If you’re a senior dreaming of exploring Greece, you’re in for a treat. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill travel guide; we’ve tailored it to help you discover the best of Greece, from ancient wonders to modern eateries, all while keeping your comfort in mind.
Trust us, there’s more to Greece than just blue-domed chapels and sunsets, although those are pretty great, too. Follow our senior-friendly vacation guide to get the most out of your visit.
- 1 Senior-Friendly Vacation Choices
- 2 How to Get Around
- 3 Amazing Historic Locations
- 4 Restaurants to Visit
- 5 Greek Foods to Try
- 6 Conclusion
Senior-Friendly Vacation Choices
First on the list are hotels. These are often the go-to options for many travelers. Hotels offer room service and a concierge, which are generally easy to book. However, they can be on the expensive side. Additionally, older hotels may lack modern accessibility features, making them less ideal for seniors with mobility issues.
- Pros: Full range of services, easy to book.
- Cons: It can be expensive and might lack accessibility features.
Airbnb and Vacation Rentals
Next, we have Airbnb and vacation rentals. These accommodations provide a home-away-from-home experience. You can enjoy cooking your meals and having more living space.
On the downside, the quality of these rentals can vary. And if you need specialized amenities, like a stairlift, you’ll need to check the listings carefully. It pays to read the details of the Airbnb place you plan on booking, just like selecting the right travel insurance. You want something as secure as Travelexinsurance that gives you the right coverage. In this case, the Airbnb should have every necessary facility and amenities.
- Pros: Homey atmosphere, cooking facilities.
- Cons: Quality can vary and may lack specialized amenities.
Guesthouses and B&Bs
These options offer a warm, local touch. Often run by families, you might even be treated to a homemade breakfast. However, they might not have all the amenities you’re used to. Some may lack elevators or other accessibility features, so checking ahead is good.
- Pros: Cozy atmosphere, local experience.
- Cons: Limited amenities may lack accessibility features.
How to Get Around
The railway is one of Greece’s fastest, cheapest, and most convenient ways of getting around major cities. The stations are just a stone’s throw away from hotels, malls, and tourist locations. Taking the metro is a good option for getting around Athens if you want to cut down on taxi fares.
One problem of the metro is how they can be unfriendly to seniors. On peak periods, they can be crowded by workers, students, and local commuters. In addition, there is no guarantee a station has a working elevator or ramp.
- It is a cheap and convenient transport option
- The stations are near tourist attractions
- It can become crowded at peak times
- Lack of senior accessibility
KTEL buses are the backbone of Greece’s intercity transport. They’re a solid pick if you plan to see more of the country beyond Athens. These buses can take you anywhere, from beach towns to mountain villages. They are often clean and comfortable, and the services are well-organized.
However, these buses might pose some challenges for senior travelers. First, many buses have steps, making it hard for those with mobility issues. Secondly, space for luggage and mobility aids can be limited. This means you might have to make special arrangements in advance.
- Clean and comfortable for long journeys
- Extensive network covers most of the country
- Steps and narrow aisles can be tricky for those with mobility issues
- Limited space for luggage and mobility aids
Taxis and Ride-Sharing
Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber offer great flexibility. They are a go-to for those who want the convenience of door-to-door service. You can catch a ride from the street or book one through a mobile app. The service can be particularly helpful when carrying shopping bags or after a tiring day of sightseeing.
However, costs can quickly increase, especially in tourist-heavy areas with inflated rates. Plus, not all taxis are equipped to accommodate seniors with special needs. For example, a taxi may not have enough space for a wheelchair or may lack handrails.
- Door-to-door service for ultimate convenience
- Easy to hail or book through an app
- It can be expensive, especially in touristy areas
- May lack specialized amenities for seniors
Amazing Historic Locations
Greece is a treasure trove of history and culture. For seniors, visiting its historic locations is like stepping back in time. Below are some amazing landmark places that offer stunning views and are packed with fascinating tales from the past.
The Acropolis symbolizes ancient Greek civilization and offers a rich historical experience. Seniors visiting Athens should not miss this iconic landmark. Architectural marvels like the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike will be seen.
Getting to the Acropolis is quite straightforward if you’re staying in a central Athens hotel. The Athens Metro runs directly to the Acropolis station. Once you get off, it’s a brief but uphill walk to the site.
For those with mobility issues, it’s worth noting that the climb might be strenuous. It’s best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and the heat.
The ancient site of Olympia gives you a glimpse at what ancient Olympic athletes had gone through. Olympia is a fascinating archaeological site in the Peloponnese, featuring ruins of temples, athletic stadiums, and other historic structures.
The closest city to Olympia is Pyrgos, and from there, you can take a KTEL bus to the site. The bus ride is comfortable and offers a scenic view of the Greek countryside. Once you’re there, be prepared for quite a bit of walking, as the site is expansive.
If you have mobility challenges, consider bringing a walking aid. The site is mostly flat, but the ground can be uneven.
For seniors interested in early Macedonian history, Pella is a must-visit. Known as the birthplace of Alexander the Great, the site offers a peek into ancient urban planning with its ruins of palaces and agoras. The closest major city to Pella is Thessaloniki.
A KTEL bus will take you from Thessaloniki directly to the archaeological site. The ride is not too long, making it an easy day trip.
Once you arrive, you’ll find the site is flat and easy to navigate, although there’s little shade. The museum near the entrance offers a respite from the sun and has seating where you can take a break.
Philippi is an archaeological site in northeastern Greece, renowned for its historical significance in ancient Macedonia and early Christianity. The easiest way for seniors to reach Philippi is to take a bus from Kavala, the nearest city. Kavala is well connected by bus to other major cities like Thessaloniki.
Once you arrive at Philippi, amenities are somewhat limited, but vendors usually sell water and light snacks near the entrance. The terrain is mostly flat but uneven, so good walking shoes are recommended.
Delphi once considered the center of the world in ancient Greek mythology, is a captivating site perched on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.
The nearest city to Delphi is Athens, and several bus services operate this route. Alternatively, seniors can opt for an organized day tour from Athens, which typically includes transportation and a guide.
Once at Delphi, you’ll find a few small cafes and shops near the entrance that sell artwork and decorative cups. Given the site’s location on a mountain slope, be prepared for uphill walking.
The ancient city of Mycenae gives you a glimpse into the world described in Homer’s epics. Located in the Peloponnese, Mycenae is most easily reached by car or as part of a guided tour from nearby cities like Athens or Nafplio.
If you prefer public transportation, KTEL buses from Athens or Nafplio also make stops at Mycenae. Upon arrival, you’ll find a small shop selling snacks and drinks and a bookstore. The site is hilly and includes some steep paths so it might be challenging for those with mobility issues.
Restaurants to Visit
Greece offers a range of dining experiences that bring together the flavors of the country in inviting settings. Below are restaurants that serve delightful dishes and are relatively easy for seniors to get to.
Alficon Speakeasy Gastronomy, Athens
Alficon isn’t your average dining establishment; it is a fusion of old and new, wrapped up in an atmosphere of elegance and modernity. You can find Alficon near Syntagma Square. The restaurant borrows the concept of a “speakeasy” from the Prohibition era, adding an element of secrecy and allure to your dining experience.
What sets Alficon apart is its focus on redefining Greek culinary traditions. Using locally sourced ingredients, the chefs blend classic recipes with modern techniques, elevating every dish into a unique experience. The restaurant has gained fame for its food and carefully curated cocktails, like the Greek Coffee Martini, that echo the same blend of tradition and innovation.
Dishes and Beverages:
- Grilled Octopus: A beautifully plated dish that combines the richness of the sea with subtle smoky flavors.
- Greek Coffee Martini: A unique blend of Greek coffee and martini elements, offering a rich, smooth experience.
Maiandros Restarant, Athens
Maiandros is a tribute to Greek culinary heritage, rooted deeply in family tradition. Tucked away in a cozy corner near Panormou station, the restaurant has a reputation for serving some of Athens’s most authentic Greek food.
The owners have been in the restaurant business for generations, and their love for Greek cuisine shines through in every dish. With its warm ambiance and classic dishes like Moussaka and Retsina, Maiandros makes you feel like you’re eating in a Greek family’s home.
The place has a nostalgic touch, adorned with traditional Greek décor and filled with the aroma of spices and herbs, making it a special spot for seniors to relish a truly authentic meal.
Dishes and Beverages:
- Moussaka: A classic Greek dish made from layers of eggplant, meat, and béchamel sauce. It’s hearty and comforting.
- Retsina: This traditional Greek white or rosé resinated wine is known for its pine-infused aroma and flavor.
Merastri offers more than just food; it provides an experience deeply rooted in Cretan culture. This restaurant celebrates Crete’s rich culinary landscape amid olive groves in Agia Marina.
What makes Merastri unique is its commitment to local produce. Almost all the ingredients are sourced from the restaurant’s garden or local farmers. Merastri also gives you a table with a view.
Dishes like Dakos and Lamb Kleftiko taste divine and tell a story of Crete’s traditions and lifestyle. For seniors who appreciate fresh food, scenic beauty, and cultural richness, Merastri is a must-visit.
- Dakos: A Cretan salad featuring barley rusk, tomatoes, and cheese, offering a medley of textures and fresh flavors.
- Lamb Kleftiko: Slow-cooked lamb with herbs and vegetables, a dish that melts in your mouth and captures the essence of Cretan cuisine.
Zorbas Tavern, Athens
Zorbas Tavern is not just a place to eat; it’s an institution in Athens. Situated close to the Acropolis, the tavern has been serving its community since the early ’80s. It has an old-world charm with wooden tables and classic Greek decor that transports you back in time.
Unlike many modern eateries, Zorbas sticks to what it knows best: traditional Greek food. The establishment prides itself on using recipes passed down through generations. With live Greek music on most nights and a friendly staff, the tavern is a hit among locals and tourists alike.
Zorbas Tavern is the place to be for seniors interested in a nostalgic Greek dining experience full of flavor and local culture.
Dishes and Desserts:
- Souvlaki: Skewers of grilled meat served with pita bread, a staple in Greek cuisine that’s both tasty and filling.
- Baklava: A dessert made from layers of filo pastry, filled with nuts and honey, offering a sweet end to your meal.
Peskesi is a celebration of Crete’s culinary and cultural heritage. Located in the heart of Heraklion, the restaurant is housed in a restored mansion, adding a layer of historical richness to your dining experience.
Peskesi goes to great lengths to source its ingredients from local farmers, staying true to traditional Cretan cooking methods. But it’s not just about the food; the restaurant also has a collection of conventional Cretan artifacts, turning the venue into a small museum.
The blend of delicious food and cultural storytelling makes Peskesi a unique experience, perfect for seniors who appreciate history and gastronomy.
- Fava: A creamy dish made from yellow split peas, topped with olive oil and onions, offering simple yet profound flavors.
- Seafood Platter: An assortment of fresh local seafood grilled to perfection and seasoned with local herbs.
Rakadiko Stoa Kouvelou, Pireas
Set in the bustling port city of Pireas, Rakadiko Stoa Kouvelou offers a culinary escape from the urban hustle. It specializes in mezedes, small Greek dishes designed to be shared and traditionally paired with raki.
The atmosphere is relaxed but vibrant, filled with locals coming here for years. The interior has a rustic charm with wooden accents and nautical decor, paying homage to Pireas’ maritime history.
One of the highlights is their seafood, sourced directly from the nearby Aegean Sea. Seniors will find this place a welcoming spot to enjoy traditional Greek flavors, engage in lively conversation, and soak in the local culture.
Dishes and Beverages:
- Grilled Sardines: These are served fresh off the grill lightly seasoned to let the natural flavors shine through.
- Raki: This strong Greek spirit pairs well with mezedes, offering a true taste of Greek culture.
Greek Foods to Try
While Greece has many restaurants, you can buy local produce and make incredible Greek food in your home. Below are some easy-to-make dishes to bring Greece back home.
If you’re a fan of layered dishes with rich flavors, then moussaka is right up your alley. Originating from the Mediterranean but popularized by the Greeks, moussaka is a comfort food dream. Imagine layers of sautéed eggplant, seasoned ground meat, and a creamy béchamel sauce, all baked to golden perfection. It’s like lasagna but with a Greek twist. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
- 2 large eggplants, thinly sliced
- 2 potatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 lb ground beef or lamb
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
For Béchamel Sauce:
- 4 cups milk
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a baking dish.
- In a pan, sauté the eggplant slices in olive oil until browned. Remove and set aside.
- In the same pan, brown the ground meat. Add onions and garlic, and cook until softened.
- Stir in crushed tomatoes, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Layer the bottom of the baking dish with potato slices. Add a layer of eggplant slices on top.
- Spread the meat mixture over the eggplant. Repeat the layers, ending with eggplant on top.
- For the béchamel sauce, melt butter in a saucepan. Add flour and stir until smooth.
- Gradually add milk, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. Add nutmeg and salt.
- Pour the béchamel sauce over the layers in the baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.
Fava is a classic Greek dish served on nearly every taverna menu, but it’s so easy you can make it at home. Despite the name, fava is made from split lentils and not beans.
These turn into a smooth, flavorful dip with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of lemon. Fava is healthy, simple, and oh-so-delicious. So, if you’re up for a culinary trip to the Greek Islands without leaving your kitchen, let’s start.
- 1 cup yellow split peas
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: chopped parsley or capers for garnish
- Rinse the yellow split peas under cold water until the water runs clear.
- In a large pot, add the split peas, chopped onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Pour in the water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the peas are soft, usually about 40-50 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf and discard it. Use a blender or food processor to puree the mixture until smooth.
- Add in the olive oil and lemon juice while blending. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If the mixture is too thick, add a little water to reach your desired consistency.
- Pour the fava into a serving dish and make a small well in the center. Drizzle more olive oil in the well and garnish with chopped parsley or capers if you like.
Ah, Souvlaki! It’s the Greek fast food that has won hearts worldwide. These small pieces of skewered and grilled meat are not only delicious but also super easy to make at home.
Whether you wrap them in a pita or enjoy them on a plate with some veggies, Souvlaki is always a hit. Let’s fire up the grill and make some.
- 1 lb chicken, pork, or lamb, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Wooden or metal skewers
- Optional: pita bread, sliced onions, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce for serving
- In a bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add the meat cubes and make sure they’re well coated. Let them marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight for better flavor.
- If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes to prevent burning.
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Thread the marinated meat cubes onto the skewers.
- Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the meat is cooked through.
- Remove the skewers from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes.
- If you like, serve your Souvlaki wrapped in pita bread with sliced onions, tomatoes, and a dollop of tzatziki sauce.
So there you have it, a snapshot of Greece’s many experiences waiting for you. Whether you’re keen on stepping into the world of ancient gods at Olympia or savoring Cretan dishes under an olive tree,
Greece is more than a destination; it’s a feeling, a culture, a history lesson, and a gastronomic adventure all rolled into one. We hope this guide adds a little zest to your travel plans and that your trip becomes one for the memory books. Safe travels, and enjoy your Grecian adventure!