Recommended Fabrics for Greece
Cotton is the best fabric for Greece as far as tops and socks are concerned. Denim and cotton the best for shorts and trousers. Light is the way to pack. Remember you have to lug this stuff around. Always bring half of what you think you need. A couple of shirts, tee's, shorts, slacks, one windbreaker and one sweatshirt should do. Sandals and flip-flops you can buy here.
The average summer Grecian temperature in July and August is 90 F or 33 C and plan for no shade. Summertime Greece has a dry and arid climate but its often windy on the Greek islands. Summer nights are surprisingly short; only about 8.5 hours long and even shorter if you are having fun or sleeping on a beach somewhere. After a night of island partying Greeks sleep late, chill as much as possible and only venture out when and if they decide to go to the beach where they may lay around from 1:30 to 8:30 PM. With the days so long there is no hurry to get to the beach.
To be prepared for all this sun I recommend a white cloth type of hatthat you can fold up in your suit case or day pack and your pocket and even swim with. I also recommend and XXX-LG white Tee shirt you can wear on the beach when you start to feel the sun get too strong or even before. Many beaches in Greece have become "organized", that is, they rent beach umbrellas and loungers for 3 to 6 euro depending on the beach. By law there has to be an small area without these amenities where you can just put your towel down and sunbathe too. If you fall into the later category and eschew the umbrellas you'll need the above hat and tee shirt. The sun is nice but only is small doses. Some Sun screen even has carcinogens in it so shade is mandatory for many who are not used to the hot sun. There are no clouds and even if there were the ultraviolet waves still can cause sunburn.
The idea of these organized beaches is pretty new in Greece and really got me all steamed up before I mellowed out about them and started preferring the shade. I am surprised they didn't think of it thousands of years ago too? Maybe they did.
What really gets me steamed up though is when a beach side bar starts blaring really loud techno-music all over the beach. This happens all over Greece and there are laws against it too! Greek Laws and E.U. laws both. Its just another instance of friendly Greek police having strava matia and looking the other way accidentally on purpose as they bend over to pick up an envelope. So you may need to bring some more headwear:
In General for hot climates packing 100% cotton clothing is the best choice, with linen and hemp close behind! Because its so hot in Greece you will perspire and cotton wicks away moisture. Each has its advantages but cotton is the easiest to carry and care for of the 3. It dries quickly and Greece is a good place for quick hand washing. Sun and breezes!
GET BORED ON THE BEACH?
Beside a good book, a towel is a good idea and a straw roll up mat to lay on, which may be purchased locally on your Greek island sometimes or in Athens.
Bring your mask, snorkel and flippers and you'll greatly enhance your beach/swimming experience! You can buy these here in Greece too but you'll save time bringing your own. If you like to spear fish buy your spear gun here in Athens. They even have the CO2 kind that I couldn't find in the states. A collapsible fishing rod is a great idea too!! Frisbees are fun but rare so bring your own. Paddle ball is common as is volley ball.
Now, if you are American and reading this your thinking: Jeepers I have been swimming in the Atlantic or Pacific and see no need to buy these things. You cant see anything in the waters anyway. Well that's true but in Greece you can see deeply into the water usually, except in Santorini because of its black sand shallows. Its like the Caribbean with out the sharks and barracudas. There are basically no tides in the med too or very small ones.
A FLOATING frisbee is also a good item to bring to the Greek Beach. Frisbies are not well known in Greece and are widely unavailable too so bring your own. White is not a good color as it can be impossible to find in the surf - bright orange or green is better. Also a full size frisbee is not neccessary! buy a smaller circimferance frisbee and you'll spend less time chasing it in the wind. Plus that attractive foreigner you are playing with may not be the ultimate frisbee palyer that you are either!
RADIOS, WALKMEN AND IPODS
A quality, small battery operated/plug, multi-band transistor radio is a fun toy too, as at night, from an island say, you can pick up stations all over the SE Med and the Levant. I have heard some great music this way. Tunes you would probably never hear back home! Certain Arabic music is pretty wild played in this environment but you'll hear rock, jazz, pop and other stuff too! I was in Algeria years ago and the poor people there were so repressed by the Communist regime in power, it was frightening, but they still had soul.. all you could get on the radio was American rock and R & B. Chuck Berry got something on his finger etc.