If you’re wondering how to plan a trip to Greece, you’re not alone. Greece might be one of the most beautiful countries in the world – it’s full of incredible scenic vistas, an amazing culture and cuisine, and a history like no other. That’s just scratching the surface of all Greece has to offer! So, knowing where to begin is essential. For that reason, we’ve put together this simple guide that will help you with all the basics you need to plan a great Greek vacation. Read these important details below.
CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn the essential travel tips you must consider so you know how to plan a trip to Greece, including:
- Planning a Trip to Greece – An Introduction
- Best Time to Visit Greece
- Packing for a Trip to Greece
- How Long You Should Stay in Greece
- What to See and Do in Greece
- Final Thoughts on How to Plan A Trip to Greece
Planning a Trip to Greece – An Introduction
You’ll find Greece in southeastern Europe, bordering Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Republic of Macedonia. It’s located on the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula, with the Ionian Sea on one side, and the Aegean on the other. Greece is uniquely situated at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa – but has a strong national identity.
Greece is one of the most amazing countries to visit, especially if you are among the people that love lounging on a beach near the sea.
There, you’ll find over 400 beaches in Greece that have been awarded the “blue flag.” That means it adheres to high standards for environmental rules, guest services, and safety. You can even enjoy stunning black sand beaches in Greece.
Additionally, you’ll find 6,000+ Greek islands and islets sprinkled throughout the Ionian and Aegean seas. The waters surrounding Greece are pristine and vibrant blue, a stark contrast to the iconic white architecture. So, it’s safe to say that a beach lover could be very happy island hopping from beach to beach in Greece.
Greece is also well-known for its ancient history. It’s home to:
- The Acropolis – 5th C BCE hilltop temple
- Parthenon – 5th C BCE temple ruins in Athens
- Delphi – Ancient archeological site once revered as the center of the earth, and dedicated to the god, Appollo
- Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus – 4th C BCE theatre with incredible accoustics
Greece is also the home to the original Olympic games, held from about 800 BCE to 400 CE in Olympia.
The First “Thought Leaders”
Some of the most influential thinkers made their ideas popular Athens. You might recognize the names of these ancient Greek philosophers, many of whom lived and contemplated in the capital city.
- Aristotle – his philosophy is the basis of today’s academic study
- Democritus – advocated for democracy, equality and liberty, and is also the father of modern science
- Plato – considered the father of political science, founded the Academy in Athens, one of the world’s first institution of higher learning
- Pythagoras – invented the Pythagorean Theorem, a key computation in geometry
- Socrates – created the Socratic Method, where finding truth is based in discussion, argument, and dialogue
As you can see, many teachings of these great philosophers still influence the world today – even though they were written thousands of years before.
Delicious Greek Food
Finally, you will fall in love with Greece’s delicious cuisine. Some of the things for which it is most famous include:
- Baklava – a desert made of nuts, honey or sugar water, and layers of phyllo dough and butter
- Dolma – also known as stuffed grape leaves. Some are stuffed with just rice, others with meats, like lamb or beef.
- Mousakka – a dish layered with sliced eggplant, meat sauce, and bêchemel sauce
- Pastitsio – a “Greek lasagna” made with pasta noodles, meat sauce, cheese, and bêchemel sauce
- Souvlaki – lamb kabobs, sometimes with grilled vegetables
- Spanakopita – spinach pie made with feta cheese and rolled into triangles made of the thin, buttered pastry called phyllo dough.
- Tzatziki – a yogurt-based sauce made with cucumber, dill, and onion
Greece welcomes visitors with open arms. Since it is a country that relies on tourism, you will find some of the most impressive resorts, pristine beaches, and relaxing islands on earth.
Now that you have some background information to go on, let’s look at what you should know about Greece so you can best plan your trip. For instance, you’ll need to know the best time to visit, what to pack, where to visit and eat.
Keep reading to learn the answers. Then, the Hellenic Republic will welcome you with its open arms.
Best Time to Visit Greece
Since Greece is located in southeast Europe, it has a Mediterranean climate.
This means that the summers are hot and dry, with temperatures occasionally hitting as high as 104°F (40°C).
And now with climate change and global warming, temperatures are even higher during the summer months.
Depending on how you plan to spend your time in Greece, you can visit this country from April to late November and you will surely have a lot of sunshine and little rain. But be prepared for constant heat waves during summer.
Summer is also known as the most touristy season, so if you want to avoid huge crowds, visit Greece before peak season starts.
So, if you want to avoid these hot dry days and the crowds, the best time to visit Greece is from spring to early summer.
You will also avoid paying a premium at that time, as prices during the holiday season go up.
Packing Considerations for Greece
What should you pack for Greece?
Consider that Greece is the country where it seems to be summer or spring all day. Expect temperatures will range from 53.6°F to 104°F (12°C to 40°C), depending on when you visit.
During summer, days are hot and dry, so make sure you pack summer clothes, such as:
- T-shirts, shirts, dresses, shorts, and swimsuits are a must-have
- A hat or something to cover your head and protect you from the sun
- Sunglasses are a good idea, too
- Do not forget a reusable bottle to refill it with water, as you need to keep yourself hydrated. Click here to see my favorite stainless water bottle.
- Be sure to bring sandals and comfortable walking shoes for touring
It rarely snows in Greece; instead, the winters are mild and wet, so it mostly rains. So if you’re visiting Greece in the winter, you’ll want to pack accordingly.
How Long to Stay in Greece?
How long to stay in Greece is one of the most inportant questions you can ask yourself.
And, it depends.
Visiting a new country surely comes with new experiences, new places to discover, new things to taste, and traditions and historical context to learn. If you have the time, you could truly immerse yourself in the culture with a long-stay vacation of several months or longer.
But, how long you will stay on any trip depends on other factors, including your working conditions. As remote work has become something of the “new normal,” you might be able to work from wherever they want. That might allow you to take a longer trip.
If you’re short on time, the minimum would be at least a week, which will allow you to catch a glimpse of some of the most iconic sites. Given 7 days in Greece, perhaps those highlights might include resorts in Mykonos, the black sands of Santorini, and the old theaters of Athens. You could get a taste of the local culture and traditions with a week’s vacation, but it will be quick.
If at all possible, stay in Greece for three weeks. (Trust me, you won’t regret it.)
What to See & Do in Greece
You know by now that Greece is a beautiful country full of history and delicious cuisine. If you plan your itinerary to touch upon each of these things, your trip will be unforgettable.
That said, here are our top recommendations along those lines.
The Greek islands are known for their dreamy vibe. Mesmerizing beaches, the azure of the sea, snorkeling, and diving are just some of the things you will see and do at any one of these beauties.
You can choose from quite a few Greek islands to visit, each having a distinct “personality.” If possible, pick several and spend a few days on each one.
Among the most popular and impressive Greek islands:
- Corfu – Greece’s “greenest” island with more than 2 million olive trees and plenty of beaches
- Crete – the largest island, a vibrant city scene, beaches, and ancient ruins
- Santorini – whitewashed architecture with blue accents, steep cliffs, stunning sunsets
- Mykonos – fresh seafood, delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and mezze (small plates) dining culture.
- Naxos – long white sandy beaches, wind sports, fresh agriculture from the fertile valley and mountains
- Paros – other-worldly rock formations sculpted by sea and surf
You will have no trouble finding comfortable resorts to choose from on any one of these islands. Be sure to find time to admire the specific architecture of each place as well as to journey to the cliff-top villages.
Everyone has heard about the empire of Ancient Greece, and Athens was its capital.
If you can afford to, spend 3 days in Athens to truly explore it’s wonder.
Here, you can get to know more about the history of the empire and visit some of the most iconic places in Greece.
This includes the Acropolis of Athens and the Parthenon.
Some other places you might want to visit are:
- The Acropolis Museum – archeological findings of The Acropolis
- Temple of Olympian Zeus – ruins of a temple built while Hadrian ruled
- Temple of Athena Nike – temple ruins dedicated to the goddess, Athena
- Plaka Neighborhood – the historical neighborhood of Athens that feels more like a village
- Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens – “”Mētrópolis” is home of the Archdiocese and the site of important ceremonies
- Monastiraki Flea Market – a market where youll find an eclectic mix of goods
- Filopappou Hill – scenic vista with panoramic sunrise and sunset views
- National Art Gallery – 20th century Greek art and Renaissance Western European art
You’ll find so many museums in Athens, from music, to early technology, to war, to jewelry and more. By visiting a few museums while you are in Athens, you will see first-hand how the ancient civilization of Greece and others ate, dressed, cooked, and more.
Plus, Athens is a vibrant city and the birthplace of western civilization. And, if your intellect needs a break, you can choose from 20 beaches in Athens.
Thessalonica / Thessaloniki, Greece
Plan to spend a day in Thessaloniki if you are short on time. Ideally, take two days.
Thessaloniki, known in biblical times as Thessalonica, is a port city and the second most amazing city in Greece, after the capital.
Here you can see how the old architecture is deeply intertwined with the modern one, but also discover more about the traditional cuisine.
This city was part of the Ottoman empire for quite some time, you’ll be able to visit a couple of Byzantine monuments in Thessaloniki.
In addition, you’ll find here:
- Arch of Galarius – ancient monument depicting victory scenes
- Aristoteleus Square – where you can grab a bite at one of several waterfront cafes.
- Cathedral Church of Aga Sophia of Thessalonica, one of the oldest city churches
- Ladadika Quarter – historic marketplace and entertainment district by the port with great nightlife
- Modiano Market – delicious food market and landmark
- Roman Forum of Thessaloniki – ruins of an 2nd Century BCE ancient forum
- The Church of Saint Dimitrios – church and remains of the city’s patron saint
- White Tower of Thessaloniki – city history museum in an ancient tower
Final Thoughts on How to Plan a Trip to Greece
When you travel to Greece, it will likely become one of your favorite destinations. The vibe is so relaxing and comfortable that you could be tempted spend the rest of your life here. And while you’re traveling through the Greek Islands, Athens, and Thessaloniki, be sure to get your fill of delicious tzatziki, souvlaki, and moussaka. Because once have have a taste for Greece, you can’t return soon enough.
Eliza Sadler is a professional journalist with extensive experience. She writes at at bestessay.com and as a freelancer. Eliza enjoys creating original works that meet the highest standards.
Photo credits – Canva Pro
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