“Greece has got something like 1,400 islands. There is so much of Greece you can’t know even if you’re Greek. It’s sprinkled out all around the edge of the Aegean, all over the place. It’s already a secret place wherever you go, even if it’s somewhere huge like Athens or Corinth. The place enchanted me.” – Joanna Lumley
Why visit Greece
In recent times this country has become more modern. You will see fashionably dressed young people, many of whom speak English (which was helpful for us, since we don’t know Greek).
The old ladies dressed in black is still a common sight. You can spot them working in the gardens or following flocks of sheep over the steep mountains. Another common sight is the elderly Greek men playing backgammon in tiny, smoky cafes or at the wooden tables under a shady tree.
Unfortunately, Greece became more expensive than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Many Greeks complain that prices exploded after Greece adopted the euro in 2001.
Even if it is not a dirt-cheap country anymore, it has the same rich heritage: ancient ruins, history, mythology. The food is fresh, delicious and healthy. Did you know that Greeks consume more olive oil per capita than any other country in the world? Of course, being the country, which produces lots of excellent olive oil, helps.
In Greece, they look at time differently than in other western countries. Living in such a hot country, the Greeks have the traditional afternoon siesta. It’s a long one too, from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Don’t even try to get anything done during this time – you will not succeed!
Almost any tour of Greece starts in Athens. Make sure you will stay close to Acropolis. Climb to the top of this famous hill. Marvel at Parthenon and at the views of Athens.
Do not miss the Plaka area. You can have dinner at the outside table while enjoying the sight of the lit Acropolis. To save money, we bought two gyros at one of the hole-in-the-wall shops and ate it on the bench while watching people go by.
Where to sleep in Greece
(select accommodation from the best hotel booking sites)
- HotelsCombined.com (Compare all the top travel sites in one simple search)
- Trivago.com (Find your ideal hotel and compare prices from different websites)
- Booking.com (Over 2,119,000 hotels online. Hostels. Apartments. Motels)
- Priceline.com (Find a lower price, you’ll get a refund 100% of the difference)
- Hotels.com (Book now, pay when you stay)
- Travelocity.com (The price match guarantee. Free changes & cancellations)
- Expedia.com (Sign up for member prices and you could save 10% or more)
- Agoda.com (Guaranteed lowest price on hotels, resorts,
hostels, homes & more)
- HostelWorld.com (Stay in a hostel and meet the real world, not the tourist brochure)
Book your flight to Greece
Best time to visit Greece
It is a very hot country. If you do not tolerate heat very well, go in September or October, but better in the spring (March or April) when everything is green, and many ruins are covered by a carpet of spring flowers. These shoulder periods are also less expensive than summer when the majority of Northern Europeans are traveling south for fun in the sun.
In Greece, many locals understand English. You will not have problems communicating with hotel employees, waiters, shop owners, travel agents. You will be surprised by the number of people who speak English even in places not frequented by tourists.