Flight Crew Travel Tips for GreeceDecember 15, 2014 by Rachael Casterlin
This past September I was blessed with the opportunity to visit the beautiful country of Greece. Beyond the mainland, this country is comprised of thousands of islands varying in size that can be visited by ferry or plane depending on your budget and schedule. I spent time on the islands of Mykonos and Santorini and ended my trip in the historic city of Athens. It was a relatively easy country to navigate since most of those I conversed with had a general command of the English language and were eager to help.
Early summer to mid-September is peak season for tourists. You will see hotel rates skyrocket and dwindle in availability. Lodging is very much a matter of preference and budget, with hostels starting around $10 USD per night and waterfront villas exceeding $2,500 USD. It is also recommended if you plan to visit during peak season to book your transportation between the islands ahead of time since ferries and flights will fill up fast.
Bringing light, comfortable clothing is advised, as well as sunscreen and footwear that is supportive and easy for walking. I found this especially necessary when walking up to the Acropolis, since the pathway is constructed of well-worn rocks that have become slippery. Staying well hydrated is also recommended if you will be taking in sites during the middle of the day, since summers are known for being dry and hot with average temperatures being between 80 F (27 C) to 95 F (35 C).
The beaches in Greece consist of waves laden in vibrant hues of blue and bordered with rock formations that create picturesque coastlines. I spent time on Agrari beach in Mykonos and found it to be relaxing, but if you are looking for a livelier crowd, then Paradise Beach would be your beach of choice. I recommend taking the time to explore the variety of beaches on the island of Santorini, as well. Where else will you find beaches with white, red and black sand on the same island? This variety in sand color is a result of volcanic activity that took place during the islands creation. By far, Santorini was one of the most romantic places I have ever visited, and even though I was traveling alone, I enjoyed the setting and atmosphere all the same. It goes without saying that you must see the sunset in the city of Oia on Santorini. If it is not yet on your bucket list, after seeing it you will be sure to advise others to add it to theirs.
If you are looking to shop, Mykonos offers some of the most exquisite boutiques with jewelry designers from all over the world. Santorini has a variety of products to offer, especially in the capital of Fira. From fish spas where tiny fish aid in the pedicure process to leather goods, you will not be disappointed with the variety and high-quality of items on display.
In trying many of the local dishes and desserts, I found the portions to be plentiful and always fresh. I must say the tzatziki sauce was amazing, and I found an excuse to use it for almost every meal. If you are fond of olives and fine cheeses, you will not be disappointed either. Meat lovers should be sure to try a gyro and don’t forget to sample the Greek anise-flavored liqueur called “Ouzo.”
The city of Athens left me awe-struck with a population of roughly 4 million people. The country of Greece is estimated to be around 10 million people total, hence why this city was so abuzz. The most impactful part as a tourist was that no matter where I was in the city I could look and see the Acropolis sitting high above me. This caused me to reflect back to those that walked the same streets I was currently exploring and seeing the same constructions 2,500 years later. I highly advise visiting the newly completed Acropolis Museum before hiking up the hill to see the Acropolis. Glass flooring in particular sections allows you to see the actual lifestyle of those from thousands of years ago, with artifacts preserved and explained in great detail. It showcases all that went into the creation and current restoration of the Acropolis, so you can have a more in-depth understanding of what awaits on the hill top.
I found Greece to be an amazing blend of history, beauty and tradition. The Greek people are very accommodating and exhaust all options when trying to cater to your needs and requests. It is a place you can visit more than once and leave with a new experience each time. Whether you are looking for historical enlightenment or a relaxing escape in between flights, Greece will surely exceed your expectations.
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