September 25, 2022

Greece Travel Guide: Insider Tips To Travel Smoother!

Greece Travel Guide

Greece, located on the tip of the Balkan Peninsula, has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length. The country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands. Greece is considered the birthplace of democracy, literature, historiography, mathematical principles, and notably the Olympic Games. Greece’s incredible historic sites span four millennia, encompassing both the legendary and the obscure. So, here’s our Greece travel guide to make your journey smoother. 

Greece Travel Guide: The Islands of Gods, Olive Oil, Yogurt, and More!  

Why Greece?

With its unique palette of blue and white, Greece is the promise of a Homeric odyssey studded with Byzantine churches and preserved archeological sites, from Thrace to the Peloponnese. Facing the horizon of the Aegean Sea, nature has not been forgotten. Pines, myrtles, and olive trees are even known to perfume the translucent coves of the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, and the Sporades. The gods were not mistaken in choosing this land to build their Olympus. 

This is why Greece was home to the Gods and may treat you the same as well. 

Quick Facts

Capital: Athens

Currency: Euro

Language: Greek

Population: 1.08 crores

Highest point: Mount Olympus

Electricity Sockets: Plug types C and F.

How To Reach Greece

The best way to travel to Greece is to get a plane ticket. The 2 major and most busiest airports in Greece are in Thessaloniki city and Athens city. 

Best Time To Visit Greece 

The best time to visit most of Greece is from mid-July to the end of August when temperatures are soaring. 

Want to miss out on the warm weather? Then visit in June or September. 

In October the southerly Dodecanese and Crete are extremely pleasant. During autumn the light is softer, the sea often balmier and the colors are subtler. 

December to March see harsh colds and least reliably sunny months, though even then there are many crystal-clear, fine days. 

Places In Greece To Visit 

Athens: 

Remains of this ancient Classical Greek city, most famously represented by the Parthenon and other remains that top the Acropolis, are an inevitable focus; along with the refurbished National Archeological Museum, the finest collection of Greek antiquities which some say are unmatched, on a global scale!

Acropolis, located in the heart of the city on a rocky promontory of 156 meters testifies to the apogee of ancient Greek civilization. Between 447 and 406, four monuments were born: the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, the Propylaea, monumental entrance to the Acropolis, the temple of Athena Nikê, a marble building at the top of a high tower and the Erechtheion, sanctuaries supported by porticoes which form the main place of worship. 

After much looting and damage, Athens is currently trying to protect the UNESCO World Heritage Site from weather and pollution.

In addition, the Lycabettus, a hill which dominates Athens at 277 meters, allows one to observe the latter as well as its many ancient and modern monuments. The summit is accessible by funicular or for the bravest, on foot.

Outside Athens: 

The burial mound from the great victory at Marathon, temple of Poseidon at Soúnio, sanctuaries at Ramnous and Eleusis are classic sites. Outside Athens are also several accessible beaches all around the coast.

Peloponnese: 

The cultural riches and natural beauty of the Peloponnese seem to have the best of almost everything Greek. The medieval remains are the amazing Venetian, Frankish, and Turkish castles of Náfplio, Methóni, and ancient Corinth; the strange battle towers and frescoed churches of the Máni; and the extraordinarily well-preserved Byzantine enclaves of Monemvasia and Mystra. 

Cyclades:

Cradle of the Minoan civilization, the southernmost of the Greek islands has managed to preserve the uniqueness of its glorious culture and the majestic vestiges of its civilization. From Heraklion to Chania, from Rethymnon to Lassithi, the heart of Crete beats in the deep gorges, in the preserved villages and in the plates garnished with this healthy and colorful gastronomy, classified as an intangible cultural heritage by Unesco.

Sunset on Santoríni: 

Relaxing overlooking Santoríni’s crater would be one of the best things to see in Greece. The island of lovers par excellence. A little gem in the South Aegean, in the Cyclades, with its white-walled houses and blue cupolas on top of a cliff, facing the caldera, formed in 1500 BC when the crater of the island’s volcano s collapsed and which overlooks the sea in a sheer drop. Almost desert and in the shape of a crescent moon, it has many beaches, such as Red Beach with its red sand and rocks. Santorini is one of the most visited islands each year.

Shipwreck Bay, Zakynthos: 

Sit back and enjoy the unforgettable scenery of Greece’s poster beaches. 

Zante or Zakynthos:

Nicknamed “The Diamond of the Ionian Sea”, the island is part of the archipelago of the Ionian Islands. It is famous for its fine sandy beaches, including that of Laganàs. As for the Blue Caves, which are a series of geological formations, they are spread over the eastern coast of Cape Skinari and can be visited by boat either in the early morning or at sunset when the light reflects in the water.

Metéora monasteries:

These monasteries, rising like ecclesiastical eagles’ nests, are among the most awe-inspiring religious sites on earth.

Ýdhra:

Perhaps the most scenic place in Greece is the bare granite cliffs of Ýdhra (aka Hydra) soon part to reveal the fabulous horseshoe of its harbor. 

Climb Mount Olympus: 

A trek to the home of the Greek gods is supremely atmospheric for view enthusiasts and a worthwhile challenge for hikers.

Mystra: 

Famously known as a ghost town, Mystra offers tourists a time capsule for the modern tourist to step through to the Byzantine age.

Samariá Gorge, Crete: 

The 16km descent is an unforgettable hike and this lush and leafy gorge is enclosed by towering rock faces.

Lion Gate at Mycenae: 

Relics of lions guard the main entrance to the Citadel of Mycenae incredibly for thirty-odd centuries. 

Skópelos: 

You can see why Hollywood’s location scouts chose this as the ultimate sun-drenched Greek escape, when you see this island. 

Delphi:

In the sixth century BC. J.-C, the Mount Parnassus, Panhellenic sanctuary of the city dedicated to the oracle of Apollo which appeared through the intermediary of the pythia was regarded as the center of the world and the symbol of the country. Located in Phocis (north-west of Athens), the archeological site, which allows you to see the valley, includes several monuments such as the theater with its stone bleachers and the stadium. A visit to the museum is also recommended to see the treasures preserved, in particular the charioteer, the statue of a life-size man, standing (1.80 m) and discovered in 1896.

Sifnos:

The island which becomes THE place in Greece to discover. Its authenticity and its varied and green landscapes (countryside with olive trees but also valleys and mountains) make it a very popular destination for tourists, especially for its fine sandy beaches and its many monasteries. Hikers will also find suitable paths to explore the surroundings. Its capital, Apollonia, with its picturesque streets is also to be discovered.

Food

For a true taste of Greece, order up a plate of mezédhes (meze). This is a platter of starters and dips accompanied by a glass of ouzo. You’ll get tzatziki, saganaki, feta, chips, all sorts of breads, grilled veggies, salads, lamb, watermelon, calamari, and whatever else is in the kitchen. 

Travel Guide/Things To Know

  • If you’re planning to get around the islands or mainland of Greece you’ll find roads wind back and forth and back and forth. They can be fun for the first thirty minutes, but after driving for two hours they can cause car sickness. 
  • At the Greek Isles, expect slow and sometimes late ferry schedules. 
  • The Greek financial market  has left harsh stipulations on cash withdrawals and transfers for Greek bank accounts. So leave your credit cards back in your wallets.
  • While in Greece, eat and enjoy as many great local Greek products as you can. The famous “Greek yogurt” from Greece is among some of the best you will ever taste. 
  • Plastic pollution is a problem in Greece, don’t contribute to the problem and buy a travel bottle that you can refill. 
  • Greece in the Spring or Fall is cold, you may want something a little warmer. 
  • You’ll do a lot of walking around Greece in the hot sun. Hiking sandals helps your feet to breathe and they do not collect sand when trudging through the desert. 

Our Top Favorite Pick

Delphi: In a picturesque natural setting, this ancient site has retained its mystique through the centuries. Greece offers up a premier travel destination, book a trip right away!  

Best Beaches In Greece That Are Less Populated

Whether it’s to party, or relax with your family, tourists imagine white houses with blue shutters overlooking the limpid waters of the Mediterranean. 

For families

The beaches of Pano Koufonisi (Koufonisia)

In the Small Cyclades, Pano Koufonissi has a tour which can be done in three hours on foot. The sandy beaches are close to each other, and the island has many guesthouses and small charming hotels suitable for families. 

Among the beaches, one, in particular, is worth the detour: that of Italida (“Italian” in Greek), the largest and the closest to the port.  

The neighboring island of Kato Koufonisi, larger and wilder, is also interesting to visit, but since it has no accommodation it is more suitable for day trips

Manganari Beach, Ios

Located opposite the port and the main village of Chora, Manganari beach in Ios is one of the most beautiful on the island.

It is a series of small sandy coves, a rare sight in the area. The waters here are shallow, which makes it a safe place for children. Many guesthouses, also ideal for families, are available in the surrounding area.

For water sports enthusiasts

Agios Prokopios, Naxos

Naxos and Paros are perfect for water sports enthusiasts as they have many nautical clubs accessible to all levels. 

In Naxos, the beach of Agios Prokopios, a large expanse of sand protected from the wind and large waves, is ideal for a first diving or kitesurfing experience. This beach is located a few kilometers from the port and the airport. On the neighboring island of Paros, Golden Beach also has many water sports clubs and equipment rental shops, plus a festive atmosphere thanks to the presence of several beach bars.

For nature enthusiasts

A small pebble beach, Mouros is accessible by a steep path from the main road on the island of Amorgos. 

On the easternmost island of the Cyclades, Amorgos’s beach blue is dark, a sign of the depth of the sea. And the wind blows constantly (especially during the summer), which makes the island one of the best kitesurfing spots. 

Amorgos has little tourist infrastructure. Many monasteries are to be discovered along the hiking trails, enough to combine nature and culture. Although small, Mouros is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Count about ten minutes walk from the main road. Several caves are easily accessible by swimming. To enjoy the beauty of the place, nothing better than having a drink at the tavern overlooking the beach.

Sarakiniko Beach, Milos

With its lunar atmosphere, Sarakiniko beach is one of the most photographed in the Aegean Sea. 

The island of Milos is famous for being the place of discovery of the statue of Aphrodite, known as Venus de Milo. It has more than 70 beaches, all marked by their volcanic character. The most spectacular of these is undoubtedly that of Sarakiniko, located a 45-minute walk from the port of Adamas. With its white chalk cliffs sculpted by the wind and the waves, this beach looks like a lunar landscape. No wonder this natural site is among the most photographed in the Aegean Sea. 

It is best to go there early in the morning or at sunset. With the absence of shade and the whiteness of the rocks being conducive to reverberation, the atmosphere can quickly become suffocating in the event of strong heat. 

The beaches of Serifos

Megaro Livadi Beach recalls the mining past of Serifos which is an island that remains unknown despite its proximity to Athens. 

Even at the height of the season, you can count on certain tranquility.  Marked by arid landscapes, the island has nearly 70 beaches and coves, most of which are undeveloped. Psili Ammos, located in a picturesque bay, is among the most popular (and busiest) on the island and is a few kilometers from the main port of Livadi. For even more calm, head for the beaches of Platis Gialos (north) and Megaro Livadi (southwest). The latter is near abandoned quarries, testimony to the mining past of Serifos.

To party

Kalo Livadi Beach, Mykonos

High-end villas and hotels are located around Kalo Livadi beach in Mykonos. 

Mykonos is arguably the most party-loving of the Greek islands. To enjoy a chic and chill festive atmosphere, head for Kalo Livadi beach, ten kilometers from the capital. 

Several 5-star hotels and villas are located a little behind this beach. 

A beach has the advantage of being extensive, which is relatively rare in Mykonos. The Aegon Mykonos Autograph Collection, complete with a spa and two outdoor pools, embodies the elegance of the place. The three bars that share the stretch of sand broadcast music throughout the day and rent deck chairs and parasols.

Achla Beach, Andros

The boat is the preferred way to access Achla beach, on the island of Andros. 

Municipality of Andros

From Athens (port of Rafina), it can be reached in just two hours with fast ferries. Among the greenest in Greece, it has been renowned since Antiquity for its vineyards and fruit trees. 

Achla beach, marked by its crystal clear waters and cliffs, is undoubtedly the most beautiful on the island. Around the beach, there are streams and small lakes suitable for swimming. Many plane trees provide beneficial shade on hot days. Access by road is only possible with an all-terrain vehicle. The safest and fastest way to get there is still by boat from Chora, the capital of Andros (20 minutes).

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