Travel tips for the best holidays in Greece by freelance writer Harper Reid:
As the weather cools and you’re reluctantly pulling your coat and boots from hibernation, perhaps you’re daydreaming about planning your holidays in Greece for next summer. If so, great choice! Whether you’re looking to party the nights away or relax on a tranquil beach far away from other tourists, Greece has plenty to offer you. Island hopping is particularly easy in Greece, with many of its islands well-connected to one another and to the Athenian port of Piraeus. To get started, consider the following tips:
Think about what you want to do and see on your holidays in Greece
You’ve probably heard of the tourist favourites of Santorini and Mykonos, but Greece is home to over 150 inhabited islands, which can make planning feel a little overwhelming. Essentially, there are seven ‘groups’ of islands, including Crete, which is by far the biggest island. Island hopping can involve any number of islands, but choosing one group to focus on will make your planning easier to plan and will involve less travelling time. Each island is different, but many share similarities with their fellow islands in the same group.
Perhaps you’d like to check out ancient ruins, or maybe you’re on a mission to find the best beaches. First, make a list of what you’d like to do during your holidays in Greece; you’ll then be able to narrow down your choice of islands.
You’ll then have to choose your first stop for your holidays in Greece. If you’re flying into Athens, you’ve got plenty of options, as many ferries start their journeys here. Where you go is up to you, but popular destinations reachable from Athens include Santorini, home of the picturesque white-and-blue buildings, Rhodes, the perfect place to soak in the sunshine, and Crete, where you can explore the enchanting ancient ruins of Knossos. Many ferries offer overnight trips; you can generally choose to book a small cabin or to sleep on the floor of the ferry. What you decide to do will depend on your budget and the strength of your sense of adventure!
Be prepared for differences from other European countries
- Greek merchants often prefer cash, so always try to have enough for the day on you.
- Plenty of Greeks smoke indoors even though it’s been ruled illegal, so try not to be offended if someone lights up next to you.
- Don’t be surprised if you come across a sign warning you not to flush toilet paper – just ensure that you obey this rule!
Find accommodation in advance for your holidays in Greece
While it’s may be possible to be spontaneous and only start looking for lodging when you arrive at your destination, the Greek islands are exceptionally popular in summer – thus, accommodation sells out quickly. If you’re planning on staying overnight, it’s best to book your room early. If you’re worried about a change of plans, choose a place with a flexible cancellation policy.
Don’t be too committed to your itinerary
Greece is home to a plethora of incredible islands, and it attracts all kinds of travellers. You never know who you might meet or which islands might captivate you, so keep an open mind. One of the best parts of travelling is freedom, and there’s nothing free about being locked into a rigid itinerary!
When your trip is over, and you’ve seen the inside of enough ferries to last you a lifetime, why not head to another amazing European country – this time by plane? There are plenty of incredible summertime destinations reachable from Greece – try Naples for the best pizza you’ll eat in your life, Madrid for awe-inspiring museums, Dublin for city vibes and a break from the never-ending sunshine of Southern Europe, or Portugal for their intriguing egg tarts and other heavenly sweet treats.
Freelance writer Harper Reid happily lives in the gorgeous city of Auckland, New Zealand. She has produced articles for sites and blogs, as well as for various local businesses such as Keith Andrews. She loves browsing travel articles and magazines to feed her wanderlust between journeys. Her eye is currently set on Norway – to experience sleeping under the beautiful night sky and see the Aurora Borealis. Get to know more about Harper and her published work on Tumblr.