Need some inspiration for your summer destination? Don't look further, Greece has been one of the best summer destination I have ever been to. It has everything you need to enjoy your holiday no matter what type of traveler you are: the food, the people, the culture, the nightlife, the history, the temples, the beaches, the islands, just to cite a few!With no further due, here is my travel guide to Greece.
Currency: Euro, Member of the European Union since 1981 and joined the euro currency since 2002
Population: 11 millions
Language: Greek, it is considered the oldest written language still in existence
The official name of Greece is Hellenic Republic and is referred as Hellas or Ellada. Why Greece? The English word derives from the latin Graecia, which was used by the Romans and literally means "The land of the Greeks".
You can't flush toilet paper in Greece. Greek sewage pipes are too small, 2 inch (50mm) diameter and therefore can get clogged.
Never wave with the palm of your hand open in Greece, it is called "Moutza", and is one of the worst insults in the country.
Greece has thousands of islands and only about 130 are inhabited.
When to go?
It depends on what you want to do. Although the weather in Greece throughout the year remains pretty warm, the hottest months are from May to September with an average temperature above 20 degrees. I went there early September last year and it was just perfect if you enjoy the heat. It was also the beginning of the low season with less tourists and cheaper prices.
Where to stay?
If you are a budget traveler like me, I would recommend hostels. All the hostels I stayed at were very affordable. The price range would go from 10-30 euros for dorms and 45-60 euros for private rooms per night. However on islands like Mykonos or Santorini and during peak seasons (July and August), expect to pay double the price.
If you stay in Athens I recommend this hostel: Athens Backpackers. Centrally located, very clean with a rooftop bar offering a view on the Acropolis and many backpackers.
Things to do
Explore the past - go on a free guide tour of the city you stay in, and discover the history of the country. Greece is known for being the place where the Western civilization began. There are ruins and temples everywhere. From the Acropolis in Athens to the ruins in Delphi, Sparta and Crete, you will love Greece if you like History.
Explore the beaches - The Greek islands are the most beautiful islands I have ever visited so far. Those are the perfect spots to be cut off from everything, just soak in the sun and admire the blue-roofed house, swim in the crystal clear water and enjoy a couple of drinks at one of the many bars before experiencing the nightlife.
Explore the islands - with more than a thousand islands, Greece has many hidden paradises to discover. Each island has its own vibe and the experience is totally different from one to another. I visited Ios, Santorini and Mykonos and had unique experiences on each one of them. Ios being more laid back during the day and party during the night, Santorini being the most romantic destination for its sunset or charming cities like Oia, and Mykonos, known as the Ibiza of Greece.
How to get around?
The transportation in Greece is very good and reliable. If you are in Athens, the metro is very easy to use. You can get a day or 3-day unlimited travel ticket, but if like me you like to walk to explore a new city, you better save your money and only pay on the go. A single ride is about 1.20 euros and I did not use the metro very often as my hostel was centrally located.
Watch out for the pickpockets. One of my fellow traveler got her purse stolen by a group of pickpockets. While one was distracting her, the other managed to steal her purse in her bag. So keep your belongings close to you and stay alert.
If you are planning to visit the islands, you got two possibilities, either take a flight if the island you are going to has an airport. Or take one of the many ferries which are more affordable and worth the experience. Most ferries to the islands cost about 40-60 euros.
What to eat?
The food in Greece is delicious and there is for every budget. You can try the Gyros (like kebabs) for about 3 euros and that will easily fill you up for a while. If you rather want to go to a restaurant, meal prices start from 15-20 euros. Try their traditional pork souvlaki or Greek salads.
The nightlife in Greece is crazy. You will usually find the bars in one district that are located one to another. If in doubts where to go, follow the noise! Bars entrance are usually free, you only need to pay the entrance for nightclubs and prices can rise very quickly depending on the DJs playing or guest stars present in the club. Most of the famous Djs go to Greece to perform in nightclubs during summer, such as Bob Sinclar, Skrillex or Steve Aoki to cite a few. If you are in Athens, the keyword for nightlife is Gazi. It's the nightlife district of the city where you can find lively atmostphere, great cocktails and high energy until early in the morning.
Greece is an amazing country and the perfect destination for summer holidays. During my trip I visited Athens, Delphi, Ios, Santorini and Mykonos in 10 days and met so many nice people on the way who made my experience so great. It is the perfect country to relax and party whether you are a solo traveler or traveling with a group of friend. I will write about my 10 days itinerary in Greece in my next post and give you couple of tips and good addresses. :)