My Greek odyssey

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.)

(Credit: Photo of Parthenon at night taken by Thermos,

Simply irresistible

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.

Acropolis Athens

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.

Greek flagsAs 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.

(Pic of Acropolis by Thermos, all other pics by Birgit@Groove Is In The Heart) 

Read more about Greece

8 thoughts on “My Greek odyssey

  • Mar 25, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    I have been postponing a trip to Europe for much too long. Everything has taken a backseat to my upcoming debut novel. I met you on disqus and am subscribing to your blog as travel is also one of my passions.

    • Mar 26, 2016 at 9:14 am

      Hi Rory! Thanks for stopping by and subscribing 🙂 I look forward to your debut novel – I love all things King Arthur and Merlin. Who knows, maybe you get a chance to promote your debut novel in London? You could then combine it with some travel 🙂 Wishing you all the very best with the launch. Such exciting times.

      • Apr 5, 2016 at 2:38 am

        I would love to go to London. It’s definitely on my bucket list. My editor just sent me my final edits, so I’m excited. I hope I don’t disappoint you, but my series doesn’t actually have King Arthur in it. It’s the Knights of the Round Table 500years after King Arthur. King Arthur meets Wyatt Earp meets 300. It’s very gritty and raw with lots of graphic violence and rape, but its main protagonists maintain a high level of nobility throughout. The duplicitous characters however, shake it up and make it very interesting. Feel free to email me I’ll send you a link when it comes out.

        • Apr 7, 2016 at 9:26 am

          Good to hear you received your final edits. Your novel does sound very gritty, with a good helping of knightly valour and heroism. Thanks for your contact details and good luck with the final stretch until publication.

          • Apr 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm

            Thank you Birgit. I love your name by the way. I’m quite excited!

  • Mar 6, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Oh liebe Birgit, ich freue mich schon so sehr auf deine Griechenland-Geschichten…das Land kennen zu lernen war auch immer mein Wunschtraum. Ich habe es bis jetzt noch nicht geschafft! Danke für deinen Blog!
    Liebe Grüße,

    • Mar 8, 2016 at 1:29 pm

      Vielen Dank für die lieben Worte, Beate XX


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