In our opinion and experience while traveling, the best way to visit a country is to immerse yourself in the culture. That’s why we recommend you visit Greece like a local. When planning a trip to a new country, many people have a list of tourist attractions they must check off their bucket list.
This is one great way to travel and will provide interesting history of the country. Bus and guided tours are fantastic for getting a lot of information on the country all at once. When you are the type of tourist focusing on a bucket list, you are simply checking things off of that list and never truly understanding the place where you are visiting. You may miss an amazing experience by focusing on your bucket list only.
On the other side of the spectrum is the slow traveler that seeks to connect with the place and leave with a deeper understanding of the local culture. As its name implies, slow travel is the art of traveling through your destination slowly enough to get a genuine idea of what it would be like to live there.
Greece has a lot of bucket list items such as the Parthenon, Delphi, and Santorini. But, when you are done with sightseeing, you should try to enjoy the modern culture Greece has to offer its residents.
Visit Greece Like a Local
Hit The Seas
Greece has the Aegean Sea to the east, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. There are many beautiful islands that can be explored by renting a boat. There are so many small, hidden beaches that you can only reach by boat and they offer a respite from the crowds.
Crete is the largest and most popular Island and though it is definitely a must see, if you are looking to stay away from the crowds, visiting a smaller island in the North Aegean group of islands is our recommendation. Specifically the island of Ikaria. This island has everything from beautiful beaches to awe inspiring mountains.
The rich culture and festivals will have you wanting to stay on the island forever. It is also in the “blue zone” which mean the people here have some of the longest life spans in the world.
Be an Adventurous Eater
Greek food is simple and delicious with an emphasis on the freshness of the ingredients.
Even if you are not usually an adventurous eater, you should try some foods that seem out of your comfort zone.
This is the perfect opportunity to try new foods that seem strange but are likely to be very delicious.
Pick a Piazza
Greece is an ideal place to watch people. And the best way to do this is to sit in a piazza drinking a coffee or glass of ouzo and simply watching the locals live their life.
Greeks use piazzas as their living room and are almost always outside.
You should try to go to the same coffee shop or bar and become a regular there. This way you can really soak in the local atmosphere and also become part of the landscape.
When you go to the same places, you eventually get treated like a local. You get to know the owners of the establishment and see a side of Greece that package tour-goers don’t get to see.
Find Your Own Greece
There are a lot of tourists in Greece. If you go during the high season you will hear more English, German and Russian than Greek. Unless you stay off the tourist path.
There are so many places in Greece, both on the mainland and the islands, where you won’t see a single tourist.
Stick to those areas and you will discover a Greece that many don’t know exists.
Find those ruins that are not in any guidebook. Eat at the typical restaurant where there is no menu and no tourists. Take your time at the local produce market.
This is the real Greece and will give you an authentic experience.