greece

General information about Greece

About our website

Our website in2greece.com, is an educational and travel portal exclusively dedicated to Greece and the Greek islands
Our goal is to give all the information and facts about Greece to everyone, young and old, who are interested in learning anything about our beautiful country !

Introduction

Greece At the point where three continents meet. Europe, Asia and Africa is Greece, rocking in the waters of the eastern Mediterranean. The area of ​​Greece is small, but its spiritual radiance is very large. Because from this corner of the world was born the highest civilization that ever existed. The institutions, the organization, the arts, the letters and the sciences as well as all the other elements, that now coexist with the Western civilization, have their roots in Ancient Greece.

Geography significantly influenced the development of the country. The mountains have historically restricted internal communications, but the sea has opened wider horizons. A Greek myth says that when God distributed the soil on Earth with a sieve, he used the remaining stones to build Greece. The barren landscape of the country has historically caused people to migrate. Greeks have traditionally been a people of the Diaspora, and several million of them live in different parts of the world

Places to visit


Museums

  1. Archaeological Museum of Athens
  2. Acropolis Museum
  3. Museum of Heraklion
  4. Museum of Delphi
  5. Cycladic Art Museum in Athens
  6. Vergina the Royal Tombs museum

Off the beaten path

  1. Anafi
  2. Amorgos
  3. Ikaria
  4. Kastellorizo
  5. Leros
  6. Lipsi
  7. Milos
  8. Sifnos

sailing-in-greece-on-a-gulet
Travel around Greece
dodecanese
Dodecanese
Cyclades
Cyclades
Saronic islands
Saronic islands
ionian islands
Ionian islands
Sporades
Sporades
crete
Crete

A few words about Greece

History

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.

Minoan , Mycenaean and Cycladic civilisation, 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.

Since the Greek war of independence in 1821. Modern Greece is a European country and member of the European Union.

Why holidays in Greece

Because Greece is one of the most beloved holiday destination for many millions of tourists that travel to the Greek islands and the mainland 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.
Intense glistening light, traditional white houses and the deepest of blue seas gives Greece a unique beauty. The islands offer an incredibly diverse choice of resorts appealing to all ages and every holiday style. You will find wonderfully romantic holiday locations on the smaller islands

The Greek islands

The proximity, the warm welcome, the riches of the past, the charm of island life constitute for many the ground for a first experience. The most difficult thing though is to choose which island. Sparkling white villages, clinging to the sides of rocky spurs where the blue domes of churches and crimson bougainvillea stand out, arid mountains bathed in dazzling light and bordered by golden sandy beaches.

The Cyclades constitute the archetype of the Greek island<strong>s.</strong> As for the Sporades, with their dense vegetation, they are quite different. They extend to the north and east of Euboea, as well as to the east of the Pelion peninsula. The inter-island connections and the possibility of staying with the locals will allow you to make a whole trip in the Sporades or the Cyclades.

The closest to the capital of Greece, Athens, are the jewels of the Saronic Gulf, like the elegant Hydra and Spetse or the peaceful Aegina and Poros. There are more islands to discover, the green Ionian islands, cross the Aegean to reach the very diverse islands of the Dodecanese and the less known, in the northeast of the Aegean Sea like Limnos, Samos, Chios or Lesvos and of cource the most wonderful island of Greece Crete

Climate ↗

The climate of Greece presents all the characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. It has a limited rainy season, a lot of summer drought, a lot of sunshine and a mild winter. From a climatic point of view, time can be divided into two main periods: the cold, which lasts from October to March, and the warm, which lasts from April to September.

In Greece, one can distinguish four climatic regions: 1) the mountainous, 2 ) northern Greece, 3) the Ionian and 4) the Aegean. Characteristic features of the climate of the mountainous region are the low temperatures, the long period of snowfall, the great cloud cover and the strong winds

The winter in the mountainous country is severe and the summer is cool. Characteristic features of northern Greece are the limited summer drought and the uniform distribution in the rainy season. The winter here is harsh and the summer rainy.

The characteristics of the Ionian are the mild winter, the abundant rains, the small cloud cover and the great sunshine. It is the sunniest region in the country with a temperate pleasant climate. In the area of ​​Agaios, the characteristics of the climate are the high intensity and frequency of the winds, the great sunshine and the humidity.

Where is Greece located ? ↗

Greece located at the SE end of Europe, where three continents meet: Europe, Asia and Africa. Its area is small, but its spiritual radiation is very large. This is where the ancient culture of antiquity developed. Geographically, it belongs to the family of 33 European countries, in which it ranks 13th in area. Globally, its area corresponds to less than 1/1000 of the total land area. The state of the country is a Presidential Republic. Athens is the capital. The Greek space has undergone many changes in the course of history. Its natural map has also undergone alterations and its physiognomy has changed in many places.  The location and geography of Greece particularly favored the development of maritime trade and exchanges in the eastern Mediterranean, which was the most important region of the world until the 16th century and which is still of great importance.
Today, this remarkable geographical position of Greece gives it another opportunity to play an important role in trade and political relations with the developing countries of the Near East and Africa and opens new prospects for economic activity in relation to its huge merchant fleet.
Due to its geographical location, Greece plays the role of a link, from the world of Asia and Africa, to the world of Europe and vice versa.

The Greek people ↗

In recent years, Greek society has become urbanised, Greeks have changed their way of life. The majority of the Greek population tends to look like the middle class of the industrialised countries. But the Mediterranean temperament and national heritage are deterrents to the formation of the “industrial” Greek. Morals and customs and religious beliefs make Greeks stand out from the rest of Europe. Here they meet the old with the new, the marriage of the modern way of life with the traditional Greek thought.

The Greeks are a nation that lives mainly in southeastern Europe and have inhabited extensively the area of Greece since the end of the 3rd millennium BC,
The Greeks generally established colonies around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, while after the campaign of Alexander the Great their cities and colonies reached as far as Central Asia and as far as present-day India, spreading to a great extent the Greek culture and Hellenism in most of the then known world.

Today the Greek nation is still scattered throughout the world, however, as is logical, the majority remains within the boundaries of the current Greek state and the island of Cyprus.

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Getting to Greece

By air

If you want to find cheap flights to Greece, follow those steps:
1 Book early, 60-90 days in advance.
2 Have nerves of steel? Book late, for last minute deals.
3 Concentrate on getting a good price to London, Paris, Rome or Munich, then find a flight to Greece on a smaller European airline.
4 Be willing to travel one day a week. If your schedule allows, check one or two days before your optimal arrival and departure date.
5 Check who is flying to Athens International Airport near your departure date, you may notice a “new” airline that will offer attractive prices. You can also find a European regional airline that you never thought of taking before.
6 Consider flying directly to Corfu, Thessaloniki, Rhodes,Mykonos, Santorini or through Chania or Heraklion on the island of Crete. Airlines flying out of the UK and Germany have many direct flights to these locations.

By train

Getting to Greece from the European continent, the easiest way is to get a train from any main European city to the Italian ports of Ancona, Bari, Brindisi or Venice, all those ports have daily ferry connections with Greece (Corfu, Patras or Igoumenitsa). There is also a daily train service connecting Sofia (Bulgaria) and Istanbul (Turkey) with Thessaloniki.

By car

If you are coming to Greece by car, it is best to drive to Italy and get the ferry from the ports mentioned above to Greece. You can also get to Greece through the Balkans, but the the journey becomes very long.

Travelling with kids

In general, Greece is a nice place to travel with children. That being said, there are some things to be prepared for.

Most restaurants outside of high-end resorts will not have high chairs or booster seats. Yet is it not uncommon to see children in tavernas and in the summer children running around squares and plateia while their parents dine at the outdoor tavernas. In fact, in the summer months you’ll find a surprising number of children who stay up until well past midnight as their parents enjoy a leisurely dinner. Adding to the positive dining experience is the speed at which most taverna food is delivered – restless children will have only a short time to wait.

If you are at all worried about your children being exposed to cigarette smoke, be aware that Greece has the highest smoking rate in Europe and therefore any eating establishment will be filled with smokers indoors and outdoors.

It is best to leave the stroller or any wheeled device at home – Greece roads, paths, sidewalks, and the infrastructure in general are not geared towards ramps, smoothly paved paths, or any wheeled devices. Backpacks and front packs are better options.

It is easy to find fresh milk at all grocery stores except for the tiniest of islands where it may become slightly more difficult though not impossible. Formula and canned milk are generally available everywhere.

Your pocketbook will enjoy the discounts offered to children. Most ferries, buses, trains, museums, and archaeological sites are free for children under the age of four. From four to ten years there is normally a discount. Anyone older than ten generally pays full price.

Shopping in Greece

shopping-in-greeceShopping is better value away from the main tourist areas. Although mini markets and the periptera (kiosks) are great for when you run out of essentials at inconvenient times, the larger supermarkets have the best prices. Vegetables and fruit are cheaper in markets or shops that specialise in these products than they are at supermarkets. Be aware that many items are sold by weight – even a slice of cheese can be more than you realise. State your price first.

Local wine from the barrel is cheaper than buying bottles if you can find it. Average prices for wine from the barrel is about 1.50 euros for 0,75 litres or a bottle of dry red Apelia or Kampas (1,5 L for 3,60 – 3,90 euro) . Buy freshly ground coffees by the spoonful and small packs of individual teabags. Toiletries can be quite expensive in Greece, this includes things like suntan cream and insect repellent. It is worth always looking for bargains in your home country and bringing these with you in your luggage.

Getting around in Greece

Greece is a convenient place to get around, it is because Greece has a huge system of local transport consisting of ferries, planes, buses and trains for travel between cities and more local choice of transport within a city or an island. You can travel to almost any place via public transport.

Buses are supported by land transport, with a network that reaches the smallest villages. Trains are a good option available. For most tourists, however, traveling in Greece means island-hopping on the many ferries that criss-cross the Adriatic and Aegean Seas. If you are in a hurry, Greece also has an extensive domestic air network.

By air

A number of islands have airports along with CreteRhodesSamosKosSantorini and Mykonos, among others. From 16 international airports in Greece only Athens and Thessaloniki receive regular flights from abroad. There is not much in the way of island to island flights.
During the summer, there are usually several flights a day from Athens to each of the larger islands. These flights are generally made in an hour or less. The Greek carrier Olympic Airways and its subsidiaries offer most flights within Greece. Two or three other companies have been added in recent years, offering more flights around Greece.

By car

Local transport in Greece by car can be a very satisfying experience, so you can explore the incredibly beautiful and varied terrain of the country’s coasts, interiors, and islands, when it suits you.

Greece, on the other hand, has a relatively high number of fatalities in traffic, among the highest in the EU. Many Greek drivers often drive violently, and the country’s topographical reality poses challenges by forcing many narrow roads in mountainous regions to take several turns.

On the plus side, road mortality has steadily declined as a result of government campaigns, tougher policing, and legislation.
The roads are usually well marked and well maintained, and billions of euros, occur pour expand the nation’s network of multi-lane highways. Due to the rapid growth and development of the country’s road network, it is advisable to have the most up-to-date road maps possible. Many of the newer highways are toll roads, and tolls can be expensive.

Renting a car in Greece is easy and cheap. You can pay anywhere from $ 150- $ 200 per week for an “economy” car that would give you the freedom to travel wherever you want. “Mini” cars can be rented for as little as $ 100- $ 150 per week.
Make sure the price you are quoted includes all taxes, insurance and fees (eg airport fee). Drivers who do not hold an EU driver’s license must obtain an international driving license obtained in their home country. This may not happen when you rent a car, but will certainly be needed if involved in an accident or stopped by police for a traffic quote. Insurance can be invalid if the driver is a non-EU driver without an international license.

By ferry

The most comfortable way to go, about getting around is part of the fun of your trip. Taking a ferry can also be the only way to get to some islands. In addition, expeditionary force is the way in which the Greeks tend to approach even a short hop a fine introduction to local traditions. There are extensive connections from Athens and in-between islands for “island hopping”.

Ferries are about one thing in Greece as time off so be quick. In August, ferries fill up due to the national holiday (Aug 15) so plan ahead. New “high-speed ferries” cut distances twice a year, but the prices are slightly more expensive. The simple solution to questions about ferries is: do not worry about it. Show off at each port and you will be able to find out everything you need to know in about 10 minutes.

It is something of a myth that the Greek ferries are unpredictable. But remember that this is at sea. Do not plan a tight schedule around boats. Nothing less than a force 9 storm stops large car ferries, but ferries can arrive late to a final destination even when the weather is good. The farther they are from their starting point, and the more stops along the way, the later they become. Treat timetables as useful guidelines. The most credible information is what you get on the day of departure.

By bus

Buses are a very popular option for domestic travel. KTEL is the national state-subsidized network of independent companies that work together to form a dense line system serving almost the entire country. The system is efficient, reliable and relatively inexpensive.
It serves both long and short distances, including roads from major cities to islands near the mainland, such as Corfu and Kefalonia (in such cases, the ferry is included in the price of the bus ticket). The frequency of buses, as with ferries, varies with the season. Some services, such as special stretches out to the beaches, will naturally be canceled in low season.

By train

Trains are cheap, ways to get around, but the national railway system is extremely limited. This is due to ignoring the arrival of large-scale car use and air travel, and also due to previous technical difficulties in overcoming the country’s difficult terrain.
The importance of train travel has now been rediscovered, and the national railway network is currently undergoing major renovations. The completion of the project is still a long way off, but tourists can already benefit from the first sections of the modernized railway system that have been inaugurated.
A brand new suburban / regional train, the Proastiakos, was opened in 2004 for Attica and neighboring regions and is under continued expansion. There has also been extensive modernization of the Athens-Thessaloniki corridor, with travel times fragmented.

Entertainment in Greece

The most luxurious clubs in Athens, often with live music, have restaurant service, host big names in Greek song and a visit is highly recommended. The predominant genre today is commercial pop which is wrong in having erased the faintest trace of the rich, particular and very ancient Greek musical tradition. A genus that still survives is the “rempetiko”, which developed around 1850 in the Greek community of Asia Minor at the time of the Ottoman Empire and transplanted to Greece in 1922. There are many rooms dedicated to it in Athens near Alexandras Avenue and in the neighborhood of Psiri.

The “bouzouki”, a popular-style club that takes its name from an instrument similar to the mandolin has also almost disappeared, supplanted by European and American style discos and clubs.

“Skylladika” is a term that indicated low places where the singers who performed had no quality and more than singing they seemed to bark. (Skyladika in modern Greek means house of dogs). Today the term indicates those places in which oriental or secular music is played (mpouzoukia, rempetika, etc.) which to the ears of the Greeks themselves, now completely Westernized, seems strident.

Even the traditional Greek dances have suffered a similar fate and today they survive in an amateur form only to the delight of some tourists. Among the most popular with foreign visitors are the sirtaki, actually an artificial dance created by Mikis Theodorakis for the needs of the soundtrack of the film “Zorba the Greek” (1964) and the “tsifteteli”, an Anatolian dance whose name in Turkish means double rope. Other traditional Greek dances are “Kalamatianòs”, “Tsamikos” or Kleftiko and “Hasapiko”.

Accommodation in Greece

Greece offers a huge range of holiday accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets, as you’d expect of a country that attracts more than 12 million foreign tourists each year.

There are lap of luxury hotels for those that can afford them, cheap and cheerful dorm-style rooms for budget backpackers, numerous well-equipped camp sites and plenty of package holiday hotels in all the most popular resort areas.

Visitors to Greece fall into three main categories, the independent island-hoppers, the package holidaymakers and the cruise ship clientele. If you’re intending to embark on an island-hopping tour without making hotel reservations in advance be aware that you may end up in some less than satisfactory accommodation in the high season months of July and August, especially on the most popular islands.

Owners of budget accommodation on many of the busier islands usually gather in a noisy gaggle at the quayside to meet visitors arriving by ferry. They brandish “domatia” or rooms to let signs and will often try to grab both you and your suitcase and bundle you into a waiting minibus.

Even if you’ve pitched up without booking a room for the night don’t commit yourself until you’ve inspected the accommodation, because often the location and facilities are a far cry from the owner’s description.

There are about 350 camp sites around Greece, many of them in wonderful settings. If you have more of a taste for adventure than for five-star self-indulgence you might want to try one of the mountain refuges that you’ll find in various stunning locations around the mainland and on the islands of Crete and Evia.

If you’re a keen hiker you can bed down for the night at the home of the gods in one of the mountain huts on Mt Olympus which boasts the highest peak in Greece. And in some areas you can sample a taste of the monastic life and sleep in a cell of one of the countless monasteries that pepper the mountains of the mainland and islands.

Self-catering complexes of bungalows and apartments have sprung up in all the main resort areas in recent years and are a popular choice for families. Many provide accommodation for four or more people and offer more freedom for youngsters than the confines of a hotel room. The better ones are well equipped with supermarkets, swimming pools and other sports and leisure facilities.

Currency

The Euro came into force as official Greek currency on January 1, 2002, and completely replaced the drachma on March 1 of that year. Currently one Euro is worth around US$1.20 and £0.69. For up to the minute exchange rates visit www.xe.com/ucc.

Important telephone numbers

The national number to call for the police is 100, and for the tourist police is 171. (Tourist police are much more likely to speak English).

Number to call in case of fire: 199

For medical emergencies/ambulance assistance: 166

In case of automobile emergencies: 104/174

The international dialling code for Greece is +30. The British Embassy in Greece can be found at 1 Ploutarchou Street, 106 75 Athens (ph: (30) 210 727 2600. British consulates are located in Thessaloniki and Corfu.

Communications – Post

The Greek postal system is known to be reliable, but slow. A postcard or letter weighing less than 20 grams and sent to North America or Europe will cost Euro 0.65. If you plan to send a parcel you must be prepared to show the contents of any package to a postal clerk before it is wrapped.

Internet

Internet access is widespread throughout Greece in cafes, internet kiosks and some post offices. Wireless connection facilities are available in most hotels.

Telephone

Phone cards can easily be bought at kiosks or at an OTE (Telecommunications Organisation of Greece) office. They come in denominations from Euro 3 upwards, and the larger the cards’ value the cheaper calling units are. Larger Greek towns and cities will have OTE offices where you can make calls in a private booth and pay when the call is complete.

Visas

Visitors to Greece who carry EU passports require no visa to enter the country. Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the USA require no visa for holidays of up to three months in length.

Important:
Greece will refuse entry to anyone whose passport indicates that they have visited Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus since November 1983.

Business hours

Office hours vary considerably throughout Greece, depending on the form of business, its location and the demand it may have. Governmental offices are open from Monday through Friday from 8am to 3pm. As a rule of thumb if you need to get something done in an office you should go on a weekday morning to be guaranteed that they are open and ready for business. Greek banks are open from Monday to Thursday 8am to 2pm, and on Fridays until 1:30pm. Some banks providing foreign exchange may be open longer hours, but all are closed on Greek public holidays. Almost all shops are closed on Sundays unless you are in a particularly tourist oriented area – their services and stores may well be open for extended hours. In a lot of areas an afternoon siesta is kept and shops may be closed between 3pm and 5pm.