• A. Lane

Bucket List Vacations: Greece! What to do, where to stay, when to go!

Updated: 2 hours ago

Thinking of visiting Greece, but not sure where to start? Well this blog is for you! Based on my own personal experience from traveling to the beautiful blue and white country, here are some fun things to do, awesome sights to see and fantastic foods to eat when you get there... including recommendations on affordable places to stay to maximize your entire experience!

Greece is known for it's beautiful scenery and picturesque backgrounds of crystal blue oceans and stunning landscaped buildings. With several incredible islands and a mainland to choose from, how do you know which location is right for you? Hopefully this blog will help you narrow it down and select the perfect vacation!

The most noticeable and possibly most beautiful island in Greece is Santorini. Famous for it's blue and white city of Oia positioned on a cliff high above the Aegean Sea, Santorini is a traveler's paradise. With daily flights from the US to Europe, making your way to Greece is easier than most think. The least expensive route would be to fly into England, France, Italy or perhaps even Spain. (Direct flights to Greece can be slightly pricier than flying into a larger, international airport) Keep that in mind when planning your vacation to the country.

Once you make your way into Europe, book a flight to Thira International Airport. That is how you'll get to this amazing little city. During my visit, I traveled by plane from Madrid, Spain to Thira, Greece for 104 Euro, approx. $115 USD. (I traveled during the month of September since it's the countries low tourist season. Things are typically cheaper during times where tourist season is low, so be sure to plan your next trip during that time in order to make sure your dollar goes it's furthest.) Once I made it to the airport in Greece, I caught a taxi to my 1 bedroom hostel that cost me 26 Euro, approx. $29 USD. My private bedroom cost me 34 Euro per night, approx. $38 USD for 3 nights (about $115 USD total.) My hostel was just outside Oia and included it's own private bathroom and pool! It was secluded and I had full use of all the amenities the hostel had to offer.

*If you aren't familiar with what a hostel is- think of it as a college dorm. It's like a hotel, but with roommates. All hostels are different and some offer private rooms (like hotels) while most have shared rooms. The shared rooms range anywhere from 2 beds to 22 bunk beds all in 1 room! If that's not your thing, I get it- it definitely isn't for everyone. However if you're looking to save a few coins and spend your money on other things that matter, hostels are the way to go when traveling throughout European countries. They're quite popular in that region of the world. The advantages are: never having to be alone (if you're worried about that sort of thing) There are always people around, doing things and going places. They usually pop in for the night and are typically gone by morning off on their next adventure. Like you will be. You can choose to interact or you can stay to yourself. No one will bother you. Another advantage is meeting other travelers like yourself and making life long travel buddies. Finding people who are going sight seeing or bar hopping or whatever else they decide to do while inviting you to tag along. It's certainly an option whether you're traveling alone or with a group. The disadvantage is that hostels are simply not for everybody. Most people I know would never be comfortable sharing a room with complete strangers and that's completely understandable. I wasn't too comfortable my first time either, which is why I opted in for a private room. After the initial fear wears off and you discover everyone there is just like you, travelers looking for a cheap place to stay the night, you'll find the fun in it. Hostels often times offer meals at a lower expense than a hotel would. They also have game nights, sight seeing tours, laundry services and internet access. They vary in ages and some are even women only- so no need to worry about things going awry. All I can say is don't knock it until you try it. You just may discover hostels are a great way to travel for less! The best one app/website for searching for the perfect hostel is

www.hostelworld.com

You can book a room directly from the site as well as find out what attractions are nearby, including train stations, buses, airports and even the daily events they offer. Best of all, they have ratings and reviews in order for you to make an informed decision!

(A few pictures of what some hostels look like)

But back to the blog....

There are a few other places to choose from when traveling to Greece, including Mykonos, Crete and the world famous Athens. Both Mykonos are Crete are islands known for their nightlife, beaches and spectacular photo opportunities. Athens is mainland and is more city like. When I visited, it felt more like downtown Los Angeles or New York City in a sense. It was a busy, crowded, metropolitan-like town. I would absolutely recommend each place in a heartbeat! They each have something unique to offer as far as attractions go. Athens, of course has your Acropolis and Mount Olympus- if you're into seeing monuments. Mykonos, Crete and Santorini have your beaches and laid back scenery making them great places to lounge around and sip something sweet in a bathing suit. But choose wisely because there is a lot to see and do in each place.

Did somebody mention food? Yes, food! We all love it and there's no better way to travel than to partake in the local delicatessens that country has to offer. It's no secret that the Gyros are big in Greece! (Pronounced Yee-ros) Get them filled with lamb or steak and they will make your mouth water. If you're not into meat, Greek salads are the best in the world. I mean, they're named after the country and you can never go wrong with trying a bit of authenticity. Other popular staples of the country include Baklava, a pastry dessert and Tzatziki, a tasty appetizer sauce made for dipping your chips or pita bread in. Oh, and did I mention the pita bread? Of course I did... don't miss out on the chance to try fresh, handmade pita bread, naan with hummus and mouth watering falafels! Try everything. You know what they say, if you don't gain about 10 pounds while on vacation, you didn't vacation right. Ok.... maybe nobody says that, but it sounds good and it should be a saying when it comes to vacationing.

(Popular dishes in Greece)

Perhaps the best and most spectacular reason to visit Greece (in my opinion) is to venture to the top of Oia. That breath taking blue and white city famously seen in pictures all around the world. Pronounced 'Ee-yah', it's known for the vibrant blue dome buildings overlooking the Aegean sea. If you don't fly directly into Thira (Santorini) from another country, you can get there on a 45 minute flight or an 8 hour ferry ride from Athens. Both options are pretty affordable and will save you enough money to do the things you want to do upon arriving. Once there, don't miss out on the chance to make it down to Perissa beach. Famous for it's inviting jet black sand and calm ocean water, it is a must see when visiting Santorini. My only request is that you take pictures and share them with me! It is truly a sight to see.

Last but not least, the adventures, the shopping, the experiences. Greece has a little bit of everything for everyone. Indulge yourself in fish spa! Yea, you read that right...a FISH SPA! Where you place your feet in an tank (of sorts) and let little feeder fish eat dead skin off your feet. It's painless and the only thing you have to worry about, is being too ticklish. The little individual nibbles feel like nothing, but combined feels like someone playing with your feet, slightly tickling them. It's an overwhelming sensation. A definite must try! If you're more into monuments and seeing more of the city, Athens is your place. Learn about the history of the city and entice yourself in long walks through crowded alleyways of shops, eateries, massage parlors, specialty stores, boutiques and so much more. Get your feel of unique souvenirs to bring back to your loved ones and make memories that you'll never forget. Greece is certainly a country that you can't go wrong with traveling to. If it's not already, put it on your bucket list! You won't regret it!

As usual, thanks so much for reading and don't forget to subscribe for more travel tips, advice and recommendations. Feel free to share, like, comment and include your own stories about your visit to Greece! Each one, teach one!

xoxo- Ashawna Lane

Hey guys! I'm Ashawna Lane, an avid international solo traveler, entrepreneur and self taught fashion designer. I'm traveling the world by myself on a mission to fulfill my life with magical moments and unforgettable memories. 

I started traveling internationally in 2015 and have little desire to stop. With 22 countries down and dozens more to come, you're welcomed to follow my journey as I explore different countries, meet new people and create awesome adventures along the way! 

Don't forget to subscribe to my blog for tips and advice on how you too can travel more for less!

 

*I am not affiliated with any travel groups or companies*