Greece is freakin’ awesome – take thousands of years of rich history & fascinating mythology, add some seriously dazzling scenery & pristine beaches, amazing food, balmy Mediterranean climate & some pretty damn attractive people, and you have all the ingredients of a straight up A-grade travel destination.
A lot of travellers seem to focus solely on the Greek Islands when they think of Greece, and while these are some seriously beautiful little specks of land floating in the vast Mediterranean, there is so much more to this country than golden sands & blue seas. Sure, if you come from somewhere freezing like Siberia or Scotland & all you want to do is lie on the beach for a few days, sink some beers & try to nail some hot Greek poontang then go right ahead, but you would be seriously missing out if you don’t take the opportunity to check out some of the country’s amazing cultural attractions while you’re here.
Even if you’re not a big history nerd, you can’t help but be blown away by some of the historical sites in Greece – standing in front of something that is literally thousands of years old gives you a massive dose of perspective, and makes you realise just how small & inconsequential you actually are in the big scheme of things. Wow, that came out a bit more depressing than I’d intended it to. Anyway, it’s a pretty awe-inspiring experience is the point I was trying to make.
Also, take the opportunity to learn a bit about Greece’s rich mythology while you’re here, seriously those Greek gods got up to some shit. None of this boring “thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife’s hot ass” bullshit, these Greek gods were fucking around like some ancient version of Melrose Place. Zeus was like an old-school version of Dr Michael Mancini, basically sticking his dick in hot bitches left, right & centre, while his wife Hera was kinda like Heather Locklear except brunette, trying to hold her shit together, bitching Zeus out for his philandering ways while also definitely having her fun on the side as well. No shit, this is the kind of religion I could really get on board with.
Highlights of Greece Travel
Practical Information for Greece Travel
Cost – while certainly not a dirt cheap budget destination, Greece can actually be pretty affordable, depending on how you travel & where you spend your time. Athens & some of the more popular islands are significantly pricier than other places, however even in these places there are bargains to be had if you’re prepared to look for them. Count on $20 or so for a dorm bed in Athens, and be prepared to double that if you want the luxury of a private room. However $10 dorm beds & $20 private rooms are available in the less visited regions, and cheap food is available everywhere (gyros are possibly the greatest budget stomach-filling fare to be found anywhere). So all up, Greece is doable for $30 a day depending on where you go & what you do, however you might want to bump that up to $50 to allow for a few luxuries. Then factor in a bit extra for necessary extras like ferries between the islands or a visit to the Acropolis – these are a bit pricey but not things you want to be missing either. Like I said, it’s not rock bottom in terms of prices, but it’s a long way off some places in western Europe, and with a degree of discipline can be done fairly cheaply.
Safety – Greece is a pretty safe destination as far as I can see, usual travel precautions apply, but you can pretty much relax & enjoy your trip here.
English speaking situation – as much as I’m sure you’d love to have a crack at speaking the Greek language, which seems like it would be a cinch to pick up, especially with that awesome Greek alphabet, you probably won’t need to since so many Greeks speak very good English. As always, the advice is to try to learn a few key phrases, but don’t worry to much if you can’t get the hang of it, the local Greeks will speak to you in near-perfect English & therefore make you feel properly uncultured & stupid for only knowing one language.
Best time to visit – May-September is summer, which means high temperatures & nary a cloud to be seen – seriously, this weather is fucking beautiful. However if you go in July or August, which is the peak of summer, prepare to endure temperatures which will have your butt-cheeks chafing if you dare step more than 10 paces in the hot hot sun. Furthermore, it has been scientifically proven that ginger haired people will actually burn to a crisp & perish if they stay out in the Greek summer sun for longer than 7 consecutive minutes – consider yourselves warned gingers.
Money – Greece is on the Euro, stick your card in the nearest hole in the wall & that ATM will spurt it’s load of warm notes all over you, you sick motherfucker.
Food – holy fuck, don’t even get me started on how mouth-wateringly good this shit is. Italian has been my favourite cuisine my whole life, but after my recent trip to Greece, Greek cuisine is a new contender fighting for the adoration of the WTF’s taste-buds. I swear the first time I tasted Moussaka in Greece I had to put my fork down, breathe heavily for several minutes while trying to wipe the sex-face off my conspicuously sweaty mug before declaring that I never wanted to eat anything else ever again in my life. Nothing else. Just moussaka. And Greek Salads – fuck me if that’s not an inspired combination of ingredients, so simple & yet so goddamn tasty. Usually I think guys who order salads are a bit “fruity”, but there is no shame in ordering this delectable combination. Then you’ve got the stuffed tomatoes & vine leaves, delicious red wine, all enjoyed al fresco while enjoying the balmy Mediterranean climate & you have a recipe for a serious mouthgasm.
Water – tap water is totally safe to drink, although on some of the islands it tastes so salty you’d swear they’re just pumping it in from the sea & chilling it down, so bottled may be preferable there.
Getting around – apparently Greece once had a pretty decent train system, although the crippling effects of the GFC (yeah you know me) have taken a toll & trains now leave only sporadically & cover much shorter routes. As such, buses are your best option most of the time, although are obviously of more use on the mainland only, they’re not so good at getting you out to the islands (surprisingly). Buses are generally good quality, as are the roads, and bus drivers are typically fat, greasy, and have their sweat-covered white shirts unbuttoned down to their beer bellies – ladies control yourselves. Without wanting to state the bleeding obvious, you’re going to have to catch ferries to get to the islands, the main destinations have multiple boats leaving each day & you’ll have the choice of a pricier fast boat or a cheaper but slower vessel.
Visas – Schengen Visa rules apply, it’s slightly confusing but basically if you type “Schengen Visa” into Google you should eventually find the info you need. I’m going to put up a post about it at some point, but given I’m a lazy bastard this could take a while.