Combining Work and Travel – My 5 Weeks in Athens

After months of walking in circles around my home, I was ready for a change of scenery.

I didn’t have the funds for a long holiday after a winter of combined work and travel in Thailand and Indonesia, so I started planning a ‘workation’.

What the heck is a Workation?

It is a combination of the words work and vacation, and that’s what it means.

You continue to do your work but from a ‘holiday destination’.

You work remotely in a fresh environment, so when you finish your work hours, you have time to explore the city, visit a museum, hike in nature, or go to the beach.

I go on workations multiple times a year. On my other blog, Nomadic Earnings, I tell you how I do that: My Story: Combining Work and Wanderlust

Choosing my Destination for my Workation

There are so many gorgeous places in Europe where I love to be for 5 to 6 weeks!

Lissabon, Coimbra, Braga, and Porto to name a few of my Portuguese favorites. Then there are all those beautiful cities in Italy, like Rome, Florence, Puglia, and Bologna. Spain, France, Kroatia, and Tsjechia have dozens of great destinations too. My list is long!

But for a smooth work-and-travel-getaway, I need more than just a great city.

I have a checklist for my stay, with important points:

  • Excellent Wi-Fi
  • Affordable and comfortable housing
  • Desk or workspace, no working from my bed anymore for me 😉
  • Attractive hiking possibilities nearby
  • Interesting cultural life
  • Pleasant Weather
  • Good Food

Why Athens in May?

My father has an apartment in Athens that ticks all the boxes off my list above, which wasn’t occupied during the weeks that I wanted to travel, so this time it didn’t take me long to choose my destination! Lucky me.

I love Athens in May. I like the food, the weather, the vibe of the city, and the fact that it is close to the harbor that brings you to the Greek islands, so I will be back in May 2024.

Finding an affordable place to stay in Athens

In case I don’t have an apartment waiting for me, I start preparing for my long-term stays with a search on Airbnb and Many hosts give discounts if you stay for a month or longer.

A quick search for rentals in Athens during May 2024 provided me with a list of affordable and comfortable apartments in the area that I like, starting at 650 euros per month.

I search specifically for apartments with a desk/workspace and excellent Wi-Fi, a balcony is a nice bonus.

Here is a link to my list on Airbnb

Planning my day – Finding the Right Balance between Work and Vacation

One of my friends joined me during my first 2 weeks in Athens. She had never been there before, so we planned a lot of sightseeing and urban hikes with coffee and lunch breaks.

This motivated me to be super productive in very few work hours per day 😉

Our work schedule depended on our plans for the day.

Some days we worked in the morning and we left just before lunchtime, with no obligation to come home early because the work was already done.

Other times, we left in the morning for a museum or a hike, had lunch in a taverna or at home, worked for a few hours after lunch, and left again for dinner and an evening stroll.

For the next 2 weeks, I was alone. No need to compress my work time to the minimum, because I have been to Athens multiple times. Less planning, more go with the flow.

During my last week, my father joined me. This asked for a different approach altogether! I had to plan my work time very strictly, or I wouldn’t get anything done, between our strolls through Athens, museum trips, and elaborate lunches.

Urban Hiking in Athens ‘off the beaten track’

Nothing wrong with climbing the Akropolis to visit the Parthenon of course. It would be silly to miss this tourist highlight when you stay in Athens. But once you have visited it, I advise you to get away from the crowd and climb other hills with spectacular views of the city or the Parthenon, with fewer tourists around.

Hiking Back to Health in Athens

When I had my workation in Athens, I was on a waiting list for surgery, and not fit at all.

In the Netherlands, I had difficulty dragging myself outside of my home, to commit myself to my daily walk. It was something I must do, but I didn’t feel joy doing it.

This changed the moment I arrived in Athens.

Sometimes, all we need is a change of environment! There were a few days that I was too sick to walk and stayed on the balcony, but most days I was eager to go for a walk.

I walked at least 10.000 steps per day for the whole month of May.

Some of the Musea I recommend in Athens

A museum often is a part of my urban hike.

Apart from the obvious historical sites, Athens has excellent musea.

Every time I visit the city, I make sure I discover a new gem.

These are some of my favorites:

Because I am a slow traveler, I have plenty of time to visit all my old-time favorites plus some newly discovered ones.

If you’re on a short city trip to Athens, my personal choice would be the Akropolis Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art.

Have you been to Athens? Would you like to stay there for several weeks, to work and travel?

8 thoughts on “Combining Work and Travel – My 5 Weeks in Athens”

  1. To my regret, I have never been to Greece. I would love to stay there, but the problem is that I would have to fly and I don’t fly anymore for environmental reasons.

    Sometimes I tire myself because I also have a ban on right-wing countries. 🙂 The reason I don’t go to Italy or Hungary, to name a few.

    I often work during my travels. Not as disciplined and regular as you, I think. I tend more and more to plan and schedule things ahead in order to have a carefree holiday. LOL, things change at times.

    It’s great you had such a good time, Kadanza, and I am glad your operation is done and you can work on getting back your health completely. 🙂

  2. You’re a better person than me when it comes to making environmental decisions. I permitted myself a flight to Greece once again, in the upcoming year. I do the compensation thing, but I also know very well that we need to do a lot more to stop or slow down climate change.

    Carefree holidays are great, I am working towards those while continuing to go on a regular workation 😉

  3. Hi Kadanza,
    I just read your post about combining work and travel during your 5 weeks in Athens, and it’s incredibly inspiring! The idea of integrating urban hikes and cultural experiences around a work schedule sounds both productive and enriching. I’m curious, how did you manage connectivity and work commitments while on the move? Did you face any challenges in maintaining work efficiency or communication with clients or colleagues?
    Thanks for sharing your experiences and tips. It’s a valuable read for anyone looking to blend travel with their professional life.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Makhsud, good question, I forgot to address the connectivity – I guess it slipped my mind because I can do most of my work in my own time if I stick to the deadline. That’s one of the benefits of being a Virtual Assistant, you don’t have to be constantly connected and in meetings. Of course, I had scheduled check-ins and I carried my phone with me, so in case something urgent happened, my clients could reach me. It happened once in these 5 weeks.

      I make sure that the place where I stay during a workation has excellent Wi-Fi, and I did invest in good headphones with a microphone. My nomadic office is pretty simple but sufficient!

      Thanks for your feedback and take care!

  4. It’s wonderful that you can combine work and travel, something which few people can accomplish. When I retire in a few years, I hope that I can do the same. Meandering from city to city and working in between from wherever you are.

    Only one question, don’t you miss your home base, and how often do you return home. Fun as it is, I think that there is no place like home in the end.

    • Hi Michel, I am like you, I need a home base. As much as I like to travel, I burn myself out when I have no place to call home. That’s why I always refer to myself as a part-time nomad 😅

      For now I am in the Netherlands at least 7 months a year. I have an apartment in The Hague and a small beach apartment with 2 bedrooms in Cadzand; I am planning to sell the apartment in The Hague as soon as our kid moves out (of course there will always be food and a bed for him in Cadzand afterwards!) 

      I wonder how many months I will be in the Netherlands in the years to come… maybe we shift our home base to Portugal in a few years. But I don’t see myself flourish without a tiny place to call home!

  5. So good ,the way you clearly explained all ,makes everybody feel to travel.Very helpful article. Your made up word “workation” is cool too. Just it is not easy to do it with family at least for me as a mother ,but I saw many single people working on their computer while travelling. Thank you

    • Thanks, Ela, but I can’t take the credit for making up the term Workation, it wasn’t me who invented it! 

      Yes, you are right, it is harder to work from different locations as a mom when your children are still young. Mine is 22 and quite independent already, plus he has his dad and other family nearby and we connect by phone or Zoom if I am not around.

      So, your time with more freedom to travel will come, when your children are a bit older…


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