This south-eastern European nation was once one of the greatest and influential civilizations in the world. When the rest of Europe was immersed in a cultural darkness, the dramatists of Greece were busy creating timeless plays. Soaking up Greek culture in a laid back white-washed fishing village while gorging on traditional Greek delicacies should be top of all travelers to-do lists. Greece is famous for its beaches, from the party resorts of Mykonos to the black sands of Santorini. Other top attractions include The Ring where the first Olympics took place, the Acropolis in Greece’s capital city Athens, and the Meteora Monasteries.
GREECE TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
The Acropolis was built in the 5th century BCE and is the most important ancient site in the Western world. This ancient citadel sits on a hill high above the city of Athens. The Acropolis contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, including the Parthenon.
If you’re interested in Greek Mythology then trek Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. This is where Zeus sat on the throne and where Hades became the ruler of the Underworld. It is located in the Olympus Range on the border between Thessaly and Macedonia, between Pieria and Larissa and about 80 km southwest of Thessaloniki. If you fancy trekking the 52 peaks and deep gorges of Mount Olympus take a cab from Litochoro to Prionia and begin your climb from there.
The Monasteries of Meteora
The Meteora is a rock formation in central Greece, which hosts one of the largest complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, second in importance only to Mount Athos. Six Eastern Orthodox monasteries, some dating back to the 14th century, remain today, as do a few monks and nuns who still call the place home. Thousands of tourists visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site every year to admire the Byzantine and post-Byzantine art and architecture.
Corinth Canal is one of the most amazing examples of ancient Greek engineering. The Emperor of Rome, Nero began constructing it, and it was finally finished under the French rule in the 19th Century. A section of gigantic rocks was sliced to form the canal that is 6 kilometers long and up to 90 meters high. Another highlight of the canal is the Zulu Bungy Jumping which is for the brave only.
Melissani Cave is on the island of Kefalonia which is known for it’s rugged beauty. It is about 4 km long and came into existence after the soft rocks were eroded with water for centuries. The cave also houses a lake called the Melissani Lake, discovered in 1951. The cave got its name from the Nymph Melissani to whom it was dedicated during the ancient era. There is a tunnel that leads visitors down the cave to the lake where you can enjoy a boat ride.
Read more: 10 awesome things to do on a trip to Greece
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GREECE TOP 3 FESTIVALS
Easter is one of the most important festivals in Greece with grand processions, spectacular decorations and brass bands. The Greek’s Easter celebrations involve lots of traditional music, hymns and bells echoing from the churches. Locals throw clay pots out of their windows on Easter Sunday followed by processions and marches taking place in the evening.
Celebrating Greece’s long relationship with the sea, fishing villages and ports throughout the country host historical re-enactments and parties in late June. It culminates in a spectacular sound-and-light show with the burning of a boat which represents a Turkish warship, and fireworks over Hydra harbor.
The most prominent Greek summer festival is Hellenic Festival which features a top line-up of local and international music, dance and drama performances. Many of the events are staged at one of the world’s prime historic venues, such as the Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Language: The official language of Greece is Greek. English is also widely spoken as many people who live in Greece are fluent in English due to working in the tourism industry.
Visa: Visiting Greece will usually require a valid passport and visa for any travelers that are not from the European Union. Use these free online visa checker and calculator tools so you know if a visa for Greece is required, which will depend on the country you are from, and if so, how long it will take to process your visa and the cost.
Electricity: In Greece the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Greece, if the standard voltage in your country is between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). Buy a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each new country you visit.
Lonely Planet Greece: Check price on Amazon
WHAT TO EAT IN GREECE
Some of the most delicious, traditional dishes that you must try when in Greece are listed below.
Baklava: This includes butter, syrup, nuts, crushed pistachios and lots of sugar. Once baked, syrup is poured over and slowly absorbed by the crisp phyllo layers. Baklava is by far the most popular Greek dessert and highly addictive (and fattening).
Kolokythokeftedes or “Zucchini Balls”: This veggie starter is extremely popular and is available in all the restaurants in Greece. These tasty balls are crispy on the outside and have a creamy inner which is filled with zucchini, feta, ouzo, garlic, green onion, herbs, egg and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Gyros: A tasty meat dish, quick to prepare and cheap to eat. Meat that is vertically roasted on a spit is called Gyros. Gyro slices, usually lamb, are placed in pita and topped with sauces, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.
Moussaka: The epitome of Greek comfort food, moussaka is a hearty eggplant casserole with a meat sauce. Topping the meat is either a rich bechamel sauce or a cheese-based topping. The most famous version of the dish today appeared in the 1920s with the publishing of Nikolaos Tselementes’ culinary book in Greece.
Souvlaki: Souvlaki is a Greek specialty and popular Greek fast food consisting of pieces of meat and vegetables grilled on a skewer. It is usually eaten straight off the skewer while still hot. Souvlaki means “meat on a skewer.”
WHERE TO STAY IN GREECE
Greece is a reasonably affordable place to visit. Finding excellent accommodation in Greece is super easy because there’s so many options whatever your budget.
Hostels and dormitories make travel to Greece affordable for backpackers and any travelers on a shoe-string budget. Whether you’re a backpacker, flash-packer or a luxury vacationer, Greece will not disappoint you. A basic hotel room in Greece can cost less than 100 euros.
If you’re looking for accommodation that includes luxury amenities and comforts then there will be endless options to choose from in the big cities and popular tourist hotspots like Athens, Crete, Santorini or Mykonos. Whatever month you choose to visit Greece, it’s wise to book your accommodation in advance. Don’t wait until you arrive to see what’s available or you may be disappointed to find that all the best places to stay have been snapped up already. Greece is an extremely popular year-round destination with business travelers and backpackers.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in Greece. However, if you are backpacking in Greece or traveling on a tight budget then Hostel World is another great option. Staying in hostels makes travel in Greece very affordable and is also a great way to meet new travel buddies where ever you go.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
BEST TIME TO VISIT GREECE
The best time to visit Greece is in May and June or September and October when the weather is reliably sunny. It is also less crowded at these times than the summer months of July and August which are high season and can be very hot, more expensive and extremely crowded, especially during the afternoons.
GREECE TRAVEL BUDGET
Greece is generally an affordable destination for travelers on all budgets. The cost of your trip to Greece really depends on the level of comfort you want. If you are backpacking and planning on staying in dormitories, hostels and eating fast food then budget between 50 to 100 euros per day. If you prefer to stay in 3-4 star hotel rooms and eat in mid-range restaurants you could spend anywhere between 100 to 250 euros per day. If you want to enjoy luxury 4-5 star accommodation and gourmet restaurants then budget at least 250 to 500+ euros per day.
IS GREECE SAFE FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Safety does not need to be a huge concern for women travelers in Greece which is considered a generally very safe country to visit. As with any country you visit, always be extra careful when walking alone or at night. Some parts of Greece aren’t as safe as other areas so do your research before you go and avoid these places. Based on many years of travel in Europe I would never leave home without insurance and recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few weeks before your Greece trip.
GREECE VISA CHECKER
GREECE FLIGHT DEALS
GREECE TOURS & ACTIVITIES
GREECE PACKING TIPS
Packing for a trip to Greece, like most other places in Europe, is a breeze. You really don’t need as much travel gear as you may think for a trip to Greece.
That said, the gear you do bring on your trip should be the very best option available for you and that doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Jetset Bunnies around the globe are always discovering the latest and the greatest in travel gear for women and this is where we share our awesome finds with you.
If you’re visiting Greece during the warmer months it will be much easier to travel light. Pack mainly lightweight and breathable clothing but still be prepared for cold mornings and evenings depending on the month you visit. You’ll need to wrap up warm between November and February. So pack a warm sweater, waterproof coat, gloves, scarves and a wooly hat if you’re traveling during winter.
Other essential items to pack for a trip to Greece include, most importantly, a good quality travel backpack. Choose the brand carefully and make sure you find the right size backpack for your torso. Believe me, doing this will make all the difference and prevent major backache. Read our related blog post with advice on how to choose the best backpacks for women travelers. Smaller items to pack include a padlock, sleep sheet and a money belt to keep important documents close to you.