- Walk down to the sea at Moni Gouverneto, Crete: Greece’s largest island is generously graced with beautiful monasteries, but this one on the Akrotiri Peninsula adds a bit of a thrill—a walk that begins in a tranquil courtyard and descends through a ravine etched with millennia-old hermitages to an isolated cove where a swim seems almost like a ritualistic plunge.
- Climb Profitis Elias o Pilos, Sifnos: It’s quite a trek up the 850m-tall (2,789-ft.) mountain, the highest on this Cycladean island, to the isolated monastery at the summit. You’ll understand the meaning of “Pilos,” or “high one.” A monk may be on hand to offer a glass of ice-cold water, and the views seem to extend across the entire Aegean Sea.
- Savor the spiritual aura of the Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos: In the cave hermitage of St. John the Divine, you’ll be surrounded by many icons, the very stone that served as the saintly pillow, and a sense of holiness. You might even hear “a great voice, as of a trumpet” that rang through a cleft in the overhang and delivered the Book of the Apocalypse, or Revelation.
- Count church domes from the Kastro in Skopelos Town, Skopelos: In this Sporades island capital—one of the most appealing towns in Greece—123 churches punctuate the lanes that climb the hillside. The sight of so many blue domes will most likely inspire you to get to your feet and start exploring.
- Chance upon Kapnikarea Church, Athens: This little Byzantine gem sits right in the middle of busy, shop-lined Ermou Street, on the site of an ancient temple to Athena and incorporating Roman columns from the Forum. Just setting eyes on the old stones and carvings immediately whisks you away from the contemporary buzz to a different time and place.
- Find all the doors to the Church of the Hundred Doors, Paros: One of the oldest churches in the world is also, from the moment you step through the gates into the lemon-scented courtyard, one of the most otherworldly, steeped in legend. Founded in the 4th century, the landmark is filled with frescoes, icons, and even reminders of a famous murder.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.