10 Things to know about Greece

I always heard my friends traveling in Greece on summer, but I didn’t get the chance to go there until this year. Even if I visited only one of their islands, I’m sure that Greece has a lot more to offer.

My trip was short, but I thought I should give you few tips that may help you if you’re planning to go to Samos or anywhere else in Greece soon, so here are my top 10:

  1. Buy a high sun protection factor lotion. I’m sure everyone knows we should use it, but believe me, temperatures are really high during the summer. I had to put it even when I was just going for a walk, to avoid the sun burns. The good part is that the prices are not high in Samos, so if you forget to bring your lotion, you can get one from there with about 8-10 €. If you know that you want to walk a long way or rent a scooter and drive for hours, in the middle of the day, as I did, get some long treasures and a shirt with long sleeves.

2. If you never wore beach shoes, here you may need them. There are a lot of beautiful beaches in Greece and most of them are not sandy and it’s painful to be barefoot. The beach shoes are very comfortable to swim with and not expensive. In Romanian I call them “cipici”, it’s slang and if you’re curious how I pronounce it, that would be “chipeechi” in English. Yes, I know, Romanian is not easy at all 🙂

 

3. Greece is a great place to do snorkeling, so get yourself ready for this. You would need a basic equipment: a mask (this creates an air around your eyes, so allows them to focus under water), a snorkel (the curved tube that lets you breathe while floating face-down on the surface) and if you want to do it in a professional way, get some flippers too.

Well…I honestly had none of this, I just had my swim glasses and a nose clip. I know that I was looking like a tarsier, but don’t worry, you won’t look better then me wearing your snorkeling equipment and it’s all fine as long as you have fun.

The water is crystal clear and the life under water is amazing. This was my first time doing snorkeling and I’m planning on trying this again.

 

4. I believe Greece is a safe country and this is how I felt during my whole trip there. Imagine that we’ve rented a scooter with a broken trunk (with an improvised locking method) and we had the courage to let the helmet inside every time we made a stop, even when going to the beach and staying there for hours. Well, now you shouldn’t do this and expect that no one will steal your baggage, just because it didn’t happen to me, but you should know that if you’re looking to travel where to feel secure, Greece is a great option.

I would trustfully recommend the country for anyone who wants to travel alone, man or woman.

5. If I just mentioned how safe I felt in Greece, let’s also talk about people and I’m gonna say as simple as that: Greek people are very nice and hospitable. They are willing to help you if you need directions on the street, if you’re looking for a nice place to eat or just if you need some ideas on what to visit. The owner of our hotel Thanasis helped us a lot.

6. People are nice, most of them speak English, but when it comes to say “Hi”, they will always say it in Greek and it’s fair enough, you’re visiting their country, at least you can say hello and goodbye in their language.

Well you may need this, so there are some basic phrases in Greek:

Good afternoon-Kalí méra

Good night-kalí nýchta

Thank you-efcharistó

You’re welcome-Parakaló

7. Travel documents to travel in Greece. All citizens of foreign countries, except for the countries of the European Union, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, need a visa to enter Greece. As I traveled from Romania, I only needed my ID, but if you’re not in one of the countries mentioned above, for more information about getting a visa, contact the Greek National Tourist Offices in your country or go to your embassy in Greece.

8. Greece is one of the top destinations in Europe that you can visit on a budget. I spent 250 euros for my airplane ticket plus accommodation for 5 nights and another 120 euros on food and other things, so that would be 370 euros total for my whole vacation.

It’s true that there were not so many things to spend the money on, but I wouldn’t say that I didn’t have a nice experience and adventure.

9. Greece is full of cats: on the street, at the restaurants, at the hotel, I mean everywhere. There are also a lot of shelters and you you can donate money for cats vaccination and care, but also for their sterilization.
10. Samos (but also the rest of the country) is a big producer of olive oil and wine, so save some space in you luggage for this. I’m not a fan of wine, but the Moschato grape served at the hotel was just amazing!
I’m going to tell you a secret: the Catholic church of the Vatican uses exclusively sweet wine from Samos for the needs of the Holly Mass.
 Thanks for reading 🙂

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