By Admin | Last Updated August 27, 2019
Greece, the cradle of Western civilization, is a country without compare. Spread over thousands of small islands, you will find everything in Greece – a rich history, ancient ruins, famous landmarks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, stunning views, cultural traditions that go back a long time, cruise journeys, beaches, food, and a vibrant nightlife. A country of 131,957 square kilometers, 27.2 million tourists visited Greece in 2017 according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), making it the 8th most popular country for tourism in Europe.
The country has a seafront on three sides – Aegean Sea to the east, Ionian Sea in the west, and Mediterranean in the south. Volcanic cliffs rise over turquoise crystal clear water. Athens, the capital, is a delight and a learning experience. See the 5th century BC Acropolis, Parthenon Temple, Byzantine Museum, Agora, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The island of Santorini with its whitewashed buildings is a delight. Mykonos is best for clubbing and nightlife. Crete has many hikes, historical sites, and beaches.
Enjoy a cruise while in Greece with epic sunsets. Hike volcanoes, walk along cobblestoned footpaths, swim with sea turtles and dolphins, explore lush forests, visit idyllic villages and olive groves, sample the food, learn the cultural traditions, party hard, and of course, you have to visit the historical sites. Small in size, Greece offers a lot of attractions for a memorable holiday.
Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, and Rhodes are the most popular places. Athens, the largest city of Greece, is also one of the oldest cities in the world. The country has recovered from its economic crisis. Tourists are coming back again, the prices are still low. This is a good time to visit Greece.
|Archaeology, History||Neo-classical to Ottoman influenced to Baroque to Cycladic. Parthenon, Delphi, Olympia. Long history of about 4000 years. Influenced by different cultures like Romans, Ottomans, Byzantines and Orthodox Christianity|
|Beaches||There are many stunning beaches with crystal clear water. Sandy, rocky, and cliffy beaches. Many are colorful too. Photogenic & Instagramable. Greece has a coastline of 13,500 kilometers.|
|Islands||More than 6000. 227 inhabited. Crete, Cyclades, Kefalonia, Lesbos, Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, and Zakynthos are the most popular.|
|Hospitality||Greeks are known for their hospitality. They are polite too. Most locals are friendly. The locals understand English well.|
|Food & Drinks||Influence by Italian & Turkish, Greek cuisine is an amalgamation of foreign & indigenous traditions. Vegan food is almost non-existent, though the Greeks eat less meat. You will find quality wine and beer.|
|Nightlife||A vibrant nightlife scene, especially in Mykonos. Find Greek and Latin music, clubbing, bars, and restaurants. See the lit up Acropolis in Athens.|
|Safety||Greece is a safe for tourists. Theft and crime rates are low. Drugs are strictly prohibited.|
|Landscape||Peninsulas, mountains, beaches, islands, caves and canyons, volcanoes, lakes, waterfalls, national parks|
|Activities||Riding, biking, kayaking, rafting, swimming, snorkeling, rock climbing, mountaineering, driving, diving|
|Smoking||Officially banned in public places. Greeks are heavy smokers, often defying the ban.|
Athens airport is the biggest and busiest. (It is the 30th busiest airport of Europe).
By Plane – There are 15 international airports in Greece. Every island worth visiting has an airport with flights connecting to national and international cities. Most tourists arrive at the Athens airport, the biggest in Greece and Europe’s 30th busiest. Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes and Corfu also have international airports. Athens is connected to all major cities in the world and also smaller cities in Europe. Charter flights fly to the different Greek islands during the tourist season.
By Train – North Greece is connected to mainland Europe. There are regular rail connections to Bulgaria, Czech Republic, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey. All international trains arrive at and depart from Thessaloniki. The train service is run by the Hellenic Railways Organization Ltd. (OSE).
By Bus – International bus service is limited. Buses ply between Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Serbia and Turkey. The bus service is also operated by Hellenic Railways Organization Ltd. (OSE).
By Boat (Ferry) – There are regular ferries between different Greek cities and islands from Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus and Israel.
By Car – You can reach Greece by car from neighboring countries. Cars are ferried from across Italy to Greece. Car travel is very popular with European tourists.
Greece has different regulations for European Union (EU) Countries and non European Union (EU) Countries.
|European Union (EU) Countries||Non European Union (EU) Countries|
|800 cigarettes/400 cigarillos/200 cigars/ 1 kg of tobacco||200 cigarettes/100 cigarillos/50 cigars/ 250 g of tobacco|
|10 liters of spirits/20 liters of alcoholic beverages/90 liters of wine/110 liters of beer||1liter of spirits/2 liters of alcoholic beverages/4 liters of wine/16 liters of beer|
|No limit on medicinal products if required by passenger||No limit on medicinal products if required by passenger|
|Baggage is to be cleared at the final destination airport||Baggage is to be cleared at the first airport in Greece.|
|No restrictions on both foreign currency and the local Euro||Declaration to be made for amounts exceeding Euro 10000 or equivalent of foreign currency|
You can carry firearms and ammunitions out of Greece with prior approval.
By Plane – You can take a flight to reach many islands, served by the Aegean Airlines. There are other carriers also servicing the islands and the mainland. You will find more flights in the summer, which is the peak season.
By Train – Extremely limited because of the terrain. The country is divided into small islands.
By Bus – KTEL, the national carrier, operates buses throughout the country. Islands are also serviced by the KTEL buses, traveling on ferries.
By Boat (Ferry) – The most popular and efficient way to travel. But remember, ferry travel depends on the weather. In the peak season, ferries are full, so book in advance. There are fewer ferries in the winter. Check the schedule while planning.
By Car – The roads are extensive, scenic and well maintained. Toll fees and gasoline or petrol can be costly, though. You will find car rentals in all big cities.
By Taxi – Taxis are costly. The drivers too are not always polite. It is best to take Uber.
The Mediterranean Sea influences the weather of most of Greece.
The maximum and minimum temperatures, rainfall, number of rainy days vary a great deal. Different areas have different average temperatures and rainfall.
Spring to early summer (between April and the middle of June), and the autumn season (September to the middle of October), are both good times to visit the country.
Greece can be broadly divided into 5 tourist divisions.
|Attica||East of central Greece and comprising of several islands. The capital city of Athens and Aegina (the first capital), Cape Sounion (temple of Poseidon), Marathon (birthplace of the marathon run), Megara (archaeological museum) and Piraeus (the largest port in Greece). Many archaeological sites, beaches, and mountains. Athens has the Acropolis, Parthenon, and much more.|
|Central and Northern Greece||The largest area-wise. Delphi (UNESCO World Heritage site, oracle of Apollo, archaeological ruins), Halkidiki (resorts, nightlife, Mount Athos, forests, beaches with blue waters), Ioannina (Lake Pamvotida, boating, Byzantine fortress), Meteora (monasteries on top of rocky hills, hiking), Mount Olympus (the highest mountain in Greece, abode of the Greek Gods, natural beauty, flora and fauna), Thessaloniki (the second largest city in Greece after Athens, architectural and cultural hub, Byzantine castles, museums, and the sea).|
|Crete||The largest of all Greek islands, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Tourism infrastructure is well developed. Beautiful landscape with ruins, archaeological and historical museums, monasteries, caves, beaches, festivals and the trees (some as old as 2000 years). Vibrant nightlife. Heraklion (the capital of Crete, port city, museums, buildings, old city, bars & restaurants), Chania (Venetian lighthouse, Turkish mosque, leather production center-Tabakaria, Halepa), Agios Nikolaos (summer resort, Lake Vouliagmeni), Rethymno (Old Town, Venetian architectures, caves at Idaio Antro), Ierapatra (Europe’s southernmost city, Venetian fortress of Kales, sandy beaches), Elounda (five star resorts, private beaches, Spinalonga Island).|
|Greek Islands||Stunning beaches, nightlife, honeymoon, museums, archaeological sites, harbors, religion, landscapes – the islands have everything. Santorini is on an active volcano. Beaches in multiple colors, varied landscapes, nightlife, archaeological sites, gastronomic and culinary delights), Mykonos (the most visited island for its beaches, museums, windmills, churches), Delos (UNESCO World Heritage site in a small island near Mykonos). Rhodes (also known as “Island of Roses”. Medieval town, beaches, archaeological sites, castles, sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming, diving, and surfing. Corfu (Kerkira or Kerkyra in Greek. Old fortresses, palaces, churches, monasteries, beaches and traditional Greek villages). Ithaca and Lesbos are for solitude tourists with clear water beaches.|
|Peloponnese||Peninsula in the south with natural wonders and ancient and historical sites. Archaeological sites include Olympia and the Temple of Zeus, Patras, Mycenae, Ancient Corinth and Sparta. There are many beaches, old castles, medieval towns, caves, monasteries, lakes, and open-air theaters. Carnivals are also held here.|