Thanks to Europe’s High Season, It’s No Greece for Me

One thing that I’ve learned while planning my upcoming month in Europe is that Europeans take their summer travel very seriously. Practically every place I looked was either booked or crazy expensive. It’s obviously the high season, but not just because of planes full of American tourists invading the continent. Europeans flock to places warm, especially those that include stunning blue waters. And really, who can blame them?

Greek Beach Ocean

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When plotting possible places to visit, Greece was a top priority. I’ve wanted for a long time to explore Athens and then cruise from one Greek isle to another eating my weight in feta, olives, and gyros. In fact, those two items are #43 and #52 on my To-Do List. However, it wasn’t meant to be thanks to the aforementioned crowds and astronomical prices. I plan on being back in Europe in the fall, and perhaps then I’ll cross those two items off.

Kos Greece Port

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Now, there are 277 Greek Islands, so there’s no way I will be able to get them all {at least on this trip}. Santorini, Crete, and Mykonos are without a doubt the most well-known and popular Greek Islands for obvious good reasons. But, I’ve been following the trail of my friend, Liz of Young Adventuress, as she’s been Greek Island hopping this summer, and I’m convinced that those islands that aren’t quite as well known might also have much to offer.

Kos Ocean Ruins

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Apparently, one such island is Kos. Of course it’s a great place to relax in the sun {what Greek Island isn’t?}, but there’s also a happening nightlife along with a wealth of history and culture to explore. Despite being a Greek Island, Kos is located only 4km off the Aegean coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean. Hello, Istanbul and knocking #25 off my To-Do List–two birds-one stone. You can’t beat that with a stick.

I can envision it now, after leaving Turkey, I’ll visit Kos, first relaxing on Therma and Tigaki Beaches. I’ll wander the island in search of ruins of houses, mosaics, baths, and statues. And in between, I’ll eat; Mediterranean food is some of my favorite. I’ll dive into the bounty of fresh seafood, olive oil, and loukoumades. Yum! Of course, I’d also do a little souvenir shopping. Evil eyes for everyone!

Kos Fort Greece

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Alas, my Greek Island dreams will have to wait at least until September. By then the prices will have dropped, visitors will have departed, but the weather will still be warm. The beaches will be much more tranquil and the water just as turquoise. To me, that sounds like perfection.

What are you favorite Greek Islands or which ones are at the top of your list to visit?

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22 Comments
  • @mrsoaroundworld
    July 3, 2013

    I want to go Greek island hopping next year. On a yacht! How’s that for an idea? 😉

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      Ummmm…ok. You’ve twisted my arm. I’m in!

  • Anita Mac
    July 3, 2013

    I have wanted to go island hopping forever! That passion certainly got fuelled further after watching everyone in Croatia on their chartered yachts – it is certainly high on my bucket list! You are only further fanning those flames Leah!

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      Alright, let’s all pitch in and get it done. What a wonderful time we will have!

  • Amanda
    July 3, 2013

    Honestly, waiting until September is actually the smartest thing to do. Greece in the summer is not only crowded and expensive, but it’s also SO FREAKING HOT. I was in Athens last year in July, and it was beyond miserable. I’ll be going back to Greece to explore the islands this year – but in September! So perhaps this is actually a blessing in disguise!

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      You’ll have to qualify hot, Amanda. I live in Houston where it was 106 last week. 😉 But, yes, I understand what you’re saying. I look at it as a blessing. I’ll get there when it’s just the right time. I’m sure of it.

  • Lisa
    July 3, 2013

    Tomorrow morning my stepson leaves Paris for Greece while we head home. His in? A friend with a home on an island there. I wish I was going too!

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      LUCKY guy! Paris for Greece…I’d love to be him right now.

  • Becky Padmore
    July 3, 2013

    I feel your pain, we had exactly the same problem in finding accommodation in the South of France and that was before the start of the major summer holidays! We did eventually find places (after weeks of looking) but the places we did find were so overpriced.

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      Luckily the weather has been quite nice in the UK. You’ve saved some money and gotten to enjoy home as well.

  • Jackie D
    July 3, 2013

    I would love to island hop off Greece someday. I’ve also always wanted to work on a yacht off the French Riviera… maybe work on the yacht to make money, then head over to the Greek Islands for hopping and eating everything in sight?

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      Now, working on a yacht in the French Rivera sounds quite nice…almost as nice as being on a yacht and not working on the French Rivera. 😉

  • I really enjoyed Patmos in the fall! It’s peaceful and lovely. You can get to it via Turkey from Kusadasi as well.

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      Oh, thank you for those great tips, Joy. I’ll certainly make note of Patmos when the time comes.

  • Hogga
    July 4, 2013

    yes, please!

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      Indeed, Lindsay.

  • lola dimarco
    July 7, 2013

    you’ll get there one of these days. i agree with Mrs. O though…island hopping and on a yacht sounds just about perfect!!

    • Leah Walker
      July 7, 2013

      Oh, yes. Sailing on a yacht with my girlfriends through the Greek isles sounds just right.

  • Tom @ Waegook Tom
    July 20, 2013

    Ahh, the Greek islands. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only Brit who hasn’t visited. Then again, one of my friends announced in a bar that she’d caught chlamydia in Rhodes, so that particular island isn’t top of my wish list right now.

    I’d never head there in high season for the reasons you’ve outlined in this post – crazy prices, and flocks of tourists clogging everywhere up. Santorini is high on my list, though, and I’d love to explore Crete (though not Malia), and Lesbos, just for the name (tee hee hee). If I were single? Mykonos, although I’m not, so the bf probably wouldn’t be too happy if I were to head there on my own!

    • Leah Walker
      July 26, 2013

      Ok, I laughed out loud about Rhodes. Now you have me wondering if there’s rampant STDs on Rhodes? Doubtful, but funny to think about. You and me…let’s visit Greece together!

  • Maria
    December 24, 2013

    Depending on what you want to see, there are plenty of options..I would definitely agree to wait until September, otherwise you’ll get tons of people around and extraordinary prices. But there are always alternatives, the small islands that not many tourists care about but they have the blue waters, gyros and feta!Check for Milos, Amorgos and Folegandros for astonishing scenery (they were volcanic islands like Santorini) and Paros for a combination of calm beaches and nightlife. Patmos is indeed gorgeous!

    Tom, no offence, but you can get chlamydia in London as well, illnesses travel without passports. And by the way, the island of Lesvos got its name from ancient greek and initially has nothing to do with what you think, you’ll find no special lesbian communities there, but plenty of old-fashioned grumpy men 😛

    Have fun wherever you go, and try to stay away from the tourist traps, there’s so much more to see in those islands behind the tourist scene!

    A traveler who was born and raised in Greece and can’t help missing it 🙂

    • Leah Walker
      January 17, 2014

      Oh! Thanks for all these great tips. I’ll keep them in mind when finally planning my Greek adventure.

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