Darcy Miller, Greek

When you can’t vacation, staycation! Whether your staycation is a preview for the real thing, a reunion of an unforgettable trip, a next-best-thing when you can’t travel, or just a chance to immerse yourself in a country you love, a virtual world tour may not be a journey, but it sure can be a trip! Here’s how to sail the Greek islands—without ever leaving your own safe harbor—with a Greek staycation that will have you saying “Opa!”

Book Your Trip!

Get your boarding pass. Print out this ticket template and fill in the details for your virtual Greek odyssey. You can also use this as an IOU for a future trip.


Set the scene for a staycation with the style, sights, and sounds of the country. For Greece,

Dress like gods and goddesses. Print out our laurel wreath templates and cut out to wear as crowns and make any outfit worthy of a deity. (Many gods, especially Apollo, were depicted wearing them, and they were used to crown the winners of the ancient Olympics.). For an extra-regal touch, tape on a gold bow inspired by the gold diadems found in royal Hellenistic tombs. You can also cut out individual leaves and scatter them across the table as confetti. If you’re in the mood, pull out a sheet and go full toga. Or, go for modern Greek chic, whether you go for an all-white or white-and blue summer-on-the-island look, or clothes with traditional Greek embroidery.

Picture This. Print out or make a screensaver or zoom background of Greek scenes, sites (whether it’s the Acropolis, a beach, or whatever island you want to travel to), or travel posters. Here are 15 new ones to try, but the vintage ones lend an arty mood to the staycation (here’s a selection).

Watch and Learn. Have movies set in Greece playing in the background, whether it’s a black and white classic like Zorba the Greek or a modern favorite like Mamma Mia.

  • The Big Blue
  • Summer Lovers
  • The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • Corelli’s Mandolin
  • Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again
  • Boy on a Dolphin
  • Zorba the Greek
  • Shirley Valentine
  • Never on Sunday
  • The Two Faces of January
  • For Your Eyes Only
  • The Trip to Greece

Play Greek music. Borrow the movies’ soundtracks to serve as background music—and clear the floor for some Greek dancing (all the solo dances are improvised anyway, so go for it!). You can also find playlists of Old Greek Dance Music and current Greek Dance Playlist on Spotify.

Darcy Miller, Greek


Surround yourself with the colors, shapes, and symbols of your chosen destination. In this case, what’s blue and white and splashed all over? The island-inspired décor for your staycation. Here’s a jumping off point for creating your own Greek island fantasy:

Pick the palette: blue for the sea, white for the sea foam—it calls to mind the whitewashed churches with blue domes of the Cycladic islands, and the colors of the Greek flag. Pull out white and/or blue items you already have around the house—tablecloths, china, serving pieces.

Fly the flag. With nine blue-and-white stripes, the Greek flag is easy to whip up on your own. Click here for a how-to, and once you’re done, you can hang one on the wall, make a few and set them out as placemats or use one in the middle of the table as a centerpiece, or print out a few small ones and string them together as a garland, tape them to toothpicks to top desserts and dress up floral arrangements, or scatter them along the table as dessert.

Set sail with a classic craft. Every Greek schoolchild knows how to fold paper boats; they’re so iconic, a little boy sailed in on a life-sized replica of one to open the 2004 Olympics. All you need to make your own is some paper and this template. Then it’s time to get creative! You can write names on the ships as place cards or table decor, race them in the pool or bathtub, attach a mini Greek flag taped to a toothpick as a nautical flag, or let kids color in their own boats.

Make lucky rocks. Grab a few round rocks and some blue, white, and black paint, and turn the stones into the Evil Eye, a symbol which is meant to fight off bad vibes, and is seen all over Greece in decor, jewelry, and art. This can be a fun activity to do during the staycation, act as decor to set on the table, or be a keepsake from your virtual trip to Greece.

Get aromatic! Place a pot of basil in the center of the table—there’s one in every Greek yard or windowsill, since it’s such a common cooking ingredient (and it smells great, too!). A popular folk song includes the line “I’ll become a pot of basil in your window.”

Create an “ancient artifact.” Make a museum-worthy container for your pot of basil (or vase of flowers or olive branches) by printing out our paper vase wraps which feature olive wreaths and other neoclassical-inspired symbols.

Give a Greek gift. Set everyone’s place with a little favor that’s a souvenir of their virtual trip to Greece—olive wood worry beads or an evil eye pendant.


The next best thing to being in a place is enjoying the cuisine of the country. It’s always a good time to go Greek. If your staycation is at breakfast or brunch, think about:

A Greek yogurt bar. Set up the way you would any yogurt bar (for ideas, click here), but swap out the regular stuff for thick, rich, Greek yogurt, and set out traditional Hellenic toppings: Greek honey, walnuts, spoon sweet preserves, and any fresh fruit you’d like.

If your staycation is at lunch or dinner instead—be it a “seaside” picnic next to an imaginary ocean, or dinner under the “olive trees”—think about:

A Greek graze board made of mezedhes, the appetizers and small plates enjoyed in Greece. That could include:
Pita bread and dips (tzatziki yogurt and garlic dip, melitzanosalata eggplant dip, hummus, and taramasalata fish roe dip)

An array of olives for an olive tasting

Greek cheeses (feta, haloumi, kasseri, graviera) and breads from toast and pita bread to kouloura pretzels

Pites—the phyllo-dough wrapped pies and hand pies you can get at Greek shops near you or frozen at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Target, like spinach pie (spanakopita) and cheese pie (tiropita)

Souvlaki—food on a skewer whether it’s chicken, meat, fish, or vegetables

Toothpicks for sampling. (For extra Greekness, top them with our Greek Flag and these labels with an olive branch for identifying items)

And don’t forget dessert! Whether you choose nutty, flaky baklava, powdered-sugar covered kourabiedes, traditional braided koulourakia, or all of the above, they look as good as they taste. If they’re not available near you, Titan Foods, a Greek supermarket in Astoria, New York, mails their sweets all over the country. Or, honor Greece’s history as the birthplace of the Olympics (both the ancient games and the modern ones) by turning regular glazed doughnuts into Olympic rings. Whatever treat you serve, celebrate it by adding a speech bubble with the Greek exclamation of joy, “Opa!”


Toast your virtual destination with drinks that are typical of the country. For Greece, think about:
Sipping wine! Many stores carry Greek wines made in Greece from grape varieties native to the country like Santorini’s famed Assyrtiko white or red Agiorgitiko from northern Greece.

Drinking ouzo—the anise-based liquor which is the classic Greek go-to. Drink it straight or pour in water and watch the liquid turn cloudy, a phenomenon called the Louche Effect.

Mixing a cocktail! There’s nothing more quintessentially Greek than enjoying a drink while watching the sun set into the ocean. Try our Santorini Sunset, which is full of Greek flavors including ouzo, lemon, and thyme, and garnished with a “laurel” crown (which is really a sprig of thyme tied into wreath), modeled on the ones given to victors at the Olympic games


  • Santorini Sunset Recipe:
  • 1 oz ouzo
  • juice half lemon
  • -1 T thyme simple syrup (50/50 sugar water plus handful thyme springs, simmer until dissolved, let thyme steep for a few minutes, strain, cool)
  • Shake over ice
  • Strain and pour into a coupe
  • top with seltzer
  • pour 1/2 oz campari over back of spoon at edge of the cup so it sinks to the bottom
  • garnish with thyme laurel crown – either tie one long piece together, or tie a couple smaller pieces together into a circle

Brewing an Infusion. For a non-alcoholic thirst quencher, flavor water with classic Greek tastes like lemon, basil, and watermelon. Or, use seltzer instead to recreate popular Greek soft drinks like limonada (lemon soda) and portokalada (orange soda).

Perking up with Greek coffee. That could be the heavy stovetop brew poured into demitasse cups (turn them over when you’re down to the muddy bottom, let the dregs dry, then flip them back to see if you can read each other’s fortunes in the cups). Or, it could be one of the traditional iced coffee drinks Greeks drink all summer long. Invented in the Greek city of Thessaloniki in 1957 during the Thessaloniki International Fair, a Café Frappe is made by shaking instant coffee, ice, water, and, if you want, milk and sugar, together in a cocktail shaker. Shake and serve with a straw, as the foam can be bitter. A Cappuccino Freddo is the same idea, made with espresso shots instead of instant coffee.

Activities and Games

With any staycation, you’ll want to explore a little bit of the language, culture, and history of the country. For Greece, you might

“Visit” the Acropolis. The Hellenic Ministry of Culture offers free virtual tours of Greece’s most famous monument, the Acropolis and the Parthenon temple atop it.


Learn something new. It’s all Greek to you, thanks to our flash cards with common Greek expressions.

Read epic poetry. Ask everyone to come prepared with one line from Greek literature—the Iliad, the Odyssey, Plato, Aristotle, or a modern author like Kazantzakis or Seferis.

Roll the dice. Take a page from the playbook of the older men you see sitting drinking coffee at the kafenion, and spend hours in competitive backgammon tournaments.

Stage your own Olympics. The athletic contests started in Greece in 776 BC—and again in 1896! Or, make it an Olympics of the Mind; see who can recite the Greek alphabet, write down the most Greek letters, or list the largest number of words that came from Greek origins (think: psychology, philosophy, cacophony). You can make your own game, or find one like It’s Greek to Me online.

Go with Gods. Play Celebrity or Concentration using the 12 Gods of Mt Olympus game. Create cards with the gods’ names on one side and their symbol on the other for matching as a memory game—or make it the gods’ Greek name on one side and their Roman name on the other.

Here’s all you need to know:


Here’s one final Greek phrase you can use on your Greek staycation and take with you on a virtual world tour: it’s the Greek way to say “bon voyage”: καλό ταξίδι (kalo taksidi; phonetically: Kah-LOH Tax-EE-dee)

And if you have so much fun on your trip to the Greek isles, why not staycation every week? Have everyone write their dream trip on a slip of paper (or our boarding pass template), drop all the pieces of paper into a bowl and pick a country at the end of each staycation to figure out where you’re going next! It’s a virtual world tour!

1. Ring, 2. Cookbook, 3. Plate, 4. Garland, 5. Vase, 6. Bowls. 7. Headband, 8. Sandals, 9. Toothpicks, 10. Cutting Board