The first time in any place is always magical and overwhelming, all in the same breath. That’s why I’m here to help guide you through your first time in a new place. This week I have your first timer’s guide to the beautiful country of Greece.
Your first time in Greece, it’s important to truly take it all in from living like Caesar in the ancient ruins or soaking in the sun on the beautiful beaches. With the longest coastline in Europe, Greece is known as the land of the Gods, with many mythological tales and stories to hold up to its beauty.
The original metropolis is Athens, with its ancient temples and bustling streets. It should be on your bucket list for any person new to Greece. Like the Louvre in Paris, the Acropolis is a must-see in Athens. The Acropolis is a fortified hill. You’ll find the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and Theater of Dionysus. These temples have stood the test of time for over twenty-five centuries and saw the birth of Democracy, Philosophy, Theater, and so much more.
If you want to see more than just the history and markets of Athens on your first trip, another must-see is the island of Santorini. Known for the iconic houses on the edges of cliffs that plunge deep into the Aegean Sea, Santorini has so much to offer. After you explore the winding streets of Fira and take more photos than you know what to do with, I recommend taking a hike to the top of Santorini Volcano. This once very active volcano is just a short boat ride to Nea Kameni island. After your hike, the boat captain might stop near the edge of the island, where the geothermal points are, to take a nice warm swim in the sea.
Island hopping in the rest of the Cyclades is a must-do. With Santorini being the southernmost island in this chain, the rest of the islands are beautiful. My favorite of the rest of the islands is Naxos. It is a larger island, so it is perfect to rent a moped to get an authentic experience. In addition to exploring the inland island, the beaches are some of the most beautiful of the Cyclades. Finally, get lost in the Old Town Market Shops. The vendors have some unique goods. All of the islands of the Cyclades can be accessed by Ferry, and it is a must-do.
Don’t forget to EAT! The Greeks are known for their delicious food and their long lunches. You’ll be able to try fresh fish, meatballs, zucchini balls, or taramasalata. In addition to their wonderfully fresh food, the Greeks love their coffee. It is wonderfully simple with sketo (plain), metrio (with some sugar), or glyko (super-sweet). You can sit in town squares and sip as the world continues to spin as you enjoy the delicious Greek coffee. (For more tips about Greek food, check out this post on the 12 best Greek Foods).
Did one of these spots inspire you to book your first trip to Greece? What are you waiting for? I understand entirely how intimating going to a new place can be, but I need to tell you that it is worth it. Schedule an online consultation to discuss which parts you’d like to see first and take the fear out of traveling.