Life doesn't end after entering the fifth decade. On the contrary, when you grow to become a senior, it is time to celebrate a time well spent by booking the trip of your dreams and living it to the fullest!
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Greece has mild winters and mesmeric seascapes, and now that you've lived a long full life, it's your turn to see marvel at them. A delicious holiday recipe is made from simple ingredients such as sun, ocean, and a generous garnish of cultures, and where is better to find them than Greece?
Here is a guide to Greece for seniors to give the word 'freedom' a whole new meaning. The Aegean winds are waiting to rejuvenate you!
When to visit Greece as a senior traveller
Aerial view of Monastiraki and the Acropolis - credits: Anastasios71/Shutterstock.com
Extreme weather is never enjoyable whether you're a senior traveler or not. In the case of senior travellers, however, extreme weather is potentially dangerous. For this reason, the middle of summer and the incredibly high temperatures that come with it are a hard no.
Similarly, although the winters in Greece are generally mild, depending on the region of the country decide to visit, the weather gets very cold. That stands true especially if you decide to travel to somewhere other than Athens, the Greek capital.
Consequently, the best time to visit Greece as a senior is spring and autumn. During those seasons, the weather is mild and pleasant, the sun shines bright, the tourist waves have yet to arrive, and your experience will be much more authentic, original, personable, and relaxing.
Private driver - credits: VOF/Shutterstock.com
The way you travel around your holiday destination can make or break the trip of your dreams. Long distances and the exhaustion that come with them are not ideal, especially if you're of a certain age. In the same way, getting around a new place effortlessly and without stress can save you time and gray matter.
For that reason, public transportation, like the bus, train, and metro, although affordable, is discouraged. OF course, you can choose to transport yourself by taxi around Greece. However, that would be even more costly than having a private driver.
Sweating and stressing are for youngsters!
Athens street overlooking Hadrian's arch - credits: Viacheslav Lopatin/Shutterstock.com
Seniority comes with some established rights, one of which is the right to comfort. As a result, and provided that your budget allows you to, you should choose 5-star accommodation -or 4-star at the very least- in all the places you visit in Greece. Senior guests are always welcome at all hotels and spas, and they provide outstanding service to ensure an unforgettable and pleasant visit.
One thing to look out for when booking accommodation is its proximity to the city center or island capital accordingly. To avoid the exhaustion and hassle that comes with the burden of transport and long hours of walking, make sure to pick your hotels right next to the key points of interest of each destination.
Pick luxurious hotels in the main cities of the country with good transportation connections. Generally, in small cities and rural areas, the accommodation varies between family-run hotels and guesthouses. However, on the Greek islands, and especially the most popular ones, you kind find top-notch villas right in each region's beating heart.
You can see our top recommendations for hotels in Greece here.
Popular destinations for senior travelers in Greece
Halkidiki - credits: Marjan_Apostolovic-shutterstock.com
The region of Greece you will choose for your holiday should depend on your style, desires, and preferences.
While the picture-perfect islands of Mykonos and Santorini are the most popular among those, who seek the typical and extensively advertised Greek experience, the flood of crowds of them both and the uneven volcanic terrain of Santorini can make it a less than ideal destination for the elderly.
Alternatively, destinations that may be less popular but just as -if not more- gorgeous include the islands of Crete, Naxos, Rhodes, Syros, and Corfu, and the mainland destinations of Halkidiki, Thessaloniki, and Edipsos, a village in Euboea that is popular among older crowds for its therapeutic thermal baths.
Needless to say, Athens, the historic and fascinating Greek capital is a must-visit destination, even if it's just a few-day stop on your trip. The sheer variety of things to do, see, and experience in Athens, regardless of your age, will make you fall in love with it and leave with a promise to revisit it.
Of course, you can always opt for a Greek island-hopping adventure. However, in that case, we highly suggest you have many days at your disposal, and you choose islands that are near one another or even within the same island complex to avoid spending the majority of your Greek vacation in transit.
Wherever you go, keep one thing in mind: it will be a gorgeous success you will wax lyrical about after your return home!
Eating and drinking in Greece
Greek food - credits: ORLIO/Shutterstock.com
Experiencing Greek gastronomy as a senior traveler may not be much different than experiencing it at any other age. That being said, it has a major advantage: you will have the wisdom to know better than choosing culinary tourist traps, and probably the budget to be more eclectic in selecting your eateries.
The Mediterranean diet is essential for Greece's lifestyle. Fresh seasonal produce, extra virgin olive oil, and cooking on a charcoal grill are essential elements of Greek cuisine you should look out for.
There are many different kinds of eateries in Greece that can satisfy even the most demanding of pallets. In a 'mezedopolio,' you can have a tapas or 'meze' restaurant experience. Taverns serve larger portions at rustic locations, while restaurants provide a comprehensive dining experience with formal dining choices in both food and drinks.
Your best bet when choosing the place to eat would be to ask the locals; they know best they'll be happy to tell you about their favorite place. Local knowledge is the way to go!
Festivals & events for your stay in Greece
Greece has lots of festivals. In some cases, each island celebrates a specific event, and it usually has to do with its patron saint. Here are our favorite Greek festivals and celebrations:
Easter is the most important holiday in Orthodoxy. On Good Friday, the faithful follow the procession of the flower-adorned Epitaph through the streets of the villages and the neighborhoods of the cities. In some parts of Greece, like Crete, they burn the effigy of Judas Iscariot at the same time.
The most famous Greek Easter traditions are those of Hydra, Corfu, Karpathos, Pyrgio in Chios, and the Monastery of Agios Ioannis in Patmos.
The carnival in Greece - credits: Yiorgos GR/Shutterstock.com
The Carnival lasts three weeks, during which there are dances, masquerades, feasts, and parades in every municipality and community. It culminates on Clean Monday, which is the beginning of the Great Lent that lasts until Orthodox Easter.
Athens and Epidaurus Festival
The leading public cultural organization of the country, the Athens Epidaurus Festival, is one of the oldest festivals in Europe.
In its 67 years of operation, it has hosted some of the biggest names in Music, Dance, and Theater from the domestic and international scene in collaboration with the most important Greek and international art organizations, attracting crowds of spectators from all over the world.
Pistachio Festival -or 'Fistiki Fest' in Aegina
The Pistachio Festival in Aegina is organized every September and aims to promote this excellent local product. The Festival spreads across the island with rich artistic events, including musical gigs, theatrical performances, tastings, and a large agricultural exhibition in which the island's pistachio producers, shops, and restaurants participate.
A breath away from Athens, the island of Aegina is a comfortable, easy, and at the same time enjoyable option for a city break that combines the sea, a tasty and nutritious product with a designation of origin, and a rich artistic program that you will not find anywhere else.
Mykonos Windmills - credits: Aetherial Images/Shutterstock.com
'Miaoulia' in Hydra
The 'Miaoulia' are organized annually in Hydra at the end of June. It is a three-day celebration dedicated to Andreas Mioulis, who played a decisive role in the struggle of the Greeks against the Turks between 1821-1827.
The Festival includes music and dance events, sports competitions, and a colorful "dance" of thousands of fireworks in the port of Hydra on the night of the Festival's climax.
'Miaoulia' is a popular annual maritime celebration that gathers dozens of boats, sailboats, inflatables, and yachts in the area and the small port of the island.
Hydra is the island of artists, as it has been a place of inspiration for painters, poets, prose writers, and musicians and a place of residence for many of them. Stately, picturesque and at the same time cosmopolitan, Hydra is a favorite destination for short getaways.
'Miaoulia' is the top event on the island, but Hydra remains charming at all times of the year and very close to Athens, even for a day trip.
'Armata' in Spetses
The Armata Festival is the top event for the island of Spetses. The re-enactment of the burning of the Turkish flagship in the port of Spetses in 1822 takes place every year on the second weekend of September.
The events last a week, are artistic and religious and gather many people. Spetses, with its long maritime tradition, has always been a favorite destination for Athenians, either for weekend getaways or for their summer vacations. An island overgrown with pine trees, old mansions, carnages, and rich nightlife attracts the interest of all ages.
At the same time, it is a favorite destination for speedboats, sailboats, and larger yachts due to the many berths, the facilities it offers them, and the endless options for sea trips in Argolic trick. Next to Spetses is one of the most famous private islands of the country, Spetsopoula, owned by the Niarchos family.
The 'Armata' Festival is ideal for an excursion to the island as both the evocative representation of the naval battle and the burning of the effigy of the Turkish flagship are spectacular as they are completed with thousands of fireworks.
The Greeks look for reasons to celebrate as much as possible, and you can take advantage of that during your visit to our country!
Unesco World Heritage Sites
The propylaea columns in the Acropolis - credits: Fotokon/Shutterstock.com
Greece has 18 monuments that have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing all visitors of Greece, especially the silver travelers, with great insight into Greek history and culture.
Here are the monuments you should include in your Greek itinerary.
Acropolis, Athens - included in the list in 1987
The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are global symbols of the classical spirit and culture and constitute the largest architectural and artistic complex inherited from Greek antiquity in the world.
In the second half of the 5th century BC, Athens, after the victory against the Persians and the establishment of the republic, took a leading position among the other city-states of the ancient world. In the era that followed, as thought and art flourished, an outstanding group of artists implemented the ambitious plans of the Athenian statesman Pericles and, under the inspired guidance of the sculptor Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and art.
Archaeological site in Vergina - included in the list in 1996
The city of Vergina, the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, was discovered in the 19th century near Vergina in northern Greece.
The most important finds are the monumental palace, richly decorated with mosaics and painted stucco, and the cemetery with more than 300 tombs, some of which date back to the 11th century BC.
One of the royal tombs of the Great Tomb is that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son, Alexander, and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.
The archaeological site of Delphi - included in the list in 1987
The Panhellenic sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo was located, was the location of the 'navel of the world.'
Harmoniously combined with the magnificent landscape and with sacred significance, Delphi in the 6th century BC. was indeed the religious center and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world.
People in the Odeon of Herodes Atticus - credits: michele schwingboth/Shutterstock.com
Archaeological site in Mystras - included in the list in 1989
Mystras, the "wonder of the Morea," was amphitheatrically built around the fortress built in 1249 by the Prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin.
Recaptured by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the fascinating medieval ruins in a beautiful landscape.
Ancient Olympia - included in the list in 1989
The site of Olympia, in a valley of the Peloponnese, has been inhabited since prehistoric times.
In the 10th century BC, Olympia became a worship center of Zeus. The sanctuary of the gods has one of the highest concentrations of masterpieces from the ancient Greek world.
In addition to the temples, there are the ruins of all the athletic structures erected for the Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia every four years, beginning in 776 BC.
The archaeological site of Philippi - included in the list in 2016
The ruins of this walled city lie at the foot of an acropolis in northeastern Greece, on the ancient route connecting Europe and Asia, the Egnatian Way. It was founded in 356 BC. by the Macedonian king Philip II, the city developed as a "little Rome" with the establishment of the Roman Empire in the decades after the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC.
The living Hellenistic city of Philip II, from which you can see their walls and gates, the theater, and the burial garden, was complemented by public Roman buildings such as the forum and a monumental terrace with temples to the north.
Later, the city became a center of the Christian faith after the visit of the Apostle Paul in AD 49-50. The ruins of its basilicas are excellent testimony to the early establishment of Christianity.
Mycenae and Tiryns - included in the list in 1999
The archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns are the imposing ruins of the two largest cities of the Mycenaean civilization, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century BC. and they played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture.
These two cities are inextricably linked with the Homeric epics, the Iliad, and the Odyssey, which have influenced European art and literature for more than three millennia.
Delos - included in the list in 1990
According to Greek mythology, Apollo was born on this small island in the Cyclades archipelago. The sanctuary of Apollo attracted pilgrims from all over Greece and Delos was a rich trading port.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site island bears traces of successive civilizations in the Aegean world, from the 3rd millennium BC. in the early Christian era.
The archaeological site is extremely extensive and rich and conveys the image of a large cosmopolitan Mediterranean port.
Medieval Town of Rhodes - included in the list in 1988
The Order of St. John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and began to turn the city into a fortress.
It then came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital, and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period.
In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths, and other buildings from the Ottoman period.
Monasteries of Daphne, Saint Loukas, and Nea Moni in Chios - included in the list in 1990
Although they are geographically far apart, on the other hand, these three monasteries (the first is in Attica, near Athens, the second in Phocis near Delphi, and the third on an island in the Aegean, near Asia Minor) belong to the same typological series and share the same aesthetics characteristics.
The churches are built in the shape of a square cross with a large dome supported by pincers defining an octagonal space. In the 11th and 12th centuries, they were decorated with magnificent marble works as well as mosaics on a golden background, all characteristic of the "second golden age of Byzantine art."
Syros - credits: Milan_Gonda/Shutterstock.com
Corfu Old Town - included in the list in 2007
The Old Town of Corfu, on the island of Corfu, is strategically located at the entrance to the Adriatic Sea and has its roots in the 8th century BC.
The city's three forts, designed by famous Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trade interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. Over time, the forts were repaired and partially rebuilt several times, most recently under British rule in the 19th century.
The Old Town's mainly neoclassical housing stock comes partly from the Venetian period and partly from later constructions, notably in the 19th century. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfu's urban and port complex is notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity.
Early Christian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki - included in the list in 1988
Founded in 315 BC, the provincial capital and seaport of Thessaloniki were one of the first bases for the spread of Christianity. Among its Christian monuments are also fine churches, some built in the Greek plan of the cross and others in the plan of three basilica churches.
Made over a long period of time, from the 4th to the 15th century, they constitute a timeless typological series that had a significant influence on the Byzantine world. The mosaics of the rotunda, Saint Demetrius and Saint David are among the great masterpieces of early Christian art.
Pythagoras and Heraion of Samos - included in the list in 1992
Many civilizations have inhabited this small Aegean island since the 3rd millennium BC.
The ruins of Pythagoras, an ancient fortified port with Greek and Roman monuments and an impressive tunnel aqueduct, as well as the Heraion, the temple of Samian Hera, survive to this day.
Sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus - included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1988
In a small valley in the Peloponnese, the sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of medicine, grew out of a much older cult than that of Apollo, in the 6th century BC. at the latest, as an official cult of the state of Epidaurus.
Its main monuments, especially the Temple of Asclepius, the Dome, and the Theater are considered one of the purest masterpieces of Greek architecture. The vast site, with its temples and hospital buildings dedicated to its healing gods, provides valuable information on the healing cults of Greek and Roman times.
Temple of Epicurean Apollo in Vasse - included in the list in 1986
This famous temple of the god of healing and the sun was built in the middle of the 5th century BC. on the lonely heights of the Arcadian mountains.
The temple, located in the oldest Corinthian capital that has been found, combines the archaic style and serenity of the Doric style with some bold architectural features.
The historical center of Chora with the Monastery of Ag. John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse in Patmos - included in the list in 1999
The small island of Patmos in the Dodecanese is reputed to be the place where St. John the Theologian wrote both his Gospel and the Apocalypse.
The beautiful monastic complex dominates the island. The old settlement of Chora, associated with it, contains many religious and secular buildings.
The best natural thermal baths in Greece for seniors
Older couple enjoying the Greek island of Santorini - credits: NadyaEugene/Shutterstock.com
Health Tourism is a thematic form of tourism that offers tourist services that uniquely and creatively combine vacations with treatment or wellness.
Springs of Loutraki
Its proximity to Athens, which is only 80 km away, and the hypothermic and moderately radioactive thermal water of Loutraki automatically make it one of the most popular springs in Greece.
Of course, it is worth pointing out that the Municipality of Loutraki equipped the place with a fully modernized municipal hydrotherapy center, thus offering treatment and relaxation for all tastes.
In the municipality of Almopia Aridaia, at the foot of Kaimaktsalan, the Loutraki-Pozar thermal springs unfold.
The geography of the place allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beneficial properties of the springs and simultaneously explore the caves of the Macedonian mountains.
Kameni Vourla Baths
It is one of the largest resorts in Central Greece, just a few miles away from Evia. In the area, thermal water springs up from various sources, with variations in its chemical composition, while this water supplies two hydrotherapy centers of the city, "Hippocrates" and "Asclepios."
Thermi Thermal Baths
The thermal springs of Thermi are located in the mountainous region of the Prefecture of Xanthi and are classified in the thermal category of oxycarbonate waters. According to medical research, this part is recommended for fighting infectious diseases.
Baths of Apollonia
It is one of the most accessible baths as it is only 50 km east of Thessaloniki. Bath treatments in Lake Volvi are indicated for the relief and treatment of rheumatic and gynecological diseases, diseases of the nasal cavity, lung diseases, cervical syndrome, asthma, as well as certain dermatological diseases.
Near Zacharo Ilias, in a beautiful landscape full of pines and eucalyptus, visitors enjoy hydrotherapy away from the stress of the city and its intense rhythms.
At the foot of Mount Lapitha, at the opening of the cave, is the renovated hydrotherapy center of the area that operates from June to October.
Baths of Edipsos
The Baths of Edipsos are the most ancient thermal springs. A magnificent landscape of lush vegetation meeting the turquoise sea makes it one of the most cosmopolitan spa locations. It houses the luxurious thermal spa, one of the most famous spas in the world, known for the kind staff, but also the high-level services it offers.
Finally, I left the Lagada baths, which is a spa town just 2 kilometers outside the main town of Lagada. The water of Lagana is characterized as hypothermic and is indicated for kidney diseases, rheumatism, gynecological diseases, and skin diseases.
The Lagada baths also have a specially designed area with a restaurant, snack bar, playgrounds, and a park.
Greece tours for silver travelers
Dinner in Santorini - credits: _Santorines/Shutterstock.com
Traveling as a senior in Greece opens up the opportunity for you to indulge in Greece tours that, although they are not specifically addressed to people of a certain age, are an excellent way of getting to know the country and its culture safely and effortlessly.
Our Best of Athens tour is one of our most highly-rated Greece tours, allowing our guests to get an overview of the magical city of Athens with a visit to the most significant archaeological site, the Acropolis, and an extensive drive around the city's highlights.
At the same time, if you're foodies and want to save yourself the walk, a food tour has an olive-oil tasting in Athens might be exactly what you're looking for. During this experience, you will have the opportunity to taste many olive oil varieties, savor a traditional Greek feast, and visit a Greek olive grove.
Leaving Athens and moving on to the gorgeous Greek islands, our tour to 7 traditional villages in Crete will take you around seven picturesque villages and offer you major insight into the local culture in a setting that looks like it has come out of a fairytale.
Similarly, our Santorini wine tasting requires minimal effort and walking on your part. At the same time, it will introduce you to the vast wine production of Santorini, giving you -literally- a taste of the best it has to offer.
If you want to get hands-on with our cooking tradition, our Naxos wood-fire cooking class will allow you to get acquainted with the local cooking methods and traditional dishes in a fun and engaging activity.
Last but certainly not least, our Mykonos Highlights tour will show you around the most significant sights of the cosmopolitan island with ease and comfort, making you appreciate simple luxury in a trademark Cycladic landscape.
Who needs senior tours when all of our tours are inclusive for all ages?
Explore and discover Ancient Greece and its culture, natural baths, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and local delicacies. Whether you choose the summer or winter, visit our small but mighty country to learn all about Greek culture, the local customs, and the hospitable people.
Let's not wait another day.