Have you always dreamed of visiting Greece to enjoy the ancient history, beautiful beaches and delicious food? If you answered yes, you're not alone. Millions of people around the globe dream of visiting this Southern European country at least once in their lives. Tourists can rent luxurious mansions in Greece overlooking the sea or find more affordable budget-friendly accommodation. Here are some top tips and advice for planning your first trip to Greece.

Do I Need a Visa?

The most important question to ask first is whether you're entitled to visit without applying for a visa. The good news is most people within Europe can visit as part of the EU. Other nationalities who receive a Schengen Visa will be allowed to stay in Greece for 90 days in any given 180 days. This means that you can have up to almost three months to explore the diversity of the country and islands within the Greek archipelagos.

When is the Best Time to Visit?

Greece gets millions of tourists each year from Northern European holidaymakers to amateur historians who want to examine the ruins with their own eyes. Spring and autumn tend to correspond with peak seasons as the weather is often sunny and warm. Summers, on the other hand, usually have temperatures in the mid to high 30s on a daily basis creating an uncomfortable and unrelenting heat. You're always going to see tourists at any time of the year you visit Greece. However, many places operate on restricted hours during the low season, which corresponds to winter.

Where are the Best Places to Visit?

You can't plan a trip to Greece and not visit Athens, the birthplace of democracy and the towering Acropolis dominating the skyline. Athens is a place where the historical juxtaposes against the modernity of the 21st-century. Ruins fill the city centres that are around the corner from apartment blocks. If you walk around the city, you're guaranteed to see a significant amount of history in a tiny space. The Archaeological Museum, having several ancient Greek artefacts, is said to be one of the best in the world.

Santorini is probably the second most popular tourist destination. One of the more than 200 islands in the Cyclades Archipelago in the Aegean Sea, Santorini combines everything a traveller could wish for. You'll have the stereotypical Cycladic architecture with white-washed buildings against the dark blue Greek sky. The volcanic island has several ruins and relics from the Byzantine era too. Santorini is one of the most photogenic places, and regular flights connect it to and from Athens. You can find for places to stay in via Santorini Vakantie.

Corfu, in Greece's Ionian Sea to the northwest, has always been a favourite destination for European holidaymakers. The island has almost 3000 years of history, which you can see in the various ruins. Or, if not, plenty of resorts to suit any budget and level of luxury are also available along the coast. You can be relaxing on the beaches under the warm sunshine one minute and walking around 2500 year ruins the next. The tourist infrastructure is developed on the island making it easy to get around. And if you take the time to drive inland, you'll see a lush green landscape, which is rare in scorching Greece.

Important Things to Know Before Visiting Greece:

Greece's economy is almost all based on tourism. For this reason, expect steep admission fees to enter museums and attractions. For example, entrance into the Acropolis complex costs a whopping €20 per person or around €6 just to walk around street-side ruins.

If you're on a budget, this can be a problem. But, the good news is that you have lots of excellent views of the Acropolis from around Athens itself. If you hike up towards the towering complex, you'll find a park and open green spaces providing some of the best views. And if you don't want to pay a substantial fee to walk inside some of Greece's ruins, simply admire the view and take a photograph over the fence!

The next thing to expect is the level of graffiti you'll see covering everything from people's property and houses to the pavement. Graffiti is everywhere in Athens, which is probably a legacy of the recent economic crisis as a result of the high unemployment rate and lack of prosperity. But, don't let this deter you. Greece is a beautiful country.

Greek Food:

When you're in Greece, make sure you try some of their food in a restaurant at least once. Picture tables set out along the street against the white-washed blue and white buildings with energetic and charismatic waiters rushing around. Meat-lovers and vegetarians will find what they're looking for here. A wide variety of meat, in particular chicken, goat and sheep, and fresh seafood caught from the Aegean or the Ionian Sea gets served up on your plate.

Greece also has an abundance of fruit and vegetables that some say are among the tastiest in the world. The micro-climate and nutrient-rich soil create some of the best watermelons you could imagine. You can find fresh fruit on sale at stalls around the country.

The Historical and the Beautiful:

What can be better than spending your time exploring Greece with its 300 days of sunshine and combination of historical ruins and luxury resorts? There's something for everyone in this travel destination, and you're sure not to be disappointed with your trip to this Southern European country. Follow our tips and plan your dream trip holiday to Greece today.

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