Warm air breezing through, the salty smell of crystal-clear waters along with sunny, sandy shores can only mean one thing… paying a visit to Greece has reached its ripe hour. So you packed your bags and you are ready to enjoy the beautiful landscapes, admire historical artifacts and indulge in delicious Greek cuisine. Before you do so, check out our 10 travel tips you should know before visiting Greece!
1. Tip no.1 for traveling to Greece: pack your sunscreen!
With having more than 250 sunny days, Greece proudly carries the title of the “sunniest” European country and the sun here is strong even before summer starts, so make sure to pack some sunscreen. Even if you don’t plan on hitting the beach or staying outdoors you can easily get sunburnt. Many touristy locations will even charge more for sunscreen than your local supermarket back home. So if you are on a short budget while visiting Greece be sure to pack sunscreen in your suitcase.
2. Tip no.2 for traveling to Greece: tipping is optional
Unlike many European countries, tipping in Greece is optional. If you liked the service you are more than welcomed to leave a tip for the waiter. Likewise, there is no general rule on how much to leave, so it is completely up to you.
3. Tip no. 3 for traveling to Greece: Eat like a local
People all over the world enjoy eating Greek food especially famous Greek dishes such as gyro and souvlaki. But there are many more hidden treasures in every local menu, so start from mezes and don’t be afraid to combine flavors! We advise you to experiment with the local dishes when visiting Greece not to stick to the familiar ones. Each part of the country has its own specialties and the recipes differ from place to place.
We encourage you to try as many authentic local dishes as possible while visiting Greece and if you want to find what are 10 Greek foods you absolutely MUST try in Athens, Santorini, Mykonos or Crete, make sure to take a look at our guides that we prepared for each of these destinations. If you are still not sure what to order, just ask your waiters to recommend some local traditional specialties and prepare to be amazed.
Pro tip: If you’re visiting Mykonos, we recommend checking out our Cooking Class where you will have a chance to peak in the Greek kitchen and learn how traditional dishes are made!
4. Tip no. 4 for traveling to Greece: Halara is the way to go
One of the things you should leave at home is stress and haste. Greeks like to take everything easy (siga, siga) and they really appreciate their free time. So don’t be surprised when you see stores, supermarkets and pharmacies closed on Sundays. Most touristy locations such as the Greek islands will have convenience stores opened on Sundays but working hours vary from location to location. During the weekdays, banks and government institutions work only until 2:00 p.m. So leave your stress at home, take a sip of frappe or freddo espresso and spend your vacation the Greek way — easy going and halara!
5. Tip no. 5 for traveling to Greece: Rent a car
It is a good idea to rent a car when you are visiting Greece so that you can explore as much as possible. All car rental agencies require a valid international driving license. The minimum age limit differs from place to place. For instance, the Greek islands have a minimum age requirement of 21, while big cities require an age of 23. Do not let this discourage you though as many touristy destinations have excellent public transportation and reasonable prices of cab rides.
Insider’s Tip: And, if you need transportation from the airport to any desired destination, we got you covered! Book transfer for up to 8 people and ride into all the fun that is waiting for you in Greece.
6. Tip no. 6 for traveling to Greece: Take a Ferry Boat
One of the most common ways to travel from the mainland to the Greek islands is by taking a ferry boat. The rides are usually a few hours long depending on the destination. A sincere tip for traveling to Greece from us is to take a cabin for overnight rides since they are really comfortable and will keep you well-rested.
Insider’s tip: If you want to find detailed information about ferry rides, schedules, as well as book tickets online, make sure to visit Ferry Hopper.
7. Tip no. 7 for traveling to Greece: Prepare cash
One of the most important tips for traveling to Greece is – make sure to have cash with you. Even though the majority of stores and restaurants will accept credit cards, it is preferred to pay in cash. There are some places that won’t even accept credit cards, such as local taverns or small stores.
8. Tip no. 8 for traveling to Greece: Book Early in advance
If you are planning to visit Greece during the summer season, booking early is a must. If you follow this travel tip before visiting Greece, you will be able to find plane tickets and accommodations for a much lower price. Since Greece is one of the most popular summer destinations, it is highly possible for many flights and hotels to be fully booked. So plan ahead, book it on time and start looking forward to golden sandy beaches and mesmerizing turquoise waters that are waiting for you!
9. Tip no. 9 for traveling to Greece: Make a Checklist
From the moment you set foot in this beautiful country, you will surely be overwhelmed with the sea, sun, people, food, culture, history and more. With so much to see and do, your time here will go by very quickly. We, therefore, recommend creating a checklist of all the things you want to see and do so you can cross them off the list before it’s time to leave again.
10. Tip no.10 for traveling to Greece: Visit during the off season
Don’t be discouraged to visit Greece during the off-seasons as it has its own charm and beautiful during those months. There are so many great places you can visit, from majestic mountains to natural thermal baths. We strongly recommend exploring the hidden gems of northern Greece such as Meteora, Olympus and Loutra Pozar, or going away to vibrant cities of Athens or Thessaloniki for the weekend.
We hope you enjoyed these 10 tips for traveling to Greece and found them helpful. Now, you’re all set to come and explore this charming country. Be sure to check out our very own hand-picked activities and destinations to experience while visiting Greece. And, if you may need any additional help, feel free to contact us anytime! We’re waiting for you!
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