What You Need To Know About Planning A Trip To Greece

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Here is your ultimate guide to planning a trip to Greece. We’ve covered everything from island hopping, accommodation, visa, food, entertainment, and much, much, much more.

Greece Travel Blog_How To Plan A Trip To Greece

Are you getting ready to plan a trip to Greece? Yay! You’re going to have a blast.

Heading to a place like Greece will guarantee you a great time. However, I know from past experiences that it can be a little mind-boggling when it comes to navigating the details, especially when you want to include a few Greek islands on your itinerary.

Below we’ve covered all the main questions like what to eat in Greece, the best places to stay in Greece, Greek trip visa requirements, and of course, things to do in Greece. Read on for these and more ideas on how best to plan your trip to Greece

When Is The Best Time To Visit Greece

Best Greek Islands For Couples

Whenever considering a trip to Greece, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is a paradisiac beach holiday. Home to some of the most stunning European beaches, the country is instantly synonymous with seascapes, glorious beaches, and turquoise seas.

However, not everyone knows that the summers in Greece can be unbearably hot and humid and that sometimes it might be a much more winning idea to plan a trip to Greece during spring or even autumn.

It is also true that when we hear the word Greece, dozens of name islands come to our minds as if only Crete, Santorini, or Mykonos are the places worth visiting. However, the Greek Islands are just a fraction of the country’s landscape.

Mainland Greece is made of unique cities, villages, and landscapes, primarily mountainous, making the country a perfect winter destination, ideal for practicing winter sports, including skiing or snowboarding.

For this reason, we’ve come up with this season-by-season guide to Greece to help you discover the different types of vacations you can enjoy in the country, even for those that don’t go crazy about beach holidays!

How Many Days To Spend In Greece

Planning A Trip To Greece - Temple of Concordia and the statue of Fallen Icarus, in the Valley of the temples

As many as you can, honestly, the country offers so much that you should not try and rush Greece. Take as many vacation days as possible.

How To Plan A Trip To Greece – Make An Itinerary

Aerial view over southern skiathos island, Greece
Skiathos Island

Whoah, this is the trickiest of all Greek vacation planning. After all, there is no amount of time on any one vacation to see all of this incredible country.

Greek Trip Plans – Decide If You Stopover Or Spend A Few Days

If you’re heading to Greece on a stopover to another place and have just a few days, stick to Athens and perhaps one of the Greek islands closest to Athens, such as the hypnotizing island of Hydra. Other choices include:

  • Hydra
  • Spetses
  • Poros
  • Aegina
  • Agistri
  • Kea
  • Kythnos
  • Andros
  • Tinos
  • Sifnos
  • Serifos
  • Syros

A Week In Greece

Now, if you have a week to spend in Greece, your options open up much more! I would not skip exploring the place you’re landing in – which would most likely be either Athens or Thessonali. You can see quite a few things in either place in two or three days and get your bearings in Greece

Of course, it is then time to get planning a trip to the Greek islands. Try to choose islands where you can add a trip or two, making the most of your week’s stay. Or else you’ll spend too much time packing and traveling and less time on the beaches and eating Greek food! I would stick to a maximum of two islands.

Ten Days In Greece Itinerary

Having more than a week in Greece seriously opens up your island exploration options. If it’s your first time in Greece, you might want to try and fit in as many destinations as possible in your itinerary – just be warned, the result could be too overwhelming.

However, if you keep your itinerary well-planned and straightforward, ten days can be a good number of days to see the best of the country and its islands.

If you’re lucky enough to have ten days (or more) to spend in Greece, here are some ideas for spending those magical ten days. 

  • Mainland Greece Itinerary
  • Island Itinerary – Classic Cyclades
    • Days 1 – 2 Athens
    • Day 3 Mykonos
    • Days 4-6 Naxos
    • Days 7-8 Paros
    • Days 9-10 Mykonos – Athens
  • Mainland And Top Islands
    • Days 1-3 Athens
    • Days 3-5 Mykonos-Santorini
    • Days 6-9 Crete
    • Day 10 Athens

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How Much Is A Trip To Greece

Things to do in Ios Island - Traditional Greek taverns on the streets. Ios island

When you plan a vacation to Greece, you want to know how much you need to budget for. 

But this is one question that we can not answer. We tend to travel in a mix between budgets and do not keep track of costs. But, like any place, Greece can be done on a budget if you travel to Greece out of season or stay out of the more popular areas. 

Equally, you can spend thousands of euros a day on a villa and much the same on good food and booze.  So when you plan a Greece vacation, just know you can find things to do and see, suitable for all budgets!

How To Get Around The Greek Islands

There is nothing more magical, romantic, and adventurous than boarding a Greek ferry and sailing the sea to explore the unique beaches of Greece. Although most of us close our eyes and dream about the enchanting images of white Santorini, there are so many more Greek islands to choose from that you never know exactly where to start when planning a trip.

You must first know that the islands are divided into different groups. As well as that, some islands are extremely popular among Greek island hopping tourists, while others, equally enchanting, are almost unknown and offer a great vacation spot for those looking for less crowded places.

So how do you planning to get around? First, you need to know which islands you want to visit and if they have direct ferry connections. In that case, you need to start here and choose the islands you want to see. 

After you have done that, we have many island guides to help you plan how to travel between them.

How To Choose Which Greek Islands & Places To Visit

With thousands of choices about where to go and what to see, we know it’s all oh-so-hard to choose. To help you weigh up where to go and what to know, we’ve started a few lists – and will add to them over the year.

How To Get To Greece

Airports On Greek Islands - Greek Islands With Airports - Thessaloniki Airport, Greece

Are you looking to find out about flights to the Greek islands? Like, which Greek islands have airports? Maybe you need to know where the international airports in Greece are. Almost all of the Greek island groups have at least one international airport; the exception is Evia, but it is very close to the mainland, so in that case, you can fly into Athens.  

There are two major airports in Greece, the busiest is in Athens (ATH), and the second is in Thessaloniki (SKG).

What To Buy In Greece

What to buy in Greece - Greek Souvenirs - Komboloi

If you’re planning a trip to Greece and are wondering what souvenirs you can bring home from your Greece vacation, we’ve got you covered!

Souvenir collecting is always fun. Several items in this list represent Greece, which makes excellent gifts for someone who loves Greece. And the good news is, Greece is a country of rich culture and local specialties.

Where To Stay In Greece

Those Instaworthy hotels fill up fast; I advise booking well in advance if you want the best views and tooms. If you’re much more flexible, nothing ever fills up completely, so you can book last-minute – be prepared to be on the outskirts and have the older, less renovated accommodations.  

What To Pack For Greece

What To Pack For Greece - Greece Packing List

Are you an over-packer? You may want to try to trim down your luggage when packing for Greece. Why? There are lots of stairs, cobblestone streets to navigate, and often no bellhops in sight.

Of course, you can not forget the essentials, such as:

  • Visa & passport: If you’re from a European country belonging to the Schengen Zone, you can access the country only with your ID. But now it’s a good time to check if your passport is valid or if you need to renew it. Please keep it safe in a passport holder.’ 02r rental docwould’veFind out if you need an International Driving Permit, and if you do, check how to get the request process started. Also, check what o her documents you might need to rent a car in Greece, including your credit card here.
  • Insurance: Never travel abroad without adequate insurance coverage. Now is the time to take care of it!

Then after you have sorted those things, you should read our detailed guide about what to pack for Greece here.

How To Get Around The Greek Islands

Getting around Istanbul - The ferry in the Bosphorus, Istanbul

There is magic to be had onboard a Greek ferry, island hopping from one glorious island to the next! Some islands are not easy to reach, while others are so close. We have guides on how to get to the main ones below and will add more later this year.

Traveling Greece With Kids

Your Guide To Santorini With Kids (Plus The Pros and Cons List)

Greece is one of the most family-friendly destinations in the world. Really! It is! As a mom of two boys, I have to take my kids everywhere I travel, and Greece with kids is easy.

Few countries are as perfect for a family holiday as Greece. A trip where both kids and parents can enjoy something, especially for each of them. Other favorites of ours are Croatia and Slovenia). The government manages to combine many key features that attract families from all over the world year after year, coming to Greece to enjoy a relaxing and pleasant family vacation in Greece that’s also fun for every family member.,

Car Rental And Driving Tips In Greece

Planning A Trip To Greece - Driving in Greece

Is it a good idea to drive to Greece? Yes! Provided you listen to the rules, you take your time, bear in mind that locals sometimes drive a little more erratically than you might be used to, and you hire the correct type of car for your needs; driving is a beautiful way to check out the passing landscapes.

Drinking & Eating In Greece

What To Eat In Turkey - Turkish Food - Tavuk Shish

It’s a fact that Greek food is loved worldwide and will be well remembered once your holiday is over.

Any mealtime in Greece is a big event. Moreover, enjoying Greek cuisine comes with a lesson; you will learn that the simplest ingredients are the best ones, and you will realize that you need nothing more than freshness and simplicity to have a feast at the table.

Mediterranean vegetables, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, the catch of the day, goat, lamb, chicken, grains, fantastic varieties of bread, creative pies, and unique fresh salads are some things you’ll experience. Good quality honey, thick, rich yogurt, and good local wine are among the staples of Greek cuisine that you should try.

Do You Need A Visa For Greece

Balkan Flags_Greece 2

To make things very easy, Greece is part of the Schengen Zone, which means that for many of you, you can probably visit without the need to apply for a visa.

If you’re eligible, you can enjoy up to ninety days in the Schengen Zone in as many countries as you like – make sure you do not have too much fun and overstay your 90 days (in a 190-day period), or else you’ll get into big trouble.  

Short On Time? Stay On The Mainland

Archaeological Sites In Greece - Parthenon on Acropolis, Athens, Greece

The islands are a must-see without question, but make sure you leave time for the mainland. You’ll take home tonnes of photos and memories from places like Meteora; the archaeological sites and the beaches on the mainland are just as pretty as those on the islands.

Honeymoon In Greece

Active Honeymoon In Greece - Santorini Honeymoon

It’s a no-brainer that Greece is the ideal spot for lovers and honeymooners. If you’re designing a couples Greek island vacation, we’ve got the low down for a Greece trip below:

How To Tip In Greece

Balkan Flags_Greece 2

The tipping culture in Greece may not be known to you as it varies from country to country in Europe. This Greece tipping guide will help you navigate this tricky part of travel.

What Currency To Take To Greece

How to save money as an expat_Euro

There is just one currency that you can use – Euros. The local currency in Greece has been the Euro since 2002. If you’ve spoken to people about travels in Greece pre ’02, then they would’ve used the Greek Drachma.

Euro notes: 5 – 500

Euro coins: 1 & 2 euro coins, 5 – 50 euro cents

Are you wondering, “will my credit card work in Greece?” Worry not; you’re free to use your credit or debit card quite widely in main towns, cities, and tourist areas, although be sure to have cash handy if you’re heading into a more rural or smaller area, as you may struggle to find ATMs or restaurants with card machines. Outside of rural areas, ATMs are very widely available.

Facts About Greece

Archaeological Sites In Greece - Knossos Palace

In getting ready for your epic trip to Greece, you might be curious to learn interesting, fun, and fascinating facts about the country? Or maybe you want to surprise your friends after a holiday? No matter what your case is, we’ve got you covered. 

This little guide on planning a trip to Greece is just a taste of what we can tell you about Greece. Be sure to hit Greece in the menu above to find more hints and tips on how to plan a Greece trip.


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