Greece is a popular travel destination for luxury travelers and honeymooners, boasting stunning Mediterranian waters, ancient architecture, and endless culinary delights. Whether you like vibrant nightlife or relaxing in the sun, Greece has something for everyone.
As with any foreign destination, proper planning is essential to enjoy your travels in Greece. Here are seven tips to get the most out of your trip.
Determine Your Destinations and Timeline
One of the most challenging aspects of traveling to Greece is determining where to go on a limited timeline. This stunning country is known worldwide for its incredible islands, but it also boasts a fantastic mainland. It's up to you to decide whether you want to stay around Athens or hop the islands, staying in Mykonos villas, watching the sunset in Santorini, and hiking in Crete.
Identify how much time you have available and what places appeal the most to you. Unless you have months to spare, it's unlikely that you'll get to experience everything on your first trip.
Book your Accommodations Early
As Greece is such a popular destination, it's essential to book your accommodations well in advance. Those luxury villas in Mykonos and balcony rooms in Santorini get booked up quickly. Having the ideal accommodations can make or break your trip.
Plan on booking your accommodations at least six months ahead of your trip— more if possible.
Go Where the Locals Go
Rather than looking up the best restaurants and cafes, talk to the locals and go where they go to eat. This method is the best way to get the real Greek experience and enjoy the authentic local cuisine.
If you travel from island to island, there will be regional dishes and drinks to try in addition to the well-known Greek delights. However, if you don't ask or explore, you'll never find the small hole-in-the-wall restaurants that make this region so delightful.
Adjust to the Relaxed Culture
If you're traveling from the US, be prepared for a culture shock. Whereas North America tends to be fast-paced with respect for timelines and itineraries, that's not the case in Greece. You'll find that the culture is far more relaxed, with stores closing down in the afternoon for a break and dinner being served at 10 pm.
While it can be an adjustment, it's worth going with the flow and enjoying the slower pace. Eating is meant to be a slow process with a focus on relaxation and communication. Plan your outings around the Greecian schedule and take some time to unwind.
Be Culturally Sensitive
Keep in mind that many smaller settlements and towns are quite traditional, especially where the older population dwells. You may be required to have your shoulders covered to enter some locations, such as churches and museums.
It's also important to keep in mind that some parts of Greece are quite impoverished. Be mindful of your comments and behaviors during your explorations.
Learn the Language Basics
It can be tremendously helpful to learn some basic Greek letters and words. Ideally, you'll learn enough to greet someone and ask them if they speak English. While many Greek people speak some English, they also enjoy it when visitors take an interest in their culture and give their language a shot.
While Greece is temperate year-round, packing the right clothing is essential to enjoy your trip. You may get acclimatized to the warmer days, leaving you cooler during the evenings. Pack plenty of sunscreen and lightweight layers to keep you covered.
Travelers from North America and the UK will also need C and F plug adaptors. Greek outlets look similar to UK outlets but are actually smaller, leading to a nasty surprise for many travelers. These adaptors are sometimes labeled "Southern Europe."
With these travel tips, you can plan an unforgettable vacation to Greece. Give yourself ample time to plan your trip and enjoy this beautiful part of the world.