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Visit Greece: everything you need to know before your trip

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Pau Monfort
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To visit Greece is to enter a magical country, bewitched for millennia by the Greek gods. While going through this guide, discover all our practical information to better prepare your stay. Follow us to discover this land blessed by the gods!

Explore enchanting landscapes

Beyond the cultural heritage, Greece is also a mosaic of very distinct landscapes. On the continent, Meteora offers wild landscapes, remote, populated by monks whose monasteries are often perched on pitons. To the south, these are the islands that delight visitors: the Cyclades, for example. Islands of extreme beauty, including Mykonos, the real meeting place for all party lovers. A little further, the Ionian Islands show a natural and wild aspect, conducive to daydreaming. Finally, the authenticity of Crete rarely leaves you indifferent. This huge island in the Mediterranean is enjoying growing success, both for its magnificent golden beaches and for its natural and ancient heritage.





Ridge

Greece is also a feast for the senses. Its blue and white colors, so typical of Greek villages; the smells of pines and olive trees that you can breathe deeply during a stroll in the hinterland; and what about the pleasures of the table of which moussaka, olive oil or Greek yogurt are the symbols? All these products can be tasted in taverns, far from tourist restaurants. Finally, Greece is far from being closed in on its past. Member of the European Union, it is a modern country in its own right. There is only to see Athens, this immense cosmopolitan city, at the same time proud of its ancient past (and in particular of the Acropolis), but also proud of its shopping centers and its network of public transport perfectly. well developed.





If you have not yet chosen your route, use our article:
Where to go in Greece according to your desires?

When to go to Greece?

Greece is a country bathed in sun much of the year, which explains its attractiveness for tourists fond of beaches and relaxation. For those, summer is an ideal period with peaks of mercury at almost 40 ° C! Rest and swimming are then compulsory, especially as the water in the Aegean Sea often displays temperatures above 25 ° C. However, in the land and in the heart of cities, the atmosphere can quickly become stifling.

A beach in Greece

Cultural tourism aficionados will therefore prefer the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring.. The temperatures then oscillate between 20 and 25 ° C, the ideal range for strolling in the ancient ruins less frequented than in summer and appreciating all the history of this thousand-year-old country.

Winter is quite mild, but can sometimes be rainy. In addition, many tourist sites then close their doors, which considerably reduces activities. However, this period saw the tourist influx drastically decrease and the prices with it. For an ideal compromise and to those who can, we recommend visiting Greece during the months of September or May, which enjoy a very favorable climate for swimming and moderate crowds at the various sites of interest.




PRACTICAL TIPS : consult the details of our weather statistics, and thus choose the best time to go to Greece according to your destination.


What budget should you plan for during your stay?

If we exclude the summer period, during which prices soar especially in the islands and around ancient sites, visiting Greece is accessible to all budgets. Only accommodation has higher prices than in France. Even a couple of backpackers will have to count around fifty euros for an overnight stay, except in cheap youth hostels, present only in the big cities. The most expensive hotels are on the party islands, like Mykonos for example..

Mykonos

On the catering side, the prices are quite advantageous. We eat very well for 10 euros and a three-course dinner will rarely cost more than 15 euros, except in high-end restaurants and palaces of course. If you choose to eat on your own, know that supermarket products are even more accessible. Public transport is also very cheap. Count on average 1,5 euros for a bus ticket and 0,8 cents per kilometer by taxi. Avoid rental cars because gasoline is around 25% more expensive than in France. Finally, activities and shopping are just as affordable apart from a few sites such as the Acropolis, whose entry costs 20 euros full price.



How to go to Greece?

BY PLANE • Most tourists who wish to visit Greece opt for the air route. It is the fastest and cheapest solution of all. Athens international airport, Eleftherios Venizelos, is a real air hub that redistributes passengers to the many islands of the country. Count between 120 and 200 euros for a Paris-Athens, about 3 hours long, depending on the season and the company chosen.



BY CAR OR TRAIN • Fans of splendid landscapes and long journeys may choose to reach Greece by land. By car, the journey is still very tiring, so we recommend the train instead. From Paris, the easiest solution is to take a night train to Bologna in Italy and continue with a connection to Bari. You can then take the ferry that will take you directly to the city of Patras in the Peloponnese. From there, a train will take you to Athens in less than 5 hours. This beautiful trip of only 2 days is facilitated by Greece's membership of the Inter-Rail network, which allows those who benefit from the pass to travel unlimited in the country for a period of 5, 10 or 15 days.

How to get around on site?

Once in Athens, many tourists want to reach the different islands that dot Greek territory. The plane is then the most practical means of transport. A domestic flight to Mykonos for example will cost between 70 and 100 euros through one of the national companies, of which Olympic Airlines and Aegean Airlines are the most recognized. You can also choose to take advantage of the limited rail network that connects major urban centers. There are three main lines: Athens-Peloponnese, Athens-Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki-Florina. Once the ribs are reached, you will need to take the relatively inexpensive ferries as long as you do not have a vehicle to embark.

Santorini

Visiting Greece can also be done via the local bus network, widely used by the Greeks themselves. It allows you to reach certain villages in the hinterland and displays very reasonable prices. Count on average 9 euros for 100 km. Hitchhiking is efficient and even quite common in Greece. If you are walking on a small country road, it is not uncommon to see motorists stopping to offer to get on. This solution has the merit of immersion and is safer than car rental which, in addition to being quite expensive (from the actual rental to fuel), is sometimes an opportunity for dishonest people to rip off the tourist. naive.

Where to sleep in Greece?

As we have said, the price of Greek accommodation is relatively expensive, especially in summer. To benefit from attractive prices, it is essential to book in advance. Your watchword must therefore be: planning! Especially if you plan to travel often. In the city of Athens, fans of the wild nightlife will choose Psiri district in the heart of the city. Those looking for more calm will prefer the upscale district of Kolonaki.

Public chat Mykonos island, the prices can be higher still! But you will also find affordable accommodation. Another flagship destination, Corfu enjoys an excellent hotel network, especially in the old town. If you want to visit Greece in a different way and are looking for the calm of the mountains, let yourself be tempted by the village of Markades about ten km away and rent an apartment there. For the same price, you will enjoy 100 square meters a few kilometers of paradisiacal beaches!

What are the monuments and curiosities to see in Greece?

If many tourists choose to visit Greece, it is not just for its diverse geography or golden beaches. The ancient monuments dotted throughout its territory are so numerous that it is difficult to list them all. In Athens alone, there are a myriad of exceptional sites including the acropolis is surely the most popular. But you can also visit there l'now, the Parthenon ou the temple of Athena, proud vestiges of the golden age of Pericles. A few cables from the capital, the temple of Poseidon in Attica is also worth a visit.

Deepen your visit to Athens by reading our article:
Athens: 7 must-see things in Greece's capital

A little further, in the Peloponnese, mount olympus is a must for lovers of Greek legends and their fabulous stories. Here, unspoiled nature constitutes the perfect setting for the cradle of Hellenic civilization and will be an ideal excursion to combine the joys of wild hiking with those of cultural tourism.

Mount Olympus

The city of Mycenae is equally important for understanding the extension of Greek culture. The impulse of the Mycenaean civilization, there are many important monuments such as the Lioness Gate ou the Cyclopean enclosure. At last, the island of crete constitutes in itself a complete archaeological site, on which it is difficult to walk without stumbling upon a place steeped in history. AT Knossos, you will walk in the footsteps of King Minos and will even be able to push a little further south, visit the palace of Phaistos and get deeper into the founding legends of the first major European civilization.

Read also :
What to see in Greece? The 5 must-see destinations

What souvenirs to bring back from Greece?

During your stay, you will be tempted to bring back a souvenir of the country. You might as well take a local product with you, to share with those around you! Here are some ideas for memories:

Olive oil

Greece has very many olive trees. Also, many products are made from this fruit. You will therefore find a lot of olive oil, but also soap and beauty creams. Something to please all your female entourage.

Jewelry

In Athens you will find many jewelry stores offering pendants inspired by ancient statuettes, and in particular rhytons, these black bull heads with golden horns. You will also have the opportunity to discover many artisans creating very colorful jewelry.

The leather

There are a lot of leather objects in Greece: belts, of course, but also and above all sandals. Many of them are still handcrafted and sold in many stores.

Ancient memories

Antiquity has inspired many souvenir makers and these shops are therefore legion. So you will find many objects made with more or less good taste and reproducing either the Acropolis or ancient statuettes ...

The best memory? A sunset in Santorini

What to eat and drink in Greece?

You will realize this throughout your stay: the typical Greek food is excellent. You will always want to bring some in your suitcases, or even to nibble some on the plane! From Crete you can bring back tacos to eat with feta, the famous Greek cheese. Honey is also produced in large quantities in Crete, so do not hesitate to bring some back to pass the winters and thus put you in the famous Cretan diet. If you have some room left, bring some Ouzo (equivalent to Turkish and Cretan raki), a bottle of aniseed brandy that you can taste by showing your photos to your friends!

Pratical information

To prepare for your trip to Greece, discover all our practical information:

  • Formalities: You will only need a valid ID card or passport to visit Greece, if you are European.
  • Health : No compulsory vaccine, but be up to date as a precaution. You can get a European social security card before your departure.
  • Visitor Center : The official website of the Greek tourist office will give you more information about the country.
  • Sites to discover: Tour idea in Greece on Carnets-voyage.com

Discover Greek civilization… now and in the past!

It is certain that visiting Greece will take you back in time. Are you more drawn to its rich history or pristine beaches? Tell us all in the comments!

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