Am I wrong in saying Greece and romance can naturally go hand in hand? No, I am not. We have the clean and clear waters of the Aegean Sea, the abundant Mediterranean food, the winding alleys of the islands and a laid back attitude which is palpable in every corner of the country – and no, not just in Santorini. If you are planning your Greek holiday with your loved one, check out some date ideas in order to spice up your romantic getaway. These characteristic Greek suggestions will blow your itinerary right out of the water!
A big part of Greece’s beauty is found in its waters and the most fitting way make the most of this is by exploring the sea onboard a yacht. Even for just a day spoil yourself and sail along the mainland’s coast or pick from one of the plentiful Greek islands. This way you’ll have the chance to swim in secret coves and secluded beaches only accessible by boat. How many people can say that they’ve had a beach all to themselves? Sailing the Aegean doesn’t necessarily need to be pricey as there are semi private and group tours available – if you’re certified, you can even charter a boat yourself and do your own thing! Many day tours include food and drinks onboard, so the only thing you really need to bring is your bathing suit and suntan lotion.
Okay, I know, sunsets are a classic romantic activity just about anywhere, however Greece is home to some of the most unique and picture perfect sunsets around the world. On the Greek islands it’s never hard to find a spot to watch the sunset surrounded by the seemingly infinite Aegean Sea. If you let yourself get lost in the infamous labyrinthine streets you will either wind up by the shore or at a tiny church with a look-out point, giving you no other choice really than to sit back and admire the sunset.
If you find yourself in Athens however, your choices might not always include the sea but will instead offer a flawless view of the city. Discover Areopagus Hill neighboring the Acropolis, a solid marble hill which acted as the high court for people standing trial for serious offences, even before democracy was formally instituted. For a more authentic experience, take a short walk to Filopappous Hill where you will be joined by locals chatting the day away while staring out at the horizon. Now, if you are looking to reach the highest point in Athens, head up Lycabettus Hill, with its café restaurant up top, it is one of the few places where you can enjoy a 360 view of Athens.
If romance had a home, Santorini would almost certainly be it. After all, there is a reason it is one of the top honeymoon destinations worldwide. Couples travel thousands of miles to get photographed in front of the infamous blue roofed houses on the caldera, stroll through the cobble streets and watch as the setting sun in Oia changes the hues of the island. Painted the color of love, Santorini’s Red beach offers an entirely unique experience allowing visitors to swim in the sea surrounded by tall bright red cliffs.
The curious features of Santorini’s terrain also create a unique variety of grapes that has given way to locals to produce wine that is internationally recognized. Do not miss out on going on a wine tasting tour to visit some of the island’s stunning wineries, peek into their barrel rooms and sip on a glass of local wine overlooking the Aegean.
Being one of the least rainy countries in Europe, a very popular pastime in Greece is catching a movie in one of the many open air cinemas around the country. These usually involve a charming garden patio filled with chairs and loveseats and viewers can enjoy the year’s summer flick under the moon and stars. These cinemas tend to date back decades which inevitably create an ambiance of nostalgia and romance. Let me also mention that you do not need to become fluent in Greek in order to have this experience since movies aren’t dubbed and are always shown in their original language.
Athens nightlife scene has been booming for years resulting in it housing some of the top cocktail bars in the world. We Athenians take great pride in opening bars that are appealing, decorated with character and with extremely interesting and unique cocktails. Going out in the capital is not just about having a drink, but about the excitement and adventure a night out can bring. A classic option would be heading to one of the rooftop bars in Monastiraki where you will feel like you’re sitting right beside the beautifully lit Acropolis.
Going back to the importance of decor, Psiri is one of the neighborhoods which is an absolute go to and I mean it. From classic bars with fascinating retro interior (chandeliers included), to industrial, minimalistic and modern design, and from large garden breweries to hidden sophisticated speakeasies, I can confidently say that there is a place for all tastes and preferences. On the other hand, if you need to fulfill your island craving, I would recommend venturing out of the center along the coast and visiting some of the open air bars right on the shore. Here you can order your favorite summer cocktail while walking on soft sand and getting the whole island vibe without having to leave the mainland!
One of the islands that hasn’t changed much with time is ever so charming Hydra. Athens to Hydra is just about two hours by hydrofoil and is the ideal day trip that will fully satisfy your romantic side. There is a wonderfully visible lack of motor vehicles here, as they have been permanently banned, making way for pedestrians and the island’s representative donkeys that trot along the streets. Hike up to the monastery of Prophet Elias and find yourself on one of the highest peaks of the island, right next to Mount Eros – yes you read correctly, the mountain is called Love. With no lack of quaint beaches with turquoise waters to refresh yourself in, Hydra is the perfect destination for a couple looking for some well-deserved R&R.
Undoubtedly one of the most frequently visited areas, Plaka is located in the heart of Athens and is the city’s oldest neighborhood. Here you will walk between ancient sites like the Greek and Roman Agoras, and through narrow pedestrianized streets lined with family run shops seemingly unchanged with time. Find anything from locally made ceramics, one of a kind clothing, fine and handcrafted jewelry, all which can make for a great gift to your loved one. A typical characteristic of the neighborhood are the neoclassical houses coated with bougainvillea, a stunning flower that spills from the roofs, which give Plaka these vibrant splashes of fuchsia. One of the few times where I wholeheartedly recommend getting lost and letting the senses be your guide. Sit at whichever café appeals to you the most and try some traditional mezes, which are small hot or cold dishes, placed in the middle of the table for sharing. While you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to also find the area of Anafiotika, a small district within Plaka built by the early settlers from the Cycladic island of Anafi over a century ago.
Dive into the Mediterranean diet by signing up for a cooking class together. Some classes are even held at a Greek person’s home, with recipes handed down from generation to generation – talk about authentic, right? Learn how to make traditional Greek recipes like stuffed tomatoes, tzatziki or sugary delicious fried dough balls! Depending on where in the country you are, dishes and experiences are going to vary; in the islands you might also have the chance to visit a family farm. Feel Greece’s passion and respect towards its food, as dining is unquestionably not just about cooking and eating – it is so much more than that. Partake in this experience all while bonding with your partner and sampling the local wines.
It might sound cliché, however how much more dreamy can it get than swimming under the moonlight and no less in Greece. The beaches in the country are public, meaning that they don’t have any silly opening and closing hours, so take advantage and enjoy an evening dip. The summers in Greece are rather hot even at night, so getting cold shouldn’t even cross your mind. There is a sense of tranquility being at the beach after sundown that you cannot find during the day, so pick a spot on the sand, lay your towel and start counting stars!
The Athenian Riviera has an air of the mindless summers we had as kids and somehow manages to get rid of any care you may have in the world. Take a drive along the scenic coast, with the rugged landscape on one side and the serene Greek waters on the other. Allow yourself to also stop every now and then in the small seaside villages you will find along the way. A highly recommended route would be from Athens to Cape Sounion, about 70km south of Athens, where you can admire the Temple of Poseidon perched on the edge of the mountain. Dedicated to the God of the sea, this monument used to spark joy in sailors returning from battle as it was the first thing they would spot in the distance reassuring them that they have safely arrived home. And allow me to quickly jump back to our very first suggestion of this post, and mention the fact that the sunset here is indescribable – so definitely stay put for it.
If you are looking for a Greece itinerary to celebrate your wedding anniversary, your honeymoon, or just to have a romantic getaway trip, have a look at our sample trips for ideas on how to experience Greek islands in Luxury or to visit the most iconic spots in Greece.
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