We did not visit Greece for quite a long time, as it was always associated only with a beach vacation. If you have not been to Greece, then most likely you have heard about the Athenian Acropolis, the island of Santorini, perhaps about the islands of Rhodes, Corfu, Crete, and... that's all.
In fact, there are plenty of sights in Greece. They are scattered on the mainland and islands. We planned our trip in a way to see the entire mainland and a couple of islands. It's difficult to visit more than 2-3 islands in a short time, since they are located pretty far away.
Greece has the standard Mediterranean climate: hot summer and warm winter. June - September are the best month for beach holidays, and April, May October for trips around the country. We were in April, the weather was perfect all the time.
Around Greece by car
The roads on the mainland are good. Autobahns are actively being built, so you need the newest maps. Autobahns are toll, every 10-20 kilometers you will see payment points. Approximate fare can be calculated on the following website https://www.viamichelin.com/. For example from Athens to Thessaloniki we paid 30 euros.
The main problem of the Greek autobahns is their small number. This is especially felt on the Peloponpes Peninsula, where there are a lot of interesting places, but the roads are pretty slow. On the islands, the situation with roads is even worse. Even if they exist, they are very narrow.
Check here http://www.highwaymaps.eu/greece speed limits in Greece. There are many speed cameras on the roads. As of 2018 most of them are not working. During our 3000 km trip we did not see police with radars.
Road traffic is really bad. In some places, for example in Thessaloniki, we left the car on the parking lot and took a taxi. However, a minute later our taxi was involved in a road accident!!!
We did not use buses and trains, but used ferries. Despite the fact that there are airports on many islands, ferries are the main way to travel. On the Internet you can find dozens of websites with Greek ferries, but the schedules should be checked on this website https://ferries.gtp.gr/.
It already passed and not visible to tourists. The main problems were in 2009 - 2014, when GDP fell by 26%. Now the economy has stabilized and is growing. In the summer of 2018 Greece for the first time signed an agreement on refusal of financial assistance. And in many places, such as the island of Kefalonia, signs of crisis are not seen at all.
For tourists the crisis means low prices in hotels and restaurants.
If you plan to see the mainland, then you can fly to Athens or Thessaloniki. For us it was cheaper to Thessaloniki, so we flew there and rented a car.
A little later, we flew over the weekend to see Athens and the surroundings. We will combine both of these trips and describe them in one route. The total mileage is 3000 kilometers.
In the morning we went 350 kilometers to Killini. Mostly on the new highway, which was not yet in the GPS, we found it ourselves. Bridge Rion - Andirion costs 13 euros.
In Killini we bought tickets for the next ferry to Zakynthos and had lunch. The island turned out to be very budget, but for us it was the first Greek island, so we did not immediately recognize it. Many roads are broken and in some places you have to drive on the beach.
The island has one significant attraction - Navagio Beach, so we went there. Despite short distances, it took quite a long time to get there. 44 kilometers took us an hour and a half, since the roads are very narrow.
We spent the night in the south of the island, since we wanted to meet the dawn near a beautiful wooden bridge to the island of Cameo (N 37 42.857 E 20 51.863). Though it is visible on Google Map, in reality it was demolished by storm and is no longer there.
To meet the sunset we went to the Keri rocks (N 37 39.309 E 20 48.464). But there everything was closed due to a reconstruction. Therefore, we watched the sunset from behind the fence. From above this place looks like this.
Next, according to our plan, we had a visit one of the main attractions of the island - the lake and cave Melissani (N 38 15.421 E 20 37.418). But when we arrived there, the sky was overcast and there is no sense in visiting this place in cloudy weather. Therefore, we decided to take an earlier ferry and visit something else, for example as ancient Olympia.