The Bourini. A summer storm in Greece

A “Bourini” (also spelled “vorini” or “vourini”) is a type of summer storm that is common in Greece, especially in the northern and central regions of the country. These storms typically occur between June and September and are characterized by strong winds, heavy rain, and sometimes hail. They can last for several hours and can cause damage to crops, buildings, and infrastructure. The rain can also be heavy and cause flash flooding in low-lying areas. The storm can last several hours and make it dangerous to be outside.

The science

Bourini storms are often accompanied by thunder and lightning, and they can be quite intense. They are formed when the hot air from the land rises and meets the cooler air from the sea, creating a strong updraft that can quickly turn into a storm. 

Another possible cause of a Bourini is the high-pressure systems that move over the Greek mountains. This causes the rising of hot air from the interior of the country, creating a thunderstorm.

The name

The term “Bourini” is derived from the Greek word “voros” (βόρος), which means “northeast wind”. These storms typically come from the northeast direction, bringing strong winds and heavy rain. The term “Bourini” is also used to refer to the strong winds that can occur during these storms.

The experience

The experience of a Greek Bourini can vary depending on the location and intensity of the storm. But usually, you will first see the sky turning black. Then, all of a sudden, a strong wind picks up. And the storm starts.

During the storm, it is common for power outages to occur, and the wind can make it dangerous to drive or walk. Umbrellas fly around, but also tree branches or roofs can get loose and cause danger. The storm is often accompanied by lots of thunder and lightning. This can be intense.

Once the storm has passed, the air can feel fresh and clean, and the sky can be a beautiful deep blue color. The rain can also make the countryside look greener and the flowers more colorful. But the aftermath of a bourini storm can be severe, with damages to crops and buildings, and sometimes landslides. Therefore, it is important to be prepared and safe during a storm.

Overall, the experience of a Bourini summer storm in Greece can be intense and potentially dangerous. Nevertheless, it can also be a unique and memorable experience for those who can witness it safely.

Don’t get too worried

It is important to note that these storms are not as common in the southern regions of Greece and on the islands. Besides, they are not a frequent occurrence. They do happen, but not every year and not in every part of the country. 

Additionally, the Greek National Meteorological Service gives out forecasts and alerts in case of severe weather conditions. Therefore people can be prepared, and casualties are limited.

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and get the answer to all your questions!

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Common misconceptions about Greek culture

The Greeks are known as loud, emotional, religious, stubborn, and always eating people. However, Greek culture is rich and diverse and cannot be reduced to a simple stereotype. Greece has a long and complex history resulting in a vibrant and varied culture that is alive and well today. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about Greek culture.

Greece is only ancient history.

Greece is often associated with ancient history and mythology. Zeus, the Parthenon, and Socrates are what is Greek. However, Greece is also a modern country with a rich and diverse culture. From traditional folk music and dance to contemporary art and cinema, Greece has a vibrant cultural scene that is alive and well today.

All Greeks are the same.

Greece is a country with a diverse population, made up of many different ethnic groups, each with its own unique customs and traditions. Greek culture being a monolithic entity, is a misconceptions. It is rather a rich tapestry of different influences and perspectives.

Greece is a poor country.

While Greece has certainly had its share of economic challenges in recent years, it is still a developed country with a high standard of living. Greek people are proud of their country and its rich cultural heritage, and they continue to make important contributions to the arts, sciences, and other fields.

Greece is on the Mediterranean sea.

Technically this is true. However, for the Greeks, there are two seas surrounding Greece. The Ionian Sea on the West and the Aegean Sea on the East. 

Another misconception is that Greece is just the sea. And while the country certainly has its fair share of beautiful beaches and idyllic islands, it is also a country with a diverse landscape that includes rugged mountains and rugged countryside.

Greek food is only Gyros and Souvlaki.

Greek cuisine is much more diverse and varied than this stereotype would suggest. From traditional dishes like moussaka, dolmades, and fassolada to contemporary creations that showcase the best of Mediterranean ingredients and flavors. Greek cuisine is also a reflection of the country’s rich cultural heritage and its many different regions. Besides, Greek food is seasonal and even knows many traditional vegan dishes.

Greek people are always loud and emotional.

The Greek stereotype is known for being expressive and passionate. However, this does not mean that Greeks are always loud or emotional. Greeks are just like any other people, and they are capable of showing a wide range of emotions, depending on the context. While my Greek in-laws definitely fit the stereotype, I know Greeks that are closer to my personality as well. 

Greece is a place of unending sunshine and warm weather.

While it is true that Greece has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers, the weather is more than just sunshine. In winter, it can get cold, especially in mountainous regions. Skiing or snowboarding are even possibilities! Additionally, the country is not always sunny. Even during the summer months, there is a possibility of heavy rain, winds, or even hailstorms. The Greeks call this a bourini.

Greek people are not welcoming to foreigners.

While there may be some misconceptions of the Greek culture with Greeks being insular or unwelcoming. The vast majority of people in Greece are friendly and hospitable. Many Greeks have a strong sense of pride in their country and are eager to share their culture and traditions with visitors. 

However, for the older generations of Greeks, communication can be an issue as they often don’t speak English. Here are some easy Greek words you can use to interact with them.

Greece is only for tourists.

While tourism is an important part of the Greek economy, it is not the only thing the country has to offer. Greece is home to a diverse and vibrant society, with many different cultural, economic, and political elements that make it an interesting and exciting place to live. And example is the export of Feta cheese.

Greek people are not interested in technology and innovation.

Greece is a country with a long history of innovation and creativity. From the ancient Greek contributions to philosophy, mathematics, and science, to contemporary Greek entrepreneurs and innovators who are making a name for themselves in fields like technology and business. Greeks are not behind in technology and innovation. Instead, they are adapting it in their own way.

Greeks are lazy.

The stereotypical Greek is famous for his Siga Siga mentality. However, the Greeks are far from lazy. Siga Siga is a way of life limited to the Greek spare time. When it comes to business, the Greeks know what working is. It is not uncommon for younger people who went to university to work 50 to 60 hours a week, earning less than 700 euro’s a month. No wonder they take it slow on their time off!

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The best footwear for a summer in Greece: Teva’s

The first time I traveled to Greece, I was a beach rooky. In my luggage, I took flip-flops and heels, and combined with the sneakers I was wearing, I thought I was set for the month to come. When I returned, however, my footwear collection tripled, and my feet blistered. The best footwear for a summer in Greece turned out to be more complicated to find than I had expected.

Summer adventures in Greece.

Now, if you’re planning on visiting Greece for a relaxing holiday at one of the paradise-like resorts, you can stop reading. Flip-flops or sandals are all you need. However, if your plan is a more adventurous summer, I want to save from the footwear search that took me years.

The ultimate Greek summer experience is a combination of many activities. Examples are idyllic villages, breathtaking landscapes, paradise-like beaches, and (of course) delicious food. All of these activities, however, require different footwear. Slippers, sandals, sneakers, hiking- and water shoes. Too much to fit in a suitcase.

The footwear you’re looking for

To save money on luggage, or have space in your suitcase for your favorite summer top, you want to combine the footwear for multiple activities. You want something airy due to the high temperatures of the Greek summer. However, your footwear should be comfortable for you as well, and waterproof.

My favorite off-the-beaten-path summer experience in Greece is visiting a secluded beach. To reach a beach like this, you have to drive and hike. To swim, you will have to conquer the pebble stones. But when you are there, the landscape is unbelievable, and the moment is priceless.

During my first summers in Greece, I would wear sneakers for the drive and hike. Change to water shoes for a swim. Use flip-flops to dry my feet on the beach, and switch to sneakers again for my way back. Luckily I discovered Teva’s.

Why Teva?

Teva sandals were invented in 1984, by a river guide in the Grand Canyon. The goal of the Teva was a lightweight and open shoe. Wearable in the water, as well as on a hike through the rough landscape surrounding it. The result does all that, and Teva became famous as a sandal for outdoor adventures. For me, they became my ultimate Greek summer footwear.

Going back to the secluded beach from earlier. I can wear my Teva sandals when I drive, as well as when I hike down to the hidden beach, I can walk into the sea wearing them and even swim without taking them off. I can get out, and hike back without the burden of wet stones trapped inside. And by the time I reach my car, they have dried up. Ready to drive me to my next adventure!

A pair of Teva’s should be in any luggage going to Greece.

Teva is not in any way sponsoring the article. However, if you travel to Greece this summer, choose a pair of Teva sandals as footwear! Don’t think you can conquer the pebble stone beaches barefoot if you are not used to walking this way. And don’t think you can hike wearing water shoes. I made these mistakes, and in the end, it cost me a lot of useless pairs of shoes I forgot when returning the rental car.

A simple pair of Teva sandals will cost you only 30 – 40 bucks but allows you to go on hundreds of adventures. Their footbed is good enough to walk on for hours, the straps will allow you to swim, and their material dries up quickly afterward. They do not take up a lot of space in your suitcase and you can easily fit them in a backpack or beach bag. Teva’s truly are best the footwear for a summer in Greece:

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and get the answer to all your questions!

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What role has religion played in Greece throughout history?

Today, 81.4% of the Greeks are Orthodox Catholics. This is a huge percentage if you compare this to Christians in the UK or Protestants in the US. More impressive is the number when you imagine that modern Greece only exists since 1830. Before, the Greeks have been under Ottoman and Roman rule for years. Besides, when you mention Greek religion, you might think about Nike and Zeus. Ancient Greek goddesses and gods who lived long before the Orthodox religion. Confusing, the Greeks. So here is the story behind religion in Greece, and its impact on society.

From Temple to Church

Ancient Greece

Let’s start at the beginning, with Zeus and Nike. The ancient Greeks had a polytheistic religion. They worshipped a pantheon of gods and goddesses who were believed to control various aspects of the natural world and human life. These gods were thought to reside on Mount Olympus and were often depicted in art and mythology. Religion was deeply ingrained in everyday life, with festivals and rituals held regularly to honor the gods and goddesses.

Religion also played a role in politics. The city-states often had a chief priest or priestess who served as an intermediary between the people and the gods. In addition, religion was a source of cultural identity for the ancient Greeks. Each god or goddess was often associated with specific regions or city-states.

The Romans

The ancient Greek gods and goddesses were worshipped by the ancient Greeks. However, with the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 B.C., the ancient civilization died as well. Now comes the time of the Roman influence in Greece, and with the Romans, Christianity. A process that took place over several centuries.

The ancient Greek polytheistic religion was practiced for thousands of years and deeply ingrained in society. The spread of Christianity in Greece was initially slow and faced resistance from some members of society. Early Christian communities in Greece were often small and faced persecution from the Roman authorities.

However, as Christianity began to gain acceptance and support from powerful members of society, it slowly began to spread and gain followers. The adoption of Christianity as the official state religion was a major turning point in the spread of the religion in Greece. This happened in the Byzantine Empire in the 4th century A.D. Emperor Constantine the Great, who was himself a convert to Christianity, supported the spread of Christianity He provided funding for the construction of churches and other religious institutions throughout the empire.

The start of the Orthodox Church

With the support of the state, Christianity began to gain widespread acceptance in Greece. Many of the traditional polytheistic religious practices and beliefs were gradually replaced with, or re-explained as, Christian ones. The ancient Greek gods and goddesses were often reinterpreted as Christian saints. Besides, many of the traditional religious festivals and holidays were replaced with Christian ones. It was the syncretism of Christianity with the traditional religion that helped it to spread in Greece. And so the history of the Orthodox religion in Greece begun.

The Orthodox religion in the history of Greece

The Orthodox Church has been an important institution in Greece, playing a central role in the cultural, social and political life of the country. It has played a role in shaping the country’s education, social welfare, and cultural heritage. The Orthodox Church has also been an important force in the preservation of Greek language, culture and tradition. Additionally, the Orthodox Church continues to play an important role in the Greece’s identity. Many religious festivals and holidays are still celebrated and are an important part of Greek society today.

Religion was what defined the Greeks

After the 4th century A.D the main religion in Greece has been the Orthodox religion. However, in these 1700 years, many other things changed in the country. There has been a Byzantine Greece, a Latin Greece and an Ottoman Greece. The country has been occupied by many other empires. Greece has split up and has been attacked. Yet, the Orthodox church survived.

This is what makes religion in Greece something special throughout history. There where times that the Church was the only thing preserving the Greek language, culture and traditions. However, occupants also had an influence on the Greek Orthodox Church.

The Orthodox religion during the Ottoman Rule

During the Ottoman period (1453-1821), the Greek Orthodox Church was placed under the authority of the Ottoman millet system. Which recognized the Greek Orthodox Church as an autonomous community within the empire. The Greek Orthodox Church was allowed to continue its religious practices, but its leaders were appointed by the Ottoman authorities. The Church’s property and finances were controlled by the state. The Church was also expected to support the Ottoman government and its policies.

This had a significant impact on the Church’s role in Greek society. The Church was not able to play its traditional role as an independent institution and was instead used as a tool of the Ottoman government.

The Orthodox religion in WWII

During the period of German occupation in WWII, the Greek Orthodox Church was initially seen as a potential ally by the occupiers. However, the Church and its leaders soon became vocal opponents of the occupation. Many priests and bishops actively supported the resistance and many were arrested and executed by the Germans. The Church’s property was also seized and its leaders were exiled.

After the war, the Church regained its independence and played a significant role in the reconstruction of the country. The role of the Church during the war helped to establish the Church as a symbol of national resistance and identity.

Religion in Greece today

Today, the Greek Orthodox Church is still the dominant religion in Greece. The religion plays a central role in the cultural, social, and political life of the country. Many schools and hospitals are run by the Church or by Church-affiliated organizations. The Church also continues to play an important role in the preservation of Greek language, culture, and tradition. Many religious festivals and holidays are still celebrated and are an important part of Greek society today. Additionally, the Orthodox Church continues to play an important role in the country’s political and social development, and it is considered as an important element of the Greek national identity

The Church of Greece is self-governed and administrates its own affairs, but it remains under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. However, it also has its own independent hierarchy, the Church of Greece, which is headed by the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece.

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and get the answer to all your questions!

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Outdoor adventure sports in Greece

Although Greece is a famous relaxed beach holiday destination, there is far more to the country to explore. With a varied and rugged topography, Greece is a great destination for outdoor adventure sports. Whether you’re looking for rugged hiking trails, challenging rock climbing, or peaceful kayaking, Greece has something for everyone. Here are some of the outdoor adventure sports opportunities in Greece:

Hiking

Greece is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and is mountainous for over 80%. Hiking is a great way to explore the untouched nature, hidden in the rough landscape. From the mountains of Crete to, the rugged coastline of the Peloponnese, there are countless hiking trails to choose from. Some popular trails include the Samaria Gorge, the Meteora Monasteries, and, of course, Mount Olympus.

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Rock Climbing 

With its rugged coastline and towering cliffs, Greece is a popular destination for rock climbing. Some popular climbing spots include Kalymnos, Meteora, and Elafonissi.

Scuba Diving

Greece is home to some of the most beautiful waters in the Mediterranean, and scuba diving is a great way to explore them. The waters around the Greek islands are home to a wide variety of marine life, including colorful fish, octopuses, and sea turtles. 

A great diving location is Alonissos National Marine Park, a protected marine area, where you can spot endangered species like turtles, dolphins, and even seals. Besides, there are many shipwrecks around Greece which make for a perfect underwater scenery to explore!

Surfing

Greece is not the most trustworthy country when it comes to waves. Therefore it is a popular wind- and kitesurfing destination. However, Greece does have some spots with waves. Surfers can find good breaks along the western coast of the mainland and on the island of Crete. Popular spots include the beaches of Chania and Vassiliki. 

Windsurfing and kite surfing are popular water sports in Greece, thanks to its strong Meltemi winds and beautiful beaches. Both Windsurfing and kitesurfing are challenging sports. Therefore in many Greek areas, lessons and even summer camps are available. Great surfing spots include Pounda on Paros, Psalidi on Kos, and Keros on Lemnos.

Mountain biking

Greece offers a great variety of options for mountain biking, from rocky trails to smooth dirt roads. Some popular spots for mountain biking include Parnitha, Pilio, and Pelion.

Kayaking and Canoeing

Greece has a diverse coastline with plenty of opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. Some popular spots include the rivers of Epirus, the Gulf of Corinth, and the beaches of Chania and Vassiliki.

Parasailing

Parasailing is a great way to get an aerial view of the Greek islands and coastline. Some popular spots for parasailing include the beaches of Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding is a great way to explore the Greek coastline and islands. Some popular spots include the beaches of Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete.

Canyoning

Greece has some great canyons, with crystal-clear waters and impressive rock formations. Some popular canyoning spots include the Vermion Mountains, the Pindus Mountains, and the Vikos-Aoos National Park.

Skiing

Greece has several ski resorts, mostly located in the mountains of northern Greece. Some popular ski resorts include 3-5 Pigadia, Elatochori, and Seli.

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and get the answer to all your questions!

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Cultural exchange programs in Greece

Greece is a country rich in culture and history. But how to explore these as a foreigner? Cultural exchange programs! These programs provide an opportunity to learn about Greek culture, language, and history, while also giving you the chance to meet and interact with local people. Here are some of the top cultural exchange programs in Greece:

The American Farm School

The American Farm School in Thessaloniki offers cultural exchange programs for students and professionals interested in learning about Greek culture and agriculture. The program includes cultural activities, language classes, and hands-on learning experiences.

The Hellenic American Union

The Hellenic American Union in Athens offers a wide range of cultural exchange programs, including language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad programs. The programs are designed for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture.

The American College of Thessaloniki 

The American College of Thessaloniki offers cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

The Greek National Tourism Organization

The Greek National Tourism Organization offers cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

The International Cultural Centre of Delphi

The International Cultural Centre of Delphi offers cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki 

The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki offers cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

The American Community Schools of Athens 

The American Community Schools of Athens offer cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

The Greek American Educational Foundation 

The Greek American Educational Foundation offers cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

The Hellenic American University 

The Hellenic American University offers cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about Greek culture. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

The International Centre for Hellenic & Mediterranean Studies 

The International Centre for Hellenic & Mediterranean Studies offers cultural exchange programs for students, professionals, and anyone interested in learning about culture in Greece. The programs include language classes, cultural workshops, and study abroad opportunities.

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The eco-friendly guide to Greece

Greece is known for its natural beauty and ancient history. However, Greece is below the average of the European Union regarding sustainability. This has to do with the crisis that started in 2008. Since then, the country has been preoccupied with economic and social issues. The Greeks had to find a way to survive, making sustainability an unaffordable luxury. Recently change started, when the worst part of the crisis was over. Today, there is finally room to think about improvement. New goals include digitalization and sustainable tourism, but Greece also started working on its first plans for becoming a more eco-friendly country. Many organizations and initiatives are working to protect the country’s environment and promote eco-friendly practices. Here are some of the top eco-friendly practices in Greece:

Sustainable tourism

The Greek government has implemented several measures to promote sustainable tourism, including the certification of eco-friendly hotels and the development of hiking trails and cycling routes. Many tour operators and travel agencies also promote eco-friendly tourism. Greece offers a wide range of eco-friendly accommodations, from traditional villages and rural houses to modern hotels and resorts. Booking.com recently included a sustainability score for their accommodations, check the availability in Greece below!

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Renewable energy

Greece had set a goal to produce 60% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and has implemented policies to encourage the development of wind and solar power. Today, the country is at 29 percent, which is an increase of 21% since the start of the crisis. On top of the country’s mountains, you can find wind turbines, and in remote areas solar farms are installed. Let’s hope we will keep seeing more of them! Because with the amount of sunlight in Greece, solar energy should be one of the top eco-friendly practices.

Environmental education

The Greek government has implemented programs to promote environmental education, including the creation of nature schools and the development of educational programs for schools.

Besides, many of the Greek beaches are granted a Blue Flag Beach award. One of the main goals of Blue Flag is to connect people to their surroundings. Each awarded beach has to inform visitors about ecosystems and provide environmental education activities.

Recycling

Many local municipalities have implemented recycling programs and encouraged the recycling of different materials.

Conservation of endangered species

The Greek government has implemented several measures to protect endangered species, including the creation of national parks and the development of conservation programs. Here are my two favorites:

  • Arcturos
    Not many people know that Greece is home to wild brown bears. And if environmental organizations wouldn’t have been active, they will soon disappeared from the Greek mountains. Arcturos is one of the organizations protecting these bears and their habitat.
  • The National Marine Park of Alonissos.
    This marine park was the first park established in Greece and is today the largest marine protected area in Europe, with 2.265 km2. The N.M.P.A.N.S. aims to protect and preserve rare species and their habitats, like dolphins, seals, and sea turtles. But the organization also focuses on archeological, cultural, and historical significance.

Biodiversity

Greece has a rich biodiversity, with many rare and endemic species. Many organizations are working to protect and preserve this biodiversity, including the creation of protected areas, the protection of wetlands, and the management of invasive species.

Sustainable agriculture

Many farmers in Greece are implementing sustainable agriculture practices, such as crop rotation, organic farming, and the use of traditional farming methods.

Green buildings

The Greek government has implemented policies to promote green building practices and energy efficiency in new buildings.

Sustainable transportation

Sustainable means of transportation are hard to find in Greece. Train and metro networks are scarce and limited to Athens. Outside the capital, fossil fuel buses are often the only option. Besides, large areas of the mainland and islands are inaccessible for electric cars due to a lack of chargers. 

The good thing is that Greece is on the way to changing this with the implementation of eco-friendly practices. The Greeks are offered tax reductions and subsidies when they choose to go electric, and municipalities will install new charging stations. In addition, the Greek government has implemented policies to promote the development of cycling and walking infrastructure, and the promotion of public transport.

Conservation of cultural heritage

The Greek government has implemented several measures to protect the country’s cultural heritage, including the restoration of ancient monuments and the development of archaeological parks.

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Visit the Acropolis Museum. 

The Acropolis Museum in Athens is a great way for children to learn about ancient Greek history and culture. The museum has interactive exhibits and hands-on activities that make learning about ancient Greece fun and engaging for children.

Visit the Thessaloniki Science Center and Technology Museum.

The Science Center and Technology Museum in Thessaloniki is a great way for children to learn about science and technology in a fun and interactive way. The museum has many exhibits and hands-on activities that will keep children entertained for hours.

Visit the National Archaeological Museum.

The National Archaeological Museum in Athens is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece. It houses a vast and impressive collection of artifacts from the ancient Greeks, teaching children about history and culture.

Visit the Cretaquarium.

The Cretaquarium is a place for children to learn about marine life. The aquarium has a wide range of sea creatures and interactive exhibits that will keep children entertained for hours.

Take a bike tour.

A bike tour is a great way for children to explore a new place and get some exercise at the same time. There are plenty of bike tour options in Greece. From easy, family-friendly routes, to more challenging ones.

Bikes are a great way to explore the beautiful Greek islands. However, keep in mind that this activity is better during the spring and fall. During the summer months, temperatures can get so high that cycling through the sun can be dangerous. For those months, there are the following activities.

Visit the Water City water park.

Water City is a water park located in Crete and is a great place for children to cool off and have fun. The park has a wide range of water slides, swimming pools, and other attractions that will keep children entertained for hours. 

If you’re not around Crete, you can check online if there is a waterpark close by. Although the Water City water park is the most popular, there are opportunities for a similar experience throughout Greece. Some examples are Aquaworld and Limnoupolis.

Go to the beach.

Greece is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and a day at the beach is on of the easiest children-friendly activities in Greece. Many of the more popular beaches in Greece provide an in-sea playground for children. With waterslides, trampolines, and obstacle courses. These beaches are the perfect place to amuse both young and older children. Examples are Elafonissi Beach, Falassarna Beach, and Vai Beach.

If you have younger children, you might feel a beach or the sea can be dangerous. But don’t worry, as many beaches in Greece have a very shallow and calm sea, often accompanied by a lifeguard for extra safety.

Take a boat trip

Greece is famous for its beautiful islands, and a boat trip is a great way for children to see them. Families can take a ferry to visit the islands and have a change to spot dolphins on the way! A more adventurous option is to rent a boat and explore the coast. Often a life jacket is included for the kids. If a boat sounds slightly too adventurous, try a peddle boat with a water slide!

Visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos

The Minoan Palace of Knossos is located on the island of Crete and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the center of the Minoan civilization and is a great way for children to learn about ancient Greek history and culture.

Visit the Children’s Museum of Athens

What better place for children-friendly activities in Greece than a children’s museum? The Children’s Museum of Athens is a fun and interactive museum designed for children. The museum has a wide range of exhibits and hands-on activities that will keep children entertained for hours.

What are the top nightlife destinations in Greece?

Greece is known for its beautiful islands, ancient history, and delicious food. However, it is also home to some vibrant nightlife. The country offers a variety of nightlife experiences, from the wild party scene in Mykonos and Ios to the more laid-back atmosphere in Santorini and Crete. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away at a club or enjoy a drink at a taverna, Greece has something for everyone. Here are some of the top nightlife destinations in Greece.

The top nightlife destinations in Greece

Mykonos

Known as the “Island of the Winds,” Mykonos is one of the most popular party destinations in Greece. The island is home to numerous clubs, bars, and tavernas that stay open late into the night. Some of the most popular venues include Paradise Club, Super Paradise, and Scorpios.

Ios

Another one of the Cyclades islands, Ios is known for its wild party scene. The island is home to clubs, bars, and tavernas that stay open late into the night. Some of the most popular venues include Far Out Beach Club, Nammos, and The Little Venice.

Santorini

While Santorini may be known for its romantic sunsets and beautiful beaches, it also has a lively nightlife scene. Some of the most popular venues include Enigma Club, Senses, and Theros Wave Bar.

Crete

Although the Cyclades islands from before are famous for their nightlife, wild nights are not limited to these islands. Crete for example, the largest of the Greek islands, offers a variety of nightlife options. There are Chersonnisos for the Dutch party tourists, and many British clubs in the areas called Malia and Stalis. Some popular venues include Malia Beach Club, Club Street, and Creta Beach Club.

Athens

The capital city of Greece, Athens, offers a diverse nightlife scene. With over 3 million inhabitants and many tourists, there is always something to do here. Some of the most popular venues include Six d.o.g.s, Gazi Music Hall, and Ziller.

Thessaloniki

The second-largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki, offers a vibrant nightlife scene. Thessaloniki is a student city, and as soon as the sun sets, the city’s streets turn vibrant and social. Some popular venues include Block 33, Ladadika, and The Garage.

Rhodes

Rhodes is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece, and it offers a lively nightlife scene. The island is home to several bars, clubs, and tavernas that stay open late into the night. Some of the most popular venues include Lola, The Island, and Barcode.

Corfu 

Known for its picturesque towns, beautiful beaches, and delicious cuisine, Corfu also offers a vibrant nightlife scene. Corfu town is the place to be if you’re looking for a wild night. Some popular venues include The Pink Palace, Coco Bongo, and Pure Club.

Nightlife is everywhere in Greece

The list above includes the most popular nightlife destinations. However, everywhere in the country is the possibility to enjoy a night out. During the hot summer months, it is normal in Greece to stay inside during the day. When it gets dark, however, everyone goes out. Even in the smallest towns, people of all generations gather on the main square to enjoy the fresh air or have food. Greece is vibrant at night everywhere, and when you’re not looking to party till 6 AM, you can enjoy a night out in every region, on every island, and every day. During summer, taverns often stay open till 1 AM, and there are lounge bars with relaxed music and tasty cocktails that don’t close until 2 or 3 AM.

Do you want to prepare yourself for a visit to Greece? Or do you simply want to learn all there is to known about this beautiful country? Leave your email below and get the answer to all your questions!

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I bought a van and need your help!

In the previous months, I decided to leave my life in the Netherlands. I will take a year to travel around Greece, work on this website, and (most importantly) discover myself. A dream come true! However, the architect’s salary in my previous years did not allow me to put aside a lot of money. So to save costs on accommodation, I decided to buy a van.

Why a van?

My goal for the coming year is to explore myself in a new kind of freedom. I am not familiar with being free. I have always studied and worked. Until recently, I did not even allow myself a proper holiday. However, when I got my driver’s license a couple months ago, I decided it was time to be free. I quit my job, and now I’m ready to explore being free.

The initial plan was to buy a small car and go to the places I really want to explore. However, a car means sleeping at hotels. Something too expensive to do full-time.

The first alternative was a tent. But I know myself well enough to say that this plan would have brought me back home within two months. So I thought bigger. A van. A small home on wheels that I can take everywhere with me.

Why I believe vanlife will suit me

Today, I live with my boyfriend in a big (100 m2, 1.000 SF) apartment. Before this, however, I always lived in small places, which actually suited me much better. I have ADHD, meaning cleaning and organizing is not my strong suit. The smaller the space, the less I own, and the easier it is for me to stay organized. 

Besides, I know I can get homesick. Not so much to people or my actual home. Instead, after a couple of weeks abroad, I long for a place that is mine. A quiet place in which I can recharge myself.

Since a van is small and fully my own, I believe this might be the perfect option for my coming year. Besides, I have always loved building my own furniture. So the idea of transforming a van into a home got me super excited.

Searching for a van

After I decided I wanted a van life in Greece, the big search started. The budget was tight, and my knowledge was even more limited. Space-wise, I knew exactly what I wanted. But about engines and car brands, I knew absolutely nothing.

Thanks to the internet, I found some basic things to check. The age, the number of kilometers it had driven, the availability of spare parts, and the state of the tires. Not enough to make a technical decision, but the necessary knowledge to at least seem to be rational.

The search brought me to an interesting new environment. The car dealers for builders and delivery guys. Most vans I saw were complete with sawdust and dust masks. Others used to be owned by famous delivery companies like DHL and came with full branding. All of them, however, were without navigation, non-automatic, and full of bumps. And their sellers were fully confused by my remarks on space and light.

The van I wanted

Strangely, I found a van I loved, full of sawdust and bumps. An Opel Vivaro from 2013. This van is basically a box on wheels and feels quite spacious due to the (lack of) design. I couldn’t stop daydreaming about how I could live in this van, and it even passed the technical checklist I had come up with. 

However, when I took the van for a test drive, things didn’t go so well. I forgot to use the clutch, hit the pavement in every turn, and had to restart the engine continuously. This left me extremely confused. I wanted this car to be a part of my Greek adventure. Nevertheless, I just didn’t want to drive it. 

Time to be brave!

Until three months ago, I had never driven a car alone, but now I manage. So if I can learn how to drive a car, I can learn how to get around in my van as well. So I bought it.

The day I got my van

The scariest day of my life (so far) started by transferring 90% of my Greek preparation budget. I hate the way this works. Paying up-front for something so big and expensive, only to hope I actually take a van home with me at the end of the day. Luckily the car dealership was an honest company. When I got there, my van was waiting for me.

But then I had to take it home.

The dealer was only a 15-minute drive away. For me, however, it took 2 hours to get back. I did countless practice rounds around the store, continuously failing with the clutch and stick. Then, I had to refuel, but I had never done this before. It took me half an hour to figure things out and restart the van. Which I thought broke down, but instead I was trying to start it in the third gear. By the time I left the gas station, there was a huge line of honking cars behind me.

But. I got home! And I actually got quite good at driving by the time I reached.

I need your help!

Buying a van and taking it home is only the beginning of this story. I have to get it to Greece, a 2500-kilometer (1500 mile) journey. Besides, I have to start the conversion from builders-van to home. Quickly. Since I want to leave the first of March. Difficult questions like how I will survive the Greek summer heat, where I will go to the toilet, how I will ventilate, and how I will have electricity, need to be answered immediately. So if you have any tips on a low-budget van conversion, please leave a comment below. All tips are welcome. Needed even.

Currently I started with the walls and ceiling of the van as well as the first frames for the furniture I will build. If you want to stay updated on my journey to and through Greece, leave your email below!

Love,
Anna

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