Greece Travel Tips

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greece travel review

Some of the oldest stories and myths that are known to man come from ancient Greece. Tales of the Greek Isles entice us with both ancient and modern wonders. From Ancient temples to modern nightclubs, from the top of a mountain where a “god” once sat to seeing a pristine underwater world, Greece awaits to entertain and educate us.

In this page you will find practical information to plan a scuba diving trip to Greece:

Where to stay?

There are so many tourist destinations within Greece, it is very difficult to provide a short list. Greece has many cities that are great to visit both on the mainland and on the islands. The islands themselves all have unique gifts. Greece is a place you definitely need a long vacation to fully utilize your time.

  • Athens: The Plaka District offers some of the most interesting sites in the world. Athens is the birthplace of democracy, drama, and philosophy and today is both an open-air museum and a modern city. This is not a city that can be fully explored on a short weekend trip.
  • Thessaloniki is also known as Thessalonica, Salonica, or Salonika. It is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, and the capital of Greek Macedonia. The city was founded around 315 BC and today is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. Ano Poli, the upper town, has ruins from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman eras.
age of man athens greece

Age of Man by Pedro


  • Milos Island: CNN Travel said this about Milos: “Dazzling white rock formations, hidden caves, and breathtaking beaches contrast with arresting blue seas to make Milos one of the most impressive islands in Greece”. Milos Island is not as known as some other places, however, those that do visit repeat often.
  • Crete is the largest of the Greek Islands, located far south in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. There you will find lively cities such as Heraklion, Chania, and Rethymno, lovely white sandy beaches, but also archeological sites and rugged mountains.
  • Corfu, the Grand Lady of the Ionian, is an island of natural beauty and centuries of history. Mythical legends were born on this island, or the islands were born from mythology. The myths say you’ll find your soul mate if you swim the Canal d’Amour. Turn the corner and history changes. You will find wonders from the 12th century until the 19th century.

Accommodations in Greece:

  • Hotels: standard type, traditional guesthouses, farm stays, lodgings, bed&breakfast, etc.
  • Tourist residences and villas – all kind of self-catering accommodations.
  • Rooms for rent and homestays
  • Apartments for rent: You can find anything from studio apartments for grand villas overlooking the sea.
  • Camping: organized places for camping throughout Greece which operate under the official G.N.T.O. seal. They provide places for tents or caravans, as well as small bungalows.
  • Youth hostels: Most are not restricted by age. If you are looking for a safe inexpensive place to stay, where you can meet both locals and travelers then a hostel should be your place.

Activities and excursions in Greece

There are many reasons to visit Greece. The beauty of the different Greek Islands is certainly a strong draw for many travelers. The ancient history of Greece and the Greek mythology are also reasons that bring people from all over the world to visit Greece. Here are a few highlights you must consider:

  • Athens and the Acropolis: The Parthenon, one of the temples found in the Acropolis, is one of the most recognized ancient structures in the world. A stroll along the two-and-a-half-kilometer Archaeological Promenade is sure to seem like a walk back in time. Finish your tour with a visit to the new Acropolis Museum.
  • Santorini: There are many reasons to visit the island, however, you should include a visit to the cliff-top towns of Fira and Oia. These town located on the west coast overlook the deep blue sea-filled caldera. The architecture and the scenery are well worth the trip.
Scuba Dive Santorini Greece by Desousa

Santorini, Greece by Desousa


  • The Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage that is familiar to everyone who had to read Bulfinch’s mythology in high school. Emperor Theodosius I, in 390 CE, destroyed the temple in an attempt to eradicate the old pagan beliefs. Still enough of it is left to feel the power of the old gods.
  • Meteora Monasteries: The Plain of Thessaly, which lies between Mount Oeta/Othrys and Mount Olympus, was the site of the battle between the Titans and the Olympians. Above this plain is the Pindus mountains. The foothills of these mountains have large outcrops of rocks, some of which are the home of monasteries. These monasteries are on the UNESCO World Heritage list, and six of them are open to the public.
  • Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil: If you love Mediterranean cooking or that bit of a snack in your martini, then a visit to this museum is a must. The museum is located in Sparta.

Best time to visit Greece

The peak tourist season runs from late June until early September. August is the busiest month and the prices are highest. Also, July and August see the temperatures soar with many days at 100°F/+40°C.

If water activities are high on your list, the best months may be late May and early June or September and early October. The water temperatures are suitable and the crowds are not at their peak.

Finally, lots of people will agree that, unless you plan on swimming, Spring and Fall are outstanding times to visit Greece!

greece travel review

Monastery Meteora Greece by Andy Montgomery

Health and Safety

Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Modern Medicine”, established a medical school at Cos and is the most important figure in ancient Greek medicine. Today the people of Greece have the National Healthcare Service.

Over the last few years, there have been serious concerns raised over the state of the public system. Budget cuts and the shortage of staff have been cited for a lowering of the level of care. However, recent reports still place Greece higher than some of their EU neighbors.

Visitors from EU member states should make sure that they have a European Health Insurance card. As for visitors from countries that are required to obtain a visa, they will also be required to obtain health insurance during the visa process.

Also, as a matter of fact, it is advisable that all visitors, irrespective of their nationality, take out a personal medical insurance policy. Payment may be requested in advance in non-life threatening situation if insurance cannot be verified.

If you do have additional health insurance and are not relying on the European Health Insurance card, there are many private doctors and hospitals. The private sector accounts for about 50% of the health care system.

Most importantly, you should know that there have been a number of cases of West Nile virus in Greece. You should consider preventative measures to minimize exposure to mosquitoes, for example using mosquito repellent when outdoors and closing doors or windows or using screens

In case of emergency call:

  • Ambulance Service: 166
  • SOS Doctors: 1016 (Note they are not covered by the EHIC. )
  • Duty Hospitals and Clinics: 1434
  • Pharmacies: 1434
  • Open Line for alcohol drug Addiction: 210 3617089
  • Poisoning First Aid: 210 7793777
  • Police: 100
  • Tourist Police: 1571

Regarding safety in Greece, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada among others have travel advisories for Greece. Overall, Greece is considered a country where you should take normal precautions. On the issue of terrorism, the United States gives it a medium threat level, similar to the UK and Canada’s heightened threat level. Also, the travel advisories mention that areas around migrant camps should be avoided.

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Greece, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Where is Greece located in the world?

Greece is a country in southeastern Europe and a member of the European Union. The country, which is also called the cradle of western civilization, is divided into 13 regions. Indeed, there are nine regions on the mainland, at the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula, and four island groups.

Greece has land borders with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The country has numerous islands, including Crete, the Dodecanese, the Cyclades and the Ionian Islands among others. In fact, there are approximately 1,400 islands in total with only 227 being inhabited.

How to get to Greece?

Greece has 15 international airports as well as twenty-five National and five Municipal airports. According to the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) statistics, five airports have 75% of the country’s tourists transiting through them. These are the airports of Athens, Heraklion, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, and Chania.

Moreover, the airport of Athens, El. Venizelos International airport has the most international connections and is definitely the main point of entrance in the country.

Do I need a visa for Greece?

Greece is a member of the EU and is a part of the Schengen agreement. Thus, nationals of other member countries of the Schengen only need a valid travel document if entering Greece from outside of the Schengen area.

Moreover, travelers from a number of countries that are entering Greece for periods of less than 90 days will not need a visa. Visitors who plan to stay over 90 days, including any time spent visiting in the last 180 days, will be required to obtain a visa. Also, nationals of certain countries will require a visa for any visit.

You will find more details as well as the complete list of authorized, visa waived, countries on the Greek Government’s webpage.

Furthermore, as is it the case in many countries, you may be asked to have some documents with you for your trip to Greece. Indeed, this includes a proof of sufficient funds for the period of stay in Greece and a return airline ticket. Generally, there are several recognized ways to prove your financial sufficiency.

Again, all the official and updated information can be obtained from the Greek government webpage.

Getting Around

The bus system is well-developed in Greece. Most cities, towns and even villages have a local bus system. The mainland has a system of long-distance buses that can get you around the country. Unlike the rest of Europe, Greece’s rail system is underdeveloped.

Greece has 15 international airports as well as 25 national ones and 5 municipal airports. This system allows air transport to many areas. The longest domestic flight is just over 45 minutes. Most flights are around 30 minutes. Also, note that a flight might need to be combined with a ferry to reach some destinations.

Indeed, a ferry system connects the Greek islands with each other and to the mainland. There’s more than one type of ferry which you can board. First, the car ferries are the slowest, but you have more space to move around. In fact, some of them even have cabins. Secondly, the high-speed ferries will get you there in more than half of the time that the average car ferries would take. These often have aircraft style seating and different classes.

Overall, Greece is a dreamy and charming destination. Whether you’re fond of mythology and history, or you’re just looking for a great outdoor adventure and some beach time, Greece has something for you!

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Scuba diving

You will find all information about sea life, best time to visit, top dive spots, etc. in our review: Greece Diving

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Ship wrecks, modern and ancient, underwater caves, caverns and outstanding reefs are all a part of diving Greece.

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