Tips for having a great first trip to Greece

by Cristina on November 3, 2009

by Cristina | November 3rd, 2009  

acropolisPlanning your first trip to any country is very exciting, isn’t it? Between making a list of things to do, where to head first, where to stay, what islands to visit and many other interesting and exciting things, it’s easy to just ignore some of the things that can make or break your first vacation in Greece.

Here are some tips to help you plan a great first trip to Greece:

Saving on flights to Greece

The high travel season in Greece stars in June and ends in September, with the most expensive months being July and August. The great weather though lasts from May to the end of October and even winter in Greece is quite mild (unless you plan to head to one of the ski areas ).

What does that mean for you, the traveler? It means you can save on flights to Greece and enjoy good weather. If you fly from anywhere else than Europe, consider a flight to Athens and then look for either domestic flights or ferries to get to your vacation destination.

Typically, flying on Wednesday or Thursday will get you the cheapest airfare. The weekends tend to be more expensive, especially during the shoulder season.

Taking the Ferries in Greece

Pay attention to the ferries’ schedule. On many routes, there aren’t any ferries working during the winter time as they stop service either in mid-September or by the end of October. Some routes, however, are serviced year round.

Once you get to Athens , get the Athens News newspaper (in English, comes out every Friday) to have the updated ferry schedule. The schedule is also available on line but often the information is not updated. Asking for information directly in the port is your best bet, of course.

>>read more about Ferries from Athens

Make sure you know what NOT to do in Greece

When traveling to a country for the first time, you should always do some research regarding the local customs and things that are considered risky or even taboo. While Greece doesn’t shock Europeans, other nationals might have some “interesting” experience when they assume they can speak English everywhere or that everything will go as planned. Needless to say, it’s always best to stay away from driving while intoxicated.

>>read more about 8 Things Not to do in Greece

Understand that religion is an important part of the Greek lifestyle

meteoraThe majority of Greeks are Christian Orthodox and religion plays an important role in their lives. Do a little bit of research especially about the clothing requirements when visiting the churches or monasteries.

For a special vacation in Greece – especially if you are interested in customs and traditions – plan your vacation around the Orthodox Easter or Christmas .

Read more about:

>>Visiting the Monasteries of Meteora
>>Greek Christmas Menu and Recipes
>>Easter Food in Greece

Know what to wear (and pack accordingly)

You really don’t want to drag too many suitcases around and realize you didn’t even need half the clothes, do you? So do a little bit of research. Whether your goal is not to look like a tourist – although when the camera comes out you are busted anyway – or you just want to make sure you are not bringing the entire closet with you, knowing some things about how the locals dress and what’s the weather like in Greece both during summer and winter is the least you can do to plan a worry-free vacation.

Read more about:

>>What to wear in Greece during the cold season
>>What to wear in Greece during the summer
>>Weather in Greece

Considering Travel Insurance

Buying travel insurance when traveling to Greece is probably the last thing on your budget…if you are among those who actually consider buying such a service. European Union nationals don’t need to worry about purchasing travel medical insurance, but what about the case when the flight the gets canceled?

Don’t get us wrong though. Greece is not a dangerous place to visit. However, earthquakes take place here quite frequently, ferries and flights do get canceled and if you consider doing some risky activities (eg. climbing) you might want to be protected if anything bad happens. Plus, travel insurance is downright cheap nowadays.

Additional reading

>> 5 Travel Tips for Your Summer Vacation in Greece
>> Greece has many similarities with the Eastern Europe so knowing some things about Getting around Eastern Europe will give you some insight on what the Balkans are all about.

Photos by WhyGoGreece and may not be used without permission.

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