Are you wondering why Greece is one of Europe’s most popular destinations? Well, for those who want to explore the cradle of European culture and still enjoy beautiful beaches and islands while getting a tan near the Mediterranean Sea, it doesn’t get much better than Greece. Should we just add that summer is the ideal time to visit? What are you waiting for?
Almost everyone agrees that the best time to visit Greece is between April and July and from September to mid-October. If you don’t mind the busy season with higher prices, plenty of tourists and heat waves, you can visit in August. However, for those who like to enjoy sightseeing and laying on the beach without hordes of people around them, August is to be avoided.
How to get there
You can travel to Greece by train, plain, ship, car or a combination of all these options, meaning that traveling there is relatively quick and simple. Greece has an excellent infrastructure, with more international airports than most countries, frequent ferries and major roads that link the country with all of Europe and Asia. Therefore, getting to your final destination is really not a problem, and neither is exploring tiny villages and major cities. If you want, you can even choose to hop between islands during your visit to Greece. The best way to experience the islands is to rent a car and explore them at your own pace.
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Why to go
More than 26 million tourists visited Greece in 2015. One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of this country is Greece’s climate. A second reason is the ease of getting there. Here are a few more:
- Visit Greece because of its diversity. Greece is a little world within itself. It has stunning beaches, beautiful islands, mountains and forests, castles and ancient ruins. It’s easy to understand why so many photographers and fashion designers use views of Greek islands as their backdrops.
- Because of the islands. It has so many islands that even Greeks can’t agree on the number. Some say 1,200, some say more than 5,000. But who cares? The bottom line is that there are at least 200 of them that are inhabited and each and every one offers a place to relax your body and soul. Lay beneath the sun and enjoy the sea. What more can you ask for?
- Because of the history. There are not many places where you can enjoy as much ancient history as Greece has. Did you know that during the construction of a subway system in Athens, so many ancient artifacts were found that special museum exhibits were placed in an Athens subway station?
- Because of the people. Greek people are friendly, kind and warm-hearted and are used to many tourists traveling in their country. They will often invite you to join them for a drink or two, discussing politics, food, love and life.
- Because of the food. Enjoy aromatic extra-virgin oil, mouth-watering olives, homemade feta cheese, fresh seafood, epic tzatziki, yummy Greek yoghurt with honey for desert or sweet baklava ... Greek cuisine is definitely one of the reasons why this country is so popular, especially among foodies. Remember, if a Greek offers you food, don’t say no. Never. They consider it very rude, especially if they home-cooked it for you. The last thing you should know when visiting Greece is that Greeks eat very late in the evening, so it’s not unusual for restaurants to get going well after 9pm.
- Because of the nightlife. This country is famous for its intense nightlife, which does not just happen on the weekends, but almost every day until the early morning hours. There is a saying that Greek cities never sleep, so be prepared to not get much sleep there, either. :)
What you don’t want to miss this summer
If you are heading to Athens between June and August, don’t miss the Athens & Epidaurus Festival, where you can enjoy music, opera, dance and theater at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus beneath the Acropolis in Athens, and drama and music at the Theater of Epidaurus.
If you plan to visit Greece in July, you should attend the Ancient Olympia International Festival, with music, dance and theater at the site of the ancient Olympics.
Also in July will be the 22nd Kalamata International Dance Festival, which is the key event of the city’s International Dance Centre, promoting, supporting and presenting dance.
By now you are surely in the mood for summer vacation, so check out the following destinations, which are the number-one spots if you are looking for a marvelous and unforgettable vacation. Yes, you guessed it. We’re talking about Greek islands.
You have certainly heard about this island. It is the largest island by area and the most populous in Greece. It has an elongated shape, defined by a high mountain range formed by three groups of mountains. It has four airports and road networks that lead you practically everywhere. Popular tourist attractions include archaeological sites, the Venetian castle at Rethymno and Palm Beach of Vai, which is the largest natural palm forest in Europe. If you are a wine lover, you will want to visit the Lyrarakis Winery in Heraklion, a family winery which has been producing single variety wines since 1966.
Corfu is the perfect island for all age groups and especially for families, offering lots of sightseeing, attractions and activities. As we said before, Greece has a lot of history and the Old Fortress has preserved the old town of Corfu inside its impressive walls. The buildings there are breathtaking and the views from them are amazing, so make sure you plan to visit them. When you walk from Old Fortress, you will find a large square called Spianada, which is said to be one of the liveliest squares in all of Greece, with plenty of restaurants, bars and souvenir shops. After all that traveling around the island, you will be hungry, so try the famous Corfiot dishes, such as bourdeto (fish stew with pepper) and patsitsada (meat and pasta).
If you are in love with beaches, you should check out Shipwreck Bay, which is accessible only by boat. If you are planning to lounge there, you should bring all the necessities with you because this is a secluded bay with no facilities. If you are looking forward to some crazy nightlife, Laganas village is the place to go. They say that the nightlife here is as good as Ibiza’s. A mile-long neon-lit avenue is full of venues, including regular bars, karaoke bars and clubs that fly in international DJs throughout the summer.
This island used to be one of the poorest Greek islands, but in 1960 it became a bohemian mecca and is now a famous cosmopolitan Island in Greece, with trendy bars, hip hostels, stylish boutique properties and a gay-friendly environment. This island is all about energy. During the day it’s all about watersports; you can jet-ski, windsurf, dive or snorkel, and in the evening and at night you can party like there is no tomorrow.
This one is perfect if you’re more on the alternative side and looking for holistic holidays. It’s also great if you are traveling solo. This is the most remote and undeveloped of the Sporades Islands and a must-go spot for yoga lovers and those who need to recharge their batteries through sketching, painting, singing and dancing. The feeling of peace and serenity you get on this island will last much longer than your tan, so don’t hold back.
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