While Greece hasn’t made it to any of Lonely Planet’s top 10 lists for 2013 (bummer!), no one stops me from sharing some of the best places to visit in Greece next year.
Most of us start making plans for next year’s trips already and, sometimes, coming up with new, interesting (and affordable) destinations can be tricky and time consuming. Here are some ideas to check out for your next trip in Greece!
The capital of Greece remains the best choice when traveling outside the high season. Honestly, you wouldn’t want to be in Athens during July and August, anyway , unless you are a big fan of scorching temperatures.
But outside the summer months, Athens is the best place to be. You can visit the archeological sights when they are not crowded (and sometimes not pay an entrance fee either) , enjoy the nightlife, eat in taverns which are not overrun by tourists and even take a day trip to one of the close-by islands (ferries run year-round between Athens and Aegina and Hydra, for example). Plan to stay at least for 3 days and visit the important historical sites (and maybe even some museums).
Due to the turmoil in Athens, it’s never been cheaper to visit the place. I’ve looked up accommodation for mid-March 2013 and prices are around €20 /night / double room in a hotel.
If you want to fly on a popular island (which means there are plenty of flights going there) but don’t want to face the crowds, then Stavros, on Crete, is an excellent choice for 2013. It’s located about 30 min drive from Chania and is ideal for those who like to take long walks (runs) during their holiday.
There are some apart-hotels in the area but no hostels. Still, a night here will set you back from €28 /night / double room in the middle of May 2013.
>>read more about Getting from Athens to Crete
And if you really want to go off the beaten path, then Gavdos is what you should consider. Again, you can fly into Heraklion (Crete) easily but then you need to take a ferry to the southernmost island in the Mediterranean. And yes, there isn’t much to do here than relax on the beach. The island is believed to be the mythological home of the enchantress Calypso and there’s a cave which can be visited and some say it’s Calypso’s cave (while others say the real cave vanished some hundred years ago).
Pack a tent or look up accommodation (this is a good start). You cannot really book directly online but you can talk directly to the owners (and usually pay 10% in advance so that they know you are serious about going).
>>read more about Getting from Crete to Gavdos
It’s another beautiful island, off the beaten track, and an excellent choice for the Easter Holiday in Greece. (In 2013, Orthodox Easter falls on May 5). The island is the center of government for the Cyclades but most people do not work in the tourism industry; which means you get a chance to see the real life of Greek people.
If you do plan to come to Syros during the Easter weekend make sure to book the domestic leg of the trip ahead of time (it can be ferry or flight , from Athens; or ferry from another larger island in the Cyclades).
You can walk the narrow back streets of Ermoupolis (the island’s capital city), check out the medieval city , spend time in a public plaza and spend time on the beach.
Prices can be as low as €25 / night/ double room during the Easter weekend (if you purchase in advance).
It is another off the beaten path island, this time located in the Sporades. Years ago it was incredibly difficult to get here but now it’s getting somewhat easier (ferry from Agios Konstantinos). The island is a gem for those interested in photography. If you are an avid swimmer, you are also lucky: the waters are some of the cleanest in the Aegean.
Just put on your walking shoes and explore the island. Alternatively, you can rent a car (or a scooter). Better yet, talk to some locals and see if you can get your hands on a boat.
Price-wise you can get away with €19 /night/double room in a 2-star hotel if you book in advance.
>>read more about Getting from Skopelos to Alonissos