Planning a Trip to Greece: Travellers Guide 2024

Getting ready for a trip to Greece is exciting but can also be overwhelming. You’ll need to think about the best time to go, how to get there, where to stay, and what to do.

This detailed guide will give you all you need to plan a fantastic trip. You’ll learn essential facts about Greece, the top places to visit, how to move around, and where to stay.

Are you excited about seeing ancient ruins, travelling between islands, or getting to know Greek culture? This guide has all the tips and info you need for planning the perfect trip to Greece. From a Greece travel guide to Greece vacation ideas, we’re here to help.

Let’s start planning and ensure your Greece holiday is amazing.

Planning a trip to Greece is a mix of excitement and challenge.

The thought of seeing ancient sites, beautiful islands, and lively culture is thrilling. Yet, many choices can make the planning process daunting.

You’ll need to pick the best time to go, ways to reach there, where to visit, and how long to stay. This guide will give you useful information and tips for a great Greek holiday.

Excitement and Challenges of Planning a Trip to Greece

A trip to Greece is filled with adventure. You can explore its rich history, see diverse landscapes, and feel its amazing culture.

Visit Athens’ ancient ruins or hop between the Cyclades for fun and discovery. But, planning has its own hurdles. You must choose the right time, transport, and where to stay. With the right knowledge, you’re set for an awesome and hassle-free Greek adventure.

Questions to Consider When Planning a Greece Trip

When thinking about Greece, ask yourself some important questions:

– When is the best time to visit Greece?

– How do I get to Greece, and what are the major airports and arrival points?

– What are the must-see destinations in Greece, both on the islands and the mainland?

– How long should I plan to stay in Greece to see the highlights?

– What are the best Greece itinerary options, including island hopping and mainland tours?

– What are the transportation options for getting around Greece?

– Where should I stay, and what are the top accommodation options?

– What safety and practical travel tips do I need to know for visiting Greece?

– What should I pack for my trip to Greece?

This guide will answer these crucial questions for your Greece journey.

Staying Connected While Travelling (And Avoiding Global Roaming Data Costs)

While you have video calling, SIM cards, international phone cards, etc. eSIM cards are the easiest way to get instant data wherever you travel to in Greece.

What is an eSIM?

An eSIM, or embedded SIM, is a digital SIM card that is built directly into your device. Unlike traditional physical SIM cards, an eSIM can be activated and configured remotely, without the need to visit a store or swap out physical cards.

Why Choose an eSIM for Your Trip To Greece?

  1. Convenience: With an eSIM, you can activate your data plan before even arriving in Greece. No need to waste precious vacation time searching for a store or navigating language barriers. Simply purchase your eSIM online, activate it, and you’re ready to go as soon as you land.
  2. Cost-effective: eSIM plans often offer more competitive rates compared to traditional roaming charges or buying a local SIM card. You can choose a plan that fits your needs and budget, whether you need just a few gigabytes for basic browsing or a larger data allowance for streaming and heavy usage.
  3. Dual SIM Capability: Many newer smartphones support dual SIM functionality, allowing you to keep your home SIM active for calls and texts while using an eSIM for data. This means you can stay reachable on your usual number while avoiding expensive roaming fees.
  4. Easy to Manage: With an eSIM, you can manage your plan through an app on your phone. You can easily top up data, switch plans, or cancel your service as needed, all with just a few taps.

Check out our eSIM’s for Greece.

Basic Facts about Greece

Greece is in the southern Mediterranean. It’s between Italy and Turkey. Now, think of Albania and Bulgaria. It’s further south, at the tip of the Balkan Peninsula.

Greece is part of Europe and has a lot of islands, 227 to be exact. Its spot at the centre of Europe, Asia, and Africa gave Greece a mix of cultures and beautiful places.

Geographic Location and Size

Greece covers 132,000 square kilometres, making it about a medium-sized country in Europe. It stands at a crucial point, connecting different areas. This has a big impact on its culture and history.

Population and Religion

Almost 11 million people call Greece home. Most of them, over 90%, are part of the Greek Orthodox Church. This church is key to Greek culture and traditions.

Driving and Calling Code

In Greece, remember to drive on the right side. The calling code is +30. It’s needed for international calls to and from Greece.

Passports and Visas

If you’re headed to Greece, you need to know its Greece visa requirements and Greece entry requirements. Being part of the Schengen Agreement means easy entry for many. Citizens of 26 countries can visit Greece without a visa for a short stay.

If you’re coming from places like the United States, you might need a visa. The rules vary based on where you’re from. Make sure to visit the official government website to learn what you need for your trip.

In 2025, the European Union will start the ETIAS system. This system will ask many visitors, even from the US, to fill out an online form before going to Greece. Keeping up with the Greece visa requirements and Greece entry requirements will make your trip easier.

Best Time to Visit Greece

While Greece is nice all year, the best times to go are May, June, September, and October.

Then, it’s not as packed, and the weather is just right. Greece’s peak season time is in July and August. Plus, don’t forget about greek easter celebrations, which are big and special in Greece.

Ideal Months for Visiting

The best times are May, June, September, and October. These months have perfect weather and fewer people around. This makes it great for seeing Greece’s islands and sites without all the crowds.

Peak Season and Easter Celebrations

The summer months of July and August are the busiest in Greece. Prices can be higher then. Also, consider the greek easter celebrations. They are a very special time. Lasting a week, they have parades, special food, and cultural events all over the country.

How to Get to Greece

Most US visitors to Greece land at Athens International Airport (ATH). This airport is the main starting point. But, you can also arrive on Greek islands such as Rhodes (RHO), Santorini (JTR), and Corfu (CFU). Or you could fly into mainland airports including Thessaloniki (SKG), Kavala (KVA), Kalamata (KLX), and Preveza (PVK). If you want to begin your trip in a specific spot or island, these options could be perfect.

Greece

trip in a specific region or island.

Major International Airports

The Athens International Airport (ATH) is the biggest and busiest in Greece. It welcomes most of the international visitors. This airport connects to many major cities worldwide. Plus, it’s easy to get to the Greek capital and visit other parts of the country from here.

Other Modes of Arrival

Besides flying, you can get to Greece by sea. Many people arrive by cruise ship or private yacht. Greece’s ferry system is vast, offering trips between the mainland and the islands. It also connects the island groups. Some visitors might come by train or road, especially from Europe’s nearby countries.

Best Places in Greece to See

Greece has amazing islands and a fascinating mainland waiting for you. As you plan your trip, think about the places that show off the best of Greece.

Greek Islands Highlights

The country is famous for its beautiful islands, which are split into groups like the Cyclades and Dodecanese. Popular islands like Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete are must-visits. Each island offers something special, from the romance of Santorini to the fun of Mykonos. They suit a variety of tastes.

Mainland Attractions

Besides the islands, the mainland has its own wonders. Athens is packed with ancient sites such as the Acropolis and Parthenon. Other mainland spots include Delphi, Olympia, and Meteora. These places hold deep history and stunning views.

Organized Tours vs. Independent Travel

You can choose to travel to Greece alone or with a tour. Going solo means you can find unique spots but you’ll need to plan well. Tours are smooth and guided, which is good for new visitors or those short on time. Many tour companies have options for all kinds of interests and budgets.

How Many Days in Greece

Greece has a lot to see, so how long you stay really depends. A good start is 4 days for Athens’ highlights and a day trip. If you want to visit two islands, plan for 5 days. If Athens and the islands both interest you, think about a week.

And if you’re all about just Crete, set aside at least 7 days.

Minimum Duration for Different Destinations

Start with these minimum days, but staying longer is often more rewarding. For a full Greek experience, 2 weeks to a month is great. You can really get to know the islands, the mainland, and the people.

For those with the time and budget, 4 to 6 weeks is perfect for soaking in all of Greece’s charm.

Itineraries for Greece

When planning your dream trip to Greece, you’ll get to create your own special itinerary. Want to hop between islands, explore the mainland, or go on a guided tour? Here are some top picks to make your Greek adventure amazing.

Greek Island Hopping Itineraries

Island hopping is a favourite way to see Greece. You get to visit different islands. Here are a few ideas for island-hopping itineraries:

  • 3 days in Athens, then 7 days island hopping (e.g. Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete)
  • 10 days to visit the Cyclades islands (e.g. Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros)
  • 2 weeks to see the Cyclades, Dodecanese, and Ionian islands

Athens and Mainland Itineraries

If the mainland is more your thing, here are some good choices:

  • 3 days in Athens, visiting places like Delphi or Olympia
  • 7 days in Greece, with Athens and the Peloponnese peninsula as your focus
  • 2 weeks exploring mainland Greece, including several key places

Guided Tour Options

There’s also the option of a guided tour. It makes planning easier and gives you a more guided experience. Some cool guided tour picks for Greece are:

  • Tours that mix islands with mainland spots over several days
  • Week-long tours of just one group of islands, like the Cyclades
  • Tours in Athens that highlight the city’s ancient places and culture
  • Food and wine tours, hiking trips, or sailing adventures that are specialised

Transport in Greece

There are many ways to travel in Greece, each with its own benefits. Let’s look at how you can move around the country.

Private Drivers and Car Rentals

Getting a private driver or renting a car is possible in Greece. But, these options might not be as cheap or easy to find as in other places. If you need to get to and from the airport or want to take a day trip, private transfer services can be really handy.

Driving in Greece is usually simple, especially outside the big cities. Having good maps is key, not just GPS. With your own car, you can see the islands or the mainland at your own speed.

Ferry Network

The ferry system in Greece is top-notch. It links the mainland to the islands and lets you easily hop from one island to another. This network is famous for its many routes and frequent trips.

It’s smart to book your ferry tickets early, especially in the busy season. This way, you get to pick the best times and routes for you.

Flights Within Greece

Flying within Greece can be quick and reasonably priced, especially for long distances. Airlines like Aegean Airlines and Sky Express offer flights all over the country. They usually update their schedules a few months in advance.

When you’re planning your trip, it’s a good idea to check flight options early. This can make your journey go more smoothly.

Sailing and Cruises

Seeing Greece by boat is another fantastic option. The Greek coasts and islands are perfect for sailing or cruising. You can rent a yacht or join a sailing tour to explore the Greek Islands closely.

Cruise ships are also a great way to see many places at once. But, they might dock at busy ports. Make sure to look into your cruise options to find one that suits you best.

Planning A Trip To Greece

Popular Tour Companies

Planning a trip to Greece? Lots of tour companies offer guided tours. They have packages for different interests and budgets. You can pick from private transfer and tour providers. They offer customised day trips from Athens. Or, you might like larger tour operators like Contiki and Insight Vacations. They provide multi-day itineraries. This way, you can see Greece’s best spots with local guides.

Local Activities and Day Trips

Greece isn’t just about the big sights. It offers many local activities and day trips. You can join food and wine tours, go on hikes, or take boat trips. These activities let you dig into Greece’s traditions and ways of life. Finding and booking these activities will make your Greek adventure real and fun. You’ll get to see hidden gems not usually seen on big tours.

Accommodation in Greece

Planning a trip to Greece? Family-owned places there offer a chance for genuine warmth. These small hotels and guesthouses are often run by families across generations. You’ll get a custom touch, with hosts ready to share local tips and help set up your adventures and travel.

Family-Owned Properties

Staying in a family-owned spot means you might enjoy perks like free breakfast. Plus, you’ll meet the owners, who make your stay special. These little places really bring Greece’s culture to life. They let you in on how locals live.

Booking Platforms and Resources

Booking your place in Greece is easy with so many options online. Check out websites like Booking.com for everything from cheap hostels to fancy resorts. You can pick by where you want to stay, your budget, and what you need.

For something different, Airbnb’s got you covered with unique places like apartments and villas. And don’t forget to look at Greek Hotels for even more choices on where to stay and book in Greece.

Safety and Travel Tips

Greece is usually safe for women travelling alone. Though it’s seen unrest, it’s mostly secure now. Women should be careful like they would in any new place. Always be aware, keep your things safe, and avoid dark or quiet areas at night.

Greece has great travel options and friendly locals. This makes it a nice place for women on their own. But, choose where you stay wisely. Listen to your feelings about how safe you are.

Money and ATMs

The euro is the currency in Greece, and ATMs are easy to find. Make sure your bank knows you’re travelling to Greece. This helps avoid card problems later.

Most places in Greece take credit cards. But, small shops or remote areas might just take cash. It’s smart to have both cash and cards with you.

Electrical Outlets and Adapters

In Greece, they use European-style two-pin outlets. They have 230V and a 50Hz frequency. If you’re from the US, you’ll need an adapter and maybe a converter. This keeps your electronics working right.