Greece's culture is as diverse as its landscapes. Even small Greek islands can differ drastically from their nearest neighbor, so you can hop from one region to another and discover unique cultural elements. Exploring the country with a cultural focus allows you to go deeper and learn more about what makes Greece so special. Visit rural villages on Crete and taste the island's renowned cuisine. Or go beyond tourist hotspots and unveil the authentic side of places like Santorini, Naxos, and Athens.
The biggest influencer of Greek culture is its ancient history, but there's much more to it than just the fascinating archeological sites. Dig a bit deeper and attend a marble workshop on Tinos or hike to the watermills of Talanta. Discover the 7th-century-BCE marble statue of Kouros on Naxos or explore Santorini's rural Mesa Vouno, dotted with white churches. Meet locals, taste delicious delicacies, and dive into Greece's exceptional cultural characteristics and history. Learn more about how to get off the beaten path in Greece.
An Active Taste of Greece
Many visitors travel to Greece for its famed culinary scene, featuring staples like cheese, olive oil, and the lemon liqueur, kitron. Try some of the famous delicacies while exploring rural villages, hiking to historic landmarks, and discovering why Greek gastronomy is important to the local culture.
Cretan Villages Food & Culture Tour
Cretan gastronomy is renowned throughout the world for its locally sourced and fresh Mediterranean dishes. Crete is home to some of Greece's most flavorful olive oil, cheeses, and produce, and you'll taste them all as you hop from village to village. In Crete's unique area of Apokoronas, you'll start in the town of Gavalochori and visit the Folklore Museum of Apokoronas, where you'll learn about daily life in this region. Then you'll stop in three other villages: Vrises for a distillery tour and to taste tsikoudia (or raki), Emprosneros to tour a local cheese factory and taste Graviera, Mizithra, and Anthotiros cheese varieties with olive oil, and Fres to meet some of the locals and enjoy a traditional lunch at a kafeneio. Read More
Water Mill Cultural Hike & Traditional Lunch
While visiting the fascinating castle-town of Monemvasia, enjoy an easy, guided hike to the old watermills of Talanta, a small hilly village. As you follow the designated path, you'll learn about the area's history and cultural significance, then cross a small gorge before reaching the ruins of the watermills. At the completely preserved Talanta Mill, meet the mill's last miller, John, who has been grinding wheat for over 60 years. Follow John on a tour of the site and listen to his stories. Then descend into a scenic canyon toward the town of Liotrivi, where you'll enjoy a guided tour of the Museum of Olive Oil, a breadmaking presentation, and a delicious traditional lunch set within an olive grove. Read More
Off The Beaten Path
Greece is a beloved country for tourists, but no matter where you go, there's always an opportunity to go beyond the popular sites and discover the authentic side of Greek culture.
Neighborhoods of Athens
Many visitors reserve their time in Athens for only Acropolis Hill. Although the ancient site is a must-see, you can pair a visit with a tour of the city's authentic neighborhoods. Follow your guide through six neighborhoods, ranging from working-class to boutique boulevards to young and hip districts. Along the way, you'll learn about the city's history and understand why Athens is the city of contrast. Visit the Old Royal Palace, observe ancient and modern architecture styles, and discover the Ottoman influences at a lively flea market. View popular street art and end the tour with your guide at a beloved local cafe and enjoy a Greek coffee. Read More
Discover Traditional Santorini
Leave the lively cliffside towns along Santorini's caldera behind and discover its unique and historical countryside. You'll travel back in time to the island's formative years, starting at the Folklore Museum. Learn about rural life on the island in the mid-20th century, when islanders made everything by hand and without electricity. Then stroll the narrow streets of Emborio, a village with unique and traditional houses that almost look sculpted from clay! Enjoy medieval Pyrgos village and its castle that overlooks Mesa Vouno, Santorini's countryside dotted with white churches. End the tour with a traditional lunch in the courtyard of Agios Georgios, one of the rural churches. Read More
It's no surprise that Greece houses some of the world's most ancient landmarks. But to truly discover the country's culture, get a unique perspective on Greek history and go beyond the typical ancient sites.
Naxos Yesterday & Today Island Tour
Discover the island of Naxos, past to present. You'll start in the small village of Damalas and enjoy a pottery workshop with a local ceramist. Learn the important role that this ancient craft played throughout Greece, then view the village's restored olive press. Next, visit Chalki, a village adorned with neoclassical mansions, to tour a kitron distillery and taste Greece's famed liqueur. Other highlights include the paleo-Christian church of Panagia Drosiani, the picturesque mountain village of Apiranthos, and the area of Flerio, which once produced the island's marble. Here you'll find the massive 7th-century-BCE marble statue of Kouros, known simply as "The Greek." Read More
Marble Art Workshop & Villages Tour
Discover the artistic secrets behind Greece's marble statues and temples. The island of Tinos is known for its marble production, and some of its villages are made entirely of marble! A guide will take you to the Museum of Marble Arts, where you'll learn more about this craft and view statues, fountains, tower bells, palaces, and even entire stadiums. Then visit the marble cemetery of Pyrgos and the home of Giannoulis Halepas, Greece's most famous sculptor. Here, you'll make your own marble masterpiece and learn how to carve like a professional! End your tour at Agia Thalassa Beach or extend it with a traditional seafood dinner in Panormos. Read More
How to Craft the Perfect Cultural Greece Itinerary
Fascinating Greek culture is at every turn, so you can easily build an entire itinerary devoted to specific cultural aspects or a mix like the activities above. With modern highways, domestic flights, and high-speed ferries, you can hop from north to south, east to west with ease. Combine the hip neighborhoods of Athens with authentic scenes of the Greek Islands. Or pair the capital with the quieter Peloponnese Peninsula and explore its lesser-known villages.
Regardless of what cultural sites and activities you choose to see and do, it's best to allocate at least one or two weeks for a trip to Greece. To truly explore the range of culture in the country, you'll want to visit a few different regions, such as Zagori and Meteora in the north, the Cyclades Islands and Crete, Corfu and the Peloponnese, or Chalkidiki and the northeastern coast.
Past kimkim travelers have enjoyed the following trips that include a mix of cultural activities: