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Expat Exchange - Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Greece (Plus, Itineraries) 2024
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Crowded Market in Athens, Greece

Best Places to See While on a Look-See Trip to Greece (Plus, Itineraries)

By Betsy Burlingame

AGS Worldwide Movers
AGS Worldwide Movers

Summary: If you're thinking about relocating to Greece but haven't decided on a particular city or town yet, taking a discovery trip to explore several sought-after expat locales can offer valuable perspectives. Check out these recommended destinations for your exploratory journey in Greece.

Embarking on a Look-See trip to Greece is an essential step for anyone considering relocating to this beautiful country. Such a trip allows potential expats to explore various cities and towns, get a feel for the local culture, and assess the practicalities of daily life. From the bustling streets of Athens to the serene landscapes of the Cyclades, a reconnaissance trip can help you determine which area aligns best with your lifestyle preferences, work opportunities, and budget constraints. It's an invaluable opportunity to gather firsthand experiences and insights before making the significant decision to move.

Recommended Itineraries

For a 10-day trip, consider starting in Athens for a couple of days to experience urban life, followed by visits to the Peloponnese region, including Nafplio and Kalamata. Then, head to the island of Crete, focusing on Heraklion and Chania. For a 20-day trip, extend your stay to include Thessaloniki in the north, the charming town of Volos, and the islands of Rhodes and Corfu. This extended itinerary allows for a deeper exploration of both mainland Greece and its diverse islands, providing a comprehensive overview of potential living environments for expats, retirees, and digital nomads.


Athens, the capital city, is a vibrant metropolis with a population of approximately 3 million people. It offers a blend of ancient history and modern living, with a relatively lower cost of living compared to other European capitals. Expats and digital nomads are drawn to Athens for its rich cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods, and ample co-working spaces. The city is also well-connected, with easy access to the beach and surrounding regions.

Travel Tip: While in Athens, don't miss the chance to dine at Kuzina, a restaurant that offers a modern twist on traditional Greek cuisine with a view of the Acropolis.


Nafplio, a picturesque town in the Peloponnese, is known for its Venetian architecture and seaside charm. With a smaller population, it offers a more relaxed pace of life, making it attractive for retirees. The cost of living is moderate, and the town's proximity to ancient sites like Epidaurus and Mycenae adds to its appeal for history enthusiasts.

Travel Tip: Visit the Palamidi Castle for breathtaking views of the town and the Argolic Gulf.


Kalamata, famous for its olives, is a coastal city in the Peloponnese with a lively atmosphere and a population of around 70,000. It offers a balance between city amenities and natural beauty, with both mountainous areas and beaches nearby. The cost of living is reasonable, and the city hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year.

Travel Tip: Enjoy a meal at the seafront restaurant Ta Rolla, which serves delicious local dishes.


Heraklion is the largest city on the island of Crete and serves as a hub for exploring the island's rich history and stunning landscapes. The city has a growing expat community, affordable housing, and a good quality of life. Digital nomads appreciate the city's connectivity and the balance between urban life and nature.

Travel Tip: Explore the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, one of the most significant museums in Greece, showcasing artifacts from Minoan civilization.


Chania, also on Crete, is beloved for its Venetian harbor, narrow streets, and waterfront restaurants. It's smaller than Heraklion, offering a more intimate community feel, which is perfect for those looking for a slower pace of life. The cost of living is competitive, and the surrounding region is full of beautiful beaches and hiking opportunities.

Travel Tip: Visit the Agora (marketplace) to sample local cheeses, olives, and other Cretan specialties.


Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, is known for its youthful energy, cultural festivals, and rich Byzantine heritage. The cost of living is lower than in Athens, and the city has a diverse international community. It's an ideal spot for those who enjoy a cosmopolitan lifestyle without the chaos of a massive city.

Travel Tip: Savor the flavors of Thessaloniki at Nea Folia, a restaurant renowned for its innovative takes on traditional Greek dishes.


Volos is a coastal port city situated at the foot of Mount Pelion. It strikes a balance between urban amenities and access to outdoor activities, with both beaches and ski resorts within reach. The city has a moderate cost of living and is known for its tsipouro (a pomace brandy) and meze culture.

Travel Tip: Experience the local tsipouro and meze tradition at one of the many tsipouradika (taverns) along the Volos waterfront.


Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and offers a medieval old town, stunning beaches, and a warm climate. Expats are attracted to its rich history, well-preserved architecture, and the relatively low cost of living. The island also has a well-established expat community, making it easier for newcomers to settle in.

Travel Tip: Visit the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes for a journey into the island's medieval past.


Corfu, located in the Ionian Sea, is known for its lush green landscapes and Venetian influence. The island has a relaxed lifestyle, affordable living costs, and a sizeable expat community. It's an excellent choice for those who prefer a mix of beach life and cultural experiences.

Travel Tip: Dine at The Venetian Well, a romantic restaurant set in a hidden square in Corfu's old town, offering exquisite local cuisine.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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