ATHENS– TIPS BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

The ideal Mediterranean climate, safe waters and highly accessible ports and coasts have made the Greek islands an extremely popular destination year round. Most of the islands are found in the Aegean Sea and are divided into seven groups; we will visit 2 of these seven groups:

The Cyclades Region:

The most famous group of islands in the Aegean Sea, every one of them has become popular for its own magnificent reasons. They have been globally awarded for their unique beauties and are always listed among the most beautiful islandsin the world.

Spectacular sandy beaches, barren landscapes trimmed by traditional cubic architecture in white-blue colors and tiny isolated chapels will offer you a once in a lifetime experience.

Every year millions of visitors are filling their amazing beaches, enjoy the sun, the blue sky, and hospitality of their people; experience the famous gastronomy and traditions, the world famous, unforgettable nightlife, a real paradise on earth Mykonos and Santoriniare for sure the favorite of international jet-setters

The Sporades Group:

A group of islands in the east coast of Greece ,they are widely known for their beauty, nightlife, magnificent lush pine forests, unique wetland and crystal-clear azure waters, Skiathosis more of a cosmopolitan, attracting younger ages, and the others are rather preferred by those fond of a naturalistic atmosphere.

Where do I fly into?

ATHENS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (AIA) “EL. VENIZELOS” SA

SPATA 19019, Greece
Call Centre: (+30) 210-3530000 (Available on 24hr basis)
Fax: (+30) 210-3530001
website: www.aia.gr
e-mail: airport_info@aia.gr

Time Zone

Greece is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), 1 hour ahead of Central European Time and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST).

Greek Islands Weather

Greek Islands is such an extended area, from Corfu at the northern Ionian Sea down toGreek Islands Weather and the south-eastern part of the Aegean, but the climate difference is rather minimal. Our country is a privileged destination blessed with the beautiful Mediterranean climate, ideal for travel, sightseeing and pleasure, all year round.

Greek mainland is rather hot during summer with temperatures rising over 30ºC, but don’t worry; the continuous Aegean Sea breeze and lush country side of Ionian makes them an ideal location for your summer vacation.

Passport and Visa Information

Greece is a Member-State of the European Union (EU) and citizens travelling inside the EU will only have to display their police I.D. Card without the need of a passport. However, a passport is necessary for a number of other transactions, such as currency exchange, purchases, etc.

Visas are not required by citizens of Member-States of the Schengen Agreement. Greece follows the provisions of the Schengen Agreement, which allows Member-State citizens to travel around without a visa for a short stay period of up to three (3) months. However, airlines and other carriers require a valid passport and/or police I.D. Card during check-in and boarding.

Citizens of the majority of the countries that are not Member-States of the Schengen Agreement require a visa to enter Greece. Visitors from these countries can obtain further information from the Hellenic Embassies or Consulates in their countries, or even from their travel agencies.

Visas are not required by holders of valid passports from the following non-EU countries if they want to visit Greece and remain in the country for up to 3 months (90 days) within a chronological period of 6 months:

Andorra Chile Israel Vatican South Korea
Argentina Costa Rica Japan Nicaragua USA
Australia Croatia Malaysia Panama Uruguay
Brazil El Salvador Mexico Paraguay Venezuela
Brunei Guatemala Monaco Saint Marino Canada
Honduras New Zealand Singapore  

Note: During their stay in Greece, visitors with a visa must also have suitable insurance coverage for emergency medical or other needs. Embassies and Consulates in Greece

Health and Safety

Detail and practical information is given through our website on every aspect, both for EU citizens and visitors around the world, such as what is given for free, or when they should pay for their treatment.

Currency and Exchange

Greece, as a Member-State of the EU since 2002, uses its uniform currency – the Euro, denominated in banknotes of: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros, while coins come in: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents (or lepta in Greek) and 1 and 2 Euros.

Currency exchange rates are clearly displayed in every bank that accepts currency exchange, while credit card holders may acquire money from the ATMs of the collaborating banks.

Euros can also be exchanged for notes of other foreign currencies at exchange offices that are situated at the airport and certain main ports, in the larger cities, as well as at many tourist destinations. Your passport will be required when exchanging currencies.

BANKS

Greek banks are open for the public :

From 8:00 to 14:30 Mondays to Thursdays

From 8:00 to 13:30 on Fridays.

They are closed on Public Holidays.

CLOTHING

Not all the Greek islands are the same. You may find Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu or Rhodes to be more cosmopolitan than others.

There is NO such thing as a dress code during summer. Just follow your mood and enjoy your stay on the islands. I would consider it rather extreme (and rare) if some of the most expensive restaurants and clubs require a more ‘formal’ dress code.

Don’t forget your swimming suit, sunglasses and sun block protection for the beach, or flat shoes if you like wondering around the pebbled-stoned streets at ease!

Depending on the season, it might be nice to have in your suitcase some items with long sleeves and trousers or long skirts; even in summertime, you might feel the night-breeze or summer winds of the Aegean Sea.

Electricity

The electric power in Greece is 220V (50Hz), using the European style rounded tip two or three-prong plugs.

You should check before leaving what your personal appliances will need, as you may require a plug adaptor, or transformer/voltage converter for North American visitors. And if you simply forget, don’t worry. There are plenty of shops at the airport that sell adapters.

Tipping

You don’t have to tip wherever you go. If you feel happy with your meal and service it is custom to tip 10% of your bill. In certain periods (during the Holy Week and Christmas) restaurants are obliged to add an extra percentage to the bill, for their waiters.

Water

The tap water is chlorinated all over Greece; though you mind find its taste a bit funny, especially in smaller islands. Just ask a local if you can use their tap. Otherwise, we recommend drinking bottled water. Bottles, particularly from supermarkets, are cheap.

Language

The official language is Greek. An increasing population (especially younger people) and almost everyone who’s working in tourism, leisure and shops speak fluent English, French, Italian or German.  Signage, menus and transportation signs are written in both Greek and English.

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