Before You Go!
 
Documents
Valuables
Health
Currency
Climate
Time Differences
Electric & Voltage
Language
Business Hours
Dining & Entertainment
DOCUMENTS

A passport is required but no visa is needed for tourist or business stays of up to three months. An AIDS test is required for performing artists and students on Greek scholarships; U.S. test results are not accepted. For general information concerning overall entry requirements to Greece, travelers can contact the Embassy of Greece at 2221 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 939-5800, or the nearest Greek consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, or San Francisco.

VALUABLES

We suggest that while touring or shopping you leave your passport and the bulk of your money in the hotel; only take with you the money you intend to spend or exchange at that particular time.

HEALTH

Medical facilities are available. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Travelers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proved to be useful. BLue Planet Journeys offers a comprehensive trip cancelation and medical insurance. Further information on health matters can be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline on (404) 332-4559. Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/.
Greece welcome all handicapped persons. Many of the cruise ships which sail trough out the Greek islands are equipped to accommodate the handicapped. Air transportation is also available aboard Olympic Airways to many of Greece's largest islands. Do note, however, that access to some of the archaeological sites throughout the country may present some difficulty.

CURRENCY AND EXCHANGE RATES

The currency unit is the Drachma. Drachma may be obtained at any Greek bank. The rate of exchange fluctuates a bit from day to day. Railroad stations, airports, and mosta travel agencies and hotels also offer exchange services. Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and in many shops; however, credit card purchases will be billed at the official rate of exchange.

CLIMATE

Temperate, Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Spring is hot and autumn long and warm.. The lowest temperatures are recorded between December and February, and the highest in July and August. In general, Greece enjoys over 250 days of sunshine annually.

Topography: Greece, the southernmost extremity of the Balkan peninsula, is a mountainous, stony country with a highly indented and crenelated coast. According to a Greek myth, when god created the world he distributed all the available soil through a sieve and when he had provided every country with enough of it he tossed the remaining stones from the sieve over his shoulder-and there was Greece.More that two thirds of the country is classified as hilly and mountainous. The Pindos range traverses the Greek mainland from N.W. to S.E. dividing it in two. the Greek mainland coastline is 4,000 km long while 9,841 islands, 114 of which are inhabited, add another 11,000 km of coastline. Greece is divided into ten regions of which Macedonia is the largest with an area of 34,177 sq. km and a population of 2,263,099. the highest Greek mountain is Mount Olympus (2,917 m.), believed to be the seat of the 12 Gods of ancient Greek mythology. The largest river is Aliacmon (297 km.). The largest city and capital is Athens, with a population of over 4m. Piraeus is the main port. The second largest city, Thessaloniki, capital of Macedonia, with a population of nearly 1 m, is an important seaport functioning as the gateway to the Balkans and a major economic and cultural centre for the whole of northern Greece.

TIME DIFFERENCES

Greek time differences are as follow: 2 hours ahead of GMT in winter. 3 hours ahead of GMT in summer.

ELECTRIC VOLTAGE

The electicity supply in Greece is alternating current, 220 volts, 50 cycles.Appliances for 110 or 120 volts may be operated by using stepdown transformers of 220/110 volts connected to each outlet, provided that these transformers have two separate windings which will eliminate any danger of electric shock. Before taking major American appliances (washing machines, dryers, etc.) to Greece, it is advisable to check whether they can be adjusted to Greek conditions. Greek television systems are PAL-SECAM-M. Therefore TV sets with the American system (NTSC) only, will not operate in Greece. There are two different dialing systems in Greece. Tone and pulse. Therefore telephone sets must be able to change from one system to the ohter. Dual voltage (220/110 volts 50/60 hz) power adapters for wireless telephone sets are required.

LANGUAGE

The Greek language with a documented record spanning three and a half millennia is a strong element of national continuity. Modern Greek derives from the same idiom used by Homer. Greek is also the language of the Gospels. The Greek alphabet and the Greek language have contributed much to all western languages.Today's Greeks, however, are the only ones who ensure this linguistic continuity. In this respect Greek is to be distinguished sharply from Latin that generated numerous neo-latin languages from Rumanian to Portuguese before it became itself extinct.

BUSINESS HOURS

Banks: 9:00am/12:00pm Monday - Friday

Shops: 10:00am/1:00pm and 4:00pm/8:00pm Monday - Saturday

DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT

Restaurants in Greece can be described in two words: simple and great.
A restaurant (aka: Taverna) is a wonderful place to eat, meet the locals and pass the time. When thinking about food, remember these points:

  • Greeks eat late which means after 9pm. Some dont open before 11 pm!
  • Greeks finish eating late: not before midnight and not before 2am on weekends! In addition, kids which play an important role in Greek society, stay up with their parents way past normal bedtime (hurray for the kiddies!)
  • There are many tavernas spread all over the place, from the large cities to the tiny resorts, and in the summer, food is served outside, on tables setup for the purpose.
  • Food comes in small plates; the idea being that everyone shares in the cullinary experience.
  • The cost for a family meal (say 4-6 people) is about DRA10000.

Curtesy of Ellada.com & The Greek Embasy

 
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