Greece is notably regarded as the cradle of Western Civilization. The term democracy, Western doctrine, and the Olympic Games originated in Greece. It besides has been a popular travel finish since antiquity. Located in the Southern-Eastern Europe on the Balkan ( Haemus ) peninsula, Greece is a gateway to Europe, Asia, and Africa, a genuinely absorbing finish for an adventuresome traveller. It is one of the most cragged states in Europe and besides has one of the longest coastlines in the universe. Why non ascent Mount Olympus, the “ place of the Gods ” , a really popular finish among tramps and climbers? How about island hopping at the environing Aegean and the Ionian seas and research the celebrated islands of Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Cyclades and the Dodecanese? How about a twenty-four hours trip to the antediluvian Agora and a dark out in Athens? Wherever you go, enjoy the local dishes of Grecian culinary art, a really healthy Mediterranean diet.
If you have acute involvement in architecture, a visit to Greece is uncomplete without seeing the lasting temples of ancient Hellenic: the Parthenon and the Temple of Hephaestus – the most representative architectural chef-d’oeuvres of the Doric order.
When To Travel
Greece can be visited anytime of the twelvemonth. It comparatively has plentifulness of sunlight compared to its adjacent states in Europe. The winter months of November to March are typically mild in lowland countries and cold at the cragged parts. Travel to Greece in winter season, particularly in December and January, is both ideal and economical as there are off-season price reductions, light crowds and Christmas lights to bask ( 3 ) .
The summer months peak in July and August with temperature of up to 32 grade Celsius. Calendar months of July and August may non be the most fun times to travel island skiping as some topographic points are excessively hot to see, but bulk of the clip in summer is perfect for researching different topographic points of involvement.
Airplanes, Trains, and Cars
Airlines and Airfare ( typical )
Greece has 15 international airdromes and around 30 domestic airdromes all over the state. ( 4 ) The Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens and the Makedonia Airport in Thessaloniki receive the majority of international flights. The remainder of these international airdromes receive chiefly charter flights from Europe and North America. International flights are operated by major air hoses from around the universe, while domestic flights are operated by the Aegean Airlines, Athens Airways, Olympic Air and Sky Express. The Grecian bearer, Olympic airways, offers non-stop flights in/from Athens. During peak seasons, domestic air hoses carry out extra flights to popular vacation finishs. So be certain to obtain information from air hose companies before booking your flight.
The roundtrip airfare from Athens to the East Coast USA hovers around $ 900 during off-peak season. ( 5 ) Roundtrip fares to Europe are usually $ 500 less. Typical domestic menus cost around $ 200. Greece has many low cost air hoses that do non publicize their airfares online so look into with them. It would besides be wise to book in progress to acquire the best menu trade.
Renting Cars and Driving About
Renting a auto in Greece is pretty common. It gives you free entree to state ‘s infinite twist roads, brilliant sights and remote historical towns and small towns. You can engage a auto for $ 40- $ 70 a twenty-four hours depending on the auto theoretical account and type. But book in progress before peak seasons, peculiarly if you need a certain theoretical account or type of vehicle, as supply of these can run low. Expect a sedimentation of $ 300- $ 500 and a bringing charge of around $ 22 when you rent a auto. ( 6 ) Most auto rental companies collect a hazard fee for immature drivers ( 21-25 old ages old ) . Others call it Extra Tax Allowances. ( 7 ) Check with the auto rental company for any limitations or charges if you plan to go out Greece with the rented auto, and look into with them if you plan to return the auto elsewhere in Greece than the designated reaching point as this might transport a punishment or might non be allowed.
Citizens of European Unions can utilize their ain national drive licence, while citizens of other states must hold an international drive licence together with a valid national drive licence to be able to drive across Greece. ( 8 ) So if you are be aftering to lease a auto in Greece, obtain an International Driving Permit from your local AAA office or from ATAA. This usually requires a valid driver ‘s licence, 2 passport exposures and an application fee.
Road marks in Greece contain no text hence easy to understand. But, Greece has a really high accident rate compared to other European states so have oning seat belts is compulsory.
Greece ‘s intercity coach system is really efficient and if you familiarize yourself with the paths you can go anyplace in the mainland and bask the sight of ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine humanistic disciplines – in one twenty-four hours. Every metropolis has a “ KTEL ” ( intercity ) coach station with green colored coachs. ( 9 ) The downside: the coach system was non created to provide to tourers ‘ demands so you might run into linguistic communication job. It is best to inquire person who understands English.
High quality intercity-type trains and high-speed trains are besides available, covering the greater portion of the mainland. This railroad web in Greece is about 2,500 kilometers long and passes through many scenic and picturesque countries of capturing sight. In fact, the riders of O.S.E ( Hellenic Railways Organization ) have the sole privilege of seeing most of these beautiful landscapes and scenery as these countries are accessible merely by trains. ( 10 ) A
In Athens, there is “ Athens Metro ” , an belowground rapid theodolite functioning the metropolis. Bought tickets from Athens Metro are valid for 90 proceedingss after proof and can be used for multiple journeys utilizing this web and by other agencies of public conveyance. The 90-minute level rate menu ticket for all Mass Transit Modes is a‚¬1, while the 24-hour ( Daily ) ticket is a‚¬3, which is really economical for a budget witting traveller. There is besides a 3-day Touristic ticket valid for all metropolis and airdrome conveyances for a‚¬15. ( 11 )
Taxis are besides widely available. Taxi cabs in Athens are xanthous in colour with lighted “ TAXI ” mark on top. Piatsa ( taxi bases ) are located everyplace and it is rather common to portion a cab. Taxi fares in Greece and its islands are comparatively inexpensive compared to elsewhere in Europe. In fact, Greece is one of the best cab deals in Europe and can do a savvy traveller ‘s trips easier. ( 12 ) The minimal menu is a‚¬2.50, while baggage managing per piece is a‚¬0.15. However, flagging a cab around midnight is expensive ; the menus double between midnight and 5:00 am and this both applied to the rider and the baggage. If you are going outside towns and metropoliss, it costs about a‚¬4 per 10 kilometres or about 6 stat mis. Pre booked taxis are available upon petition at an excess charge.
You can take to research the sea or articulation sails. Geting to the islands would necessitate short flights from either Athens or Thessaloniki, or a boat drive from Piraeus. Island skiping paths are serviced by boats and ferries that have been built late and offer all modern amenitiess and velocities at sensible monetary values. There is a broad choice of these conveyance services to take from depending on your budget and chosen finish. Keep in head that most of them may take several Michigans on different islands before geting at their concluding finish. So, if you are in a haste or want to see more of the ancient metropoliss at the mainland it is ideal to take a flight back to the point of going.
Greece has a assorted capitalist economic system. It has benefited from its rank in the European Union. It is a major donee of EU assistance, tantamount to approximately 3.3 % of its one-year GDP. 40 % of Greece ‘s Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ) comes from the populace sector. Tourism, nutrient and baccy processing, fabrics, chemicals, metal merchandises, excavation and crude oil industries are its major beginnings of grosss. The touristry industry histories for 15 % of Greece ‘s entire GDP. ( 13 )
The Grecian governments have announced programs to increase the decreased VAT rates from January 2011 to raise VAT fromA 11 % to 13 % , and 5.5 % to 6.5 % . ( 14 ) This is portion of Greece ‘s asceticism steps. However, in its command to increase the figure of tourers sing Greece, the VAT for its touristry sector is halved which will see revenue enhancement rate cut down from 11 % to 6.5 % to assist maintain the fledging Grecian economic system afloat. ( 15 ) This program will convey the state in par with many other tourer finishs in Europe.
Tourists are non required to pay the VAT which is automatically added to the gross revenues bill and is frequently included in the monetary value ticket. If you are a non-EU occupant, you are technically exempted from paying the VAT and there is a system in topographic point to recover these revenue enhancements they owe from you. But bear in head that using for revenue enhancement refund for large purchases in Greece can be dashing. It involves make fulling out a signifier at the store where you purchased your point and so make fulling out more signifiers at the airdrome: at the local Customs office and at the VAT refund desk. VAT is refunded when you are ready to go forth the state.
Currency, Banking, and Credit Card games
Currency and Exchange Ratess
The pecuniary unit in Greece is Euro. Foreign currency exchange is available at all Bankss and agency de alteration where you acquire the best running rates. ( 16 ) If you are transporting traveler ‘s checks, they are widely accepted and can be readily exchanged at Bankss. Exchanging them elsewhere might be a job though. Sometimes it is hard to interchange big denominations of traveler ‘s check as they are sometimes treated with intuition by concern people. Banks in Greece charge a level committee rate of a‚¬6.00 for the cashing of traveler ‘s checks.
ATMs are everyplace in Greece. The best and safest manner to entree money is through an ATM. Before you visit the state, find out if your finish has an ATM machine as some little towns and islands in Greece do non hold a bank. ATMs in popular tourer finishs frequently run out of hard currency on weekends and remain out of hard currency until mid-week. ( 17 ) Besides, look into with your Bankss about the maximal sum for backdowns and associated charges. Most Bankss in Greece would bear down a fee for each backdown if you do non hold an history with them.
Like anyplace else in the universe, it is best to avoid utilizing an ATM machine in really crowded countries and in the eventides or you should convey person with you when you need to retreat money at dark.
Recognition Card games and Bank Histories
All major recognition cards are widely accepted but less so in gasoline Stationss and stores in little towns. Although recognition card Son and marks are clearly posted on the door, they could sometimes be merely a ornament installed by its old proprietor when recognition cards were one time accepted. So it would be best to look into with the store foremost earlier doing purchases. Most recognition cards incur a fee of approximately 3 % for the currency exchange. It is so advisable that you inquire your bank for their recognition card use policy and fees.
In Greece, the National Bank of Greece, Eurobank and Alpha are top 3 Bankss by assets. ( 18 ) Anyone can open a bank history whether he/she is a occupant or non-resident. ( 19 ) Choose a bank that has extended subdivision or ATM web like the National Bank of Greece which is efficaciously covering the full state and available even in little Grecian islands. Besides, before taking a bank, you should compare the policy on fees for money transportations and other services. To be able to open an history, you must be able to supply a cogent evidence of individuality and must be over 18 old ages old.
Telephones, Cell Phones, and Internet
Prepaid international naming cards are available in Greece. They can salvage you up to 90 % of your calls abroad compared to a normal long distance call. You can utilize these prepaid cards from land line, nomadic and public phones. Besides, you can take advantage of the toll-free Numberss for doing a call.
Internet coffeehouse are widely available in Greece and they offer domestic and international telephone services excessively at cheaper rates. Most of these coffeehouses besides offer SKYPE and text/voice confab services and readily supply clients with mikes and earphones for their confabs.
The international dialing codification of Greece is +30.
Cell phone companies & A ; rolling
In Greece, nomadic phone lease installations are available. A GSM phone can be rented for $ 25- $ 35 a hebdomad depending on the theoretical account. ( 20 ) You besides need to buy a Greece SIM card and wherever you go in Greece you can retain the same phone figure. Since it uses a prepaid phone card you do non hold to worry about monthly measures. This rental bundle has competitory surpassing rates, with few exclusions. It costs approximately 50 cents a minute for domestic calls, while international rates can change depending on the naming finish. A call to the USA costs $ 0.70 a minute, while to Europe costs $ 0.68 a minute. And it can be pricey as you will be charged per second after the minimal airtime of 30 seconds.
You can besides buy a nomadic phone while in Greece. It possibly a smarter option to phone lease. There is an option for pay-as-you-go phones which have excellent coverage throughout Greece. You can take the service of Cosmote, Vodafone or WIND for your nomadic phone demands. Monetary values for airtime and SMS vary somewhat. ( 21,22 ) Voice charges to national webs cost a‚¬0.0055 per second, SMS sent to national webs costs a‚¬0.12 to a‚¬0.14, while SMS sent to international webs costs around a‚¬.20 per text, with few exclusions. Depending on the airtime program, some nomadic companies besides offer limitless proceedingss to fixed finishs.
Internet coffeehouse are a common sight in Greece. You can utilize cyberspace for less than a‚¬1 an hr. With the coming of prepaid cards, you can shop the cyberspace, look into electronic mails and play games with the usage of an cyberspace prepaid card that can be bought for a‚¬10 and allows for 20 hours of internet connexion. Prepaid cyberspace cards are available from xanthous booths. Wi-fi hot spots besides exist but non as extended.
Thingss I Should n’t Miss
Hellenic Festival, Athens
Wine Tour, Crete and Santorini
Mount Parnassus, Delphi
Kratiko Theatro, Thessaloniki
Before going to Greece, you may necessitate to be vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases. You are advised to see your physician for the vaccinums and for other information about protecting yourself while abroad. ( 23 ) Be certain your everyday inoculations for grippe, poulet syphilis, infantile paralysis, measles/mumps/rubella ( MMR ) and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus ( DPT ) are up-to-date.
To entree health care in Greece, one must be a holder of the European Health Card ( EHIC ) or any other legal papers issued by competent authorities sections at one ‘s place state. Such entree to healthcare applies to tourers from the EU-member states. For tourers coming from states other than the EU, they are advised to confer with their societal security bureau for relevant information.