Welcome fellow wanderers and travel enthusiasts! Join me as I recount the enchanting journey of Baldgirlwilltravel through the historic streets and vibrant landscapes of Athens, Greece in September 2023. From ancient ruins to modern marvels, this Mediterranean gem promises a perfect blend of history, culture, and unparalleled beauty!
In September, I embarked on a planned journey to explore the beauty of Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. However, fate had different plans for me, as on my second day in Athens, I suffered a severe ankle sprain, altering the course of my trip.
Navigating An Injury During Travel
In the aftermath of a sidewalk fall that resulted in a severe ankle sprain, a valuable lesson emerged— the paramount importance of travel insurance. Navigating through the unexpected, I found solace in reaching out to the attentive agents at Allianz. Their guidance was instrumental as they walked me through the necessary steps for filing a claim upon my return, outlining the essential documentation required.
A surprising revelation came to light during this experience – the realization that the insurance provided by credit cards may not be as dependable as commonly assumed. This underscores the critical need for dedicated travel insurance coverage. It’s a safeguard that proved indispensable in my moment of need.
Choosing to stay in a hotel during this ordeal also proved to be a wise decision. The establishment went above and beyond by arranging for a medical professional to come directly to my room (for a reasonable fee). This compassionate expert not only facilitated my journey to an open Urgent Care Facility but also played a crucial role in my medical assessment. For an expenditure of under 350 euros, the facility conducted X-rays, offered valuable advice on medications, and assisted in stabilizing my ankle.
A special commendation goes to the Homed medical center, where I received care. Their staff exhibited exceptional kindness and assistance throughout the process. Moreover, they ensured that I left with all the necessary documentation required for my insurance claim. This experience highlighted the invaluable role of travel insurance and the importance of being prepared for unforeseen circumstances while on the road.
Despite the setback, I found solace in the heart of Athens and at the Astor Hotel and the Athens Novotel where I relocated after canceling my planned visits to Mykonos and Santorini.
My first full day in Athens (pre injury) was dedicated to the iconic Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. The Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as a symbol of ancient Greek civilization, featuring architectural marvels such as the Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Propylaea.
The Acropolis Museum, with its modern design, houses a vast collection of artifacts, offering a captivating journey through Greece’s rich history and culture.
I am grateful to have seen the museum and Parthenon and Acropolis before my foot injury. Those locations would have been impossible to enjoy with a foot injury.
While nursing my foot, I managed to explore Athens’ vibrant shopping scene, taking advantage of the VAT tax rebate in the European Union, with indulgent visits to Gucci, Prada, and Dior. Despite the unexpected change in plans, Athens became a captivating and enriching destination, weaving history, luxury, and resilience into my memorable Greek experience.
I reside in Mexico most of the time nowadays so I journeyed to Athens via Mexico City International Airport to Madrid and then from Madrid I flew directly into the Athens International Airport. Navigating the labyrinth of Madrid International Airport tested my patience, especially on the return journey with a sprained ankle. Pro Tip: Secure the exit aisle for extra legroom and easier bathroom access – a small comfort that made the long-haul flights a bit more bearable. Upon arrival in Athens I had a car waiting for me thanks to Booking.com a great place to book private car transportation.
Things To Do
Athens, Greece, offers a plethora of enriching experiences. Start your journey by exploring the iconic Acropolis, a testament to ancient Greek civilization, and delve into the Acropolis Museum’s treasure trove of artifacts. Witness the solemn Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Athens National Garden, a captivating display of tradition and precision. For a scenic adventure, embark on a catamaran cruise around the Athenian Riviera or explore nearby islands, discovering hidden gems. Optimize your exploration by booking excursions through Viator, a reliable platform for curated experiences. After a day of cultural immersion, unwind at Dos Gardenias, an ideal spot for people-watching and dancing, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of Athenian nightlife. If you’re planning your adventures, consider using Viator to book your excursions.
Places To Eat
Indulge your taste buds in Athens with a culinary journey that promises diverse and delightful experiences. Begin at Ella Greek Cooking, savoring authentic Greek flavors that reflect the richness of the local cuisine. Venture to Psaras Taverna in Plaka for a traditional Greek dining experience, surrounded by the charm of this historic neighborhood. For a delightful brunch with a view, head to The Attic Rooftop and relish a combination of delectable dishes and panoramic scenes of the city. Finally, satisfy your whimsical side at Lil Kook, an Alice in Wonderland-themed cafe, where the enchanting atmosphere complements a menu of whimsically presented treats. Each dining establishment offers a unique taste of Athens, contributing to a culinary adventure that complements the city’s vibrant culture and gastronomic delights.
Uber is what is used to call a Taxi in Athens. It is preferable to hailing a taxi on the street as many of them will overcharge you.
What to Pack and What to Wear in Athens
In Athens, Greece, September is a transitional month where the summer heat starts to wane, but it still tends to be warm and pleasant. Here are some suggestions on what to wear in Athens in September:
- Light Clothing:
- Pack lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen to stay cool during the daytime.
- T-shirts, shorts, sundresses, and skirts are suitable for the warm temperatures.
- Layers for Cooler Evenings:
- Even though daytime temperatures are warm, evenings can be cooler. Bring a light jacket or sweater for the evenings.
- Comfortable Footwear:
- Athens is a city with historical sites and uneven terrain, so comfortable walking shoes are essential. Sneakers or comfortable sandals are a good choice. Take it from someone who fell and twisted her ankle – comfortable shoes are critical – avoid smooth bottom leather flats and stick to sneaker and lug soled shes.
- Sun Protection:
- Don’t forget to bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. The sun can still be strong in September.
- While the peak of summer has passed, you might still want to enjoy the beaches or hotel pools. Bring a swimsuit just in case.
- Modest Clothing for Cultural Sites:
- If you plan to visit religious or historical sites, it’s advisable to carry a light scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders, as some places may have dress codes.
- Casual Evening Wear:
- Athens has a lively nightlife, and you might want to enjoy an evening out. Bring a few nicer outfits for dinners or going out.
- Rain Gear:
- While rainfall is not as common in September, it’s a good idea to bring a light rain jacket or a travel-sized umbrella just in case.
Here are the MVPs of my trip to Athens
1️⃣ JISULIFE Handheld Mini Fan, 3 IN 1 Hand Fan, USB Rechargeable Small Fan – A lifesaver in the afternon heat! ☀️
2️⃣ Wet Ones Travel-Sized Hand Sanitizing Wipes – Keeping it clean on the go! 🙌
3️⃣ Travel-Size Cottonelle Flushable Toilet Wipes – Comfort in unexpected places! 🚽
4️⃣ Travel-Size Flushable Toilet Seat Covers – Hygiene first, always! 🧻
5️⃣ Touchland Hydrating Hand Sanitizer – My trusty travel companion for staying fresh!
You can find all of these and more in my Amazon StoreFront under Solo Travel Essentials.
Check out this Video to see what I packed for my Trip!
My favorite outfit was this linen short set I found on Amazon! It was easy to pack and wear and very versatile!
Safety and Security
Embarking on a solo adventure to Athens, Greece, as a single, female traveler over 40, can be a truly empowering and enriching experience. The city is known for its rich history, stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and warm hospitality. However, like any other destination, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and security while exploring Athens. Here are some essential safety tips and advice to help ensure your trip is both enjoyable and safe.
1. Research and Plan Ahead
Before you even set foot in Athens, do your homework. Research the city’s neighborhoods, its cultural norms, and local customs. Having a basic understanding of the area and its layout will go a long way in ensuring you feel more confident and secure.
2. Choose Accommodations Wisely
Selecting the right accommodation can significantly impact your safety. Opt for reputable hotels or well-reviewed hostels in safe neighborhoods. It’s wise to read online reviews and ask for recommendations from fellow travelers.
3. Dress Respectfully
Athens is a city with a strong sense of tradition and respect for cultural norms. To avoid any unwanted attention or discomfort, consider dressing modestly, especially when visiting religious sites. Blend in with the local customs by wearing appropriate attire.
4. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
Always remain aware of your surroundings, whether you’re exploring the Acropolis or savoring a meal at a local taverna. Keep an eye on your belongings, and trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s best to move to a more crowded or well-lit area.
5. Carry Copies of Important Documents
Keep photocopies of your passport, visa, and other essential documents in a separate location from the originals. Alternatively, you can store digital copies securely on your smartphone or in cloud storage for easy access.
6. Use Reputable Transportation
Athens has a well-established public transportation system, including buses, trams, and the Metro. Stick to official taxi services and avoid unregistered cabs to ensure your safety and avoid overcharging. I recommend using Uber as even official taxis are known to overcharge if they can get away with it.
7. Learn Basic Greek Phrases
While many Greeks in Athens speak English, making an effort to learn a few basic Greek phrases can be helpful and endearing. It can also come in handy in case of an emergency or if you need directions.
8. Trust Your Instincts
Your intuition is a valuable tool. If you ever feel uncomfortable or sense a potentially risky situation, remove yourself from it immediately. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance from locals or authorities if needed.
9. Stay Connected
Keep your phone charged and have a local SIM card or a reliable data plan for staying connected. Share your travel plans and accommodations with someone you trust back home and establish regular check-ins.
10. Local Culture and Customs
Respect local customs and cultural norms. Being polite, showing an interest in Greek culture, and engaging in friendly conversations with locals can often lead to rewarding experiences and enhance your safety.
Traveling solo as a female over 40 to Athens, Greece, can be a life-changing experience filled with exploration, learning, and self-discovery. By taking precautions, staying informed, and following these safety tips, you can ensure your trip is not only memorable but also safe and enjoyable. Embrace the culture, enjoy the rich history, and savor the unique experiences Athens has to offer while staying vigilant and aware of your surroundings. Safe travels!
No matter where you plan to solo travel your travel should include a travel safety plan. Grab the BaldGirlWillTravel: A Guide to Travel Safety and Security for Solo Female Travelers and ensure you follow the safety tips to ensure a safe solo travel experience.
Thinking about travel for but not ready to go completely alone?
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Grab a spot today! We are going to have a Time!!!
Thank You For Reading!