GREECE TIPS & TRICKS
OFF SEASON IS THE BEST SEASON: OK, Maybe March was a little too early. A lot of restaurants and other attractions were still closed for the season. But, to hear the locals describe it, the summer months are a zoo, especially on the islands. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably pick April or early May at the latest, and then maybe October. But if you can, I highly recommend going to Greece when the rest of humanity isn't there.
DIVE INTO THE CULTURE: Up there with Machu Picchu and Cappadocia, the Acropolis is not to be missed if you're anywhere nearby. But Athens isn't the only place to find treasures of antiquity. Find the ruins, visit the museums, gaze at the statues. It's amazing to realize what artists and philosophers and engineers were doing here some 2,500 years ago.
INDULGE IN THE CUISINE: Don't take your diet to Greece with you. Indulge. Greek food is amazing, whether you're a meat eater, a vegan, or just want a ton of baklava, there is something for everyone here. You may as well enjoy it.
HOUSE WINE IS FINE: Much like Italy, house wine at a restaurant in Greece is sometimes cheaper than soda. And while it may not win any oenological awards, it's perfectly fine to go with a meal. And it comes in handy dandy little 500 ml bottles that are perfect for solo consumption. At least for me.
RELAX, RELAX, RELAX: Perhaps my favorite thing about this particular trip was the nice, slow pace. No one rushed me out of a restaurant. I pretty much spent an entire afternoon wine tasting in Santorini (the weather outside was frightful, and don't worry, I was walking). Sometimes I just watched the world go by at a streetside cafe or from the balcony of my Air B & B in Naxos. Sure, I did some exploring, but overall, the pace of this trip was a slow one... and I liked it that way.
TIP DIRECTLY TO THE WAITSTAFF: Customary tipping in Greece is about 10-15%, but if you can, hand your tip directly to the waitstaff or just tell them to keep the change. Some restaurant owners won't give the staff their tips if it is put onto a credit card.
DO YOUR RESEARCH: There are a lot of Greek Islands, and each has it's own personality. Some are known for partying, some are laid back, some have a ton of outdoor opportunities, some are filled with ancient relics and culture. I chose Santorini because of its iconic scenery and Naxos because of its easy pace of life. You may want a completely different Greek experience, so do some research to pick out the Greek vacation that's right for you.