Beautiful Greece – the country that launched a thousand travel Instagram captions. Yet most of what gets written under pictures of Santorini or Athens actually have nothing to do with Greece (see: banal quotes about pretty sunsets). What a shame, when literature has given us so many gorgeous quotes about Greece!
So here are our favorite Greek quotes, written by Greek authors, philosophers, and the occasional foreign Greek devotee.
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Our Favorite Greek Quotes & Quotes About Greece
Greece is the most magical place on Earth.
There us a kind of flame in Crete – let us call it “soul” – something more powerful than either life or death. There is pride, obstinacy, valor, and together with these something else inexpressible and imponderable, something which makes you rejoice that you are a human being, and at the same time tremble.
Gradually the magic of the island [Corfu] settled over us as gently and clingingly as pollen.
I know that each one of us travels to love alone, alone to faith and to death. I know it. I’ve tried it. It doesn’t help. Let me come with you.
Experts in ancient Greek culture say that people back then didn’t see their thoughts as belonging to them. When ancient Greeks had a thought, it occurred to them as a god or goddess giving an order. Apollo was telling them to be brave. Athena was telling them to fall in love. Now people hear a commercial for sour cream potato chips and rush out to buy, but now they call this free will. At least the ancient Greeks were being honest.
I want to have an ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ experience where I drop off the face of the planet and move to Greece.
Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.”
Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing.
I want to see the Parthenon by moonlight.
-Daphne Du Maurier
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
In many ways we are all sons and daughters of ancient Greece.
Greece was a muse. It inspired creativity in magical ways that I can’t even begin to understand or explain.
Greece has got something like 1,400 islands. There is so much of Greece you can’t know even if you’re Greek. It’s sprinkled out all around the edge of the Aegean, all over the place. It’s already a secret place wherever you go, even if it’s somewhere huge like Athens or Corinth. The place enchanted me.
You can’t swing a cat in Ancient Greece without hitting one of Zeus’s ex-girlfriends.
Greece gave democracy to the rest of the world.
We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.
We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their root in Greece.
-Percy Bysshe Shelley
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.
On a summer night, I have sat on the balcony drinking Ouzo, watching the ghosts of Greek Heroes sailing past, listening to the rustle of their sail cloths and the gentle lapping of their oars
In a way, it’s nice to know that there are Greek gods out there, because you have somebody to blame when things go wrong.
Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.
At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.
Wisdom begins in wonder.
5 Things to Bring with You to Greece
We’re working on our full list of what to pack for Greece, but here are five things you definitely want to bring with you!
The Lonely Planet Greece: a good guidebook can help you with the kinds of tips you need if you’re out exploring Greece and feel a bit lost, especially if you don’t have internet or a cell signal. These also have recommendations for the major sites in Greece, which will come in handy if you’ll be visiting more than one Greek city or island.
Unlocked Cell Phone: Allison and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (I use a Samsung and she uses and iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. Being able to pick up a Greek sim card for around ten Euros is a great way to stay connected while you’re here.
If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Greek sim card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!
Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Allison and I use (and they also make men’s versions). It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead.
This is especially handy in Athens where tourist sites are crammed and anyone who looks like an obvious tourist is a potential target.
Grayl Water Filter: Being on the road means staying hydrated. If you want to avoid having to buy lots of single-use plastic water bottles, bring a reusbale one with you. If you’re concerned about drinking the local tap water (or you don’t love the taste) grab one with a reusable water filter built right in.
Seabands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Seabands or seasickness pills so you can go island hopping without getting sick. A trip to Greece isn’t complete without at least one day spent in the islands, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!
Greece Travel Resources
Headed to Greece? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Greece, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Greece and local tipping customs.
If you are still trying to figure out your itinerary, check out our guides on where to go in Greece and when is the best time to visit. We also have a guide to the best Greek souvenirs to bring back with you.
We publish new content about the Balkans almost every day! For more information about traveling to Greece and the Balkans, bookmark our Greece and Balkan travel pages so you can find out what’s new before your trip.
Finally, Make Sure You Come to Athens with Travel Insurance
I’m sure you’re aware that it’s a good idea to have travel insurance for traveling in Greece, the Balkans, or anywhere in the world!
Stephanie and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Athens is safe, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel like theft or injury, so it’s better to play it safe. The saying goes “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel,” and we think it’s true!
Pin this Post of Greece Quotes & Greece Instagram Captions for Your Trip
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.