How to Plan a Trip to Greece | Greece Travel Planning Tips
Last Updated on July 18, 2020 by Dana Berez
How to Plan a Trip to Greece | Greece Travel Planning Tips
So you want to go to Greece, but you may have no idea where to even start. When I was planning my trip, so many questions arose like which islands to visit, how many days on each island, and how to get around. I totally understand the dilemma. In this guide, I will detail out how to plan a trip to Greece and answer those questions to make your planning so much easier and clear. There is a lot to cover so let’s get started.
Timing: How Many Days in Greece
Sorting out how many days you have to visit is one of the most important parts of the planning process. How many days you will help you dictate how many islands you would like to visit.
I would say you need at least two days minimum per island to just get see the highlights, however, three to four days are ideal.
Something you have to consider is getting around the islands may take half a day.
Waiting in line for the ferry or plane, transporting to your next island, waiting for hotel check-in are all things to take into consideration.
If you have a week in to visit, you could experience two islands thoroughly, but adding in a third would be pushing it. In two weeks you could experience four islands.
Two Week Sample Itinerary
I spent two weeks in Greece and decided to visit four islands. I landed in Athens and flew out to the furthest island of Santorini and then island hopped toward Athens.
This itinerary allowed me to see a mix of the Greek Islands that offered something different. Iconic Greek Islands from Santorini & Mykonos, epic beaches in Milos, and local flavor in Paros.
How to Get around the Greek Islands
Most islands have their own airports so you can get around the Greek Islands by either flying or taking a ferry. Now what some people don’t realize is your flight or ferry between the Greek Islands can be delayed or canceled due to high winds.
Thankfully I didn’t have any issues with my ferries, but I have heard stories to always be a bit flexible if something were to go wrong.
While a flight ticket may be cheaper than a ferry, I personally preferred to take ferries around the islands because you don’t have to show up 2+ hours ahead of time or pay extra for your luggage.
I also brought a massive bag that weighed over 50lbsand would have even paid more in baggage fees. I also paid $40-60 on average per ferry transfer.
If you are headed during high season, it is recommended to book in advance as ferries to avoid the risk of selling out. I pre-booked all my ferries through Ferry Hopper.
This website allows you to see accurate time tables and routes the ferries run on which helped massively when choosing which islands to visit. You can check the Ferry Hopper routes below.
There are no mega-resorts in the Greek Islands as we have in the US. Meaning most of the hotels are boutique-style with a limited amount of rooms.
Those epic hotels you’ll find on Instagram do book up in advance. If you are looking for a unique place to stay I would highly suggest booking it as soon as possible.
The earlier you book you can find better deals and more options for your dates. You can find unique boutique style hotels on booking.com, including this epic hotel in Santorini where I stayed that had a private indoor pool called the Syros Suite.
What to Pack
When it comes to packing, I always suggest less is more. While I prefer traveling with a carry-on size bag, heading to the Greek Islands for two weeks I needed to bring in the checked luggage.
Just be aware that you’ll have to lug your luggage around and having extra weight can be troublesome especially with uneven surfaces.
Along with the dresses and swimsuits I packed, I also included these essentials that help when around the beach:
Water Shoes: Besides packing some sundresses and swimsuits, the most essential thing to pack for Greece would be WATER SHOES. The beaches in Greece have all kinds of terrain including rocks, and sand.
These water shoes protected my feet from small pebbles and hot sand. The best part is they come in over 50 colors and patterns and are only $13!
Waterproof Phone Case & wallet: When checking out all the beaches in Greece, you’ll want to make sure that your valuables don’t get wet and lost!
These cases protect your valuables and keep your phone spotted at all times.
Sunscreen: Don’t forget your sunscreen because purchasing it in Greece can get very expensive, and you’ll need it being in the sun all day!
How Much Is A Trip To Greece
This will vary greatly on the islands you are visiting. Santorini and Mykonos will be the most expensive from luxury accommodations starting from $300 and up per night.
While other islands you can find accommodations starting from $80 and up. Food and beverage were the second most expensive per island. Nice dinners were around $100 USD.
How To Get Around The Greek Islands
This is very dependent on the Island that you visit, however, if you do decide to visit a more rural island-like Milos you are going to have to rent a car. I would pre-book the car rental in advance as models can sell out.
I learned this the hard way in Milos when the only automatic car they had left was a large 4×4 jeep that also costed more than the smaller automatic cars they had.
However, I did not find it necessary to rent a car in Mykonos or Santorini. It really depends if you want to see more of the surrounding island.
An option would be to rent an ATV or car for just one day to explore around. I did this in Santorini and explored the black sand beaches and other areas outside of Oia.
When is the Best Time to visit Greece
With a popular summer destination like Greece, I always suggest visiting just before or after peak months. The weather in May and September is still warm, yet the not as crowded as June- August.
If you do go late September, restaurants, and bars may begin closing down for the season, but it’s nothing to be worried about. The winter months are usually the rainiest months to visit.
Most shops and restaurants in the Greek islands are closed.
Best Tours in Greece
Just like many things in the Greek Islands, booking in advance is always your best option- especially if you are visiting during high season.
Here are some top tours in Greece from Get Your Guide. They have plenty for every island so it’s worth checking out, especially for a sunset Catamaran tour!
Check out my other Greece posts
Paros: Paros Travel Guide
Mykonos: Mykonos Travel Guide / Mykonos Instagram Spots
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