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The delights of a Greek holiday

Many delights await the visitor to the Greek islands. The wonderful light, the emerald seas and densely wooded hillsides have been praised in many a travelogue and tourist brochure.
But there is another side to a country. Until the late '90s, the standard of living was well below the European average and the culture shock was significant. Since then things have changed, and particularly since Greece joined the European Union and ditched the drachma for the euro.
Out went the days when the holiday visitor could dine out for few drachmae and expect a free bottle of wine thrown in. Prices were soon on a par with the UK when the Greek economy faced a meltdown and harsh austerity measures brought an even stiffer hike in prices.
Britain's exit from the European Union is likely to push up prices even further while the future of the £ against the #euro; will always be a factor.
That said, a holiday to Greece still costs little more than to other parts of the world. Flights to Greek islands are short-haul and relatively cheap. Budget flights to Athens, Kos or Crete followed by a domestic flight or a ferry make most of the more far-flung smaller islands easily accessible.
As air ticket prices make up a significant proportion of the overall holiday budget it is no wonder the Greek islands still one of the most popular of holiday destinations.
It's a pity perhaps for those tourists who remember the good old days of cheap food, cheap wine and cheap rooms. But there's a lot to be said for a little luxury, both for visitors and for Greeks themselves.