Greece

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Greece Guide: Spend Less, Do More

Welcome to Greece

Greece-Athens-Cityscape-at-DuskGreece is one of the most beautiful, idyllic and picturesque destinations in the world and has its tourism industry at the forefront of all it provides. Stunning white beaches, flamboyant and exciting nightlife, wonderful traditional cuisine and a warm welcome are the hallmarks of this island paradise. Accommodation caters for every taste, desire and budget, all set within a framework of traditional Greek style and comfort.

Top Things about Greece

As one of the most famous and significant architectural structures in the world, the Acropolis of Athens draws visitors from all over the globe to admire this marble temple. Inspiring and amazing, to climb to the top and walk around the Acropolis is an unforgettable and, for many people, a spiritual experience.

Greece-Oracle-Of-DelphiFor a more vibrant and cosmopolitan experience, Little Venice is a wonderful place to visit. Mykonos is a party island that is a chosen haunt of celebrities and the fashion-conscious with its bustling streets, busy markets, colourful housing and intricate winding streets. A wonderful environment within which to eat, drink and party.

Mount Olympus is a spectacular and inspiring destination. Steeped in mythology, it is the famed site where Zeus mounted his throne, Hades reigned, and from where Poseidon ruled the seas.

The Delphi Ruins are a popular tourist attraction of historical and spiritual significance. Professed to be at the centre of the universe, and with a landscape that is truly stunning, the ruins are not to be passed by. The incredible structure that is the Temple of Apollo makes this trip worthwhile by itself.

Best Cities to Visit in Greece

Athens is the capital of Greece and contains a third of the country’s population. As one of the oldest cities in Europe, Athens is an architectural masterpiece that will amaze and inspire. The city provides shopping opportunities for those looking for locally produced traditional goods, as well as the offerings of luxurious, high-end department stores. Restaurants and bars provide local cuisine and drink to suit every taste bud. Numerous museums catalogue the unique treasures and artefacts of the country’s history. Syntagma Square houses the parliament and ministries’ administration centres and is a thriving sector of the city. Nightlife is plentiful and varied, with modern clubs, bars and dance halls.

Thessalonika is the second largest city in Greece and is typified by its stunning architecture. Byzantine walls and traditional Greek construction make for a stunningly attractive landscape. The city has a large population of museums that detail the ethnographic and archaeological history of Greece, as well as holding precious artefacts, traditional works of art including incredible sculptures of mythological creatures. There are numerous traditional bars and restaurants that serve sweetened breads and pastries, as well as locally produced wines and spirits. Nightlife is vivid and varied and primarily caters for the younger generation, although venues for Greek traditional entertainment are also common. For a more relaxed day amongst fine sands and clear blue waters, head to Halkidiki beach.

The Greek Islands

Greece-Traditional-Taverna-FoodGreece has more than 1,500 islands, almost 240 of them inhabited.  They are probably the Mediterranean's most stunning and memorable features. They stretch from the Ionian, alongside Albania in the Adriatic Sea of the northwest, to the Dodecanese, near Turkey in the southeast.

No traveller to theses islands should leave without a camera- the island seascapes and architecture will amaze you for a lifetime. 

Santorini – where legends are made.  Sheer cliff faces, whitewashed buildings and crystal clear water, with a snow capped mountain or two in the background.

Mykonos is Greece's island nightlife capital. If you like to party, this is the place. Narrow streets, jam packed with people in peak season of July and August. Enjoy it in the low season to as it becomes a more sedate beach destination.

Corfu is an island on the northwest coast in the Ionian Sea. With rugged mountains and a rich culture created by its Italian, French and British rulers, it is not only noted for its stunning beaches where holiday makers call this paradise. 

Just off the coast of Turkey is the island of Rhodes, with splendid ancient architecture and a nightlife that never seems to stop.

Crete is the largest of the islands, and a 90 minute boat ride from Santorini. If you want to move about on your travels there it is well recommended to rent a car to get to see the many secret beaches and villages that make this place so unique.

Events

From June to September each year, the Hellenic Festival is held in Athens. This festival has modern and ancient Greek traditional music and dance, including ballet, opera and jazz. Providing numerous pageants, street shows and parades, it is a spectacular, colourful and joyous time of the year.

The Rethymno Carnival occurs throughout February and is Crete’s annual celebratory festival. With a series of events, parades and street parties, this colourful and extravagant carnival features local traditional games, flamboyant floats and parades, open-air parties and concerts. Traditional kite-flying ceremonies also occur with paper lanterns filling the sky at night.

The Epidaurus Festival celebrates the ancient theatre of Greece, with numerous classical drama performances being re-enacted within the stunning Epidaurus theatre. This festival attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world who come to experience traditional Greek culture.

Local Cuisine

Greece is renowned for its traditional foods with strong flavours, subtle textures and superb quality. Often using a high content of pure olive oil, most dishes are low in fat and feature fruits, vegetables and home-produced breads.

Most meals have an appetiser of mezedes to precede them. Containing olives, fruits and other vegetables in olive oil, all dressed in ouzo, mezedes really is a treat before your meal.

Tzatziki is a beautiful blend of yoghurt, cucumber, garlic and olive oil and forms a wonderful sauce in which to dip meat or bread to enhance the taste and flavour. Most main courses are accompanied by salads, usually dressed in oil and beautifully fresh. A tasty and traditional Greek dish that proves very popular with locals and travellers is kokoretsi, the entrails of lamb which are roasted and served with lemon.

Culture

Greeks are passionate about their country, its history and the pride they take in the mythological creatures and fables of their land are evident in the manner in which they celebrate and worship the mythical gods. The Greek culture is officially the number one reason people visit the island and islands. Greece has been occupied by different nations at various times of its history, resulting in Greece being tolerant of other cultures and religions. 

Numerous religious festivals occur throughout the year and the Greek language is proudly protected and promoted within festivals, music, religion and writings. A most tolerant society when their culture and beliefs are respected, Greeks are happy to share their history through their festivals and parades and actively encourage participation as a means of spreading the word and experiencing the joy of their worship.

Greece Hotels and Accommodation

Greece has a wide and varied range of accommodation available for its visitors, from the luxurious five-star spa resorts and hotels, to the budget student accommodation that can be shared with other backpackers or gap year travellers. There is also the opportunity to experience the true Greek way of life by staying in traditional guesthouses and bed and breakfast facilities. As a means of exploring further afield, renting villas and apartments is a popular method of using your time most effectively. 

Getting around Greece

Athens International Airport to Athens: 29 min (34.8 km) via Attiki Odos/A6/E94

Athens to Thessaloniki:4 h 42 min (502.6 km) via A/D PAThE/A1 and E75

Thessaloniki to Istanbul: 6 h 6 min (596.2 km) via E90

Top Scenic Roads and Areas to Stay in Greece

Greece is well known for it’s beautiful islands, but there are spectacular scenic drives on mainland Greece in the North:   

Drive from Athens to Kastoria ( Northern Greece): 5 h 39 min (482.2 km) via A/D PAThE/A1/E75

Scenic Drives around Greece: 

Katoria to Prespas Lakes: 1 h 53 min (111.8 km) via SH79

Ioannina to Meteora : 1 h 38 min (103.6 km) via Egnatia Odos/A2/E90 and EO Trikalon Ioanninon/E92/EO6

Accommodation, driving and car rental

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste across Greece. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team