15 reasons why you should travel to Greece right now
Greece, oh, dear Greece! A pearl of the Mediterranean and home of the ancient gods, this country of hot people and stunning views is now a better destination for you than ever! Let's be honest - Greece is one of the most popular places for four reasons: the beauty of nature, Greek history, food, and above everything - the infamous hospitality. I don't want to ruin the party here, but there is no point in avoiding the elephant in the room. Surely lots of things will be different now with the precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic, but no need to frown upon the fact that your time in Greece is cancelled. Officially from July 1 onward, international flights are allowed into all airports in Greece. Happy times for you, isn't it?
With the decline in tourism numbers globally, both the government and the locals are willing to welcome you more than ever. But the good part is - the four main selling points of this country are still intact. In this article you will get a few ideas, why should you travel to Greece right now. What to see in Greece, especially with the pandemic imposed restrictions and what things to look for.
1. More Relaxed Sightseeing
Being one of the top destinations of world tourism for decades, Greece has lots of people coming in almost any season (but especially summer). Now, when fewer people travel to Greece, it is finally your chance to see the streets and all the goodies in a less crowded light. Less bumping into someone and more enjoying!
2. Safer Travel
This is a topic that will be relevant for a while now, but sometimes even the obvious should be stated explicitly. Fewer people just means safer travel! Easier distancing, more safety regulations, and fewer lining up for the things everybody wants to see. So just decide what to see in Greece, check the newest info about precautions and off we go!
3. Affordable Prices
One of the basic principles in business is very simple. The higher the demand, the more the buyers are willing to pay. This is why travel in the high season will cost you sometimes even double as much as in the low season. In the aftermath of this world event, even the most popular businesses are in trouble and will offer cheaper services to attract more customers. For you, that means - greater benefits for a budget price! Or alternatively, it could be that bargaining is much easier and even expected. If a business is not in the position of lowering their price, they will mostly offer more services for the same price. So travelling this year might mean saving a bit on your travel budget!
4. Being the Center of Attention
Fewer customers mean more time for the staff and the owners. You will get more attention, devotion, and effort trying to make sure you have a great experience and hopefully return. Who knows, you might even be the only guest in a cafe or hotel and get a very valued possibility to be entertained with local stories and insights by the host himself. And isn't this human connection, that makes travelling great?
5. Authentic Greek Food
I am a real foodie and can tell you honestly - amazing flavours of Greek food are worth travelling a thousand kilometres for! Let's say - a mind-blowing street food like a juicy Souvlaki. Or the freshest local produce - just imagine fish caught by local fisherman, then grilled and served on a beachfront restaurant along with the Greek salad. Still not enough mouthwatering mental pictures? You will have to trust me on this, Greece is the perfect culinary destination ANY time!
6. Greece Weather
In Greece weather is a staple and that is the second thing no pandemic can cancel. Bathe in the sun, summer or winter and stock up those reserves of Vitamin D for a brighter look at life! Do you know what is best? The sun will strengthen your immunity and make you less susceptible to all of those evil viruses! Don't forget to hydrate and put on sunscreen though.
7. Ancient Greece
This is a country, where the remains of Ancient Greece are literally on every step of the way. Just imagine walking in the centre of Athens and bumping into one archaeological site after another. FYI it is just like most tourists bump into each other on the streets of Plaka. The lure of the gems of the long Greek history lures in people from all over the world, and admiring history suddenly becomes less appealing. But now many sources inform, that even the most visited landmarks like Parthenon are almost empty. If you are history-savvy, then this might be the best opportunity just to take in all of that Ancient Greece and observe it at your own, less rushed pace.
8. Those Beaches
Time in Greece is practically wasted if you have not been on any of those pristine pieces of land on the coast of turquoise waters. The good thing is - they are not hard to spot. Decide what you prefer (sand or rocks, public or secluded, human-made or wild - they have it all!) and kick back while listening to the sounds of relaxing waves. Travelling safely and utilizing the perfect Greece weather is much easier if you are outdoors, embraced by a light breeze from the sea.
P.S. Check out one of my favourites - Balos in Crete!
9. Mount Olympus
It's the highest mountain and the home to the Gods of Greek mythology. It should not be missed for the views and for the historic symbolism too. Have a proper whole-day hike while avoiding those cramped (and not so safe) indoor places. Two rabbits with one shot! Being in the neighbourhood, you shouldn't forget to plan a visit to Meteora monasteries. Hiking the same old paths, the monks used to wind their way amongst the tall rock-towers will leave you speechless.
10. Greek Islands
Islands might be back to the authentic rhythm of life. This is what happens when the lives of locals are not fully taken over by the need for serving tourists. Now is the moment to see a more "regular" lifestyle, especially in those lesser-known Greek islands like Milos (OMG the Kleftiko caves!), Koufonisia (unspoiled beaches and picturesque landscapes) or Elafonisos (snorkel down to the submerged town - Pavlopetri). And the list goes on…
While we are still on the topic of "authentic island life", please take a closer look at this charming volcanic island. It probably is one of the images that pop up whenever you search "where to go in Greece" on Google. That super cliche view of bright white houses with saturated blue rooftops and pink flowers in pots, backlit by the most beautiful sunset over the sea, that lasts as far as the horizon. But having a second thought - now you finally might experience this classic beauty in a much more private light. Besides everything else with this I mean, in the sunset with someone special and a cocktail in hand!
12. A Mythical Cave
One of the world's cleanest lakes is located in the cave of Melissani. The special thing about the cave is that the top has sunk in, allowing the light to enter. On sunny days the combination of rays of the sun and the crystal clear water makes it seem like the boats (assumingly, with you and your buddies in them) are floating in the air. A sight not to be missed!
13. Navagio Beach
Yes, the infamous image with a shipwreck on a cliff-enclosed beach in Zakynthos. Why now? Just check Google how this beach actually used to look like during touristy season vs the postcard pictures. Want to get a more private viewing of the beach? I think you have your answer now.
14. Palace of Knossos
In the footsteps of the mythical beast find yourself admiring and Instagramming the colourful murals in the remains of the Palace of Knossos with no people in sight. Once it was home to the political and ceremonial centre of the Minoan culture and civilization, but now this palace attracts up to a million tourists a year. Well. Maybe until the pandemic stroke, but that is in your favour. It is definitely a must-see and will be one of the reasons for you to plan a trip to Crete too. The largest Greek island Crete is so stunning that you might even want to plan a trip to explore just the island and decide to skip the mainland!
15. It is heaven on Earth!
And the truth is: we all know you really deserve some time in this ancient, beautiful land, that will be a treat for your senses. Even if you are not really sure where to go to Greece, don't worry - it has plenty to offer (and so do the gazillion of tourism blogs). If you feel safe to travel in general and ready to cross borders, my friend, then there is just one answer. Plan your travel to Greece! It does not fail in offering unforgettable memories, but the global lockdown might have been the best thing that could have happened to overcrowded tourist Meccas!
Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday.