Holiday Accommodation in Greece
Going on vacation in Greece? Information on finding the right place to stay: self-catering, bed and breakfast, hotel or youth hostel, find out more here...
With over 14 million visitors annually, there are many different types of accommodation in Greece, appropriate to different sorts of holidays and budgets.
Hotels on the mainland are generally open throughout the year. In seaside resorts, many hotels close during the winter months. In ski resorts, hotels may close during the summer season.
Hotel classification system
Hotels in Greece are classified using the star rating system, which replaces the old system of class designation. Hotels are rated from one to five stars. One star corresponds to the former E classification and designates a hotel with basic facilities. Five star (deluxe) corresponds to the former Lux classification, with luxury amenities and services. Some hotels still feature the former classification system.
- For further information on the classification system from the Greek National Tourist Office: Click here
Bed & Breakfast, Guest Houses and Rented Rooms (Domátia)
Domátia are rented rooms similar to a Bed & Breakfast. They are rated in the same way as hotels. Accommodation is generally good value, the main difference from hotels being that they don't have lobbies or dining rooms. This type of guest accommodation is most commonly found on the Greek islands and in rural areas, where there are few or no hotels. There are few Bed & Breakfasts and guest houses in the Athens area.
Domátia are advertised using signs on the house itself, or by the landlord in person, who will wait at the port to meet ferries arriving at the island. This is illegal in many areas, but still very common. Usually the owner will be able to show a brochure or pictures of the accommodation on the spot. Another way of finding a room in a guest house is by inquiring at the local tourist office, if there is one, or by asking the locals. The periptera (street kiosks for purchasing convenience items) are often a good place to start asking. Domátia can be rented for long periods and the price varies depending on its location. Prices are reasonable and often negotiable.
The type of accommodation provided differs from one place to another. On the islands, where many tourists visit year round, the rooms usually have modern amenities and en-suite bathrooms. In more remote locations this is less likely.
The owner of a guest house does not always live on the premises.
Camping in Greece is common with both Greeks and tourists, and there are many campsites on the mainland and on islands. Although most campers bring their own tents, some campsites have tents for rent, as well as rooms. The campsite is often divided into sections, with sections for caravans, campervans and tents. Facilities vary from one campsite to another, from basic amenities to resorts with swimming pools, game rooms and restaurants.
Upon arrival, campers will be asked to pay a deposit and present some form of identification (passport or ID card). Campers are given a tag to affix to the tent to show that they have paid. Usually there is a charge for every tent and an additional one for each camper. Payment is made at the end of the stay.
Camping outside of campsites, known as free camping, is illegal in Greece, although it is often tolerated.
Youth hostels are a good solution for travellers on a low budget. In Athens, Thessaloniki and on the islands of Santorini and Crete there are several youth hostels. Youth hostels are less common in the rest of Greece.
- Greek Youth Hostel Association
At: Damareos 75, 116 33 Pangrati
Tel: 210 751 9530
Fax: 210 751 0616
Holders of a Hostelling International card may benefit from reductions at some youth hostels in Greece.
- To find a youth hostel affiliated with Hostelling International: Click here
Alpine and Mountain Refuges
Hiking and mountaineering are popular outdoor sports in Greece, with a range of paths and trails for all levels. Mountain refuges can provide accommodation for walkers.
- For information and contact details from the Greek National Tourist Office of mountain refuges available throughout the country: Click here
There are quite a few ski resorts in Greece, including Parnassos, Kalavryta, Kaimaktsalan, Pigadia, Karpenissi, Vasilitsa and a few others. Accommodation in these resorts is available throughout the year. The type of accommodation varies, from hotels and chalets to rooms in guest houses.
Rural and alternative tourism is on the rise and the types of accommodation include hotels, farms and family-run cottages and guest houses. There are many places to visit in Greece year round.
- For information from the Greek Network of Rural Accommodation: Click here
Greece has many monasteries, many of which provide rooms and beds for one or several nights. Accommodation is available in rooms either situated within the monastery itself or nearby, but these may not be available all year round. There are usually hotels, domátia and campsites nearby. Within monasteries, accommodation facilities are usually quite basic.
Rules may vary greatly between different monasteries. Some are silent while some encourage prayer and meditation. One of the most famous groups, on Mount Athos near Thessaloniki, does not allow women. On Mount Athos only men are allowed and they need a special permit to enter the premises. This is more difficult to obtain for non-Orthodox visitors.
It is also possible to stay at some of the monasteries at the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meteora in Central Greece.