I think anyone who was a teen during the early 2000s dreamt of one day traveling to Santorini and having a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Mamma Mia level Greek adventure, complete with dramatic beachy looks.
For years, as I was daydreaming about the time I’d spend in Greece, I imagined running around the islands, casually meeting a hot Greek guy like Kostos Dounas, and having an epic summer romance, all while wearing the most epic summer beach outfits.
Turns out, summer 2021 had other plans, and Greece wasn’t at all like I imagined, especially Santorini.
After arriving, I quickly realized my wardrobe left a lot to be desired, especially my footwear.
I may not have gotten my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants style romance, but I got to make lots of memories, and learn lots about what to pack to wear in Greece when I visit again this summer.
Keep reading to find out all the tips and tricks I learned last summer in Greece.
I even included a quick packing list for both ladies and gentleman, and answers to some frequently asked questions about what to wear in Greece, so you’ll be a total packing expert by the time you’re done reading.
Depending on where in Greece you’re exploring, there are certain fashion items you may pull off more easily.
To keep things streamlined, I’ve outlined the basic items you need to pack, along with some things to keep in mind while you’re packing for Greece.
When in doubt, keep these key things in mind while packing for your next adventure in Greece.
If you’re an over-packer like me, you’ll want to learn from my mistake, and pack extremely light if you’re heading to one of the Greek islands.
Trust me, it’s no fun having to lug multiple bags up and down some of the steep and sometimes slippery rock staircases you’ll encounter in Greece.
This retro luggage come in a rainbow of colors and is so under-the-radar cool, that I can almost guarantee they won't see another person at the airport sporting this unique bag.
Always Wear Sunscreen
Even if it’s looking a bit overcast, you should always put on sunscreen, especially on any skin that’s exposed.
If you don’t, you might just end the day with burnt skin and weird tan lines.
Also, if it is a scorcher, always have sunscreen in your bag to reapply as the day goes on!
Bring Clothes You Can Layer
When I pictured spending a month last summer roaming around the Cyclades, I didn’t expect it to be so windy, and occasionally downright cold.
If you’re planning on doing day trips, or just simply know you’ll be away from your room the whole day, layer up your outfits.
The winds in Greece can be aggressive and will turn even the sunniest day chilly, especially if it’s early morning or late evening when the sun isn’t at its strongest.
When I was there at the end of August, I had to buy a sweatshirt one afternoon because it was just too darn cold!
I highly suggest packing some longer dresses or a pair of pants, plus a light jacket, and maybe even a cozy hoodie or sweatshirt if you’re heading to Greece, especially if you’re going outside of summer.
Wear Sturdy Shoes
You’d think packing for Greece would be as easy as throwing your favorite pair of sandals and sneakers in a bag, but turns out a lot of the paths in the Greek islands are made of very worn down rock, and incredibly slippery.
I almost face planted more times than I care to admit, especially in Oia with all the steep stairways.
If you take one thing away from this post, let it be to pack shoes with fantastic traction on the bottoms.
I’m sure some of you think that I’m being overly dramatic or maybe just assume that I’m clumsy, but trust me on this one.
Even my very worn sneakers were slipping on certain bits of stone because the rubber on the bottoms didn’t have enough traction to grip the ground.
I’d highly suggest getting a solid pair of Birkenstocks and a pair of sneakers with really good grips on the bottom for your journey.
Packing Lists for Greece
Women’s Packing List for Greece
- Linen Shirt
- Classic Tank Top
- Midi Skirts
- Flowy Dresses
- Denim Shorts
- Sports Bra
- Athletic Shorts
- Beach Tote
- Travel Towel
Men’s Packing List for Greece
- Linen Shirt
- Classic T-shirt
- Light Button Down Top
- Dress Shirt
- Casual Shorts
- Relaxed Pants
- Athletic Shorts
- Swim Trunks
- Beach Backpack
- Travel Towel
Other Essentials to Pack for Greece
- Portable Charger
- Water Bottle
- Insect Repellent
- Charging Cords
A chic leather backpack will never go out of style! This one is Italian leather, has room for a laptop, plus comes with a two year warranty. What else could you want?
What’s the best luggage to bring to Greece?
It depends on which part of Greece you’re exploring. My Away Bigger Carry-On was great navigating the streets of Athens, but left a lot to be desired on the steep steps of Santorini. If you’re exploring the islands, a travel backpack is definitely easier to navigate all the steps and sand with.
How do I not look like a tourist in Greece?
Greece is a super casual place, so don’t go overboard dressing up and wearing heels. It should also go without saying that you should avoid wearing all the souvenir “ancient Greek” clothing and accessories that you’ll see tons of tourists walking around wearing.
Can you wear jeans in Greece?
You’ll definitely see people wearing jeans in Greece, though it wouldn’t be my first choice, especially during the summer. I’d steer more toward light cotton and linen pieces. If you do wear jeans, just dress them up a bit with nice shoes and top, especially if you’re going to a nicer restaurant or church.
This was such a relevant post to be writing as I’m currently packing my giant Monos suitcase for my summer abroad exploring more of Europe (including Greece).
If you take one thing away from this article, I hope its to pack practical sandals and shoes for your visit to Greece.
Skip the cute wedges and platform shoes—trust me, you’ll wear them once and after that they’ll just take up way too much valuable space in your bag.
That was certainly the biggest lesson I learned while hopping around Athens and the Cyclades, and something I applied when choosing which shoes made it into my suitcase!