My Greek odyssey started more than 20 years ago when I was only 16 years old and my plane made a brief stop in Athens, on my way to Germany. It was my very first trip to Europe and I was beside myself with excitement. I remember looking out of the plane’s window and spotting the beautifully lit Parthenon on the famous Acropolis in the distance. I could not believe my eyes – it was so unexpected! (At the time, the old airport was right in the centre of Athens.)
But, like Odysseus, the legendary Greek king of Ithaca, it would take me many more years, before I would return and explore the country’s wonderful treasures.
Though that first trip to Europe had left me with an incurable travel addiction (one that has been fed with numerous wonderful trips over the years), Greece had always eluded me.
This all changed at the beginning of last year when I came across a fabulous plane ticket deal from Cape Town to Athens – one that I simply could not resist.
Coupled with the knowledge of an unavoidable difficult year that lay ahead of me, I simply knew that a solo trip to Greece would be my perfect reward and therapy. Something I could plan obsessively throughout the year and really look forward to.
Independent budget travel
For nine months I read up everything I could about Greece and the places I wanted to visit. There’s nothing I enjoy more than planning a trip – I couldn’t wait to finally see all the wonderful things I had learned about in my Art and Classical Culture courses at school and varsity.
As I prefer to travel independently and on a budget, I also have to plan in advance to make sure I get the best value for my money and get to see as much as possible on my bucket list. It’s a lot of fun, and the perfect daydreaming material for boring work meetings!
After much agonising about having “only” 16 days to travel and there being so much to experience in Greece, I decided to limit my travels to Greece mainland and one island, Santorini, and to promise myself another trip to Greece in the future.
My mini Eat Pray Love
I was to travel mid-September when the high season had run its course, tourist prices dropped, the crowds were much smaller and it wasn’t so scorching hot anymore.
The destinations that made my final list were the following:
Over the following weeks, I will share my best memories and budget travel tips for these amazing Greek destinations.
Greece is an amazing place to visit as a solo female traveller. I felt completely safe and in awe of the country’s wonderful ancient history, fascinating cities, beautiful countryside and beaches, lovely food and hospitality.
If you really need a break from it all, do a mini Eat Pray Love, and travel to Greece.
Read more about Greece