Feb 15, 2024



Travel Inspiration

The 12 Best Places to Stay in Greece: from Athens to Zakynthos

Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


Icon Share


Whitewashed stone surrounds a sleek black door, wrought-iron candle holders and a wooden chair

Image courtesy of Kalesma Mykonos

From the culturally rich capital of Athens to the never-ending parties of Mykonos, there are plenty of contenders for the best place to stay in Greece. But no single destination reigns: each place has its own special appeal — and an exciting selection of hotels.

Fora will help you plan every detail of your trip so you get the exact vacation you want. That means expert travel recommendations on things like the best hotels in Greece or the coolest hidden gems. Plus, your Fora Advisor can score you all sorts of exciting hotel and travel perks, like complimentary room upgrades, property credits and more. 

Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to get started.

In the meantime, read on to discover the best places to stay in Greece.

The best place to stay in Greece: 12 excellent choices

With dozens of tropical islands, ancient cities and stunning natural scenery, a lot of places can claim to be the best place to stay in Greece. Here are twelve of our favorites.

1. Athens: where to stay in Greece for first-timers & foodies

The Acropolis stands above historic structures lining the shores of Athens, which are mirrored in the calm waters

Image courtesy of The Dolli at Acropolis

Athens is where you should go in Greece for the first time. The capital offers opportunities to explore Ancient Greek culture — like the Acropolis or the National Archeology Museum — while also enjoying the allure of contemporary Greece, like boutique shopping in Plaka or getting off the beaten path in Hydra on a ferry trip.

Athens is also home to a highly diverse (and delicious) food scene, with flavorful and fresh ingredients as well as a blend of both Mediterranean and foreign influences. While other places in Greece arguably have a better foodie reputation, you won’t find a wider variety than in Athens.

(Sidenote: San Sebastián, one of the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers, also has glorious gastronomy to explore.)

The best places to stay in Athens: The Dolli, King George & more

The boutique hotels in Athens are among the best in Greece. The Dolli — which opened at the start of 2023 — is already one of our favorites with its chic, contemporary vibe and glorious views of the city. The King George, a slightly more traditional boutique hotel, checks many of the same boxes. Plus, there’s a rooftop restaurant with an incredible view of the Acropolis at night.

Plan and book your trip with Fora for the full report on the best place to stay in Greece’s capital — and to unlock exclusive perks along the way.

Fora Perks at The Dolli at Acropolis:

  • Complimentary air & concierge services.

Fora Perks at King George, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens:

  • $100 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

2. Crete: the best Greek island for variety & culture junkies

A snippet of Crete's shoreline and the sea is visible through a chill bungalow-style seating area at Minos Beach Art Hotel

Image courtesy of Minos Beach Art Hotel

If you want a beach-friendly island setting while you culture dive, Crete delivers. Some of the island’s urban centers have a reputation for erring on the touristy side, but if you venture out, you’ll be rewarded with some of Greece’s most stunning landscapes and charming towns. For instance, Chania and Heraklion are the most popular places to stay in Crete, but smaller seaside towns like Rethymno offer a more authentic experience for culture enthusiasts. 

The island was once home to the ancient Minoans, but has since gone through many cultural revolutions as the influence of varying European and Mediterranean factions has waxed and waned. And yet, Crete has maintained a singular identity throughout the millennia. 

This rich history — coupled with a gastronomy that meets (or in some circles, exceeds) Athens’ — has made Crete one of the most unique places to visit in Greece. Of course, this also makes Crete one of the best places to stay in Greece. 

(Want to learn more? Check out our 10-day Crete itinerary.)

The best places to stay in Crete: Minos Beach Art Hotel, Amirandes & more

If you’re looking for the top hotels in Crete, Minos Palace Hotel & Suites, which overlooks the town of Agios Nikolaos and Mirabello Bay, is a great choice. On the other hand, if you’re searching for something a little more family friendly, Amirandes, Grecotel Boutique Resort might be better. 

As always, when you connect with Fora, your advisor can help you decide where to stay in Crete based on your preferences.

Fora Perks at Minos Beach Art Hotel:

  • €90 food / beverage credit, complimentary bottle of wine, upgrade & extended check-out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Amirandes, Grecotel Boutique Resort:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

3. Mykonos: the best place to stay in Greece for luxe nightlife

Chic and luxurious define a room at Kalesma Mykonos: contemporary furniture fills an expansive space with views of the hills through the windows

Image courtesy of Kalesma Mykonos

There may not be a better place to experience peak Greece nightlife than Mykonos, which is held in similar esteem to that of Ibiza and Amsterdam. Mykonos’ beach parties are nonstop, diverse and legendary. Rows of upscale bars, nightclubs and beach clubs line Mykonos’ cosmopolitan center, and you'll see tons of fine restaurants and boutiques, too. (Check out places to eat and drink in Mykonos.)

While Mykonos largely caters to a more affluent crowd (it’s a favorite among celebrities), the island has also garnered an overtly friendly and inclusive reputation. It's also very LGBTQ+ friendly. And don’t worry, if you’re not interested in a 24/7 party, there are plenty of spots that have a more relaxed vibe outside of Chora, the main town (our travel guide to Mykonos has more intel).

Where to stay in Mykonos: Kalesma, Cali, Santa Marina & more

If you prefer some distance from the hustle and bustle of Chora, Kalesma and Cali are two of our favorite hotels in Mykonos. Both have the intimate vibe that makes luxe boutique hotels so special, along with a trendy, modern feel. Plus, both are just far enough away from the more electric areas of Mykonos that you can enjoy relative peace when you like — or join in the festivities on a whim.

Hotels like Santa Marina and the Myconian Korali Relais & Châteaux place you much closer to the action. We recommend booking accommodations in Mykonos, especially around Chora, as early as possible, because the island has limited capacity despite its incredible popularity.

Fora Perks at Cali Mykonos:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, welcome amenities, one complimentary beach club boat transfer, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Kalesma Mykonos:

  • $100 food / breakfast credit, welcome amenities, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, welcome amenities, complimentary round-trip airport transfers, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Myconian Korali Relais & Châteaux:

  • $100 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

4. Santorini: wineries, iconic architecture & gorgeous views

Exterior view of a portion of Andronis Luxury Suites and its many private pools and terraces on Santorini

Image courtesy of Andronis Luxury Suites

Santorini is one of the best Greek islands for couples, and its wineries and stunning scenery make for an intimate escape. Santorini’s villages are instantly recognizable for their whitewashed buildings and sapphire-domed roofs. Narrow, winding streets will take you to charming shops and restaurants, while Santorini’s natural beauty surprises at every turn: volcanic beaches, a massive caldera, turquoise-blue waters — not to mention the world-class sunsets. 

Like Crete, Santorini is one of the more visited destinations in Greece, so it can be a little touristy in spots. But we still think the romantic backdrop (the sunsets are amazing) and historic setting are worth checking out. 

(P.S. Here are some ideas for how to spend 3 days in Santorini.)

The best places to stay in Santorini: Andronis Luxury Suites & more

Plenty of hotels make the cut for the best places to stay in Santorini. It can be a little confusing to navigate these properties, though. For example, a few brands like Andronis — Andronis Luxury Suites stands out as one of our favorite hotels in Santorini — and Katikies have half a dozen hotels or resorts, each catering to different tastes.

If Santorini is feeling like your (romantic) destination — some of the best resorts in Greece for couples are here, after all — we recommend planning your trip with Fora to get the accommodations that fit your preferences.

Fora Perks at Andronis Luxury Suites:

  • Complimentary air & concierge services

Fora Perks at select Katikies properties:

  • Breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Which is better: Mykonos or Santorini?

These two islands have totally different audiences. While Santorini does have a noteworthy nightlife, it’s significantly more relaxed than the high-energy clubs and beach parties that have made Mykonos popular. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy Mykonos’ scenery — but there aren’t many towns to explore. 

It often comes down to personal preference and the type of trip you desire (we can help you figure that out!).

5. Rhodes: the best place to stay in Greece for families & adventurers 

Elaborately decorated with classical designs, the pool area and courtyard of Rodos Park wows at night

Image courtesy of Rodos Park

Rhodes makes a case for being the best place to stay in Greece because of its variety of options. The nightlife is lively, the architecture is captivating, the beaches are gorgeous and there are tons of excursion opportunities, like tours of the nearby islands Halki or Symi (see more things to do in Rhodes). Plus, Rhodes’ proximity to Turkey has lent it a unique, East-meets-West cultural blend.

The Medieval City of Rhodes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the island’s most famous site, and well worth a visit even if you’re only passively interested in historical settings.

While the Rhodes' nightlife is certainly energetic, it’s not nearly as adult-oriented as Mykonos, making Rhodes one of the best Greek islands for families.

Where to stay in Rhodes: Rodos Park & Caesars Gardens Hotel

Rhodes doesn’t have as many hotel options as some of the other islands, but there are still a few places worth a visit. Rodos Park is an upscale boutique hotel on the northernmost tip of the island, and is only about a 15-minute walk away from the former site of the Colossus of Rhodes.

If you want a more private retreat, Caesars Gardens Hotel & Spa is much more remote, yet still offers luxe accommodations and beautiful views of the eastern Mediterranean.

Fora Perks at Rodos Park:

  • $50 spa credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Caesars Gardens Hotel & Spa:

  • $90 hotel / resort credit, welcome amenity, upgrade & late check-out whenever possible.

6. Thessaloniki: the “Culture Capital” of mainland Greece

An ultra-modern suite at The Modernist Thessaloniki, with sleek decor and a cosmopolitan vibe

Image courtesy of The Modernist Thessaloniki

Over a weekend in Thessaloniki, you will enjoy a blend of rich historical legacy informed by Byzantine and Ottoman heritage and a youthful culture cultivated by the city’s extensive student population. In other words, the port city is one of the best places to stay in Greece for cultural immersion and exploration. 

The ruins and influences of many different empires can be found throughout the city, along with a bevy of trendy coffee shops, cafés and restaurants catering to younger generations.

The Modiano and Kapani markets are also must-stop destinations for foodies. The range of options leaves nothing out, and you’ll find fine-dining spots not far from to-die-for street-food stalls.

Thessaloniki makes for a great base camp for exploring northern Greece, and cool sights like Mount Olympus, the beaches of Halkidiki and more are all easily within reach.

Where to stay in Thessaloniki: The Modernist & Hyatt Regency

The Modernist and the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki are two of our favorites. Both provide a luxurious home away from home while you indulge in the city’s many attractions. 

Connect with Fora to plan and book your stay today. And because Fora is a member of Hyatt Privé, when you book Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki with us, you’ll unlock VIP perks.

Fora Perks at The Modernist Thessaloniki:

  • Welcome amenity, breakfast daily, upgrade & late check-out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki:

  • $50 food / beverage credit, welcome amenity, breakfast daily, upgrade & early check-in whenever possible.

7. Corfu: once the favorite retreat of an Austrian empress

Behind a closed drape, minimalist decor at Domes of Corfu is partially visible, as is the gorgeous Corfu coastline

Image courtesy of Domes of Corfu

Like Santorini, Corfu offers plenty of variety — albeit with a more relaxed vibe. Historical tourism is one of Corfu’s biggest attractions (Old Town, especially), but there’s something here for everyone. For instance, many of Corfu’s beaches cater to sightseers and relaxation seekers, while a few are great for adrenaline junkies looking to jet ski across the crystal-blue waves of the Mediterranean (read our 6-day Corfu itinerary for more things to do here).

Corfu’s vibrant, olive-grove-filled landscapes somehow manage to stand out in a country known for its tropical vistas. This may be why Empress Elisabeth of Austria commissioned the construction of The Achilleion Palace — one of Corfu’s most majestic landmarks — in the late 19th century.

Eager to visit Corfu? Connect with Fora to start planning your Grecian getaway, complete with expert intel and travel perks. 

Where to stay in Corfu: Domes of Corfu & Domes Miramare

Domes of Corfu and Domes Miramare top our list of favorite places to stay on the island. Both are luxurious and offer picturesque ocean views and beach access. The former caters to couples and families, while the latter is exclusively adults only.

Fora Perks at Domes Miramare, A Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Domes of Corfu:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, welcome amenity, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

8. Paros: the best place to stay in Greece to get off the beaten path

A ritzy pool area leads up to a walkway with a young couple. Behind them: Paros' scenic coast and a marina filled with yachts

Image courtesy of Summer Senses Luxury Resort

Paros offers many of the things that make Greece so fun to visit, but it also has a more rugged, boutique vibe. The more developed areas still see a ton of tourism in warmer months, but Paros also retains its authenticity more so than some of the busier islands.

Paros is a great spot for travelers who love to get off the beaten path. While the island is still lively in the populated parts of the island, like Parikia, Paros’ diverse terrain has made it a fun spot for adventurers. Kite surf off the coast, plan a day trip to the quaint fishing village on Antiparos — or take a guided tour through its popular caves — relax along Paros’ laidback beaches or simply stroll through the cobblestone streets of Parikia. 

Where to stay in Paros: Summer Senses Luxury Resort, Parīlio & more

Summer Senses and Parīlio are two of our favorite resorts on Paros. Both feature a sophisticated vibe, emphasis on rejuvenation and designs inspired by Paros’ laid-back and unique historical setting.

Need more options for where to stay in Paros, Greece? Check in with Fora. 

Fora Perks at Summer Senses Luxury Resort:

  • $50 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Parīlio, a Member of Design Hotels:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

9. Zakynthos (a.k.a. Zante): an intriguing alternative to Mykonos and Santorini

The stunning pool complex of Lesante Cape Resort & Villas overlooks Zakynthos picturesque shore at sunset

Image courtesy of Lesante Cape Resort & Villas

Zakynthos, sometimes called Zante, offers the charming urban exploration and views of Santorini along with the lively party vibe of Mykonos. It’s a happy medium between the two more popular islands, and arguably the best place to stay in Greece if you want to stay at an exclusive beach resort. 

Want more intel? Check out our guide to exploring Zakynthos, Greece.

Where to stay in Zakynthos: Lesante Cape Resort & Villas, Olea All Suite Hotel and more

There are a few high-end resorts on Zakynthos that provide a picturesque escape from the rigors of contemporary lifestyles — two that stand out are Lesante Cape Resort & Villas and Olea All Suite Hotel. The two hotels only host a few dozen rooms combined, ensuring an exclusive — and luxurious — stay.

Fora Perks at Lesante Cape Resort & Villas:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Olea All Suite Hotel: 

  • Breakfast daily, welcome amenity, upgrade & extended check-out whenever possible.

10. Milos: an underrated destination & one of the best places to stay in Greece for authenticity

At Domes White Coast Milos, one of the coolest places to stay in Greece: a luxe and minimalist infinity pool area leads to Milos' rocky shoreline, with other Greek islands visible in the far distance

Image courtesy of Domes White Coast Milos

Milos rarely tops lists of the best places to stay in Greece, and that’s a mistake. This gorgeous island is an idyllic choice for travelers seeking a quiet vacation amidst quiet fishing villages, rugged landscapes and pristine beaches. 

(BTW: our foodie’s guide to Milos recommends several great places to try — or you can study our ultimate Milos travel guide for more suggestions.)

Where to stay in Milos: Domes White Coast Milos

This lavish, adults-only retreat promises stunning views, great food and perhaps most important, a breath of fresh air. The resort is also about halfway between two of Milos’ major settlements, so it’s a great base for exploration, too. Alternatively, our guide to where to stay in Milos has more options (or you can always check in with us!).

Fora Perks at Domes White Coast Milos:

  • $50 hotel resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

11. Halkidiki: beaches, history & luxe resorts in mainland Greece

Aerial view of a beautiful beach in Halkidiki, Greece. Rocky hills with sparse vegetation lead up to a volcanic beach and a mix of turquoise and sapphire waters

Image courtesy of Ekies All Senses Resort

Split between three peninsulas in northern Greece, the city of Halkidiki is an intriguing destination for travelers who want to explore Greek ruins like the ancient city of Olynthos before retiring to a ritzy resort along the city’s beautiful coastlines.

Connect with Fora for the full lowdown on visiting Halkidiki. 

Where to Stay in Halkidiki: Eagles Villas & Ekies All Senses Resort

Eagles Villas and Ekies All Senses Resort are our two favorite accommodation options in Halkidiki. Eagles Villas is a contemporary, villa-style resort, with many rooms featuring private plunge pools and five-star amenities. Meanwhile, Ekies All Senses Resort has an entirely different feel to it, with an elevated bohemian energy and emphasis on restoration and wellbeing. 

Fora Perks at Eagles Villas:

  • $100 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Fora Perks at Ekies All Senses Resort:

  • €50 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

12. Naxos: a laid-back island offering variety, natural beauty & more

Whitewashed villas with private pools in a row

Image courtesy of Naxian Collection

Another less popular island, Naxos mirrors Milos in many ways. The best of Naxos includes lovely mountain villages, stunning beaches (of course), ancient ruins and interesting museums. The island also has a surprisingly energetic nightlife centered on Agios Prokopios Beach, home to several beach clubs.

Where to stay in Naxos: Naxian Collection

Our guide to the best hotels in Naxos, Greece covers this in detail, but one hotel that stands out is Naxian Collection. This boutique property is family-owned, granting an authentic Greek experience while also pampering guests with luxurious accommodations.

Fora Perks at Naxian Collection:

  • $50 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The best place to stay in Greece: FAQs

Cobalt-roofed structures with white stone walls fill a cliffside overlooking Santorini's coast

Have more questions about the best place to visit in Greece? We have answers. 

Or connect with Fora and an expert can answer all your travel questions and provide tailored advice. 

Which destinations in Greece are ideal for summer travel?

Greece on the whole is an excellent summer destination. This is peak travel season for the country. If you have an aversion to crowds, you may also consider visiting in late spring or early fall (the shoulder seasons). The weather is still agreeable and there are typically fewer travelers.

Are there great spring break destinations in Greece?

The Greek Isles are awesome for spring break getaways…if your spring break lines up with the shoulder season. Some of the islands can still be a little chilly in early March, and many venues are closed for the season. As such, visiting Greece for spring break generally requires that you plan ahead.

What are the top 3 cities in Greece for travel?

A stone parking lot with a couple motorcycles leads up to a medieval tower in Thessaloniki, one of the best places to stay in Greece

This is a common question, but not exactly a fair or helpful one when it comes to travel. There are dozens of amazing islands and mainland cities competing to be the best place to stay in Greece. 

In a general sense, though, Athens, Thessaloniki and Chania (on Crete) are typically the most-visited cities if you look at any given travel season. But this discounts the fact that many people visit specific resorts and islands, such as Mykonos, Corfu and Santorini. In other words, visiting Greece’s “top cities” isn’t really the best way to get the most out of a trip to Greece.

What parts of Greece have the most beautiful beaches? What about the clearest water?

Visit nearly any coastline in mainland Greece or the islands and you’ll be met with beautiful waters. However, there are exceptions, and unfortunately, some of Greece’s more popular beaches have been known to collect a lot of trash. But great options still exist on nearly every island and mainland coastline.

Some beaches are better for specific activities, like surfing, swimming and so on. A Fora Advisor can help you sort through choices that best match your interests.

Which place in Greece is the best to stay to enjoy nature?

Many of the less popular Greek islands are rife with natural beauty while enjoying limited urban influence. Paros and Milos are among the most well-balanced options, offering a great blend of Greek life and nature, but there are many more options (we can help here, too).

Find the best place to stay in Greece when you book with Fora

Planning a trip to Greece? The destinations above are only a few of the best places to stay in Greece.

Book and plan your trip with Fora, and we’ll help you figure out the best place to stay in Greece that fits your preferences. Even better, your Fora Advisor can score you VIP hotel perks to level up your experience. 

Looking for more European travel inspiration? Check out our guides to some of the best places to visit in Europe:

    Book with Fora

    Tell us more about yourself to get matched with a Fora Advisor and start planning your dream trip today.

    Furnished room behind open barn style doors