Essential guide to Greece
Greece is a country well known all over the world for its glorious history. Democracy was born in Greece and the Ancient Greek civilization is a stepping stone for the modern western civilization. The Greek philosophy and Philosophers effected the western civilisation. In Greece where born some of the greatest philosophers of all times like Socrates ,Plato ,Aristotle ,Epicurus and many others. Drama and theatre was born here and great writers like Euripides, Aristophanes, Sophocles and Aeschylus wrote immortal plays like Electra, Iphigenia, Oedipus, Medea. During its history Greece had glorious times, during the Golden Age of Pericles of Athens, the Hellenistic times of Great Alexander and during the Byzantine times, when the Byzantine empire lived almost 1000 years, the longest lived empire ever. The ancient Greek monuments like Parthenon have effected dramatically the Architecture of the western world and many famous contemporary buildings have been build according this architectural style.
The geographic location between the continents of Europe Asia
and Africa was a reason that made the Greeks to travel and make
colonies in many areas in the Mediterranean and along the coasts
of the Black Sea, exchanging ideas and knowledge with other
ancient nations like the Egyptians the Phoenicians the Persians
and nations around the Mediterranean. Many of the Ancient Greek
myths has to do with the Greek colonisation and the exploration
of foreign places by the Ancient Greeks like the journey of
Jason and the Argonauts,
the Trojan war and the journey of Odysseus.
Greece today is a modern western European country and member of the European Union. Greece is one of the most beloved holiday destination for many millions of tourists that travel to Greece every year. The mountains , the islands and the cities of Greece have everything to offer to the visitor, history ,mythology , interesting places and sights to visit , wild nature, rivers and lakes with unique habitats. The aim of this site is to give general tourist and travel information for everyone that wants to visit Greece and know better the Greek History, Mythology and everyday life of modern Greece..
The Greek civilization is one of the most important civilisations in the world. Greece was inhabited from the prehistoric times. Its history is more than 3,000 years old, beginning with the Bronze Age and the development in this period of the Minoan , Mycenaean and Cycladic civilization, followed by the Classic Era of Greece, the Hellenistic period, the Roman period, the Byzantine era, the Middle Ages and the occupation by the Crusades, the Venetians and the Turks and finally the modern times since the Greek war of independence in 1821..
is located in the Balkan Peninsula and borders with Albania,
Fyrom, Bulgaria and Turkey. It has ten geographical areas
divided into 13 peripheries and fifty prefectures. The main
geographical areas, or Diamerismata are: Thrace (8.578 sq.km.);
Macedonia (34.177); Epirus (9,203); Thessalia (13.929); Sterea
Ellas and Evia (24,391); Peloponnese (21,379); The
island of Crete (8,335);
Ionian Islands (2,309)Aegean Islands ((9,129); Athens (427). The
mainland of Greece is mostly mountainous with the exception of
the plains of Thessaly, Thessaloniki and Thrace. The highest
mountain of Greece is Olympus 2917 m the largest lake of Greece
is Trichonis 421 sq. km and the longest river is Aliakmon 297
km. Greek major cities: as well as Athens, other large cities of
Greece are Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patras , Herakleion, Kavala,
Alexandroupolis, Corinth etc.
Climate: The climate of Greece is mild Mediterranean. Although many places in northern Greece have cold winters with lots of snow where highly developed ski centres boost the winter tourism of Greece. The summer can be very hot, especially in the mainland. The Greek islands however have a milder climate due to the summer northern winds, known as the Meltemi...
Greek food is famous and popular in many countries. In Greece you will have the opportunity to taste it in local taverns and restaurants. Among the most well-known Greek dishes are stuffed tomatoes, mousaka, stuffed vine leaves, meat balls (keftedes), styfado stew, kalamaris, lobster, shrimps, sword fish and the famous Greek salad. For vegetarians, Greece is a paradise. In all restaurants you will find a wide variety of fresh vegetables and salads like green beans, okra, green peas, chorta., radish, aubergine, courgettes and more as well as delicious stews and dishes that are made wholly from vegetables and/or pulses. In big cities and large tourist islands you will also find well-known international fast-food chains. However, the most popular form of fast-food in Greece is the ubiquitous souvlaki...
Ports of Greece.The main port of Greece is Piraeus. From here are the ferries and passenger boats to the Aegean islands and Crete. From the port of Voles ferries leave to the Sporades islands and from the port of Rafina boats depart to many of the main Cyclades islands. The port of Patras is the second largest port of Greece and connects Greece with Italy and the Ionian islands. The port of Igoumenitsa connects also north-west Greece with Italy and Corfu. Other large ports of Greece are the port of Heraklion and Chania in Crete and the ports of Thessaloniki, Kavala and Alexandroupolis which have connections with the north Aegean islands.
National Roads and Highways: There is a huge road network in
Greece. The three major highways are the E65 that goes from
Athens to Patras in the Peloponnese, the E75 which goes from
Athens to Thessaloniki and the Egnatia highway that starts from
Igoumenitsa in western Greece and goes as far as the
Greek-Turkish borders. Another major highway is the A7 that goes
from Korinth to Kalamata via Tripolis. There are many other road
networks that connects all towns and villages in mainland and
all main Greek islands have as well a good road infrastructure.
Airports:The main airports of Greece are the Athens Airport: ATH Eleftherios Venizelos. The second largest airport is the airport of Thessaloniki. In total there are 35 airports in Greece, with most of them being located on the Greek islands. The main domestic airlines are Olympic Airlines and Aegean Air.
Mainland Airports: Athens, Thessaloniki, Aktion, Alexandroupolis, Araxos, Ioannina, Kalamata, Kastoria, Kavala, Kozani, Aghialos (Volos).
Greek Island Airports: Astypalaia, Chania, Chios, Corfu, Heraklion, Ikaria, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kassos, , Kefalonia, Kos, , Leros, Limnos, Mykonos, Mytilene, Naxos, Patros, Rhodes, Samos, , Sitia, Skiathos.
Trains:The Greek railways (OSE) have two major lines. One is the line that connects Athens with Thessaloniki with the Balkans, Russia and all European countries. The other is the line which connects Athens with Patras..
Health System: The Greek NHS (ESY) is free and covers all Greeks
and EU citizens. Non-EU citizens can obtain services only in
cases of emergency. Private doctors and surgeries however are
not expensive in Greece, particularly dentists and General
Practitioners. A visit will cost you around 50 euro. Some
medicines, such as antibiotics do not require prescriptions in
Smoking: Smoking is totally banned in public places as is the case in many other European countries. Smoking is not allowed in hospitals, buses, trams, trolleys, the metro, ferries, airports, and all public buildings. You can smoke only in restaurants, cafes and bars that have an open air space.
Employment: All EU citizens are able to work or carry out their businesses in Greece. Other laws apply to non-EU citizens...
Passports and Visas: Greece belongs to the European Union and is part of the Segen countries. All EU citizens can enter Greece with or without passports but must show their EU Identity Cards. Non-EU citizens need passports and some nationalities will require to obtain a visa. This includes travellers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Japan, United States of America and other countries.
By Train: Greece is connected with all major cities and towns of western and central Europe. You can travel by rail to Greece passing through the former Yugoslavian countries, or via Bulgaria.
By Ferry: Most travellers arriving in Greece by ferry leave from
Italy. The main departure ports in Italy are the ports of
Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi. There are also ferry
connections from Haifa, Israel and Cyprus, as well as boat
connections with Turkey from many Aegean islands.
By Car: You can travel to Greece from Italy, via the ferries, or you can travel through the Balkan Peninsula.
By Air: There are numerous flights to many Greek Airports from Europe and the rest of the world, arriving mainly at Athens airport or Thessaloniki. During the summer there are numerous charter flights to main tourist islands that depart from many European countries. Most charter flights fly to Rhodes, Kos, Crete, Corfu, Mykonos and Santorini.
Many travellers use the ferries because mostly they are travelling to the islands. Travelling by plane to the islands during the summer can be difficult because many smaller islands are served by quite small planes with a capacity for only fifty or less passengers. Because of this, seats on the planes are booked up months in advance and during high season it is extremely difficult to get a last minute booking for air travel. Therefore, if you intend to visit the islands and wish to travel by air, it is advisable to book your flights very early in the year. On the mainland, the most usual form of transport are the long distance buses (KTEL) There are two main stations in Athens: one at Kifissou Street and another at Liossion Street. The Greek trains also give you the opportunity to travel to many towns on the Greek mainland. You can also rent cars and motorcycles both on mainland Greece and the Greek islands.
Sailing: Greece is a paradise for sailing. There are large yacht marinas at many islands and also at Athens. The Aegean sea is one of the most popular destinations for sailing and many regattas are organised every summer.
Cruises: Many cruise companies organise cruises of the Greek islands. The main cruise destinations include the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Patmos and Rhodes...