You may be wondering what to wear in Greece and, for that matter, what to pack. No worries, in this post, we cover some of the basics and what we recommend you take for your trip to the Mediterranean. The alluring Greek islands are staggeringly beautiful, rich in history, abundant in delicious cuisines, and full of extraordinarily hospitable locals.
The first time we landed in Santorini, we were out of our element. We were on a European backpacking trip, and little did we know how posh and romantic the island was for travelers. Now, we make annual trips to Greece and safely say we know how to pack our bags.
Quick Tips For Packing For Greece
Greece is a fairly easy destination to pack for as the weather doesn’t change much throughout the day. The Greek Isles are a relaxed place, but you’ll still want to pack some nice clothes for trendier islands like Santorini, Mykonos, or Hydra.
- Linen shirts are common and rarely feel out of place. Men can live in these shirts every day in the summer.
- Pack light if you plan to island-hop as the ferries often require a lot of moving. You’re more likely to regret packing too much than too little.
- Reef-safe sunscreen is a great idea to bring and protect ocean life.
- Mesh/breathable packing cubes help separate damp and dirty clothes from clean ones.
- Sun protection is always a good idea, whether that is sunblock, hats, or UPF clothing.
- Adventure clothes such as hiking footwear and active clothes are great for the activities.
- Wear lightweight clothes as the heat and sun can be intense in the summer.
What Luggage To Bring For Greece?
I have two bag recommendations for a trip to Europe. You can either opt for a traditional hardshell suitcase that has four wheels or a travel backpack.
Suitcases with four wheels are best as the ability to roll sideways down the aisle of a train or a sidewalk makes life a lot easier. We prefer hardshell as it does a better job at protection and security. Our favorite hardshell suitcase is the Delsey Helium Aero 25″. However if you’ll be doing a lot of walking to and from your accommodation in Greece you may want to stay away from a rolling suitcase, the roads in Greece and not ideal for rolling suitcases.
Travel backpacks are great for young backpackers, digital nomads, or minimalists! They are also great if you want to save on any checked bag fees your air carrier might charge you.
If paying for taxis or car rentals makes you hesitant, you’ll either need to book accommodation near public transport or have a backpack. Our favorites are the Peak Design Travel Backpack and the NOMATIC Backpack but read about the best backpacks for Europe if you’d like to learn more.
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What to Wear in Greece
There is probably no look more synonymous in Greece than a linen shirt. It’s our favorite item to wear when visiting Greece. Linen is as practical as it is stylish. It’s great as it tends to dry faster, feel lighter, and cope with sweat better than its cotton counterparts. The fabric has a long history with Greece and was even worn by the ancient Greeks several millennia ago.
Pair a linen shirt with sandals, shorts, jeans, shoes, or even go barefoot. It will always work. A versatile piece of clothing that looks good for both sexes and works at the beach or a restaurant. It’s tough to find decent linen shirts online, but I really love the quality of J. Crew’s linen shirts.
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Greeks care about their appearance, but they aren’t snobs, and their dress is generally more casual than in Western Europe. When we’re on the islands, we love to wear a pair of relaxed pants in a light neutral color. There are various options, but we prefer natural fibers such as hemp or linen that handle the heat well and have a classic look.
Tasha’s favorite pair of pants is prAna’s Fernie Beach Pant. The pants are airy and made from a Fair Trade Certified™ TENCEL fabric. For men, Prana makes the amazing Vaha Pant. They are perfect for beach destinations and blend in well for a stylish beach look when paired with a linen shirt. They’re super lightweight and made from hemp so that they can last for multiple wears without a wash.
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Men’s Vaha Pant
Women’s Fernie Beach Pant
You’re going to Greece! A swimsuit is a must unless you’re on some of the famous nudist beaches. If you’re heading to the Mediterranean, obviously the number one thing you need is a swimsuit! We like to travel in two different swimsuits to know we will always have an extra dry one on hand.
For women, one of the best brands for swimsuits I’ve found is Andie Swim. They make amazing swimsuits that fit as nicely as they look. Many of their pieces are stylish yet supportive. Cameron loves Quicksilver’s Amphibian shorts. The material looks like heavy cotton, but they’re super lightweight and durable. Best of all, they look great on the beach or in town.
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Greece gets cold too! A warm fleece or lightweight jacket is perfect for that evening strolls along the ocean. If you visit Greece in the shoulder seasons, you’ll likely face some cool weather. For those days warm clothes are nice to have.
Patagonia’s Synchilla Snap T Pullover fleece is the best fleeces for the beach, in our opinion. The fleece has a classic relaxed cut with a timeless look for a walk on the beach or an evening bonfire. It’s a double-sided fleece that provides plenty of warmth while remaining soft and comfortable.
The white-washed buildings of Greece see plenty of sunshine, so a stylish pair of sunglasses is a great addition to an outfit. Everyone owns at least one pair of sunglasses. However, it’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes. We love quality polarized sunglasses like SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Polarization is also super helpful in reflective environments like the sea.
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Sandals are meant only for the beach in Europe, especially for men. However, with all of the gorgeous beaches in Greece, sandals are acceptable beach attire, and they’re far more comfortable on the sand.
Men should keep the sandals for the beach generally. However, a stylish pair of sandals are great for women when they visit a Greek seaside town. Greece is a very laid-back place, and most of the islands cater to tourists in the hot summer so that you won’t feel out of place.
We both travel with Rainbow leather sandals and they’ve lasted for years. It’s a basic leather sandal that doesn’t look overly cheap and feels stylish enough. They’re super comfortable too!
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For everything outside of the beach, a simple sneaker is great! Many brands make light and airy sneakers that aren’t overly flash, match a wide range of outfits, comfortable for all-day wear, and remain cool in hot weather. We’ve tried various travel shoes over the years and love Allbirds Tree Runner in warm weather.
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You’ll likely want a beach bag for your beach days. This is to throw in anything like towels, a book, a speaker, sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. Alternatively, we often use our daypacks for trips to the beach. However, a classic tote that everyone has in their closet also helps for shopping trips at the local market. They also travel well as they can fold flat and lie in your luggage.
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Skin cancer is for real! Don’t forget your SPF during the summer. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need them underneath the sun. Most of the islands have limited imports and charge high prices.
We highly recommend getting an eco-friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals. They’re mineral-based and usually only cost a few dollars more to help protect our oceans.
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We always recommend packing a travel towel when you’re on the road. Greece is no exception. If you head to the beach or want to take a hike, it never hurts to have a towel packed away in your day bag. Consider a towel an essential for your Greece packing list. A towel is one of those things you’ll likely regret not packing!
Water Bottle/Insulated Mug
Traveling with freshwater in hand is important as it is easy to get dehydrated when out. We like to use insulated stainless steel travel water bottles because they are well insulated and great for the environment reducing plastic waste. The insulated water bottles also handle the hot sun well. The Stanley Quenchers are some of our favorites!
Women’s Packing List Items for Greece
A few comfortable tank tops and shirts are always in my bag, and they’re perfect for Greek Summers. I typically pack solid colors so that they can pair with everything. They’re super functional clothes worn under a blouse or alone with a skirt or capris. It’s always best to pick up some new ones before a trip. That way, they look fresh and aren’t pilling.
Cute Summer Dress
When you’re walking around the islands or cute seaside towns, a loose-flowing dress is a great wardrobe choice. Unless it’s winter or you’re in Athens, we’d leave the jeans behind as they’re heavy, restrictive, and hot in the sun.
I love to wear a cute summer dress in Greece during the summer months. Choose a classic dress like an exposed shoulder top or a slip dress and go with light colors for the classic Greek Isles look. You can also opt for a more bohemian beach style which I love! My favorite dresses come from Salty Crush.
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Rompers are probably one of my favorite travel outfits because they’re stylish, comfortable, practical, and keep me cool in the summer. You really can’t go wrong here, and I’d suggest throwing at least one or two rompers in your suitcase for Greece. Great rompers that I love come from prAna, Salty Crush, and Patagonia’s Fleetwith Romper.
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Beach Cover Up
A cover-up is one of those vacation clothes you should always travel with. Not only do they look cute, but they will also protect you from the sun’s harsh rays. Many establishments don’t allow beachgoers to wear a swimsuit, so a cover-up is essential when heading to a taverna near the beach.
A pair of black flats is always great to have in a suitcase. They’re stylish comfortable, and they take up minimal space in your luggage. Stay away from heels, many towns in Greece have uneven streets, and you don’t want to break an ankle trying to look good. Just let the locals impress you with their skills of walking in heels.
If you are considering what to pack for Greece, I recommend picking up a stylish beach hat! Try to keep it a practical size that travels well. If you pack a large hat, it will always be in your way, and you’ll likely ditch it by the end of your trip. I’ve picked up a few hats from Hat Attack and love the way they look!
Greece has several great hikes and adventure activities. I always bring a sports bra when I’m traveling. It’s easy to forget to bring a sports bra as you might not be headed to the gym, but they’re tremendous for active or hot summer days.
I love sports bras from Handful! Of course, you should pack your usual undergarments like bras and underwear; it’s just easier to forget a sports bra.
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Men’s Packing List Items For Greece
T-Shirt or V Neck/Linen Shirt
A classic tee will never go out of style. We suggest sticking with solid colors like black, white, or grey. There’s also the option of a v-neck for a more stylish look, but it all depends on personal preference. For those who sweat more, grey better as it is super easy to stain white. All that being said, I spend most of my days in a linen shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
You’d look pretty ridiculous wearing a T-shirt or a flannel out to a nice meal in Greece. The islands and the mainland have some excellent restaurants and a great culinary scene. Not to mention men in Greece are known for their style and always look clean-cut when it comes to a night out.
It’s a great idea to travel with at least one nice outfit that fits your style. Your travel plans in Greece will also have a large impact. Bluffworks makes travel-specific men’s dress clothes that are wrinkle and stain-resistant. They also make a great gift!
It can get scorching in the summer in Greece, and you’ll definitely want to pack a pair of shorts. With the hot temperatures, Greek men have no problem wearing shorts because pants would be almost unbearable during the day. Style is very similar to anywhere else in the world these days, and I’d advise against cargo shorts.
Dress Shirt & Chinos
After the sunsets, Greek men dress very well. Pack at least one dress shirt for a trip to Greece. I like to stick with a classic color like blue or white that will never go out of style. Pair the dress shirt and chinos for a classic look. Or you can opt for a relaxed look with a white linen shirt and loose pants like the Vaha Pant.
Bluffworks specializes in men’s travel clothes and makes some awesome pants, shirts, and blazers. Their travel clothes are all comfortable, wrinkle-resistant, and stain-resistant. Amazing for travel!
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Loafers are a good shoe to have in the summer for a more relaxed look by the seaside. It’s perfect for a night out at a local Taverna while you listen to live music. Although, I’ve gotten away with a simple sneaker for almost all settings around Greece! The important thing with footwear is that it looks clean and simple.
Greek men love their beards, seriously. Taking good care of their personal hygiene is very important, and you’ll find most men with trimmed beards and clean necklines. I always love to travel with a facial trimmer as it helps me manage my facial hair. While you’re at it, I’d suggest getting a fresh haircut before you leave on your trip.
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Accessories to Pack for Greece
We love to have a physical guidebook when traveling. We spend enough time attached to our phones in everyday life and planning our trips. Once we reach a destination like Greece, we put the phone away and pick up a guidebook to help with our trip.
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We’ve suffered through enough red-eye flights to never forget to pack a travel pillow for international flights. My favorite travel pillow is the Cabeau Evolution Pillow, but we break down more of our favorite travel pillows here.
Packing cubes are great for any backpack or suitcase. They keep all of your clothes and toiletries organized. I’ve had these Eagle Creek cubes for three years now and think they were worth the investment to stay organized and create space in my luggage.
For the women, I suggest traveling with a theft-proof purse that is black and stylish to hold belongings. Cameron has a great passport wallet that holds his passport and credit cards so he never leaves it anywhere.
No matter what we recommend traveling with some sort of protection for your passport to save it from wear or any unforeseen accidents.
Hanging Toiletry Bag
It’s always a good idea to keep your toiletries organized and separated from your clothes. So we love always travel with a toiletry bag; however, Greek bathrooms can be cramped and small.
If you are limited on counter space a great option is to buy a hanging toiletry bag. This style of the bag tends to have a better organization system with a variety of sections for storage than the traditional option.
Toiletries you’ll want to pack for Greece are body lotion, nail clippers, dental hygiene, UV lip balm, deodorant, razor, cotton swabs, and cosmetics.
You will definitely need an adaptor for your electronics on your packing list for Europe. We always keep one handy in our carry-on bags, that way we can charge electronics on arrival or at the airport.
Greece outlets use the Europlug and I would recommend getting one before you land on Amazon. The price may be doubled if you show up on a Greek island in an outlet emergency.
While I love having a good real book when I travel, sometimes it’s just not practical because of the weight — keep them at home. If you plan to island-hop, you’ll want to pack fairly light.
We switched to a Kindle Paperwhite for travel because it is small and compact, plus it has a backlight for reading at night without a harsh glare. The Paperwhite version is great as they mimic a real book, and you can read them in the sun.
Many of the big tourist sites have self-guided tours. Like the Museums and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, I find it’s always nice to have your own personal earbuds to stick into your ear for these tours. No one wants to stick dirty headphones over their head or use disposable ones that you’ll toss away after. They’re small and easy to carry along.
I love traveling with a power bank to make sure my phone never dies. Most of the time, I don’t need to use it on long flights as some of the nicer airlines provide entertainment systems with USB ports! We also make sure to find a charging point during layovers, but getting to a new city without your hotel reservations and map can be a major pain in the ass.
You Need This To Travel in Greece!
We never travel without travel insurance with World Nomads. Natasha is a bit of a worrywart and would rather stay safe than sorry. World Nomads offers incredible flexibility and great plans!
You never know if the worse could happen while you’re abroad and often your insurance plan at home will not cover medical emergencies abroad. Having the peace of mind that we have a good backup plan helps us sleep at night.
What NOT to Pack for Greece
Leave the heavy items at home like a hair dryer, books, and multiple shoes at home. You may find yourself carrying luggage up a flight of steps, a ferry, or along a cobbled street and you’ll regret any heavy luggage.
Most of the towns and cities are set along hills with old cobbled streets or uneven surfaces. Unless you’re staying within a resort you’ll just place your ankles at risk by wearing heels around.
Silly Travel Accessories
Don’t fall for silly travel accessories that are unnecessary expenses like a neck wallet, jet lag pills, charcoal tablets, or a female urination device. If you do plan on investing in travel accessories, stick with the classics. Useful investments for travel are quality luggage, packing cubes, a toiletry bag, power bank, adapters, or noise-canceling headphones. We use eye masks and earplugs all the time as well!
There are some great hikes in the mountains and hilly countryside in Greece, but you can leave the hiking boots at home. Instead, opt for a lightweight trail running shoe that eats up less space and can be used at the gym or for a run.
The Kitchen Sink
It’s really easy to overpack when you’re getting ready for a trip. When you travel you’ll find you often find gravitate towards only a few staple items. This means you end up reaching for the same items over and over because they’re most practical, fitting, or stylish. Try to think about what you wear in a week for everyday life. Also, don’t forget Greece has plenty of shops and stylish boutiques for shopping.
READ MORE GREECE TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you enjoyed this Greece packing list! Hopefully, you found it useful. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Greece!