Drinking ouzo, smashing plates, swimming in a warm sea at midnight, eating a late supper on a vine-drenched terrace, relaxing under olive trees, visiting the Minoan palaces or the ruins of the Acropolis, or even visiting the gods on Mount Olympus are all possible ways to spend your time in Greece.

Arguably the birthplace of the civilised world, Greek history spans four millennia. Greece gave the world literature, drama and philosophy, not to mention the Olympic Games. As well as the Ancient Greeks, the country contains the history of many other great powers, including the Romans, Arabs and the Byzantine Empire.

But the country is not just a museum of great civilisations. Travellers book flights to mainland Greece to visit some often overlooked wonders of spectacular natural beauty alongside historical sites. Lakes, mountains and volcanoes can all be explored.

More than 100 of the famed Greek islands are inhabited and hopping from one to another is the perfect beach holiday. Partying, quiet contemplation and everything in between is catered for somewhere on one of the islands. Most Greece flights arrive via Athens, but many of the islands have their own airports and plenty of ferries operate between them. 

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Greece climate

Greece’s Mediterranean climate allows for long, warm summers with 11 hours of sunshine per day. The hottest days are made more bearable by seasonal winds called meltemi. Winters are mild in the low areas, but the mountains are cooler and snowy. Athens averages a temperature of 10 degrees in January and February.

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When to fly to Greece

Peak Season:

Mid-June to the end of August is high season for most of Greece, when the temperatures are hottest. Easter time to mid-June is also very popular as the weather is still very warm, though not unbearably hot. You may be able to pick up some cheaper deals at this time of year though. Late August to mid-October is Greece's shoulder season. The temperatures are still high (substantially higher than the UK and Ireland) and most resorts and attractions still open, but prices are much lower than early or high summer so cheap flights and accommodation are easier to find.

Off Season:

October to April is off season. Though you will find the cheapest deals at this time, much of the tourist parts of Greece close down around this time. Unless you're in Athens you may find that there is little to do and hardly any hotels or restaurants that are open.

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Getting around Greece

Trains run on the mainland only and have daily services to most destinations but the routes are limited. They are run by Hellenic Railways Organisation.

Buses are the best method of public transport – even the smallest towns are connected to the bus network. KTEL is the intercity coach service.

Cars and scooters are readily available for hire.

Greece has an excellent network of connection by sea travel with ferries, hydrofoils and passenger boats. All of the islands and mainland are all well-connected and it is very easy to get a boat.

Flights are easy to catch between islands or from Athens to the islands. Olympic Airlines and Aegean Airlines both have domestic Greek flights.

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Greece insider information

  • Mainland Greece is often overlooked, apart from Athens and Mount Olympus. One place worth discovering is the Peloponissos, which has a spectacular landscape of mountains, caves, volcanoes, the sea as well as beaches. The Diros Caves, five miles south of Aeropolis, are part of an underground river. Five thousand metres has been exposed and you can take a boat trip among the huge stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Smoggy Athens is home to some of Greece’s most historic sites: the Acropolis, the theatre of Dionysus, the Roman Forum, the Temple of Zeus. But while you’re there, don’t forget to see some of living Athens. The 2004 Olympics gave the city a much-needed facelift, making the capital much more appealing to tourists. Visit the ancient neighbourhoods, especially Plaka, the oldest section of the city. A particularly lively time to visit is during Apokries, or carnival, in the run up to Lent.
  • Crete is the largest and most popular of the Greek islands, with two international airports and a huge variety of tourist destinations. But though the northeast coast is getting overdeveloped, head inland and you’ll still find towns and villages largely undisturbed by tourists. It’s the perfect island if you want to combine lazing on a beach with exploration of historical sites – Crete was the home of King Minos who ruled the Ancient Greek world.
  • Zante or Zakynthos, on the Ionian islands, is another popular holiday destination. The beautiful and verdant island is nothing short of idyllic – except if you’re stuck with hordes of tourists. To enjoy it on your own, stay clear of Laganas, the biggest resort on the island, and try to visit any popular attractions – such as the Blue Caves or Shipwreck Beach – in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday rush.
  • Trivago is a useful website for information about accommodation in Greece. The site contains user reviews and recommendations on a range of hotels across the country, including those in Athens, Crete and Zakynthos.

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Greece airports

Athens(ATH) (Elfetherios Veniselos) is located 23 miles northeast of the city.

Thessaloniki (SKG) (Macedonia) is ten miles from the city.

Corfu (CFU) (Kerkira) is two miles) from the city.

Rhodes (RHO) (Paradisi) is ten miles from the city.

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Visitors need valid passports to enter the country, but no visas are required. You’re recommended to have proof of a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one.

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Entry requirements

UK visitors need valid passports to enter the country, but no visas are required. You’re recommended to have proof of a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one.

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Oonagh Shiel
Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!
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    Top flight deals

    Cheap flights to Greece

    London (LGW) to Thessaloniki, Greece (SKG)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Zakynthos, Greece (ZTH)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (STN) to Zakynthos, Greece (ZTH)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LTN) to Kefalonia, Greece (EFL)
    from£87RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Kefalonia, Greece (EFL)
    from£97RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Thessaloniki, Greece (SKG)
    from£101RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Mykonos, Greece (JMK)
    from£139RTwith Thomson
    London (LTN) to Zakynthos, Greece (ZTH)
    from£139RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Kos, Greece (KGS)
    from£158RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Mykonos, Greece (JMK)
    from£159RTwith Thomson

    Approx flight times

    Luton to Eleftherios Venizelos:
    3 hr 45 mins
    Heathrow to Eleftherios Venizelos:
    3 hr 36 mins
    Gatwick to Eleftherios Venizelos:
    3 hr 39 mins
    Stansted to Eleftherios Venizelos:
    3 hr 49 mins
    Gatwick to Ioannis Kapodistrias:
    3 hr 15 mins
    Gatwick to Heraklion:
    4 hr 0 mins
    Gatwick to Kefalonia:
    3 hr 40 mins

    In-flight reading

    The Greek Myths

    Robert Graves The stories behind the Greek gods and the legends that surround them.

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin

    Louis de Bernieres The hugely popular bestseller of a love affair on the Greek island of Cephalonia.

    It's all Greek to Me!

    John Mole A humorous account of living in a Hellenic village.

    The Magus

    John Fowles Bored with his life in Britain, Nicholas Urfe takes a teaching post on the small Greek island of Phraxos, only to find himself embroiled in mystery...

    The Classics

    Take your pick - Homer, Plato, Sophocles, Socrates, Aristotle. Be it drama, philosophy or epic odes, the Ancient Greeks did it first.

    Travel Tips

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    Before you fly
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    Before you go
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