Are you wondering which are the most unique things that you can do while traveling to Greece that you cannot find anywhere else? When you think of Greece, what images are immediately at the forefront of your mind? Iconic sites such as the Acropolis, the white houses of Santorini, golden sandy beaches and the Mediterranean Sea are likely to flood your imagination, but Greece’s richness lies in the unique places and activities loved by both visitors and locals. Take a look at our 20 unique things to do in Greece and find authentic experiences uncovering history, culture, nature, and life like a local.
Travel back in time through Greek Mythology and Ancient History.
Hidden away from most tourists' radar is the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio. Around a one-hour drive away from the capital city of Athens is this spectacular archeological site on the southern coast of the Attic peninsula. The temple became the symbol and namesake of the Aegean Sea after King Aegeas fell to the sea devastated, presuming that his son, Theseus, was killed by the Minotaur. Greek mythology and ancient ruins should be on your list of things to do in mainland Greece. Visit the Temple of Poseidon on August full-moon. Enjoy unparalleled views at sunset and celebration at the ancient temple as the full moon rises from the sea. During the summer, experience classical Greece with concerts and other unique events held at many archeological sites across Greece as long as you know where to find them!
There are many non-touristy and fun historic things to do in Mainland Greece. Attending a theatrical play or concert in one of the famous ancient theaters is one of our favorite 20 unique things to do in Greece. Step back in time and immerse yourself in the dramas of centuries ago. The Athens and Epidaurus Festival gives you access to performances at the Ancient Epidaurus Theater, and concerts at the Odeon of Herod Atticus in the shadow of the mighty Acropolis.
For an even more unique experience, become inspired by running in the shoes of legendary athletes at the Ancient Stadium of Olympia. Feel what it was like to compete in the first games and imagine the electric atmosphere of a full Olympic stadium. This is a great place for families and couples looking to discover Greek history in Olympia and unique things to do on mainland Greece.
Back in Athens, engage in political and philosophical discussions at the birthplace of democracy as we know it today. Pnyx Hill, situated less one mile from the Acropolis, is a great unknown spot offering a different perspective of the ruins from afar. Similarly enjoy the views over the city where the Ancient Agora once stood as the most important political and cultural hub in Athens. The hill is an archeological site within a park and can attract many people as part of an ancient Greece tour.
Down in the Agora spend time exploring the places where Greek Philosophers, including Aristotle and Plato, discussed and shared their ideas amongst crowds of local people. Walk the lesser-known routes leading out of the modern city center towards temples and ancient archeological discoveries from the original market streets. Exploring this area should be on your Athens Bucket list.
Experience Greece like a local
What to do in the Greek islands? Wake up and smell the coffee as you start the day sitting in the shade of a mulberry tree. On the Greek islands you’ll find locals meeting in family-run cafés to spend the warmest parts of the day away from the sun drinking coffee or eating mezze (small plates of delicious homemade food). Later on, as the heat becomes more bearable, locals kick back with an authentic liqueur such as Tsipouro or Ouzo to ease into political discussions. The best Greek islands give you a warm welcome like a local.
As you’re getting into the feeling of every day local life you might notice yourself clapping your hands or humming along to Greek songs even if you don’t know the words. These moments are shared with friends on the beach or in a coffee shop in a bustling square. Kafenion are Greek bars where you can sip on Raki and play a game of backgammon. Should you be brave enough you can challenge a pro and try to claim you’re one of the locals. The best Kafenio bars are loud and filled with laughter so follow your ears and your heart to find unique things to do.
Everyone visiting Greece should take a food and wine tour. Greek food is amazing but what special dishes should you look out for and where can you get them? Around Zagori enjoy famous filo pastry pies with meat, wild vegetables and of course locally made feta cheese. Away from the big cities, hidden in the mountain villages, is the best Souvlaki according to Greek people. On the islands be sure to order an authentic dish called Choriatiki. This typical Greek salad is simple and made with the freshest ingredients: tomatoes, cucumber, red onions, olives and feta. Our tip is to seek out the unique bars and non-touristy restaurants further away from tourist attractions and popular beaches, as this is where you can eat like a local.
Panygiri is a traditional celebration with live music and dance on both the Greek mainland and islands. Around sunset expect an abundance of wine, more Ouzo, Tsipouro and taste local produce. Dance to traditional music, listening to live soulful music on the violin, laouto and santouri. At Panygiri, dance freely as you let yourself go and be moved by the music until the celebration ends around sunrise. Can you keep up with the locals dancing through the night together? This is truly a unique and fun thing to do in Greece.
Easter is an important religious festival in Greece celebrated in spring during the Greek Orthodox Holy Week. Each island, city, and village have their own celebrations so wherever you find yourself embrace the unique traditions and experience the events and foodie festivities like a local!
Non touristy things to do in Greece
Looking to stay away from other tourists and find the most fun things to do in Greece? Then you’ll enjoy these unique places and experiences only possible in Greece! With a diverse landscape and heritage, you’ll need to plan your trip well so that you don’t miss out on any of these specialties making Greece a unique destination! Drink wine produced at ancient vineyards, and taste extra virgin olive oil made from ancient olive groves. The richest soil is in the Peloponnese, Crete, Northern Greece, and Ikaria so when you’re in these areas plan a visit to an olive oil mill and a traditional family-run vineyard for an afternoon wine tasting.
The most popular beaches can be very crowded and often this takes away from the uniqueness of a day at the coast. An alternative idea is to find a hidden alpine lake and relax away from the other tourists. Greece’s lakes, comparable to hidden paradises, are found both on the mainland and islands. On the island of Kefallonia, Melissani Lake, like many others, has natural caves to explore with secret pathways and coves accessible by walking or boat. Get off the beaten path when you travel to Greece.
On a beautiful evening watch the starry sky in full display from a remote hidden beach or city rooftop spot. Adventurers in the Greek mountains have an amazing unspoiled view of the stars and surrounding forest. Romantic travelers honeymooning on the Greek islands will be lucky enough to see the stars reflecting from the sea in a secluded place on the coast or at your luxurious hotel. Accommodations in Greece can be unique and make your trip extra special! Explore classical Greece by staying in an old windmill on Kimolos, chapels, or cave houses in Santorini which have been transformed into modern lodgings whilst preserving the tradition and uniqueness. Make sure our top unique things to do in Greece are on your must-do bucket list when planning your trip!
If you are looking for a Greece itinerary including unique experiences such as the ones above, have a look at our sample trips for ideas on how to discover timeless Greece on a cultural trip, to take a road trip through authentic Greece or to combine education with family fun and special experiences.
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