10 Things you should know before traveling to Greece
We’ve got you covered with 10 things you should know before travelling to Greece
1. Best time to travel- September and October is off peak, that means fewer kids on school holidays, fewer sweltering days, less chance of rain, May to July is summer and really hot as well as very busy. Rainy season is November to February.
2. Sizzling sunshine– Sunblock is definitely needed, you might think that the Mediterranean sun is a bit milder compared to the African sun and bronzes you beautifully, but you might be wrong….luckily there are plenty of shops selling sunscreen and aftersun creams.
3. It can get very touristy: Santorini is the hallmark and most desired travel destination in Greece, however don’t think you are the only tourists going there! If you don’t like bustling streets or bumping shoulders with strangers then visit in the quieter off peak months. There are 15 000 local Santorinians but a whopping 20 000 daily visitors to the island (This will soon be limited to 9000 per day).
4. The pages of history were written there: Most monuments are centuries old and still standing in good condition! Through the ages, wars, revolutions and crusades, towns and culture were built and destroyed. In Santorini and Crete you will find very interesting, archaeological sites where ancient, very advanced civilisations were discovered to be living.
5. Get mobile– Rent a ATV or scooter- The towns are often spaced quite far apart on the islands are often small and relatively compact on some islands, but with large distances between them, other islands are still quite rural and the only public transport is a bus service.
6. Sea water is cold– The Cyclades Greek Islands are in the Aegean Sea and yes it looks tropical, crystal clear and appears warm, but dip your toe into the Aegean sea and you’ll discover it can be quite chilly, especially the more time you spend in the water. If you decide to do some diving and snorkelling, the surf shops and dive centres do offer a wet suit, if you tend to get cold easily (or burn easily for that matter), consider taking one.
7. English is widely spoken- it’s always good to know a few Greek words, but you will definitely survive with English. The Greeks are very friendly and approachable and also very hospitable.
8. Alcohol is pricey– You’ll pay between 10-15 euros for a cocktail, 4,50 euro for a beer and about 7.50 euros for wine. This really racks up quickly. However, alcohol from supermarkets or roadside kiosks is cheaper, you can buy a 500ml Alfa beer for 1.80 euro.
9. Eat on the go– Choose a take away option and buy from the street vendors, you can eat and be full on less than 10 euro per day. We highly recommend a pita gyro, a local street food speciality, its super fast to make, cheap and filling.
10. Be aware of pick-pockets: In busy squares and tourist attractions, be aware of pick pockets. Keep a lock on your back pack or if travelling as a couple or a group, keep an eye on each other’s belongings. Wear handbags with a long strap across your body, so the bag can be hanging in front of you. Don’t flash your money or valuables around, if you’ve just drawn a lot of cash, divide it into smaller amounts and leave some in the hotel safe, take only what you need. Don’t walk around with your passport, keep that at the hotel as well. Make use of the hotel safe for money, passports, jewellery, electronics etc
Bonus tip: Food and souvenirs are more expensive on the main streets and close to tourist attractions, just walk a block or two away and find great bargains.
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