You may think Greece is for couples, families, or maybe even for groups of party-going friends, but it’s actually a fantastic destination for solo travellers. Being by yourself may be a daunting prospect, but solo travel Greece is quite viable — even for solo female travellers.
With its well-trodden tourist routes, friendly and helpful locals and the chance to head out on an adventure (or even just to lounge around on its beautiful beaches), there’s not too much to worry about.
Greece is a fantastic destination for those who are travelling solo, with everything you could wish for: picture-perfect beaches, vibrant nightlife, history, and friendly people. Let’s take a look at some of the best spots for solo travellers in Greece.
When to visit Greece for Solo travel
Whilst Greece is home to some of the best beaches and most romantic sunsets on the planet there are many things to see and do year round.
Summer in Greece is in June, July and August and is the ideal time to spend at the beaches and waterfalls while Spring and Autumn are excellent for hiking and exploring Ancient Ruins, Caves and Archaeological sites as well as exploring winding alleys and excellent shops, galleries and other points of interest in towns and villages.
August is also the busiest and most expensive month of the year whilst many islands close their tourist ‘season’ down between late October until Easter each year.
As such many people say that May – June and September are the best times to visit Greece, when the weather is great as are the prices and the crowds.
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Solo travel Crete
Once home to an ancient pre-Hellenic civilisation, Crete is the legendary birthplace of Zeus — king of the gods — but is perhaps more popular today for being ringed by white sand beaches, surrounded by turquoise seas, and having a selection of small, charming towns to discover.
Alongside that, the rich nature of Crete is a big draw, with everything from lush valleys to soaring mountainsides to explore — something that provides the island with an essential environment for its gastronomic credentials. It also makes for some wonderful hiking trails.
Why go Solo or have a singles holiday in Crete?
Travelling solo to Crete is a breeze. If you’re in need of some well-deserved sunshine but you’re travelling solo, there’s nothing much to worry about if you’re travelling to Crete.
There is a wide variety of accommodation to opt for: there are social hostels (complete with female-only dorms) where you can get to know other travellers, family-run guesthouses where you’ll feel supremely welcome, and fully-fledged resorts with security and all-inclusive packages.
It’s a well-travelled island, and there’s something for everybody – whether you’re a solo traveller who likes to party or if you simply want to kick back on a beach with a book. Crete has it all.
Things to do in Crete
Hiking may seem a surprising addition to the things you can do in Crete, but the island’s mountainous interior makes for some bold and breathtaking treks.
For example, the Samaria Gorge is a world-class beauty spot that can be easily reached, and then explored to your heart’s content. Simply take the bus there, hike down, and catch the ferry back to civilisation.
Another side of Crete’s nature is, of course, the beaches. Just off the southwestern corner of Crete, Elafonisi is a dreamy destination for beach-lovers. It’s a protected nature reserve with paradise beaches to match – a must if you’re attracted to sun, sea, and sand!
Then there’s the history. Knossos has been called Europe’s oldest city; it was the centre of the Minoan civilisation and is famed for the myth of the Theseus and the Minotaur. Head here for ruins, museums, and daydreaming about ancient empires.
For more history, there’s the Heraklion Archaeological Museum — one of the best in the world for Minoan art and artefacts.
Further reading : Things to do in Crete
Where to stay in Crete
The two nicest towns to stay in Crete are Chania and Rethymnon. Both have old, car free quarters filled with traditional tavernas and cascading bougainvillea. Chania also has a beautiful Venetian Harbour.
These towns are perfect for solo travellers as you can walk to everything and you don’t need to worry about transport. Both have some nice beaches close by as well.
Cyclades Islands Solo
At the centre of the Cyclades is Delos – an uninhabited island credited for being the birthplace of Greek gods, Apollo and Artemis. It’s a historic, almost holy place. Surrounding it are a host of beautiful islands, ranging from the upscale and deluxe feel of Santorini to the wealth of culture and beautiful beaches on Paros or Naxos.
For a real feeling of authentic Greece, check out the main island of Syros, particularly in the Cycladian capital of Ermoupoli, which boasts fascinating architecture and beautiful 19th-century buildings.
Elsewhere on Syros, there’s a more laid-back beach destination in the form of Kini, a seaside village minus the booming nightlife you may find elsewhere in the island group.
Two other wonderful islands in the Cyclades that are perfect for Solo travellers are Sifnos, with its laid back beach villages and delicious food culture and Milos, home to some of the best beaches in Greece and the very charming small Fishermans huts called Syrmata – some of which are converted rentals!
Further reading: Paros OR Naxos?
Why go Solo in The Cyclades Islands
Santorini is an excellent destination in Greece for a solo female traveller. There is a wide range of hostels, guesthouses, boutique hotels and Airbnbs that mean you don’t have to stay in romantic villas — and which also means you can meet like-minded travellers looking for their own slice of the Cyclades.
Naxos also offers up a safe place to explore. There are charming tavernas, a wide selection of lodgings, and a hospitable atmosphere that puts you at ease.
Because they are well-visited islands in general, you’ll easily be able to join a group tour; you’ll come into contact with other independent travellers, and hopefully meet make lifelong friends along the way!
Things to do in The Cyclades
Santorini of course needs no introduction and is famous for its breathtaking sunsets and stunning caves hotels along the caldera.. The island is basically a half-submerged volcano, and the views across the caldera are magnificent — especially when the sun goes down.
Winery tours are also the order of the day in Santorini – your Instagram feed will thank you for discovering the picturesque churches and chapels dotting the island and there are many other things to see and do on Santorini as well.
On Naxos, away from the beaches, your first destination should be the Temple of Apollo, where ruins dramatically cut a striking silhouette against the sea.
The ruins of the Temple of Demeter are equally impressive. From here, it would be amazing to catch a day trip to Delos, where wandering its ruins is like taking a step back in time. Otherwise Naxos is known for its excellent beaches and its local cuisine such as its world-class honey, herbs, cheese and potatoes!
Paros is a great compromise if you are short on time. It has all the elements of both Mykonos and Naxos and is situated right near them both. It has a wide variety of things to do and see and ticks all the boxes for all sorts of traveler, including people traveling on the own of course. No wonder if was voted Best Island in Europe in 2020!
Further reading :
Where to stay in the Cyclades Islands
If you haven’t been to Santorini it is definitely worth a visit and there are many places to stay catering to all budgets. You may soon tire however of the many honeymooners and couples indulging in romantic dinners and sunset cuddles so for a longer stay Naxos or Paros are better for singles.
Naxos has wonderful beaches and a very charming Old Town where you can stay in lovely lodging such as in these gorgeous rooms (pictured below) at one of our favourite family-run hotels in Greece. This is a central location in Chora and an easy stroll to everything. Very affordable too!
On Paros stay in either the Port Town of Parikia or the more upmarket ( and more expensive) town of Naoussa. Both are quintessential white sugar-cube Cycladic towns with many bars, shops, tavernas and numerous things to see and do.
Further reading: Where to stay in Paros
Solo in the Ionian Islands
While the Cyclades offer a more tranquil and, possibly, more pricey Greek excursion, the Ionian islands are known for their party hotspots as much as their family-friendly resort towns. Don’t let that put you off, though; there’s as much tradition and beautiful nature to explore on the Ionian islands as anywhere else.
Set just off the west coast of mainland Greece, the Ionians receive more rainfall than other island destinations in Greece, meaning their greenery and plant-life is particularly lush — worlds away from the rocky Cyclades.
The main hub for visitors here is Corfu, a well-known Greek holiday destination in the north of the island chain.
Boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, it’s no wonder Corfu has become so popular.
The coastline of Corfu may be home to resorts and beaches, but inland villages remain pretty much as they always have been.
Another well-known island is Zakynthos. The nightlife in its main town, Zante, makes the island infamous.
Kefalonia is another Ionian gem. A 1953 earthquake left many of traditional and historic buildings in ruins, but that doesn’t mean it’s not interesting with highlights including famous Myrtos beach and the charming villages of Assos and Fiscardo which largely survived the quake.
The nature here is particularly stunning, with crystal-clear waters allowing plenty of opportunities for snorkelling and diving and exploring caves and coves.
Why go Solo in the Ionian Islands
The Ionian islands may be popular as a mainstream destination, but that doesn’t mean solo travellers should avoid them. In fact, the popularity of the Ionian islands means there’s a fairly well-established infrastructure for tourists and independent travellers to get around easily.
Locals are helpful and used to visitors and will go out of their way to help you if you need to ask a question or get lost. Depending on the accommodation you choose, you’ll be able to meet some people along the way.
Things to do in the Ionian Islands
There’s plenty to do on any one of the Ionian islands.
The relaxed Lefkada, connected to the mainland via a narrow isthmus, has a wide selection of beaches.
So many that it is most certainly a destination for beach-lovers. The town of Vasiliki, with its relaxed atmosphere, is all about eating delicious food along the seashore. There’s also the popular Porto Katsiki Beach, only reached by descending one hundred steps.
If you’re thinking of heading to Corfu, on the other hand, you must make sure to explore beautiful Paleokastritsa which is made up of a series of bays and coves full of lovely beaches and sae caves.
Ithaca is another beautiful and quite fascinating island and is very close to Kefalonia. Thought to be the home of King Odysseus the hero of the Trojan War, this picturesque town also boasts a monastery dating back to 1226.
Where to stay in the Ionian islands
All the Ionian islands are lovely but most are spread far apart and require a bit of effort to island-hop. As several are very big, most people choose just one or two and perhaps do day trips to others.
For solo travellers, Corfu Town is very interesting and affords day trips to the mainland, Paxos and Anti-Paxos as well as Albania. Book a studio with a magical view over the old town or with a stunning view of the sea for a holiday to remember forever.
On Kefalonia, the northern town of Fiscardo is one of the prettiest and is a magical summer holiday destination all on its own. Stay at these lovely waterfront suites for beautiful water views, right next to the tavernas and shopping and all the creature comforts.
Solo in the Dodacanese Islands
Composed of 15 islands and 150 smaller islets scattered around the southeastern Aegean Sea, the Dodecanese Islands are actually closer to mainland Turkey than Greece. So close that you can even take day trips to Turkey.
Historic by nature, the Dodecanese islands are scattered with medieval castles, Byzantine churches, and archaeological ruins.
There are, of course, a selection of beaches to kick back on, which is good news as these are apparently the sunniest islands in all of Greece!
Because of their nature, each island has something different to offer visitors. The largest of these islands is Rhodes, which is also home to the eponymous city of Rhodes, the historic capital of the island group.
There’s also Kos – not only popular for tourists but history buffs too, thanks to its archaeological sites and museums. Other islands, however, have a less developed tourist infrastructure.
These have less high-end resorts and crammed beaches that you may find on some of the more popular islands. Symi, for example, is well-rated for day trips from Rhodes.
People come to eat, explore the town, then leave on the ferry, but it’s a viable destination all in itself and is home to an annual music festival.
Why go Solo in the Dodacanese Islands
Like other places in Greece that see high visitor numbers, the Dodecanese islands have a well-established network of routes between popular towns and islands, with ferries and buses connecting them.
This makes getting around as a solo traveller a breeze.
Then again, for the more intrepid tourist, the lesser-visited destinations of the Dodecanese (Symi, for example) mean you get to get to grips with Greek culture, history, and traditions away from large numbers of tourists.
But if you want to meet people, Rhodes and Kos are good hotspots for mingling and socialising with other travellers.
Things to do in the Dodacanese
On Rhodes, the 14th-century Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights points to the town’s history as a bastion of the Crusaders. Throughout the town, there are many examples of the island’s knightly past.
Along with historical sights such as Neratzia Castle, the island of Kos also has a selection of beaches, like Therma Beach, which comes complete with hot springs.
Often-overlooked Symi boasts a fair variety of monuments, such as the Holy Monastery of Archangel Michael, which was rebuilt as the stunning structure it is today in 1798. It has a stunning Venetian Harbour lined with colourful restored neo-classical buildings, many converted to small hotels and apartments.
The setting, surrounded by olive trees, is spectacular.
Where to stay in the Dodecanese Islands
Rhodes is a good choice of base to explore the Dodecanese Islands as it has an International airport and regular ferry connections to many of the other islands as well as the Turkish mainland.
Otherwise, solo travellers love beautiful Symi and renting a harbourfront studio here ( pictured below) will produce stunning views at a very affordable price point.
Solo travel Athens
The Greek capital city is a destination in itself.
Once the centre of the Ancient Greek empire, today the city is still crowned by astonishing landmarks that denote its important past.
This bustling metropolis is awash with everything you’d want of a capital city: there are monuments and museums, cafes and restaurants, bars and live music venues to discover throughout the neighbourhoods.
The city is made up of different districts – from the cool to the upscale.
Plaka, for example, is a creative hub under the watchful gaze of the Acropolis, whereas artistic, multicultural Kypseli serves up a dose of cool hipster hang-outs, with some of the most interesting bars and restaurants around.
Why go Solo in Athens
Travelling solo in Athens is certainly doable. Although it can seem like a daunting place to visit, there’s a surprisingly friendly atmosphere with a welcoming hospitality scene to match.
One of the best reasons to travel Athens by yourself is the freedom you’ll have to explore at your own pace, as opposed to being part of a tour or doing what someone else wants to do.
And that can make all the difference between a great or not-so-great holiday.
Things to do alone in Athens
The Acropolis, over 2,000 years old, is the place to see Athens’ ancient history.
Here you’ll find the Temple of Zeus and the Pantheon, as well as museums, but there are also many other reasons to travel to Athens.
Simply finding a street-side cafe where you can sit by yourself and people-watch is a great way to pass time and for those who love a bargain, Monastiraki Flea Market is not to be missed. Here you’ll find vintage clothes alongside traditional Greek souvenirs to take home.
Evenings in Athens can be spent in low-key bars or bistros, such as those in the bustling city centre, or in cool, contemporary Gazi with its music venues. Even if you only have one day in Athens you can pack a lot in, and a drink at one of the incredible rooftop bars is a must!
There are also many great day trips you can do from Athens like exploring the Athenian Riviera, the nearby Saronic Islands and even further afield such as the extraordinary Monastaries of Meteora (although do try and do this one overnight at least!).
Where to stay in Athens
There are many neighbourhoods in Athens that are worth exploring and staying in. Most are in the historic centre and the city is wonderfully walkable so whichever you choose is probably ok.
Plaka is one of the most touristic areas but has retained a lot of charm and is popular with Solo travellers as it is so close to everything and packed full of every amenity.
It is car-free in many parts and very clean and safe. Rent a studio that has a rooftop with stunning views of the Acropolis and you will never want to leave!
Further reading : Where to stay in Athens – Neighbourhoods & hotels including the airport, ports and Riviera
Greece tours for solo travelers
Sometimes it’s great to have someone else do all the planning and organisation so joining a tour in Greece can be a good solution. You can meet other travelers and know that your safety and convenience is a priority at all times.
Many solo visitors to Greece are often happy to explore the islands independently by ferry but join tours on the Mainland where driving is required.
It’s also fun to sail around the Saronic Islands near Athens – a fabulous day out and made more fun with a group of likeminded people and your own skipper and guide. Sailing and solo trips to Greece are a great combination!
We guarantee you will truly have the holiday of a lifetime!