Greek mainland will give you a comprehensive overview of what makes Greece so special. Make the trek to the Oracle at Delphi. Watch the sunset behind the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. Check out the birthplace of the modern-day Olympics. Here are the Greek mainland highlights to hit before heading off to the islands.
Kalabaka 422 00, Greece
Meteora means "suspended in air" in Greek. The town of Meteora, about a 5-hour drive north of Athens in Thessaly, Greece, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site: six Greek Orthodox monasteries built on enormous rock pinnacles that rise up to...
Delphi 330 54, Greece
The belly button of the world lies eighty miles northwest of Athens, where the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, cut deeply by cascades feeding the River Pleistos, drops precipitously into the Gulf of Corinth. High above the ravine in a cleft...
Olympia 270 65, Greece
Located in the western Peloponnese, Olympia is home to the most important athletic event of our time, the Olympic Games. Come see the Stadium, where the first Olympic Games were held. It's often considered the most important ancient site in Greece...
Pelion, Zagora 370 01, Greece
Coasteering is the latest craze in Greece's adventure tourism, and it's especially popular on the Pelion Peninsula. Coasteering refers to navigating the coastline by climbing, rock scrambling, and swimming. It's definitely for the braver, more...
Agiou Dimitriou, Thessaloniki 546 33, Greece
Hagios Demetrios is known as the largest church in all of Greece, and while this interior doesn't look as large as other European churches, the entire building and grounds are a true showing of historic periods coming and overlapping one another....
Delphi 330 54, Greece
Located at the foot of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was the Pan-Hellenic site of the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. It was the center of the world during its time. Delphi lies in a lush, hidden valley surrounded by craggy mountains—a pastoral...
Parnassus, Tithorea 350 15, Greece
Believe it or not, Europe's sunniest destination is also home to a few terrific ski hills, one of them being Mount Parnassos. This is Greece's most popular ski resort area, thanks to its close proximity to Athens. You'll find 23 ski runs here, for...
Adigonidon 13, Thessaloniki 546 30, Greece
For many, Thessaloniki is a happy alternative to the chaos of Athens. Although it's home to just under 400,000 people, it's the second largest city in Greece. There's a large student population here, and so you'll find the city busy with cafes,...
Cape Sounio, Sounio 195 00, Greece
The Temple of Poseidon, perched on the edge of Cape Sounion, has long been a welcoming sign of "home" for sailors returning to Athens. The 5th-century BC structure is dedicated to the god of the sea, and it's just a quick drive from downtown...
Thessaloniki 546 21, Greece
Nobody knows exactly when The White Tower of Thessaloniki was built, but everyone agrees that it's been around for as long as they can remember. It's the city's towering emblem -- an iconic symbol printed on tourist mugs, t-shirts, and more. It's...
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