Planning a Trip to Greece: 10 Step Easy to Follow Guide

Planning a Trip to Greece

Greece is a magical country that every traveler should visit! From endless islands to mountain towns and delicious traditional food, there are so many reasons to plan a trip to Greece. So what do you need to know before you go? Our travel guide to Greece will help you start planning the trip of a lifetime! 

Tips For Planning a Trip to Greece

Capital: Athens 
Main Airport: Athens International (ATH)
Popular Island Airports: Santorini (JTR), Mykonos (JMK), Crete (HER), Rhodes (RHO) & Corfu (CFU)
Money: Euro
Visa: Schengen Visa
Best Time to Visit: Swing Season in June & September 

Tips For Planning a Trip to Greece

Travel Guide to Greece

1. How Long is Your Trip to Greece

This first step in planning a trip to Greece is to work out how long your visit will be. Do you have a one-week vacation from work, or are you planning to take the summer off and go island hopping?

The truth is most of us lie somewhere between. Knowing the number of days is essential in figuring out your itinerary. 

While Greece is a very popular country to vacation in, it has also begun to draw in remote workers. Specifically, islands like Rhodes and Crete are attracting all kinds of different travelers! 

Greece Travel Guide Tip: Once you know the number of days try and be flexible until you book a flight. We’ll talk more about this part of planning a trip to Greece soon.

Trip to Greece Holiday

2. Where to Go in Greece

Hands down the hardest part of planning a trip to Greece will be deciding where to go. Personally, we LOVE the islands. Each one is unique in its own way and always leaves us wanting more.

Honestly though, it all depends on what type of vacation you want or traveler you are to begin with. Dreaming of watching the sunset in Santorini, driving the island of Crete, sailing through the Ionian Islands, or exploring the mainland?

Only you can pick a location that fits the type of trip you are looking for. Depending on how long you have, you may be able to visit more than one! We have covered Greece extensively and continue to add more articles each year. Head to the bottom of this post for the links to all our Greece blogs.

Island Groups: Ionian Islands, Cyclades, Aegean Islands, Dodecanese, Sporades Islands!

Popular Mainland Areas: Peloponnese, Central Greece, Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace, Epirus, and Athos 

Some of Our Favorite Islands: Rhodes (Great for Families), Symi (Quiet), Karpathos (Adventure), Milos (Out of this World), and Santorini (Romantic) & Crete (Amazing).

Planning a Greece Trip

3. Time of Year

Before booking anything you should consider the time of year of your travels. For example, if you want to spend your days swimming in the clear blue ocean then you should probably avoid winter in Greece!

While you can visit the beaches year-round, many things in the tourist areas close for the season during winter. There are also fewer flights and ferries to get between the beautiful Greek islands. 

If possible, plan a trip to Greece during the swing season. Late spring and early fall are the best times of year to visit the country! The weather is still nice, there are fewer tourists, and you can find better deals on tours and accommodations. Our personal favorite month to be in Greece is June.

Just some quick words of wisdom. If you are planning a trip to Greece in the high season (July & August) it can be very very busy! This means you will need to pre-book your hotels, rental cars, and activities well in advance. 

→ When’s the Best Time to Visit Greece? Month to Month Breakdown

Greece Season Guide

Spring: March – Late June 
Summer: Late June – Mid September  
Fall: Mid September- December
Winter: December-March

Planning a Trip Greece

4. Trip to Greece Cost Breakdown

Greece is absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime dream destination! With these expectations, people often build it up to be an extremely expensive country. However, what we have found is that it can cater to a range of different budgets. 

Obviously, you CAN visit Mykonos and stay at $1,000 a night villa while spending hundreds of dollars on meals. Yet, you can also get a $15 hostel bed in Rhodes and eat 2 Euro Gyros all day. Slow ferries are a fraction of the price as high-speed ones.

As you can see, there are always deals to find and ways to save money… Even in notoriously expensive places! Keep this in mind when traveling to Greece and other amazing places in Europe.

48 Best Greek Foods, Drinks & Desserts You Can’t Miss in Greece!

Greece Trip Guide

5. Travel Guide to Greece Routes

If you’re planning a trip to Greece we would guess there is a high chance that you are considering island hopping! The one thing we can’t stress enough is not to overpack your trip.

You can visit Greece dozens of times and always discover something new! There is also something special about slowing down and really taking time to soak in the unique Greek culture. If you’re planning to travel to the Cyclades check out our post that covers all the best routes.

More Greece Island Hopping Ideas 

  • 1 Week: Rhodes & Symi Island 
  • 2 Weeks: Rhodes, Halki, & Karpathos 
  • 1-2 Weeks: Kos, Kalymnos & Leros
  • 1 Week: Zakinthos & Kefalonia

Greece Travel Tip: Make sure to account for the day you travel to Greece as well as your departure date into your plans!

Greece Travel Guide

6. Book Your Flights

Ready to make it official? It’s time to book your flight to Greece! Athens International Airport has direct flights arriving from New York City and all over Europe daily. Whether you’re visiting the mainland or heading off the islands, you will most likely start your trip to Greece in Athens.

When starting your search head over to Skyscanner! It’s how we find all our flight deals and have saved thousands of dollars over the years from this website. 

From most countries in Europe, flights are extremely inexpensive to Athens. Yet, from outside of Europe ticket prices can vary. It’s best to stay flexible and even book your ticket around the cheapest dates if possible. This way you can get a great deal when planning a trip to Greece!

Do a Quick Search to Find Your Best Flight Options ↓

 

 

Planning a Trip to Greece Flight

7. How to Get Around Greece

Public Transport: From our experience, public transportation in Greece is very reliable. However, to get to some of the must-see areas (especially on the islands) you may need to rent a car or scooter.

Bus: We’ve taken plenty of buses in Greece, specifically when we used them to get around the island of Crete. Keep an eye on the timetables as they often switch and can be slightly confusing.

Rental Car: Renting a car is ideal on the mainland and bigger islands of Greece. Head to Discover Cars to get a breakdown of the best companies and deals! Unless you plan on taking taxis or tours everywhere, you’ll need one to get to all the best beaches and attractions.

 Scooter: Some of our favorite memories in Greece have been cruising around on scooters! They are such a fun way to see the sights and feel the ocean breeze. Know that you’ll need an international driver’s license in most places to rent one.

 Ferry: The ferries are amazingly efficient to island-hop around Greece on. We actually prefer them instead of flying unless it’s an unreasonable distance. They can also be very inexpensive if you book in advance! 

12 Questions about the Greek Islands Ferry System

→ 5 Helpful Tips for Renting a Car in Rhodes & Why You Should!

Check The Different Boat Options for Your Ferry Route ↓

 

Greece Vacation Car Rental

8. Accommodations

There is a range of accommodations to enjoy in Greece depending on your budget. Below we will break down each category to give you an idea of your options. Hopefully, after reading this travel guide to Greece you will know what type of trip you’re looking for!

Hostels: ($15+ Per Bed) You will find hostels mostly in the cities when planning a trip to Greece. They can be a great place to both meet other travelers and save money.

Airbnb’s: ($50-200) We use Airbnb more than any other accommodation when traveling in Greece. This is where you’ll find awesome deals on apartments with views at a cheaper price than hotels.

Hotels: ($150+) If money is no object on your trip to Greece hotels are the way to go. You can find everything from luxury resorts to colorful boutique hotels in Greece. 

Trip to Greece

9. Greece Activities

It should come as no surprise that there are endless fun activities to enjoy in Greece! Some of our favorite experiences have been boat trips out on the water. Still, there is so many ways to enjoy your time.

Don’t get us wrong… There is nothing wrong with spending all day at the beautiful beaches. Nevertheless, we recommend setting some money aside for fun activities, too! Below are some ideas to consider when planning a trip to Greece.

Trip to Greece Wine Tasting

10. Pack Your Bags and Go! 

Now that you’ve read our Greece travel guide and booked your flight you’re ready to go! Even if you only have a few days in Greece you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time. We have been to over 10 islands now and we still keep going back every year. So taste the food, swim in the ocean, and enjoy life! 

→ Make sure to check out our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

QUICK CHECK BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR HOUSE

  • Pre-book your parking. Make sure to compare and save to get the best deal on airport parking
  • Confirm your baggage allowance and buy extra before getting to the airport. 
  • Download your airlines app and check-in for your flight.
  • Send yourself all your travel documents and confirmations in one email for quick access. 
  • If you don’t have a rental car arrange for an airport transfer or set up a taxi or shuttle.

Travel to Greece Guide

Have any questions about planning a trip to Greece? What about tips from your own visit? Let us know in the comments below! 

Safe Travels, 
Brigitte & Jake

Greece Travel Inspiration

Explore all our Greece articles to help plan your trip! We cover everything from general travel tips to amazing destinations such as Santorini, Paros, Rhodes, Karpathos, Crete, Milos & more beautiful islands!

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Greece Trip

Greece Travel

*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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8 Comments

  1. Valerie
    July 16, 2023 / 1:23 pm

    Hello! I was so excited/relieved to find your great site. My sister and I are Greek (all grandparents born in Greece) and we are finally getting to our homeland. We are going for about 15 days in mid Oct. of this year. We have a relative who lives in Athens, and she is taking us to the village where one of my set of grandparents lived. She had their house redone! So, we are in our 60s. We do want to see an island or two and thought Santorini is a must. A friend who has been to Greece several times said he would skip the party island of Mykonos. He also said less is more and thought it might be hard for us to island hop. If we did, it might be to one more. Any advice? Thanks again!

    • Brigitte & Jake
      July 17, 2023 / 9:14 am

      Hi Valerie! That sounds like such a wonderful trip. Santorini is a definitely a must! We have to say Mykonos isn’t our favorite either. If we were to hit one other island that’s easy to get to from Santorini it would be Paros or Naxos. Hope that helps! October is also a great time of year to visit Greece. Enjoy (-:

  2. Jo
    June 26, 2023 / 1:45 am

    First time to Greece for our family. Planning it for July 2024. Adult family of 5. Cheaper to rent apt than hotel for 5? (2 couples and one single)? Also, I don’t see a NONsmoking for apts on VRBO. Do most people smoke? Is it safe for Americans to drive in Greece and Santorini, not knowing the rules of the road there? How do we go about knowing where to stay vs just picking an apt at random? Will be staying a full week (given 2 days for full travel to and from the US).

    • Brigitte & Jake
      June 26, 2023 / 6:16 am

      Hi Jo,

      That’s so exciting that you’re planning your first trip to Greece with the family! It can definitely be cheaper to find an apartment on platforms like Airbnb or VRBO than booking hotels on Santorini. You may want to look outside the main towns of Fira and Oia for more affordable options.

      We’ve never had an issues as the majority of places are non-smoking. However, you could message the host beforehand just to confirm.

      Renting a car can be a great way to explore all of Santorini, but know that July will be very busy. Parking can be especially tough depending on where you’re staying, too.

      The bus system is great on the island and something we’ve used frequently. Maybe think about renting a car just for one day and the rest of the time use taxis, walk, or take the bus.

      Our articles below can help answer more of your questions about Santorini. Don’t hesitate to reach out via email (nothingfamiliar@gmail.com) if you need some more advice!

      https://www.nothingfamiliar.com/where-to-stay-in-santorini-greece/
      https://www.nothingfamiliar.com/santorini-bus/
      https://www.nothingfamiliar.com/renting-a-car-in-santorini/

      -Brigitte & Jake

  3. December 23, 2022 / 9:08 am

    I love this guide, thanks for sharing! I’m dying to visit Greece finally! 👌

    • Brigitte & Jake
      December 23, 2022 / 6:29 pm

      One of our favorite countries! Hope you make it there soon (-:

  4. Satish Bansal
    June 7, 2022 / 1:40 am

    Group of 9. Three kids 12,8,6 yrs , 4 adults ,two senior citizens. Available holiday period June/December. Advise yr itinerary. Family adventures with some sea sports activities, foody veg. , medium budget. Accommodation mix of hotels/apartments. Ferries & rental cars. Bit of shopping.

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