10 Dreamy Greek Getaways That Aren't Athens

Though I love Athens just as much as the next travel-obsessed person, the entirety of Greece is too beautiful to just stay in its capital city. From Santorini to Mykonos, there are so many breathtaking Greek islands and mainland towns to explore. Whether you’re looking for party-friendly beaches or picturesque cliff-side villages, Greece has endless insta-worthy vacation destinations to offer. Ahead, are ten you’re definitely going to want to add to your Mediterranean bucket list.

To help you check one of these beautiful cities off your travel wish list, we’re sending you to the Greek city of your choice! That’s right, one (very) lucky winner will win a 3-night stay at any Small Luxury Hotel of the World in Greece and $750 for airfare. You'll also snag $1,000 shopping sprees to both the Rachel Zoe Collection and Solid & Striped to stock up on insta-worthy vacay outfits. Ready to get your greek on and travel in style? Enter here to win!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States (excluding Rhode Island), 18 years or older and over the age of majority in jurisdiction of residence at time of entry. Ends 12/17/17 at 11:59 p.m. ET. For Official Rules, click here. Void where prohibited.

Getty Images
Mykonos Town, Mykonos, Greece

Well-known for its vibrant nightlife scene that attracts top DJs, Mykonos is the perfect getaway if you’re looking for (a lot of) fun in the sun. Want to take a break from the party-centric beaches? You’ll find tons to explore in the heart of the city. The main village, referred to as Chora by the locals, is a whitewashed labyrinth packed with charming cafes, boutiques, and shops. The city’s narrow streets are closed to traffic during the day, making Mykonos an extremely pedestrian-friendly destination, easily explored sans car. The entire city is filled with interesting buildings and architecture, but for real architecture fanatics Panagia Paraportiani, Mykonos’ most famous church, is a must-see.
Getty Images
Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

Overlooking the picturesque shores of Mirabello Bay, Agios Nikolaos is a charming coastal town in Crete (Greece’s largest island). Complete with a bustling marina, beautiful beaches and numerous luxury resorts, Agios Nikolaos is the perfect warm weather getaway. If you need a timeout from tanning, taste the local flavors on a tour of Cretan Olive Oil Farm, located just north of the city.
Getty Images
Thessaloniki, Greece

Though Greece’s many islands are breathtaking, Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, might just entice you to stay on the mainland. A cultural melting pot, Thessaloniki is dripping with old world charm and new-age sophistication. Transport yourself back in time with a stroll through the Old Town or marvel at the iconic 16th century White Tower in the heart of the city. Then experience modern Thessaloniki as you enjoy the city’s contemporary art museums, avant-garde galleries, and buzzing nightlife scene.
Getty Images
Oia, Santorini, Greece

One of the most picturesque villages in all of Santorini, Oia is carved into steep volcanic cliffs, giving visitors sweeping views of the islands and waters below. Speaking of killer views, Oia’s sunsets are considered to be among the best in the world. The best view is from the ruins of Oi Castle at the top of the village, but head there early to snag your spot as sunset viewing is a popular tradition for tourists and locals alike.
Getty Images
Chora, Ios, Greece

Considered to be the biggest party island in all of the Mediterranean Sea, people of all ages flock to Ios for its nightclubs and dance floors. During the day if you can tear yourself away from the island’s numerous beaches, the charming city of Chora is magical. Located just a twenty-minute walk from the main port, Chora’s tiny cubed houses, white chapels, and winding streets are perfect for travel photography and a delight to explore.
Getty Images
Lindos, Rhodes, Greece

Home to numerous ancient and medieval monuments, Lindos is the perfect vacation destination for history buffs. Lindos’ clifftop acropolis, located at the top of the city, is one of Greece’s most visited archaeological sites. A ten-minute walk or a five euro donkey ride from the village, the awe-inspiring ancient ruins of the Temple of Athena date back to the 4th century. Back towards the main city outside of the acropolis, Tharri Byzantine Monastery, The Ancient Theatre, and the 15th century Church of Virgin Mary are all worth a visit.
Getty Images
Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Situated on Crete's northern coast, Rethymo is known for its charming Old Town, Byzantine churches, and long sandy beachfront. Below the city’s Venetian fortress, the Old Quarter’s maze of winding streets are a shopper’s paradise, packed with boutiques and stores selling everything from jewelry and leather to Cretan spices and pottery. After a morning of sightseeing and shopping, relax on Rethymo’s beaches lined with restaurants and beachside bars.
Getty Images
Parikia, Paros, Greece

Located in close proximity to many other greek islands such as Mykonos, Paros is easy to squeeze into your itinerary while traveling in Greece. Its bayside capital, Parikia, boasts stunning traditional blue and white greek architecture and dreamy beaches. Though there are many to choose from near the city center, Kolympḗthres beach on Paro’s north coast is worth the trek (especially if you have Instagram). The beach’s epic rock formation swimming coves and crystal clear waters are beyond gorgeous.
Getty Images
Naxos, Greece

The largest (and greenest) island of the Cyclades, Naxos is an ideal destination for adventure seekers. From windsurfing to horseback riding, there are dozens of outdoor activities available in Naxos to fill up your daytime itinerary. Hiking trails lead to vineyard and olive groves, while deep sea diving might lead to you a wreck site. Whatever type of thrill you’re seeking, Naxos is definitely a choose-your-own-adventure type of city.
Getty Images
Imerovigli, Santorini, Greece

When you close your eyes and imagine the idyllic, hillside villages of Santorini, you’re most likely picturing the whitewashed city of Imerovigli. Insanely charming and known for its intoxicating sunsets (just like Oia), Imerovigli is the perfect Greek city to visit on a romantic getaway. Called the "balcony to the Aegean," heading out on a sailboat here is also a must.
Looking for the perfect place to stay in Greece? Small Luxury Hotels of the World has stunning properties in each of these Greek cities and their loyalty program, INVITED, is free to join. In addition to enjoying personalized perks and beespoke experiences during your stay, members can take 10% off the best available rate, and receive complimentary wifi and breakfast at all SLH hotels. Bonus: all Invited members can take advantage of early check in and late check out for maximum relaxation during your vacay. Score!
Show More Comments...