Greece Destination Guide | Fast Cover

Greece

It’s not an overstatement to say that this small Mediterranean country is where Western Civilization as we know it today began.

Greece

Capital City: Athens

Greece Key Facts

  • Flag

  • Size

    131,957 km²
    (97th largest)

  • Population

    10,816,286

  • Greece Location

    Southern Europe

  • Travel Insurance

    For Greece travel insurance, select Europe Region

  • International Calling Codes

    30

  • Cities

    Mykonos
    Santorini

  • Language

    Greek

  • Religions

    98% Orthodoxy
    1.3% Islam

  • Currency

    Euro

    Get current exchange rates from

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  • Driving

    In Greece they drive on the right side of the road

Tourism website: www.visitgreece.gr

When is the best time to visit?

 The best months to travel to Greece are between May and June, and September and October. This is due to two main reasons: firstly temperatures at the height of summer can be very high, making any outdoor activities extremely unpleasant; secondly, peak tourist season in Greece is between July and August, which is best avoided. Outside of the peak summer months, temperatures are still pleasantly warm without being scorching hot, and temperatures in the evenings dip pleasantly.

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Transport Information

Airports (15 international, 25 domestic), boat, ports, harbors, train, bus

 

World Heritage Sites

  1. Acropolis, Athens, the famous symbol of Greek Antiquity
  2. Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina), the first capital of the Macedonian Kingdom which contains the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great
  3. Archaeological Site of Delphi, where the famous oracle of Apollo spoke of the future
  4. Archaeological Site of Mystras, the stunning abandoned remains of the wonder of Morea
  5. Archaeological Site of Olympia, the center of Zeus worship, home to the Olympic games, and home to innumerable masterpieces from ancient Greece
  6. Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns, the remains of the two biggest cities of the Mycenaean civilization
  7. Delos, which according to mythology is the birthplace of Apollo
  8. Medieval City of Rhodes, a stunning example of the coexistence of Gothic and Ottoman architecture in one place
  9. Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios, all three being great examples of the style characteristic of Byzantine religious architecture
  10. Old Town of Corfu, a wonderful example of a fortified Mediterranean port city
  11. Plaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika, which represents one of the first bases for the spread of the Christian religion
  12. Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos, which are the remains of an ancient fortified port with Greek and Roman monuments
  13. Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, an important healing site for Greeks and Romans going back to the 6th century BC
  14. Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, built around the 5th century BC, this temple contains the oldest Corinthian capital found so far
  15. The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos, where St John the Theologian is said to have written his Gospel as well as the writing of the Apocalypse
  16. Meteora, which consists of 24 monasteries built on top of sandstone peaks
  17. Mount Athos, a famous Orthodox spiritual and artistic center that is forbidden to women and children
  • Average Annual Temperature

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    17 degrees

  • Average Annual Rainfall

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    662 mm

Climate Information

The climate in Greece is typical of the Mediterranean, with mild and wet winters (November until March) and hot and dry summers (April until October). The summer period is marked by almost constant sunshine, with a few rainy days here or there. The hottest part of the country are the islands south of the Aegean. Summers along the coast tend to be quite pleasant. Summers inland and closer to mainland Europe tend to be quite humid due to the lack of coastal winds. The northwest of Greece is the only exception to this, due to the mountains. There you can expect to find an Alpine climate with heavy snowfall in winter and temperate summers. 

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Official Holidays

  • January 1 - New Year's Day
  • January 6 - Epiphany
  • February 23 (2015) - Shrove Monday
  • March 25 - Independence Day
  • March/April - Good Friday
  • March/April - Easter Sunday
  • March/April - Easter Monday
  • May 1 - Labor Day
  • May 31 (2015) - Pentecost Whit Sunday
  • June 1 (2015) - Pentecost Whit Monday
  • August 15 - Assumption of our Lady
  • October 28 - WWII Day
  • December 25 - Christmas Day
  • December 26 - Saint Stephen's
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Why Visit Greece?

 Greece has been a popular European holiday destination for years. With a large spread of options, ranging from backpacking to all inclusive resorts to luxury resorts, Greece offers holiday options for every budget.

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Things To Do In Greece

  • Acropolis in Athens
  • Drink some Greek wine while watching the sunset on Mykonos
  • Hike up Mount Olympus where the God's dwelled
  • Try the famous Cretan diet
  • Visit the National Museum of Athens
  • Visit the islands
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Travel Tips For Greece

  • As with most Mediterranean countries, time and punctuality are handled less strictly than you may be used to. Expect certain delays.
  • Ensure you drink plenty of fluids when walking around
  • If you are staying in a small town or island for a couple of days and feel brave, rent a scooter - it is a great way to get around quickly
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Greece's Food

Greek cuisine is generally based on healthy, locally produced dishes that are light in nature. In recent years it has gotten a lot of attention, primarily  through the famously healthy dishes of the island of Crete. Generally speaking, though don't tell this to Greeks, Greek cuisines has been heavily influenced by its neighboring countries and it is not uncommon to find dishes from Turkey or Italy on the menu, with the main change being a Greek name. Staple foods of Greece are seafood, olive oil, lemons, garlic, onions and tomatoes and you will find these staples used to great effect in Greek cooking. For a quick bite on the go try a gyros, which is either roast pork or chicken inside a pita, or a souvlaki, which consists of grilled meat on a skewer, sometimes with vegetables thrown in for some color. Tzatziki is a traditional dip made of yoghurt, garlic and cucumbers and is usually served with meals. Traditional dishes of Greece include moussaka, which is similar to an lasagne only made with eggplant instead of pasta, paidakia, which are grilled lamp chops, and obviously, the iconic Greek salad which is traditionally only dressed with olive oil. The most popular dessert is hands down baklava, which consists of filo pastry with nuts and honey, but there are a lot of yoghurt and honey based desserts that are worth tasting. 

Greece's Travel Safety and Warnings

Greece is generally quite safe for travellers, but it does pay to keep an eye out for your belongings as well as being wary of any overly friendly characters. There are a few tourist scams in more crowded resorts as well as bigger cities like Athens. It is best to have up-to-date travel insurance for Greece.


The biggest danger in Greece is definitely posed by its drivers so be careful when crossing any road. Greece has one of the highest accident rates in Europe!

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About Greece

 

It’s not an overstatement to say that this small Mediterranean country is where Western Civilization as we know it today began.

With its rich cultural heritage, amazingly beautiful countryside, stunning islands and great food, Greece has been a favorite European destination for many years and that trend is not about to change.

Pack in your sunscreen, get your travel insurance for Greece sorted, and go visit this 'all time classic' country!

Travel Highlights of Greece:

Athens, the capital of Greece, is where most international travellers will arrive, and is considered by many to be the birthplace of Classical Greece. The one place every visitor has to visit is the Acropolis, which is located on top of a hill and dominates the skyline of Athens. 

To get the best view of the Acropolis, head to Lycabettus Hill in the Kolonaki district. From here you can see the Parthenon with the Mediterranean Sea as a backdrop, or just enjoy some of the best views of the city.

Athens is unsurprisingly also home to a vast amount of museums, most notably the National Archeological Museum and the New Acropolis Museum. The National Art Gallery has some of the best Greek art from the 19th and 20th century.

 

To the west of Athens lies the region known as the Peloponnese, which is home to many quaint seaside towns as well as lots of historically important sites such as the:

  • Ancient Corinth, where St Paul lived,
  • Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games,
  • The ancient theatre at Epidaurus among many others.
  • Sparta, a city famous for its warrior culture, is also located here and the museum is well worth a visit.

 

Heading south from Athens you enter the Mediterranean Sea and with it Greece's famous and numerous islands.

Many of these islands have tourist attractions, great beaches, good nightlife and best of all they are usually quite accessible.

For the best parties, head to Mykonos or Santorini, both famous for their summertime nightlife.

If you’re more interested in medieval towns and fortresses, Corfu and Rhodes offer those, and both are also known for their beautiful beaches and museums.

Before going island hopping though, organize your Greece travel insurance. 

The biggest Greek island is Crete, where you get the beautifully contrasting landscape of both the seaside and mountains.

Here, you can explore the ruins of the ancient civilizations around the archaeological site of Knossos or by heading straight to the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

For intrepid explorers, Crete also has in excess of 3,000 caves, which can be very good fun to explore.

The most interesting way to explore this island is by tree - you can walk around visiting ancient and scared trees, each with a fascinating story and some of them more than 2,000 years old.

The north of Greece is much less explored by tourists, making it at times more difficult for travellers to get around due to a lack of infrastructure.

However, the amazing countryside and great archaeological sites do make it worth your while:

 

  • The remains of the oracle of Delphi, famed for its often unclear predictions of the future in Roman and Greek times.
  • Mount Athos, an important religious site that is closed to women and children.
  • Meteora, which consists of 24 monasteries built on top of sandstone spires - every brick had to be carried up by hand, and it is truly a remarkable site, even though only 6 of these monasteries remain today.
   

Greece is generally a safe country for travellers, but it’s best to ensure you have up-to-date travel insurance for Greece.

The only real concern are Greek drivers - traffic lights and signs are taken more as a suggestion and it’s best to look both ways at least twice before crossing any road.

Greece is truly one of those countries everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime, if only to sit at a gorgeous beach and enjoy a bit of pita bread and tzatziki while thinking about its ancient history

For more information on Greece, visit the Greece Tourism Website.

 

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