Hi, lovelies! If you read my latest post or follow me on Instagram you will know that a few weeks ago I finally bit the bullet and went on my first ever solo trip to Greece. I spent 10 days travelling in Crete, Santorini and Athens and had the most incredible time! Surprisingly I experienced no real problems and it was actually quite easy as a female to solo travel in Greece. Keep reading to find all about my solo trip, how to spend 10 days in Greece and the best way to visit multiple Greek islands!
Solo travel in Greece
For my first solo trip, my main priorities were that the place was safe, had lots to do and had great, sociable hostels to stay in. All answers led to Greece and so I decided that was the place for me (no, not just to live out Mamma Mia, although that might have been a small reason). But seriously, one of the main reasons I chose Greece was because I was desperate to visit Athens. I love Greek history and mythology so I was naturally drawn to the city, and I couldn’t wait to explore the Acropolis!
I truly believe that Greece is a perfect place for travelling, whether that solo or with other people. The country has something for everyone, rich history, mythology and ruins as well as beautiful views, hundreds of islands to explore and amazing beaches. There are party islands like Ios and Mykonos as well as more remote islands meaning that in just one trip you can have lots of experiences! It is also incredibly easy to travel around Greece by ferries, domestic flights, trains and buses meaning it is so simple to visit lots of places. Another bonus is that Greeks are so friendly! They’re always more than happy to help you, give you tips and so you can really immerse yourself in Greek culture. Personally I am so happy that I chose to solo travel in Greece as the diversity between islands and the mainland gave me an unforgettable trip!
Solo travel in Greece: Is it safe?
Like I said previously, safety was my biggest concern for the trip. When I first told people that I was going away by myself, I always got asked the question ‘Aren’t you scared?’ or I got told I was being ‘brave’. Truth is, I didn’t feel scared or brave, I just felt excited. I believe that there are more good people than bad people, so I didn’t want to worry about things that might not happen. Of course I took precautions, I locked away valuables, kept hold of my bag at all times and just trusted my gut instinct. I actually felt completely safe in Greece, particularly the islands which felt more cute and homely and not at all dangerous! Athens felt a little bit more sketchy, maybe it was the graffiti, but at no point did I feel nervous. Before I went, I heard that Greek men can be more ‘forward’ and I guess that was true but only in a friendly, chatty way and were fine once I said I wasn’t interested! Hey, who knows, if you go to Greece you may end up doing a ‘Donna’ and meet three amazing guys!
Of course if you’re gonna go to a country by yourself just be smart … don’t get absolutely smashed unless you trust the people around you, don’t go to sketchy areas and don’t walk alone at night. Luckily, I made great friends which meant I was never out alone in the dark but if you are, my tip is to just act confident and like you know where you’re going (if you’re like me and always get lost).
Rethymno, Crete: 4 days
My journey started in Crete. Crete is actually one of the larger Greek islands and so there are loads of solo travelers and lots of sites to see and beaches to lounge around on. I actually only went to Crete because it was cheaper to fly there, but I’m so glad I did because I loved it there! I took an early flight (read – ‘too early’) from Manchester to Heraklion, Crete. From there I got the bus to Herkalion town center and another bus all the way to Rethymno! The two buses only cost me 10 euros total (bargain) and took a couple of hours, mainly because I narrowly missed the bus to Rethymno. I made my way to the Rethymno Youth hostel, which is hands down my favourite hostel. Ever. This place is 12 euros a night – an absolute steal. As it is the only hostel in Rethymno you are guaranteed to meet lots of people – perfect for solo travel in Greece! It was such a sociable hostel and I made amazing friends!
I had such big plans for Crete but actually when I arrived I was bloody exhausted so spent quite a few of the days chilling at beaches. But don’t be fooled there are lots of great things to do in Rethymno! The night I arrived, I met some great people and we went to a Greek music festival in the nearby park. It was very Greek. The nextday, a group of us went to the incredible ‘Preveli beach’. Here there is a beach, beautiful ocean, palm tree forest and a cool lagoon. I would definitely recommend going there!
That night, we went for drinks (read ‘too many drinks’) in Rethymno. I had the best night but paid for it the next day. And so, yep you guessed it, beach day. I also went to see the Fortress which gives fantastic views over the whole of Rethymno. This is a great place to go if you want amazing views.
That night we explored Rethymno old town and found the cutest little streets. You can definitely tell that this is an old Venetian town … definitely Italian vibes. It is the perfect place to drink wine and just chat. For my final day in Crete, I intended to go to one of the many gorges but of course I was too tired again. That is the good thing about solo travel, you can do whatever the hell you want! Instead I went to the beach, chilled around the hostel and drank outside of a church that night – a hostel tradition.
Overall I loved Rethymno and I’m definitely going to go back at some point!
Santorini: 2 days
Despite going to bed at 2 and waking up at 5 am for the bus to Heraklion, I was determined to make the ferry to Santorini. It only takes two hours to get from Crete to Santorini and so is perfect as an extra stop on your trip! I had to go to Santorini as I’d heard great things about its picturesque views and incredible sunsets! I took a short bus ride from the port to the Fira Backpackers hostel, another great hostel with a fab atmosphere and great location – a 2 minute walk from the bus station! This one was more expensive but was totally worth it!
On my first day in Santorini I met up with some girls I’d met in Crete and hiked the very long walk from Fira to Oia. Okay that might be a slight exaggeration but it was definitely around 3 hours! It was totally worth it to see the beautiful town of Oia and the hyped sunsets… we even had three dogs join us for the hike – bonus! Naturally after the long day I met new people from the hostel but ultimately got an early night … shocker I know!
I only had two days in Santorini so I spent my last full day at Perissa beach, aka the black sand beach. I love going to beaches like this as they’re so much more interesting and totally beautiful. Obvs Santorini is a volcanic island meaning the beach is black and stony rather than sandy – oh and hot, very hot. If i had longer in Santorini I definitely would have visited the red beach and the Ancient ruins of Thira. So I obviously have to go back! I spent my last night in Santorini with people from the hostel and probably had too many drinks again … when in Greece right?
Athens: 4 days
The last part of my trip was to Athens … FINALLY! The ferry to Piraeus was long (5 hours) but worth it! I took the metro to my hostel – Athens backpackers. Another brilliant hostel. It had a rooftop bar overlooking the Acropolis and so sunset was so beautiful. I spent the first night in Athens drinking wine outside the acropolis with stunning views over Athens, literally perfect! The hostel offered a 3 hour walking tour around Athens for only 7 euros and it was a great way to get an overview of Athens. I also visited some of the other ancient ruins in Athens including the ancient Agora and had drinks at the hostel rooftop bar that night!
The next day I decided to do a day trip to Delphi to see the ancient ruins there. The trip involved a three hour bus there and back, a tour around the ruins and the museum, a three-course lunch and a stop off in the local town. It was a great day and I would definitely recommend doing it, but be aware of the long coach journeys! I spent my final day exploring the Acropolis and the Acropolis museum, the architecture is amazing and you can’t go to Athens without visiting it!
I had the most incredible trip and I am so happy I decided to solo travel in Greece. Even though I went alone, I probably spent only around 6 hours by myself! I saw amazing views, met great people and had an unforgettable experience. So if you’re looking for a sign to travel alone in Greece, here it is … do it!
Thanks for reading as always,
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