The answers to all your questions about your next Greece trip!
Greece is the ultimate location for all kinds of travelers. The country is a historic hub, an adventurers paradise, and a beach vacationers haven all at once. Whether you’re a budget explorer or a luxury-loving traveler, you will fall in love with Greece. This Greece Travel Guide will help you to answer any questions you have about this unique destination so that you can get planning your trip!
When to go?
Most travel guides will probably tell you that the busiest time in Greece is during the summer months, from July to August. Of course, most people are enjoying their summer holidays then and the summer weather in Greece is something to brag about. However, the best time to visit Greece is actually during ‘shoulder’ seasons in the spring and autumn. From April until June and September until October you will find that the weather is much milder, and the crowds are not as overbearing. Traveling during the off-season usually also means that the price tag for your trip will be that much less.
Where to visit?
Greece is such a versatile country, from the historic downtown of Athens to the magic of the Greek Islands. Depending on the time you’ve reserved for the trip, you may explore only the mainland, only the islands, or… perhaps both? You can be sure that your travels will guide you to some amazing locations.
If you’re planning on sticking to the mainland, here’s where you should visit:
- Thessaloniki, the perfect gateway for your trip
- Ladadika (for night life)
- The White Tower (for a look into the fascinating history of Thessaloniki)
- Aristotelous Square (the main square)
- The many churches
- Ano Poli (the highest point in the city)
- Thessaloniki waterfront (perfect spot for watching the sunset)
- Meteora, magnificent rock structures and monasteries
- Go hiking!
- Explore the monasteries (even the abandoned ones)
- Hang out in the near-by towns of Kalampaka and Kastraki
- Delphi, the hub of history
- The famous temple of Apollo
- Hosios Loukas (discover Middle Byzantine architecture and art)
- The Theatre and the Stadium of Delphi (surrounded by amazing landscapes)
- Athens, one the world’s oldest cities
- Parthenon (an iconic historic site)
- Plaka (the city’s old quarter)
- Go on a walking tour (the best way to get a crash course of the city, and you only pay what you think the tour’s worth)
- Temple of the Olympian Zeus
If you’re heading to the islands, we have a list of The Top 5 Islands in Greece for you to visit. From undiscovered pearls to beach paradises, you can be sure to find an island to fit your vibe. However, there is one island we would like to add to the list, which is Santorini. This island is popular amongst tourists and jaw-droppingly beautiful. If you want to avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting Santorini during the off-season.
Make sure to add these activities to your Santorini bucket list:
- Go swimming at the Red Beach
- Rent an ATV and go driving around the island
- Hike the caldera path connecting Fira and Oia
- Stroll the streets of the whitewashed towns of Oia, Fira and Firostefani
How long should your trip be?
As you can see, there is a lot to see in Greece. If you’re planning on only staying on the mainland or only on the islands, the minimum recommendation for your stay is 4 days. However, we recommend at least a week for either. If you’re planning to spend some time on the mainland and then continuing to the islands, reserve at least two weeks.
What to eat?
Traveling to Greece is a Mediterranean culinary experience. That being said, you will not be disappointed by the food and it just so happens to be an essential element of our Greece Travel Guide. You’ll also find that food in Greece is very cheap, so you’re in luck. Here are some must-try foods for your Greece trip:
- Gyro is a classic street food you’ll find everywhere. A gyro has meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie, sauce, tomato and onion wrapped in a pita.
- Greek salad
- Ok, nothing beats a good Greek salad. First of all, because the Greeks are masters at feta, and secondly, because the olives in your salad will be fresh.
- Gelato, gelato, gelato
- You might not find this in every travel guide as a recommendation for Greece, as Italy is usually known for its gelato-making skills. However, gelato in Greece is not only widely available and cheap, but so good.
- Another food you’ll find widely available is souvlaki, which is basically meat-on-a-skewer. Some street food stands will even have vegetarian options!
- Dessert lovers, here’s one for you! Made from layers of dough, syrup, nuts and cinnamon, this Greek dessert is a must-try.
- Greece has an awesome coffee culture, which is not to be missed if you’re a coffee lover. The options are many, but the Greek frappe made from water, instant coffee and sugar is definitely worth a try. If you were part of the dalgona coffee craze, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
What about budget?
You’re in luck because Greece is a very cheap place to travel to! In fact, you can get by with spending about 40 euros a day including all costs. Whether your trip guides you to the islands or to the Greek mainland, it is definitely possible to plan a budget trip to Greece. Are you a luxury-loving traveler? There are options for you, too. However, if you’re planning a budget trip, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Go off-season, especially if you’re traveling to the islands
- In the cities, go on free walking tours
- The Greek cities, especially Athens and Thessaloniki, hold so much- the free walking tour is the perfect option to get a quick and informative glimpse of all the cities have to offer
- Book accommodation in advance, and opt for Airbnb’s if traveling in a group!
- Enjoy the street food- it’s delicious and often cheaper than sitting down at restaurants
Where to stay and what it will cost?
You’ll find plenty of options for accommodation in Greece, and especially the cities will have lots of options. On the mainland, the average prices range from 10 euros/night for the most budget options (i.e. hostels) to 150 euros/night for the cheapest five-star hotel options. If you’re planning a group trip or perhaps a co-working getaway, Airbnb will serve as the best option.
On the islands, especially touristy ones like Santorini, you can expect to pay a little more. Budget options like hostels will cost you around 20 euros/night at best, while the cheapest 5-star options start at 250 euros/night. The white-washed cave homes of Santorini and the islands are definitely a sight to see, and there are many Airbnb’s where you actually have the opportunity to stay in one. If you have the budget to do so, this is definitely the way to go!
Basic facts to know before traveling to Greece?
Here’s a list of quick facts to guide you on your Greece trip:
- The currency used in Greece is the euro
- You’ll often be using cash to pay
- The official language is Greek- about 50% speak English, though
- Basically everything is closed on Sundays
- Stores also close for a while during midday, usually from 2pm(ish) to 5pm(ish)
- The toilet situation: when going to the bathroom, there will usually be signs for you to dispose of your *used* toilet paper in a basket- the pipes in Greece are narrow and very old
- The traffic in Greece can get… hectic.
- Especially in cities, look both ways before crossing the road
- Some restaurants and cafes still allow smoking inside
- The public transportation is cheap, but expect for it to not always be on time
- Greece is the home of chill vibes- the local atmosphere is the definition of laid-back vibes!
- If you’re a cat lover- you’re in luck! The streets of the cities are roaming with cats
We hope that this Greece Travel Guide will help you get started on planning your next adventure to Greece! Be sure to check out all our amazing trips at JoinMyTrip to lead a trip or to join a ready-planned trip with some like-minded travel mates!