Olive trees, charming tumbledown buildings, ancient history, beautiful coastlines, crystal clear waters, delicious food…it must be Greece. This easy-to-travel country is packed to the brim with things to see and do, making it interesting for history buffs and fun for hedonists alike. There really is something for everyone in this captivating country.
This country enjoys a paradise-like warm climate in summer that brings sunseekers and holidaymakers to its many beaches. Many of the Greek islands in particular were some of the first destinations to be visited by those on package holidays, and continue to attract many thousands of visitors each year.
Map of the best places to stay in Greece
Because of this, Greece is practically bursting at the seams in any of its more popular cities. The more popular the destination, the more accommodation there is. This often (but not always) means good options for all budgets. Getting to and from Greece is easy, too, thanks to plenty of deals and budget airlines who operate routes to many Greek destinations daily.
So what are you waiting for? Here are our top picks for where to stay in Greece, to help you decide which place would suit you best.
Crete is by far the biggest Greek island, located in the south Aegean Sea. Not only a huge landmass known for its landscape, which includes both a rugged, mountainous interior as well as a selection of fine sand beaches, it was also the home of the Minoan civilization. This ancient culture flourished from around 2700 to 1300 BC.
Towns on the island include Rethymno and Chania, both old ports established during the Venetian control of the island; elsewhere there’s the stunning Elafonisi, a small island on Crete’s southwestern coast made of paradise-grade white sand, with shallow water at low tide. Crete is also a prime snorkeling and scuba diving site thanks to its dramatic coastline.
The island can be reached by ferry, although most tourists arrive by plane. Hotels of all varieties can be found along the island’s northern coast, but there are a few options on the south side, too.
Where to Stay in Crete
- Village Heights Resort – A rejuvenating getaway boasting multiple pools, a world-class spa facility, and a hammam, this stylish 5-star hotel gives you the chance to embrace your Greek holiday. Other amenities and services at the Village Heights Resort consist of two children’s pools, a sauna, mini-golf, and multiple diners, including two poolside restaurants. The genuinely conventional Cretan Village style accommodation options come with a full-service kitchen, an ensuite bathroom, and a balcony with unparalleled views.
- Palazzo Duca – Located in the bustling old quarter, the remarkable Palazzo Duca offers a range of furnished apartments and upscale studios for your upcoming holiday. Featuring a subtle yet beautiful décor, the accommodation here comes with modern amenities such as a kitchenette, satellite TV, and a safe. Most units also boast a spa bath and a balcony that overlooks the town. Complimentary parking and WiFi are some of the offerings you can enjoy during your stay here.
Santorini is famous for its typically Cycladic whitewashed houses and stunning natural landscape as much as it is known for its luxurious hotels and restaurants. This island naturally attracts rich tourists of Europe and comes with prices to match. However, not all hotels on this island are high-end.
The island itself, located towards the south of the Aegean and to the north of Crete, is actually centered on the slopes of a volcano; its center is marked by a collapsed and flooded caldera, complete with a tiny island in the middle of it. Views over the cliffs leading into the caldera are, needless to say, stunning. And it’s here where the most expensive accommodation can be found.
Ferries to and from the mainland and other Greek islands are numerous, as are hotels
on Santorini. The most luxurious hotels can be found in the cliffside towns such as Oia and Fira. Cheaper options are found inland and in Perissa on the southeast coast.
Where to Stay in Santorini
- Lilium Santorini Villa – Set on the edge of Caldera, with the Aegean Sea and the volcano as its backdrop, this glamorous 5-star accommodation is known for its top-class hospitality and state-of-the-art amenities. An infinity pool with sunbeds and an outstanding restaurant serving the best Mediterranean delicacies are some of the things to make your stay better at the Lilium Santorini Villa. Rooms here have been recently renovated with elegant furnishings and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
- Kalisti Hotel & Suites – Nestled within a 2,500-square-meter garden, Kalisti Hotel & Suites flaunts a spacious pool with a sun-lounger terrace, an outdoor hot tub, and a poolside restaurant. Additional features at this exquisite 4-star hotel include a range of wonderfully decorated rooms and suites that are fitted with stylish furnishings, a minibar, and an ensuite bathroom with forged cement and upscale toiletries. Furthermore, every morning, you can enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet comprising the best local and international items.
Athens is a sprawling metropolis packed with the history and culture befitting the capital city of Greece. In fact, it’s one of the world’s oldest cities, and has been continually lived in by people for more than 3,400 years. Its iconic landmarks include the Acropolis as well as the Temple of Olympian Zeus, amongst other less renowned but equally ancient sights.
There is plenty to explore in the Greek capital when it comes to ruins, which makes for a perfect stay for anybody interested in stepping back in time for a few hours. At the same time, it is a modern city after all: youthful nightlife thrives in the anarchist district of Exarchia and you’ll find big nightclubs in Gazi.
There’s a range of accommodation on offer in Athens, situated mainly in the surrounding areas of the Acropolis itself, and a concentration to the southeast of the main train station.
Where to Stay in Athens
- Electra Palace Athens – Overlooking the Acropolis, the Electra Palace Athens gives you a chance to embrace the royal treatment as they spoil you with their personalized services and unprecedented amenities. A magnificent rooftop pool, an avant-garde spa with a sauna and an indoor pool, and a rooftop bar and restaurant with stunning views are some of the perks of staying at this 5-star hotel. The comfy rooms come equipped with all the necessary furnishing and toiletries. What’s more, you also get to relish a grand Greek breakfast buffet every morning.
- President Hotel – Featuring a stunning rooftop terrace with a seasonal pool and a pool bar, this posh 4-star hotel offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee at the ground floor café or experience fine dining at the on-site restaurant that specializes in international as well as Greek delicacies. Accommodation here includes a variety of aesthetically decorated rooms with brilliant facilities and striking views over the city of Athens.
Another of the islands in the Cyclades island group, Mykonos, like fellow Cycladic isle Santorini, is full of expensive accommodation, entertainment, and food and drink. It’s a place where relaxing whitewashed beach holiday meets exciting nightlife and clubbing culture, mainly in Mykonos Town. In fact, Mykonos is well known as a haven for LGBT tourists among the Greek islands and many establishments are LGBT friendly.
Being as popular as it is, Mykonos is therefore definitely well equipped to handle visitors to the island, including good connections to other Greek islands and the mainland, as well as getting around the island itself. The popularity of Mykonos also means that it gets exceptionally busy over the summer season, with Mykonos Town being especially jam-packed.
As for hotels, Mykonos features a large selection of accommodation, though much of it leans towards high-end and the higher end of the mid-range spectrum.
Where to Stay in Mykonos
- Anax Resort and Spa – Sporting an intriguing combination of traditional Cycladic architecture and a host of contemporary facilities, this swanky beachfront 5-star treats you like a celebrity on a vacation. Get ready to indulge in massages and beauty treatments at the superb spa facility, or sweat it out at the gym, before taking a refreshing dip in the calming waters of the infinity pool. The brightly decorated units come with a patio and a balcony, and a tasteful bathroom with a spa bath.
- Vencia Boutique Hotel – Surrounded by the mesmerizing blues of the Aegean Sea, the Vencia Boutique Hotel is the perfect abode in town, away from the buzzing city yet in proximity to all important places. Amenities and services at this ritzy 4-star include an infinity pool overlooking the sea, a lively pool bar with eclectic lounge music, and alfresco style dining at the restaurant that specializes in Greek as well as Mediterranean cuisine. The guestrooms are decorated in light hues and private balconies with views to die for!
Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, located just off the west coast of Greece and facing Italy across the Ionian Sea. It has a long history of defending against invaders, from the ancient Hellenic era all the way to Ottoman invasions. This lead to its main town, also called Corfu, earning the nickname of ‘Kastropolis’ or ‘Castle City’. After the Napoleonic Wars, it came under the control of the British Empire and was given independence when Greece united after becoming free of Ottoman rule in 1864.
Aside from the history, Corfu is also known for its beaches and has been a well-established tourist hotspot for many decades, first with royals and elites, and then as one of the first package holiday destinations. While a few expensive hotels dot the island, most are affordable budget to mid-range resorts or guesthouse style lodgings.
Where to Stay in Corfu
- Mayor Pelekas Monastery – A ravishing 5-star hotel on the famous sandy beaches of Kontogialos, Mayor Pelekas Monastery is a true refuge away from your hectic life and into the tranquillity of the marvelous Greek island. Loaded with amenities such as a massive free-form pool, multiple restaurants and bars, a fitness room and spa, and a kids’ club, the hotel offers you a memorable holiday experience. Rooms sport soft tones and serene interiors and offer a spellbinding view of the engulfing mountains or the sea.
- Siora Vittoria Boutique Hotel – A 19th-century mansion turned 4-star accommodation, the Siora Vittoria Boutique Hotel is all about simplicity and charm. Surrounded by the well-manicured gardens, the charismatic guestrooms are adorned with classy wooden furniture, wooden beams, and oak wood floors. Facilities at the rooms include satellite TVs with a DVD player and marble bathrooms. Moreover, you get to start your day with a healthy, delicious buffet breakfast during your stay at this newly renovated accommodation.
Set in the eastern Aegean Sea, practically off the coast of Turkey and to the northeast of Crete, the island of Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands. As with many of the Greek islands, Rhodes is awash with ancient history, which goes back thousands of years.
But today, though Rhodes City might be famous for its medieval old town, elsewhere on the island are more modern pursuits. There’s the party centre of Faliraki, for example, where it heaves with bars, nightclubs and plenty of alcohol.
You’ll find accommodation all over the island, from resort complexes in the town of Ialysos to small affordable lodgings at Lindos. Clubbers stay in budget apartments in Faliraki (though its northern end is where there are family-friendly resorts and a quieter beach), whilst there are a number of hotels in Rhodes City.
Where to Stay in Rhodes
- Lindos Village Resort and Spa – Constructed in a typical Greek village style, the luxurious Lindos Village Resort and Spa is a gorgeous, adult-only complex that gives couples a chance to reconnect with one another. Set within a large, well-kept garden space, this swanky 5-star hotel boasts two swimming pools with parasols and sunbeds. The two on-site restaurants serve you the best of Mediterranean and international delicacies. Rooms at the beachfront hotel are beautifully decorated in soft hues and consist of comfy beds, a seating space, and a private balcony with brilliant views.
- Dionysos Hotel – Situated within a calming tropical garden with impressive olive and pine trees, Dionysos Hotel is only a few steps away from Ixia beach. Amenities at this 4-star accommodation comprise a massive water lake pool with relaxing loungers, lively Greek music in the evenings, and dedicated children’s area. Guestrooms at the Dionysos Hotel are modestly decorated, with contemporary facilities and exceptional views of the sea or the gardens. While here, don’t miss an opportunity to savor the appetizing American breakfast buffet.
Thessaloniki is situated on the southern coastline of Greek Macedonia and serves as the region’s capital. This large port city also boasts a long history, and there is evidence of it spread in the Ano Poli district of the city. For example, there are the ruins of Roman emperor Galerius’ palace dating from 400 AD. Part of this complex, known as the Rotunda, have at certain points in time been used as a Byzantine church and then a mosque during Ottoman rule. There are many more cultural and historical sights dotted around Thessaloniki.
Thanks to its history, this port city is a popular tourist destination and because of that, there are many hotels in town, mainly concentrated in an area between the main train station and the Ano Poli district. These are mainly mid-range, with some more expensive offerings located closer to the waterfront.
Where to Stay in Thessaloniki
- Makedonia Palace – Set on the seafront, next to the famous Thessaloniki City Center, this grandiose 5-star hotel is known for its exclusive style and top-notch facilities and services. Flaunting hammam baths, conference and meeting facilities, an open-air parking space, and two fine-dining restaurants by the sea, Makedonia Palace welcomes all kinds of travelers – leisure and business. The classically designed accommodations open to a private balcony with outstanding views and come with a well-stocked ensuite bathroom.
The island of Naxos is more or less located in the center of the Cyclades and is the largest island of the group. Naxos is said to have been the richest of the Greek islands, being in the perfect position to control trade in the Cycladic region. That continues today: fertile Naxos, unlike many other Greek islands, makes more money from agriculture than it does from tourism.
It may rely less on tourism than other Greek islands, but that doesn’t stop there being many hotel options. There is a particularly high concentration of accommodation in Chora, otherwise known as Naxos City, in the west of the island. It’s here you’ll find the photogenic streets of its walled Venetian old town and the famous Portara or Great Door.
Most of the accommodation here is budget to mid-range hotels and guesthouses, which make exploring the history and landscape here very affordable compared to other islands.
Where to Stay in Naxos
- Argo Boutique Hotel – A modest, family-run accommodation situated in the peaceful quarter of the town, Argo Boutique Hotel features a spacious pool, warm and friendly multilingual staff, and steam and sauna facility. The wonderfully decorated rooms here sport light tones and feature a host of amenities, such as comfortable beds with Cocomat mattresses and modish ensuite bathrooms with essential toiletries. Some even boast an outdoor tub, while others come with a spa bath or a hydromassage shower.
The seaport of Nafplio has been under the control of many different overlords at different times in its history. Located on the coast of the Argolic Gulf in the Peloponnese, Nafplio has been ruled by the Byzantine empire, Crusader lords, the Venetians and the Ottoman empire.
This was the place where Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of state of Greece, first stepped foot after the liberation of the country from the Ottomans; in fact, it was briefly the capital of Greece, from 1829 to 1834.
And it’s got stunning neoclassical buildings, winding streets and Venetian balconies to match. It’s known as one of the most beautiful cities in the whole country. Visitors even come here from the current capital to soak in the atmosphere, and it’s a popular destination for Athenians on weekends, even in winter!
With both Greek and European tourists, it can get pretty busy in high season here. However, hotels are happily mid-range and affordable.
Where to Stay in Nafplio
- Aetoma Hotel – An 18th-century mansion turned a 4-star hotel, this graceful accommodation boasts an array of well-preserved neoclassical elements. Set next to the historic St Spyridon Church, Aetoma Hotel offers a variety of exquisitely designed rooms featuring several artworks and handmade carpets. Additionally, the guestrooms feature modern facilities like ensuite bathrooms with hydro massage shower cabins and private balconies that overlook the charming town. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample the breakfast spread comprising traditional pastries and homemade jams.