Find a Place to Stay in Greece
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Greek accommodation options has improved dramatically in recent decades. Most hotels, even on the smallest islands, now have air conditioning. You can usually get a room with a television as well, if that is what you desire. If these things are important to you, it is better to confirm ahead of time though. The older hotels often don't even require air conditioning because they are housed in older buildings made of thick, cool, stones.
There are many options if you're interested in staying at a locally owned pension. These small facilities give you a quaint atmosphere with a down home feel that lets you glimpse what daily life is like in Greece.
Alternatively, on the larger islands you can stay at resort like hotels with all the amenities of a modern five star hotel. Do take a moment to decide what type of holiday you would like before making a reservation.
Save Money with Spontaneity
It is possible to find some great deals in Greece, but they can be surprisingly hard to come by. The best trick is to be flexible and think outside the box. When you arrive on an island by ferry, you may be greeted by locals with rooms available for rent. They usually come equipped with a van to transport you to their facility. These hotels can be a great deal, but confirm the location before you agree to the ride. Some hotels are well outside of town and you're likely to be stranded if you arrive and decide not to stay there.
It is possible to negotiate prices. You'll be more successful if you're in town during the low season and the hotel owners are struggling to fill their rooms. Gage the situation before presenting a counter offer and you'll likely get the best deal.
Finding a Home Away From Home
Accommodations in Greece usually have smaller rooms than you might be accustomed to. The bathrooms can be quite small, and don't be surprised if the shower is the hand held type. This is quite typical. The closets can also be very small, but the atmosphere, particular if you find a family owned guesthouse, can be very warm and welcoming. Ask for a room with a balcony, or a view, and you will be generally well rewarded.
If you have a little more money to spend, or are traveling with a large group, consider renting a villa. You can find them in either the rural countryside, or in many of the quaint, small towns. This is a great way to truly "live" in Greece for a while. You can head to the local market and pick up some wonderful, fresh produce, then you can make your own version of a Greek feast with your friends or family. It truly is a memorable way to experience this country.
Athens has a large number of accommodation options. As with many larger cities, you should expect the rooms to be small and the buildings are often older. In many cases this only adds to the charm. There are plenty of hostels to choose from if that is your preference. If you stay just outside of town you might even find some camping opportunities. This is not really your best choice if you're hoping to explore the city with public transportation or on foot however.
There are many neighborhoods you can choose from in Athens. Hotels are spread throughout the city and it really depends on convenience and atmosphere for which area you ultimately select. There are some hotel options around the famous Acropolis area. Other popular neighborhoods include Syntagma Square, where you will find some of the major hotels, and Plaka, which is frequented by many tourists. If you have a specific hotel in mind it is best to make reservations well in advance because many of the convenient and centrally located options do fill up.
The island of Santorini can really be divided into two sides. The western side is probably what makes this area so famous. Here you will find the caldera. Most of the hotels sit along the cliffs and offer spectacular views. If you're hoping for a good view, do confirm this in advance as some of the hotels are in town and do not have a view. Many of these hotels have countless stairs you must climb. If this is not an option for you, it is better that you stay in town. Some of the hotels also have an age limit of thirteen because they do not have safety facilities in place for children. The western side of the island is quite spectacular and has many of the luxury hotels. It truly is a breathtaking place to be.
On the eastern side of the island you will find more beaches, similar to those found on other Greek Islands. Many tourists, including families and youth, are attracted to this area, particularly around Kamari. The rooms are usually larger and come equipped with pools. Most hotels on the eastern side of the island are also more affordable.
Because most of the hotels are small in size it is important that you make a reservation in advance. The peak season is July, August, and September. Also note that many hotels are closed during the winter months.
Mykonos is one of the more expensive islands in Greece. Many of the hotels are located in Mykonos Town, but there are also some by the nearby beaches. Prices vary dramatically depending on the season and don't be surprised to find prices doubling during the peak season which is during the summer months. Reservations are necessary during these months as well, although it is sometimes possible to find a room for rent with a local if you do arrive without reservations. Many locals will greet you as you arrive and tell you about their rooms. Do confirm the location in advance as you don't want to end up high in the hills without transportation to take you back to town. If you're in town during the low season it may be possible to simply wander around town and find a place that suits your needs. If you're carrying a suitcase or backpack it likely won't be long before you're approached by someone with a room available.