Legend has it that God distributed soil through a sieve and used stones that remained to build Greece. This alluring Balkan nation located in Southeast Europe spreads across the Aegean Sea in bits and pieces. Renowned for its island beaches like Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete, Greece is among the world’s most beautiful honeymoon destinations. Its ancient architecture and rich history date back to the 5th Century and make for wonderful discoveries when journeying through the Athens capital and cities. Its islands that dot the seas feature irregular coastlines, picturesque scenery, and a charming, romantic atmosphere. Greece is also spiritual in nature, with places like Meteora featuring man-made monasteries on giant rock formations. Greece, with its myths and legends, is nothing short of exotic and magical.
Welcome to Greece
Mainland Greece is a mountainous peninsula surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Over 80% of the territory is covered with mountains, making it one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. The highest peak is Mount Olympus at 2,917m. Greece is home to 6,000 islands scattered in the Aegean and Ionian sea, of which only 227 are inhabited. Greece comprises a highly diversified landscape of beaches, bays, coves, underground caves, volcanoes and wetlands.
Culture & Language
Ancient Greeks were seafaring people. Greece’s rich history dates back to the Bronze age, Classical period, Roman period and more. Over the years it has evolved, and today the Greek culture is a mixture of European, Western and Eastern elements. 98% of Greeks are Christian Orthodox.
The official language of Greece is Greek. A number of minority languages and dialects are spoken by the people. Half of the Greeks learn and speak English, especially so in the tourist areas, making it easy for you to communicate with the locals.
Greece has a rich and diversified natural environment. It has plentiful coasts (it has the 11th longest coastline in the world), looming volcanoes, majestic mountains and rock formations. Their caves, gorges, lakes, rivers and wetlands are homes to ecosystems rich in life forms. At least 446 bird species can be found here, and there are many bird-watching spots such as the Dadia forest and the Evros and Pineios deltas. There are plenty of hiking trails and national parks for you to discover Greece’s abundant nature.
Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine. It widely uses wheat, vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, wine and meat. Olives, pasta, cheese, herbs and bread are also commonly found. Greek cuisine is influenced by Ottoman cuisine, Turkish cuisine, Italian cuisine, and cuisine from the Northern countries. Some traditional foods to try are baklava, courgette balls, greek fava dip and Moussaka.
Greece has a varied climate. Most of it enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summers, from April to November is hot and dry, but the rest of the year from November to late March or early April experiences a mild, wet winter which is cold and rainy.
May to June and September to October is when you get the most pleasant weather, with July and August being the hottest months.
Best Time to Visit Greece
The best time to visit Greece is during the shoulder season – Late April to mid-June. You escape the high season but still get good sunny weather.
The high season in the Greek islands is from late June to early September, with August being the busiest and most expensive month. If you do not mind colder weather, the months of March, early-April and November have reduced prices due to the low season.
Greece Top Honeymoon Destinations
Greece has plenty of romantic places, the most famous being Santorini and Mykonos.
Here are more top destinations for you to explore.
Top Things to Do in Greece
For more Top Things to Do in each destination, we wrote these for you.
Top Romantic Resorts in Greece
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens
Hotel Grande Bretagne, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Andronis Luxury Suites
Best Hotels in Greece
We shortlisted the best hotels in each destination for you.
Greece Travel FAQ
Athens is the main gateway to Greece. Budget airline Scoot (SIN) offers you direct flights to Athens (ATH). Other full-fledged airlines like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airlines also fly direct to Athens.
To get to the nearby islands, you can either take a domestic flight or a ferry from Piraeus port or Rafina port. You can book your ferry tickets online from FerryHopper.com.
The flight duration from Singapore to Athens is 11 hours 25 minutes.
February to March is the month of cheapest flights, and you can get tickets starting $600 – $700 by Scoot. These prices can easily double during the high season. August tends to be the busiest and hence most expensive month.
Compared to other Europe destinations, Greece is one of the cheaper places to travel. That being said, considering that Santorini and Mykonos are very popular destinations, it would naturally cost more to travel to those islands, especially during the high season. Prices on these islands are higher than in Athens.
Excluding airfare, I would budget about $250 – $300 per day. It is possible to go lower for more budget travel, or higher for a more luxurious trip.
*Prices below are quoted in SGD unless otherwise stated in €.
Flight to Athens: $600 (low season) – $1,300 (high season)
Flight / Ferry from Athens to Islands: Domestic flights cost about $100 – $150. Ryanair is the cheapest though you will have to pay extra for baggage and there are chances of delays. Aegean air and Olympic air also offer flights across Greece. The ferry costs about half of airfares, though duration will be much longer for Santorini (6- 8 hours), so I would suggest taking the plane. The train cost from Athens to Meteora is 25€ – 30€.
Accommodation: In Athens, accommodation cost per night ranges from $15 – 20 for hostels, $50 – $100 for very basic rooms, $200 – $300 for 3 or 4-star hotels, and $500 onwards for 5-star luxury options.
Transport: The metro system in Athens is easy to navigate and most main attractions are close to stations. The 90-minute ticket is €$1.60, and the 3-day pass is ~€25. Buses are also another way of getting around. The 90-minute ticket costs €$1.60, 24-hour ticket 4.5€m and the 3-day tourist pass costs 22€. Taking a taxi or Uber in Athens is really expensive. We took a taxi from the airport to our hotel (20 minutes journey) for about 50€. For convenience you can hire a private transfer or a shared transfer.
On Santorini, A popular way is to hire an ATV and explore the island. The cost is about $30 – $35 a day during low season. A scooter costs about $20 a day during low season. You can also rent a car. Fuel is relatively affordable. Note that these prices increases to double or even triple during the high season. There are buses that will take you in between towns, and cost cheaply.
Food & Drink: In Greece, you can get ala-carte meals for about $15 – $20 per person. Gyros and kebabs are the most affordable food choices in Greece and cost below $10. Fancier restaurants will cost about $30 – $50 upwards per person. I would budget about $50/day for regular meals.
Activities: Athens have paid attractions that you will need to get tickets for (Acropolis is 20€). If you plan to tour many of Athens attraction, consider getting the iVenture pass. In Santorini, while there are paid activities you can do i.e. volcano tour, hot springs, there are also plenty of free things to do, such as sunbathing on the beach, and hiking from Fira to Oia. I would budget about $150 – 200 for activities for the trip.
Athens to Thessaloniki: Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city. It takes 1 hour by plane from Athens. You can also get there by train, and it will take about 4 hours or so.
You can also take a train which will take 4 hours 20 minutes to 6 hours depending on the type of train you take. The cost is about 15€ (slow train) to 36€ (fast train).
You can also choose to take a bus, which takes about 6 hours. The cost is 35€ one-way and 55€ for a return. You can buy from the terminal before the bus departure, but be sure to be there at least 30 minutes before.
Athens to Meteora: You can go by train which takes about 5 hours. For train, you will take it from Athens Larissa Station to Kalampaka (last stop on the train route). The bus journey is not a direct route and will take slightly longer. Take the bus from Liosion Station (Athens) to Trikala (a city near Kalampaka), the duration is about 4 hours 30 minutes. The bus journey from Trikala to Kalmapaka is about 20 minutes.
Athens to Santorini: 50 minutes by plane. The ferry will take 5 hours on a high-speed ferry, and 8 hours on a conventional ferry.
Athens to Mykonos: 40 minutes by plane. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 10 minutes on a high speed ferry.
Athens to Corfu: 1 hour by plane. The ferry takes about 1.5 (larger open ferry) to 2 hours (open ferry). You can also drive to Corfu from Athens, and the journey is about 6 hours. Taxi costs about 350€ and you can split it among 4.
Athens to Crete: 50 minutes to 1 hour 5 minutes by plane. Crete is a big island (the largest of the Greek isles), and you can land in Chania, Heraklion (cheapest) or Sitia. The ferry from Piraeus (Athens) to Heraklion (Crete) takes really long about 8 hour 45 minutes.
Athens to Rhodes: 1 hour by plane. It takes about 15 hours by ferry.
Athens to Nafplio: Take either the bus (2 hours 20 minutes), taxi (1.5 hours, 150€), car or ferry (2 – 3.5 hours). Click here for more information.
Athens to Kefalonia: 1 hour by plane. There are no direct ferries from Athens to Kefalonia, but it is linked through various ports. Rome2Rio can draw your route for you.
Athens to Zakynthos (Zante): 55 minutes by plane. There are no direct ferries from Athens to Zakynthos, but it is easy to get there via the port of Kyllini.
This depends on the time you have and budget.
Taking the plane is the quickest, most direct and convenient to get to the islands. If you do not have much time, I would suggest taking a plane, especially so for Santorini. The ferry from Athens to Mykonos or Corfu is much shorter, and comparable to the flight duration, so you may want to take a ferry for those islands.
If you have a limited budget, and extra time on your hands, taking a ferry is the way to go. Ferry tickets start from 40€ for conventional ferries and 48€ for the high-speed ones. Flights to Santorini are usually double. If you plan ahead, you may get early-booking discounts. If you wish to experience all islands, why not consider a cruise!
For more information, check out this guide by Ferryhopper.com.
The islands of Greece are scattered across the eastern Mediterranean, most in the Aegean Sea (south and east of mainland Greece), while a few are in the Ionian sea (west of mainland). They are divided into eight main island groups.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and draw many visitors, Ionian islands like Corfu, Kefalonia and Zante are popular choices too. Click here for hotels in the Ionian islands.
The Cyclades have the best range of islands to visit, with famous ones like Santorini, Mykonos and Paros home to beautiful beaches. Click here for hotels in the Cyclades.
Hydra (Saronic Gulf Islands), with its relaxing carefree ambience, accessible beaches and charming harbour, have been said to be a great island to visit as well. Click here for hotels in the Attica-Saronic Gulf Islands.
If you are a romantic, Santorini and Mykonos are a must visit. As they are more popular, the prices here are expected to be higher compared to the other islands, but the views are magical and the experience, truly memorable. For history lovers, Crete and Rhodes make great discoveries. If you are into panoramic views from mountain tops, Corfu and Kos have striking vistas and quaint towns to visit.
If you want a taste of multiple islands in one trip, go on a cruise! Another unique way to experience the Greek isles would be to go on The Yacht Week. It’s a floating festival that will have you sailing the seas for 7 days.
10 – 14 days in Greece is perfect. My suggested itinerary would be Athens (3-4 days), Santorini (3-4 days), Mykonos (3-4 days) and Meteora (1-2 days).
If you are tight for time, at least spend 1 week in Greece, though that will mean you probably can only tour Athens and visit another island comfortably.
If you have more time on your hands, 3 weeks will allow you to really take your time to explore all that Greece has to offer, and go on multiple hikes. You can also head to Thessaloniki and the neighbouring Halkidiki peninsula.
We travelled to Greece in late October 2017, just before the winter season. That period was a great time for a honeymoon because there were hardly any crowds and we had the place to ourselves (this was great especially for Santorini because I can imagine how crowded it will be during the high season). Prices were cheaper as well, for accommodation and transport (we rented our own ATV). The weather was cooling, though it is too chilly to be in the waters.
Our trip was 10 days, with 5 days in Santorini, 3 days in Athens and 2 days in Meteora. While we could probably squeeze another island in that time frame, but I preferred to go at a leisurely pace. 5 days in Santorini was great, because there is so much you can do here.
Though many online suggest a day trip to Meteora, we decided to stay for the night as it is a 10-hour return train journey, so it was quite taxing. The train departure timings are also quite fixed. Staying for the night allowed us to rent a taxi to explore the monasteries and watch the sunset (sunset views at Meteora are magical and unlike anything I’ve seen before). You can also opt to rent your own car.
There isn’t a best way to experience Greece per say, for there are so many options to explore Greece. But if it is your first time, I’d say do not miss out on Athens, Santorini and Meteora for sure.
Greece is relatively easy to get around. The domestic flights and ferry network will take you to neighbouring islands and cities/towns easily. The bus and train network is relatively comprehensive and will take you to most main attractions.
On the islands or in smaller towns like Meteora, you can get around on foot to discover the areas. Otherwise, you can rent your own car. I would encourage you to rent an ATV in Santorini! That was our main mode of transport during our trip. It was not only a flexible and convenient way to get around, but it was really fun too!
Language: The official language in Greece is Greek.
Currency: The currency in Greece is the Euro. 1 SGD = 0.66 Euro.
Credit Cards and ATMs: You can use credit cards to pay at most hotels and restaurants, but do bring along cash for meals at local stalls or smaller towns. ATMs should be easily found in main areas of cities and towns.
Plugs: The plugs in Greece are different from Singapore. Do bring along a universal adaptor when traveling to Greece. The plugs in Greece are Type C and F, whereas Singapore is type G. The voltage and frequency is the same at 230V and 50Hz.
Despite some previous periods of unrest in Greece, Greece is relatively safe for traveling. Just be sure to stay tuned to the news before traveling there.
Santorini is very safe, and I believe the other islands too are safe for tourists, but I would not stay out too late when in Athens. During our trip we did feel quite unsafe in Athens after the sun sets, because it gets dark really quickly. The streets are not too well-lit, with not many shops open or people around. The streets also have a lot of graffiti.
Make sure to always get travel insurance before your trip. The insurance only costs you tens of dollars, but this keeps you safely covered. In the unlikely (but still possible) event you fall sick, get into an accident or have to deal with lost luggage, this insurance will be a life saver. I have been in that position before when I got injured in Vietnam, so I strongly encourage you to get at least a basic travel insurance plan before you leave.
Our friends at Singsaver compared the best travel insurance policies here so you can choose the one that suits you best. It’s very easy to use!
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