The pandemic is winding down and people are dying to get out and travel more than ever before! (Please do so safely!) It’s an exciting time to be thinking about a destination elopement in Greece, but a lot of the most well-known locations are going to be insanely crowded. Don’t worry! You don’t have to sacrifice your dreams of a gorgeous Greece elopement just because that spot you see on Instagram all the time is overrun with visitors. There are a ton of hidden gems in Greece that I want to share with you so you can still have the ceremony and celebration you deserve.
Greece has a booming tourism industry, so anywhere you go, you’re likely to run into other travelers. But, I promise you can find a picturesque, classic Greek view without having to fight against the crowds. (Sorry, Santorini. We love you, but not this time!) Let’s dive in.
This blog is all about elopement locations, but I do want to share a few resources with you to help you plan your elopement in Greece so that you’re all set with a marriage license and officiant, etc. You don’t have to be a citizen or resident in Greece to get married here, which is great news! But there may be a waiting period between when you get there and when you can perform the ceremony, so I actually recommend turning your trip into a longer vacation, or bundling your elopement and honeymoon into one!
You can have a religious or a civil ceremony here, and it will be super easy to take care of your documentation. To read about all the requirements for getting married in Greece, check out Wise’s guide here, which will walk you through all the steps.
Now, let’s jump into those locations!
This island is part of the Cyclades island group off the mainland of Greece, between Santorini and Paros. Folegandros is pretty much untouched by popular tourism, whereas Santorini and Mykonos, for example, are Greece’s most popular tourist destinations. Folegandros still has those classic white houses with blue-domed roofs, and the cliff sides and views of the ocean are gorgeous!
Panagia Church sits above the town of Chora, and this is the most popular landmark of the island. You can go bar hopping, explore some amazing restaurants, and there are beautiful beaches here too! An elopement either right on the water or on the cliffs overlooking the Aegean is going to be absolutely magical.
More amazing beaches, here we come! Sifnos can be reached by ferry from Athens. You can island hop from here using the same ferry to get to Naxos, Santorini, Paros, and more! The cubic whitewashed architecture here is so cool to explore, and the whole place has a neat fairytale charm! What Sifnos is most known for is its food, though, so if you and your partner are avid foodies, Sifnos is the place for you!
What could be better than visiting Greece and still getting an Italian vibe?! Spetses is full of Venetian architecture. Swoon. Go swimming on the beach, take a leisurely stroll through town…What a dream! There are no cars allowed on the island of Spetses, so you’ll feel really and truly like you took a step back in time, and the air is as fresh as it gets.
Looking for something more colorful than the often-photographed white walls and blue domes? Kea (or Tzia) is known for more earthy, neoclassical, elegant architecture. Kea is a pretty close ferry ride from Athens, so it’s great if you’re hoping to spend some time in the capital city of Greece before or after your elopement. Hiking is popular here, and its beaches are much quieter than on some of the other islands.
Miles and miles of golden coastline on the island of Crete make it perfect for an elopement. There’s the famous Balos Lagoon, famous archaeological sites, monasteries, castles, museums, and more! Fans of history and those who love being out in nature will love Crete. Scuba diving could be a super fun elopement activity for you and your partner!
Okay, I could go on and on about all the island options you have besides Santorini for a truly gorgeous Greece elopement (seriously — there are 227 of them). But we have to get to some other good spots too! So I’ll leave you with this shortlist of honorable island mentions that you can look into on your own later.
This particular stretch of the coastline on Greece’s mainland has 5-star resorts, spas, water sports, and lots of palm trees! Anywhere on the Riviera is perfect if you’re looking for that beachy elopement vibe in Greece, but want it to be a little more upscale and luxury.
If you’re picturing a Greece elopement that’s straight off a postcard, Peloponnesia is your place! Turquoise water, sandy beaches, and lots of medieval charm are waiting for you here on the south tip of the mainland. There are castles and cobblestone streets, tons of history waiting to be explored, and this is a lesser-known location so you’re bound to have a much more relaxing experience.
Who says a Greece elopement has to incorporate the ocean? Okay, I know that’s a huge part of the draw. But if you’re open to an alternative, Lake Doxa is literally a fairytale come to life. There’s a chapel on the shore that you can use (or not!) to exchange your vows. This is a pretty secret and very serene place. Pro tip: go in the fall to experience some gorgeous autumn colors!
Pelion is a mountain region in Thessaly with lots of stone houses and the most mesmerizing beaches I think I’ve ever seen! There’s even a popular ski spot here if you’re interested in getting married in the winter! Of course, Pelion is also the site of the Greek legends about the centaurs, so if you’re a Greek mythology lover, Pelion will be extra fun for your elopement.
Nafplion has a super cool medieval atmosphere! The fortress of Palamidi sits on the hill with a great ocean view. There’s also a fortress near the port that was used to protect from naval attacks. There’s lots of sightseeing to do in Nafplion! And of course, the beaches and restaurants are amazing, too.
Karpenisi is a town in central Greece that’s perfect for a secluded elopement. It rests in the valley of the river Karpenisiotis. There’s forests, rivers, and of course the waterfalls in the area. Waterfall backdrop, anyone?! While not ocean-adjacent, this is seriously a beautiful spot that is often overlooked in favor of the more popular, touristy regions.
Because the island of Lemnos is pretty far away from Athens, it’s flown under the radar for years, making it one of the most secluded destinations for a Greece elopement. If privacy and relaxation are must-haves for your elopement, Lemnos is the place to be. Windsurfing has slowly become more popular on Lemnos, too, so I encourage you to try it out while you’re here! There’s nothing better than a Greek island that’s free from the hustle and bustle of lots of other visitors. What could be better?!
Okay, now that I’ve explored so many different Greek islands and mainland regions, I’m just itching to book a flight!! A Greece elopement is going to be a wild, wonderful, perfect adventure, and I can’t wait to hear from you and your partner about which of these locations you’re dreaming of to tie the knot! Reach out to me here to have me photograph your elopement in Greece.