Greece is a fascinating and vibrant country, and home to one of the oldest civilisations in the world. A trip to Greece is filled with history and culture, but there is so much to see and do, it can be difficult to fit everything into one trip.
We have put together this Greece travel guide to help you with every stage of your trip, from planning and travelling to essential must-see attractions when you get there.
Before you visit Greece
It’s important to start making your Greece travel plans well in advance of your visit. You will need at least six months left on your passport, so if you have less than this, you’ll need to order a new one. Remember, this can take some weeks, so you need to apply in plenty of time.
Fortunately, Greece is in the Schengen area of European countries, so Australian travellers don’t need a visa to visit Greece. You can stay there for up to 90 days within any 120-day period without a visa. However, if you want to hire a car while you’re in Greece, you will need to show a valid Australian driving license.
You will also need to take out travel insurance. This is important as it covers your medical costs if you suffer an illness or injury while in Greece, and will reimburse you if any of your belongings are lost or stolen. It is important to check the terms though, as not all policies cover certain sports and activities. Additionally, you need to purchase your insurance policy before you leave Australia.
The currency in Greece is the Euro, so you will need to purchase plenty of Euros to take with you on your trip.
Additionally, you need to think about being able to contact people while you travel Greece. A package such as the Europe SIM Card from Sims Direct is ideal here, as it offers simple plug-and-play activation and 30 days of usage. You get unlimited calls and texts within Europe and 12GB of data, so it’s ideal for sharing your Greek travel experiences online and staying in touch with family and friends. You should always travel connected.
Travelling within Greece
Greece is unusual in that many of its top destinations are the islands located off the coast of the mainland. These include Crete, Cyprus, Santorini, Corfu and many more. Each island has its own fascinating sights and culture, so a trip to Greece is certainly not complete without visiting the Greek islands.
However, this makes getting around Greece a little complicated at times. All the major islands have their own airports, and it is easy to get connecting flights from the main airport, Eleftherios Venizelos in Athens. If you plan to use budget airlines, however, it is important to book well in advance, as the best prices are always snapped up early. This means planning your itinerary some months ahead of your trip.
Ferries are an extremely popular way to travel between the Greek islands and the mainland. The main ferry port is Piraeus, located close to Athens. This is where you need to catch the ferry if you want to visit Crete, the Cyclades, Saronic Gulf, Dodecanese or Northeast Aegean islands. To visit the Ionian Islands to the west, you’ll need to catch the ferry at Patras or Kyllini, both on the Peloponnese coast, or Igoumenitsa in Epirus, located in the northwest corner of the Greek mainland.
To get around the mainland, there are plenty of options when it comes to buses and trains. Buses are all run by the government’s Ktel service, and they are reliable and relatively cheap. If you want to travel by train, it makes sense to purchase a Eurail pass, as this is cheaper and easier than paying for individual tickets as you go. You can purchase a single-country pass just for Greece, which gives you unlimited first-class train travel for up to 10 days. Alternatively, you can choose a Eurail Global Pass. In addition to train travel in 31 European countries, this gives you discounts on numerous ferries as well as free admission to the Athens Railway Museum.
Essential Greece travel destinations
With so much history and culture here, as well as so many varied destinations including the islands, it can be difficult to choose what to see and do while you’re here. However, there are some destinations in Greece which are simply unmissable. Here are some of our top choices:
1. The Parthenon, Athens
One of the most incredible ancient sights in the world, the iconic Parthenon is simply unmissable. Standing atop the Acropolis, this breathtaking marble temple was constructed in the 5th century BC, and can be seen from just about everywhere within the city of Athens.
Olympia, on the Peloponnese peninsula, is the site where the original Olympic Games were held, back in the 8th century BC. Today, you can see the remains of the stadium including the running track, the training areas and the temples dedicated to the gods Zeus and Hera.
Crete is the largest Greek island, and as well as beautiful beaches and mountainous scenery, it offers many fascinating cultural sites. In the island’s capital, Heraklion, you can find the Bronze Age settlement of Knossos, which is where, according to legend, the Minotaur was found.
A beautiful volcanic island in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is renowned for its white clifftop houses and stunning sunsets. It is also home to some of the finest seafood restaurants in the whole of Greece.
Mykonos is the place to head if you want to party! The world-famous beach bars and clubs here are open until the sun comes up, and world-famous DJs regularly perform during the summer season.
Travel connected in Greece
We hope our Greece travel guide has helped you plan your trip and given you some inspiration for things to see and do! If you would like to purchase our Europe SIM card for your travels or find out more about it, please contact us, and we will be happy to help.