From an abundance of historical sights from past civilisations to breathtaking landscapes of volcanic mountains and a bucketload of culture, holidays to glorious Greece comes with balmy weather and guaranteed holiday bliss. Of course, the Greek beaches are the top reason travellers escape to these magnificent islands. Marvel at the iconic Shipwreck Bay of Zante, soak in the romance of Santorini’s rainbow-hued coastlines and explore the secluded caves of Corfu. Thanks to that renowned Greek cuisine, you can almost taste the feta from here...
The mantle of Europes longest coastline goes to Greece. The Greek islands lay in the southeast of Europe, on the southern side of the Balkan peninsula. The south borders the Mediterranean Sea whilst the Ionian Sea fringes the West, and the Aegean Sea the East. The Greek islands are bordered by Albania, Turkey, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Cyprus, Italy, Egypt, and Libya.
We fly directly to Greece from major airports across the UK. The main and largest airport in Greece is the Internation Airport of Athens (ATH), also known as Eleftherios Venizelos. There are other flight options, including Heraklion International Airport (HER) for Crete, Diagoras Airport (RHO) for Rhodes, and Zakynthos International Airport Dionysios Solomos (ZTH) for Zante.
An average flight time from London to Athens is 3 hours and 40 minutes, with durations varying slightly depending on where you fly. We have holidays with direct flights from London and most major UK airports. Pick your ideal local airport and date, the click Search.
Those pristine islands of white-washed structures, colour-tinted beaches and mystic historical sites promise a balmy holiday in paradise. The trick is to know when to go.
The summer high season spans from June to mid-September, where temperatures can range between 25°C to mid-thirties and the sea hovers in the comfortable twenties. The rainy season coincides with the winter season, which runs from November to February, when you can expect seasonal rainfall and lower temperatures averaging 9°C. Many tourists holiday in Greece during late spring (April, May) and early autumn (September, October) for its' moderate climate. During this time, the weather is pleasant for sightseeing Greek wonders and experiencing annual traditions in more comfortable conditions. Check out our 'best time to visit' guide to help you plan your perfect holiday to Greece.
Greeks are known for their love of making food, of eating food, and love of feeding others. It's the one place in the world you're guaranteed to never feel hungry. Greek cuisine is based on the staples of Meditteranean dishes, involving fresh and seasonal ingredients cooked to perfection to form a blend of light, balanced, and clean flavours with homegrown vegetables, olive oils, and cheeses. The Byzantine and Ottoman empires had a vast influence on Greek cuisine later on, shaping those delicious traditions to this day.
Briam, a mix of roasted vegetables, is one of our favourites. This summer special can be compared to ratatouille, prepared with whatever fresh produce is offered on the market. Keftedes are traditional Greek meatballs, usually a mix of pork and beef, mixed with eggs, parsley, onions, and stale bread, with exceptional variations for spearmint, ouzo, and feta fillings. To sample a royal mouthful of street food, try Souvlaki; small pieces of meat-based skewers, wrapped in a pita with Tzaziki, a creamy, tangy, and spicy dip. Of course, you will find an abundance of restaurants serving succulent fish meals, from calamari to seasoned cod and shrimp. The Moussaka has existed for decades in Greek culture. Its three layers of goodness, created with sauteed eggplant, and minced meat soaked in rich, tomato and bechamel sauce, will have the mouth-watering of even the pickiest eater.
Whether it's an alcoholic or a non-alcoholic beverage, there's a drink of choice for every taste and preference. Retsina is a popular Greek wine, infused with Aleppo pine resin, with a distinctive taste. Retsina has ranked high for Greeks since ancient times, with many creating their versions with unique twists. The best place to relish a glass is at a chic taverna tucked away in historic streets, and served alongside traditional Greek cuisine. Vinsanto wine (Visanto vin di Santorini) is another popular tipple, manufactured in the exclusive vineyards of Santorini. For Greek spirits, begin with Metaxa, the silky soft amber spirit with a light taste, and of course, the famous and perhaps infamous ouzu. Being the national drink of Greece, ouzo is a grape, or grain-based alcohol, distilled with fennel and other local herbs. You can find over 300 brands and varieties of ouzo, all best served with ice or a little water.
For non-alcoholic options, you can't leave Greece without trying the Greek-styled Frappe - a foam-covered, iced coffee drink with added milk and sugar that tickles the tastebuds. Greek mountain tea, otherwise known as Ironwort or Sideritis, is made from a plant found in the mountains, rich in high levels of antioxidants - a healthy option for vegetarians and weight watchers.
The English word for ‘music’ originated in ancient Greek, and is associated with the Muses, the daughters of Zeus. Music and dance are almost classed as holy in Greece or at least divine. Traditional Greek music dates back thousands of years and is considered by many as an heirloom from those ancient Greece times. It is said the music was a divine gift from Apollo and Muse, and Terpsichore admired their dances.
Traditional Greek songs revolve around glorifying your joys and recording your inspiration. The cultural favourite, traditional folk music, blends elements of ancient Greek music, such as the rhythm forms, with the influence from Alexander the Great and Byzantine eras. If you have ever seen ancient vases, mosaics, or marble sculptures, look out for the images of the lyre, pan flute, and harp, used as the base instruments in Greek culture.
Nisia is a Greek word for the Islands and Nisiotika is the music from Greek islands, focused on the Aegean Sea region encompassing the Cycladic islands, Sporades, and Dodecanese. Then there is Rebetika, dating back to 1922, first produced as a calming melody for Greeks and Turks being forced to relocate out of their countries. By the 1960s, Rebetika evolved to more lively beats and lighter music and became the nation's favourite, which it remains to this day.
Apart from having some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and historic sights, Greece is also a retail-paradise for even the most hardcore shopping fanatics. Visit the central malls in Athens for an abundance of stores, ranging from clothing items to fresh food markets and dazzling souvenirs. Athens Metro Mall is situated in Agios Dimitrios Area, and open Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 11 pm. For a semsory experience bursting with flavour and herbal scents, visit the Athens Central Market on Athinas Street. Luxury goods and big-brand items can be found in Kifissia, Downtown Athens. Along the main road to Oia, in Santorini, Iama Wine Store stocks a very 'premium' wine and liqueur selection for the most sophisticated tipple-tasters. With a portfolio encompassing the best wines and spirits of Greece, and a champagne selection that includes a '93 Dom Perignon rosé and a '99 Cristal, private tastings are also organised with buffet. Yamas!
As in most European countries, football has captured hearts of the nation. The Greek national football team made history after winning the UEFA World Cup final in 2004 against Portugal, in only their second time participating. The Agia Sophia Stadium hosts all national matches in the country, and you can watch all the sports action from the comfort of a relaxed bar. Many have big screens indoors and outside with live matches, so you'll never need to miss a game.
After the beautiful game, Basketball comes in a strong second place. First introduced here in 1910, it was originally played by American and Greek residents who studied in the US, but soon grew in popularity with youngster across the country. When the men's national team won the 1987 Eurobasket, hosted in Athens, the sport’s fan base expanded dramatically. Today, the Greek national Basketball team ranks in the world's top ten! Other sports with strong followings include athletics, water polo, weight lifting, and wrestling.