At a Glance
When to Go
Athens is the main travel hub. It’s possible to score fairly priced flights from Europe to some of the more popular islands—especially Santorini, Crete, or Mykonos—but it’s much easier to fly into Athens International Airport. From there, you can take a ferry from Piraeus Port to just about anywhere.
One of Greece’s many charms is that nobody is ever in a rush. This applies to transit as well. Airplanes and ferries are by far the most efficient modes of travel around the country, especially to the islands. On the other hand, the subway system in Athens is actually quite modern, having been built for the 2014 Olympics. It’s handicapped accessible, thanks to elevators in every station. Athens' bus system is less reliable. On the islands, buses are the way to go, unless you opt for car rental. For all schedules, check out the Greek Travel Pages.
Food and Drink
Despite being surrounded by culturally diverse countries like Turkey and Serbia, Greece has held steadfast to its roots. Athens is a bit of an exception, thanks to a large influx of Albanian and Turkish immigrants. For full immersion into Greek culture, head to the lesser-known islands that do not depend on tourism, like Lesbos or Hydra.
Holy Week in April is an exciting time to be in Greece and celebrate Orthodox Easter. Traditionally, celebrations include lamb roasts, fireworks, homemade wine, and dancing in costume. Santorini is one of the best places to celebrate; here people take elaborate care fixing up their property for the event. Carnival in March is a great time to take part in costume parades, drinking, and dancing. Go to Skyros to witness the “goat dance,” or anywhere in the Ionian islands for more Italian-style celebrations. The Athens Festival in June pays tribute to Greek culture and arts. You may be lucky enough to be in town during a feast of the saints, like the Feast of St. Nikolaos or the Feast of St. Demitrius.
What the Locals Know
Candice Walsh is a freelance travel writer and award-winning blogger currently based in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Her obsession with classics and experiential travel has led her to many great adventures in Greece, as well as to several dozen plates of baked feta. You can follow her story at CandiceJodyWalsh.com.