Yes, direct flights to Greece from UK are fairly frequently operated. The most preferred flight route for direct flights is from Heathrow and Gatwick Airport to Athens (ATH) or Heraklion (HER).
There are fifteen international airports in Greece. Of these fifteen airports, the busiest are as follows:
Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” (ATH), as the name suggests serves the city of Athens. The city of Athens is just 30 kilometres away from the airport. The airport has handled 21.7 million passengers in 2017 and has two 3.8 kilometre runways capable of entertaining heavy traffic. Last year 1.2 million British passengers landed at the airport.
Heraklion International Airport (HER) is the primary international airport that serves the island of Crete. British airlines top the list of 'routes per week' to the island at about 40 every week, especially in the summers. The airport has two decent runways and has served 7.5 million passengers last year.
Thessaloniki Airport "Makedonia" (SKG) is the international airport at Thessaloniki. The airport is only 13 kilometres away from the famous white tower of the city. The airport has two crossed runways both of them 2.4 kilometres long. The beachside airport has served 6.4 million passengers last year.
Rhodes International Airport, "Diagoras" (RHO) is the international airport that serves the city of Rhodes, as the name suggests. The airport has one 3.3 kilometres long runway and has served 5.3 million passengers in 2017.
The best time to book flights for Greece is in mid-January after the holidays and in late October after the summer has left Greece. Tickets become prohibitively expensive in June and July, so it’s best to book tickets in these months. If it is necessary to leave for Greece outside these 'goldilocks months' then contact a really good agency (us) to get you the best ticket prices, and be sure to give us a three-month head start.
A British Citizen with a valid passport does not need a visa to enter Greece. Greece is part of the European Union and is a signatory of the Schengen Agreement and allows free travel to all European citizens under the treaty.
The best time to visit Greece is obviously in the summer. However, in the summer, Greece becomes too crowded for a nice vacation. So we recommend that you visit the country from April to June or September to October, avoiding the overbooked July and August.
In these two time periods, Greece is blossoming in the breeze of spring or basking in the gold of autumn. Even though the water around Mykonos wouldn’t be as warm as it is July, you would at least have some room to yourself and some privacy.
The Greek civilization is considered by some to be the cradle of western civilization. The many great philosophers like Aristotle, Socrates and Hypocrites came from the country and gave thought to many civilizations that came after them. Greece is more commonly associated with its ancient history and the white beaches of its many islands.
- The Parthenon Temple in Acropolis is perhaps the most visited temple in Greece. The temple once housed a gigantic gilded statue of Athena. It was not only a temple but also a gold reserve for the people of Athens. That is why the structure was built high up on the hill, protected by the city’s defences all around. Remarkably, a decent portion of the temple still survives today.
- The sanctuary of Delphi is still a part of the fantasies of fiction all over the world. Many centuries ago, there was an Oracle that could see into the future, and foretell the outcome of wars and events. Warriors, generals and noblemen gave offerings to the oracle in order the sway the fortunes of the future in their favour. The ruins of the temple still echo with the eerie visions of the Oracle.
- The Navagio Beach in Zante is known in the world for its beauty. The white sandy beach is nestled in between the tiny hills and the wider ocean. The beach gives a compact and secluded vibe and is a ‘private-public’ space. The blue of the sea is unlike any other.
Culture revolves around religion in Greece. Ever since the independence of Greece from the Ottoman Turks in 1825, religion has become a part of the patriotic culture of Greece.
- The Carnival or the ‘Apokries’ as it is known locally is celebrated almost 7 weeks before Easter. The event can fall anywhere between February and March, as the dates vary greatly. The Apokries celebration reaches the zenith in the towns of Patra, Xanthi, Corfu Island and Rethymno. The cities glitter with joyous parties and festive music.
- Easter in Greece is celebrated with more cheer than Christmas is in Western Europe and the US. The festival continues for weeks. On Easter Eve, the priest of the local church comes out into the courtyard to be welcomed by the thousands of faithful awaiting the service that follows. The priest holds a torch in his hand with the Holy Flame that has been blessed upon. The flame is then shared with the candles in the crowd, and little by little the entire street is lit by the Holy Flame. After bringing the flickering candles home, the soot of the flame is used to make a cross on the threshold, which is supposed to ward off evil. Firework, celebration and dance parties continue through the night.
- The 28th October is regarded as the ‘Ohi day’ in Greece. Ohi means “No” in Greek. This day is celebrated to remember how the Greeks denied the Italians victory, even though the Greeks fought with a weakened army and equipment. Though the Italians later did defeat the Greeks with considerable aid from the Germans, the day is celebrated to give courage to those who withstand tyranny, corruption and imposition.
Greece has the lengthiest coastline in all of Europe. It is estimated that the country comprises of 1,200 islands, of which only 250 are inhabited. Clearly, the most common mode of transportation in Greece is the ferry. Ferries connect islands to islands and islands to continental Greece. The city of Athens and Thessaloniki both have mass transit systems, with an underground metro aided by bus networks. Intercity travel, be it by air or bus is cheaply available.
There are many beachside hotels in Greece. The most elite are on the coast, facing the whitest beaches in the world, others are more inland but definitely more economical. They are;
- Saint John Hotel Villas & Spa
- Kontokali Bay Resort and Spa
- Elysium Resort & Spa
- Eagles Palace
- Palladium Boutique Hotel