Solo Travel in Greece

Types of Girl about the Globes – Sailing GatG, History GatG, Beach GatG, Party GatG

Greece is generally very safe for solo female travellers as locals are friendly and helpful. Men can be more forward than in other Western countries but if you politely indicate your lack of interest, they will apologise and leave you alone.

When you solo travel to Greece, especially Athens, be careful at night and keep a close eye on your belongings, just as you would in any other large city. Although the neighbourhoods of Monastiraki, Omonia, Psyrri, and Mextaxourghio boast some of the city’s most colourful and alternative nightlife, don’t venture out late at night on your own, especially in poorly lit areas. The boundary between “safe” neighbourhoods and “unsafe” neighbourhoods can be difficult for non-locals to distinguish.

Whether you like to party, sail, relax on a beach or discover more about the classical civilisation of the Greeks, this country has something for any kind of solo. We've given it 4 out of 5 stars for safety, ease of travelling around and meeting others.

Below is our guide to how to travel solo in Greece as well as lots of practical information such as where to stay, which tour company to use and how to get around. Find out how to get from the airports and what to do in each place. All companies included have been recommended by solo female travellers and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.

Contents

Solo travel in Greece

Athens and Pireaus at sunset (photo @ Kristin Wieben)

Places To See in Greece

Ancient temples, breathtaking islands, and a vibrant contemporary culture make Greece a must-visit stop on any itinerary. The country offers something for everyone – history buffs, beach bums, foodies, nightlife aficionados, and nature enthusiasts will all leave satisfied.

Athens

Most trips to Greece begin in Athens, one of the most popular cities to visit in Greece. The city is steeped in history, has numerous colourful neighbourhoods, and is the ideal base from which to explore the rest of the country. You’ll definitely want to visit the Acropolis, home to the world-famous Parthenon.

Your ticket to the Acropolis allows you free access to the nearby Ancient Agora (or marketplace), which was the focal point of civic life in ancient Athens. Today, the agora is a lovely and shady oasis in the middle of the city’s chaos and great place to curl up with a book on a hot afternoon. The agora’s museum, inside the restored Stoa of Attalos, provides a fascinating glimpse into everyday life in ancient Athens.

Wandering the neighbourhoods of the city centre in Athens could amuse you for days, and the (air-conditioned) National Archeological Museum is especially good on hot afternoons. Athens also has fantastic nightlife, but a grab a buddy from your hotel or hostel before venturing out alone into the wee hours of the night. During the summer months make the most of the open-air cinemas (the films are in English), and the beach bars and clubs along Posidonos Street.

Solo travel in Greece

Athens Lycabetus Hill from the Acropolis (photo @ Kristin Wieben)

Day Trips From Athens

From Athens you can take a day trip to visit the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio. The temple itself is even more beautiful than the Parthenon, and its dramatic setting on a cliff overlooking the sea is breathtaking with a clean, inviting, and uncrowded beach literally right next door.

Delphi, the reputed home of the famous ancient oracle, is another excellent day trip from Athens. About 2.5 hours away from the city, Delphi is in the mountains, and its ancient ruins and gorgeous natural setting provide a perfect escape from the city’s summer heat. Numerous tours head to Delphi daily, as does the country’s national bus company, KTEL.

If you’re driving, it’s worthwhile to spend an extra hour or so on the road to visit the hot springs at Thermopylae. Thermopylae was, of course, the sight of the famous ancient battle where the 300 Spartan soldiers made their heroic stand against the invading Persians. Nothing remains today to indicate that the battle ever took place but the hot springs are fantastic for sore muscles and their location is striking.

Solo travel in Greece

Rhodes

Athens is also a great base for getting your feet wet in terms of island explorations. The islands of Aegina and Hydra can both be visited in a day from Athens. Aegina, famous for its pistachios, is relatively flat, and renting a bicycle once you arrive on the island is the best way to get around. Hydra attracts a more upscale crowd. Its picturesque port town offers great shopping and eating, and its hilly interior provides many options for hikers and explorers.

After you’ve thoroughly explored Athens and its surroundings, your next choice is whether you want to venture deeper into the mainland or head straight to the islands. If you choose to stay on the mainland, the Peloponnese is relatively close to Athens and will provide you with a good idea of daily life in Greece today.

The city of Nafplio is a breezy seaside resort not far from Athens with easy access for exploring the ancient ruins at Mycenae. If you’re lucky enough to be in Nafplio during the annual summer Epidaurus Festival, you can experience live theatre, music, and dance in the authentic and well-preserved ancient theatre at nearby Epidaurus.

Solo travel in Greece

Hiking in Hydra (photo @ Kristin Wieben)

Other highlights of the Peloponnese include Monemvasia – a city in such a stunning and unlikely location that you won’t believe it really exists. Monemvasia is a well-preserved medieval fortress climbing a 100-meter cliff on a tiny island just off the mainland. Today it is filled with tiny guesthouses, restaurants, and art boutiques.

Ancient Olympia, in the western Peloponnese, will give you the opportunity to pay homage to today’s Olympic Games. The ancient city is about 2 hours from Pilos, a laidback area packed with turquoise beaches, cool forests, and abundant hiking opportunities.

Solo travel in Greece

Lindos in Rhodes

Greek Islands

If you’d rather head straight to the islands, you have literally hundreds of options. As in the Caribbean, the Greek islands are grouped together. The most popular islands of Zakynthos, Corfu and Kefalonia are in the west. To the east are Rhodes and Kos which make up some of the Dodecanese islands. Santorini and Mykonos are located in the central Aegean.

One of the most popular Greek islands to visit is Santorini, with its villages perched atop sheer walls dropping down into the sea (the result of a massive volcanic eruption). Santorini is romantic with some of the most beautiful sunsets but it can get crowded, especially in Fira with its maze of steps. Kamari is gorgeous and is a good place to meet others to experience the Greek nightlife (expect some traditional Greek dancing and plate smashing). For the adventurous GatG rent an ATV to drive around the island.

Mykonos is a popular party island, but it can often be overrun with groups of vacationing lads. If you're a party GatG and love massive dance clubs with world-renowned DJS, spend a few hedonistic nights here.

If you want to mix your lazy beach days with more active pursuits, try these adventurous places to visit in Greece: the Dodecanese: Kalymnos – famous worldwide for its rock climbing, Kos – a wind and kite-surfing paradise, or Nisyros – which offers hikes into an otherworldly volcanic crater. If you’re new to these sports or simply lacking equipment, tour operators on all of these islands can outfit you in style.

Solo travel in Greece

Crete, Hania's scenic harbour

Island hopping in Greece can take time so if you have time for only one island, visit Crete – Greece’s largest island which offers something for every girl. The Venetian city of Hania is arguably the country’s prettiest and has superb shopping and restaurants, while the ancient palace at Knossos will please those with an interest in history.

The island’s prettiest beaches are on its southern coast and include spectacular Elafonisi, accessible only by ferry or foot.

The island’s mountainous interior provides plenty of world-class hiking opportunities including Samaria Gorge, Europe’s longest (and most beautiful!) gorge. Buses leave from Hania beginning early in the morning for the top of the gorge.

The hike is entirely downhill (which you’ll appreciate on a hot summer day) and ends 16 kilometers later in the isolated beach town of Agia Roumeli where afternoon ferries pick up tired hikers and return them to their hotels and hostels.

Greece is a perfect summer destination and with your money going even further here, it's a good time to visit and put some money back into their economy.

solo travel in Greece

Accommodation in Greece

There is a wide variety of accommodation in Greece to choose from whether you prefer a stunning Greek villa, apartment or hotel room. Stay in your own villa in Crete, or a room with a view of the Acropolis in Athens. 

There are hostels on the mainland and various islands and you can even pitch a tent at one of the campsites if you prefer to stay in nature. Plus there’s Airbnb which connects you to unique travel experiences and isn’t just limited to staying in a local’s spare room. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link

If you want to treat yourself, Oliver’s Travels offers a taste of luxury whether you picture yourself in an oasis-style mansion or sunning yourself on the terrace of your own self-catering villa.

Homestay is an alternative to Airbnb. They connect you to hosts in over 160 countries and give a real homestay experience instead of just handing over keys. They offer a mix of stays such as a modern apartment in Athens or a beach house in Gournes. You can video call your host family before you go to find the perfect host. Check homestays and prices here 

Hotel Fresh, Greece

Athens – Hotel Fresh

If you are spending some time in Athens, this 4 star hotel has a sauna and hamman and rooftop views of the Parthenon and city. Plus you can even pick a room with your own zen garden! It is close to the Acropolis and Syntagma Square so it's in a perfect location, and you get a buffet breakfast included. Prices from £63 per night for a single room.

Aeolos Resort, Corfu

Corfu – Aeolos Beach Resort

Beach, massages, aerobics and volleyball – which solo lady wouldn’t love this stunning place. Plus it's just a stone throw away from the beach. There's even an amphitheatre here where they show daily entertainment. It's a great place to meet others and you can book excursions here too. Prices from £56 per night for a bungalow with a sea view. 

Adamakis Hotel, Greece

Crete – Adamakis Hotel

This family-run hotel is in the heart of Hersonissos and close to the beach. Popular with solo travellers, the family will make you feel right at home. Each room has a balcony with garden or mountain views as well as mosquito nets. Breakfast is extra but it is a fabulous buffet to start you off for the day. There’s a supermarket nearby and clubs if the quiet gets too much. Rooms are double or twins and come with a private bathroom. Prices from £12 per night for a double or twin room.

My Cocoon, Greece

Mykonos – MyCocoon Hostel

My Cocoon Hostel is a futuristic, funky hostel located near to the bus terminal and port. It’s a great location near to a mini-market, bars and restaurants. Little Venice and the Windmills are less than 15 minutes walk away. The staff are friendly and the hostel is kept really clean. There’s a swimming pool and bar which are perfect for those ‘don’t want to leave the hostel days.’

The beds are in an unusual white pod shape so don't expect too much floor space. but some of the rooms do have a terrace or a balcony. Beds are dormitory-style. Prices from £25 per night for a single bed in a dormitory room.

Stathis, Greece

Rhodes – Stathis

Stithies is a family-run hotel in Rhodes Old Town. It is centrally located so you can easily see the Clock Tower, and Collachium within a few minutes walk. It’s also close to the most popular landmarks such as the Acropolis of Rhodes, and the Temple of Apollon. Plus there are restaurants and shops nearby. The family are on hand to help with anything and provide some travel tips for the area.

It is really good value for money and ideal for a quiet night’s sleep. There is a cute courtyard and garden but you do need to eat out though as it’s not possible to cook in the kitchen. Choose from a single room or budget room both a shared bathroom. There is also the option of a room with a private bathroom. Prices from £13 per night for a single room with shared bathroom.

Dream Island Hotel, Greece

Santorini – Dream Island Hotel

There’s a reason that this place is called Dream Island. In the heart of Fira this Cycladic-style hotel has amazing views of the sea. There is a bar to mingle with others or a satellite tv in your room to just relax in the evenings. They can organise your airport transfers too. Prices from £73 per night for a single room with a patio. 

solo travel in Greece

Tours in Greece

Tour Companies

G Adventures

Solo travel in Greece is relatively easy but if you feel more comfortable in a group for either part of your trip or the whole duration, G Adventures is a responsible tour company which mainly caters towards budget travellers. Most tours have an average of 10 people and there is no upper age limit. Once you book your trip you pay extra for any excursions you want to do when you’re there.

Adventures range from sailing around the Greek islands for 8 days or experiencing the best of the mainland and the islands on a 2 week Greek holiday. I have personally used G Adventures and recommend them as a solo female friendly company. 

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is similar to G Adventures with an average of 12 people on each tour. Over 50% of people who book their trips are solo travellers. They tend to use hotels instead of hostels and have a more comfortable style of accommodation hence the trips can appear a bit more costly than G Adventures. Their tours range from 8 days Athens to Santorini, to 22 days including Croatia in their itinerary.

With both tour companies you share a room with someone of the same gender or you can pay extra for your own room.

Cretan Adventures – Offers adventure activity holidays such as hiking, trekking and caving in Crete, Santorini, and other beautiful areas of Greece.

Day Tours

Athens Free Walking Tour – The guides are so knowledgable and friendly and answer any questions that you have about the city. Tours run every day and you tip what you feel the tour is worth at the end. 

Viator – If you prefer day tours, Viator has a plethora to choose from. As a TripAdvisor company each tour is handpicked and pre-vetted to make such you get the best experience. From sailing around Santorini to tasting wine at vineyards you'll find something for any kind of solo.

solo travel in Greece

How To Travel Around Greece

Bus – For traveling around the mainland, the country’s bus system, KTEL, is your best bet. KTEL is reliable, comfortable, safe, and goes almost everywhere in Greece, meaning that you can travel from the bigger cities to islands which are close to the mainland. Be careful, however – Athens has two long-distance bus stations, so be sure to confirm which station your bus leaves from before setting off.

Taxis/Train – Taxis are difficult and unpredictable to use so ask your accommodation to order one for you or download an app instead. The country’s train system is poorly out-of-date and does not serve many locations.

Car – Renting a car is also easy, but Greeks drive on the wild side, so watch out! If you do decide to drive, the road infrastructure is good but you do have to pay tolls on the new motorways so it can be expensive. To hire a car we recommend pre-booking car hire with Avis so you can collect your car when you arrive at the airport. 

Ferry – With Greece having so many islands, the best way to get between them is via ferry.  The islands are all so close to each other, a ferry ride or jet makes seeing multiple islands super do-able. There are local boats and ferries that can take you island hopping at a reasonable fee. There are connections from Athens with slow boats taking up to 8 hours to sail to Santorini. So opt for a fast ferry if you are short on time. Ferries leave from Athen’s port at Pireaus, as well as from Rafina.

If island-hopping is your plan, be sure to check in advance that ferry routes travel between all of your intended destinations. Traveling between two smaller islands may involve an intermediary stop on a bigger island with a larger port. If you travel outside the summer months ferries may not run as frequently due to poor weather conditions.

Check Rome2Rio for how to get to and from each destination. 

Greece Itinerary

A week is the absolute minimum you’ll need for a visit to Greece. This will give you a couple of days to sightsee in Athens and the surrounding areas, and a week to explore the rest of the mainland and/or islands. To really experience all that the country has to offer, you’ll want to set aside three weeks to thoroughly explore the country and islands. There are so many different multi-destinations that you can do. Here are our recommendations for a Greece Itinerary:

One week itinerary

Athens – 7 nights. See the Acropolis and the flea market neighbourhood of Monastiraki. Spend time in Plaka, one of the city’s historical neighbourhoods which feels like a small village.Take day trips to either Aegina, Poros or Delphi. Hire a car and visit Meteora, a magical rock formation in central Greece.

Ten day itinerary

Athens 2 nights, Santorini 4 nights, Mykonos 4 nights.

Athens 2 nights, (ferry) Naxos or Paros 4 nights (stay in Naousa to go kayaking or horse riding), Crete 4 nights (hike Samaria Gorge).

Two week itinerary

Athens – 2 nights, Rhodes – 4 nights, Corfu – 4 nights, Crete – 4 nights.

Athens – 2 nights. Fly to the islands – Santorini – 3 nights. Hike from Fira to Oia (or the other way). Take the ferry between the Cyclades to Mykonos – 3 nights. Visit Delos an uninhabited islands with ruins. Ferry to Naxos / Paros / Milos / or Sifnos (known for its stunning white monastery and traditional pottery tradition. – 3 nights in two places.

Three week itinerary

Athens 4 nights, Naxos 4 nights, Mykonos 4 nights, Santorini 4 nights, Crete 5 nights.

Best Time To Go To Greece

Winter in the country can be cold and rainy so travel to Greece between June to September for the best weather. July and August are the hottest months and also the busiest so you may want to avoid mid-July to the end of August when it is peak season. Santorini can be visited as early as April and up to November, as the weather stays warm until then.

The chart below shows the average maximum day temperatures for Athens (from January to December). Find out the weather for other areas including the islands here.

weather in Greece - solo travel in Greece

Travel insurance for Greece

Travel Insurance For Greece

Greece is a great country to visit but it is always recommended to take out travel insurance before you go, especially if you are planning to hike or travel by ferry.

I recommend True Traveller for UK and European residents, and World Nomads for U.S. and worldwide citizens. Both companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road, and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional baggage cover.

From the Airport

Greece Airports

Greece has so many airports making it easy to fly to most of the islands. The two main airports on the mainland are Athens and Thessaloniki. Popular islands such as Santorini, Rhodes, Zakinthos, Kos, Corfu are all serviced by airports as well as many of the others.

Athens Airport – The easiest way to reach Athens from Athens International Airport is via the city’s excellent metro system. Tickets cost approximately £8 and take 45 minutes, departing every hour. Taxis cost up to £45 for the 30 minute journey.

Express buses also travel between the airport and various points in the city. They leave every 20 minutes and are less expensive than a metro ticket from the airport costing approx £4 but expect a longer travel time especially during rush hour (at least 1 hour 10 minutes). Check OASA for the bus and metro timetables. 

Thessaloniki Airport – From Thessaloniki Airport you can take the shuttle which departs every 30 minutes and takes 27 minutes into the city. Check shuttle times here. Taxis cost approximately £29 and take only 17 minutes. You can also travel from Macedonia airport to Thessaloniki overland.

With too many airports to list, check Rome2Rio if you are flying into one of the island airports to find out how to travel to the airport and back.

starFeel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport when you pre-book a transfer with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.

Travelling Onwards

 Travelling onwards (check for visas before you travel)

Greece to Albania – You can either catch a ferry from Corfu to Saranda in Albania for £23 or there is a bus that will take you from Athens for £35 for the 9 hour journey.

Greece to Macedonia – A twice daily bus service will take you into Skopje from Thessaloniki and takes 3.5 hours. There is a possibility of a train service from Thessaloniki to Belgrade in Serbia which stops off in Skopje, Macedonia.

Greece to Bulgaria – From Thessaloniki you can reach Sofia by train in 6 hours. There is also a daily bus service between the two which takes 5 hours.

Greece to Turkey – Ferries operate from Rhodes to Marmaris, Chios to Cesme, Samos to Kusadasi and Kos to Bodrum. Crazy Holidays Bus runs a daily service between Thessaloniki and Istanbul.

Greece to Italy – There are daily ferries between Greece and Italy from Corfu and Patras into Trieste, Ancona, Bari and Venice (you may be able to take your car too).

* Ferries also operate from Rhodes and Piraeus to Cyprus, Egypt and Israel. You can also travel to Georgia and Serbia by bus.

Where can I go from here?

planelistTurkey – 1.5 hours

planelistItaly – 2 hours

planelistEgypt – 2 hours

FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions About Greece

  • Can I drink the water? Tap water is okay in Athens. Bottled water for elsewhere.
  • Is tipping expected? A small tip at restaurants is generally expected. Simply round up your bill or leave an extra euro or two if you’ve had a more expensive meal. Taxi drivers do not expect tips.
  • Fixed price or barter? In most cases prices are fixed and bartering would be considered rude. During the off-season or in out-of-the way places you can occasionally barter with hotel or guesthouse owners over the price of a room.
  • Any ATMs? Greece has plenty of ATMS which is quite useful as many businesses – even in Athens, do not accept credit or debit cards.
  • Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side.
  • Good for vegetarians? Greece is a mecca for both vegetarians and vegans. During the Lenten period preceding Easter, most Greeks become temporary vegetarians. This means that the country’s culinary tradition boasts a wealth of traditional veggie options. And don’t forget that almost everything in Greece is cooked with olive oil rather than with butter which makes things easier for vegans as well.
  • Any seven wonders of the world? The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Peloponnesus. The Colossus of Rhodes.

Map of Greece

Plan a Trip To Greece

If you are ready to plan a trip to Greece here are some useful links to help you plan your trip including airlines which fly there, vaccinations and social impact projects in the country. 

Budget – £45 a day

Like most other European capitals, Athens can be quite expensive. Islands popular with tourists such as Santorini and Mykonos are quite pricey as well. However, anywhere off the beaten tourist path you can expect prices to be reasonable and well below the European average with the financial crisis resulting in a countrywide reduction in prices.

Facts

Capital – Athens

Population – 10/8 million

Language Spoken – Greek and English

Local Currency – Euro

Do I Need a Visa?

Vaccinations Required

Useful Info

Airlines to Greece

Best Time to Go – May and June.

Which Plug Do I Need?

UNESCO Sites in Greece

Events & Festivals in Greece

Local Cost Guide

Local Customs & Etiquette

Sacred Places

post itDid you know? Greece is famous for its olives and its olive oil. Olive trees can live to be literally thousands of years old, and scientists claim that a few of the country’s olive trees likely date back to the time of the ancient Greeks. 

 

Useful Greek Phrases

Issues in the Country

Whilst Greece is generally safe and welcoming for tourists, the country recently experienced an economic crisis that shook things up a bit. The country needs tourists now more than ever, and prices are the lowest that they have been in years. While tales of weeklong strikes stranding travellers on islands are a thing of the past, check the current situation before leaving home.

eco

Stay Eco

Milia Mountain Retreat in Crete

Pine Tree Studios in Karpathos

Volunteering

Hellenic Wildlife Hospital in Aegina

Support refugees in Greece and volunteer within refugee camps or outside of the camps in a variety of roles. From short term to long term. Choose to sort through donations in a warehouse in Ioannina, carry out food and clothing distributions, or help provide  hygiene, shelter and medical support. Refugee camps needing help are in Thessaloniki, Samos and Lesvos.

Use your green fingered skills on an organic farm in Greece and help farmers with their harvesting. Immerse yourself in the local culture whilst staying with a local family and learning about sustainable living and biological farming. Browse the opportunities and contact one of the hosts.

Social Impact Programs

Save the sea turtles of Greece by touring a rehabilitation centre of sick and injured turtles in Glyfada. Revenue from the tour is invested in the care, rehabilitation and food for the injured turtles. 

Take a walking tour with a difference. Urban Athens Collective is a non-profit organisation that provides walking tours in Athens to help visitors understand homelessness. Your tour revenue helps to provide meals for the homeless. 

Explore Athens on an Athens Food Walk whilst helping to fight food waste in the city. Boroume is a Greek non-profit which combats food waste and bridges the gap between those who have too much food and those who need it.

Cultural Experiences

Dora Stratou Dance Theatre

Mind Body & Soul

hotelicon

Practice Yoga in Athens

Spa Treatments in Athens 

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5 thoughts on “Solo Travel in Greece

  1. Στελλα Μεταξα-αρμοδωρου

    Check out also Possidi in Halkidiki. It is a 1 hour drive from Thessaloniki city with amazing beaches and value for money accommodation and local tavernas. Thessaloniki is 1 hour drive from Bulgaria and F.Y.R.O.Macedonia. If you want to avoid the car, just take a low cost airline like ryanair, wizz or easyjet to Thessaloniki and get in the public bus (ktel) to Halkidiki Possidi directly.

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Best Solo Destinations for 2017 - Girl about the Globe

  3. Jenn

    Hi! Your blog is lovely and very helpful,good job! Just wanted to mention that Uber is no longer available in Greece for anyone that might be interested and probably will never be again due to a law that favors taxi drivers. Also if you ever visit Greece, have a tour in the beautiful Peloponnese instead of the dreamy islands. It’s totally worth it!

    Reply

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