Updated: September 1, 2022
In this guide to preparing for a trip to Greece, we answer the most common travel questions and provide tips to make your trip more meaningful.
Greece is a popular European destination in the Mediterranean that welcomes travelers wishing to explore its ancient origins, spend time on gorgeous islands, and indulge in regional flavors and culinary traditions. However you want to discover Greece, you can ensure your trip is successful with our travel insights.
We share everything you need to know before you go on vacation so you can enjoy the pleasures of traveling without the stress of planning an international trip.
Greece is open to American travelers.
The entry requirements for Greece may change based on unforeseen circumstances or government-enforced restrictions. You may also find the lack of availability during certain seasons a concern as Greece is a popular summer travel destination. Fortunately, your Zicasso travel specialist can provide you with the latest entry requirements and help you book your dream trip, regardless of the season.
The rest of the Mediterranean is also open to American travelers. For more information on travel options in Europe and beyond, visit our Where Americans Can Travel Right Now guide.
Learn more: Plan Your Trip to Greece
The best time to visit Greece is April through October, months which encompass the country’s spring, summer, and fall seasons.
The spring months of April to June are relatively quiet, but flowers bloom as the sunshine cascades the cliffs to the coastline. In fall, from September to October, there are far fewer tourists on the islands and in famous cities like Athens. If you are comfortable navigating the crowds, the summer months of July to August are best for warm weather and clear skies.
If you want to spend Christmas in Europe or ski the slopes of the Peloponnese, then the winter months of December through February are great times to visit. As a year-round destination, when you go depends on the type of vacation you are planning.
Learn more: Best Time to Visit Greece
You should spend at least eight days in Greece, with enough time to explore highlights like Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos, or partake in a brief island-hopping adventure.
To discover more of Greece on trips that include Crete, Naxos, or mainland sites like Meteora, anywhere from eight to 28 days is excellent. On a vacation longer than eight days, you will have time to explore hidden gems like the affluent island of Spetses, enjoy several days at leisure, or visit another Mediterranean country.
The length of your trip depends on the destinations you would like to visit, the experiences you wish to have, and more, with eight days being the minimum for a highlights tour.
From Greek islands that produce wine and boast sparkling beaches to historic cities preserving images of ancient Greece, here are the most popular destinations to visit:
On your trip, you can walk around the towering columns of the Acropolis in Athens, wander the white-washed village of Oia in Santorini, and discover the monasteries of Meteora. Our guide on the 6 Best Places to Visit in Greece shares more possibilities in these destinations and beyond.
Learn more: 10 Best Cities to Visit in Mainland Greece
Trips to Greece typically include days in Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. However, there is more to the country than what guidebooks share. You can explore unknown parts of the country and its islands, with trips to the following hidden gems:
Learn more: Greece’s 8 Best-Kept Secrets
Travelers flock to the Greek islands to embrace Mediterranean beauty during summer or discover unique cultures. The following list shares the best islands to visit:
Explore golden shores, view historic landmarks, and indulge in delicious seafood at award-winning restaurants on the Greek islands on our Greek Island Hopping Itineraries. You can snorkel to coves, wander Minoan and Roman villages, and appreciate cinematic beach backdrops with our guide on the 10 Best Islands to Visit in Greece.
Learn more: Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands
Greece’s beaches are some of the best beaches in Europe and the following list includes those you should visit:
On these beaches, you can enjoy romantic strolls along glimmering shores, partake in watersports like kayaking and snorkeling, and tuck into Mediterranean mezze at gourmet seafood restaurants.
Embrace Mediterranean sunshine on Elafonisi’s pink sands, explore the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon, and cruise from one Greek island to the next. Here are a few of the best things to do:
Learn more: Top 7 Things to Do in Greece
The most popular ways to travel around Greece include planes for domestic transfers, trains for day tours across the mainland, private transfers for city tours, and boats for island hopping.
You can fly from airports on the Greek mainland to other parts of the country, including the Greek islands, which have international airports. Another option for visiting the islands is to take a ferry, catamaran, or speed boat across the Aegean, Mediterranean, or Ionian Seas. Trains allow you to admire the countryside, private transfers are comfortable for tours, and car rentals are available for road trips.
Public transportation is also popular for getting around cities and towns, and the Athenian metro and KTEL buses are accessible and comfortable.
Learn more: The Best Ways to Travel Around Greece
Greece is an excellent destination for the entire family. You and your children can collect shells and build sand castles on picturesque beaches, swim with dolphins, visit the birthplace of Ariel’s grandfather Poseidon, and indulge in vibrant and healthy Mediterranean meals.
The history of Greece comes to life in archeological sites like the Acropolis of Athens, where you and your children can trace Greek mythology of gods and goddesses. The culinary culture is also yours to devour during cooking classes, where you can pick secret ingredients from the ground in olive farms or create the perfect baklava.
From land to sea, the experiences are endless for families with young children or teens visiting Athens, Santorini, Crete, and more.
Hospitality is a cornerstone of Greek culture, having its own ancient word philoxenia, which translates to ‘friend to a stranger’. This is a large part of the destination's appeal for senior travelers. You can enjoy the pleasures of philoxenia during your trip as you spend your days in five-star seaside resorts, taking slow tours through friendly neighborhoods like the Plaka in Athens, or feeling the breeze as you glide from island to island by catamaran.
Greece is safe, the locals are welcoming, and the tourism industry suits travelers of all ages. Whether you explore the origins of Ancient Greece on tours of the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Knossos, or spend your afternoons soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine, you will discover that Greece and its islands are brilliant places to relax and unwind on our Greece Tours for Seniors.
There is plenty to cherish as a couple in Greece. Toast with an authentic Greek Ouzo aperitif as you watch the sunset over Santorini caldera, snorkel with giant sea turtles off secluded shores in Zakynthos, or climb the monastic mountains of Meteora.
You can spend your afternoons relishing clay treatments or soaking in Ancient Greek mineral baths, admiring the Doric and Ionic architectural ruins, or visiting extravagant contemporary art galleries in Athens.
Every corner of Greece offers intimacy away from the crowds, whether you discover the hidden gems of the Plaka or set sail on a private yacht to the secluded bays of Crete on our Greece Tours for Couples or Greece Honeymoons.
Bite into crispy layers of baklava, grab zucchini fritters, kolokithokeftedes, with your mezze, and savor dolmadakia, stuffed grape leaves, as you taste your way through the country’s top foods:
You can indulge in these dishes on culinary tours along Greece’s Mediterranean coastlines, where mezze is a main attraction, or in mainland villages, where Greek cuisine takes center stage in gourmet restaurants and cooking classes.
Greece is a very safe destination to visit as a solo traveler, family, group, or couple, ranking as one of the safest countries in the world. Locals are welcoming and eager to share their culture, public transportation is safe and accessible, and there are very few instances of crime affecting travelers.
You should, however, be aware of pickpockets and scammers, as these petty criminals can be problems in any tourist destination, not just Greece. The easiest way to avoid them is to stay vigilant in busy public places and keep your belongings out of sight, especially in areas like Syntagma and the Plaka. Traveling with a tour guide, you will likely avoid running into scammers.
Regarding the climate, you should be mindful of the heat in summer and apply plenty of sunscreen when visiting beaches. Also, be aware of the tides and currents when swimming and enjoying watersports on the islands as rugged rocks and cliffs frame most beaches.
Greece’s official language is Greek.
Most of the population speaks Greek, but many locals also speak and understand English. You should have no trouble communicating on your trip and your guide will help with translations should you need assistance when visiting rural towns or areas where English is not as widely spoken.
Several vaccinations are required or recommended and the CDC Greece Vaccination Information provides a list of those you should consider. Your Zicasso travel specialist will also offer information when you plan your trip.
As with any international journey, we recommend consulting your doctor or travel nurse regarding vaccination recommendations for the areas you will visit.
For most travelers, the most convenient airport to arrive at in Greece is Athens. The second most accessible airport to fly in or out of Greece is Crete’s Heraklion Airport (HER). There are also airports on the islands and in other areas, making domestic transfers to different regions possible. Below, we share the best airports to consider:
As part of the Schengen area, American travelers can enter Greece without a visa for trips of up to 90 days.
When planning your trip with Zicasso, a travel specialist can provide you with the latest visa information should anything change between now and your departure date.
The official currency of Greece is the euro (€).
You should travel with euros as they are accepted across Greece and its islands. Even though modern establishments like restaurants and hotels in Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and more accept electronic payments with Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, having euros helps you avoid payment issues that may arise when touring rural areas.
When you work with Zicasso, a travel specialist will help you plan your entire trip, with our favorite Greece Vacations & Tours sharing ideas of what is possible for your vacation.
After browsing these sample tours you will have a clearer idea of how you could spend your time in Greece, whether for your honeymoon on the islands or with your family exploring the culture of Athens, Santorini, and beyond.
When you are ready, fill out a Trip Request in which you can narrow down your destinations, trip duration, travel style, and budget. Our Travel Care team will use this information to match you with a top Zicasso travel specialist in Greece.
Our experts will help you plan every aspect of your trip, from organizing your transfers and tours to booking your accommodations. In addition, they will be available to you on vacation to ease travel stress and ensure you have a sensational stay.
Whether you wish to learn how to master Mediterranean cuisine, sail between islands, or step into the myths of a Greek labyrinth, you can find the right inspiration for your trip with sample itineraries from our Greece Vacations & Tours.
The splendor of Greece can take you from Athenian ruins to the cliffs of Santorini, enjoying radiant beaches and indulging in medieval stone towns. You can discover more travel tips and top experiences in our Greece Travel Guide.