Planning a girl’s trip can be hard in terms of choosing a destination that satisfies everyone’s demands. But when it comes to a place like Greece, can you really go wrong? With breathtaking islands, gorgeous scenery and delicious cuisine, Greece is sure to please all your girlfriends ?
If you hadn’t considered Greece for a girls’ getaway before, you definitely should! Here are 11 reasons why Greece is perfect for a holiday with your best girls.
[P.S. Thinking of a trip to Greece but don’t want the hassle of planning? Check out this 6D5N itinerary we’ve crafted!]
1. Stunning landscapes that will revitalise the soul
Greece’s beautiful landscapes will take your breath away. The countless magnificent sights will instantly bring Quranic verses such as this to life: “And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable, and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance.” (Surah Al-Hijr, 19).
Credit: Paul Stephenson on Flickr
With numerous spectacular beaches, idyllic islands, enchanting mountains, majestic monuments in one single destination, no one can blame you or your girlfriends for feeling like you’ve visited several different countries at the end of your big fat Greek vacation.
2. Abundant beautiful weather
Due to its diverse topography, Greece has many different climates. Much of the country is blessed with the gorgeous Mediterranean climate which results in about 300 days of sunshine a year. Your girls’ getaway will be basked in Vitamin D, so remember to pack some shades ?
Greece’s summers are warm and dry, while its winters are relatively mild and rainy. Regardless of the weather, you won’t be short of things to see and do in Greece – guaranteed!
3. Pristine beaches
With numerous beaches stretching over the world’s eleventh longest coastline as well as countless islands, you won’t be hard-pressed to find one which will cater to your whims and fancies.
Popular beaches include those in Mykonos (such as Platys Gialos) and Kefalonia (such as Myrtos). Many of the beaches offer great privacy as they are located in secluded spots of the islands, such as Karavostasi in Epirus or Lalaria in Skiathos. For even more unique beaches, check out Kamari (famous for volcanic black sand) or Elafonisi (which has pink-tinted sand ?).
#HHWT Tip: The best times to enjoy the heavenly beaches are between May and October.
4. Iconic island towns
Brace yourself for the picturesque Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes and more. The iconic sugar-cubed houses perched on seaside cliffs exude an unmistakable romantic vibe and are the perfect spot for a group wefie ?
If the crowd doesn’t faze you, consider a day trip on board the cruise to Poros, Hydra and Aegina. The sunset on these islands is phenomenal. Grab yourself some handmade souvenirs or try the freshly baked Greek pastries from the local bakery. Back on the cruise, keep your eyes peeled and camera handy. You may be in for a treat when the dolphins decide to emerge and play on the open sea.
[P.S. Here’s 9 gorgeous Muslim-friendly accommodations for your dream Greek island getaway!]
5. Islamic heritage
Greece has a rich Islamic heritage which dates back to the 14th century when it came under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The early Muslims stayed for over 500 years. Majority of the churches around the country became mosques under the Ottoman rule. In fact, the pagan temple Parthenon in Athens was once a mosque.
Credit: Chris on Flickr
Today, Muslims make up about 1.2% of the Greek population, with the majority being of Turkish descent. They reside mainly in Thrace where Greek-Islamic architecture is still clearly visible. Not to be missed is The Benaki Museum of Islamic Art in Athens, which displays hundreds of artefacts from the Islamic world.
It’s also interesting to note that Rhodes is home to 14 mosques including the town’s major landmark, the Suleiman Mosque. It was built in 1522 and named after the Turkish Sultan who conquered Rhodes ?
6. An abundance of unique fruits, including olives and pomegranates (fruits of the Qur’an!)
Credit: Rob Wallace on Flickr
Greece is the world’s third largest producer of olive oil after Spain and Italy. Therefore, when it comes to Greek souvenirs, there’s nothing more authentic than locally produced olive oil, soap, shampoo and body lotion to bring home. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said about olives in his hadith, “Eat the oil and use it on your hair and skin, for it comes from a blessed tree.” (Tirmidhi). Don’t miss the fun of sampling the huge variety of pickled olives at the markets until you find those that you like to buy ?
Credit: John Winder on Flickr
Like olives, grapes and pomegranates are also widely grown in Greece. Rich associations run like a common theme through the cultures of antiquity. These fruits are among those that are deeply rooted in ancient Greek mythology, as they are in the Qur’an. “And [We produce] gardens of grapevines and olives and pomegranates, similar yet varied.” (Surah Al-An’am, 99).
7. Delectable Mediterranean cuisine
Credit: @caitee_91 on Instagram
One can’t talk about Greece without mentioning its food. Greece has become famous for Mediterranean cuisine, even going so far as to inspire a Mediterranean diet which has become an eating or lifestyle habit for many. And while most tend to associate a Mediterranean diet with foods such as lemon, fish, olive oil, nuts and yoghurt, there is actually so much more!
Credit: Pera on Facebook
A lot of Greece’s cuisines reflect the influence of Turkish rule, particularly in popular dishes such as Souvlaki (skewered meat), Doner Kebab (spit-roasted meat) and Baklava (honey-based dessert). To note, there are several eateries in Athens offering that uses halal meat such as Raja Jee Fast Food in Omonia, Mikra Asia in Thymarakia (located near the National Archeological Museum), and Pera (located near the Ancient Agora of Athens). However we do note that many of them also serve alcohol on the premises, so we advise you to dine at your discretion.
Credit: Alpha on Flickr
In locations where halal-certified options were not available, there are plenty of vegetarian or seafood selections. We can’t get enough of vegetarian moussaka (baked eggplant with cheese), yemista (stuffed tomatoes and peppers with rice), Neapolitan pasta, and Greek salad. Lip smacking is an understatement.
8. Great, fresh seafood galore!
Credit: Marco Verch on Flickr
As a country surrounded by the Mediterranean sea, Greece is known for its fresh seafood. Imagine sinking your teeth into top-quality seafood which has been freshly caught, topped with aromatic herbs and spices, and drenched with the famous Greek olive oil. Hello and welcome to seafood heaven!
Credit: Andy Montgomery on Flickr
Ask the locals for recommendations of traditional Greek seafood dishes, though we do advise to check whether alcohol is used as an ingredient, and where applicable you can request for it to be omitted from your order. Then, sit back and indulge to your heart’s content ?
9. Unique culture, politics and history
As the birthplace of democracy, art, science, sports and philosophy, Greece offers a fascinating journey into history. Every summer, the Hellenic Festival in Athens has concerts and theatre performances which re-enact scenes of the country’s glorious past. You will find centuries-old ruins scattered throughout the country, as they coexist with current constructions and modern works of art.
Visit the museums for a glimpse of Greek mythology and the rich collection of historical artefacts. Don’t panic if you get caught in the middle of a political protest in Athens, which tend to be a regular occurrence. Public demonstrations have been woven into Greece's democracy and are usually peaceful events.
10. UNESCO sites and wonderful architecture
Credit: @raul.0506 on Instagram
Put on your walking shoes and explore the numerous ancient archaeological sites around the country. Among those which are registered in the UNESCO List of World Heritage are the Acropolis in Athens, the Hellenic Sanctuary of Delphi and the Archaeological Site of Olympia.
Credit: Pug Girl on Flickr
A lot of the buildings in the new Islamic Empire worldwide were designed by Greek architects. In addition, nearly all modern theatre designs can be traced back to the theatrical traditions first established by the Greeks. The Epidaurus was built in the 4th century B.C. Stand in the centre of the amphitheatre and yell out your name. You will immediately discover the untouched superior sonic quality of this theatre and why Greek architectural expertise is revered around the world.
11. Warm Greek people
Credit: Minolta102 on Flickr
Greek people are famously gregarious, friendly and hospitable. When you appear lost while navigating your way around the country, there is a good chance that a kind-hearted Greek will lend you a helping hand. Perhaps it’s the Mediterranean sun or the good food that make the people so agreeable, but whatever the case, what can make your travels even better than warm locals?
If there is one thing that the Greeks can inspire us with, it is their ability to take things easy, appreciate the small pleasures in life, and connect with their inner self – the perfect pathway to self-contentment.
Credit: @bb.zhong on Instagram
Greece is sure to leave an unforgettable impression on your girls’ trip and promise a bonding experience like no other. So, round up your girls, dust off your passports and pack up your luggage. The splendours of Greece are yours to explore!