GREECE SOLO TRAVEL GUIDE
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO! GREECE TRAVEL GUIDE 2023
PLAN AND BOOK YOUR GREECE SOLO TRAVEL
- GREECE: DID YOU KNOW?
- GREECE TRAVEL PLANNING
- GREECE TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
- GREECE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
- CITY GUIDES & ITINERARIES
- HOW TO BOOK GREECE TRAVEL
- GREECE ECO-TRAVEL IDEAS
- GREECE TRAVEL SAFETY
- GREECE BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
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ΚΑΛΏΣ ΉΛΘΑΤΕ ΣΤΟ GREEZE!
Hi! I’m Gwen, and my passion is using my 27+ years of global travel and sustainability knowledge and experience to help the solo over 50’s be and stay adventurous through solo travel with their eco-friendly, responsible travel foot forward. Here is my guide to Greece solo travel, all from my solo travel in Greece, so you can book and realize your solo trip to Greece. What are you waiting for?
GREECE: DID YOU KNOW?
Greece – a country with an archipelago of 6,000 combined islets and islands that dot the Aegean and Ionian Seas is considered the birthplace of Western philosophy, democracy, political science, theatre, poetry, and the Olympic Games.
In addition to being home to 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Acropolis in Athens and the archeological sites of Delphi, Mystras and Olympia, Greece is also home to Greek mythology, Homer, the Parthenon, Mount Olympus, the Theatre of Epidaurus, and the classic philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
Greece produces 7% of the world’s marble and is one of world’s leaders in olive production (some of its current-producing olive trees going back to 13th century). It has over 250 days of sunshine every year, great for wine production, with wetlands that can house as many as 100,000 birds at a time.
Its capital, Athens, is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Greece also holds popular island destinations such as Santorini, Crete, Naxos and Mykonos, to name a few.
Languages in Greece
The official language is Greek, originating over 3,000 years ago making it one of the oldest European languages spoken.
Considered to be the cradle of Western culture and democracy, its culture influenced the Roman Empire which in turn spread the Greek culture to many civilizations thereby impacting many modern cultures today – some who owe government by the people, trial by jury and equality under the law to the Greeks.
Greek art, architecture, science, philosophy, theater, poetry, painting, and sculpture has also influenced many cultures to this day as well.
The Romans also helped spread Greek cuisine, which is built on wheat, olive oil and wine that thrive in the Mediterranean climate. In fact, it was a Greek who wrote the first cookbook in 320 B.C. Feta cheese, made of goat’s milk, is the Greek national cheese that dates back to 1100 and 800 BC. Traditional diets consist of vegetables, olives and olive oil, cheese, fish and bread, with meat being considered a luxury and eaten on special occasions.
Byzantine cuisine infused with the Greek’s with fish, basil, lemons and nutmeg. Greek cuisine is also influenced by Italian and Ottoman dishes, such as baklava. Having produced wine since for over 6,500 years, Greece is considered one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world.
Today, 98% of Greeks classify as Christian Orthodox making religion play an important role in their culture. The remaining population comprise of Roman Catholics, Jewish and Muslims.
There is a rich history of Greek traditions, religious or from paganism, and Greeks are considered very superstitious, such traditions and superstitions can vary by region, and island, to island.
Today, most of the traditions and festivals still celebrated are religious, such as Name Day celebration (most Greeks are named after a Christian saint), Easter, and Apokries (the Greek Carnival).
The Greeks enjoy a low crime rate and value a strong family structure with mutual support within extended families being considered very important.
Popular Activities in Greece
Football (soccer) is the national sport of Greece. There are many football leagues in Greece, but it is the Superleague, comprising of 16 clubs, that is considered the best. With a warm, sunny climate, many Greeks spend time outdoors.
In many of the small villages or on the islands, “volta” is still practiced – the act of strolling up and down the main street on the beach at sundown. Many Greeks participate in or attend religious celebrations of saints with traditional music.
There are many churches in Greece where attendance is still high. Greece also has many museums of antiquities to visit.
Most Greek festivals take place in the summer but many take place year-round, the most popular being the Athens and Epidaurus Festival.
The Greeks also spend a lot of leisure time in their cafés and coffee shops, and nightlife can be lively consisting of dinner followed by drinks in a lounge or nightclub, some with dancing until dawn.
Best Wine Tasting Tours in Greece
GREECE TRAVEL PLANNING
Greece uses the Euro (€). Exchange rates are usually favorable for Europeans but could fluctuate in the other direction. Check throughout your travel planning phase on any exchange rate changes.
Tipping in Greece
Traveling in a new country is easier when you know the country’s tipping etiquette in advance as each country has its own rules. That said, country rules and norms can shift, so here is an international tipping resource for over 70 countries to use as a general guideline that I have found is constantly updated.
What’s not on there is how to tip a concierge, beauty salons or spas, travel or tour guides, etc. For these extras, it is acceptable to tip 10% at minimum. Remember, tipping is for good service only.
Additionally, you should always tip in the local currency (if tipping in cash), and do not be offended if your tip is refused as it may not be the norm. I feel it’s always better to offer a tip for good service than not, unless I know it will be considered offensive, like in Japan.
It’s a complete bummer to spend time and money on the holiday of a lifetime only to show up at a key attraction, or try to access travel or banking resources, only to find them closed due to a national or local holiday.
Therefore, a key activity to do in your early Greece vacation planning stage is to know the local and national holidays in Greece.
GREECE TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS
Travel Documents for Greece
From the U.S., you will need a valid passport with an expiration date greater than 6 months from your return date to the U.S. It is advised to always check the U.S. State Department in advance of traveling to Greece for pertinent, up-to-date Greece travel advisories and information. If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
At this time (January 2023), a travel visa is not required for U.S. citizens who travel in Greece 90 days or less and within a 180-day period. However, in November 2023 it is expected that the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETAIS) will go into effect that is designed to strengthen European borders and streamline entry. At that time, a printed ETAIS visa waiver (the “ETAIS”) will be required to enter the Schengen Area for tourist, business or transit purposes of 90 days or less. You will be able to apply online for the ETAIS visa waiver, which will also require a fee (amount unknown). Requirements for an ETAIS are available now. Watch for ETAIS updates if you are planning to solo trips to Greece in late 2023.
If you are not from the U.S., please check if your country is on the ETAIS list indicating whether you are required to obtain an ETAIS or a Schengen Visa.
Choose from Top Travel Document Holders
Vaccinations for Greece
There are normally no vaccinations required for Greece travel. The U.S. State Department provides up-to-date required vaccination information for traveling to Greece. It is advised to always check for any Greece travel restrictions and required vaccinations during your planning stage and again before you leave.
If you are not from the U.S., please check your government’s website.
GREECE TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
Electronics for Greece
Want to use your 110V electronics while traveling around Greece? Greece’s voltage is 230V, and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. If you do not already have electronics (hair dryer, clippers, curling iron, etc.) made for Greece’s voltage, you will need to bring a voltage converter to use your electronics. Below are top-rated power converters for you to compare and buy.
Choose the Converter That’s Right For You
Most smartphones, tablets, laptops, cameras and similar electronics don’t require a converter (double-check your device(s) before you leave home), but you will still need a plug adapter.
Traveling to Greece, Type C and F adapters will fit Greece’s electronic outlets. I recommend bringing at least one of each adapter type accepted. I do not recommend using those single adapters for 100+ countries. They have been known to break and/or cause a power short.
Be prepared before you visit Greece. Bring a solid, reliable, and grounded power adapter to safely charge your electronics in Greece. Below are top-rated U.S. (Type A and B) to Greece power adapter options, from the only brand I travel with, for you to compare and buy.
Choose the Greece Adapter That’s Right for You
Type C Adapters
Type E/F Adapters
If you are going to another country in addition to your trip to Greece, check this international travel adapter guide to make sure you’re prepared.
Cyber Security While Traveling
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CITY GUIDES & ITINERARIES
Use my solo travel guides, itineraries, travel tips, day trip ideas, and recommended things to do in these top Greek destinations, all from my travel in Greece, to plan your best Greece solo travel.
The more I travel in Greece, the more that gets added to this Greece Travel Guide. Keep checking back.
Best Things to Do in Santorini
Best Things to Do in Zakynthos
Zakynthos is an island that is also perfect for just renting a car and exploring the island and its beaches yourself if you don’t want to do group excursions.
Top on your Zakynthos island exploration list should be visiting the Therianos Family Organic Farm to sample their amazing organic products and wine. Make an appointment in advance.
For your Turtle Island excursion, try to use this Eco-friendly Sea Turtle Spotting Boat Excursion (which also offers hotel pick up) if you can, and don’t forget to lounge on Cameo Island afterwards – very relaxing. It’s all in the 3 Days in Zakynthos itinerary.
It has been many years since I was in the following Greek destinations. I hope to revisit these destinations in Greece. Until then, here are my recommended things to do in Greece (from what I’ve already enjoyed or would do when I revisit).
Best Things to Do in Athens
Best Day Trips from Athens
Recommended Things to Do in Naxos
HOW TO BOOK GREECE TRAVEL
It’s important to book the top three travel necessities early: flights, accommodations and ground transportation.
No travel Greece guide would be complete without the booking tools below. These, along with fun Greece things to do and ecotourism ideas, will allow you to realize your solo Greece trip.
Cheap Flights to Greece
With the ever-growing demand for airline tickets to Greece, flights book quicker these days. Find cheap flights to Greece now.
Don’t Wait to Book Your Flight to Greece
Places to Stay in Greece
Second in importance to buying airline tickets to Greece is finding the best place to stay in Greece for your solo travel in Greece. Develop your Greece travel itinerary now and find the best accommodations in Greece to knock one more item off your Greece travel planning list.
Find the Best Solo Travel Accommodations in Greece
Getting Around Greece
Greece has Uber and Carpoolworld, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area).
There are also taxis, of course, and you can easily find a rental car if that better suits your Greece solo travel itinerary.
Find the Best Deals on Greece Rental Cars
Greece also has great buses and trains, so getting around and booking transportation is easy. Ferries are also a great way of traveling between Greek islands instead of flying.
Things to Do in Greece
Here are some more of the top things to do in Greece to book for your Greece solo travel.
Best Greece Food Tours & Activities
GREECE ECO-TRAVEL IDEAS
There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Greece. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.
Air Travel Tips
Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.
Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The best eco-friendly forms of ground transportation in Greece are public transportation, walking, or renting a bicycle or electric scooter. They are also apt to cost less than other ground transportation.
Explore Greece Bike and Electric Scooter Rentals
Try to avoid renting a car in Greece by using buses and/or trains.
When booking a rideshare in Greece, select the Uber Green option, instead of a traditional rideshare, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Greece.
Lime also has electric scooters to rent in Greece for faster and cleaner commuting. Search Lime for select city availability.
Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:
Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for Greece and other European Green Global members.
Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.
Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.
LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the Search the LEED directory for Greece certifications.
Green Lodging Program – Audubon International has an environmental stewardship certification through third-party verification. Search its certified members directory.
GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.
Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge.
Find Your Travel Sustainable Stay in Greece
Eco-Friendly Things To Do
Greece has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.
Search Green Global and Green Key awarded members for eco-friendly activity providers in Greece. Some may also have the GSTC Certified logo.
Top Eco Friendly Activities in Greece
There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel, like bringing sustainable and eco-friendly products to protect Greece’s environment.
There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel. Read my 10 Easy Eco-Travel Tips and view my suggested Eco Travel Resources to learn more.
GREECE TRAVEL SAFETY
Before You Go
Always consult your government’s Greece travel advisory for your Greece travel destination in the beginning travel planning phase and up to your departure date.
Buy Greece travel insurance and international medical insurance for your solo travel to Greece to protect yourself and cover for emergencies.
Safety in Greece
Compared to other countries, Greece is considered safe to visit. There are rarely travel advisories for Greece. Although the crime rate is low, just take the general safety measures like you would anywhere else.
That said, my standard tips for solo and female solo travelers in Greece are:
- always carry photo ID with you; if you don’t want your passport on you at all times, at least carry a copy of it.
- always be “street wise”.
- always be aware of your surroundings, especially if you feel the need to imbibe or feel the need to “let loose” – you’re on vacation so have fun!
- never leave your food or drink unattended.
- keep your belongs on your person, or at least in your view in close proximity, at all times.
- be open to meeting and talking with new people – that is where a lot of the travel experience lies – but be careful on how you divulge personal information.
- research places in advance, if possible, so you know what to expect (i.e., “have a familiar view” – I like to Google the street view of new addresses I’m going to first).
- if something, someone or someplace makes you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut – leave.
Fire Season Travel Tips
GREECE BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
Best Time to Visit Greece
Sounds like prices have gone up for Greece since I’ve been there. You can still do low budget accommodations like a hostel for backpackers or a cheap hotel, but then prices do go up from there.
It could be expensive to fly to Greece so if you go, I would recommend making the most of the airfare and visiting at least another country, like Turkey or Italy.
Like other countries in Europe, Greece’s high, tourist season, and most expensive time, is the summer (late June to August). Athens is considered pricier than other Greek destinations.
Good prices can be found in April to early June or in September, and the weather will still be very nice. The off season, October to early April, is definitely the cheapest time to visit Greece.
Staying in hostels could save you a lot of money on accommodations in Greece, especially if you stay in a dorm-style room. Save more money by booking well in advance.
Many Greece hostels also offer private rooms, which I choose from time to time. Private rooms in hostels could possibly be cheaper than hotels in Greece – it depends on where you stay and how far in advance you reserve.
Don’t overlook exploring hostels in Greece if you’re on a budget.
Reserve Your Greece Hostel
Best Time to Book Travel
Ready to book your Greece solo travel? The sooner you book your reservations, the more you’re likely to save money and get the best flight, accommodation, and rental car choices and deals.
Don’t miss out and find the best Greece flight deals. The best time to book travel is now. Bundling flight, hotel and/or transportation reservations may even save you more money on your trip to Greece.
Do You Know What Greece Flights and Hotels Cost? Check to See
The first time I went to Greece was in 1995. I was fortunate enough to see Athens, which I highly recommend, and enjoy beach time on the pink beaches of Naxos and black beaches of Santorini with a cold beers and a souvlaki pitas. If you go to the Santorini beaches, don’t forget your shoes because that black sand can get hot.
I can’t believe it took me half my lifetime to get back to Greece in 2021. Time flies! This time around I revisited Santorini (which has become a little too touristy, unfortunately) and find my sea turtles in Zakynthos, which I did. I love Greece and can’t wait to go back. I just hope it doesn’t take me another 26 years.
Go to Greece to unwind in the sun, partake in water sports, and/or volunteer. Enjoy the many great dishes and wine tasting Greece has to offer followed by amazing sunsets and people.