If it’s good enough for the Greek gods Cupid and Poseidon, it’s definitely good enough for an adventurous soul like you. Known as one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, Greece is practically a hiking, backpacking, and camping heaven. Greece has more islands than you could count, so relaxing on a beach in Mykonos or merely breathing in the fresh sea salt air on a pristine white balcony in Santorini will definitely be the highlight of your trip. It’s time to extend an olive branch, take a chance, step on the next plane, and begin your adventure in Greece.
Greece is a lovely blend of coastal beaches, inland wonders, and mountainous activities jam packed into one country. Whether you decide to adventure in Greece within the highly touristy city of Athens or take a break from the city lights and traffic by island hopping, you’ll have the chance to unleash your adventurous side through all kinds of activities in Greece.
Naturally, if the city of Athens was named after a Greek god, it has to be pretty cool, and “cool” is just an understatement. The origins of Athens date back to 3,000 B.C., making it one of the oldest cities in the world. Yet, some of the oldest ruins are still standing and open to the public. For those who want to flash thousands of years back in time, checking out the Acropolis of Athens or the Parthenon is the way to go, by helicopter of course! Get the thrill of being over a thousand feet up into the air, while getting a 360 degree panoramic view of this ancient city.
For those who aren’t as interested in ancient times and would rather take the more adventurous road, you can spend the day exploring, snorkeling, or boating in Rhode, Greece. Get lost in a sea of flying colors in the Valley of Butterflies, then show off your bravery and fence with the knights within the Medieval City. With all of its medieval history and castle-like architecture, Rhodes is an island straight out of a storybook; you don’t even have to watch a Disney movie to experience this fairytale magic!
Santorini is known as one of the best destinations for island hopping, sailing, and nom’ing on taramasalata while enjoying the vibrant sunset. Amoudi Bay is one of Santorini’s not so hidden treasures, and is perfect for those who want to enjoy a day of sailing and sunset cruising. You could also embark on an adventurous trek from Fira to Oia for the best views of the sun rising or setting. Home to many cliffs (to cliff-jump off of, of course!), black sand beaches, windmills, and blue domes, it is no wonder that many describe the island as Greece’s “postcard island.”
Adventure Travel in Greece
Since Greece is most famous for its many islands, the most popular adventure activities in Greece are water-based, such as canoeing, deep sea fishing, and kayaking. But, for those who prefer to keep their toes dry, there are also mountain and inland activities, like hiking, cooking, and horseback riding.
It does seem a little fishy to go sailing near the islands without coming home with the catch of the day. Deep-sea fishing while sailing around the Greek Isles and the red beaches of Santorini is both relaxing and exciting. There’s such an adrenaline rush to casting the fishing line and building up to the suspenseful moment of hooking a big ol’ fish! Deep-sea fishing is a way to explore the Greek islands by boat and get a glimpse of what lurks underneath.
After hooking the biggest tuna you’ve ever seen, why not bring it over to your cooking class? Taking a cooking class in Greece will not only give you experience of the making of traditional Greek dishes, but you’ll also leave with a food coma and a belly full of delicious food. A lot of Greek food involves spit-roasted and charcoal-grilled meats topped with tzatziki sauce. You’ll have the chance to experiment and smell a rainbow of spices, herbs, and flavors you may have never even knew existed.
It’s no wonder the birthplace of the Olympics was in Greece; extreme sports is a popular way for both locals and tourists to get a daily dose of thrill. And what better way to get the ultimate adrenaline rush and get the best bird’s eye view of all of Greece than to skydive? Even though this extreme sport is one of the priciest, it will deliver the experience and views of a lifetime, and you can’t put a price-tag to that! Skydiving is also a great way to conquer your fears and take a giant leap during your adventures in Greece.
Costs & Affordability
The cost of living in Greece is likely lower than where you came from, especially when you consider the current economic situation. The average meal at an inexpensive restaurant is about 10 euro and it costs about 1 to 2 Euro for a Coke or soda. Essentially, the more touristy places and islands, such as Santorini, will be overpriced, but that’s just the price you pay for the gorgeous island life.
Adventures in Greece typically last from two to eight weeks and include housing, daily meals, medical insurance, orientation, trainings, and excursions. Even though many basic necessities are included in program costs, it’s always a good idea to save extra money months before you embark on your adventure in Greece, in case you want to take an extra skydiving trip!
Accommodation & Visas
Try your hand at glamping with tents and cots on the islands, bemuse the goddess Asteria as you sleep under the thousands of glimmering bright stars, or even try slumming it in a classic hostel and meet other individuals who carry the same passion for adventure. If you’d like to save the adventure for things outside of your living arrangements so you can live more comfortably, you can look for adventures in Greece that provide other housing options, such as homestays or apartments.
A passport will be needed in order to travel to Greece, but a visa is not required if you stay in the country for less than 90 days. If you do plan on staying in Greece for longer than 90 days, refer to GoAbroad’s Embassy Directory for more information on how to receive a proper visa.
Benefits & Challenges
Even though there are many benefits of adventure travel in Greece, sometimes there may be trouble in paradise. As you may know, the economic crisis in Greece has taken a huge negative toll on its economy. Due to the economic downturn, many locals are finding it extremely hard to find a job. Additionally, many locals are getting laid-off, which has led to a larger homeless population and crime rate; desperate times call for desperate measures. Remember to always be alert and cautious while exploring the nooks and crannies of Greece.
However, despite the economic downturn, unless you are planning on living in Greece for a long time, the country is exceptional in providing the activities and adventure any traveler will be looking for. There is a strong tourism focus in the more popular areas of Greece, but there’s so much more to see! Carve your own paths by looking for more far-flung adventures in Greece’s severely under-appreciated inland.
Between trekking the Caldera Trail and rafting in Lousios River, be sure to stuff your face with gyro after gyro (but don’t forget to save room for baklava!). As one of the most influential cuisines in the world, do yourself a favor and ruin all future Greek salads by engorging on the real deal while you’re in Greece.
It is important to take advantage of your short period of time in Greece, and not focus too intently on its economy. Instead, truly embrace Greece for its mythological past and exquisite cuisines, aspects that are both unique to the Greek culture.
Hopefully it’s not going to take a Pegasus to swoop you up in the air and deliver you to Greece in order to convince you to travel to this beautiful country. Adventure travel in Greece will deliver more than just colorful pictures for your Snapchat story. In fact, the modern thrill-seeker’s effort will have a Herculean payoff in the Hellenic Republic.