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
Main Airport: Athens International (ATH)
Popular Island Airports: Santorini (JTR), Mykonos (JMK), Crete (HER), Rhodes (RHO) & Corfu (CFU)
Visa: Schengen Visa
Best Time to Visit: Swing Season in June & September
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.
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
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.
Greece Season Guide
Spring: March – Late June
Summer: Late June – Mid September
Fall: Mid September- December
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.
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!
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 ↓
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!
Check The Different Boat Options for Your Ferry Route ↓
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.
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.
- Athens: Acropolis Small-Group Guided Tour with Entry Ticket
- Santorini: Luxury Small Group Catamaran w/ Meal & Open Bar
- Athens: Acropolis and 6 Archaeological Sites Combo Ticket
- Milos Highlights: Full Day Sailing Cruise in a Small Group
- Zakynthos Island: Navagio Shipwreck Beach & Blue Caves Tour
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!
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.
Have any questions about planning a trip to Greece? What about tips from your own visit? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
Greece Travel Inspiration
- The Ultimate Greek Cyclades Island Hopping Itinerary
- Symi Island Guide: Ferry, Beaches, and Motorbike Adventures
- 23 Epic Things to do in Rhodes Greece
- Get Familiar with the Island of Crete
- Karpathos Food Guide: Best Restaurants and Island Specialties
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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