Greece: Holidays

The Cradle of Western Civilization

Backpacking

Backpacking in Greece

Greece is one of the most sought after backpacking destinations in the world. The climate, terrain, choice of islands and cities, cuisines and cost make for an excellent backpacking holiday in Greece. A large chunk of tourists that visit Greece every year are independent backpackers. The cost effectiveness of the country is what mainly attracts people to backpacking holidays in Greece. You can spend an entire summer in the country hopping from one island to the next, staying within your budget. Backpackers are well looked after in terms of accommodation. Hostels, dormitories and lodges are available in every city and island. Pre-book your accommodation to ensure you have a place to stay during the peak season. If you are lucky, you may find locals at various ports and harbors holding up signs for rooms to let. Don’t expect luxuries on a backpacking holiday in Greece. It’s all about roughing it out and seeing the country on your own steam, hitchhiking, sharing and reaching different cities through the cheapest routes and modes of transport. Greece scores an 8 on 10 as backpacking destination.

Beach

Beach in Greece

Greece is blessed with some of the most stunning beaches in the world and a climate that suits it perfectly. Beach holidays in Greece provide the perfect ambience to sit back and soak up the sun on the long sandy beaches. Try out adventure water sports or fishing, party the night away at beach bars that can be found on every beach in Greece, whatever you choose, the beaches of Greece offer a whirlwind of entertainment for the entire family.

Islands like Santorini offer the famous Perissa and Karmari black sands beaches, Crete, a sweetwater beach with a long, beautiful but pebbly shore is accessible only by water or a long hike and is a favorite among sunbathers- nude and suited. The island of Mykonos has beaches that are all about crowds, fun and a great atmosphere and nightlife, adding up to a splendid beach holiday in Greece. The beaches of Milos offer crystal clear water, clear sands and a beautiful Grecian sunset. The island of Skiathos is home to the Banana Nude Beach and a favorite among naturists from around the world. Accommodation on islands is plentiful. Book in advance as it get difficult finding a place during the summer months. Greece scores 9 on 10 as a beach holiday destination.

Camping

Camping in Greece

Greece offers some of the finest camping areas with sandy beaches and thick forested areas to choose from. Campsites in Greece cater to a variety of outdoor enthusiasts. Camp sites in Greece with family camping facilities allow you to bring your children along and enjoy a family camping holiday. Summer camps for children are fully organized and provide activities for children in beautiful natural surroundings. Many islands have designated areas for camp sites and if you are planning a camping holiday in tents, caravans or bungalows it is advisable to inform the camping authorities before hand and check for availability. From special interest camp sites to motorcycling camp sites and summer camp sites, there is a lot to choose from. Camping equipment may be hired at the site or you can bring your own. The mainland of Greece and the Greek islands have excellent camping options to choose from. Greece scores 8 on 10 as a camping destination.

City Breaks in Greece

Athens, the capital of Greece, and the most commercial of all Greek cities provides an interesting city break for tourists. Many tourists head to this capital city to soak up the world famous heritage sites and experience the nightlife that Athens has grown famous for through its bars and clubs, making it a perfect city break in Greece. The rooftop garden bars located at the centre of the city stand over spectacular views. The district of Plaka is the area to be in for traditional nights out with sumptuous Greek food and alcohol, providing a fun city break in Greece. Plaka is the oldest part of modern Athens which is home to some of the best Greek Tavernas in town. Sightseeing options in the city include the Acropolis of Athens, The National Archaeological Museum of Greece, The Temple of Olympian Zeus, The Benaki Museum, Tower of the Winds, etc. Thessaloniki is perfect for a weekend city break in Greece. One of the most fashionable and lively Greek cities, there is a lot more to this city than historic sites. The city is full of cafes, bars, tavernas and bouzouki clubs that are constantly buzzing, along with fantastic Greek, Turkish and international restaurants. Greece scores 7 on 10 as a city break destination.

Cruises

Cruises in Greece

Cruises in Greece offer a great chance for tourists to get a view of the various Greek islands in the best possible luxury. Taking a cruise in Greece is one of the most comfortable ways of spending a holiday and a cruise holiday in Greece increases your experience manifold. Most Greek cruises are organized on a regular basis and include 5 to 6 islands. Summer cruises are popular so make your booking way in advance. The peak season for cruises starts in April and lasts till September but May and June can get very hot. Cruises in Greece vary from 1 day to 15 days, and have itineraries that include visits to the most popular Greek islands. Depending on the number of tourists, the cruise vessels are big or small, but come replete with all the amenities and conveniences. The cruises come equipped with bars, restaurants, pools and other interest based activities. All cruise vessels are safe and conform to international safety laws. A cruise holiday in Greece lets you see a lot of the country. The vessels stop at main ports and allow you to roam the islands, shop, eat, drink, swim at the beaches, and organize trips to popular tourist sports on the island. Greece scores 9 on 10 as a cruise destination.

Culture and Arts

Culture and Arts in Greece

Known as the ‘cradle of civilization’, Greece is home to some of the most influential historic sites in the world, and makes for a perfect culture and art holiday. The breathtaking Acropolis of Athens is one such example of a cultural manifestation in Greece. The museums of Greece like the National Archaeological Museum of Greece in Athens, The Benaki Museum in Athens and the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki serve as important examples of Greece’s age old ever developing culture and are an interesting way to spend a culture and art holiday in Greece. Art is of prime importance in Greece and has exercised a phenomenal influence on the cultures of many countries from ancient times till the present. A culture and art holiday in Greece will take you to the island of Lesvos which is home to a number of art museums and galleries like the Theophilos Museum which has displays of Greek tribal folk art, The Teriade Library and Museum of Modern Art, housing books with rare pictures of works by of Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, Chagall, Le Corbusier, Miro and others. The Teriade museum-library is unique in the world for it constitutes both a large school of art and a research center for artists and those involved with the arts while still being of interest to ordinary visitors. The museum holds exhibitions of many famous painters. The Georgios Iakovidis Digital Art Museum, located in the tiny village of Xidera is something not to be missed. A few art museums that are worth a visit are The Archeological Museum of Mytilini, The Ecclesesiastical-Byzantine Museum, The Folk Art Museum, The Museum of Costume and Embroidery of Lesvos and The Gogo Museum of Vatoussa. Greece scores 9 on 10 as a culture and arts holiday destination.

Disabled Needs

Disabled Needs in Greece

rocky terrain in most places makes it a task for disabled people to manage. However, owing to the large amount of tourists flocking to holiday in Greece, efforts have been made to provide comfortable holidays for disabled people. While most of the sightseeing in Greece revolves around historical monuments built at heights or on very rock terrain, with uneven steps, crooked sidewalks and very few railings, tour companies organize special vehicles for disabled people. Some monuments, however, continue to be out of the reach of disabled people owing to their location and difficult access. Most of the hotels in Greece are disabled friendly with all the amenities provided for. It is advisable however to make enquires before hand on what extra amenities you will require and if they are provided. Transport in Greece varies in how accessible it can be for disabled people. While most of the modern buses have wide entrances and lifts for disabled buses, avoid the old buses. Trains are not very convenient mainly because they are narrow. Ferries and cruises are disabled friendly but check before hand. Most of the airports are equipped with facilities for disabled people. Greece scores 5 on 10 as a destination for a disabled holiday.

Family Holiday

Family Holiday in Greece

Greece is the perfect destination for a fun family holiday. With a wide variety of activities to choose from and locations to see, you can spend a wonderful family holiday in Greece. If historical sightseeing tops your list then you have options galore to choose from for a family holiday in Greece. The Acropolis in Athens, The Palace of Knossos in Crete, The temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, The monasteries of Meteora, The Odeon Theatre in Athens are a few of the historic sites worth a visit. If sun, sand and water bring you and your family to holiday in Greece, then head to any of the islands of Greece to soak in the sun, relax or indulge in some exciting water sports with your kids. Islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes, Crete, Milos and Skiathos have beautiful beaches with lots of adventure water sports. Stay clear of naturist or nudist beaches if you are with your kids. Greece scores 8 on 10 as a destination for family holidays.

Gay and Lesbian

Gay and Lesbian in Greece

Gay and lesbian tourism in Greece has picked up over the past few years making Greece a preferred destination for gay and lesbian holidays. Greece is a conservative country when it comes to the acceptance of homosexuality but there are certain parts of Greece where homosexuality is largely accepted. The island of Mykonos is one of the most gay friendly tourist spots in the world. Gay and lesbian people can be open with their sexuality without any fears or inhibitions and have a relaxing, fun filled holiday with like minded people. Mykonos has a number of gay friendly hotels, bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs all over the island.

Other islands like Lesvos, Faliraki in Rhodes Malia in Crete, the Gazi neighborhood in Athens and Kavos in Corfu are gay friendly destinations. You can have a comfortable holiday in other areas as well so long as you respect local customs and traditions and avoid overtly public displays of affection. A number of tour companies organize gay and lesbian tours.
 

Stag Destination

Stag Destination in Greece

Stag and Hen holidays are popular on certain islands in Greece like Aegina with its vibrant nightlife. The port of the island is especially popular with an array of bars, clubs, shops and eateries. A lot of hen and stag parties are organized at specific bars. Greece scores 8 on 10 as a stag and hen holiday destination.

Hen Destination

Hen Destination in Greece

Stag and Hen holidays are popular on certain islands in Greece like Aegina with its vibrant nightlife. The port of the island is especially popular with an array of bars, clubs, shops and eateries. A lot of hen and stag parties are organized at specific bars. Greece scores 9 out of 10 as a stag and hen holiday destination.

Honeymoon

Honeymoon in Greece

Greece is highly recommended as the perfect honeymoon destination. Over the years, newly weds from all over the world have chosen Greece as their honeymoon destination, with its idyllic surroundings, natural beauty, craggy interiors and open stretches of deep turquoise sea. The Aegean and Ion Seas offer a variety of islands for honeymooners to choose from, with budgets and facilities tailored to suit your needs. Popular honeymoon islands in Greece include Rhodes, Santorini, Paros, Amorgos, Lefkada, Crete, Ios and Naxos. The islands of Cyclades, Dodecanese, Sporades, Ionian and Saronic Islands are also popular honeymoon destinations in Greece. Taking a week long cruise to the Greek islands is a popular honeymoon option in Greece. If you and you partner want to soak in the historical heritage of the country head to Athens, Crete or Thessaloniki. Tourist companies offer honeymoon packages to suit every taste. Take your pick, depending on the type of honeymoon you want to spend with your loved one.
 

Naturism

Naturism in Greece

Certain beaches off the Greek islands offer naturist holidays in Greece for tourists. Greeks are not open to nudism and therefore specific areas on islands have been made naturist friendly for like minded tourists. Popular Naturist holidays locations in Greece are the Agios Ioannis and Super Paradise beaches on the island of Mykonos that are naturist friendly although you will find non naturists on the beaches as well. Skiathos is home to the famous Banana Nude Beach which is very popular among naturist tourists as a destination for a naturist holiday in Greece. Myrtiotissa is the most well-known naturist beach of Corfu. It is a long stretch of sand right next to Glyfada beach and the road to go is quite rough. Rhodes has one official naturist beach at Faliraki village and this beach is patronized by complete nudes, males, females and families. Greece scores 7 out of 10 as a naturist holiday destination.

Party Holiday - Singles Life

Party Holiday - Singles Life in Greece

Greece is the ultimate party holiday destination with a nightlife so vibrant and crazy, it gets tough to keep up. Tourists from all over Europe and the world visit Greece just to experience the nightlife. The islands of Greece are especially popular for their nightclubs and bars that abound in every street and beach corner. Of all the islands Mykonos has the most colorful nightlife with a range of stylish cafe bars, restaurants, and state of the art bars and discos. As the sun sets, the town's mazes of tiny streets are buzzing till late into the morning. The islands of Ios, Crete, Corfu, Paros, Kos and Rhodes are popular nightlife destinations as well, providing excellent party holidays in Greece. The peak season witnesses packed houses at most clubs and bars. Mykonos is popular for hosting 24 hour parties for mixed and straight crowds. Clubbing, bar and pub hopping and beach parties are the main nightlife activities for a party holiday in Greece. Irish pubs, jazz and slammer pubs, Greek bars, the choice of entertainment is unending! Greece scores 9 on 10 as a partying holiday destination.

Golf Activity Holiday

Golf Activity Holiday in Greece

Golf is not a popular sport in Greece and is still in the development stages. The sport’s popularity the world over has prompted an interest in Greece with golfing facilities being set up. The Gyldafa Golf Course near Athens is a pine-studded course with a view of the Saronic Gulf islands is open year-round, closing only on Christmas and Easter. Other courses in the country include The Corfu Golf Club, The Porto Carros Golf and Country Club in Halkidiki and Afandou Golf in Rhodes.

Sailing Activity Holiday

Sailing Activity Holiday in Greece

The Ion Sea and the Aegean Sea and its islands offer perfect sailing holidays in Greece. The best way to visit the Greek islands and the coasts of its mainland is by sailing. A large number of yatch companies offer chartered yatchs and sail boats on hire for daily sails or more. From small sailboats to flotillas, cabin cruises to skippers, you can take your pick for a perfect sailing holiday in Greece. The country has over 1600 islands of which 169 are inhabited and offer facilities for sailing. Areas which are particularly famous for sailing holidays in Greece are the coastal areas of Corfu, Paros, Skiathos, Alinossos and Lefkada. For novices training at the Aegean Sailing School in Poros offers courses recognized by the Royal Yatch Association. The calm waters of Poros make for an excellent learning location. Greece scores 9 on 10 as a destination for sailing holidays.

Scuba Diving Activity Holiday

Scuba Diving Activity Holiday in Greece

The clear calm waters and interesting variety of sea life make Greece a perfect scuba diving destination. Scuba diving in Greece is limited to a few approved areas, in an attempt to protect the natural and ancient heritage in certain areas. From schools offering diving lessons, to yatch companies organizing diving tours, you will have the perfect scuba diving holiday in Greece. The Waterhoppers Diving School in Rhodes provides excellent diving lessons for beginners at reasonable rates where you can experience the beautiful underwater world and discover spectacular marine life! Diving Centers are at Heraklion, Vasiliki Bay, Santorini, Perissa, Attica, Lassithi, Hania, Rethimno, Mykonos, Kalimnos, Corfu, Paxi, Lefkada, Zakinthos and Chalkidiki among others. The day scuba diving trip with equipment included will cost between €35 and €100, depending on the location, facilities, duration and diving companies. Greece scores 8 on 10 as a destination for scuba diving.

Hiking Activity Holiday

Hiking Activity Holiday in Greece

Greece is famed for being a walker’s paradise with its natural scenic beauty and excellent hiking terrain. A hiking holiday in Greece is a wonderful way to discover the country, its landscape and the people. The mountain trails and ancient paths on the islands and Greek mainland provide an interesting hiking holiday in Greece. Greece is blessed with an excellent landscape for hiking with each place different from the other, depending on the climate, terrain, location, etc. Most hiking paths cross large gorges, mountains, valleys and lakes. There are a number of hiking clubs in Greece that have organized hiking tours, or you can set out on your own or with your group. When embarking on a hiking trip on your own make sure you have proper maps to guide you through and proper hiking equipment and supplies. Popular locations for a hiking holiday in Greece include the Samaria Gorge in Crete, Thassos and Samothraki in Northern Greece, Sithonia in Halkidiki, Hydra which has some of the best walking paths and donkey trails in Greece and is a paradise for hikers, the islands of Amorgos and Tinos among a host of other hiking trails. Greece scores 6 on 10 as a hiking destination.

Cycling Activity Holiday

Cycling Activity Holiday in Greece

Greece may not seem the perfect cycling destination owing to its rugged terrain and mountains, but on the contrary, this very terrain makes for a challenging cycling holiday in Greece. Long distance cycling tours have become the rage in Greece with tours taking bike riders to the various regions of Greece. Greece has a varied cycling terrain, from flat roads along sea coasts to steep ascents on mountainous terrain that accounts for a major part of Greece. Most day excursions include traveling to Greek countryside treasures like olive groves, vineyards, orchards, gorges and caves among natural sites and bridges, castles and ruins dating back 2000 years! Perhaps the best way to explore the Greek countryside is on a cycle where you can soak in natural environment at your own pace, stop where you like, take breaks at your own leisure, etc. For avid cyclists a cycling holiday in Greece presents thrills and adventure of the highest levels, and is worth traveling to the country for. Greece scores 6 on 10 as a destination for a cycling holiday.

Shopping Holiday

Shopping Holiday in Greece

Greece is one of the cheapest shopping destinations in Europe and provides an excellent shopping experience to the tourist. Greece is popular for its jewelry, fur coats, wines, pottery, embroidery, leather goods, antiques and sponges. Sponge from Kos is especially popular with divers going to great depths to find them. Some of the most spectacular jewelry in the world can be found in Greece. The jewelry, made by skilled craftsmen, is essentially a blend of ancient and modern, and you can pick up some exquisite pieces from the country. The district of Plaka in Central Athens is popular for its jewelry stores. Kastoria, in northern Macedonia is where the most sought after furs come from and cost a bomb! In spite of their prices, fur coats are a hot selling item in Greece. Ermou Street, off Syntagma square in Athens houses a number of fur shops. Owing to the country great historical and cultural past, Greeks have a penchant for antiques, and this is visible in the many antique stores all over the country. Leather shoes, bags, wallets, sandals and jackets are popular in Greece. Plaka is home to a number of leather stores. Make sure you buy genuine products and look for government stamps on them. For clothing Ermou Street offers the best selections. Plaka is also popular for little souvenirs, nick knacks and curios. Don’t miss the weekend flea market in Monastiraki where you can find a variety of goods, as well as old books and antiques. There is also a huge flea market on Sunday in Pireaus. Greece scores 5 on 10 as a shopping destination.

Wine Tasting Holiday

Wine Tasting Holiday in Greece

The island of Santorini is a popular destination for a wine tasting holiday in Greece. SantoWines is the largest vineyard on the island and produces a number of wines. The Boutari Winery in Crete, Anagnostou Vineyards in Attica, Domaine Harlaftis in Attica, Evhafis Estate in Megara, Allagianni D. Winery in Markopoulo are a few vineyards that organize wine tasting tours in Greece. Wine festivals are organized on a regular basis in Greece. The Rethymnon Wine Festival on the island of Crete is held in July, a wine festival in Heraklion is held in mid July and the Sultana Raisin Festival is held in Sitia in Crete towards the end of July Greece scores 5 on 10 as a wine tasting holiday destination.