Greece Travel Guide
The Ancient Land of Gods
Greece remains a premier-league travel destination despite the battering its economy has received in recent years. Visit Greece and you’ll discover a country with incredible historic sites spanning four millennia, encompassing both the legendary and the obscure. The Greek coastline is punctuated by superb beaches, while its mountainous interior urges you to dust off your hiking boots and explore. Yet perhaps its greatest riches are the Greek islands, ranging from backwaters where the boat calls twice a week to resorts like Santorini and Mykonos.
If you’re travelling around Greece as part of a bigger trip, Athens is a necessary stop. Home to a third of the population and the magnificent Acropolis, the Greek capital is a true metropolis. Further north, Thessaloniki gives the capital a run for its money, with sophisticated restaurants, a buzzing nightlife and its own culture scene. Don’t think the Greek islands hold the country’s only beautiful beaches: the long, sandy stretches of the Peloponnese are well worth a visit and easily accessible from the mainland.
Take the tourist road less travelled with a trip around the Central Mainland or North Mainland, with brilliant mountain hiking and trekking opportunities as well as tones of history and the all-important spectacular beaches. The islands are really the jewel in Greece’s crown, though and a must when you visit Greece. Depending on how much time you have, it’s best to pick one group of islands to explore (or to sit back and relax on).
The Agro Saronic Island, just a stone’s throw from Athens, are the perfect destination for multi-stop holiday. Over on the west coast, you’ll find some of Greece’s most famous spots in the lush green Ionian islands including Corfu Kefalonia. For easy island hopping, you can’t beat the beauty of the Cyclades. The size and close proximity of Santorini, Mykonos and co are ideal for a short stay on each. Further north, the Sporades are easily navigable, with Skiathos an easy starting point thanks to its international airport. For a more authentic Greek atmosphere, the islands of the East and North Aegan are worth visiting.
Further southeast in the Aegean sea, you’ll find the Dodecanese island. Here, Rhodes, two of Greece’s largest and most-visited islands, are the stars of the show. If you don’t have time to spare, a stay on Grete just might give you everything you could want in a Greek island and more, with its top notch beaches, remote spots and friendly people.
Greece Travel Essentials
WHEN TO GO
May/June, (summer peak season; best for trekking) or Sep/Nov
HOW LONG IN GREECE?
1 full days for Athens; 10 days for the highlights; 2-3 weeks to see everything.
Fly into 15 international airports, buses are plentiful all over Greece, bus from neighboring countries, or train and the main railway routes in Greece are Athens-Thessaloniki, Athens-Patra (served by Proastiakos train till Kiato), Athens/Thessaloniki-Alexandroupoli (Dikaia), Athens/Thessaloniki-Florina and Athens/Thessaloniki-Kalambaka (Meteora) or driving in Greece can be a joy.
Visa-free for most passports (90 days).
Hire a car or use intercity buses/minibuses.
65-70 USD per person per day (mid-range hotel; local meals; bus fares; museum tickets).