I travel solo and spent a few weeks in Greece, starting my journey in Athens, as one does. Did all the touristy things and stayed in a hostel in the centre of Athens so I could walk to most of the sites.
It is a crazy big city and I wouldn’t say the locals were particularly friendly though I guess dealing with needy tourists, day in day out, can be taxing! The Acropolis was amazing as was the museum before the entrance. Glad to hear they are now capping the number of visitors to the Acropolis at any one time as it really is THAT overcrowded, but if course, a “must see”.
Took an overnight ferry to Santorini which I must say was a highlight, sleeping on a row of chairs but also spending so much time on deck watching the other islands as we approached etc The ferries are wonderful and I would have been happy to stay on board a few more days. You can go almost anywhere in Greece on their ferry system.
Arriving at Santorini you are literally mobbed by touts for transport up as it’s impossible almost to climb up or walk. PLEASE do NOT ride the donkeys up the hill, they are not well cared for and carry loads no animal should ever have to, it’s really sad to see a small donkey carrying a 100kg human plus belongings, up a sheer cliff face.
Stayed at a fabulous hostel in Perissa which is at the other end of the island to the tourist centres of Oia and Fira - great decision! Fabulous small village with lots of bars and restaurants along the waterfront. Coming from Queensland where we have silica white sandy beaches, it took a lot of effort getting used to black stones and sand on the beaches there, impossible to walk on barefoot.
Hired a car and drove to Oia and got the picture perfect postcard photos (it really is stunning) but left before sunset as it is crazy madness with people there then. Drove back to Perissa where I went to The Lighthouse to watch the sunset and amazing views of all Santorini, with only a few other people.
Back in Athens I hired another car and drove around the mainland, up and over mountains that nobody would dare to drive, but me lol
Stayed at the base of the mountains in Meteora which has to be one of the most incredible places ever. How they built those places on top of huge single rock formations is simply amazing.
Drove and stayed in all the small, local areas which is where I prefer to stay when travelling so I got to eat and be as the locals do.
Back in the craziness of Athens where I got ripped by an Airbnb host, it’s a cut throat city catering to the tourist IMO and I was glad to leave.
So that’s my story in a nutshell. Obviously lots in between but that was the highlights. Highly recommend hiring e car and driving around the country. The roads are just unbelievable, so many lanes, everyone does the speed limit and best of all, they keep to the correct lane when not overpassing! Soooo many tolls though, every short amount of klms then there would be another toll, cost me a kidney in toll fees As I am Australian and we drive on the left, it took some time to get used to driving on the right and so hard in the madness of Athens but I survived.
A month in Bali to finish off that particular trip which was a reward in itself, far from the madding crowds (same same but different in Bali)
So Greece is definitely a must see on anyone’s bucket list, so many islands to choose from, you could stay for weeks on end, but I like to get around to the places people DON’T visit, that’s where you will find the real Greece.
So why do we love Greece and travel? This is why