Love is always in the air in Greece, the land of mythology and picturesque scenery. The destination may have already logged itself on your radar with the romantic sunset pictures you’ve seen of Santorini, the white-washed village with blue rooftops nestled on a cliffside, but look beyond and you’ll find that there’s so much more for couples to experience on a holiday.
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Have a penchant for delving into history and culture as a duo, indulging in outdoor activities together or have another interest in common? No matter your favourite pastimes, lovebirds will find some inspiration for their trips with these destinations in Greece that are waiting to be discovered.
The history partners
Explore centuries-old landmarks, visit archaeological sites and verse yourselves with Greek stories of old in this historic land. Beginning with Athens, the country’s 3000-year-old capital, you will find yourself immersed in Greece’s rich culture with visits to the Acropolis, a 5th-century BC icon perched on a hilltop above the sprawling city, and the National Archaeological Museum, which is packed full of artefacts from ancient times.
Over at Delphi, which is widely known as the most historical ancient site in Greece, the Sanctuary of Apollo is a must-visit. Dubbed the most sacred place in the country, travellers usually explore its premises on a zigzag path named the Sacred Way. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was also the home of the Oracle of Apollo, a mysterious figure rumoured to have conveyed messages on behalf of the revered god.
Then at Olympia, you’ll get to view where the original Olympic Games were held and visit key sites such as the ancient gymnasium and stadium where athletes once trained. The Temple of Zeus, the largest temple in the Peloponnese, has been reconstructed and is worth a visit.
The Instagram-worthy couple
Pictures simply don’t do Santorini’s beauty justice; you really have to be there to experience it for yourself. Wake up on the balcony of your beautiful white house and stroll hand in hand on the town’s winding streets, posing for snapshots against beautiful backdrops along the way. The island is a popular place for proposals and to pose for wedding photographs. Don’t miss the sunset — there’s a reason why hordes of people crowd around the hanging edge to catch a sight of it on clear days — the visage is simply spectacular.
Widely known as one of the country’s most beautiful islands, Hydra offers a different appeal from Santorini with its orange-roofed buildings. Enjoy a more peaceful escapade here as no cars or motor vehicles are allowed on the island save for garbage trucks and ambulances. Stroll around the premises on a mule or horse to enjoy a romantic moment together, or roam the quaint streets leisurely until you reach a vantage point where you can take stunning panoramas.
For something more under-the-radar, consider a diversion to Syros. The capital of the Cyclades’ allure is slowly beginning to re-emerge with amped up restoration efforts. Explore grand mansions with intricate handpainted ceilings and the bustling harbour, where you can snap lovely pictures of the seaside town. The Apollon Theater, continental Europe’s first opera house, will also impress you with its elegance.
The food lovers
Known for its one-of-a-kind dishes that stem from tradition and the products unique to the region, Crete will have you discovering a smorgasbord of flavours. From its famous olive oil to its wide variety of signature cheeses to its infamous liquor known as raki, a grape brandy, you’ll find yourself intoxicated with the region’s offerings. Some local dishes include fried snails, lamb with stamnagathi, which is a wild green, and sfakia pies.The seaside town of Folegandros is unsurprisingly especially known for its seafood including octopus, lobster and fish. Try these ingredients prepared in different forms, from grilled to sun-dried to sauced, at unpretentious eateries where you can slowly savour the exquisite taste of each dish. The island’s speciality is Matsata, a red sauce pasta made with chicken, rabbit or goat meat.
Rumoured for offering some of Greece’s best cuisine, Lesvos is also known for its olive oil and delectable fish. Sardines are particularly favoured here and can typically be found deep-fried or grilled and drizzled with oil and lemon. The best ouzo, an anise-flavoured concoction that is Greece’s most famous alcoholic beverage, is also rumoured to be located in Lesvos. Since 2017, the island has begun hosting a food festival in summer, which you can visit to sample a wide selection of Greek food.
The adventurous two
If getting active together in the great outdoors is your thing, Meteora will be one of the key highlights of your holiday. Think a vigorous hike to the top of a massive rock mountain that juts out from the landscape. At the summit, marvel at the precariously built UNESCO-designated monasteries; the otherworldly landscape has to be seen to be believed.
As a country made up of thousands of islands, it stands to reason that the waters around Greece are also worthy of exploration. Go snorkelling in the private coves of Rhenia Island to discover rich wildlife hidden beneath. Although this particular location may not be the most popular spot in the country to snorkel, the lack of crowds makes the activity all the more enjoyable, giving you more time to enjoy each others’ company.
To soak in some of the most dramatic scenery in Greece, head to Samaria Gorge National Park. Known as one of the longest gorges in Europe, the mountainous terrain offers some of the most breathtaking, albeit challenging, hikes in the country. Walk amidst lush forests, cross the river by hopping from stone to stone and enjoy being surrounded by rock walls that soar towards the sky.
The beach-loving duo
Mykonos’ charm primarily lies with its pristine golden-hued beaches that hug the crystal-clear azure blue waters. Besides sunbathing, windsurfing and snorkelling, popular activities in the area include joining in the lively dance parties where famous DJs sometimes spin. If you’re more of a private person though, quieter coves are also available for you to embrace the beach life in relative peace.
Still lively but not in an overwhelming way is Ios. Hop aboard a boat to visit tucked away beaches hidden in the shadows of towering cliffs; these untouched shores appeal with their raw beauty. Beach parties are also a pastime here, though the crowds are thankfully smaller and more sophisticated as compared to the neighbouring islands of Santorini and Mykonos.
With a whopping 80 beaches available for you to discover, Milos is a beach baby’s paradise. The beautiful white sandy shores and sparkling waters draw you in invitingly for a swim or two. Since the area is less of a tourist hotspot, you can easily grab leisurely drinks at various seaside bars and explore cosy caves away from the madding crowds.