GREECE

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Feta is fittingly coined from an Ancient Greek word meaning "sliced."

JST GREECE GUIDES:

Greece is on Central European Time (CET) during most of the year, and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during daylight savings time/the summer.

Greece permits stays of up to 90 days without a visa for tourism or business purposes. Ensure that you have sufficient funds and a return airline ticket. Your passport should have 6 months of remaining validity.

All travelers aged five and above flying directly from China must, regardless of nationality, present a negative PCR test taken up to 48 hours before boarding or a negative Rapid Antigen test taken up to 24 hours before boarding. This requirement is in effect until Feb. 14, 2023. 

Source: travel.gov.gr

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (AIA) is the largest international airport in Greece. It receives direct flights from the majority of central European airports as well as passengers from around the world via transfer. The Athens International Airport offers a hotel, a retail park, and access to railway, metro, bus, and taxi services. Flight time from Athens to other airports across the Greek islands ranges from 40 minutes to 1 hour.

One of the most popular forms of transportation from Athens to the Greek islands is by ferry. Piraeus is the central port of Athens, but many ferries also leave from the ports of Rafina and Lavrion. Car rental agencies are also common in popular Greek destinations for those who wish to travel the sunny islands by car. Green KTEL buses also connect Athens to other neighboring locations for tourists, and the Athens Metro provides a rapid transit system which serves the Athens urban area and parts of East Attica.

A new car rental platform Rent from Locals offers a unique and sustainable approach to travel. By connecting tourists with local car owners, this platform allows you to explore Greece authentically and eco-consciously. It’s more than just car rental; it’s an opportunity to experience the destination through a local lens. Find your ideal ride at www.rentfromlocals.gr and dive into the rich tapestry of Greek culture and community. Embrace this chance to travel responsibly while contributing to the local economy.

With low levels of homicide, violent crime, incarceration, and political instability, Greece is considered one of the safest destinations in the Mediterranean. Be cautious of pickpockets in crowded spaces and when using public transportation, and be careful to avoid common travel scams.

To report a crime or contact the police, dial 1-1-2.

For fire services, dial 1-1-9.

For emergency medical services, dial 1-6-6.

Greece is one of the sunniest places in the world with an average of 300 sunny days a year. Warm weather lingers throughout the first half of fall (September-November), making it is one of the best times to travel to Greece on a budget to avoid peak travel season while still enjoying the sunny beaches and coastlines. Winter in Greece (November-March) is mostly mild in the south, though northern regions are cold during the winter months, even receiving snow in some areas.

The spring (March-May) is warm with more frequent rainfall early in the season. Prices are typically low for spring travelers, and beaches are far less crowded, though the ocean stays chilly until early summer.  The summer (June-August) is hot and dry, featuring the highest temperatures, best travel schedules, and biggest crowds. June is the best time to catch great deals on a cheaper vacation while still enjoying the warmth and excitement of summer in Greece.

The official language of Greece is Greek, which is spoken by 99% of the population along with other languages like Albanian, Macedonian, and Turkish. The most common foreign languages learned by Greeks are English, German, French, and Italian. Although most popular destinations in Greece are catered to international tourists with language barriers, here are some Greek words/phrases to help you get by:

Hello: Γειά σου (YAH-soo)

Please/You’re welcome: Παρακαλώ (para-kah-LOE)

Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (eff-kha-ri-STOE)

My name is… : Με λένε (may LEH-neh)…

Yes: Ναί (neh); No: όχι (OH-hee)

Excuse me/Sorry: Συγνώμη (See-GHNO-mee)

Do you speak English?: Μιλάτε αγγλικά (Mee-LAH-teh ag-li-KAH)?

Greeks are known to be warm and hospitable, and most etiquette is common sense. Here are a few important tips before your trip:

  1. Shake Hands. When meeting an individual or group for the first time, shake hands with everyone present–men, women and children–at a business or social meeting. Shake hands again when leaving.
  2. Be conscious of gestures. The “O.K.” sign is a rude gesture; “thumbs up” means O.K. Tilt the head backward once to indicate “no,” and nod the head slightly forward to gesture “yes.” It is best to verbally agree or disagree to avoid confusion.
  3. Dress appropriately. Some churches- especially monasteries, require covered shoulders, so be sure to bring a shawl or scarf when visiting religious sites like the monasteries of Meteora in Central Greece.

Greece is part of the European Union and uses the Euro (€). You can use your credit and debit cards in all ATM machines in Greece, but be sure to keep cash on you, especially when traveling to remote islands.

Feel free to tip if you like the service. Though tipping isn’t a widely practiced norm as it is in North America, rewarding good service will be appreciated, but tips aren’t required.

In Greece, the power plugs and sockets are type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. You cannot use your electronics in Greece without a voltage converter because the voltage is higher than the US standard of 120 V. Your converter should look like this:

Public tap water is safe to drink in most of Greece. The best quality drinking water is located in big cities like Athens and Thessaloniki, where the majority of the Greek population lives. Opt for bottled water when visiting Greek Islands like Mykonos and Santorini.

Greece has a higher average connection speed than other European countries like Italy and Albania, but it lacks in comparison to countries like France and Sweden. Wifi is available in even the smallest hotels in Greece, as well as in cafes and restaurants. Lack of stable wifi isn’t a problem for most travelers in big cities and small islands throughout Greece.

Greece is considered one of the most liberal countries in Southeast Europe, and its LGBTQ+ rights have evolved significantly over the past decade. Same-sex unions were legalized in 2015, and Greek public opinion is widely accepting and inclusive. Many establishments on islands like Mykonos cater to the LGBTQ+ community, and anti-discrimination laws protect LGBTQ+ travelers.

With its island climate and lush natural beauty, Greece is the perfect location for eco-tourism. Its coastal ecosystems and various wetlands are ideal for bird watching. Greece is home to a large eco-tourism family with snorkeling, mountain biking, and kayaking tours as well as a large number of green hotels like the Rouista Tzoumerka Resort in Southwestern Greece. Be sure to check out the nation’s 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites comprised of protected historical and natural landmarks.

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A TIMELINE OF GREECE'S HISTORY

Start of the Mycenaean Period.

1600 BCE

The start of the famed Trojan War.

1250 BCE

The introduction of the Olympic Games in Olympia.

776 BCE

The first form of coin currency was introduced.

600 BCE

The Bubonic Plague, which ravished much of the country’s capital.

430 BCE

End of “Ancient Greece” period.

30 BCE

Start of the Greek War of Independence.

1821

First and second Balkan War.

1912-1913

Greece announces restoration of stability.

1923

Athens hosts 2004 Summer Olympics.

2004

The Greek Debt Crisis sends the nation into its largest recession to date.

2009-2018

JST GUIDES:

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