Passport to Greece

With timeliness marvels all around, there's no wonder they call it Classical Greece

The hunt for picturesque moments now sits high on today’s vacationer’s to-do list. And if you’re into mythology, then thank heavens the travel gods have gifted us scenic gems like Greece.

From the scenery to the history, there’s no wonder Greece remains an ultimate bucket list pursuit. Athens is heavy with history. A modern, metropolitan seems as if it magically sprouted in between fixtures of classical and neoclassic architecture. Somehow these ancient feats pair harmoniously with the city’s more modern marvels, which sums up the general atmosphere of the city—innovative but proudly traditional.
The architectural motifs shift as you head toward the Cyclades (a chain of Greek islands south of the mainland). In Santorini, a cluster of blue-domed roofs and stark all-white walls stack the seaside. Stunning archways and alluring stairways, hallmarks of the Cycladic architecture, intrigue wandering tourists to come hither and almost always lead to another charming view of the city. Nearly every turn of the island—from the sapphire waters of the Aegean to a labyrinth of cobblestoned streets—presents a wonderful backdrop, so you’re able to click and capture “Instagram gold” with no real effort.

Yet the true beauty of Greece is a character that’s far deeper than what meets the eye. It oozes a romantic charm that can’t quite been captured in photos.

Capital City


National Dish




Famous Landmark(s)

Sanctuary of Delphi


Santorini continuously ranks as a top honeymoon destination—and for good reason. Vacationers are usually spotted in tandem, on hand-holding strolls down the ocean-lined path from Oia to Thira or on ATVs, which appear to be the en vogue method of transportation. Of course, the hypnotizing blue waters, which are nearly always in view, will constantly beckon you to indulge. Therefore, a sailing excursion is a must-do experience, as it’s also an ideal way to circle the island. A half day of sailing around the island is a fun (and incredibly scenic) way to hit the best beaches.

Andronis Wellness Concept

(Santorini) Start your morning with room service—making sure you order a Greek yogurt—at the Andronis Wellness Concept, one of the newest properties on the island. Enjoy your own private plunge pool and patio, which offers an impressive view of the Aegean and Santorini hillside. You won’t want to leave the comforts of this gorgeous, five-star property, so take a full day to hit the spa and lounge around (

Captain Ted’s Santorini Sailing

Embark on a five-hour private or group excursion with Santorini Sailing on one of their luxury catamarans. The tour includes snorkeling and swims stops at the major sites (Red Beach, White Beach and the hot springs) and a rather impressive lunch/dinner of grilled fish, chicken, mussels, pasta and more. End your sail at Captain Ted’s private beach and bar, called the Beach Akrotiri. Some beaches can be quite crowded, so this one is a treat. Enjoy a plethora of wooden lounge chairs, umbrella shades and even a full-service bar, which crafts impressive drink creations. The beach and bar occasionally invites in popular DJs to spin tunes for the guests (

Santorini Caldera

Exploring Santorini via sailing excursion is also the best way to visualize the island’s history. The sparkling waters surrounding the coast of Thera are unassuming and calming, yet your captain will inform you that you’re actually in a caldera, the center of the island’s past volcanic activity. The crescent-shaped archipelago that we know as Santorini today is actually a result of a Bronze Era volcanic eruption—purportedly one of, if not the, largest eruption in history. The massive eruption destroyed many surrounding Minoan communities, leaving devastation throughout the Greek Cyclades and having an impact as far as China.


(Sifnos) Reserve a table for dinner at Rabagas under the direction of American-born, Athens-raised celebrity chef Yiannis Lucacos. Their chocolate bombe dessert is an Instagram favorite ( Take a short walk to the Apollonia bar scene after.


( Sifnos) Despite the chill beach ambiance, a surprising summer nightlife scene awaits after sunset in the village of Apollonia. Boutique shops, restaurants, dessert cafes and bars line the streets of Apolonia (note: many Sifnos establishments only open for the summer). Make sure to hit Argo, which, as the oldest bar in the city, is a popular stop ( And all offer great opportunities for good food, top-notch drinks and people watching. There are few taxis on the island, so it’s best to have the number to a cab driver on hand.


No trip to Greece would be complete without a stay in Athens. The capital and city center offers the comforts of city life—high-end restaurants, brand-name shopping, five-star luxury properties, robust nightlife, etc.But arguably no other international city has occupied a larger part of our school-aged history books than Athens.

Lycabettus Mountain

Take the cable car up Lycabettus Mountain, where you’ll find the restaurant Orizontes or its café if you want a more causal bite. Both offer stunning nighttime views of the Acropolis (

Hotel King George Athens

Unwind at the five-star Hotel King George Athens, from the Luxury Collection. Enjoy a lavish breakfast buffet spread at the King George Hotel’s rooftop restaurant. A fitting send-off, it’s also one of the best places to enjoy another spectacular view of the Acropolis. (

Athens Riviera

Head to the Athens Riviera for the Island Club restaurant and lounge, where the vibrant, metropolitan atmosphere rivals that of any of Miami’s hottest venues (

Red and White Beaches

(Santorini) Drop into the legendary Red Beach, an island jewel. Here, the towering merlot-colored cliffs, which appear in sharp contrast against a vibrant blue sky, wrap around a small inlet. Swimming at the Red Beach is a breathtakingly beautiful experience for the site’s lucky beachgoers. Santorini’s White Beach (named for its white cliffs) offers a similar majestic view, another destination you can reach by sailing excursion. Furthermore, you can reach the hot springs, a remote excursion really only accessible by boat. The reddish-brown hot springs of Palia Kamen, warmed by volcanic grounds below, are full of sulfur and therefore reputedly great for your skin (though very unpleasant to taste, so try not to intake water on your swim).

Akrotiri Ruins

Because of the substantial amount of ash generated from the Bronze Era volcanic eruption, the ruins of the Minoan township of Akrotiri have been well preserved for centuries within that volcanic dust. You can tour the excavated ruins, which show a great depiction of the fascinating inner workings of the merchant society. It’s complete with living quarters, merchant buildings, plumbing systems and even art and frescos. Plan for a morning visit. Though enclosed, the site can get a little crowded and toasty in the afternoon (+30 2286 081939).

Thera to Oia trail

Ambitious tourists will enjoy a hike on the paved seaside path from Thera to Oia village. The picturesque journey can take you anywhere between two and five hours depending on your pace and stops. But it’s best to start early in the day, as the midday sun can get quite hot for hikers.

Santorini Wine

The volcanic activity of the past is also responsible for the island’s unique soil makeup. Coupled with salty sea mist, Santorini soil has yielded the world-famous Assyrtiko grape, which is indigenous to the island. Guests can tour wineries or frequent wine bars and restaurants serving glasses of the finest blends produced directly on the island. Estate Argyos offers tastings and small bites. Or enjoy a wine-complemented lunch at the Venetsanos winery, where high on the mountainside just over the port of Athinios, guests watch the ferries traverse the caldera (

Axinos restaurant

(Santorini) Enjoy a moonlit dinner at Rocabella Hotel’s Axinos restaurant, which offers a sophisticated approach to Greek classics like moussaka, fava and grilled octopus (


If your foodie exploits drive you, take a high-speed ferry to the island of Sifnos (~50 euros; 3.5 hours). Though one of the more demure islands in the Greek Cyclades, Sifnos has a pretty impressive (and still growing) culinary scene. The country’s best-known chef and cookbook author, Nicholas Tselementes, hails from the small island. On the quiet island, nearly every resident produces his or her own olive oil. Herbs grow wild around the island. It’s also quite common to have your own garden, and therefore many of the restaurants aren’t just farm-to-table; they could actually be backyard to table. And communal cooking is still a Sunday tradition (with chickpea soup being the Sunday staple). Because it’s a less touristed island, accommodations aren’t as numerous. There is a mix of small inns and villas, a couple luxury properties and vacation rentals. The latter option is likely where you will get the most bang for your buck, even staying oceanside.

Sifnos Beaches

Ever curious to see what a Mediterranean/Aegean vacation felt like in the ’60s? Well, Sifnos might give you a good example. The quiet beaches almost feel stuck in time. Here, beach-day prep isn’t an anxiety-filed hunt for parking and territory marking. At the Faros, Platis Gialos and Chrisopigi beaches, the waters are just as calm as the beach’s lazy vibe—perhaps the reason why the low-key island is a hit with celebrities. Also, with more than 300 churches on the island, tour some of the more historic chapels such as the 1815-built Panagia tou Vounou, which has panoramic views of Platis Gialos beach, and the seventeenth-century-built Chrysopig chapel.

Theodorou's Confectionery

(Sifnos) Hit the neighborhood of Artemonas to discover the island’s most notable bakery, Theodorou's Confectionery. For three generations since 1933, the family has been making specialties such as their amygdalotas (similar to Italian wedding cookies) and nougats (+30 2284 031370).


(Athens) When standing at the foot of the Acropolis, it’s either the sheer magnitude, intimidating weight of its history or the flashbacks of your childhood studies that leaves you gazing upon it with childlike eyes of wonder. The ancient fifth-century Greek complex includes the magnificent Parthenon, the temples of Athena, the theater of Herodes and more. Still a focal point in the city, the Acropolis is a stunning juxtaposition of the majestic feats of the ancient world and the modern marvels of advanced civilization. And that’s a powerful observation that no picture can do justice. Plan to start at the opening or near closing time, where you’ll find thinner crowds and greater opportunities to take less obstructed photos. The Acropolis Museum is a great complement after seeing the ruins. Take a deeper dive into the ancient Greek and Roman history and artifacts (