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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What are the top budget-friendly activities in Greece?

Greece is a popular tourist destination. The country is known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and delicious food. However, a trip to Greece can be quite expensive, especially if you’re on a budget. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of things to do and see in Greece that won’t break the bank. Here are some of the top budget-friendly activities in Greece.

5 free activities in Greece:

Visit the beaches

Greece is known for its endless paradise-like coastlines. And the best is that you can visit these for free! Although there are many organized beaches where you have to pay to rent a sunbed, every beach also has a part that is completely free of charge. Invest in an umbrella or beach chair, and you can visit every beautiful beach without any entry fee. Besides, in Greece, the most breathtaking beaches are the ones that are without a beach bar, so going off the beaten track here will actually take you to the most amazing places.

Hike in the mountains

Not many people know that over 80 percent of the Greek mainland is mountainous. And with all these mountains, Greece is full of beautiful hiking trails. The most popular hiking spot is, of course, Mount Olympus. However, this is a quite challenging hike only for the more experienced hikers. When you are less experienced but want to explore the beauty of Greece’s untouched nature, Zachorachoria, Tsumerka, and Peloponnese are great regions for your adventure.

Visit the local villages

Many of the local villages in Greece offer a glimpse into traditional life, and they are free to visit. Some popular villages include Oia and Fira in Santorini and Chora in Mykonos. But although these villages are free of charge, they are on the most expensive Greek islands. When you do not want to pay the top price for accommodation, there are countless budget-friendly options in other regions of Greece. A great place to start is the Mani region in the Peloponnese. This is a region with exclusively traditional stone buildings. However, all over Greece, there are interesting small villages. Here is an overview of some of them:

  • Agios Athanasios
  • The villages of Zachorachoria
  • Metsovo
  • Parga
Visit a Greek Bazaar

A Greek bazaar is nothing more than a market. Greece is home to many local markets, where you can find a variety of goods at low prices. Markets are the place where locals buy most of their food since Greek food is very dependent on the seasons. Usually, the markets happen once a week, and you can find the day and location online. Although visiting a market in Greece is a budget-friendly, free of charge even, remember that you’re on a budget while going around!

Attend a traditional festival

Greece is home to many traditional festivals, which are often free to attend. Some popular festivals include the Apokries carnival in Athens, the Patras International Festival, and the International Film Festival in Thessaloniki. However, some lesser-known festivals I can recommend are:

  • A Panigiri
    On the 15th of August, the Orthodox Greeks celebrate the Virgin Mary, Panagia. However, on the night before something special happens. In all the villages in Greece, a huge night market is set up, a panigiri. There is plenty of food, traditional Greek music and dance, and Greeks of all ages come to celebrate. It is an amazing cultural experience, and often you don’t even have to travel far to attend one. In the weeks before, you will see a banner in the village that hosts the Panagia, so you know where to go.
  • Celebrate Easter in Corfu
    Easter is the most important holiday for the Greeks, celebrated everywhere in the country. Yet, the most impressive celebrations take place on the island of Corfu. There are parades, people sing, and the most unique part is that people throw clay pots down from their windows. Besides, don’t forget to attend the traditional red-egg fight while you are there. For those of you in Catholic countries, be aware that the Greek Orthodox easter is not on the same day as yours!

4 tips to make your stay in Greece budget-friendly:

Take a ferry

The Greek islands are a must-see. However, off-season they are difficult to reach by plane, and during the summer months, tickets to the islands can be expensive. A budget-friendly option is to take a ferry to one of the islands in Greece, as it is much cheaper than flying. Some of the most popular islands to visit include Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete.

Explore ancient ruins and museums

Greece is home to some of the most famous ancient ruins in the world, such as the Acropolis in Athens, Mycenae, and the ancient theater of Epidaurus. However, Greek sites and museums require an entry fee that can be too much when you’re on a budget. So here are some tips:

  • Every museum and the ancient site has at least some free admission days. Examples are the International Museum Day (18th of May) and the European Heritage Days (the last weekend of September). Each site mentions these days on its website. So if you plan well, you might be able to see them for free!
  • Besides the free admission days, the Greeks always have a summer and a winter price for their sites. Traveling off-season can give you a discount of up to 50%.
  • Are you a history, culture, or museum lover? Many regions in Greece offer a ticket that allows you to visit multiple sites and museums around the area. This option is much more affordable, if you’re planning on visiting multiple sites.
Rent a bike

On the Greek islands, it is often difficult to get around. Public transportation is scarce, especially on the lesser-known islands. A great option is to rent a (motor)bike during your stay. They are much cheaper than a car, at least 50%. Besides, since island roads are terrible, it is often even preferable to navigate around the island by bike!

Camping

In many areas of Greece, there is no option to stay in cheap hostels. However, there are many camping sites in Greece. Some are free, and some are low-cost. A camping site in Greece during the summer months will cost between €5,- and 10,-. This can be a great way to explore the country and save on accommodation expenses.

I planned to travel around Greece in the coming year and did not know how to find the budget to stay in the country this long. My solution is a small van. I recently bought it and will transform it into a camper in the coming month. This way, I can travel around Greece without spending money (or spending very little money) on accommodation.

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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The hidden beaches of Kardamyli

Kardamilli is an idyllic mountain village, with traditional stone houses and narrow streets. However, Kardamilli is not on a mountain. Instead, it is surrounded by many of them, but situated next to the sea. This special village was the movie set from “Before Midnight” and is in reality as romantic as the movie. But what makes Kardamyli the perfect summer holiday destination, are the hidden beaches in the area.

Location Overview

Natural site
min 2 hours to max 2 days
Free
Be careful
No

Location

Kardamyli is located in the Mani region. This is a region in the middle of the Peloponnese peninsula. You can get to this beautiful village in two ways. Either you fly to Athens and drive 300 km (190 miles) South-East. Passing along many interesting places in the Peloponnese. However, if your holiday goal is to explore only the Mani region, you might prefer to fly to Kalamata. This city is only 47 km (30 miles) away from Kardamyli.

Landscape

Kardamilli was first mentioned in 1200 B.C. as the main port of Sparta. And today, the village’s connection with the sea is still what it is known for. The rugged coastline, surrounded by lush green mountains on one side, and clear blue waters on the other, are what make the area unique. Kardamily is the perfect place for nature lovers. Both on- and off-shore.

The beaches

Kardamyli offers countless opportunities to explore the Greek coastline. Around town, there is the organized beach of Ritsa, as well as multiple smaller beaches you stumble upon at the end of a village road. However, the real beauty of the region can be found a couple kilometers South of the village. At Foneas and Delfinia.

Delfinia

Let’s start with the least spectacular hidden one of the hidden beaches in Kardamyli. Delfinia is about 5 kilometers (3 miles) South of the villages, which is less than 10 minutes by car. You can park your car next to the main road and from here, the experience of Delfinia begins. 

There are stairs leading down to the beach, surrounded by beautiful old trees. Along the way, you will be amazed by the views of the sea and the untouched landscape around.

The beach is made from white pebble stones, and the water is clear as crystal. Because the beach is located in a bay, you will have beautiful scenery to enjoy during your swim. But another benefit of the bay is that (most days) you will find a natural swimming pool. A sea without waves or currents. As the Greeks call it, a sea-like oil.

Foneas

Foneas beach is slightly closer to Kardamyli, just 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) South. Although the way to Foneas is less spectacular (you can park your car in front of the beach), the beach itself is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. 

Foneas lies in a much smaller bay than Delfinia, and the landscape here is extremely impressive. There is a cliffside cave, an underwater tunnel, and a giant rock in the middle of the beach. All surrounded by calm blue water.

What makes Foneas special, is the underwater life around the rocky coastline. Not many places in Greece are home to interesting and various species of fish. At Foneas, however, you will be surprised by the life that hides underneath the calm blue surface.

Tips:

  • Protect yourself against the sun. Both Delfinia and Foneas beach are unorganized, meaning there are no umbrellas to protect you against the sun. Bring your own, or find shade in the rugged landscape. Bring enough water, sunblock, and even a hat.
  • Unfortunately, the beaches of Kardamyli are becoming more popular each year. For the best experience, the end of May, the beginning of June, or September are the best times to visit. Nevertheless, if you’re passing by during the busy summer months, you can wake up early and have the beaches all to yourself during sunrise!
  • Delfinia means what it sounds like, dolphins. Although the beach has this name due to the dolphins that visit this part of the Greek seas, don’t get your hopes up. You might spot a dolphin, but you will have to be very lucky to do so.
  • At Delfinia, there is a small cantine halfway down the stairs that lead to the beach. They sell delicious pitas, small pies. We ate some for breakfast while enjoying a beautiful view over the beach. A priceless moment.

Curious to learn about more hidden gems in Greece? Leave your email below and explore Greece together with us!

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Is Greece LGBTQ+ friendly?

In the Netherlands, I have met multiple Greeks who had left their country to be with the ones they love. And no, I do not mean a Dutch guy or girl. I’m talking about Greek gays and lesbians from small villages in Greece who are not allowed to express their sexual orientation at home. They come here to be who they are and return a couple of times a year to pretend they are a different person. But what if you are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, is it safe for you to travel to Greece?

State vs. Religion

Let’s start with the facts. Greece has made significant progress in terms of LGBTQ+ rights in recent years, and discrimination based on sexual orientation has been prohibited since 2004. Same-sex relationships have been legal in Greece since 1951, and the country legalized same-sex marriage in 2015. However, although the Greek state is LGBTQ+-friendly, there is one more thing to consider in Greece. Religion

The Greek Orthodox Church plays an important role in the country. Explicitly, 81.4% of Greek people identify themselves as Orthodox Christians. The problem is that within this religion, same-sex relationships or being transgender are taboo. Even though the state wants Greece as a welcoming and inclusive destination for LGBTQ+ travelers, the church has a very conservative attitude.

As an LGBTQ+ traveler, you are welcome in Greece

In Athens, it is accepted to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, there is even the Athens Pride Parade. In smaller villages in Greece, however, the church is everything. Here, the ideas towards the LGBTQ+ community are traditional. For this reason, the people here will not easily accept people that are not heterosexual. For a couple of my friends, the result is that they could never move back to Greece, be who they are, and be accepted in their hometown. Fortunately, as a tourist, things are much easier.

The Greeks love tourists, as more than 20% of the country’s GDP comes from tourism. They know very well that many tourists are not Orthodox. Therefore they are much less judgemental about a tourist’s sexual orientation. You might become the topic of village gossip, but the Greeks will never reject you or treat you differently.

What to look out for?

While it is important to be yourself when traveling, it is also important to respect the local culture and customs. This may mean avoiding public displays of affection in certain areas or being mindful of local attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people. I guess the most important thing is to not show your sexual orientation when visiting a religious site in Greece, for which certain rules apply. And when going off-the-beaten-track, you might come across some very conservative areas as well.

The top LGBTQ+ travel destinations in Greece

Athens

The capital city of Greece, Athens is known for its vibrant nightlife, cultural attractions, and welcoming atmosphere. The city has a large LGBTQ+ community and is home to several LGBTQ+ bars, clubs, and events. Make sure to visit the Gazi neighborhood. 

Mykonos

Mykonos is a popular island destination in Greece known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife. The island is a popular destination for LGBTQ+ travelers.

Thessaloniki

The second-largest city in Greece, Thessaloniki is known for its lively arts and music scene and welcoming atmosphere. The city has a large LGBTQ+ community.

Rhodes

Rhodes is a popular island destination in Greece known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and charming villages. The island is home to several gay-friendly accommodations and has a welcoming atmosphere for LGBTQ+ travelers.

Chania

Located on the island of Crete, Chania is a charming town known for its beautiful beaches and picturesque old town. The town has some gay-friendly accommodations and a welcoming atmosphere for LGBTQ+ travelers.

Patras

Located on the Peloponnese peninsula, Patras is known for its lively nightlife and welcoming atmosphere. The city has a large LGBTQ+ community.

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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Which region in Greece fits your personality?

Greece is a diverse country with many different regions. Each of these with its own unique character and culture. You can visit Greece on any budget and make your holiday as lazy or active as you want it to be. But how do you know where to go when you have over 6.000 islands to choose from? Here are 10 examples of regions in Greece that may fit your personality:

Sociable & Intelligent: Athens

For those who enjoy city life and cultural attractions, Athens is a great destination. It is home to many museums, galleries, and historical sites, as well as a vibrant nightlife and dining scene.

Relaxed & Outgoing: Thessaloniki

For those who enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere, Thessaloniki is a great choice. This second-largest city in Greece is known for its Siga Siga mentality and a lively art and music scene. There is a range of affordable dining and accommodation options, and the city is famous for its nightlife.

Traditional & Crete: For beach lovers, Crete is a great destination. The island has a range of beautiful beaches, as well as charming villages and ancient ruins to explore.

Dramatic & Intelligent: Rhodes

For history buffs, Rhodes is a great destination. The island is home to a well-preserved medieval old town, as well as ancient ruins and beautiful beaches. The landscape of Rhodes is dramatic with rocks, coves, and lush greenery, always combined with the perfectly clear blue waters of the sea.

Curious & Active: Peloponnese

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, the Peloponnese is a great destination. The region has a range of natural beauty, including mountains, forests, and beaches. Combined with ancient ruins, breathtaking religious sites, and charming villages. The Peloponnese peninsula is one of the most interesting off-the-beaten-track destinations in Greece. No matter how often you go, there will always be a new place to explore.

Balanced & Friendly: Zakynthos

For those who enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere, Zakynthos is a great choice. The island is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. However, there are two sides to Zakynthos. There is the touristic South, with sandy beaches and a vibrant nightlife. Opposite to the untouched North. Where caves, traditions, and history flourish.

Adventurous & Cultured: Corfu

If you enjoy a mix of culture and natural beauty, Corfu is a great destination. The island has a rich and unique history and a range of cultural attractions. However, the island is also full of beautiful beaches, charming villages, and rough cliffsides. One tip: make sure you’re not a diet when you visit this island!

Sophisticated & Dynamic: Mykonos

For those who enjoy a more vibrant and party-oriented atmosphere, Mykonos is a great choice. The island is known for its nightlife and trendy beach clubs.

Romantic & Idealistic: Santorini

For those who enjoy a more romantic and picturesque atmosphere, Santorini is a great destination. The island is known for its stunning sunsets, white-washed buildings, and beautiful beaches.

Intuitive & Calm: Halkidiki

For those who enjoy a more relaxed beach vacation, Halkidiki is a great destination. The region has a range of beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, as well as charming villages and a laid-back atmosphere. Although the first “leg” of the Halkidiki peninsula is well-visited and full of hotels. The second and third “legs” are the opposite. Undiscovered and rough. With villages that seem to have ignored time.

Which region in Greece fits your personality?

Did you not find your personality or interests in the overview above? Please leave a comment below. Tell us what you are looking for or what you would like your holiday in Greece to be like. We will try to find you your perfect destination!

Curious to learn about more hidden gems in Greece? Leave your email below and explore Greece together with us!

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Greece has a rich history and culture, and as such, there are many religious and spiritual sites to visit in the country. Here are some of the top sites to consider:

The top 10 religious and spiritual sites in Greece:

The Acropolis

The Acropolis is a citadel located in Athens. It is home to several ancient temples, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion. The Acropolis is considered one of the most important cultural sites in Greece. It is a must-see for anyone interested in ancient history and culture.

The Monastery of Osios Loukas

Located in Boeotia, the Monastery of Osios Loukas is a beautiful Byzantine monastery founded in the 10th century. The monastery is known for its well-preserved frescoes and mosaics, as well as its stunning architecture.

The Temple of Apollo

The famous Temple of Apollo is located in Delphi. The temple was dedicated to Apollo, the god of prophecy, and was considered the center of the ancient world.

The Meteora Monasteries

Located in Thessaly, the Meteora Monasteries are a group of monasteries built on top of towering rock formations. The monasteries were founded in the 14th century and are known for their stunning views and well-preserved frescoes and icons.

The Monastery of St. John the Theologian

Located on the island of Patmos, the Monastery of St. John the Theologian is a beautiful Byzantine monastery. The monastery dates back to the 10th century. It is known for its stunning architecture and is a popular tourist destination for those interested in religious history and culture.

The Monastery of Panayia Hozoviotissa

Located on the island of Amorgos, the Monastery of Panayia Hozoviotissa is a beautiful Byzantine monastery that was founded in the 10th century. The monastery is known for its beauty. A white-washed building, perched on the edge of a cliff.

The Temple of Apollo Epicurius

Located in Bassae, the Temple of Apollo Epicurius is an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo, the god of prophecy. The temple is known for its stunning location, nestled in the foothills of the Arcadian Mountains, and its well-preserved Doric architecture.

The Church of Seven Martyrs

The Church of Seven Martyrs is a Byzantine church located on the island of Syfnos in Greece. This unique church is dedicated to the Seven Martyrs of Syfnos, a group of Christians who were martyred on the island in the 4th century. The church is an important religious site for the Greek Orthodox Church and is known for its beautiful architecture and stunning location amongst tourists.

The Temple of Athena

The Temple of Athena is located in Sounion and is one of the most important ancient sites in Greece. The temple was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and is known for its stunning location, perched on a cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Mount Athos

Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula located in northeastern Greece. It is home to several monasteries and is considered a center of Orthodox Christian spirituality. Therefore, Mount Athos is known as the “Holy Mountain” and is believed to be a place of great holiness and spiritual significance.

The monasteries of Mount Athos are home to many monks and are known for their beautiful architecture, stunning locations, and rich histories. The monasteries are also known for their collections of icons, manuscripts, and other religious artifacts. However, Mount Athos is a self-governed monastic state within Greece, and access to Mount Athos is restricted to men only. All visitors must obtain a special permit before visiting the monasteries.

Why is religion important in Greece?

Religion has played an important role in Greek culture and society throughout history. First, there were the ancient Greeks, who had a polytheistic religion, with a pantheon of gods and goddesses that were believed to control various aspects of life. These gods and goddesses were central to Greek mythology and played a prominent role in daily life. After this, in modern Greece, the Greek Orthodox Church became the dominant religion.

The Orthodox Church is one of the oldest Christian churches in the world and has always been closely tied to Greece’s cultural and historical identity. Since Greece as a country knows a history of many wars and occupations, religion was what kept the Greeks together. Therefore, today it is still an important part of Greek life, with many people participating in religious ceremonies and festivals throughout the year.

What to keep in mind when you visit a religious site in Greece?

Religious sites in Greece are today still inhabited by monks or used as a place of worship by the locals. Therefore, it is important to show respect to the Orthodox church when you visit. In the country, there are rules regarding what you must wear and how you should behave at a religious site. Check this article as a guide

the monastery of timios prodromes from afar. three white buildings in steep grey and red cliff on green mountain
The monastery of Timios Prodromes on the mountain

My favorite unknown religious site

The holy monastery of Timios Prodromes offers everything a culture- and nature-loving tourist in Greece desires. Including a beautiful mountainous landscape and incredible architecture coupled with fascinating stories, religion, and exclusivity. Therefore, this monastery is the hidden gem of Greece. It is located in the North of the Peloponnese peninsula, close to the town of Astros. The drive there follows a winding mountain road through a rough landscape as well as olive groves. In addition, the view from the monastery is breathtaking, and the priest who lives there is the best tour guide you will ever meet. Continue reading to discover more about this special place in Greece.

Curious to learn about more hidden gems in Greece? Leave your email below and explore Greece together with us!

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What are the top historical sites in Greece?

Greece is often referred to as the birthplace of Western civilization. During ancient times, the country was home to some of the world’s greatest philosophers, artists, and scholars. These ancient Greeks lived in advanced structures and cities, of which the remains can be found around the country. Here are some of the top historical sites in Greece:

The 10 most famous archeological sites in Greece

The Acropolis

Located in the city of Athens, the Acropolis is a citadel that was built in the 5th century B.C. The Acropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the most popular tourist attraction in Greece. It is home to several important ancient buildings, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, and more:

  1. The Parthenon
    It is often believed wrongly that the Parthenon and the Acropolis are the same sites since the Parthenon is the most famous structure on the Acropolis. It is a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, built in the 5th century B.C. The Parthenon is considered one of the finest examples of ancient Greek architecture.
  2. The Theater of Dionysus
    Located on the slopes of the Acropolis in Athens, the Theater of Dionysus was the first theater in ancient Greece. It was built in the 6th century B.C. and was used for drama performances and other cultural events.
The Temple of Olympian Zeus

Located in the center of Athens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is a temple dedicated to the king of the gods. It was built in the 6th century B.C. and is one of the largest temples from ancient Greece.

The Delphi Archaeological Site

Located in central Greece, the Delphi Archaeological Site is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was home to the Oracle of Delphi, a sacred place where people came to seek guidance from the gods. The site is home to several ancient buildings, including the Temple of Apollo and the Theater of Delphi.

  1. The Temple of Apollo
    Located at the Delphi Archaeological Site, the Temple of Apollo was a sacred place where people came to seek guidance from the god Apollo. It was built in the 4th century B.C. and is one of the most well-preserved temples in ancient Greece.
The Ancient Agora of Athens

Located in the center of Athens, the Ancient Agora was the center of public life in ancient Greece. It was home to several important buildings, including the Temple of Hephaestus and the Stoa of Attalos. At the present time, the Agora is a popular tourist destination, with ancient ruins and artifacts on display.

The Theater of Epidaurus

The ancient theatre of Epidaurus is known as the most well-preserved ancient theater. Above all famous for its amazing acoustics. Although the theatre is constructed in the 4th century B.C., it is still used for performances during the summer months. Due to the theatre’s exceptional preservation and architecture, it is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

The Palace of Knossos

Located on the island of Crete, the Palace of Knossos was the center of the ancient Minoan civilization. It was built in the 4th millennium B.C. Therefore, it is considered to be one of the oldest palaces in Europe.

Mycenae

The ancient city of Mycenae is one of the oldest archeological sites in Greece, constructed between 1350 and 1200 B.C. Although Mycenae is famous for its cyclopean walls and impressive lion gate, don’t forget to check out the underground cistern and tholos tombs. The site is located on the Peloponnese peninsula and is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Even though Mycenae is not as famous as, for example, the Acropolis, it is one of the most impressive ancient sites you can visit in Greece.

The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus

Although located in western Turkey, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built in the 6th century BCE and was dedicated to the goddess Artemis.

The Temple of Athena at Lindos

Located on the island of Rhodes, the Temple of Athena at Lindos was built in the 4th century B.C. It is dedicated to the goddess Athena. It is a well-preserved temple that is popular amongst tourists.

The Archaeological Site of Philippi

Phillipi is located in Nort-East Greece and was named after the powerful Macedonian king Phillip II. The archeological site is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Phillipi offers a range of very different but interesting ruins. Examples are a theatre from the 4th century B.C., coupled with a forum from the 2nd century A.D., and a Christian church from the 4th century A.D. 

Archeological sites are everywhere

In conclusion, Greece is home to many important historical sites that are worth a visit. Whether you’re interested in ancient architecture, art, or culture, there is a site to suit your interests. From the ancient ruins of the Acropolis in Athens to the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, these sites offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Greece. 

Besides the list of sites provided above, the country offers a glimpse of history in even the smallest towns. Historical sites are literally everywhere, and in order to explore ancient Greece, you often don’t have to travel far. 

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What are the top outdoor activities in Greece?

Greece is a beautiful and diverse country with a wide range of outdoor activities to enjoy. From swimming and sunbathing on its picturesque beaches to hiking and exploring its rugged landscapes, there are plenty of options for those looking to experience the great outdoors in Greece. Here are some of the top outdoor activities in Greece:

The top 10 outdoor activities in Greece

Swimming and sunbathing

Greece is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with crystal-clear waters and soft, golden sands. Whether you’re looking for a secluded cove or a bustling beach resort, you’ll find a spot to suit your preferences.

Hiking

Greece is home to a number of mountain ranges and national parks, making it a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The country is home to a number of well-marked trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day treks. Some popular destinations for hikers include the Peloponnese Peninsula, the Pindus Mountains, and the island of Crete.

Scuba diving

Greece is home to some of the best diving spots in the Mediterranean, with crystal-clear waters, colorful marine life, and ancient shipwrecks and even underwater cities to explore. It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or very experienced. You can always find a spot to suit your needs in the country.

Sailing

Greece has a long tradition of sailing, and the country is home to a number of marinas and yacht clubs. Whether you’re an experienced sailor or just looking to try something new, you can rent a boat or join a guided tour to explore the beautiful coastlines of Greece. Curious on why and how to rent a boat in Greece?

Rock climbing

Greece is home to a number of great rock climbing spots, with routes for climbers of all abilities. Some popular destinations for rock climbing include Kalymnos, Crete, and the Pindus Mountains.

Mountain biking

Greece is home to a number of mountain biking trails, ranging from easy rides to challenging off-road routes. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or just looking for a fun and scenic way to explore the countryside, you’ll find a trail to suit your needs.

Beach sports

Greece’s beaches are perfect for all kinds of beach sports, including beach volleyball, frisbee, and soccer. Whether you’re looking to play a casual game with friends or join a competitive league, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get active on the beach.

Water sports

Greece’s warm and crystal-clear waters are perfect for a wide range of water sports, including surfing, kiteboarding, and stand-up paddleboarding. Whether you’re an experienced water sports enthusiast or just looking to try something new, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get active in the water.

Horse riding

Greece is home to a number of riding schools and stables, offering guided rides through the countryside and along the beach. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, you’ll find a ride to suit your needs.

Camping

Greece is home to a number of beautiful campsites, offering a chance to experience the great outdoors and enjoy the country’s stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned camper or just looking to try something new, you’ll find a spot to suit your needs.

In conclusion, Greece is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, with a wide range of activities to enjoy. From swimming and sunbathing on its beautiful beaches to hiking and exploring its rugged landscapes, there are plenty of options for those looking to experience the great outdoors in Greece.

Is Greece a safe country to visit?

Greece is a safe country to visit. The Greeks have a low crime rate and a well-developed infrastructure. In all the time I spent in Greece, I have not once felt unsafe, threatened, or taken advantage of. However, as with any travel destination, there are always some risks and precautions that visitors should be aware of.

The risks for travelers in Greece

Pickpocketing

One of the main risks for travelers in Greece is pickpocketing, which is more common in big cities like Athens. It is a good idea to keep an eye on your belongings and to be cautious of pickpockets. Be extra careful in crowded areas, tourist attractions, and public transportation.

Natural disaster

Another potential risk is natural disasters, such as earthquakes and wildfires. While these events are not common, they are a possibility and visitors should be prepared. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures of your accommodation.

Besides natural disasters, during the summer months, you might encounter a Bourini. Bourini is the Greek word for a sudden summer storm with strong winds, heavy rain, and tons of lighting. Before this occurs, locals often get a message from the authorities. Make sure to stay inside and park your (rental) car in a safe spot.

Wildlife

Greece is also home to a few venomous animals, such as snakes, spiders, and sea creatures. These animals are generally not aggressive and will only bite if provoked. But it is still a good idea to be cautious and to seek medical attention if you are bitten.

The sun

In terms of health risks, the main concern for travelers in Greece is sun exposure. The sun in Greece is strong, and visitors should take precautions to avoid sunburn and heat stroke. It is a good idea to wear sunscreen, a hat, and light-colored clothing. But most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water! 

My experience

Although I have to warn you of the risks above, I also want to share my experience of Greece with you. In a couple of weeks, I will leave home and travel around this beautiful country for a year. By myself as a woman. The reason I dare to do this is that I have not once felt unsafe during my earlier trips to Greece. Never have I faced a dangerous situation or even felt uncomfortable with the Greeks. They have always been helpful, kind, and friendly with me. And in general, I have never felt the need to be extra cautious as a tourist.

Note on COVID-19

In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece has implemented measures to ensure the safety of travelers, including mask-wearing, social distancing, and testing at airports. At the moment, these measures are not active since the pandemic seems to be under control. However, it is important for travelers to stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-related information in Greece and follow potential reinstated measures.

Greece is safe

In conclusion, while there are some risks and precautions that visitors to Greece should be aware of, the country is generally a safe destination. By taking common-sense precautions and following local guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to Greece.

What are the top eco-tourism experiences in Greece?

Holidays are not necessarily unsustainable. However, the way that many people choose to celebrate holidays and take vacations can be so. For example, travel to distant locations often requires the use of fossil fuels, which can contribute to climate change. In addition, many people consume more resources and generate more waste during holidays and vacations. The causes are using disposable products or staying in hotels that use a lot of energy and water. For those of you who are interested in a more environmentally friendly option, there are many ways to explore Greece’s natural beauty. Here are some of the top eco-tourism experiences in Greece:

The 7 top eco-tourism experiences in Greece

Hiking and trekking in the Greek mountains

Greece has many beautiful mountain ranges besides the country’s famous Mount Olympus. The Pindus Mountains in central Greece, the Rhodope Mountains in the north, and the Taygetus Mountains in the south are only a few examples. These mountains offer a variety of hiking and trekking routes, ranging from easy walks to more challenging multi-day treks. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including rare species of birds, and experience the beauty of the Greek landscape.

Since most of Greece’s tourists explore the country’s countless islands and beaches, the mountains are the perfect destination for an off-the-beaten-path experience.

Exploring the islands by bike

Many of the Greek islands are small and easy to explore by bike, allowing visitors to see the sights while also reducing their carbon footprint. Some of the best islands for bike touring include Crete, Rhodes, and Kefalonia. In addition to cycling, you can also explore the islands on foot or by kayak.

If you consider exploring Greece by bike, make sure you prepare for dirt roads and mountainous areas. Invest in a good mountain bike with wide tires and suspension for the best experience.

Diving and snorkeling in the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea is home to a rich array of marine life, including more than 2,000 species of fish and many types of coral. Diving and snorkeling are popular activities in Greece, and many companies offer guided tours of the underwater world. These tours are often run by local operators who are committed to sustainable practices, such as using eco-friendly equipment and respecting the marine environment.

In addition to the marine life in the Greek waters, the seas hold underwater ruins as well. A truly unique and sustainable experience. One example is the underwater city of Epidaurus in the Peloponnese peninsula.

Visiting a traditional village or monastery

Many of the traditional villages and monasteries in Greece have been carefully preserved, offering visitors a glimpse into the country’s history and culture. These sites are often located in remote areas, and many have been turned into eco-lodges or guesthouses, allowing visitors to stay in a unique and sustainable environment.

Agrotourism

Agrotourism, or farm tourism, is a growing trend in Greece. Many small farmers in rural areas are opening their farms to visitors, offering a chance to learn about traditional farming techniques and taste locally-grown produce. Agrotourism is a great way to support local communities and experience the beauty of the Greek countryside.

Animals

Greece is home to many species of birds, including rare and endangered species such as the Griffon vulture and the Egyptian vulture. And what many people do not know, there is even a chance to see wild flamingos during the winter months! Birdwatching is a popular activity in Greece, and there are many guided tours available for visitors who want to see these birds in their natural habitat.

Besides, birds, Greece offers other activities related to some unexpected animals. Brown bears! They live in the Pindus mountains in the North of Greece but are endangered. Arcturos and Callisto are two organizations that fight for the lives of the bears as well as the preservation of the Greek forests. By visiting them, you contribute to their goals, while you can be amazed by these beautiful and rare animals.

Sailing

Sailing is a popular activity in Greece, and there are many companies that offer eco-friendly sailing tours. These tours often focus on exploring the Greek islands and coastal areas, and they often use sailboats or other types of vessels that are powered by renewable energy sources. Not sure if a day trip on a boat in Greece is something for you? Read this article to get convinced.

Go eco-friendly on your holiday!

Overall, Greece offers a wide range of eco-tourism experiences that allow visitors to explore the country’s natural beauty and culture while also supporting sustainable tourism. Whether you’re interested in hiking, cycling, diving, or simply exploring the countryside. Did the activities above trigger your interest in more sustainable holiday options? Continue reading for more in-depth information on sustainability in Greece.