Greece is a fabulous destination with history & mystery. Greece should definitely be on your bucket list. However, it is important to know where & when to travel to Greece & her islands, as over tourism is an issue in areas.
I returned from an amazing Sceptre Tours FAM trip to Greece in October. It had been years since my last visit & I was happy to return to bemoan & observe the new reality.
Athens has literally cleaned up its act. The embrace of tourism is absolute. Litter is under control & buses are eco. My only grip, the endless graffiti, as in many cities, is a distracting pollution problem. The city was wise not to allow building over seven stories. The result is a plethora of amazing roof top patios with Acropolis views & surrounding hotel choices. The Athens subway built, for the 2004 Olympic Games, alleviates a bit of traffic congestion, but in high season May – Sept, traffic jams are a major problem.
We took the efficient island ferries from Athens to visit the arid Cyclades Islands of Paros & Santorini. Paros is an immerging tourist destination. Lovely beaches, a serene atmosphere, not much happening, but that IS the point.
Santorini, the selfie capital of the Mediterranean, is definitely an island to visit for a few days. Santorini’s caldera, shaped by the eruption of the volcano Thera 3000 years ago, has fabulous scenery & sailing opportunities. The young volcano emerging from the sea is a major hiking & boating attraction. If you can afford a caldera view suite, go for it.
Because of its current international celebrity status, traveling to Santorini between May & Sept is not advisable. A multitude of sweaty tourists in flip-flops & tank tops ascend on Santorini daily via cruise ship, ferries & planes may obscure your view.
Prior to meeting my group in Athens, I spent 2 nights on the island a Crete where, 30 years ago I lived & fell in love. Despite Crete’s tourism explosion, because of its size, you can still enjoy the current & ancient culture while exploring quiet beaches.