Please sign in to post.

10 Weeks in Greece. What to do?

Hello! I have an internship in Greece this summer for 10 weeks and need some advice on how to make the most of that time. I will be based in Athens working Monday-Friday with the weekends off. To my knowledge, I may be able to ask for some Friday's off for 3 day weekends (and maybe Monday as well for 4 days). I will be there from May 7th until July 15th.

What are some must-see places and some possible weekend itineraries? Keep in mind that I am a student so my budget isn't that extensive, but I also recognize that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity so I am willing to spend a little more if it's exceptionally special. Also, how should I pack for that time of year?

I love history and museums and sightseeing and hiking and shopping and just beautiful scenery in general. I am very open-minded and adventurous so nothing is off the tables.

Also, how does transportation work in that area? Is there a train around the mainland and are there ferries to get to the islands? Are there any special package deals?

Thanks so much!

Posted by
2794 posts

There are a few islands near Athens that you can reach quickly and the ferries to them are frequent. Check out Aegina, Spetses and Hydra. You can take a bus or train from Athens to see some of the famous sites around the mailand such as Meteora, Delphi or the capital of Greece in the 1800's, Nafplio. The Blue Star Ferry company offers very cheap super economy tickets that you can only buy on the spot at the ferry port (Piraeus) the day of departure, so when you have one of those 3- or 4-day weekends you could theoretically go to an island further out from Athens. Many of the islands have airports so you can check the Aegean and Sky Express websites to see if there are any fares that would work for you. Greece is wonderful. I sincerely hope you get the chance to really experience all of what it has to offer.

Posted by
16762 posts

Although Greece has some trains, the rail network is fairly limited. You will probably find yourself using a lot of buses. There are ferries to the islands, and sometimes also flights. Be careful about island forays, because ferries and flights can both be canceled from time to time, and I'm sure you wouldn't want to fail to get back to your internship on time.

The Rome2Rio website may help you figure out how to reach places of interest. Do not trust its fares or its travel times. Instead, keep drilling down until you find the name of the appropriate bus company (often there's a link), and check the schedule on its website. I always attempt to verify bus schedules in person at the bus station if I can. I realize that may not be practical for you, depending on where you are living and working. At least check the return schedule before getting on an outbound bus. You'll need to be aware of all local holidays as well as the school schedule. It's common in some countries (I don't know about Greece) for bus schedules to be different during school periods and non-school periods.

Pick up at least one comprehensive guide book to Greece. You want something that covers the mainland and the Peloponnese well.

I haven't been to Greece in ages, but I thought the Pelion Peninsula was scenic (green, and probably cooler than other parts of the country), and Ioannina has a Turkish vibe; the latter might be too far from Athens for a weekend trip, however. I also liked the old Byzantine site at Mystras, near Sparta; again, distance may be an issue. (Sparta itself is modern.)

Posted by
2416 posts

BEFORE YOU GO :

• GUIDEBOOK - get a separate one on Greece, don't count on a Europe one. I suggest ROUGH GUIDE to GREECE -- is detailed and also candid - giving drawbacks as well as pitfalls, good MAPS and backgrounds on famous sites, Greek history, culture, etc etc. Other popular guides are big on color photography and flowery language but very shallow on background (a scandal revealed one famous company gets guides written in NY; no one even goes to the country!). No need to get most recent edition; you can get a 2014-15 edition used on Amazon for $7-8. One BIG advantage -- U can (carefully) Pull sections out from backing & use Duct tape to make a "spine" for each -- voila! a pocket guide-ette. That way u can take just sections u will likely use -- Athens, Peloponnese, Cycladic Islands, Saronic Islands, Crete, & sections on history, language, food etc.

• BUS TRANSPORT - Almost no trains in Greece except a line to Thessaloniki on Eastern side of Mainland. Most transport is by Excellent intercity (KTEL) Bus Networks. These 2 links give the standard timetables & costs AND trip durations for Peloponnese & Attiki / and Delphi & Eastern Mainland: they aren't the official ones, but are easier to read than official & have the same info: http://www.athensguide.com/practicalinfo/busschedulesA.htm http://www.athensguide.com/practicalinfo/busschedulesB.htm

• FERRIES - This website -- https://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp -- is the most reliable extensive ferry info site. Spend time with it -- it's wonderful. Not only does it give departure/arrival times, but often gives a photo of the vessel, and a little "action map" that shows the route with a moving red line. TIP: By putting in your chosen month (5 = May) and selecting "any" for the date, you can then see ALL available ferry sailings for every day in May. Cool huh. Learn to use this. As for prices you can look them up but it's just as easy to stop in at any ticket agency and inquire about prices. In making choices, the difference is, "cf" (conventional ferry) is the largest (1,000-1800 passengers less fast, and lowest price ticket. "cc" is car-carrying Catamaran - a large-ish vessel (500+ psgr), faster, costs almost 2x as much. "cn" is passenger-only catamaran, 250-400 passengers, smaller, in rough weather can be bouncy. Hydrofoils are only used for islands close to Piraeus/Athens port.

In general, do not try to get by on prep by just what you can get on your phone ... there are too many websites that are just straight promo, not realistic facts u can use.... or just by going on travel forums and asking for "must-see" places; you may get good advice from people who go to greece every year, or live there ..... or you may get uninformed opinion from people who took a 5-day cruise once. You are a student, a lucky one, who has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, take it seriously and do some research... it will pay off in wonderful experiences, AND avoidance of costly time-wasting pitfalls.

Posted by
679 posts

I love your title...10 Weeks in Greece. What to do? I have one suggestion ENJOY! I am very jealous. LOL