Greece is famous for its ancient ruins and architecture. (Photo: Images )
Greece is an amazing mix of ancient historical sites and modern conveniences and activities. While in Greece, you can explore ruins dating back thousands of years, stay in a sleek, ultra-modern hotel, and spend your days on the beach enjoying the sun and surf. Enjoy meals prepared the way they have been for hundreds of years made from local products, and dance the night away in any of the numerous bars and clubs. Take your camera along to capture moments you'll want to remember always as a souvenir of your trip to Greece.
Book a flight to Greece. Most visitors fly into the international airport in Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport. A valid passport is required, but there is no need for a visa unless you plan to stay longer than the allowed 90 days. Delta and Olympic offer direct flights to Athens from the east coast of the United States. Otherwise, you'll likely transfer flights somewhere in Europe.
Book your accommodations well in advance if you plan to visit Greece during the high season - mid-June through late August. To avoid the crowds and higher prices, schedule your visit in the spring or autumn - with the exception of Orthodox Easter Week in the spring when things will be busy. On the off season, you can typically find accommodations without making reservations in advance. Traveling in the off season will also provide respite from the high temperatures, which can be draining when you're not used to them.
Reserve your rental car. If you plan to rent a car during the high season, you'll need to reserve it as far ahead as possible. Standard shift cars are the norm, so inquire as to whether or not you can reserve an automatic transmission if you need one. Depending on where you plan to go while in Greece, you may be able to depend on taxis and buses. This may be a wise choice since Greece has a high rate of auto accidents and many narrow, winding roads.
Visit well-known tourist attractions. While it may seem cliche, you won't want to miss the Acropolis, the National Archaeological Museum, the islands of Hydra and Crete, and open-air theaters at Athens, Epidaurus or Peloponnese. There are reasons these outings are some of the most popular and warrant the time and effort to take them in. The Temple of Poseidon in Athens is another must-see location where you can snap amazing panoramic pictures of the land below.
Visit areas off the beaten path. Take time to visit some of the smaller towns and villages where you won't have to fight the crowds and where you can see the real Greece. The cliff-side village of Hora with it's traffic-free town center, the port village of Skopelos, and the medieval towns of Piryi and Mesta are just some of the treasures that await your discovery. Dine in one of the small eateries and stay overnight in an inn that isn't part of an international chain.
- Purchase an international calling card if you plan to make calls back to the United States while in Greece. Long-distance calls are expensive and a calling card will save you money.
- Beware of cab drivers who offer to take you to a "better" accommodation in lieu of the hotel you've booked or who tell you your accommodations are full. Proceed on to your destination and check it out for yourself.