Travel is probably one of the most fun learning curves you’ll experience in life, but let us help you cut some corners so you can avoid these common mistakes when traveling to Greece.
Mistakes are inevitable, especially when traveling, and ultimately they make for a valuable lesson or at least a good story to tell when you get home from your adventures. But of course it’s just best to avoid any major mishaps while in a foreign country, and that’s why it’s good to be prepared. What better way than to learn from those who have come before you? Learn from some of the mistakes people have made by reading this travel advice for Greece and make your trip run as smoothly as possible!
Not Learning Any Greek
Your mum’s advice was right, it really is ‘the magic word’. Thank you! Or ευχαριστώ (Ef-ha-ree-STO) in Greek. It does you wonders in day to day life and it’s going to get you even further when you’re traveling.
While the majority of the Greek population can speak English and are open and kind enough to decipher confused travelers, learning a few key phrases makes it so much more fun to communicate while on holiday.
People are so appreciative when you take the time to learn a little of their language, even if it’s just a few phrases. And who knows you might even fool a few locals and get yourself a good bargain. Duolingo is a fantastic resource for those looking to start a new language, so why not give yourself a head start!
☞ Related: The Most Useful Basic Greek Phrases To Know Before Visiting Greece
No. It’s not ‘guy-ros’! The ‘g’ is silent. It’s actually pronounced ‘yee-ros’.
This mistake is so commonly done by travelers that I’m sure a Greek waiter will pick up what you’re putting down. Our advice just gives you the opportunity to avoid any embarrassment…
Note: For those that don’t know gyros, it is slices of shaved meat that’s been cooked on a rotisserie, which is delicious and served in a pita. This meal will most likely frequent your diet while you’re in Greece as you can find it almost everywhere for only €2.50!
☞ Related: 6 Greek Street Food Items You Can Try That Won’t Kill Your Budget
Not Experiencing The Culture
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes people make when traveling to Greece. It happens when you’re on a fast paced whirlwind tour that doesn’t take the time to immerse you in Greek culture or you’re simply too scared to try something new. Don’t do that. You won’t be able to experience the true essence of Greece that lies in its rich culture, traditions and people unless you slow down.
It’s amazing being able to experience the culture of a country other than your own. While you might be taken outside of your comfort zone, you’ll end up all the better for it. So, the best travel advice we can give you for Greece is jump right in!
Dine at a local Greek taverna, try that weird looking food, have some ouzo, talk to people you meet, take some traditional Greek dancing lessons or even take a cooking lesson so you can bring the taste of Greece home with you.
One of the benefits of traveling with a local is that you are able to be fully immersed in Greek culture! Check out the cultural experiences that we offer here.
Treating Athens As Just A Stopover
Many people touch down in Athens, only to jet straight off to an island destination. Granted the Greek islands are incredible, but the mainland shouldn’t be missed. Athens has a long and rich history and stands at the forefront of Western civilization.
The capital city has an abundance to offer and there are so many things to do, like visiting the Acropolis or taking a trip to the many fantastic museums around the centre, exploring the copious archaeological sites or venturing to the lesser known places within the city.
It would be a mistake to only have a fleeting visit, so we strongly advise that you spend some quality time in this beautiful city.
☞ Related: 10 Reasons Why Everyone Should Visit Athens At Least Once
Underestimating The Importance Of A Travel Agent
Traveling to a new country can sometimes leave you feeling like an outsider. You don’t speak the language, you’re not sure what places to eat at or stay at, and you’re left feeling a little overwhelmed. But if you chose a good travel agent, preferably a local agent, it opens a world of possibilities, allowing you to experience Greece as if you too were a local!
Their close relationships with businesses means that they can get prices that are more affordable than if you were to book on your own. They have extensive experience in their field and know all the best accommodation, restaurants and activities that will suit what you’re looking for.
Ultimately they are the ones that can offer you the best travel advice for Greece. Another added bonus is that it saves you a huge amount of time in planning, not to mention way less stress. Don’t make the mistake of frantically organising a holiday, when you can let an expert take care of everything for you.
Staying On The Beaten Path
How many Greek islands can you name other than Santorini and Mykonos? We might be mistaken but our guess is probably not too many. While these islands are amazingly popular destinations for a reason, there’s more to Greece than just these famed islands.
From quaint mountainside villages on the mainland to relatively unexplored islands with quiet and secluded beaches, the rest of Greece is just waiting to be uncovered. Take our advice and venture into the unknown!
When you take time to venture off the beaten path you’ll be rewarded with the kind of peace and serenity that makes a holiday truly relaxing, plus it can’t hurt to add a few more place names to your geographical repertoire can it?!
☞ Related: 20 Destinations For Greece 2020 That Are Not On Your Radar
Thinking Island Hopping Is Easy
Greece has over 150 inhabited islands. They’re inviting, picturesque and just downright dreamy so it’s no wonder you’d like to see as many as humanly possible, right? But island hopping isn’t as easy as it sounds.
If you were to choose to island hop between lots of islands in a short space of time, you’d soon find out that you’d made a mistake. Because of the long distances it takes to travel between the islands, if you plan to see multiple islands in a couple of days or even just one a day, your visits would be fleeting and your transit time awfully long.
Our advice is to carefully select islands that are situated closely in the same cluster and spend 3 or more days exploring them to make the most out of your precious holiday time. This way you can take in more and truly embrace the relaxed pace of island living!
☞ Related: Your Master Guide To All Greek Islands And How To Pick One
Missing what? If you don’t know, that’s another mistake, but one we’d love to remedy.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece, situated in Northern Macedonia, right on the waterfront the city centre has so much to explore. Travel wise it takes about a 5-hour drive from Athens or just an hour flight.
Take a walk along the boardwalk, visit a traditional taverna find a spot to watch the sunset. If you have a sweet tooth my advice would be to try some bougatsa. This Greek version of a custard pie is so delicious!
☞ Related: What To Do In Thessaloniki For 2 Days: An Itinerary By A Local
- Now that you’ve read our travel advice for Greece and learnt the common mistakes people make, what might you do differently?