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We often think of many of the Mediterranean countries as being summer beach destinations, and there is good reason: hot temperatures, bright blue seas, and stunning sunsets. However, many of the countries have fantastic cities too that are teeming with life and full of history and culture. And there if not better time to consider a city break than in autumn, when the temperatures have cooled down a little and the crowds have disappeared. One such country is Greece!

Greece is such a popular holiday destination that it’s almost synonymous with sun-kissed skin and azure-blue seas. It’s great for those on a budget, or those who want to make their experience a little more luxurious, and there’s plenty to see and do – especially if you’ve been inspired by the landscapes that you’ve seen on screen.

But visiting in peak season can be extremely busy, not to mention hot. If you’re not bound by the restrictions of the school holidays, autumn can be a lovely alternative – the air temperature has cooled off a little, whilst the water retains the warmth it’s been gathering all summer. You’ll find lots of attractions are quieter too, meaning that you can take your time to admire all that this wonderful country has to offer.

The beaches of Greece are world-class – but why not consider exploring the cultural cities too? Here, we round up three of the best Greek cities for your autumn escape.

Best Greek City Break for History Lovers: Athens

The Acropolis of Athens, the perfect Greek city break for history lovers

The capital of Greece, Athens is a natural addition to our list. It’s been the centre of Greece for thousands of years, and as such has plenty to delight all visitors, but in particular historical holidaymakers who want to take in the sights that still stand from Ancient Greece, such as the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

For those who would rather keep things modern, there are several festivals in Athens in the autumn, ranging from the cultural art shows to the tasty Burger Fest. Or, if you want to split your time between the city and the beach, take in Athens for a few days before hopping on a quick ferry to the island of Aegina – so close to the city that many locals use it as a weekend retreat.

Best Greek City Break for Solo Travellers: Thessaloniki


If you’re looking for all the history of Athens but with added nightlife, cuisines, and a multicultural environment, then Thessaloniki should go straight to the top of your list. Its notoriously youthful energy makes it perfect for solo travellers who are looking to squeeze the most out of their chosen destination, especially if you’re tight on time.

It’s a top spot for foodies, too – Thessaloniki is famous for its flaky bougatsa, a sweet treat made from filo pastry and finished off with a smooth creamy filling, powdered sugar, and cinnamon. There are plenty of delicious places to try and hunt down this local delicacy in the city, so you could easily spend an afternoon wandering around, admiring the scenery and stuffing yourself with tasty treats.

Greeks Best Kept Secret: Heraklion

The Heraklion lighthouse.

You’ve probably heard of Crete for its pristine beaches, but have you ever heard of Heraklion specifically? Crete’s capital is a lovely spot for those who want to admire the Venetian architecture, and explore historical sites such as Knossos Palace and Phaistos Palace, which date back to the Minoan period.

Because Heraklion is next to the water, adventurous travellers can also take advantage of the water sports on offer in the bay. If you head out of town a short distance, you can also find several beaches on offer – meaning that Heraklion offers the best of both worlds, a city break with a seaside twist.

Whichever one of these Greek cities you choose to escape to this autumn you are sure to have a wonderful time.

My other recommendation for an autumnal escape would be Slovenia. Some of the best autumn colours I have seen outside of the USA!  

The silhouette of a dome with church bells in the setting sun!
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