When it comes to summer holiday destinations, it is hard to beat Greece. Greece boasts a gorgeous climate, stunning beaches, tantalizing cuisine, rich culture and obviously amazing historical heritage. This means that Greece has something for everyone and this article will provide you with a basic overview to help you plan your holiday.
A Comprehensive Greece Travel Guide
No points for guessing this one – Greek is spoken in Greece and it is a good idea to learn the basics. Greek is considered to be one of the oldest languages in the world, definitely the oldest one in Europe – it would be Latin if it was still spoken today – and one of the most difficult ones too.
Their alphabet is different too, so don’t be too confused if you can’t understand any written Greek during your trip. When it comes to speaking to locals, you can get by with English as it is widely spoken, but it is still courteous to know basic phrases.
They enjoy a Mediterranean-style diet in Greece so you can expect a lot of seafood, grains, vegetables, olive oil, wine, and honey. There are a number of traditional and classic dishes worth trying here and it is never too hard to find good food and wine no matter where you are.
Although not food per se, it’s worth mentioning that for Greek people, coffee is a big thing. The country has a strong coffee culture, where people will mostly meet after work to go for a coffee instead of an alcoholic beverage. Many of the oldest cafés in the country are still open today, so if you happen to go to Pelio mountain, we recommend visiting the Kafeneio Forlidas; it was opened in 1785 and still serves one of the best coffees in the country.
Generally, Greece is a safe country but, as with anywhere, tourists should always be cautious. It is important to protect your passports, wallets, and handbags when out and about. It is also worthwhile educating yourself on common tourist scams.
The most common crimes in Greece – especially when it comes to tourists – are non-violent thefts. These are worse in densely populated areas like the historical sites of Athens or the high-traffic parts of any Greek island. It would also be a good idea to avoid isolated areas – both in the islands or any other region of the country – and research which villages you’d be better off avoiding. You can find a list of some dangerous neighborhoods to avoid in Athens here.
It has been a turbulent time economically in Greece as they are recovering from the 2008 economic crisis and, of course, this has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine. This should not cause much disruption for those visiting on holiday, but protests can be common.
It would be recommended to avoid these protests when we see them, as they can potentially become violent. It would also be a good idea to keep up with local news to monitor any potential political action, and always follow the advice of local authorities to ensure your safety.
Other things to have in mind
- The country uses the euro
- You can withdraw about 600 euros per day from any ATM – not more since the country has established a daily limit since the 2008 crisis
- Everyone is still required to wear a mask in public transport, but there are no additional covid-related entry measures in place
- Smoking is illegal in all indoor public places, and the fines go up to 500 euros.
- The country’s driving system follows most of Europe’s, and so cars must drive on the right side of the road.
What to do in Greece?
With so much to see and do, it can be hard to know how to plan holidays in Greece. First, you will want to decide whether to stay on the mainland or the Greek Islands (or a combination of both).
The Greek Islands are ideal if you want to enjoy sun, sea, and sand and indulge in good food and wine. Additionally, each island has its own character, so you want to research these beforehand. If you are more interested in the culture and history of Greece then you are better off on the mainland as there are many incredible attractions to see. Obviously, Athens is a major highlight with attractions like the Acropolis of Athens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the National Archaeological Museum.
The information in this guide should be information and help you to start planning your Greek summer vacation. Greece is one of the best places to visit in the summer and there is a huge amount to see and do, but this can also make it hard to know how to plan your trip. You will want to consider the type of vacation that you have and choose your destination carefully so that you can plan your ideal holiday.