Greece holds a special place in my heart. Each summer I dream of going away to this place. Greece has great summer weather, especially considering how damp and cold UK summers can get, has a rich history, is relaxed and stunning, everything I have been looking for in the perfect holiday destination for a family. Furthermore, the cost of living is affordable and it’s actually closer to home.
With 227 islands and islets being inhabited, Greece is home to around 6,000. We are yet to visit any Greek island twice even after going to a number of them over the years.
I feel that I experience the Mediterranean as it was meant to be whenever I visit Greece. This is exactly how the south of France and Italy must have been back in the 50s I imagine. Unlike no other Mediterranean destinations where people have to deal with congested beaches, restaurants and roads during the busy summer season, Greece has a traditional and timeless feel.
Locating a peaceful picturesque marina with a number of simple taverns and some colourful wooden boats is quite easy even though some parts of the country are full of hotels and resorts, such as the Ikos Andalusia Hotel.
Unspoilt & Timeless
Old fashioned and untouched, this is what most of Greece feels like. You will find old women wearing all black sitting over laced mats and adult males playing backgammon throughout the day as you walk around local villages. With everyone taking a nap, some villages have a ghost town feel when you stroll around in the afternoon.
Greece is the perfect holiday destination for families. The relaxed environment ensures that the entire family enjoys a laid back experience, while kids, who are simply adored, get a warm reception from all the people they meet.
In our family, everyone finds Greek cuisine irresistible. Sharing the fun to eat, healthy and delicious food together is always an enjoyable experience. Each day, we eat loads of vegetables, salads and fish during our time on Greek islands. From thinly sliced or fried octopus in olive oil, whitebait and anchovies to calamari, red mullet and sardines we will gladly eat through of these tasty dishes.
From grilled feta cheese, cheese and spinach pies, Greek salad, stuffed vine leaves, fish, dips – taramasalata and houmous – and stuffed tomatoes and peppers to courgette flowers, we usually order various dishes for the entire table and then sample each. We always try to sample each, even though everyone has a favourite, and it’s all surprisingly tasty.
We tend to socialize a lot more when we eat together like this. We interact with each other more when sharing food. Everyone enjoys the experience even more as we engage with each other.
A Rich Past
Any child will be fascinated by the interesting stories of ancient Greek mythology and all their gods. On even the tiniest islands, you will find temples devoted to one of the many Greek goddesses or gods as history takes a life of its own in Greece.
Tour Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were held; go atop the Acropolis to take in views of the Parthenon temple in Athens; check out the very spot where the fight between Theseus and the Minotaur took place in Crete’s Minoan palace or head over to the home of the centaurs, Mount Pelion.
You will always get more for your money in Greece. It is possible for you to pay as low as 45 Euros when dining out as a family of 4, and enjoy lower accommodation costs at charming boutique hotels than you would in say France or Italy.
You can get affordable flight tickets if you book early, and most foreigners don’t even need to pay anything for a visa. As you can see, there’s nothing holding you back, so go for it!