Greece for the Independent Traveller
A street in the Cyclades
Greece, in southeast Europe, occupies the southern tip of the
Balkan Peninsular. The Aegean Sea is to the east, the Ionian to the
west with the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Regarded by many as
the cradle of western civilisation and the birthplace of democracy.
Greece has a long and rich history.
Greece was part of the Byzantine Empire prior to Ottoman rule.
During the 400 years of Ottoman rule the Orthodox Church played a
large role in maintaining Greek ethnic and cultural identity and
even today most Greeks, even non-practicing Christians, have a
strong emotional attachment to the church and attend major feast
Time: GMT +2 hrs
Currency: euro (EUR)
The capital city of Athens pulses with life. A new Greece has
emerged following the Olympic Games in 2004 and is now better than
ever. The hotels and museums have been refurbished, there is now a
garden walk around the Acropolis and a new metro and coastal tram
are now in operation. Athens is now a hot city-break
From the port of Piraeus ferries carry visitors to the sun
drenched islands of the Mediterranean including Mykonos, Santorini
and Crete where whitewashed villages and impossibly blue waters
Greek landscape and nature is extremely varied ranging from snow
covered mountains and dense forest to thousands of sun drenched
islands with sandy beaches.
A feeling of belonging seems to come over visitors to Greece -
the warm-hearted people, breathtaking scenery and a knowledge that
you are in a land of rich history.
Greece offers accommodation for every taste and pocket. You can
find boutique hotels, B&Bs in old mansions, exquisite villas
and traditional guesthouses with home-grown food.
Casual cafes serve the freshest seafood, succulent lamb and
chicken, fresh-baked breads, honey-drenched pastries, and
refreshing local wines and beers. Music is an important part of
Greek life and you will find many restaurants and tavernas offer
live music. Although Greek restaurants in general don't
specifically cater for vegetarians there are so many Greek dishes
that are meatless and fishless that vegetarians won't go hungry
even in the most "meaty" restaurants. A suggestion for vegetarian
visitors to Athens would be the Eden Restaurant on the corner of
Misicleos and Lissiou streets in the Plaka district.
When to go
The summer months of July and August can be very hot and
accommodation harder to find in the tourist areas. Booking hotels
and rooms in advance is essential. Athens almost empties in August
particularly the week of 15th August when many Athenians head to
their home towns and villages to celebrate Assumption. You may find
that hotels in cities offer a special discount during this time. If
you do decide to take advantage of these special deals do make sure
that your accommodation has air-conditioning.
Adventure Holidays in Greece
Self-guided, 'inn-to-inn' walking tours of the
villages of Zagoria »
Self-guided, 'inn-to-inn' walking tours on Crete
Attica | Central Greece | Macedonia | Epirus | Peloponnese |
Thessaly | Thrace | Cyclades Islands | Crete Island | Dodecanese Islands | Ionian
Islands | Saronic Islands | Sporadic Islands | N. E. Aegean Islands
| Mount Athos (autonomous)*