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Tourist Information

Information for travel to Greece

Greece is located in the southeastern part of Europe and in particular in the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula (or the peninsula of Aimos), in the boundary between Europe, Asia and Africa. Ιt shares land borders with the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Bulgaria to the north, with Albania to the northwest and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.

Its total area is 131.957 sq. Km., and is divided into three ‘main’ geographical units:

– the mainland (from the region of Central Greece in the south to the region of Thrace in northeastern tip), which is the largest in the country,

– the Peloponnese which is joined to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth, and

– the approximately 6.000 larger and smaller islands and islets scattered across the sea area of ​​the country, either alone, or integrated into island complexes, thus setting up unique on the European continent Greek Archipelago. Some of the best known and most popular Greek islands or clusters are Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Dodecanese and Cyclades.

80% of the territory of Greece is mountainous or hilly, which makes it one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, while the total length of its coastline is about 16.000km., of which 7.500km. are on the islands of Greek archipelago, which gives a rare geomorphological feature for the whole European continent.

General Information Greece

Capital of Greece: Athens

Official language: Greek

Polity: Presidential Parliamentary Democracy

Currency: Eυρώ (€ EUR)

Time Zone: GMT +2

Population: 10.815.197 (2011 estimate)

Climate: Mediterranean

Calling Code: The international calling code of Greece is +30

Electric Current: 230V (50Hz)

National Health System: The residents of the states of the European Union can have free, immediate medical care but the medical, insurance coverage is definitely a good choice. For those their country is not a member of the European Union and they wish to visit Greece, in order to receive the necessary health care should consult their insurer before travel.

Animals: For animals from countries outside the European Union a health certificate is required.

Passports: For the visitors from the European Union passports are not required. For the guests outside the European Union a valid passport to enter the country is required.

Visas: All residents (excluding states of the European Union) such as Canada, USA, Australia etc. need a visa to enter the country.

History of Greece

The history of modern Greece actually begins with the Greek revolution of 1821 and the independence of the Greek state in the year 1828 by Kapodistrias, covering Peloponnese and part of the Central Greece.

From 1832 to 1974 the Greek State was a kingdom (with intervals without kingship) and after 1974, the modern Greece is Republic (Third Greek Republic). In 1881 the Greek territory Thessaly was added in 1913 after the Balkan Wars, Macedonia, in 1920 Eastern Thrace and the region of Smyrna which returned to Turkish rule after the Asia Minor Catastrophe. In Greece in 1919 Thrace was added. Dodecanese were after the Second World War in 1947.

Read more at Wikipedia History of Greece.

Climate

The Greek climate is Mediterranean with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and limited rainfall. It is characterized by great diversity, because of its geographic location, its rugged relief and its distribution between the mainland and the sea.

In summer, the dry hot days are cooled by seasonal winds called “Meltemi”, while mountain areas are cooler.

Winters are mild in the lowlands with some ice and snow, but the mountains are usually covered with snow.

Furthemore, it common different climatic conditions to be combined at the same season (for example mild heat near the sea and cool in the highlands).

The data are provided by Athens Observatory www.meteo.gr.

Culture

Civilisation is the total sum of the material and cultural achievements of a group of people. Culture and art are two concepts closely interwoven, as art is the characteristic expression of the culture of a given period. Arts such as architecture, sculpture, pottery, weaving, music, jewelry making and painting have a long-term tradition in Greece, where civilisations had already developed in Prehistoric Years.

Little is known to date to the Paleolithic Era in Greece, but quite a lot is known about the Neolithic Period that followed (approx. 7th – 4th Millennium B.C.) and its civilisation, which is traced mainly in areas that included Thessaly and Macedonia.

Civilisations with impressive achievements developed during the Bronze Age (approx. 3000 – 1150 B.C.) in the Northeastern Aegean, the Cyclades (its trademark being the large-sized marble figurines), Crete and the Greek Mainland. The civilisations that flourished during the 2nd Millennium in the two regions, known as the Minoan and the Mycenean Periods respectively, are considered to be the first of the great civilisations in Greece. Architectural remains (e.g. palaces), as well as pottery work, stone carving (vessels, sealstones), metallurgy (vessels, weapons), jewelry making and paintings (murals) were impressive and representative works of these civilisations.

Read more about Culture in Greece at www.visitgreece.gr

Lifestyle

Having more than 300 days of sunshine a year, the Greek climate contribute to an enjoyable lifestyle throughout the year. Residents and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of summer and winter sports activities such as tennis, sailing, swimming, skiing, golf, cycling, hiking.

The country also has many recreational options, such as restaurants, nightclubs and cultural events areas, which contribute to a vibrant nightlife. Finally, the modern tourist infrastructure offers the opportunity for short trips to some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

Transportation

Greece has a modern transport network that facilitates travel across the country by airplane, boat, train or car. Almost the entire country is covered by public transportation, making travel throughout Greece fast and simple.

View information about the transition and your transportation in Greece in www.visitgreece.gr.

Holidays and National Days

• New Year’s Day: January 1st

• Epiphany: January 6th. It becomes water consecration in many cities. Cross is thrown into the sea and young men dive to retrieve it.

• Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. It is the day that fasting begins. On Clean Monday Greeks fly kites, eat Lenten food and celebrate koulouma.

• Independence Day and the Annunciation: March 25th. Military parade.

• Easter: Good Friday to Easter Monday.

Good Friday: On Good Friday, every church decorates an epitaph. During the procession of the Epitaph people follow holding lit candles in hands and chanting hymns, fill the streets of every city and every village of the country.
Resurrection: It is celebrated at midnight on the eve of Easter, with fireworks and lit candles.
Easter Day: Traditionally, Easter Day Greeks eat lamb spit. The festivities include singing and dancing during the day.

• Labor Day: May 1st. Many flower festivals.

• Holy Spirit (Pentecost) is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

• Assumption of Mary: The August 15th.

October 28th: National Day. School and military parade.

• Christmas: 25th to 26th December

Useful Telephone Numbers

Name
Telephone
Tourist Protection Line 1572
Police Departments 1033
Duty hospitals, clinics, doctors and pharmacies 14944
Immediate action 100
Cyber Crime Prosecution 11188
Port Authority 14541
Fire brigade 199
First Aid Athens 210 6467811
Poison Center 210 7793777
Tourist Police 1571
Weather forecast 14714
Time 14814
Urban Bus Routes 11185
Interurban Bus Routes 14505
Flight Schedules 14944 (5)
Ferry Routes 14944 (5)
Telephone telegrams 11888
Wake Up service 11888
Telephone Information 11888
European Emergency Number 112

More information about Greece
  • General Information
    Greece
  • Geography
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    Sites of
    Greece
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    Greece
  • Time Difference
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  • Tourist
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