The Ultimate Greece Travel Guide 2023: Things to Know Before Traveling

Greece is a favorite destination for many travelers. Its diverse culture and landscapes have put this intriguing land on travelers’ bucket lists for a long time. 

If you´re aiming for a getaway to Greece, you’ve come to the right place. I created the Ultimate Greece Travel Guide to help you craft the best itinerary and plan your trip.. 

Greece offers a nice range experiences, including romantic getaways, exciting adventures, party hotspots, and relaxing beach escapes, which explains why so many people flock here every year.

To top it all, Greece is world-famous for its millenary history. Wherever you deide to go, you’ll surely come across ancient Greco-Roman ruins, charming medieval towns and villages, and urban neo-classical highlights.. 

Also, Greece’s diverse culture and varied landscapes offer memorable experiences which include delicious gastronomy, lavish holidays at top-rated resorts, tours to impressive monasteries perched on high mountains, and carefree adventures in gorgeous beaches. 

So, let’s go further  in detail about where to go in Greece, what to do, and the essential tips needed for the finestand most authentic Greek experience. 

Overview of Acropolis in Athens
Acropolis Athens – Photo from Canva

Table of Contents

Greece Travel Guide: At A Glance

✔️ Capital City: Athens 

✔️ Official Language: Modern Greek

✔️ Official Religion: 90% of the population identifies with Greek Orthodox Christianity

✔️ Currency: Euro (€)

✔️ Major Cities: Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras

✔️ International Airports: Greece boasts 14 airports, but only 7 of them are international airports. The largest and busiest one is Athens International Airport. Other important international airports are Heraklion, Rhodes, and Mykonos.

✔️ Time Zone: UTC +2 EET

✔️ Type of Plug: Greece operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz, with two plug types commonly used, C and F.

✔️ Fun Fact: Most people picture Greece as a blue fantasyland surrounded by blue waters and beautiful beaches. And yes, it is, but it is actually composed of 80% mountain terrain, making it one of the most mountainous countries in Europe.

ancient building
Parthenon – Photo from Canva

Where to go in Greece?

If you are plotting a getaway to Greece, you might be wondering exactly which destinations to include in your itinerary. Greece boasts a splendid coastline, intriguing islands, gorgeous beaches, impressive archaeological sites, and lush mountainous landscapes.

Throw in its rich cultural heritage and you have a fantastic holiday spot for every type of traveler. With so many fantastic spots on the menu, it can get complicated to decide where to go, but this post is intended to help you decide.

Scroll down for a look at some of Greece’s best cities, islands, and regions you will surely love.

📍 Athens 

Athens is Greece’s largest city as well as the country´s capital, home to a population of more than 3 million. Its location on south-central mainland Greece makes it a wonderful base city not only for exploring the rest of the Greek mainland but also as a jumping-off point for getaways to the Aegean Sea’s most famous islands.

Athens is also the epicenter of the ancient Greek civilization. So, if you´re aiming to learn more about the country’s long, rich history, the capital city features archaeological sites like the iconic Acropolis complex, as well as impressive museums.

Hadrian's Library
Hadrian’s Library – Photo from Canva

📍 Greek Islands

There are many Greek islands worth visiting, but I will go over some of the most famous ones that offer a wide range of experiences for different types of travelers and moods.

👉🏻 Santorini (for Couples)

Located about 200 km (125 mi) southeast of Athens, Santorini belongs to the Cyclades island group.

Generally speaking, the Cyclades are considered the most beautiful in the Aegean Sea, offering rich cultural and historical sites amidst breathtaking landscapes and whitewashed buildings.

Santorini is also an absolute geological treasure. Famous for its still active volcano, it is a dream for nature lovers and geology aficionados. 

Santorini’s most popular spots are the five villages of Fira, Imerovigli, Oia, Firostefani, and Akrotiri, They sit atop a caldera, offering heart-stopping views of the crater that resulted from a 16th-century BC volcanic eruption.

The dreamy island offers fantastic luxury hotels and resorts that feature infinity pools, cool clifftop wineries, and dreamy sunset dinners, making it a fabulous spot for honeymoons and couples.

If you´re yearning for a romantic escape with your other half, Santorini is just the place.

Blue domed church in Santorini - one of the things you can look forward to in our Greece Travel Guide
Santorini Church – Photo from Canva

👉🏻 Mykonos (for the Best Nightlife)

Mykonos is part of the Cycladic island group too, being one of the most beautiful and unique islands in the Aegean Sea. Featuring fantastic beaches, charming white-washed houses, luxury resorts and hotels, as well as killer boutique shops and lively beach bars, Mykonos is a great spot for party owls.

That is not to say that Mykonos doesn´t have the characteristic mesmerizing landscapes of other Greek islands. It does, and they are wonderful, both in urban and rural areas.

Mykonos Town and Chora, featuring pretty island architecture, are the two main towns on Mykonos Island. With excellent, top-rated restaurants and beautiful landmarks like Kato Mili Windmills and the romantic Old Port, you{‘ll be delightfully entertained when you manage to pry yourself from the beach.

If you’d rather have more of a local experience, the village of Ano Mera boasts real ancient taverns, a 16th-century monastery, and simpler, family-friendly hotels.

👉🏻 Corfu (for Best Outdoor Activities)

Although most travelers are familiar with the Aegean Sea, local people claim that the Ionian Sea is the prettiest one around Greece, with Corfu rated as one of Greece’s most charming and historical islands.

Corfu harbors a unique mix of Venetian, French, and English influences that can be seen in its architecture as soon as you arrive.

Corfu is also home to wonderful nature and plenty of outdoor activities, making it a favorite for nature lovers and adventurers. Top activities include diving around Corfu’s impressive reefs, underwater caves, and old shipwrecks, as well as hiking along the ancient and new trails to explore the island’s countryside.

If you yearn to see Venetian castles, olive groves, rural folk mountain villages, and secluded beaches in one place, Corfu is right on the spot for you.

Aerial view Zakynthos
Greek Island Zakynthos – Photo from Canva

👉🏻 Crete (for Beautiful Beaches)

Crete is Greece’s largest island, with over a thousand kilometers (620 miles) of mesmerizing coastline and some of the nicest beaches in Greece.

A must-visit spot for serious beach lovers, Crete is home to over 110 blue flag-awarded beaches, which include Elafonisi, Balos, Vai, Elounda, and Xerokampos.

Crete is home to many charming villages, beautiful countryside, picture-perfect beaches, wild nature, and incredible history. Be prepared to spend several days here because there’s just too much to see and do.  

👉🏻 Naxos (for Families)

The largest island in the Cyclades island group, Naxos is the greenest one too. Unlike Mykonos and Santorini, which can get pretty busy during the high season, Naxos has a slower, laid-back vibe which makes it a great destination for family holidays.

Made up mostly of long sandy beaches and charming villages, olive groves, lush mountains, and ancient temple ruins, Naxos is also the proud home of more than 200 Byzantine churches and numerous traditional taverns where delicious local gastronomy is generously served.

Overview of Mykonos town
Mykonos – Photo from Canva

👉🏻 Paros (for nature lovers)

Nestled in the heart of the Aegean Sea, Paros is another gem in Greece. If you’re seeking an idyllic escape that seamlessly blends natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture, then Paros should undoubtedly be at the top of your travel bucket list.

As one of the Cyclades Islands in Greece, Paros boasts a mesmerizing coastline adorned with golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Whether you’re a sunseeker craving a relaxing beach retreat or an adventurous soul looking to conquer the waves, the island’s diverse beaches cater to all tastes.

Beyond its stunning coastline, Paros invites you to immerse yourself in its rich historical heritage. Ancient landmarks, charming whitewashed villages, and picturesque windmills paint an enchanting tapestry of its past.

The island’s main town, Parikia, will enthrall you with its labyrinthine streets, traditional tavernas, and lively atmosphere. For a taste of Greek authenticity, venture further to the village of Naoussa, where you can stroll through narrow alleyways and experience the warm hospitality of the locals.

Paros is a haven for art and culture enthusiasts as well. Its artistic legacy is evident in various galleries, workshops, and craft stores that showcase local talents. The island’s vibrant nightlife adds to its charm, offering a mix of trendy bars, beach clubs, and traditional dance venues, ensuring unforgettable evenings.

Nature lovers and outdoor adventurers will find their own paradise on Paros. From hiking scenic trails to indulging in water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing, the island provides ample opportunities to connect with nature and get your adrenaline pumping.

One of the best things to do in Paros is to visit Naoussa and its beautiful beach.
Noussa – Paros

👉🏻 Rhodes (for Historical Sightseeing)

Rhodes is a stunning Cycladic island with a unique mix of cosmopolitan ambiance and medieval architecture. Home to Colossus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, it is a history buff’s heaven, to put it mildly. 

Rhodes also boasts the Old Town, a perfectly preserved medieval town complete with a Venetian castle, the Palace of the Grand Master, the Street of the Knights, and several cobblestone alleys. All in all, it is a fantastic island destination to explore Greece’s rich history.

Rhodes town
Rhodes Town – Photo from Canva

📍 Mainland Greece

👉🏻 Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city and the capital of Macedonia. This coastal city boasts many historical and cultural sites worth visiting, as well as a beautiful promenade lined with a large selection of restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops.

Thessaloniki’s most iconic landmark is the White Tower by the port, which offers stunning vistas., Another popular tourist attraction here is Kamara, a Roman arch that was built in the 3rd century AD.

Thessaloniki – Photo from Canva

👉🏻 Ioannina

Ioannina is a mountainous city in northwest Greece that combines amazing natural beauty with impressive historical buildings.

Surrounded by lush mountains and a gorgeous lake complete with a charming island, Ioannina is a great spot for getting a nice dose of nature and history.

Whether you´re in the mood for a mountain hike or prefer to lounge by the lake or go for a slow boat ride to its island for a delicious meal of eels, trout, or frog legs, Ioannina has your back.

As for cultural sites, Ionnina is home to Byzantine churches, Ottoman buildings, and a prehistoric cave.

However, the most fantastic experiences the area has to offer are Zagorohoria, which are a fairytale-like village with stone houses and bridges, located close to the breathtaking Vikos Gorge.

👉🏻 Kalambaka (Meteora)

This enchanting rural town in the Trikala region is the starting point for exploring the famous suspended monasteries of Meteora.

Although the area is an essential part of Greece’s religious heritage, you don´t need to be religious to marvel at the sight of these magnificent monasteries perched on the mountains. 

If you´re wondering how the suspended monasteries came to be, the answer goes back to Greece´s Ottoman rule.

Byzantine monks and hermits escaped to the mountains for self-preservation, leaving a collection of beautiful installations which you can explore to your heart´s content.

Aerial view of Kalambaka on a sunset
Kalambaka – Photo from Canva

📍 Lesser known Greek destinations 

If you prefer to take the off-the-beaten-path way, here are a few destinations in Greece that are sure to please.

👉🏻 Nafplio

This is a favorite weekend retreat for locals because of its proximity to Athens. Once a hub for intellectuals and artists, Nafplio offers a relaxed, elegant atmosphere amidst Venetian and neo-classical mansions, stone alleyways, fortresses, stunning beaches, and a picturesque harbor. 

Once the capital of Greece, Nafplio is famous for its top-notch hotels, delicious gastronomy, and fine wines. Offering numerous restaurants, wine-tasting bars, and winery tours, it is a superb spot for relaxing, dining, and wining, yet within an easy driving distance from the ancient cities of Mycenae, Tiryns, and Epidaurus.

View of Nafplio Cape
Nafplio Cape – Photo from Canva

👉🏻 Kastoria

Located in western Macedonia, Kastoria is a lovely town with fascinating nature and a beautiful Old Town that is surrounded by a lake.

Because it was once a wealthy town due to its fur trade, Kastoria is filled with luxurious mansions which today offer some of the finest accommodations in northern Greece.

Kastoria is a popular destination for adventure seekers and winter sports fans, featuring fabulous ski resorts and the Arcturos Bear Sanctuary. During the rest of the year, cycling, hiking, and horseback riding around the lake are on the menu.

👉🏻 Monemvasia 

A pretty town on the east coast of the Peloponnese. Monemvasia is a medieval town perched on a large rock that actually rises from the sea, Needless to say, it is a unique destination with mind-boggling vistas of the Aegean Sea.

Founded in the 6th century, Monemvasia became a tourist destination a few years ago, as well as a favorite spot for painters, writers, and other artists. And yes, the whole place is highly Instagrammable.

old fishing boats in Kastoria
Kastoria – Photo from Canva

Top Things to Do in Greece

🏆 Discover the ancient sites, monuments, and history of Athens

5.0 ⭐️ 366 Reviews

The city of Athens is something of a huge museum in and of itself. Whichever way you go within the capital city, you’ll be able to see ancient ruins somewhere in the background or a small piece of history almost everywhere you step.

If you´re into history, I would suggest taking a full-day privately chauffeured tour with an insider’s view. The Full-Day Private Tour is best for those seeking to discover everything about Athens’s marvelous past. 

Our family of 6 went on this tour yesterday and loved it! We had Dimitriuous as our driver and he was so super helpful and knowledgeable about the city. Can’t recommend enough getting the extra guide – we had Vicky – and she was great – especially for the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Yehuda_K, Apr 2023
Erechteion statues in Athens
Erechtheion, Athens – Photo from Canva

🏆 Marvel at the architecture and wine varieties in Santorini

5.0 ⭐️ 340 Reviews

Sure, Santorini is mostly famous for its turquoise waters and white-washed cascading architecture, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a plethora of landmarks, attractions, and historical sites.

A tour to explore the island’s incredible history, culture, art, and cuisine is something I highly recommend.

Santorini in a Day will take you to the most famous spots, such as the picturesque village Oia, the Minoan ruins at Akrotiri, a traditional winery, and a unique black sand beach to fully experience this beautiful island.

This was the perfect day trip during our stay on Santorini. Our driver/guide was extremely knowledgeable and showed us all of the highlights of this beautiful island. We had plenty of time for shopping and exploring and for taking in the history of Santorini. Highly recommend!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Shelly_N, Jan 2023

🏆 Discover the cultural sites, beaches, and food in Crete

5.0 ⭐️ 604 Reviews

As previously mentioned, Crete is the largest island in Greece and more or less like a small, different country, with tons of things to see and do.

By taking the Full-Day Land Rover Safari, you can get a glimpse of Crete’s ancient Minoan history, Cretan farming culture, and the island´s jaw-dropping landscapes.

Kostas was an amazing guide! Full of information about the island! We loved visiting the goat milk farm! Be sure and take treats for the very friendly goats! Going to quaint villages that were so peaceful was a great break from a hectic trip in cities. If you are not in pretty good shape skip the Zeus cave walk! It’s intense but fun , I am 60 and made it ok but was a lot of climbing then stairs in and out. Excellent tour!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Mary_S, Apr 2023
Samaria Gorge in Crete
Samaria, Crete – Photo from Canva

🏆 Go on a hike and enjoy the natural landscape of Corfu

Corfu is easily the best spot to get close and personal with nature, and a favorite for hikers, bikers, and other outdoor adventure seekers.

With over one hundred hiking trails, mountain biking routes, and backpacking spots, all surrounded by striking views.

a woman in red dress sitting on a cliff glancing at the Porto Timoni in Corfu Greece
Porto Timoni in Corfu Greece – Photo from Canva

🏆 Enjoy the clear waters and golden sand of Psarou Beach in Mykonos

Mykonos is surely one of the loveliest islands in Greece, with awe-inspiring beaches that invite you to spend endless hours sunbathing, swimming, and just lounging on the golden sand while sipping a delicious cocktail.

The most popular beach is Psarou Beach, which attracts local and international celebrities, and their luxurious yachts.

aerial view of Psarou Beach
Psarou Beach in Mykonos – Photo from Canva

🏆 Climb the famous Mount Olympus

4.5 ⭐️ 105 Reviews

If you adore Greek mythology and history, as well as outdoor adventures, head to Thessaloniki, where you can get on the incredible Day Trip to Mount Olympus.

The tour will take you to Dion Archaeological and Mount Olympus, home to the ancient Greek gods, and then to Epinea Gorge.

The bus driver and the two guides were outstanding personalities. An extremely relaxing day! very interesting exhibits, especially the Isis temple involved me hard!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Lorenz_I, Mar 2023

🏆 Visit the ancient religious sanctuary in Delphi

4.5 ⭐️ 1,513 Reviews

A not-to-miss destination in Greece is Delphi, which is home to the ancient Delphic Oracle, which was believed to be the center of the world during the classical Greek period.

Today, it is home to myths and monuments of classical Greece as well as the UNESCO-listed archaeological site of the ancient city, which you can explore with a guided tour from Athens.

Wonderful experience.. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and made the trip fun. The trip was just the right amount of the time.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Venkataramana_A, Apr 2023

🏆 Marvel at the ancient theater of Epidaurus

5.0 ⭐️ 131 Reviews

When visiting Greece, I recommend you try to explore the numerous archaeological sites across the country and not limit yourself to Athens, which is certainly worth seeing, but there is much more.

By following the Full Day Trip from Athens to Nafplio, Mycenae, and Epidaurus, you can marvel at 4th-century amphitheaters, spectacular countryside scenery, and ancient ruins while learning more about mythical rulers and features.

Takis is an excelent driver and Very informative person. The tour was fantastic visiting 3 historic places with time enough to explore by our own. The car is very confortable and the price is fair.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Marcio_R, Apr 2023
Epidaurus Theater in Athens
Epidaurus Amphitheater, Athens – Photo from Canva

🏆 Explore the monasteries in Meteora

5.0 ⭐️ 503 Reviews

The most recommended way to explore Meteora is with an expert guide that can give you a full insight into the monasteries’ history, as well as show you the most majestic vistas, which are spectacular at sunset.

The Meteora Sunset Tour from Kalambaka is perfect for those who want to avoid big crowds and wish to immerse in the area’s quiet beauty while learning more about the centuries-old churches, caves, mountaintop monasteries, and the monks’ solitary lifestyle.

We had a smooth pickup at our hotel where the guide and driver arrived in a clean, comfortable van equipped with Wi-Fi. Our extremely knowledgeable guide, Christos, knew the area well and the best locations and provided humor. Our driver Constantine was pleasant and we felt very safe as he maneuvered winding roads.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Deborah_S, Aug 2022
Rocks in Meteora from Kalambaka
Meteora – Photo from Canva

🏆 Visit the Melissani Lake and Drogarati Cave

4.0 ⭐️ 106 Reviews

Kefalonia is a pretty Ionian island that boasts a few exotic beaches, eerie caves, lush groves, and scenic villages.

Among the island’s most dramatic sights, you’ll discover Drogarati Cave and Melissani Lake, which you can explore by taking a tour.

The Half-Day Tour features an informative guide and narrator that will take you to the cave’s stalactites and stalagmites, as well as the lake’s “Sala of Apotheosis”, which also has some splendid rock formations.

Stunning views! Absolutely love Melissani Lake! Excellent customer service too! Highly recommended!!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ SHRHUA_W, Oct 2022

What to eat in Greece?

Greek cuisine is famous all over the world because it is scrumptious yet healthy.

The main ingredients used by the Greeks are olive oil, oregano, thyme, and mint, which add a kick to seafood, meat dishes, and vegetables.

Let’s take a look at some of the best Greek dishes you might want to put on your foodie bucket list.

🍽 Moussaka

Although Moussaka can be found in many other Mediterranean and Balkan countries, the most traditional one is the Greek oven-baked Moussaka.

It consists of layers of minced beef, sauteed eggplants, tomato paste, onion, garlic, and spices, which are topped with a creamy bechamel sauce and cheese before going into the oven.

🍽 Pastitsio (Greek lasagna) 

Pastitsio is also known as Greek lasagna, but to be honest, it is quite different because of the sauce, which is a creamy bechamel that is poured over the pasta and minced meat. Usually paired with a Greek salad, Pastitsio is absolutely delicious.

Pastitsio also known as the Greek Lasagna on a black plate
Pastitsio – Photo from Canva

🍽 Loukoumades

Loukoumades is a must-try dessert that consists of bite-sized golden puffs made of fried dough sprinkled with honey, walnuts, and cinnamon.

They are crispy yet find of fluffy and a bit similar to US donuts. They are a must-taste for those with a sweet tooth.

🍽 Papoutsakia (Stuffed Eggplants)

Papoutsakia, which literally translates into “small shoes”, is a juicy eggplant-based dish similar to Moussaka, but instead of having layers of vegetables, minced meat, and sauce, the eggplants are stuffed with ground beef, fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, and mashed potatoes. Its name derives from its shape, which resembles a little shoe. resemblance to little shoes.

🍽 Keftedes

Keftedes are tasty meatballs made of juicy minced meat mixed with herbs, spices, garlic, red onion, red wine vinegar, egg, and stale bread to seal the mix.

They are usually served as an appetizer but can also be part of a main course with basmati rice and a salad on the side.

White rectangular plate with about 30 loukoumades - small deep fried balls and a honey pot in the background
Loukoumades – Photo from Canva

How to get to Greece?

✈️ Flying to Greece

Travelers visiting Greece usually arrive by flying to one of the country’s international airports, with the largest one being Athens “Eleftherios Venizelos” International Airport.

This terminal has direct flights to and fro most European countries and other parts of the world, including the US, Canada, India, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.

Other international airports with direct flights from a variety of European countries include Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Heraklion in Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Kefalonia, and Kos.

🛳 Taking a cruise to Greece

If you want to go full blast on your Greek vacation and wish to arrive by sea, you can take a cruise or ferry to get there.

There are several cruises that travel between Greece and all of the Mediterranean countries, which is a superb option if you have the budget for it.

If you don´t want to dole out the money for a cruise, though, you can take a ferry from some cities in Italy, Croatia, and Albania to arrive in Greece.

A popular route is a direct ferry from Venice to Patras, which is only a two and half hour’s drive from Athens.

view of Anthony Quinn Bay with blue waters in Rhodes Greece
Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes – Photo from Canva

🚝 Going by bus or train 

If you prefer a more budget-friendly and greener way to travel to Greece, taking a bus or train is also an option.

You can find direct trains and buses that you can board in Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania, Romania, and other Balkan countries.

These are popular ways to travel to Greece with backpackers looking to save some Euros, but also with adventurers wanting to explore as much of Europe as possible.

How to get around Greece?

Greece boasts an excellent public transportation system which allows locals and visitors to travel to most parts of the country easily and comfortably. KTEL bus services are the most widely-used public transport used to travel within Greece. 

For longer distances, locals prefer the national rail network, which is quite efficient, while the most popular way to go island hopping is the ferry system, which has excellent link many islands in the Aegean Sea. 

If you visit Athens, you’ll find it is the only city that has a metro system that allows you to move around the city in a faster and easier way. 

For those who prefer stress-free travel,  there are also many private car services and rentals. An excellent private transportation company is Welcome Pickups, offering good car services at pretty reasonable prices.

A street in Mykonos filled with banderitas
Mykonos Town – Photo from Canva

Best Time to Visit Greece

The best time to visit Greece depends on what you´re aiming for, your weather preferences, and the activities you want to do.

For instance, the best months for a honeymoon escape are June or September because they are still warm for a beach getaway but they are a lot less crowded, so you can better enjoy your partner’s company. 

Widely speaking,  the best time to travel and enjoy everything that Greece has to offer is between late March and early November.

During those months, you can both enjoy mainland Greece and the islands. Also, the weather is ideal for hiking, swimming, sightseeing, and exploring the rural side of the country.

If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy everything without the crowds, September is the best month to visit Greece, avoiding the big crowds.

For the relatively rare traveler looking for a skiing getaway in one of Grece´s 25 ski resorts, December through early March is the season to go.

How many days do you need in Greece?

10 to 15 days are ideal if to explore everything Greece has to offer, including the big cities, some islands, national parks, medieval towns, and archaeological sites.

However, if you have only one week, you can still get a lot out of your vacation.

My recommendation, in that case, is to stay in Athens and take a couple of days to fully explore it. Then, you can explore and go on one or two-day trips to the nearby cities of Nafplio, and Delphi.

This way, you’ll still have three nights to visit an island, or Athens and the Meteora if you prefer.

Now, if you only have a few days, Athens and one Greek island like Santorini is a good idea.

Oia, Santorini – Photo from Canva

Is Greece expensive to visit?

Greece is a top tourist destination, so although it might be considered more budget-friendly than other European countries, it can be quite expensive or pretty affordable, which depends on you. So, the cost of a trip to Greece depends on several things. 

Greece can offer mostly luxury holidays that involve private yacht tours, lavish beach resorts, and fine dining at Michelin-star restaurants.

However, Greece can also be a very affordable destination thanks to the variety of lodging options for all budgets, inexpensive Greek street food, and reasonable public transportation and ferry fees. 

In a nutshell: if you travel to Greece on a budget, be mindful of your expenses.

Budget accommodation costs, flights, local transportation, meals and drinks, tours, and other activities. Also, keep in mind that prices vary between peak and shoulder months.

Is it safe to go to Greece?

In general terms, Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe. Because it attracts over 30 million visitors every year, the country has created an economy focused on tourism, so they make great efforts to keep visitors safe and happy.

Greece has a low violent crime rate, with the majority of tourist destinations remaining untouched by internal conflicts.

However, travelers sometimes are targets for petty crimes like pickpocketing and mugging, as it happens in most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Most time, they take place in high-traffic areas like public transportation or historical landmarks, so it is advised to be alert at all times.

The more alert you are, the less likely you are to be targeted. These things happen more frequently in popular cities like Athens than in rural towns and the islands.

So, be cautious and keep a vigilant eye on your belongings whenever you’re traveling by train or metro, visiting crowded places, or walking on busy streets.

Also, avoid carrying all your essential personal items and try to disperse things like your phone and hotel key within your backpack to make stealing your things more difficult.

Overview of the town of Mykonos
Mykonos Town – Photo from Canva

Tips for Traveling to Greece

Some people experience unwanted emotions like anxiety and fear of the unknown when traveling to new destinations, which is perfectly normal.

However, it is a good idea to be prepared well before setting out on your trip, so as to reduce some of those unwanted feelings and the chances of encountering problems.

I made a list of helpful tips for traveling to Greece that can be useful for reducing stress when embarking on your getaway to Greece.

✔️ First of all, be prepared for Greece’s hot temperatures. Generally speaking, Greece is relatively warm all year round, but during the summer months, especially in July, the thermometer can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 F). It is very important to pack sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, appropriate clothing. and a reusable water bottle.

✔️ If you wish to avoid the hot temperatures and massive crowds, the best months to visit Greece is June or September. During these months, the weather is still warm, but a lot milder, while there are fewer tourists, and thus accommodations cost less, which means you pay less and relax more, so to speak.

✔️ Greece is an extremely popular destination that welcomes millions of travelers every year. Therefore, it is best to book flights, lodging, train passes, and ferry tickets in advance.

✔️ Most people are eager to swim in Greece’s crystal-clear blue waters as soon as they set foot on the mainland or one of the islands.

Greece is home to hundreds of stunning beaches, so it is a good idea to check out some of the less-frequented ones, rather than limiting yourself to the most famous beaches, which usually have larger crowds.

✔️ Although it is unlikely that you’ll have any issues when visiting Greece without knowing Greek, it is always nice to make the effort of learning a few words and greatly appreciated by the locals.

So, before arriving in Greece, try to learn some simple words and phrases like “good morning”, “hello”,  “please”, “thank you,” and “good night.”

✔️ While Italy is famous for its strong and energizing coffee, Greece is known for its deliciously refreshing cold coffee, “Cappuccino” or “Espresso Freddo”. It is the ideal beverage to cool down from Greece’s hot weather.

Overview of Paleokastritsa Bay in Corfu
Paleokastritsa Bay, Corfu – Photo from Canva

Frequently Asked Questions about Greece Travel Guide

What is Greece famous for?

Greece is a famous summer holiday destination because of its stunning coastline of golden sand bathed by pristine blue waters This is replicated on numerous beautiful islands each with its own, unique vibe.

Additionally, Greece is known as the cradle of Western civilization, with Athens being the center of various incredible ancient historical sites left by several cultures over the centuries.

Why is Greece so popular with tourists?

Greece has been on travelers’ radars for centuries because of its warm weather, gorgeous beaches, and impressive ancient historical sites.

Add the diverse landscapes, delicious food, and friendly locals, and you have a winner.

Greece can also be an affordable destination, which allows visitors to have different experiences in just one trip.

You can explore ancient ruins, visit remarkable museums and galleries, taste delicious food and wines, and relax on splendorous beaches that lie on mesmerizing islands, all in one week.

aerial view of cape Drastis in Corfu
Cape Drastis Cliff, Corfu – Photo from Canva

How many islands are in Greece?

Greece is an archipelago consisting of around 6000 islands and islets, but only 227 of them are inhabited.

The ten largest islands in Greece are Crete, Naxos, Corfu, Chios, Euboea, Samos, Lesbos, Rhodes, Kefalonia, and Lemnos.

Which island is most popular?

Greece’s most popular island is undoubtedly Santorini, especially among couples, and adventurers looking to hike up the volcano and marvel at the stunning sea vistas.

It also attracts party seekers wishing to go wild at Santorini’s famous beach bars and clubs.

View from behind a white church towards the sea where you can see a cruise boat taking off.
Santorini – Photo from Canva

What is the most visited city in Greece?

Athens is the most visited city in Greece. Being the capital city and the largest one in the country, it is packed with attractions and amazing historical sites, with the Acropolis being the most famous one.

It also has fantastic food, tons of accommodations, and excellent ferry links with the most popular Aegean islands.

Do they speak English in Greece?

Although Greek is the official language, more than half of Greece’s population can speak some English, especially happens in touristy cities and areas. You won’t have any communication problems when visiting Greece without speaking Greek.

Aerial view of the port in Oia
Port of Oia Santorini – Photo from Canva

Should I go to Mykonos or Santorini?

Mykonos and Santorini are both beautiful and worthy of a visit, but if you have to choose only one, it really depends on what you’re after.

Mykonos is best for those seeking a vacation full of wild nightlife venues and extraordinary beaches. Santorini is best for honeymooners because it has a very romantic atmosphere.

Insider tip: You can visit both islands because they are only a three-hour ferry trip away from each other.

Where should I go for the first time in Greece?

If you´re a first-timer in Greece, it is best to visit Athens.

The capital city has everything Greece has, including stunning beaches, remarkable historical sites, as well as luxurious hotels, restaurants, cool pubs and bars, and fancy shopping malls.

Acropolis in Athens during sunset
Acropolis, Athens – Photo from Canva

Where is the nicest place in Greece?

The nicest place in Greece is probably Crete, as it is the ideal destination because is large enough to have plenty of things to do but small enough to have everything you might wish to experience in Greece within a reasonable distance.

Favorite spots in Crete include Chania, a pretty and colorful city, as well as Heraklion, which boasts some of Greece’s most important historical sites, and fantastic beach bars and restaurants that serve scrumptious local cuisine.

What is the most beautiful city in Greece?

Greece has so many beautiful cities both on the mainland and on the islands, that it is difficult to name the most beautiful one.

According to travelers and locals, the most beautiful region in Greece is the Ionian island group, with Corfu Town being the jewel of the crown as the prettiest city.

Amazing view of the Parthenon Temple
Parthenon, Athens – Photo from Canva

What is the most popular way to travel in Greece?

Visitors in Greece usually travel by public transportation. In Athens, the metro system is easy and affordable, and the best way to move around the capital city. 

If you wish to travel to different cities, both the bus and train services are easily accessible and affordable. Also, if you plan to visit several islands, Greece has a great ferry system that links all the islands with Greece’s main ports, including Piraeus, Volos, and Patra.

Should you tip in Greece?

Unlike in the USA, tipping in Greece is not expected, but it is highly appreciated. If you dine at a restaurant and consider that the service is very good, go ahead and leave a few well-deserved Euros.

It is common for guests to tip as they would do at home.

Skyline of Athens with the Acropolis on a hill
Akropolis, Athens – Photo from Canva

Final Thoughts: Greece Travel Guide

Greece is definitely a must-visit destination. It is a mesmerizing country that offers gorgeous beaches, fascinating history, cultural sites, delicious cuisine, lush nature, and unique geography.

Plus, it is safe, affordable, and friendly. Wherever you decide to go, you’re guaranteed a wonderful experience.

About the Author: Lydia Michael

Lydia Michael is a freelance travel writer from Cyprus whose love for traveling started from an early age. At the age of 18, she moved to England, and since then, she has lived in the UK, Czechia, Spain, Portugal, and Greece among others. But her greatest love has been Asia. So, she is awaiting her big trip to Southeast Asia this summer. Apart from traveling, she loves reading books, especially fantasy books, and she adores cats.