The main argument of the pessimists against the newly introduced visa-free regime — that it’s the point if there is no money? We decided on a personal example to try to relax in the South of Europe to spend no more than able to save Ukrainian with an average salary of 150 euros (4200 UAH). It turned out to be quite real, if you prepare in advance, and not to go in the heat, buying a tour. Independent travel is not a package holiday and cheaper if supplements the time spent on the ticket search and reading forums experienced hikers. But you will get the same sun, the beach, a Grand experience and a new experience, and at an affordable price. So, a week of vacation in Greece cost us (not including flights and personal purchases) only 140 euros.
THE SLEIGH IN SUMMER: BOOK IN FEBRUARY AND STUDY CARDS
To spend the summer in Europe is cheap, plans are necessary even in the winter: promotional tickets are caught for 4-6 months before departure. So, in February-March ticket to Athens from the Greek airline Aegean Airlines in the summer cost 64 Euro, children’s ticket — and even cheaper. So, round trip for two people cost only € 202. In may we date from this carrier was worth twice as expensive: 127 euros there and back 119, and MAU sold Kiev — Athens at 180 euros (the cheapest tickets were already sold), and Athens — Kiev — from 145.
Search housing also began in late winter. Usually in the countries of the region is not a problem to find a cheap apartment with kitchenette: in the Mediterranean, popular budget hotels and guest houses, where families come on vacation. For example, in Cyprus can be rented for 24-30 euros per night room in a hotel with a pool, and on the Aegean coast of Turkey, prices start from 16 euros.
Athens is more complicated: the cost of a night in these hotels starts from 70 Euro (cheaper is located in the Central, not coastal town and for a beach holiday not suitable). A good choice of family apartments located in 200-500 metres from the sea near the island of Aegina located in the Saronic Gulf an hour (by ferry) from the capital. A small island, green and even with the sights is a good option for lovers of the Greek Islands with a modest budget. After all, to get to Aegina from Piraeus port is just 14 euros, while flights to popular long island will cost 2-2,5 times more expensive than Athens.
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THE ROOF OF THE SEA. In addition to the famous Booking.com there are about a dozen booking systems, sometimes offering more affordable prices for the same hotels (otel.com, hotelscombined.com, agoda.com, hotels.com). If the hotels in the selected country are too expensive — go for the popular sites budget travelers like couchsurfing.com (overnight for free) or international online rental housing Airbnb.com.
This online — platform that brings together owners and travelers-renters, which serves as a mediator and guarantor: the listed tenant the money first get on the Airbnb account, and after the successful settlement of the client are transferred to the host. Remove the can as a luxury Villa and a room or a bed in a hostel home.
In February here among the dozens of proposals (considered only at the cost of up to $35), it was possible to find separate apartments even at $16-20 a day. With the beginning of spring housing beginning to rise in price every week by $2-4, and there are new options: it has become clear that Greece is preparing for the season and we must hurry. Booked the top floor in a duplex apartment for $25 per day (in may it was 34). Flats for $16 has long since disappeared, and the average housing price jumped from $24-32 40-50. By the way, using a booking system or Airbnb, do not rush to grab the wallet at once: they often give out promotional codes for a discount, announce various promotions like “refer a friend — get a bonus.”
Look for them on the pages in social networks — otel.com for example, almost always laid out the code in the 7-8% discount, and if you’re lucky, you can reduce the cost of housing even by 20-30%. Airbnb works on zamanivanija new users and constantly announces different campaigns for this. So I got a discount of $18 — only for the fact that he created a new account on this resource and made the request for housing through it. And $18 is a good lunch in the restaurant, by the way.
Dear Athens. But beforehand, you can find the apartment is from $16/day
THE SEA FOR THEIR OWN. If time and money to spare, will have to study the geography of the region and the comments of the experienced: there is always a place less popular and inexpensive. Specifically about Greece: if you go far from the capital, not with his hands, as in our case (for example, in the popular resort of Loutraki, Nafplion) — look for the option on the Athenian Riviera. The capital settlement for many miles to the South connects the city tram that goes from Central Syntagma square along the coast through the resort Glyfada, Vul, and there to Varkiza, Vouliagmeni. Each village has its own charms — the beautiful beaches, mineral springs, resort infrastructure. But I chose a compromise: the seaside district of Athens, from which the Central attractions on the doorstep, and the beaches, supermarkets and restaurants, “their” just around the corner.
COUNCIL. To experience the delights of visa-free regime had failed: I had an outdoor multishengen, the child, the Greeks opened it without problems and extra questions for free. But the documents of the new sample is more reliable visa in the old passport. Thus, according to Ukrainian law, the children entered the old fashioned way in the parent’s passport without a photo, still quite unable to cross the border, but in the West, this format is already forgotten. So I was issued a boarding pass in Athens, a Greek employee of the company invited to help colleagues to study an unusual passport. And before boarding I was looking around the airport I decided to check the birth certificate of the daughter and compare it to the number specified in the visa, which is why even delay the flight.
WHAT TO SAVE: BICYCLES AND DIET
The off-SEASON. In the South of Europe, June is prednisonem: crowds of tourists there, and the rental housing, cheaper tickets. However, the time for vacation great: everything is in bloom, the air is heated to 30-33, and the sea — to 20-21 degrees, and with 20 numbers and does fry 35-40 degrees, and the water — like jelly. On the beaches full of people.
FOOD. Simple products are relatively inexpensive. If we limit ourselves to the most necessary for a healthy diet on grub will go change. Noticeable hit on the wallet sweets, ice cream, cocktails and alcohol. So, in Athens 1 kg of potatoes — just 0.45 euros, cucumbers — 0,25, 1 liter of milk — 1 egg — 1.2 per 6 pieces, cheese — 5-6 per kilo, 8-12 euros worth of quality salmon and syrokopchenye. Peaches — 1 EUR/kg, watermelons — 0,35, melon — 0,85, apples — 1,2, oranges and 0.7. But the serving of ice cream is a minimum of 1.7—2 euros, the ear of corn is 1.5—2, milkshake — 4-5, cake — 2,5—3. Bottle of wine — from 5 EUR, beer — 3-4. So it is cheaper to follow the advice of nutritionists: not at the time of the sweet and alcohol and enjoy the rest of olives and cheese. Living from the owners, you can count on a treat — usually they allow you to use whatever you find in the kitchen. Impudent not worth it, but tea, coffee, sugar, salt and butter will not have to spend.
The world of olives. Fans of olives diet will like
Vegetables are as in Ukraine
BEACHES. Most European beaches are municipal, the entrance is free. There are also private, but is it worth to pay more if public clean, there are changing cabins, showers, toilets and even a lifeguard tower, that is all necessary? Enough to bring a straw beach Mat and don’t have to pay 3 euros per sunbed and 5 for umbrella. Especially as some beaches are equipped even large public tents, where to hide from the sun.
WATER. In hot countries are often the taps and fountains you will find on the street or any public place. Mosques, playgrounds, “gyms” under the open sky on the territory of minutes you can always get drunk and wash. Water is not a very tasty, but local is usually quiet drink — so she’s clean.
ON THEIR TWO. Bikes in Europe a lot, they are easy to get in one of the offices, which are in Athens, for example, about 70. Fun is about 4-6 Euro per day: you buy a plastic card unlocks chained her bike and visiting the beauty pedaling. Well if the plan for the day is a lot of points and they all scattered so that the foot does not overpower, and to pay half a Euro for every time the move is not desirable.
OUR ESTIMATES: 340 PER PERSON
It was planned to spend 300 euros for 12 days, and in the limit we clearly missed. From 300 euros on food left 106 (including a few dinners at the restaurant, where he paid 8-16 euros for two). Entertainment — sweet corn, ice cream, cocktails, cakes and gatherings in cafes — cost 79. The public transport is 37.5 (6 Euro journey from the airport, 7,5 — cable car, child free). About 80 euros was spent on the personal: Souvenirs, clothes, jewelry. Housing — € 260, airfare for two — 202.
Thus, the stay in Athens was worth 28,5 euros per day per person (excluding gifts), and to say that we lived in austerity, it is impossible. But history buffs will have to spend separately on a combined ticket to the Acropolis allows you to visit six other Museum complexes within five days, it costs 30 euros.
How MUCH IN GREECE (in euros)
- Magnet — 0.6
- Water, 1.5 l — 0,22
- Coffee, cappuccino, latte — 1.8
- Fast food, portion — from 2.2
- Travel by ferry to the nearest island — 1,5
- Amusement Park — 2-3 Euro each
- Luna Park (combined ticket) — 12-19
- Water Park — 5-15 EUR (children and adults)
- Zoo — 14-18
The Monastiraki Area. Hangout and cheap Souvenirs
Flea street. Here, graffiti and vintage clothing by weight
HOLIDAY LIFE: HEALTHY EATING AND TRAVEL
Today’s online maps allow before coming to consider all the eateries and supermarkets close to the apartment: they will be the source of your homemade Lunches and dinners. Hotel Breakfast — always at least 20 Euro of the consumer, but it is easy to prepare a quick easy Breakfast and dinner yourself (in Greece, many products are in Ukraine). And for lunch you can try the local cuisine.
In Europe the culture of visiting cafes and restaurants: the Frenchman or Italian does not need a reason and a thick wallet to sit at a table in comfort. Safely assume that nearby there is a diner with a nice price. And places where traditional street food is usually a lot near busy transport hubs and markets. In Athens, the city’s best kebabs, souvlaki and pita served near the Central market: this is usually a few modest tables on the sidewalk under the paper tablecloths, but the portion of meat is served only for 3-5 euros, everything is fresh, and no rebound from customers.
By the way, the portions in those countries of Europe where visited, they were always compared to Ukrainian, huge! So don’t rush to order 5 dishes — please specify what is on the plate, it often happens that one portion is enough for two. To any order will always be served water, bread, and sometimes yogurt or ayran. And if the menu is meat — 99% probability that by default it will be served and a side dish: rice, fried potatoes, grilled vegetables, onion and sauce. What is not eaten, ask them to pack it properly.
TRANSPORT. In Europe save on travel with flexible travel discounts. If single ticket costs 1.5 euros unlimited travel for 5 days — 9-10. Sometimes the system works citicard: buy plastic card, put on it a certain amount and pay contactless. Each next trip (in transit for 20 to 40 minutes) — cheaper. Or purchased for a 1.5 Euro ticket entitles to travel by all means of public transport, but within 1.5 hours from the beginning of the path (out landing).
If quickly to navigate can go too far and inexpensive. Buy tickets and join the balance on the card usually with the help of machines, but they often fail. So, in Athens the electronics three times, took the money and gave us tickets and submission in return. Local in such cases the beating in the machines that is urine, until thrown out of the coin. But we better clarify, not sell tickets or tokens next to the stalls, or at least to put in automatic minimum amount (will be gone — not hurt).
SPECTACLE. In addition to the paid attractions, there is always interesting, for the inspection which is free of charge. Usually they just convey the best atmosphere and the spirit of the nation. In Athens it is primarily the changing of the guard Evzones (the presidential guard) at Syntagma square the tomb of the Unknown soldier in front of Parliament. The performance is repeated every hour, and always in the presence of crowds: the guards in skirts, foustanela (400 pleats in each) ceremoniously performed the original ceremony, loudly enunciating step 5-pound boots narukami (with POM-poms that hid the blades).
Evzones. Repeating the original ritual of the changing of the guard every hour
A very interesting Central market “Varvakios” Agora is a building of XIX century, which now sell, loudly inviting buyers, dozens of varieties of olives, oils, herbs, snails and seafood. In the evening, we like to walk through the narrow streets of Plaka, where in taverns playing folk music, and stands next to the Acropolis. Down the street from the Museum of Kerameikos square stretches the famous Monastiraki flea market, where sidewalks are strewn with antique furniture and textiles. Here is a popular vintage clothing store, sold by weight — Kilo shop. The place became so well known that I go here more as a Museum than for shopping. Also, it is a free walk through the National Park with its statues, fountains, an arboretum, a mini-zoo and Playground.
The market-Agora. Immersed in the atmosphere of the ancient Mediterranean