Greece Travel Guide

Continent: Europe
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Greece Travel Essentials

Ideal Duration: 10-14 days for exploring Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos; longer for a more comprehensive exploration including Crete and the mainland

Currency: Euro (EUR)

Best Time: March - April (Spring) and September - October (Autumn) Read More

Visa Policy for Indians:
Schengen Visa required

Visa Policy for Other Nationals:
Schengen Visa for many countries

Accommodation Cost (per night in USD): Dorm bed: $15-30
Budget: $40-80
Mid-range: $100-150
Luxury: $200 and above

Budget for Food & Drinks (per day in USD): Budget: $15-30
Mid-range: $40-70

Getting In Greece: Athens International Airport (ATH), Heraklion International Airport (HER) in Crete Read More

Getting Around Ferries, buses, taxis, rental cars: Ferries, buses, taxis, rental cars

"Sun, Sea, and Soul"

Greece Tourism

Greece is located in southeastern Europe, situated at the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula. Surrounded by crystal blue waters all around, Greece has 2,000 islands, among which only 160 are inhabited. The country boasts a multitude of these picturesque islands scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian Seas, offering charming villages, lush forests, rugged mountains, pristine beaches, and a unique island atmosphere.

The Greek islands, including Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete, showcase postcard-perfect landscapes with whitewashed buildings against the backdrop of the Aegean Sea. The country boasts a coastline dotted with gorgeous beaches, making it a great destination for sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, and other water sports. From mountainous regions to lush valleys and scenic coastlines, the country offers various outdoor activities, like hiking, trekking, and breathtaking scenery.

Home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Greece is renowned for its historical significance and is the birthplace of Western civilization. The remnants of ancient wonders, such as the Acropolis in Athens and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, offer a glimpse into the glorious past. The country boasts a myriad of archaeological sites that narrate tales of gods, philosophers, and epic heroes.

Greek cuisine is beloved by many for its fresh ingredients, Mediterranean flavors, and healthy dishes. From moussaka and souvlaki to fresh seafood and Greek salads, you'll have the opportunity to indulge in a diverse range of flavorful dishes. Also, the country's rich cultural heritage includes traditional music, dance, and festivals. 

Must Know Before You Travel to Greece

  • Transportation: Greece has an extensive public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the Athens Metro. Taxis are also readily available, but make sure the meter is running. Ferries are often the best way to reach the Greek islands.
  • Ferry Pass: Eurail/Interrail passes offer ferry services with 4-6 trips included, where one can travel only with Blue Star and Hellenic Seaways ferries. These ferries are generally slower because of their large sizes.
  • Eurail Greek Island Flexi-passes: A 4-day Greek island flex pass can be used for domestic travel unlimitedly for EUR 87. It is valid for a month and offers 2nd class travel.
    A 6-day Greek island flexi pass can be used for two international and 4 domestic travel days for EUR 170. It is valid for 1 month and offers 2nd class travel.
  • E-Ticket Time Slots: For all Greek museums and archaeological sites, E-tickets can only be bought by choosing a desired time slot of 1 hour. You can enter the site 15 minutes before and leave after 15 minutes of the desired time slot giving you about 1.5 hours to explore.
  • Rent a Scooter or ATV: On some Greek islands, like Santorini and Mykonos, renting a scooter or ATV can be a convenient and fun way to explore the island at your own pace.
  • Taxis: There is no Uber on most of the islands, but taxis can be rented from local taxi operators. Be aware that taxis are expensive on islands.
  • Local Transportation Apps: Use local transportation apps like Moovit or the Athens Metro app to help you navigate the public transportation system, especially in Athens.
  • Island Hopping: If you plan to visit multiple Greek islands, research ferry schedules and book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist season. Also, consider a flexible ferry pass for better value. Use the 'Ferryhopper' app for a comparative analysis of different ferries and booking tickets. Read more about Island hopping in Greece here.
  • Sun Protection: Greek islands are extremely windy, even in summer. Once outside, the sun might not feel that strong due to the cool winds, but the hot and dry Greek climate can be harsh on the skin, causing sunburns. Wear and reapply sun protection as many times as possible.
  • Seasickness or Motion Sickness: Carry motion sickness or seasickness medicines or bands, if you plan to island hop.
  • Restrooms: In certain places, especially at transportation hubs like bus stations and ferry terminals, you might encounter restrooms requiring a small fee. Also, flushing the toilet paper in restrooms in Greece should be avoided. It is mentioned in most washrooms to throw used toilet paper in dustbins instead.

Best time to visit Greece

The best times to visit Greece are from March to May and September to November, as the weather is extremely pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 degrees centigrade. April and May witness wild blooms in Greece, and the weather is ideal for exploring historical sites and enjoying outdoor activities. September to November is when the sea remains warm, and you can still enjoy outdoor activities. It's an excellent period for island exploration without the summer crowds.

The period from June to August is the peak tourist season. The weather is hot, with temperatures ranging from 25-35 degrees centigrade, and the islands come alive with festivals and vibrant nightlife. The beaches are perfect for sunbathing and swimming but be prepared for crowded popular destinations.

From December to March, the cold is mild (5-15 degrees centigrade), especially in the southern part of the country. While the islands may have fewer tourists, the mainland offers a different charm with cultural events and fewer crowds. Winter is suitable for historical and cultural exploration.

Specific Island Considerations:

  • Santorini: Visit in May or September for pleasant weather and fewer crowds.
  • Mykonos: Similar to Santorini, May or September is ideal for a balance between good weather and fewer tourists.
  • Crete: March to May and September to October are excellent for exploring the largest Greek island, avoiding the summer heat.

Holidify's opinion on Travel to Greece

What's Great about Travelling to Greece?

Sea and beaches, Greek cuisine, festivals, local sightseeing, countryside, history

What's Not So Great about Travelling to Greece?

Weather, transport, overcrowded in tourist seasons

Who should Travel to Greece?

History lovers, adventure lovers, couples

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Read More on Greece Travel

Food of Greece

Greek cuisine is an amalgamation of traditional food along with foreign influences. Italian and Turkish cuisine have a major impact on Greek food. The traditional diet is Mediterranean with lots of vegetables, herbs, and grains. Being a marine nation, seafood is a major part of their diet. It is also a major consumer of lamb, beef, pork and chicken. The staple in Greek cooking is olive oil. The most popular dishes are kebabs, souvlaki, honey pastries and baklava. Famous alcoholic beverages include ouzo and resin flavoured wine.

Nightlife in Greece

Though a historical country, Greece is no way inferior to other European countries when it comes to the vibrant nightlife. The most popular places for nightlife are Athens, Thessaloniki, Cyclades, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu and Santorini. Mykonos is the party island which attracts people from all over the world. Hersonission and Malia in Crete, Kavos in Corfu and Lagana in Zante are must visit places. The best part is that one can enjoy the best parties at the bars or dance till dawn on the beaches. Latin and Greek music in the pubs enhance the feel of the nightlife here.

Shopping in Greece

Since Greece had one of the most ancient civilisations in the world, it is one of the best places to buy antiques. There are many stores in Athens and other cities which sell exquisite antiques like statuettes, engravings, carvings, glass, ceramics and different other treasures. One needs the permission of the government to export antiques from Byzantine and Hellenic ages. There are a lot of fake ones around, don't fall for the trap. One can also get Greek Jewellery, Skyrian pottery, mystic amulets and onyx ashtrays from Greece. Shoes, wine, rugs and dry fruits are few other things to buy.

Festivals in Greece

Greece is a cultural country, with festivals spread throughout the year. Orthodox Easter is the biggest event of the year and it is celebrated all over the country with beautiful fireworks and delicious roasted lamb. Apokreas or the Carnival Season from mid-January to early March is another good time to visit the country. Each region has their own way of celebrating the carnivals but the best one can be witnessed in Patra in Peloponnese. Hellenic is the main summer festival in Greece which has a brilliant line up of dance, music and drama held in the ancient Odean of Herodes Atticus in Athens.

Island Groups Of Greece

Greece's archipelago is divided into several island groups, each with its own unique charm, landscapes, and cultural significance. Some of these islands are more touristy than others. Each island group consists of a few islands that are more visited by tourists, are more developed and have better connectivity in comparison to smaller or more remote ones. Here's a concise guide to the main island groups:

  • Cyclades Islands: Known for their iconic white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches, the Cyclades are a popular destination for those seeking a mix of vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and traditional Greek architecture.
    Main islands: Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros
  • Dodecanese Islands: Rich in history and medieval architecture, the Dodecanese islands attract visitors with ancient ruins, charming old towns, and beautiful beaches. Rhodes, in particular, is known for its well-preserved medieval city.
    Main Islands: Rhodes, Kos, Patmos
  • Ionian Islands: Lush landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and Venetian influence characterize the Ionian Islands. Corfu is famous for its historical architecture, while Zakynthos is known for the stunning Navagio Beach.
    Main Islands: Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia
  • Saronic Islands: Proximity to Athens makes the Saronic Islands a convenient escape. Hydra, known for its car-free streets, and Aegina, with its archaeological sites and pistachio groves, are popular choices.
    Main Islands: Aegina, Hydra, Poros
  • Sporades Islands: Offering a more serene atmosphere, the Sporades are known for their lush landscapes and crystal-clear waters. Skiathos is famed for its beautiful beaches, while Skopelos gained fame as the filming location for "Mamma Mia!"
    Main Islands: Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos
  • Northeastern Aegean Islands: These islands boast a mix of historical sites, picturesque villages, and natural beauty. Lesbos is known for its rich cultural heritage, Samos for its wines, and Chios for medieval villages and mastic production.
    Main Islands: Lesbos, Samos, Chios
  • Crete: The largest Greek island, Crete, stands out for its diverse landscapes, from stunning beaches to rugged mountains. It's rich in history, with the ancient Minoan civilization, and offers a unique culinary experience.
    Main Islands: Crete
  • Northern Sporades: Less frequented than other island groups, the Northern Sporades offer a quieter retreat with beautiful landscapes, archaeological sites, and traditional villages.
    Main Islands: Lemnos, Thassos, Samothrace
  • Argo-Saronic Islands: Close to Athens, these islands are known for their historical significance and accessibility. Aegina is famous for its pistachios, and Agistri offers a laid-back atmosphere.
    Main Islands: Salamis, Aegina, Agistri

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Dhawal Pagay

6 years ago
A small Greek island with a handful of people, scenic vistas at every street and architecture dating back to the Byzantine era, the cobbled streets of Paros, flanked by white facades which overlook c (Read More)lear blue waters, create an aesthetic which stimulate the senses.

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