• Currency – Euro
• No Visas required for most visitors, Schengen Area
• Good bus, ferry and air links
Greece is the most popular travel destination in South East Europe. For people heading to the islands, Athens is often used as an arrival base, before heading onwards via ferries.Famed for its sandy beaches, healthy diet and friendly locals, Greece offers something for travellers of all ages. It has a wide range of hotels, hostels, and budget apartments.
Because Greece is a popular country to visit, it’s an easy place to travel in. English is widely spoken and the transport links are good, making a hassle free experience. Due to the sheer number of islands and especially the less touristic mainland areas – there are always some great places to discover, hidden from mass tourism. If beaches, history and great food are your idea of Greece, you wont be disappointed!
Food is averagely priced by European standards, and self catering is the better option for savvy travellers. Fresh fruit and vegetables are commonplace, with markets and shops located in all the touristic areas and cities. Prices can vary wildly when dining out, depending on the location and quality of the restaurants. Traditional Greek tavernas serve delicious food with reasonable prices in many areas. Gyros and Souvlaki are a type of kebab sold by fast food outlets and are a cheaper way to eat. They generally cost 2-3 Euros.
Gone are the super-cheap prices of yesteryear but there are still decent deals to be had in many places. It’s possible to pay as little as €10 per night in a hostel in Athens. On the islands, hostels can be limited.. but budget studios or rooms are common. These can be picked up from €10. Camping grounds are available on many islands and often have their own beach. These can be a great way to save money and sleep by the sea.There are a wide range of hotels and apartments in all areas, typically starting from around €30 for a double room.
In Athens, the metro underground connects all areas of the city. A daily ticket can be bought for €4 – this also allows you to travel on buses and trams within the city. Buses from the capital go to other Greek cities and surrounding countries. Trains also go to Thessaloniki, and onwards to Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Serbia.
A lot of islands have no airport, so a flight to Athens is necessary first. Ferries depart from Athens Pireaus Port to the majority of the islands. Fares can vary from 15 to 80 Euros, depending on the distance . There are also connecting ferries between many of the islands… making island hopping easy.
BEST PLACES TO VISIT
Crowded, loud and not too clean – some people arrive in the capital and view this as ‘Greece’… leaving them puzzled. While it is a world away from the island culture, there is a certain charm. The bustling, colourful life can soon become addictive, whilst the magnificent Acropolis stands above, peering down on the city.
A mix of different cultures has given Thessaloniki a unique atmosphere and its popularity is growing.. making it a good stop off place when Turkey, Macedonia or Bulgaria are also in your travel plans. Favoured among younger people, the bazaar, cafes and shops provide good exploring opportunities.
From the lively to the (near) deserted, there is an island to suit. Think whitewashed houses, lazy days on the beach and superb food. Any visit to Greece is not complete without visiting an island or two. Some island tips:
Mykonos – partying and great beaches.
Paros – relaxing and traditional, a great island to de-stress.
Crete – visit Europe’s oldest city – the ruins of Knossos, and the dramatic Samara Gorge.
Lefkada – not as touristy as nearby Corfu and Kefalonia. It is home to the stunning Porto Katasiki beach.
Visit Meteora – Meteora is home to beautiful Monasteries built into the unique rocks of the area. The monasteries and the surrounding countryside give a sense of solitude and peace. It also makes a great base for hiking and visiting the ancient Theopetra caves. Stay in Kalabaka to be central to the activities.
Go Wild – If getting into nature and and being active is your thing – visit the region of Epirus in North West Greece. With mountains, forests and fast flowing rivers, the area is wild and unspoilt. Littered with old bridges and small traditional villages, it’s a glimpse of rural Greek life.You can hire mountain bikes and go rafting to explore the area further. The Vikos Gorge is one of the deepest canyons in the world, making a stunning excursion.
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