Accommodation in Greece - Greek Holiday Destinations
Greece offers a huge range of holiday accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, as you'd expect of a country that attracts more than 12 million foreign tourists each year. There are lap of luxury hotels for those that can afford them, cheap and cheerful dorm-style rooms for budget backpackers, numerous well-equipped camp sites and plenty of package holiday hotels in all the most popular resort areas.
Visitors to Greece fall into three main categories - there's your independent island-hopper, your package holidaymaker and your cruise ship clientele. If you're intending to embark on an island-hopping tour without making hotel reservations in advance be aware that you may end up in some less than satisfactory accommodation in the high season months of July and August, especially on the most popular islands.
Owners of budget accommodation on many of the busier islands usually gather in a noisy gaggle at the quayside to meet visitors arriving by ferry. They brandish "domatia" or rooms to let signs and will often try to grab both you and your suitcase and bundle you into a waiting minibus. Even if you've pitched up without booking a room for the night don't commit yourself until you've inspected the accommodation, because often the location and facilities are a far cry from the owner's description.
Domatia were originally rooms in private houses, usually without a bathroom (or any other facilities to speak of). These days many domatia are well-equipped and offer clean and comfortable rented accommodation at a very affordable price.
Hotels are graded from A down to E with the A-class hotels providing top of the range facilities and the E-class hotels offering only the most basic accommodation. There's a huge number of mid-range C-class hotels which are reasonably priced and have en-suite facilities (though you may end up with one of those irritating hip baths that force you into Houdini-style contortions as you struggle to submerge more than two limbs at the same time).
There are about 350 camp sites around Greece, many of them in wonderful settings. If you have more of a taste for adventure than for five-star self-indulgence you might want to try one of the mountain refuges that you'll find in various stunning locations around the mainland and on the islands of Crete and Evia. If you're a keen hiker you can bed down for the night at the home of the gods in one of the mountain huts on Mt Olympus which boasts the highest peak in Greece. And in some areas you can sample a taste of the monastic life and sleep in a cell of one of the countless monasteries that pepper the mountains of the mainland and islands.
Self-catering complexes of bungalows and apartments have sprung up in all the main resort areas in recent years and are a popular choice for families. Many provide accommodation for four or more people and offer more freedom for youngsters than the confines of a hotel room. The better ones are well equipped with supermarkets, swimming pools and other sports and leisure facilities.