Greece is one of the trendiest destinations in Europe right now.
The European hotspot is one of the fastest-growing destinations in the world right now after setting new tourism records in 2023, and it's already on track for another record year based on flight bookings for 2024.
But why is Greece so popular with travelers?
Aside from the obvious (like living out your Mamma Mia! dreams in the Greek islands, exploring the famous ancient sites of Athens, or stuffing yourself with souvlaki and spanakopita), here's why Greece is set to be one of the most popular destinations of 2024.
Great To Visit Any Time Of Year
While summer has traditionally been the high season for visiting Greece, it's becoming more and more of a year-round destination.
Especially in the capital city Athens, where record crowds and extreme heat waves have made summer travel less than desirable. There's no reason to visit Athens in July and August and stand in shoulder-to-shoulder crowds when it's 100° F outside.
The off-season is a great time to visit Athens for fewer crowds and milder weather. While off-season travel is getting more popular (with a 17% increase in flight bookings to Greece for the winter of 2024), it's still nothing like the peak summer months.
Even the Greek islands, many of which essentially shut down outside of the tourist season, are staying open for longer. Visiting the islands during the “shoulder season” (like May and late September or early October) is a great way to enjoy lower crowds and lower prices.
Lesser-Known Destinations To Explore
You've probably seen photos of the white-washed, blue-domed buildings of Santorini and the iconic Acropolis in Athens, but there's a lot more to explore in Greece beyond the most popular bucket list destinations.
For example, Thessaloniki is Greece's second-largest city after Athens, but it's not nearly as touristy or popular as the capital. However, this coastal city is well worth a visit thanks to its beautiful scenery, historical sites, and delicious food.
Additionally, there are tons of great lesser-known Greek islands to explore.
While islands like Santorini and Mykonos are the most visited, they are just two of 227 inhabited islands in Greece!
Lesser-known islands like Paros are growing in popularity with travelers who are seeking that iconic Greek island experience with fewer crowds and a lower price tag.
It's Surprisingly Affordable
Greece might not be the first place you think of when it comes to budget-friendly destinations. And it's not if you're planning to book a $1,000+ a night honeymoon suite in Santorini or party with celebrities at expensive clubs in Mykonos every night.
But surprisingly, Greece is actually a very affordable destination compared to other countries in Europe.
Some islands, like Crete, are quite affordable for travelers with cheap options for accommodation, transportation, and food. You can also easily travel on a budget in Athens and other destinations on the mainland.
It comes down to choosing more affordable hotels (or even staying at hostels), eating local food instead of paying for expensive touristy restaurants, and opting for public transportation instead of taxis or hiring a private transfer.
Something For Everyone
Greece is an incredibly diverse destination. There's something for every traveler and every interest, which is what makes this country continue to soar in popularity.
You probably think of Greece as a top destination for travelers interested in ancient history, and you'd obviously be right. The number of ancient historical sites in Greece is unparalleled in Europe.
But Greece is also a fantastic destination for travelers who are interested in beaches, hiking, partying, food — you name it. Regardless of what you're interested in or what your budget is, you can have an amazing trip to Greece thanks to the diversity of this destination.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
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