Before my stories of Greece become too old to share, I made this decision of giving a good spanking to my lazy bones and share my incredible trip, here on my blog. I will be sharing four different posts about the cities and islands that I travelled. But before that, here is a pretty helpful post about the things that you need to know before you plan a trip to Greece.
Greece is a pretty li’l country having a vast and beautiful coastline, spreading across the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Ionian sea. I fell in love with the Aegean Sea after going there. That sea changes like in every minute. Atlantis doesn’t seem fictional anymore!
Greece is the perfect destination for people who have a knack for mythology and history. It is undoubtedly archaeologists’ paradise. It is ancient and a living proof of the Roman civilization, whose history is astounding! Greece has something for everyone, like the beautiful beaches, and that is why it becomes all the more important to research thoroughly before you go!
Disclaimer: I explored Athen, Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini. I missed many beautiful islands, but I am pretty happy with the entire trip. This post is written to give a general idea of how things are in Greece.
Here are a few things which you should keep in mind while planning a trip to Greece. These are the few things I learned while doing my research, which proved to be helpful, and few things are just my real experiences which I really should pass on!
Three things – plan, plan and plan!
- Plan with some time in hand. Greece is not the place which you can cover in a week. Set aside at least 14 days to cover this country. The more, the merrier. Factually, there are around 6000 islands in Greece. Less than 5% of these islands are inhabited. So, that leaves you with some 250 islands. Of course, you need not complete all – some need days to explore and some need a few hours. However, every island is different, so-
- –Research well. You don’t have to hop to all the islands, as I mentioned. We created our itinerary based on our interests:
- Athens because I am Greek Mythology buff
- Mykonos because it is the party animal’s paradise. I hear the locals calling it Ibiza of Greece
- Naxos because we wanted a peaceful place where there was not a lot to see
- Santorini because it’s Santorini. Plus, it was our honeymoon, and there is no way we would have skipped it!
- When I said research well, I also meant that confirm the timings of every museum or tours that you wish to take. They depend heavily on the weather and the tourism footfall.
- Schengen visa is required for most tourists and is not very difficult to get – as long as all your documents (tickets, hotel booking vouchers etc) are in place. . It takes 5 to 25 days to process. Apply at least 8 weeks before your travel date. Even if your visa is rejected, you will have ample time to apply again!
Best time to visit Greece
- May to October is the best time to visit Greece. And don’t compromise with that time. Cheapest flights to Greece are in November but trust me, and you won’t enjoy it then. Why? Read on!
- Keep in mind that the Greek economy is not the most flourishing one and tourism is the primary source of income. So, you have to be very particular about your time of visit, bookings of the hotels, cruises and everything. When I said that May to October is the best time to visit Greece, you will see many of the finest hotels or not-so-great hotels and functional only from April till November because of the crashing economy. I went there in April. It was still winters, so yes, pretty chilly there and many of the renowned places were not yet open for visitors. They function only during the favourable months of the year.
- Though it is a good idea to travel light, it’s a better idea to carry a few winter wear. We flew in April and yet ended up wearing our jackets almost every day! Carry that umbrella too. It doesn’t rain in Athens in April, but guess what? It did!
Moving around and in and out of the islands
- Moving around is easy. You can quickly identify the yellow-coloured taxis. In places like Athens, you can walk. Some peaceful islands are best to walk or cycle around. Also, ferries are readily available. They are timed and take you around the archipelago quite well!
- Driving around the islands of Greece is fun, so make sure that you have your IDP(International Driving Permit) in place. That is the safest way to rent bikes/cars/ATVs in Greece. You might get vehicles without your IDP, but that is not legal at all. BEWARE!
Let’s talk food
- Food is cheap! If you love to explore various eating options, Greece is the place to be. Even for vegetarians, it is exotic. You will get their traditional bread, fries, salted vegetables and tzatziki with every meal. You can not escape Gyros here. I tripped on hummus and pita! Also, tzatziki sauce is something you will always find in our fridge! And you get a lot of food for an average adult in around 11 Euros!
- Greek wine and Ouzo are worth giving a try! The sweet dessert wine is pretty heavy and has all my love. And the Ouzo, which is an anise-flavoured spirit, should not be given a miss!
Few other things to keep in mind..
- Greece is cheap but not the cheapest. Yes, Greece is less expensive than many other European tours destination. But it is not the most affordable and certainly not in the peak season. That is why I keep telling you guys to plan and book well in advance!
- Cash is king. Make sure to carry enough Euros for local eateries and shopping. Also, I don’t put my credit card in every machine around the world. It is not safe guys!
I will be sharing some of my amazing travel stories from Greece all through February because it is the month of love. And Greece is probably one of the most romantic places that I have ever visited. No, Greece (including Santorini and Mykonos) is not overrated. Greece is everything but overrated. It is beautiful!
Have you been to Greece? Tell me your “that one thing” about Greece!