13 of the most beautiful villages in Greece

Apr 24, 2021

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Greece is one of the most picturesque destinations in the world. When imagining Greece, visions of exotic islands, endless sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets and even the ancient Acropolis may come to mind. Or, you may be daydreaming of that typical whitewashed Greek village juxtaposed against the glittering blue ocean.

Although there are some truly stunning Greek villages set upon cliffs, the country also has some other unique small towns, ones that sit among mountains, near medieval and ancient ruins, ones filled with colorful art and architecture and of course, sleepy little fishing villages set along the sea. Explore them all via this list. Here are some of the best villages in Greece.

1. Assos, Kefalonia

Assos, Kefalonia. (Photo by Igor Tichonow / EyeEm/ Getty Images)

The village of Assos is sleepy and small, located on a tiny horseshoe strip of land on the island of Kefalonia. Admire the colourful buildings lining the sea or enjoy a relaxing afternoon on the town’s scenic beach. Visits to the Assos Castle, a Venetian fortification set on a nearby hill, are best done before the heavy heat of the day sets in.

2. Oia, Santorini

Oia, Santorini. (Photo courtesy of Kesu01/Getty Images)

We couldn’t leave one of Greece’s most famous villages off the list. This is the quintessential Greek island clifftop village, with whitewashed buildings with blue accents overlooking the sea below. Oia is famous for being one of the best spots in Santorini to admire the sunset. It’s also apt for dining, drinking or strolling the winding, hilly streets with someone you love.

3. Fidakia, Central Greece

The mountain village of Fidakia, Greece. (Photo by siete_vidas/Getty Images)

The Greek islands aren’t the only destinations in the country with memorable tiny towns. The serene mountaintop village of Fidakia in central Greece is surrounded by verdant pine forests with rolling hills and peaks in the distance. Nearby, pay a visit to Greece’s largest artificial lake, Kremasta.

4. Apiranthos, Naxos

Apiranthos is located in the island of Naxos. (Photo by Alf/Getty Images)

Set upon Mount Fanari on the island of Naxos, Apiranthos, visitors can admire the stone streets and buildings in this tiny mountain village. Here, cultural enthusiasts can explore any or all of the five different museums the town features, such as the Natural History Museum or ancient artefacts in the Archaeological Museum.

5. Makrinitsa, Eastern Greece

Makrinitsa, Greece. (Photo by Lefteris_/Getty Images)

Located in eastern Greece, Makrinitsa is also known as the “Balcony of Pelion” as it overlooks the famed Mt. Pelion. The whitewashed village is home to many beautiful hiking spots as well as close to 60 traditional Greek fountains. Get ready for a climb if you want to see them all!

6. Olympos, Karpathos

Olympos on Karpathos. (Photo by Tuul & Bruno Morandi/Getty Images)

Olympos is known as the most beautiful village on the island of Karpathos (part of the Dodecanese island group). Also known as a “living folklore,” the village dates back to 7 A.D. and currently has a population of around 400. Besides wandering the hilly streets, visitors can check out the main Byzantine-style church, Assumption of the Virgin.

7. Lindos, Rhodes

Lindos, Rhodes. (Photo by Elena Chirkova/Getty Images)

Whitewashed buildings sit below the village of Lindos’ famed mountaintop acropolis, featuring the Temple of Athena Lindia, which dates back to B.C. times, as well as the Castle of the Knights of St. John, which dates back to the 14 century. The mix of old and ancient makes this village a special place to explore.

8. Karytaina, Peloponnese

The mountain village of Karytaina. (Photo by Jannick Tessier/Getty Images)

The small, red-roofed village is near the Alfeios River in southern Greece. For gorgeous views of the village, river and surrounding mountain terrain, head up to visit the roofless ruins of the Karytaina Castle. Karytaina also has several historical churches to visit.

9. Molyvos, Lesvos

Molyvos, Lesvos. (Photo by Freeartist/Getty Images)

The village of Molyvos towers over its scenic harbour and the glistening Aegean Sea. Make sure to visit the hilltop castle, as well as the Ottoman Baths of Mithymna, formerly a Greek Hamman that’s now a museum. There’s also a small, rocky strip of beach for those wanting to soak up the rays.

10. Nafplion, Peloponnese

Nafplion, Greece. (Photo by Alexander Nikitin/Getty Images)

Located in coastal Peloponnese, Nafplion (Nafplio) is a maze-like village perched overlooking the Argolic Gulf. Frequently referred to as one of the most romantic destinations in Greece, wander the streets with your honey hand-in-land, visit a secluded beach cove or explore the hilltop Palamidi castle.

11. Kastraki, Central Greece

Kastraki, Greece. (Photo by Michael Runkel/robertharding/Getty Images)

Kastraki sits in the shadow of giant stone rocks called Meteora near the Pineios River in central Greece. The small town, which dates back to the 16th century, also features the Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapafsas at Meteora, delicately perched on one of the many sandstone cliffs.

12. PyRGi, Chios

Pyrgi in Chios is full of interesting, carved art and architecture. (Photo by Freeartist/Getty Images)

Known as Greece’s painted village, Pyrgi is the most striking village on the island of Chios by far. An architectural gem made for wandering, Pyrgi’s buildings are decked out in geometric patterns and bright motifs thanks to a special art technique called xysta, which uses lime, volcanic sand and cement as a base.

13. Plaka, Milos

Plaka, Milos. (Photo by Cavan Images/Getty).

This car-free, hilltop, whitewashed village is similar to Santorini’s Oia, but sees way less action. In fact, Milos, located on the southwesternmost island of the Cyclades is quiet and understated, so if you want a truly magical and serene place to see the sunset, Plaka is your spot. For even better views, hike to the Plaka castle, which overlooks the village and beyond.

Bottom line

Greece is full of gorgeous villages, both seaside and mountain. (Photo by Kostas Pavlis/Getty)

If you’re looking for a special getaway, Greece is the place to go. Whether you head to the islands or the mainland, the seaside or the mountains, there’s a beautiful village (or several) just waiting to be explored.

For more idyllic European village inspiration, check out these articles:

Feature image of Nafplion courtesy of Kisa_Markiza/Getty

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