Travelling to Greece can be the adventure of your lifetime. With blue skies, white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, this land of ancient mythology is like a little slice of heaven on earth. This is exactly why you don’t want to plan a hasty trip and miss out on the chance to explore Greece in all its glory.
Planning a trip to Greece can take time – from deciding your travel itinerary to booking luxury villas, and listing down the places you want to visit, everything should be decided beforehand. However, this in no way means that you leave no space or time for spontaneity.
Greece: 4 Tips to Make Your Greek Adventure Memorable
Here we have listed down 4 tips which you can use to make your Greek adventure memorable.
1 – Learn some basic Greek phrases
This does not mean that you should become fluent in the language before stepping off the plane. However, it is always better to be familiar with at least a few key words or phrases from the local language such as ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’. This could not only help you in becoming friendly with the locals, but can also make your travel much smoother. From a logistical viewpoint, knowing certain key phrases and words can help you get on the right trains or ferries to navigate to your destination with ease.
Learning Greek language also helps you to appreciate a new country in ways you would not be able to otherwise. It not only helps you understand the foreign culture, but also allows you to engage with locals even if your pronunciation is not perfect. After all, it’s the locals who truly represent a country and who can guide you towards hidden gems and places other tourists are not even aware of.
Certain key phrases/words in Greek which you should learn include:
- Hello –Yassou: pronounced as ‘YAH-sue’
- Good morning – Kalimera: pronounced as ‘kah-lee-MEHR-rah’
- Goodbye –Kherete: pronounced as ‘KHE-reh-tay’
- How are you? – Ti kanis?: pronounced as ‘tee-KAH-nis’
- Thank you – Efkharisto: pronounced as ‘eff-kah-rees-TOH’
- You’re welcome/please –Parakalo: pronounced as ‘pah-rah-kah-LOH’
- Yes – Ne: pronounced as‘neh’
- My name is… – Me lene: pronounced as‘meh LEH-neh’
- What’s your name? – Pos se lene?: pronounced as‘POHS seh LEH-neh’
- Can you help me? – Borite na me?: pronounced as‘boh-REE-teh nah’
- How much is it? – Poso kani: pronounced as ‘poh-soh KAH-nee’
2 – Stay in a luxury villa
The last tip for making your Greek adventure a truly unforgettable experience is to stay in a luxury Crete villa. Nothing will beat the experience of being waited on hand and foot by friendly hotel staff. Staying in luxury villas in Crete for the summer will provide you with awe-inspiring views combined with great service and food.
3 –Explore lesser known places
What is a great, grand adventure to Greece if you don’t visit lesser known places which are ‘off the beaten track?’ Some of the country’s greatest gems are hidden from tourists and as a result have remained unspoiled through generations. For example, if you are planning to visit Crete, the largest island in Greece, these are the three hidden places you need to see.
1 -Loutro, Chania: a peaceful, hidden seaside village located around 43 miles south of Chania. It is only accessible by boat or ferry and the bay at its entrance forms a natural harbour.
2 – Rodakino, Rethymno: A hidden beach full of local families looking for some peace and family fun. From Rodakino, you can also visit the close by village of Frangokastello to admire the breath-taking views from a Venetian castle on the beach.
3 – Palekastro, Lasithi: This is a small, hidden village with two beaches visited mostly by locals which have a number of taverns close by.
4 – Try the local cuisine
One of the best parts of travelling to unfamiliar places, especially exotic locations such as Crete in Greece, is that you can try different flavours and dishes that you could never even imagine. Trying the local cuisine could introduce your taste buds to different authentic flavours or staple foods which taste like entirely new dishes. For example, while you may not be a stranger to olives, the taste and texture of this fruit can be entirely different in local cuisine – so much so that it may seem like you are trying this Greek staple for the very first time.
Another reason to try Greek cuisine is because the country is home to some of the finest ingredients in the world. Traditional foods are also an intimate part of the country’s culture and heritage. For example, some local cooking traditions date back to ancient times, thereby giving you a chance to experience their rich history through an abundance of flavours. Also, don’t forget to try Ouzo, Greece’s ‘national drink’ which is an anise flavoured aperitif.
The top 5 classic Greek dishes include:
- Taramasalata–This is a traditional Greek meze or fish roe dip with bread or potato base, drizzles with virgin olive oil or lemon.
- Dolmades–This grape leaf stuffed with rice and fresh herbs is a staple in most Greek households.
- Kolokythokeftedes or courgette balls–This is one starter you do not want to miss out on. As a lightly fried ball or patty, the body of the fritter is made from grated courgette with fresh herbs and spices.
- Moussaka – While this dish is no longer the local secret it used to be, you have to try the local version. This iconic Greek baked dish is layered with minced meat, sautéed aubergine, pureed onion, tomato and garlic as well as different spices. It comes topped with a bit of potato, cheese and béchamel sauce.
- Olives– It is said that the Olympian goddess Athena gave an olive tree to Athens to win their favour. Most Greek meals are served with a variety of local olives – such as Kalamata, Tsakistes, Throumba, etc.
Mesmerising ocean views, elegant accommodation and enough space for dining and entertainment captures the true essence of a luxurious tropical vacation. Take a look at the range of villas in Crete, or the villas on the other popular islands, for a truly relaxing and memorable vacation.