Backpacking Greece 101
Traveling Greece was by far one of my most memorable adventures. The weather seemed to be perfect everyday, the people were all so friendly and helpful, and the scenery - the scenery was unforgettable!
For 14 days I backpacked Greece alongside a handful of solo travelers, I had a tight budget and a long list of items to cross off of my bucket list. I visited; Athens, Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini - and each of them offered their very own special moments and memories.
How to get around
You can rent a moped for around 20-30EUR per day, split it with a friend and save a few extra bucks. Buses are the best way around for the price, shouldn't cost you more than 10-15EUR. From my dorm off the beach to one of the clubs on the other side of the island of Santorini it cost about 10EUR for myself and all three of my new travel friends each. No need to worry in Mykonos, just about everything is in walking distance, a taxi from my dorm to the airport only ran me about 10 euro and it was only that much because of the timing, and I was riding solo. While in Athens, you can take advantage of the cheap train system, only costing about 2-5EUR per trip.
To travel between Athens and the islands, I would recommend taking a ferry, the tickets may cost a little more, upwards of 40EUR each way or 10-15EUR if islands are a little closer to one another, (depending on how far you can book out), but you may be able to snag a day/week pass depending on how long you plan to be traveling. They are worth every penny, I was able to catch up on sleep and my writing. Food on-board was extremely cheap as well - all under 6 euro. Be sure to snag a window seat, the views are breathtaking.
Where to stay
Hotels in Greece can cost you a pretty penny, my personal suggestion is booking a hostel. Most hostels in Greece will cost around 10-40EUR per night depending on if you want a private room or don't mind a roommate or two. Although, if you do select a room with roommates you may be lucky enough (depending on the season of travel) to never get one. It has happened to me before. A cheaper hotel will run you no more than 45-50EUR a night while nicer accommodations can shoot upwards of a couple hundred EUR for a resort-style location.
Majority of these options will come with free wifi, breakfast included or for a very low add-on cost, linens, shuttle to and from airports, a private bathroom, a television, air conditioning and even discounts on tours and vehicle/moped/water sporting gear rentals. And the locations are closest to any tourists' points of interest; beach, clubs, restaurant near the city center.
Greece is the ideal place for good eats; fish, veggies, grilled meats, breads and even tasty alcoholic drinks. For a simple sit-down dinner, expect to pay around 20-30EUR excluding a glass of wine or a beer. Now, for my my more "high-end" travelers, a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant with either an amazing view or ideal location will usually start at 30EUR, expect to pay upwards of 50-60 for a filling meal. While having dinner in Oia at a rooftop restaurant, I paid around 60EUR for fish, veggies, rice and split a bottle of wine with friends.
The cheapest and most exciting way to eat while traveling Greece is via street vendors, it's where you'll find the best Gyros at least. Expect to pay about 3EUR for this very large Greek treat, and expect to be amazed at the taste. I lived off of these during my two weeks in Greece and it saved me a ton. This is ideal for a quick lunch while trekking in an attempt to save time and money. If you want to stop into a cafe and grab a light breakfast or lunch, you can expect to pay around 10-12EUR for some baked breakfast goods and a drink or a soup and sandwich combo for lunch. When dinning, if you ask for water expect it to be bottle and never free. Take it from me - buy a Brita filter water bottle and save 3-5EUR and just bring your own.
Where to Eat
What should i budget?
If you're staying in a hostel or budget hotel, eating from street vendors and using public transportation I would say 40-60EUR is more than enough. For those of you would enjoy sit-down dinners, drinking and prefer to rent a bike rather than take the bus, expect to budget 50-75EUR per day.
However, if you're also into the occasional water sport activity (parasailing, jet ski, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling), then i would suggest giving yourself at least 100EUR per day. Depending on the time of year (busy or off-season), pricing can double if not triple their original costs.
- Hike the Fira Trail and watch the sunset in Oia. This hike is not meant for the weak, you'll need to pack water and wear comfortable shoes, but the pictures and scenery is worth every mile. Catch a donkey ride once you reach the half way point for around 6 euro.
- Visit the Olympic Stadium in Athens, while your their you may be lucky enough to run into Athena or another Greek God. You may even get a cool picture or two.
- Enjoy a fish pedicure at one of the spa's on the streets of Athens - it's more than worth it.
- I wish: I read you can hike Mt. Olympus, it's not an easy hike but It can be the most invigorating experience you've ever had. I'll keep it on my bucket list for my next trip back to Greece.
- Go cliff jumping in the waters of Paros. No need for your floaties here, you can float just by simply relaxing.
- Party in Paradise, this party "resort-style" beach offers affordable rooms and limitless drinks. You can snag around 6 shots for around 12 euro.
- Attend a toga party in one of the several Mykonos beach clubs; a free shot at the door when you pick up your toga and a shot when you turn it in. Stay after the toga party is over for Twerk Fest - another intense party featuring some of Mykonos' best dance teams flown in from Brazil.
- Visit a black stone beach in Santorini, if you're smart - book your hostel close to the shore and check out the beauties of one of Greece's black stone beaches.