5. Go island hopping
There’s no doubt that the golden age of island hopping was in the 70s and 80s, and most people now stick to one island per holiday.
But ferry services are still plentiful and mostly reliable through the warmer months, so why not choose a group of islands like the Ionians, the Dodecanese or the postcard pretty Cyclades and see as many as you can?
Always plan to return to your departure airport a day or two ahead of your flight though.
6. Embrace Greek time
Punctuality is not held in the highest esteem in Greece. There is a healthy Mediterranean belief that most things can be put off and nothing needs to be done in a hurry: Spanish “mañana” equals Greek “avrio”.
So don’t expect service in a restaurant to be too snappy or transportation always to run like clockwork.
7. Be culturally sensitive
Most younger Greeks regard themselves as modern and open-minded – but the older generation have an ingrained conservatism and the Orthodox Church still holds great sway.
Nudity is frowned upon away from designated beaches and it is better not to visit churches or monasteries in skimpy shorts or tops.
8. Beware of directions and regulations
There’s a good deal of truth in the maxim that if you ask five Greeks how to get somewhere you’ll get five different answers. But don’t worry – getting a bit lost is all part of the fun.
It’s similar with rules and regulations such as having to wear seatbelts or crash helmets, or not smoking in public places. These are all regularly ignored but it’s up to you whether you follow suit.
9. Take care in the capital
Athens may come across as a concrete jungle, but it is also rich with sights, including the ancient Acropolis and some superb museums.
It is where you are most likely to encounter the effects of the twin crises, however, with an increasing number of shuttered buildings and homeless people.
Although it is not generally unsafe, you should watch your valuables, especially when travelling on crowded transport such as the metro.
10. Don’t be shy
Greeks are mostly extrovert types and love exchanging views and opinions with anybody and everybody. So don’t hold back on asking people about their beliefs and opinions or expressing your own.
If you are travelling with kids, you’ll soon see how much they are indulged. They can often act as natural ice-breakers, especially at restaurants, where nobody minds them running around and making a bit of a noise.
11. Learn a little of the language
Greeks generally do not expect foreigners to know any Greek, and levels of English are good throughout the country.
On the other hand, they love it if you do learn at least a few words. Any effort will be rewarded by your status being elevated from a regular tourist to an honoured “xenos”, which means both “foreigner” and “guest”.
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