4 beautiful places in Greece to tick off this European summer

When it comes to bucket list worthy destinations, it’s a safe bet that Greece is at the top of the list. With its postcard-worthy islands, glistening coastlines and cities steeped in centuries-old culture, this country is pure magic.

Not sure where to tackle first? We’ve teamed up with our friends at Qatar Airways to curate the ultimate travel itineraries. All you have to do is book that annual leave and start packing your bags.

Be careful, these are the most beautiful places to visit in Greece.

Mykonos

If you’re looking to party, then board Qatar Airways’ first flight to sun-drenched Mykonos (with a stopover in Doha, Qatar). Here you’ll find superclubs with world-class DJs, lively bars and beach clubs galore. Known as the Ibiza of Greece, you are never far from a good time or a party invitation on this island. Your list of beach club hits should include Alemagou at Ftelia beach for a bohemian atmosphere; sip cocktails on the beach beds at Jackie’O Beach Club and for a classic Mykonos party, head to Paradise Beach Club. The institution has been welcoming party-hungry travelers for years and never disappoints. When the sun goes down, sip incredible cocktails at the Alley Bar, soak up the waterfront views and DJ beats at Katerina’s Bar, and sip a cold aperitif at the Galleraki where the Mediterranean will splash your seat. Partying aside, Mykonos has a lot of beauty to offer. For stunning scenery, stroll through downtown Chora and get lost in the maze of buildings you’ve seen covered in postcards. Nearby Little Venice is equally beautiful, with whitewashed dwellings hanging from the edge of the island dating back to the 16th century. Finally, be sure to snap a photo at the Mykonos Windmills and the famous Paraportiani Church, they will provide you with the ultimate “pinch me” moment.

Crete

Think golden beaches, dramatic mountains, UNESCO heritage sites and historic old towns and you’ll have described Crete in one word. Often overlooked by Mykonos and Santorini, this beautiful island deserves a spot on your must-see list. Head to Chania, Crete’s second largest city and one of the liveliest places on the island. This is where you’ll find the old town, filled with winding cobbled streets and Venetian architecture. There are shops and galleries to discover during the day, while at night the taverns, bars and nightclubs come alive, giving the area a real buzz. While you’re in the hood, be sure to chDiscover the Venetian inner harbor and the lighthouse. Plus, the nearby Archaeological Museum and Municipal Gardens, home to wild goats, are absolutely worth your time. Stretch your legs with a hike to Samaria (about 16 km), the longest gorge in Europe, and be dazzled by the incredible views. Get your fill of culture at Knossos, an archaeological site said to have been settled around 7000 BC. AD, making it the oldest city in Europe. Being Greece, you know that Crete is also home to some epic dishes. Devour the best stewed lamb of your life at Antikristo, taste delicate handmade skoufichta pasta at Kritamon and for dessert, check out Chrisostomos, which is famous for its cheese-stuffed Sfakiani pita pies drizzled with Cretan honey. Get rid of all that food on Crete’s bustling club scene. We love Mylos Club (going wild for over two decades), Ilios for authentic Cretan music, and Stone Project for the island’s best cocktails and cool interiors.

Athens

When it comes to culture and history, few cities rival Athens for the crown. Filled with neoclassical buildings and ancient ruins, it’s like something straight out of a movie set and you absolutely have to see it IRL to believe it. With a short stopover in Doha, Qatar, you can fly direct to Athens with Qatar Airways and start your trip with a visit to the Acropolis. Best seen at sunrise, your jaw will drop as the marble monuments and cobbled streets are bathed in soft warm light. While you’re there, the Temple of Poseidon and the National Museum of Contemporary Art should satisfy your cultural cravings. But the real beauty comes from Athens’ eclectic mix of neighborhoods. Kypseli, a multicultural place full of creative young people, art galleries and stunning ruined mansions is well worth a visit. Stroll Fokionos Negri Boulevard and eat in the cafes and taverns that line the street. If you can, visit on Sundays so you can browse the Municipal Market built in the 1930s with an organic food market and pop-up shops. Next, head to Anafiotika, a beautiful village along the northern slopes of the Acropolis. This is where you will get your content for the gram. Think: vine-covered white and blue dwellings mixed with centuries-old churches. This is the Greece you dreamed of. Complete your tour with a visit to Varvakios Agora, a drool-worthy indoor and outdoor food market brimming with delicious fresh produce, including seafood, fruits, spices, and Greek pastries.

Santorini

When you picture Greece, chances are it’s the buildings atop the dome that cover the island of Santorini. And yes, it’s just as gorgeous IRL. Some say this is the real home of the lost city of Atlantis, but we just call it damn beautiful. Made up of two islands, you’ll probably want to spend most of your time on Thira, the largest island in the archipelago. It is home to Fira and Oia. You can even hike between the two scenic spots – for 10.5km you’ll get some epic views along the way. After all that exercise, reward yourself with a trip to Santorini’s many colorful beaches. There’s Red Beach framed by dramatic amber cliffs and Kamari Beach, famous for its long stretch of black sand. With shimmering blue water in front and the towering hill of Mesa Vouno behind, it’s a breathtaking place to spend the day. For a shot of culture and history, head to Akrotiri. Known as the Greek Pompeii, the ruins will take you on a journey dating back to 1450 BC. with paths leading to buildings, houses and clay objects. The Prophet Elias Monastery is also worth your time. Located at the highest point of Santorini, this magnificent church was built by monks in 1711. Try to arrive just before sunset to enjoy one of the best views on the island. All these explorations will surely arouse a thirst, which can be happily quenched at Sigalas Cellar. Tip: grapes grown on volcanic soil = very good wine. Keep the vibe going by visiting some of Santorini’s best bars – the rooftop terraces at Catch Bar Restaurant and the incredible cocktail menu at MoMix get our vote.

From dancing on tables in Mykonos, traveling to century-old cities, or lounging on sparkling beaches, it’s safe to say that Greece tops our list of European hits. Make your European summer a reality now with Qatar Airways flights to Athens and Mykonos, stopping in the extravagant city of Doha, Qatar.

Editor’s Note: This article is sponsored by Qatar Airways and proudly endorsed by Urban List. To learn more about who we work with and why, read our editorial policy here.

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