GREECE: A VISIT TO ANTIQUITY
Greece. The name itself invokes a plethora of emotions within any heart and the mind races with the number of awe-inspiring details Greece holds within its folds. It is the land of Homer, Euripides and Aeschylus. It is also the place that gave the world delectable treats the likes of Moussaka, Spanakopita and Baklava. Philosophy too found its foundations through Greeks like Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Greece is history and literature, food and culture; it is the ruins of Delphi and the Parthenon. However, and this should come as no surprise, Greece is also much, much more. For instance, if you are looking to undertake an activity holiday in Greece, you will not be disappointed either.
For the one not quite interested in Antigone, the one not entirely stirred by The Republic, the one not content with the perfect sip of Ellinikos or for the one not charmed by the staggering pillars at the temple of Apollo, there is no cause to fret, Greece has an incredible storehouse of natural beauty to please your soul. So, if you are looking to pay a visit to this spellbinding country but the conventional route is not your cup of tea, gear up for an activity holiday in Greece that will challenge your body, stimulate your mind and soothe your soul. Here’s a list of things you need to pack for such a holiday:
THE ONES YOU CAN’T DO WITHOUT: PACKING THE ESSENTIALS
Now, this might seem a little bit obvious but it is surprising how a slight oversight in packing the essentials might go on to ruin your carefully planned holiday. Sure, you can get rudimentary commodities just about everywhere but let us be honest to ourselves, it won’t be quite the same if you don’t have your favourite jeans to wear while visiting Corfu or your most comfortable pair of shoes while climbing Olympus. Packing the essentials should be an easy task once you have decided on a specific itinerary for your activity holiday. You can either choose to go sailing in Pserimos or rock climbing in Kalymnos, there is a myriad of options.
In any case, packing must be done according to two parameters: weather and activity. The popular reputation of Greece is that of a sunny country but it can also get quite chilly in higher altitudes. Additionally, specific activities call for specific attire. One cannot possibly hope to sail without keeping swimwear handy. Similarly, dinner in a small café of the cobbled streets of a Grecian village does not call for stilettoes. Don’t forget the ubiquitous but absolutely necessary things like your phone charger, spare cash and some medicines, just in case. It is also imperative to remember to pack light as you do not want to be encumbered by excess baggage on an already activity-filled holiday.
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES, SPECIALIST EQUIPMENT: PACKING THE PARTICULARS
Based on your preferences, you can choose from any number of activities to undertake while visiting Greece. From windsurfing on pristine waters along the beach of Paros to cycling on the picturesque routes around Rethymno or Mani to kayaking on the coast surrounding Kefalonia to hiking or mountain biking in the charming region of Thessaly, in Greece, you will be spoilt for choice. Although most co-ordinators of such activities provide the necessary equipment required to undertake these adventures, it is always advised to err on the side of caution. For instance, it is never a bad decision to invest in a sturdy rucksack. A rucksack helps organize possessions better, is easier to manage and can be manipulated to a smaller size for the outings once you are actually in Greece.
Additionally, it is recommended that you figure out your own needs before relying on the co-ordinators for equipment. For instance, perhaps the guides who organize the cycling tours have made proper arrangements of cycles and helmets but you are uncomfortable without knee-pads. If you use glasses and are planning to partake of activities pertaining to the ocean and water, it is safer to arrange for robust goggles that have been fitted according to your optometrist’s prescription. If you are going on a treacherous hike, buying an adjustable walking stick suited for such activities is not a bad idea. Even something as innocuous as sunglasses might make a walk on a sunny day that much more pleasant.
COMFORT OF HOME, AWAY FROM HOME: PACKING THE QUIRKY STUFF
It is not always an easy affair to step out of one’s home turf, one’s comfort zone. Even if you happen to be a regular when it comes to sporty adventures, sometimes, even in the midst of all these activities it becomes essential to feel a bit of the home you have left behind, for however little a span of time. Now, it may sound ludicrous, but when the homing beacon beckons, so to speak, even the smallest thing can make a difference.
A pair of socks that you to wear to bed every day, the novel you are on the verge of finishing, the specific brand of chocolate that cheers you up no matter what, the bottle of water you carry to work every day, that eccentric wrist-watch that your best friend gifted you, the diary you write in from time to time, any minuscule and arbitrary object can turn an adventurous trip into an even more cheerful one! Feeling homesickness in the middle of a fun holiday can be a bit of a bummer, so keep that in mind and pack all the quirky stuff that makes you feel at home, anywhere and anytime.
GREECE, HERE I COME: PACKING THE GRECIAN GUIDE
While you may be undertaking an adventure in the natural splendour that Greece has to offer, it is by no means an insignificant fact that by travelling to a foreign country, you are also entering a foreign culture. This is an extremely exciting prospect but one that needs some preparation nonetheless. How about downloading a dictionary with common Greek phrases and courtesies, on your phone? Or perhaps tucking away a small and handy guide to the best restaurants in the area you are planning to stay in? A foreign country also suggests climate you to which are possibly not accustomed to. Hence, packing toiletries like sunblock or cold cream, whichever is relevant, is also advisable. In order to be well-acquainted with the land you are choosing to visit, you can also pack a small book on the history, cultures and food habits of the people who inhabit Greece.
GEAR UP: GREECE IS CALLING!
So, without further ado, book your tickets, do your research, organize your itinerary, fold your clothes and start packing! Packing before an adventurous holiday can be a jittery affair so organize well before getting started and coordinate with the organizers such that you do not forget to carry the necessary as well the quirky. Furthermore, make a list of things to pack well in advance so that you can keep adding things as you remember them. What are you waiting for? Grab your rucksack, tuck in your Swiss-Army knife and head on for what is certainly going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip.