Greece Getaway: Camping Hacks for Your Next Getaway

Mykonos Greece
Mykonos, Greece – Typical Cyclades architecture found in Mykonos Town.

Top-Tier Camping Hacks to Include on Your Next Greece Getaway

By Oscar Davis

I’ve been enchanted with Greece since as far back as I can remember. After visiting for the first time in the late 1990s, I make it a point to regularly return in order to experience all that this gem of the Mediterranean has to offer.

Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi, Greece.
Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi, Greece.

I am also an avid camper and Greece is indeed one of the most impressive destinations for anyone who enjoys the great outdoors.

However, I quickly learned that camping involves much more than simply pitching a tent and relaxing beneath the stars. There are actually several factors to consider. If you are hoping to make the most out of your upcoming holiday, it pays to keep a handful of tips in mind.

Plan Your Accommodations in Advance

Due in no small part to the popularity of this Mediterranean archipelago, holidays can quickly become expensive in terms of accommodations alone. This is why it is crucial to carefully pick and choose where you plan on staying. As a rule of thumb (and particularly relevant for campers), opt for boutique hotels as opposed to franchised properties. These will provide a greater degree of flexibility and a host of price points. Yacht rental in Greece is a bucket list trip for many travelers!

Accessing Lesser-Known Locations

Patras Greece
A cruise ship enters the harbor of Patras Greece.

We need to remember that Greece is comprised of numerous different islands. Furthermore, there are plenty of locations to experience on the mainland. If you plan to camp in more secluded areas, public transportation may present an issue. I’ve actually found that booking short-haul flights to Thessaloniki is the best option. You can then access additional regions upon your arrival. Furthermore, airline representatives are normally happy to provide you with targeted camping suggestions (ideal for newbies).

Keeping a Cool Head: Frozen Scarf

Many individuals choose to camp in Greece during the warmer months of the year. The only possible problem here is that temperatures throughout the day can quickly rise to well above 35ºC or 95 Farenheit. One invaluable hack that I learned from locals was to purchase a scarf that can be frozen. I would then place this fabric around my neck when hiking or performing similar physical activities.

With those high temperatures in the middle of the day, if I didn’t take care of it, I would have a big problem. Always remember that heat exhaustion is a very real concern; especially if you plan on camping alone.

The view from Mount Kynthos in Delos, Greece. Cynthia Ord photos.
The view from Mount Kynthos in Delos, Greece. Cynthia Ord photos.

Free Things are Good

To be clear, the act of “wild camping” (simply setting up a tent wherever you wish) is not permitted in Greece. The good news is that there are plenty of designated campsites ideally suited for tents, motorhomes and even standard cars. One additional trick that I learned was to take advantage of the free tours that are offered.

This is particularly the case around major cities such as Athens, as such tours can provide an up-close-and-personal view of your options. Of course, this is also an excellent opportunity to ask any camping-related questions that you may have (such as the location of a nearby site).

Become Immersed Within Maritime Marvels

Did you know that the Greek coastline stretches for more than 13,600 miles? This provides you with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the nearly limitless number of pristine beaches during your stay. However, I also appreciate a bit of privacy; especially when I plan an excursion with friends. This is when the power of yacht rental in Greece comes into play.

I was even more surprised to realise that there were plenty of options to consider without being forced to overstretch my budget. Let’s likewise remember that while “roughing it” is fun on occasion, there are also instances when a taste of luxury can provide even more memories to last a lifetime. I highly recommend working with a trusted yacht rental firm. You will not be disappointed.

Symi island's harbor in Greece.
Symi island’s harbor in Greece.

Consider Your Rental Options

Speaking of rentals, what about traveling to various locations in the event that public transportation is not an option? In this case, it could be prudent to rent a car or even a motorcycle (assuming that you have a valid EU license or that your license is recognized in Greece).

I also learned over time that standard cars are not always the best options. Motorbikes or quads can come in quite handy. You will be able to quickly travel between regions and these forms of transportation are suitable if you plan on visiting locations that are challenging to access by foot.

The Top Locations to Visit in Greece

Yet another mistake that I made during the first few camping excursions to Greece was relying upon luck alone to find an opportune spot. This wasted a great deal of time and I would not wish such scenarios on anyone. It is instead much better to research where you intend to visit well in advance. While everyone will have their own preferences, here are some of my personal recommendations after having travelled to Greece for well over a decade:

Lefkada: Santa Maura and Vassiliki Beach

Thasos: Pefkari Beach and the Dedalos Campsite

Crete: Koutsounari and Agia Roumeli (both well-known campsites)

Note that these are only some of the numerous locations capable of catering to nearly every camping requirement. They also provide modern amenities such as access to washrooms, on-site parking and changing facilities for children.

Wild camping on a beach.
Wild camping on a beach.

Camping Necessities

I always like to take a walk on the wild side; even when staying at a relatively modern campsite. This is arguably the best way to appreciate the natural beauty that has come to define Greece. Still, remember that it is crucial to prepare before any excursion. I made it a point to create a camping-friendly rucksack that I took with me during any outing. Some of the items include:

A map of the local area

Important contact information (such as the telephone number of emergency services)

Plenty of drinking water (regardless of the time of the year)

High-calorie snacks such as energy bars and trail mix

A small first-aid kit

Additionally, dress appropriately for the time of year you plan to visit. As I mentioned before, the warm temperatures during summer can be problematic if you’re not prepared for them. I also cannot stress enough the importance of investing in a pair of high-quality hiking boots.

When is the Best Time to Visit Greece?

In truth, I find Greece entirely agreeable for camping throughout the year. This nonetheless comes with a caveat that needs to be mentioned. I have become acclimated to the summer heat over the years. Those who are planning a holiday for the first time might be wiser to travel during the typical tourist off-season (during the early autumn or the late spring). The temperatures tend to be more mild and you are not likely to encounter inclement weather conditions.

Whether you are a camping aficionado or you have yet to visit Greece, there is little doubt that you will be amazed with what is in store. Planning in advance always helps to guarantee that memories to last a lifetime are only a short flight away.

Oscar Davis

 

Oscar Davis is a freelance writer from Leeds UK. 

 

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