Greece & the Greek Islands are famous for 3 things: ancient civilization, amazing landscapes, and well-established tourism.
Really beloved by people, Greece is so rich in culture and beauty that it never seems to be completely explored, no matter how many times you visit it.
After all, this is one of the reasons that brought it in the list with the top 20 tourist holiday destinations worldwide.
It is all about Greece, from nature to locals, that has people coming again and again to this wonderful land every summer:
Greece is a mountainous peninsula located on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. With a total area of 130.800 km2, the country is surrounded by sea from three sides. The northern side borders with other Balkan countries. Due to the many islands, in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, Greece has the longest coastline in Europe and the fifth longest coastline in the world. The country has a population of about 11 million, with 4 million living in Athens, the country’s capital. The largest cities after Athens are Thessaloniki and Patras.
11.003.000 (2011 - census)
Greece is an ideal year-round destination with comfortable and favorable climate conditions for travel and sightseeing. Rainfall is minimal and the summers (June through August) are dry and hot with temperatures ranging, on average, from 78° to 94°F or 20° to 34°C. The Mediterranean climate makes for mild winters and even milder autumns in low-lying areas, with the coldest temperatures reported in January at a very temperate 41° to 55° F or 5°to 13°C.
Most Greeks speak English and those in the hospitality industry are likely to speak French and German too. Signage, menus and transportation signs are written in Greek and English.
Greece is a member of the eurozone, the group of EU countries that use Euro (€).
Greece is GMT+2 (Greece 12:00 - London 10:00 - New York 05:00 - Sydney 20:00)
They are widely available in Greece for Master or Visa cardholders.
Banks are open from Monday to Thursday, 8:00-14:00 hrs and on Friday, 8:00-14:00 hrs; on Saturdays and Sundays they are closed. Central branches of some banks may be found open until 20.00 daily and from 10.00 to 16.30 on Saturdays. For further details while in Athens please consult your hotel concierge.
All major credit cards are accepted in almost all hotels, shops and restaurants. Stickers in the front windows will advise you as to which cards are accepted.
Major outlets Monday-Friday 9:00-21:00; small shops Monday, Wednesday 9:00 to 15:30; Friday, 9:00 to 20:30; Saturday 9:00 to 15:30.
The new award winning Athens International Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos, serves 83 international destinations. Its close proximity to the city centre, 30 minutes by car and 40 minutes by train, makes Athens easily accessible. For more information, you may visit the official site of the Athens International Airport
Network includes new buses, pollution-free trolleys, tram and a revamped electric railway system that connects to the metro lines. Taxis are inexpensive by European standards. For more information, please press here
Electricity is 220 V/50 Hz. Plugs are the standard continental (DIN) type with two round pins.
The international access code for Greece is +30. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 001 for the USA or Canada, 0044 for the United Kingdom). Public payphones are available all over Greece and use phone cards, which can be purchased from kiosks. For information concerning mobile phone use in Greece (telephone transmissions are based on GSM technology), please ask your provider.
Prior to your visit to Greece, prepare for the event that you need medical care:
If your country of origin is not an EU member-state, make sure you have consulted your country’s health care agency for information before travelling. In such cases, the necessary treatment in Greece is provided by:
- IKA (Social Security Institute) Health Units (polyclinics) or doctors’ clinics in the region of travel;
- Regional clinics (formerly rural clinics) or the Health Centres of the National Health System
- The outpatient departments of hospitals
If your country of origin is not an EU member-state, make sure you have consulted your social security agency for information before travelling.
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