Video Transcript Host 00:18 Today we're here at Club Med Sandpiper Bay in beautiful Port…
Is it a Good Time to Visit Greece?
You may worry about traveling to Greece for a vacation since the country has been having financial troubles. Rest assured that now is the time to visit Greece. The only setback you may face is to pay small shop owners with cash instead of credit cards. Greek citizens have not resorted to pick-pocketing more than you or I would during financial hardship. The dangers to look out for are the same as in any country or big city.
Travel to Greece and you’ll find the locals incredibly friendly. Take out a map or pull one up on your smartphone and someone will offer to help you. Tourists are not loathed! There’s a genuine interest in international travelers who’ve come to Greece to marvel at her beauty and history – citizens are proud to speak with you about their gorgeous country.
Dining in Greece
During our taxi ride from the Athens’ airport, our funny and welcoming driver from the highly recommended George’s Taxi, excitedly shared all that we should see while in the city. He asked us if we wanted to know what the traditional Greek breakfast was – my taste buds activated with anticipation. He responded, “Two cigarettes and a coffee,” and laughed. But it turned out this was no joke. “Please forgive me,” the owner of the jewelry stand said as we waited patiently, “I was just sitting down for my breakfast – two cigarettes and a coffee”.
Greek cuisine is a treat for your palate. The family friendly restaurants at the foot of the Acropolis are superb. Ushers line the street to entice you to have a seat in their restaurant, like Plakaestia. It’s hard to resist as most restaurants include large and cozy outdoor seating. If you’re worried about being pestered, don’t be. Simply state that you ate and continue walking. But you may not be able to resist taking a break and sitting down for a drink. The climate in Greece is hot and dry. While visiting in September the temperatures were in the 90s without a single cloud in the sky. Perhaps this is why even red wine is often served chilled in Greece.
After dinner, you’re often given complimentary shots of mastika to aid digestion. Whether or not it works doesn’t matter because the sweet taste of aromatic mastic (the bush which sap flavors the mastic) tastes great after a fulfilling meal of lamb pot roast. If you’re adventurous, try the chilled octopus salad or delicious gyros with a cold Mythos beer. By the way, Greek olives, both green and black, are out of this world! Top the night off with a glass of traditional Greek Ouzo.
How much do I Tip?
It’s entirely up to you how much you tip. There are no expectations. When dining in a restaurant, you’ll often receive the check soon after your order, before you get served. If not, you will have to ask your waiter for the check as they rarely approach you during your dinner. They respect your privacy and prefer to be at your service upon request. Speak with the manager about tipping. This way you won’t make a travel faux pas.
Shopping in Greece
Like most countries, Greece’s tourism relies on you, the traveler, buying souvenirs. Bring extra cash for two reasons. First, most shop owners prefer it. Second, you will want to buy EVERYTHING you see! Greek souvenirs are high quality with most items created with leather, wood, marble, alabaster, cotton, linen and ceramic. If you’re a fan of ancient Greece or Classical Greek history, you’ll want to buy every book on the subject.
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You may want to create a souvenir budget as many items are marked up only to be offered to you at a lower price from the onset. This may take you by surprise, but you are being pulled into a purchase thinking you’re already getting a good deal. Greeks aren’t tricksters as you pay a standard price for your goods. What really matters is that the items you purchase are worth the price you are willing to pay, and they most likely are.
Travel to Greece Now
Imagine strolling through Athens – the cool breeze gently caresses your skin and blows through your hair. You stop at a local café for a Greek coffee and chat up the locals; they attempt to teach you how to speak Greek. You laugh as you stumble over the words. But it doesn’t matter because they can feel your sincerity.
Not only are you having a great time but you find yourself thinking that you’d like to stay forever. Seem unlikely? It’s not. You’ve got a general overview – what are you waiting for? Contact a Travel Planners International travel agent today and book your dream vacation to Greece tomorrow.
by Amandah T. Blackwell, Savvy-Writer