Practicalities of Travelling in Greece

A blog that focuses on the day-to-day practicalities of travelling in Greece (see similar guides to France and Norway).

Once again on this trip we felt fortunate to find guidance and inspiration from motorhome blogs in planning our travels in Greece. In particular, we followed many recommendations from our friends Frenchy Le Van and The Chouters & Bijou.

Getting there:

temple_of_poseidon

When to visit: We were in Greece in April and May and found spring to be a perfect time to visit. The weather was warm enough for outdoor activities, everything we wanted to visit was open but uncrowded, we were able to wild-camp everywhere (including areas which would be far too busy in summer), and we experienced an incredible Greek Orthodox easter. We had some high temperatures from mid-May onward but found relief from the heat in high altitude areas. We could see that summer would be extremely hot and crowded and we have been told that winter can be rainy and cold. Autumn may be another good time to visit.

How to arrive: We arrived via ferry from Italy. Anek ferry line provides “Camping on Deck” on some routes to Greece but we did not experience this as we chose the Grimaldi ferry line to Igoumenitsa. Our motorhome had to be parked next to the trucks in the cargo hold (often with inches to spare) so be prepared to manoeuvre in tight spaces; the deckhands did a good job of guiding us into and out of our parking. We sat in the lounge and brought our own food rather than eating at the restaurant. It is also possible to book a cabin – we noted that you may need to leave your cabin up to 1.5 hrs before arrival in port so it wasn’t worth it on our journey. We returned from Greece via Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia which was a fantastic trip, well worth doing in its own right – see our upcoming post.

greece_map

Where to go: We visited Lefkada, Peloponnese, Athens and its surroundings, Pelion, Meteora, Vikos Gorge, and Mount Olympus. We highly recommend them all but found Peloponnese to be the easiest place for motorhome travel because of its incredible concentration of interesting sites and off-season wild camping in a small area. Our map shows our our route (click to make the map full-screen and then scroll to Greece).

Where we stayed:

We exclusively wild-camped in Greece (it seemed that this would be much more difficult in high season). Park4Night was very helpful in finding sites. When staying in busier locations, we were careful to “park” only – we did not get out levelling blocks, chairs, tables, or anything else that would be considered camping (while parking overnight is acceptable in many areas, camping may not be allowed). An ASCI card is an option for discounted campsite stays in the off-season – a physical book and card must be ordered and posted, though some sites may accept a digital copy of the card which can be obtained after purchase.

Driving:

Our motorhome is 3.2m tall so we had to watch out for balconies that stick out over the road, especially when driving through small villages.  Also be careful of the olive trees on the side of the road; there are often thick branches hidden right behind the leaves which ‘screech’ down the side of the motorhome when you move over to let another car pass.

Food:

Food: Greek food was a highlight of our trip and we ate out much more than usual – luckily prices were relatively affordable. Some of our favourites were from restaurants which allowed us to stay the night after having a meal. We also enjoyed the bakeries – savoury pastries filled with spinach or other greens or cheese made an excellent breakfast or lunch.

Groceries: We shopped at Lidl and other large supermarkets such as AB Vassilopoulos. Some of our staples were halloumi cheese, other Greek cheeses such as truffle goat cheese, hummus, beet and yogurt dip, Greek yogurt, and honey.

Water/Electricity/Dumping:

Water: Water is widely available at no cost; we found all of it to be drinkable.

dump_station

Dumping: We were told about a few options: bring an extra cassette, pay a fee to empty at campsites, ask at petrol stations if you can dump into their toilets, or dump into public toilets on toll roads (we heard mixed advice on whether toilet chemicals are OK for septic systems). We found finding dumping options somewhat more challenging than in other countries but manageable without staying on campsites (we had a single cassette but moved most days – sometimes specifically in order to find a dumping option). Grey water emptying facilities are also not common so grey water is often emptied into drains or slowly onto the ground so it dries – but be careful not to empty where any grease or soap in the grey water could damage the environment or create a hazard.

Diesel and LPG: We found them to be available as needed.

Public bathrooms: Available on toll roads. Cafes are also inexpensive and nice to visit.

General:

Laundry: We used laundromats from Park4Night – some were coin operated and others required that we dropped off our clothes – sometimes for 24 hrs. While we found enough availability of laundromats, for convenience we recommend bringing some extra clothes or quick-dry items.

Historic sites: we visited from 6pm-8pm when the sites were cooler and not as busy. In April and May, we often had them to ourselves. See our upcoming itinerary post for favourites.

Internet: Our data SIM from Tiekom worked throughout Greece. It provides 300GB per month; meaning we have to worry about running out of mobile data. This MotorhomeFun thread contains all the details as well as reviews from other motorhomers.

Educational Materials: Amelia listened to the wonderful National Geographic Kids Podcast series “Greeking Out” as well as enjoying the “Wings of Olympus” series (by the author of some of her other favourite series – Heartwood Hotel and Magical Animal Adoption Agency). She also took an Outschool class on Greek mythology, calling in from the foothills of Mount Olympus, and watched videos such as this one available from TedEd.

Our favourites in Greece: Greek Orthodox easter with new friends, running on the track at ancient Olympia, singing at Epidaurus, incredible food, beautiful scenery, great wild camping, and meeting with roadschooling, worldschooling, and other families. 

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