Best time to visit: April, May, June, September, October
Average high: 21˚C
Average low: 12˚C
Price of meals: 3/5
Holiday type: Adventure / Beach / Culture / Family / Party / Romantic
It only takes a few moments in Greece to understand why the nation’s flag is blue and white; as you stand upon one of the country’s numerous sandy beaches or high rocky cliff edges and look out over
the horizon, you will see one of two colours: the deep, azure blue of the sea and the sky; and small, pure white clouds dotted across the skyline.
Ideally situated in Southern Europe’s continuous sunshine, Greece covers the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula before breaking apart to form a large collection of islands, each with their own unique landscapes, cultures and traditions. Stretching throughout three separate oceans (the Mediterranean, Ionian and Aegean), Greece has no shortage of beaches, exotic coastline and warm seas to explore—which is a good thing, too, as despite a sustained population of only 11 million people, Greece is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, hosting almost 25 million visitors every year.
Besides its picturesque landscapes and calm waves, Greece is most often associated with its ancient history. The home of modern philosophy, poetry and theatre, 2,500-year-old ruins pepper the country’s cities, towns and countryside, while the mixed architecture throughout helps to remind visitors that Greece is the pristine product of the multiple cultures, religions and languages that have
invariably inhabited the country for more than 4,000 years.
While most hotels are positioned close to the beaches, many of which offer seaside activities and day excursions out to explore the marine life or neighbouring islands, it is worth venturing a little further inland, too. Zagori is one of the more remote regions in the Pindus Mountains in the northwest. Not only does it offer beautiful landscapes and exciting activities, like mountain biking, canyoning and rafting, but the ruins of the ancient city of Kassope.
Late May and early June are the best time for adults without children to visit the islands. Temperatures are reliably around 30˚C and the summer rush won’t have begun. However, August is often too hot even for the Greeks, with most taking their holiday in the first two weeks to avoid the 40+˚C heat.
Hot days mean life moves a little more slowly between the hours or 10 am and 3 pm, which is just fine when relaxing from the famous white-washed and cubical homes of Santorini. Siestas are common while waiting for the hot hours to pass, but you’ll make up that time in the long, warm evenings.
Average meal prices are a little lower than the UK, with an inexpensive meal for one costing approximately €10, while a three-course meal in a mid-range restaurant can be expected to set you back around €30. Restaurants are varied, especially in the popular tourist centres, but typical dishes often include strong-flavoured sauces, meaty kebabs, deep-fried cheese or falafel and mousakka. Beer ranges between €3.50-4 and a cup of coffee is €2.75-3, but you can more than half these prices if you buy from the local markets.
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