Solo travel in Greece makes for a wonderful travel experience whatever your age, gender, background, or travel experience. Beautiful Greece is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and it is very safe, making it the perfect choice for inexperienced solo travellers who are looking to go it alone for the very first time.
This comprehensive guide to solo travel in Greece has been written by someone who moved to the country solo and has been based here for close to five years. Rest assured, you are in good hands here.
Solo Travel in Greece in 2023
The appeal of Greece is undisputed. This country is the birthplace of modern civilisation and democracy and it is bursting at the seams with fascinating historical sites, sunbleached ancient ruins, sandy beaches, and paradisical islands.
Everybody should experience Greece at least once in their lifetimes and not having somebody to share your trip with should never put you off. If your family, friends, or partner have been flaky about committing to your trip plans or they just don’t share your interest in setting off on a Greece itinerary, you shouldn’t have to wait for them.
Tons of people travel to Greece alone every single year. Since the country is so popular with tourists, locals, expats, and other travellers have seen solo adventurers a million times before so rest assured, you won’t stick out, look weird, or draw negative attention to yourself.
It’s a shame that some Greek islands like Santorini, Hydra, or Paxos have gained a bit of a reputation for being ¨romantic¨ destinations. But still, they are not weird places for you to go alone either.
Everyone wants to enjoy gorgeous sunsets, tuck into steaming hot plates of moussaka and stifado, climb ruins, and check out beautiful villages. No destinations are reserved only for couples and groups. It’s 2023 😉
Useful Tips for Solo Travel in Greece
Greece has something for every type of traveller, whatever your interests are or what you are looking to do during your trip. If you are an introvert and like to spend your time traveling solo being alone, you will have plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the peace and quiet on Greek islands like Symi and Alonissos.
Conversely, if it is important to you to socialise, meet other travellers, and have people to share your trip with, you will find that it is very easy to meet other people – particularly in Athens and Thessaloniki and on the larger islands.
Some useful, general tips for enjoying solo travel in Greece are detailed below.
Greece is a very safe country
Obviously, you should use the same common sense when travelling alone in Greece as you would use at home or when travelling anywhere independently. In other words, don’t walk alone at night or wander off down sketchy, unsuspecting side streets, be wary of over-friendly strangers, and watch your belongings, etc.
But you might find that you feel a lot safer in Greece than you do in many other travel destinations, including other places in Europe. Greece is very much a night owl – people here often eat dinner as late as 10 or 11 pm and they always make the most of their evenings after work.
When you walk around neighbourhoods in Athens or other Greek cities in the late evening, they are always teeming with life. Groups of friends are sitting outside coffee shops until the early hours of the morning, old couples are out for walks, neighbours pull up chairs outside of their homes to chat.
There is never a creepy feeling that you may find in other places when you’re alone in the evenings.
Similarly, since Greece offers such beautiful nature and walking trails (an underrated highlight of the country that many tourists overlook), it’s never creepy to walk alone here either. Crime rates in Greece are low, and this is not somewhere you need to be worried or be constantly looking over your shoulder.
Meeting other solo travellers in Greece
It is very easy to meet other people when travelling alone in Greece. You don’t really have to make any real conscious effort to do so.
You may find that you effortlessly meet people. E.g. you bump into someone on a bus while taking a day trip from Thessaloniki, or you meet other people on organised excursions around the country.
Greece tours like those organised by companies like Get Your Guide and Viator can be a great social experience. You are often led in a small group to visit different archeological sites or on a food tour to sample local delicacies in a particular area.
A lot of people on these tours are travelling alone.
Meetup groups in Greece
Meetup.com is a great way to meet other travellers and Digital Nomads in Greece. In the last few years, along with the introduction of the Greece Digital Nomad visa, a lot more people have been travelling to Greece alone and spending extended periods of time in the country and so, the international social scene has come a long way.
Meetup.com is free to use. In Athens, there are different groups of people with different interests that meet regularly around the city.
There is usually a weekly language exchange party every Saturday designed to help Greeks and international people meet each other, learn languages and meet new friends. Then, there are people that meet weekly to learn how to write creatively, foodie meetings for people that want to try new restaurants, hiking groups, etc.
Although a lot of these groups are catered towards expats and digital nomads, they are a nice way to meet new people and everyone is welcome – even if you are just passing through! If you are working remotely while you travel, you will be pleased to know that there are a lot of modern, social coworking spaces in Athens.
Couchsurfing in Greece
Couchsurfing is a great way to meet people if you are travelling solo, wherever in the world you are. The app is famous for the fact that it allows people to ¨Couchsurf¨ and stay on a stranger’s sofa/in their spare room for free in exchange for a cultural exchange/a new travel friend.
However, many people don’t realise that you don’t need to actually stay at someone’s house to use it. One of the platform’s greatest features is its hangouts function.
The app uses your GPS to show travellers and locals that are in your area. You create a profile and then type what you are looking to do like, ¨Sarah is looking to grab beers in Plaka¨.
Then, travellers can respond. You can easily meet new friends to share your evening with within less than an hour! Events and language exchanges are also organised regularly, especially in Athens and Thessaloniki, and are free to attend.
Obviously, you are still meeting internet strangers so it’s a good idea to click on people’s profiles and check their past reviews before meeting. The app used to be free but annoyingly, you now have to subscribe.
Still, it’s only around $2 a month which is a minimal fee for having the chance to meet new friends. (And there are always lots of people active on the platform).
Useful Facebook groups for solo travellers in Greece
If you just type ¨Greece¨ into your Facebook search bar and filter it by groups, you will see an abundance of groups pop up. Although Facebook might seem like a retro social media platform to be using, you will be surprised by how active these groups are.
The women in Athens group is particularly good for solo female travellers in Greece, while the expats in Greece, expats in Athens, and foreigners in Greece groups are also pretty active. You can simply create a post in the group introducing yourself and seeing if any other travellers would like to grab a coffee, dinner, etc.
You don’t have to stay in hostels to be social
Hostels are often a good way to meet other travellers if you are travelling alone but honestly, they are not everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer to stay in a hotel or Airbnb when you travel solo to Greece then rest assured, you won’t be missing out.
You can follow all of the tips for meeting people during your trip (Couchsurfing, Meetups, tours, etc) as outlined above. A lot of hostels also organise events that anyone is welcome to go along to, whether they are guests or not.
In Greece, you will find hostels in large cities like Athens and Thessaloniki and some of the larger, party-oriented islands like Ios and Paros, but not on smaller islands. You can also consider booking a private room in the hostel if you want the social aspect of hostel life but you hate the thought of sleeping in a dorm with eight people snoring like wildebeests.
Smaller islands can be isolating
Although no islands or destinations should be considered out of bounds as a solo traveller, some islands are more social than others. For example, Rhodes, Crete, and Corfu have large international expat populations and are extremely popular among travellers from the UK and Western Europe so you will effortlessly run into people here.
If you want to go to boat parties and beach clubs, you will easily find people to hang out with on more party-oriented Greek islands like Kos, Zante, Mykonos, and Skiathos. Santorini is an absolute bucket-list destination for most people so plenty of solo travellers come here and nearby Milos and Naxos are also becoming more popular.
Experiencing laidback sleepy Greek islands that feel unchanged and undisturbed by tourism like Skopelos, and Kea in the Cyclades, and places like Chalki, Tilos, and Nisiros in the Dodecanese islands is a wonderful experience but there are fewer travellers here.
It takes a certain type of person to enjoy this type of traveller and if you are not comfortable with your own company, you could get bored or feel isolated. If you want to experience these islands but you consider yourself a social traveller and don’t love extended periods of time alone, you can stop by for a day or two.
Plan your itinerary so you blend islands where you can easily meet people, with islands where you are likely to spend more time solo.
Best islands for solo travel in Greece
Given the above, I would say that some of the best islands for solo travel in Greece are the likes of Skiathos, Corfu, Naxos, Rhodes, Santorini, and Kos. The Saronic Gulf and islands close to Athens like Hydra and Spetses are also popular with day-trippers from Athens.
So, if they appeal to you, you could easily organise a trip with other travellers that you meet in Athens. You can take the boat out from Piraeus in the morning, and be back in the Greek capital later in the afternoon.
Skiathos is known as ¨the boomerang¨ island because so many people travel there one year, fall completely in love with it, and keep coming back, again and again, every year thereafter. (Aka they are boomerangers!)
This allows people travelling alone in Greece to find like-minded adventurers.A lot of people travel to Skiathos by themselves, drawn by their love of Greece.
English is widely spoken in Greece
English is very widely spoken in Greece, and most Greeks have a really good grasp of the English language. This is so much so, that there are many people living in Greece that cannot speak a single word of the language even after being here for four or five years!
Even if you find yourself alone in what are seemingly the most random towns and villages (Karpenisi, rural Epirus, Metsovo, etc), you will always find someone that speaks English. In the vast majority of bars, tavernas, and restaurants across the country, you will be presented with an English menu.
You would have to go some to find a place that did not have English-speaking staff and English menus. All things considered, it does not hurt to learn a few useful words and phrases in Greek before you set out on your Greece itinerary. It’s a difficult language, yes.
However, knowing how to greet and thank people is much appreciated and goes a long way. Failing that, download the offline version of Google translate for venturing to more “off-the-beaten-path” places.
Solo female travel in Greece
Greece is generally pretty safe for solo female travellers. Plenty of women venture here alone every year.
Greek men often have a sort of stereotype as being overly forward. Men may approach you to talk to you or check you out in the street, but this is seldom aggressive or harassing.
If you let people know that you are not interested, they will usually leave you alone. However, harassment can be an issue on some Greek islands.
It is also important to be aware of the fact that some people in Greece see western women (particularly British women) as being more promiscuous than Greek girls. This seems to be a result of said men seeing how some British and western European tourists behave in “party” destinations like Malia, Zakynthos, etc.
Unfortunately, Brits are often seen stumbling out of clubs, getting into altercations, and generally behaving poorly. The Greek authorities often have to intervene.
With that considered, you can understand somewhat where these assumptions come from. Although not all western travellers are the same and to be lumped with the same stereotype is unfair.
If you choose to date locals while in Greece, be mindful that some may not have intentions for anything more than casual fun. Some attitudes to women in rural parts of the country can be very outdated and women are not always treated with respect.
Keep your itinerary off social media
It can be fun to share photos and updates from your travels to show your friends and family at home what you are up to. However, if you have any public social media profiles, you can never really know who is watching.
There are plenty of odd people who find people through their hashtags and geotags. Never post in real-time, share your itinerary or share your accommodation.
Don’t post updates from places where you hang out regularly. Save all of those wonderful pictures and reels until you get to your next destination and share them then.
If you want to keep your family and friends updated with what you are up to, consider creating a shareable Google doc with your itinerary. You can set it to “read-only” so your family won’t accidentally delete bits of it.
If you make any changes to your plan, edit the doc accordingly so that they can see where you are and when. This is something that is a good common sense measure to follow wherever in the world you travel.
It is not exclusive to solo travel in Greece. However, a lot of men in Greece do use Instagram and social media as a sort of dating app and they find women through location tags. For this reason, it is better to be safe than sorry, especially as a solo female traveller.
Locals are warm and friendly
Greeks have a reputation for being very friendly and hospitable. If you have any worries or problems during your trip, people will do their best to assist you as much as they can.
This ties into the ages-old Greek concept of “philoxenia”. In English, this term refers to the importance of being a friend to strangers.
However, philoxenia goes far beyond being just a phrase or mantra. It has roots in Greek mythology and Ancient Greece.
Millenia ago, the chief Greek deity, was seen as being God of philoxenia. He instilled the importance of being hospitable to strangers in the local people.
This meant sharing food with a hungry stranger, helping a lost traveller, etc. Today, philoxenia is still a very prominent part of Greek culture and locals will speak about it with pride.
It comes in the form of wanting to teach foreigners all about Greek culture and cuisine. It really is no surprise that the country is so globally renowned for its tourist hospitality.
Scams in Greece
Tourism is a major source of income in Greece. In fact, it’s one of the main industries that the economy depends on.
Scams are not common here, but there are always people trying to make a quick buck off tourists in certain areas of every country. Try to avoid eating at restaurants that are right beside world-famous tourist attractions.
They will charge a premium and the quality will not be great. You may also fall prey to the occasional scams. For instance, menus without prices (the owner will likely just invent one on the spot!), and bills that come to different prices than what was initially listed
Solo travel in Athens
Solo travel in Athens can be a wonderful experience and the Greek capital is a good starting point for any wider itinerary. Since the country’s main international airport (Eleftherios Venizelos) is located here, you may need to fly into Athens to start your trip.
You should try to dedicate at least two or three days to Athens to cover the main historical sites and get an initial feel for the city. Base yourself in one of the central Athenian neighborhoods of Plaka, Koukaki, Kolonaki, or Psyri so that you can easily get around on foot.
The Ancient Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Agora, and the Panathenaic Stadium are not to be missed. If you have longer to spare, you can use Athens as a base to travel to other areas of Southern Greece such as Cape Sounion, or the islands of Hydra and Spetses.
Athens is generally a safe place, although there are some areas that are a little rougher around the edges and where you need to take a little more care at night. Namely, Exarchia, Metaxourgio, Omonia, Patisia, and some of the northern suburbs.
You should use the same common sense when traveling alone in Athens as you would in any other city.
Always watch your belongings on the Athens metro and in crowded areas such as Athens Central Market. A theft-proof backpack can be a worthwhile investment to help protect your valuables.
Solo travel in Corfu and the Ionian
The beautiful island of Corfu is one of the most popular travel destinations in Greece and for good reason. The Venetian old town is UNESCO-protected and dates all the way back to the 8th century.
Start your solo travel in Greece here by spending a few days in the historic old town sampling mouthwatering Corfiot delicacies like beef sofrito. Then head out to the charming beach towns. Paleokastritsa and the neighbouring village of Lakones offer some of the best beaches and views on the entire island.
Meanwhile, Kanoni is a nice place to visit on a day trip and is easily accessible by bus. Several gorgeous centuries-old monasteries can be found here and you have incredible views of planes coming in to land at Ioannis Kapodistrias airport from Kanoni beaches.
Corfu residents are known for their warm hospitality and there are a lot of international ex-pats living on the island. This gives you a lot of opportunities to meet people and mingle so even if you like to explore independently in the daytime, you will find it easy to find someone to grab food with during the evenings.
Corfu makes a great jump-off point for a wider exploration of the Ionian. The stunning, exclusive islands of Paxos and Antipaxos can be reached via ferry in just 55 minutes.
Paxos and Antipaxos are among the least commercial Greek islands and often remain quiet, even during the summer months. Regardless, this is a nice place for some well-deserved R&R as a solo traveller and these are destinations you may particularly enjoy if you consider yourself an introvert.
Getting around Greece alone
Greece has an excellent public transportation network consisting of buses, trains, ferries, and domestic flights that makes getting from A to B very easy. Buses are particularly good if you are exploring mainland Greece and they travel to even the most remote beaches and villages.
If you are planning on island hopping, you will probably have to use a series of ferries and domestic flights as not all Greek islands have airports. It pays to plan out what islands interest you the most, look at which Greek island groups they sit in, and then map out a route as some are at completely opposite ends of the country to each other.
Exploring Greece by bus
Public buses are an excellent way to get around solo in Greece. The network is extensive, and you can take intercity buses to reach even the most far-reaching villages and towns.
All intercity buses in Greece are managed by KTEL. Tickets are cheap, and services are reliable.
Confusingly, there is not just one centralised website that you can use to purchase KTEL tickets or check departure times. You need to use a “local” website depending on the specific area of Greece you are traveling in.
Welcome to Greece!
Renting a car in Greece
Renting a car in Greece is not as daunting as it may sound. This can be a good way to get around, even if you are traveling to Greece alone.
Several reputable international car rental companies operate in Greece, including Avis, Sixt, and Europcar. Many of them allow you to collect your car directly from the airport on arrival.
You can expect to pay between €30 and €40 for a rental, including full coverage insurance. During the winter, you can get deals for as little as €7-€10 a day for an economy vehicle!
Discover Cars is a great car rental platform that allows you to compare deals from different rental companies.
Exploring Greece by train
Greece’s rail network is far from extensive. Services run between Athens and Thessaloniki via Lamia, Larissa, and Kalambaka.
However, many parts of the country, including Ioannina are not accessible by rail. For the most part, buses are the most convenient way to get around.
Rail journey times are far shorter than doing the same route by bus.
Tickets can be purchased online from the Hellenic Train website or from the ticket office at the train stations. You can use the same website linked above to check the latest train schedules and ticket prices.
Taking cabs in Greece
It is advisable to download the BEAT taxi app when traveling solo in Greece. This app helps you to locate licensed Greek cabs in your area.
It displays the price before you get in the car, therefore minimising your chances of getting ripped off.
BEAT does not work on some of the smaller Greek islands but it does work in Athens, Thessaloniki and Rhodes. Uber and the use of unlicensed cars as cabs have been prohibited in Greece since 2019.
You will find yellow cabs available in plentiful supply in Greek towns and cities. However, be mindful that cabbies are a law unto themselves.
This, unfortunately, seems to be true of a lot of people in this profession all over the world. Try to have an idea of the price before you get in, and always request that the meter is used to avoid someone making up a heavily inflated price on the spot and assuming that because you are a tourist, you don’t know the correct rate.
Ferry services in Greece
A number of ferry companies manage the routes between the Greek mainland and the various island archipelagos. For instance, Hellenic Seaways is the main company that sails between Athens and the Saronic islands.
Ferry schedules vary from season to season, with more services running during the summer months. You should try and purchase your tickets a day or two before your intended departure. This is especially true if you will be travelling during the Greek summer months of July and August.
Metro networks in Greece
Athens is presently the only city in Greece that has a metro network. A subway system is under construction in Thessaloniki but that has been a work in progress for several years and it doesn’t look likely that it will be completed any time soon.
Athens metro tickets cost just €1.40 each way. Daily, weekly, and monthly passes are also available.
However, keep in mind that the journey between Athens airport and the city center requires a special ticket. An Athens airport and city ticket costs €10 one way or €17 return.
FAQs about solo travel in Greece
Do you have any further questions or concerns about solo travel in Greece? Hopefully, you will find the answers you are looking for below.
If not, please do not hesitate to reach out!
Where can I go solo in Greece?
You can travel anywhere solo in Greece and you should never let being alone deter you from travelling to a particular part of the country. You will easily meet other travellers in Greek cities like Athens and Thessaloniki and on the most popular islands like Crete.
Some of the larger cities and popular travel destinations also have plenty of backpacker’s hostels which boast a great social vibe. Skiathos, Zakynthos, and Mykonos are huge party areas where you will find it easy to meet people.
Meanwhile, if you are looking at solo travel in Greece as a chance to be by yourself, there are plenty of beautiful secluded places where you can do that too. (In this case, look to the Sporades and islands like Alonissos, Skopelos, and Skyros).
How much is a solo trip to Greece?
A solo trip to Greece doesn’t need to break the bank. The country can easily be explored on a budget. The prices you can expect to pay for a week or two in the country depend on your preferences and travel style.
€800 a week is a good average estimate for solo travel in Greece. This is based on staying in mid-range hotels, taking local transport, and eating out at tavernas occasionally.
If you stay in hostels and cook a lot of your own meals, you can travel in Greece for as little as €20-30 a day. Meanwhile, you can expect to spend a lot more if you choose to stay in luxury hotels.
Is Mykonos good for singles?
Mykonos is a stunning place, as well as one of the most popular Greek islands. It has everything for every type of traveler, including single solo travelers.
The island is renowned for being a party island but Mykonos is much more than that. If you are looking for something a little more peaceful, you can enjoy relaxing on the island’s gorgeous beaches, watch the sunset from the Kato Myloi windmills, hike around the island, and take a day trip out to Delos.
Is Greece good for solo travel?
Yes. Greece is a great place for solo travel.
The country is such a popular destination that you will easily meet other travellers here (without having to make great efforts to do so). People are friendly, it is easy to get around, most people speak good English, and the transport network is excellent.
Is Santorini safe for solo female travellers?
Santorini is very, very safe for solo female travellers. (And travellers of all ages, genders ,and backgrounds to be honest).
This is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Lots of women travel to the island by themselves and you will likely see a ton of other people that are here solo – particularly if you travel over the summer.
Are the Greek islands safe for solo female travellers
The Greek islands are safe for solo female travellers for the most part. Crime – both violent crime and petty crime are very rare in Greece.
You can go to quiet beaches alone and go for walks by yourself without having to worry about your personal safety. Some men can be forward and see dating tourist girls as a sort of sport.
They do not necessarily respect women as equals and in particular, they often see western women as more promiscuous which is worth noting.
Can I travel to Greece alone or should I take a guided tour?
There are a number of tour companies that offer week-long/multi-day island hopping tours and itineraries to Greece that are catered towards independent travellers. However, they often charge extortionate premiums.
It usually works out much better to visit Greece independently. You can easily meet other travellers and locals on arrival, without having to be tied to someone else’s agenda.
If there are certain places that you want to travel to that are tricky to get to independently, you can organise day tours and excursions locally. (For instance, Mount Athos in Halkidiki, or Lake Kerkini in Serres.)
Get Your Guide is one excellent, reputable company that offers day trips around Greece. Some of the day tours work out cheaper than travelling to certain places independently.
Final thoughts on solo travel in Greece
Have any further questions about traveling to Greece alone or planning a trip to Greece in general? As mentioned, I have been living in Athens since 2017 and I have done plenty of solo travel in Greece during that time.
If this is your first time visiting Greece, you might also find it useful to join my Facebook group ¨All Greek to Me¨ which helps expats and travellers plan their adventures around the country¨.
I’d be happy to assist with any queries and concerns that you may have. Safe travels!
Geia sou! Melissa xo