Are you planning a trip to Greece and wondering what is the best way to experience the Greek Isles? Are you considering whether a cruise is best, or, thinking that traveling to individual islands will give you more of the Greek experience?
A cruise around Greece is a great way to briefly visit many islands and get a flavor of the culture. This is a good option for seniors or families with young children. You can relax on deck, while the ship takes you from port-to-port, and visit each island without having to carry your luggage along. You’ll have a few hours at each destination to take in the local atmosphere, with time to visit the typical tourist venues and sample some local foods, before you’re on your way to the next island.
If, however, you are looking to immerse yourself in the Greek culture, then, using public transportation can give you a richer experience. Make time to relax at a local tavern and eat all the calamari and baklava you wish. Then, sunbath on the beaches of Mikonos or hike the Samaria Gorge on Crete. With over 8,000 miles of beautiful coastlines and uncountable breathtaking mountain views, there’s bound to be something that will peak your interest. Allow the museums, ruins, and archaeological sites to send you back to ancient times and the warm waters in June, July, and August to melt your stresses away.
The Greek ferries and/or planes travel to most any tourist island you wish to visit. Fly into Athens and pick a location. With hundreds of islands to choose from in the Ionian and Aegean Seas, you can visit some of the popular vacation spots or adventure on to more isolated destinations. While many Greek islands have airports, travel to smaller or rocky islands is by seaplanes or ferries. Check their schedules to see when travel is available directly from Athens or from island-to-island. With a bit of planning, you’ll be able to travel between islands for day trips and for longer stays.
Greece is a country where the people traditionally take time to spend with family and friends. The summer heat has farmers and businesses working in the morning, then, going home for an afternoon nap, only to return to work in the evening. The warm summer nights keep the Greeks outside until late eating, drinking, and playing Tavli (backgammon) with friends. Recent research suggests that napping is good for your health and might even lower your risk of heart disease – but the Greeks already knew that.
If you’re concerned about protests in Greece in regards to the current financial situation or the refugees, use this website updated by the American embassy, as your guide, to help you avoid the turmoil. You can also enroll in the free STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) program for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad.
Whether you see the Greece Isles by cruise ship or ferry, enjoy the hospitality. Xenia is the ancient concept of courtesy shown to travelers and Greeks are well known for welcoming everyone!