It should be no secret the Greek spirit and hospitality is world renowned. Greece has one of the most iconic cultures, histories, and geographies.
However, like every destination, there are a few things to know before you travel to Greece. Yes – that’s right before you engorge yourself on feta cheese, olives, wine, and dolmades you should take heed. We’ve compiled this list of our best 11 Greece travel tips to help you out before you go to Greece!
Wear your stretchy pants
While we’re talking about meals out in Greece a proper meal out at a traditional taverna consists of meze. What is meze? It’s small plates similar to the Spanish tapas. Here you’ll receive plate, after plate, after plate, of delicious food. You’ll get tzatziki, saganaki, feta, salads, lamb, chips, all sorts of grilled veggies, watermelon, calamari, and whatever else is in the kitchen. Did I forget to say lamb? **Side note pack a pair of pants that stretch and try not to gain too much weight.
There are going to be some old buildings
Greece is filled with ancient ruins, medieval ruins, and buildings that easily date back to the turn of the century. Pretty much no matter where you step you will find some piece of history. Take it in doses, because it can overwhelm you. Many of these archaeological sites are very well protected and restored in Greece; tourism is a big factor in this and you should expect to pay some €€€ to see the most famous sites. For example, the Acropolis costs a whopping €30 for the full experience.
Frappe or Fredo Cappuccino
These are the two drinks of choice when it comes summer time. Sure, the Greek coffee is famous and we love it. However, a local will not be caught with one when it’s 35°C outside. In the summer Greeks drink frappes, a cold Nescafe that is topped with foamed milk and sugar.
Our personal favorite is a Fredo Cappuccino, which is espresso poured over ice then topped with cold-foamed milk. A frappe at a good takeaway price should cost €1 and a Fredo Cappuccino €1.50, if you find yourself paying more it better be sit down service or you’re getting the tourist price.
Hope you don’t get car sick easily
If you’re planning to get around the islands or mainland of Greece you’ll quickly learn that the country is very rough terrain. Meaning that roads wind back and forth and back and forth. They can be fun for the first thirty minutes, but after driving for two hours they can be exhausting.
Be sure to take breaks if you’re driving yourself around, often stopping in the little villages along the way can be some of the most rewarding travel moments. Views along the roads are also stunning, and you will need to pull over to take it all in and grab some photos.
Get out of the way
Driving in Greece is not like driving anywhere else in the EU. Here you ride in the shoulder of the road so those going 60km over the speed limit can fly by. We’re not even sure if there is a speed limit on most Greek roads for that matter, asides from the few national highways. With all the speeding you’d think they’d slow it down along all the narrow and windy roads, but that just isn’t going to happen.
These Greeks have places to be and were born to drive on their crazy roads. After all, is said and done driving in Greece can be extremely rewarding and I even learned to drive stick on those crazy roads. So, this is an easy addition to our Greece travel tips; rent a car and blend in with the locals (or at least get out of the way).
No one does hospitality like the Greeks
Between the Balkans, Turkey, and Greece you will find some of the friendliest people who take hospitality seriously. We are always astounded at just how far the Greeks will go. They have this knack for making you go, wow! And the most amazing part, especially coming from America, is that feels genuine. It isn’t some formality to the Greeks – it is a tradition and one they are fiercely proud of. When you are a guest in the hands of a Greek you will undoubtedly be taken care of.
Yasas or Yasu
You should probably learn to say hello in Greek. They are proud of their culture and language and it means a great deal if you extend the olive branch and greet them in Greek even if you can’t speak a bit more. “Yassas” is the formal greeting and “yasou” is the informal singular. You will also find these words are much more fun than then just saying “hello.” I would recommend picking up a Greek language book if you want to learn a few more words.
The more appropriate setting for a show named Baywatch
Now, you will find some pretty attractive people frolicking along the Greek beaches, but that’s not what I’m referring to. Instead, I mean to talk about the abundance of gorgeous Mediterranean bays. The Greeks were historically sea-faring people, largely because of the Greek archipelago and the numerous deep water bays that could harbor their ships.
These small bays are no longer used for harboring ships, but make for a wonderful place to go for a swim (or for the adventurous, cliff jumping). These bays are our favorite place to go for a dip instead of some of the more crowded beaches. They take more work to travel to and they are very small, but you’re almost always rewarded with serenity.
Hop in loser we’re going to the next island
When exploring the Greek Isles expect to be subjected to the mercy of slow and sometimes late ferry schedules. The islands are spread apart and you can’t just hop on a train to the next one. Ferries are the best way to travel between the islands and are your primary form of transportation unless you can afford to shell out money to take flights everywhere.
RIP Credit Card Points
We love to use our travel rewards credit cards; however, in Greece, we leave our cards in our wallets. Why? In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Greek financial market has seen better days. This has left harsh stipulations on cash withdrawals and transfers for Greek bank accounts. In other words, you can hold off on your credit cards points and pay your friendly Greek hosts with cash. After all, their livelihood depends upon it, yours does not.
This should go without saying, but while in Greece you should eat and enjoy as many great local Greek products as you can. Here the yogurt is just that – yogurt. And the yogurt in Greece is among some of the best you will ever taste. “Greek yogurt,” as it is referred to in the U.S. was simply a marketing tactic employed by Chobani that paid off big and changed the American yogurt market.
Greece also has some fantastic white wine. A word to the wise, when selecting a vineyard to visit or buy from find those that are situated in the mountainous regions. Greece is hot, and that doesn’t make for great wine; however, in the right spots on the islands, the microclimates in mountainous areas can produce some great white wines.
Source: theworldpursuit.comTags:Greece travel tips, Travel the world