Athens lodging covers the full range, from one to five stars, but it can all be a bit drab for the price, especially in the midrange, where there's a relative shortage of options – or at least a shortage of inspiring options. For this reason, you really must plan a couple of months ahead to be sure of your first choice. For July and August, ideally aim for four months ahead.

Camping

The Panhellenic Camping Association (www.greececamping.gr) maintains a list of campgrounds rated by the EOT (Greek Tourism Organisation) and www.travelling.gr list sites in the Attica region. The closest to the city is Athens Camping, 7km west of the centre on the road to Corinth, but it is not particularly notable. Better camping options are at Shinias and Cape Sounion.

Practical Tip: Airport Hotels

If you need to catch an early flight, there are only two hotels near the airport: the Sofitel, at the terminal, and the Holiday Inn, a 15-minute free shuttle ride away. A bit further afield, the Avra, in the pretty port town of Rafina, runs a free airport shuttle for the 30-minute ride.