The vacation doesn’t begin at the airport, in the car or at the train station – it begins when you feel truly present in your destination. Here are our tips for switching off from life by switching on your inner Greek.
Nothing beats that feeling when you first feel that you truly are on vacation. Elation mingled with peace. Knowing there is nowhere else you would rather be but there, in that very moment.
For us Greeks, stepping into the vacation spirit isn’t about reaching a destination – it’s about reaching a state of mind. You’re not ‘on vacation’, you’re living your vacation. You’re tasting every taste, noticing every shade of blue around you, reconnecting with your truest self.
After months of routine and chasing endless to-do lists, it isn’t always easy to switch off from ordinary life. When part of your mind is planning what’s next, you’re not going to feel every extraordinary moment. We say, do as the Greeks do – try these experiences to live and breathe island life.
Seeing may be believing, but movement is where the soul really comes to play. Switch off the thinking part of the brain and turn on the feeling part by dancing. Join us in the Hasapiko or get up and move your feet when you hear the season’s most played tune. Dancing is a gift from the ancient gods, so embrace it and see where it takes you.
Not one for dancing? Move in another way. Dive into the turquoise waters or climb to a viewing point and you’ll be rewarded with a beating heart and something surprising to stir your senses.
The Mediterranean diet is known for its freshness and simplicity. Greek food is all about enhancing what is naturally there – sweetness, zest, earthiness – the tastes of our land.
Get closer to each island by tasting our flavours. Buy olives, honey and feta from the region. Order a feta and spinach pie or stuffed vine leaves. Notice how they taste and what they remind you of. Order your favourite item again – why try something once when you can experience it twice.
Try something new
Breaking away from the everyday means doing something different. Join a tour and let your mind escape through old tales or set yourself a challenge to find the oldest artefact in a museum. Try yoga overlooking the pristine blue waters, kayak to caves or order a drink you’ve never tried. The surprises that come your way will be the memories you cherish long after your trip.
There’s a difference between enjoying each moment and really experiencing them. Sometimes you have to remind yourself to do this, but it’s all about taking a pause. Smell the wine before you drink it, touch the vines before you walk into a restaurant, smell the bougainvillea around a doorway, remember to take your shoes off on the beach. The Greek islands are special, and you’ll really see what we mean when you follow your senses.
Befriend a local
Everyone should experience the warmth of Greek hospitality. While our horizons make you feel totally free, our people bring you a sense of connection. Smiles and laughter are never in short supply, especially when you try a Greek phrase or two. Say ‘efharisto’ instead of ‘thank you’ and ‘yassou’ for ‘hi’ and see faces come alive. Get closer to the local people you meet by learning their names or asking for the best dish on the menu. Together, you can celebrate the place we call home.
or Linger Longer