Immerse yourself in Greek culture and one or more of the idyllic islands.
My personal list of handy Greece travel tips. All first hand knowledge - written during my travels in Greece.
All the tips have been categorised into sections. Just click on each tab to fully open and start reading.
- An easy option to get from Athens airport to the city centre is to take the Metro. Only 10 euro (Aug 2019)and takes 45 min. I found out later on their website that they offer discounts if you buy 2 or more tickets. This is not written anywhere in the metro station. In fact they don't even display a metro map. So if you're traveling with friends buy the tickets in one transaction and save enough euros to get yourself a coffee.
- I recommend staying in the colourful and vibrant Plaka area of Athens. You are surrounded by many cafes and shops. And if you can, choose a hotel that has a rooftop terrace so you can view the Acropolis by day and night. I stayed at Kimon Athens Hotel.
- During the summer months, save money by visiting the Acropolis during free admission days - free every first Sunday of the month from November to March plus selected national holidays during the year. Afterwards, try to fit in the Ancient Agora which is also free on the same days.
- A trip up Lycabettus Hill is well worth the effort to gain a perspective of how big Athens is.
Greece Travel Tips - the Islands
- The most famous beach is the tourist favourite of Batsi Beach. A secluded bay surrounded by typical white washed Greek architecture. It is tourist and family friendly.
- If you don’t like to be in the touristy areas, explore the island by scooter. You’ll find at least 22 other beaches, some very remote.
- The most popular and beautiful beaches are along the southern coast of the island eg. Paradise Beach (has the islands largest open air nightclub) and Super Paradise Beach. But be prepared, these are party beaches.
- If you want more solitude, consider accommodation along the following beaches:
Paraga Beach – secluded bay with two sandy beaches where the southern area has a more tranquil atmosphere.
Ornos Beach – the most family friendly beach in Mykonos.
Elia Beach – attracts a diverse crowd from honeymooners to families and even celebrities.
Platys Gialos Beach – lined with luxury hotels.
- Doesn’t matter which beach you stay at because you can swim at a different beach every day. There is a shuttle boat/water taxi that transports tourists along the southern beaches, from Ornos/Platy Gialos/Paraga/Paradise Beach/Super Paradise Beach/Agari/Elia. It is much quicker and better than taking a bus ride inland.
- Easy to take public buses from these beaches to Mykonos town, even just for dinner.
- You can find other hotels in and around Mykonos town. However, note that Mykonos is a haven for lively night life.
- Recommend hiring a scooter and explore the island every day.
- For a relaxing beach holiday, I recommend Naoussa , a picturesque fishing village with easy access to beaches. Or try Golden Beach – I loved the long beach.
- Recommend staying at Agios Prokopios beach, 5km from the port town. Stay on a beautiful long stretch of golden sandy beach (1.5km long!). It has beautiful blue crystal clear waters too.
- If you have any spare days and like walking, rent a scooter to explore the mountains in the northern part of the island. All the way to Apollonas you can see villages nestled into the hillsides. Then do a 2.5 hour round trip trek to Naxos’s highest peak – Mount Zas. Great views of the neighbouring Cycladic Islands.
- Ios is known as a party place – a lively party atmosphere to the wee hours that concentrates around the main village of Chora and Mylopotas beach. Party by night and sleep on the beach by day.
- However, Ios also has other beaches off the beaten track for a more peaceful beach holiday including for families.
- Not much sightseeing here but definitely worth the visit is the hill above Chora village with breathtaking views.
- There are local buses available leaving from the port to Chora and then the famous beach of Mylopotas. There are other buses that go to a few secluded beaches, like Manganari and Agia Theodoti.
- PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Hermes Hotel, located on the hillside halfway between Chora village and Mylopotas Beach, with the most spectacular views.
- Located in the Aegean Sea and has a much different feel than the Cycladic Islands (eg. Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Syros, Tinos, Santorini). The vegetation is green instead of a dried brown. And people live in normal shaped houses with orange tiled roofs (not the typical white-washed boxed houses with blue roofs.
- Good spot to jump across to Turkey for a few days – ferries leave to Kusadasi in 1.5 hours.
- If you were only able to choose one island to see in Greece, Santorini would be the one! There’s a black beach, red beach and white beach. Amazing views over the cliffs of Thira town. And sunset from Oia is spectacular too.
- There is a tour to the volcanos extinct crater. The hike around the crater is uninteresting (even the second time I went) but a swim in the natural hot water springs made the trip worth it.