Greece – Full Guide For Tourists


Greece – the sun, sea, mountains and recreation, but it is steeped in history and culture of the country, numbering five thousand, familiarity with the origins of Western civilization. The traveler should not seek a meeting only with classical Greece. Modern Greece, separated from the ancient period of ancient history, different kind of beauty.

Greece (the modern name of the Hellenic Republic) is located literally at the crossroads of East and West in south-eastern Europe (southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula). Greece is washed by the Aegean, Ionian, Cretan and Libyan Seas. The area of Greece is 132 thousand km The most western point in the country is the island of Corfu, the most southern – the island of Crete, the most easterly – the small island Kastelorizon. Mainland Greece is surrounded by approximately 3.000 islands, 169 of which are inhabited.

The capital of the Hellenic republic – the city of Athens with a population of 4.500.000 people.

Climate

The climate in Greece, mild, Mediterranean: warm, wet winters and hot dry summers. The swimming season in Greece starts from mid-May and ends in late October. April and May – the most beautiful months when everything is blooming and green. This is the best time to travel to historical places. In June, establishes perfect weather for swimming and recreation, and tourists are few, therefore, prices are lower. The hottest months – July and August. On the islands of heat is easier because of the proximity of the sea, where blowing refreshing breeze. Average temperature in January is about 9 C, July 27 S. Velvet season set in September and October.

Political system

Greece – parliamentary republic, headed by the president. Greek territory is divided by 52 nome (province), noma are divided into dioceses, and dioceses – in Dima (districts).

Population

10.66 million, of which 1.4 million live on the islands. Almost 90% – the Greeks, the rest are Albanians, Romanians, Turks, Italians and other nations.

Official language

The population of Greece spoke in Greek, English, French and German languages.

Money

Euro. You can exchange currency at banks, which are open from Monday to Thursday from 08.00 to 14.30 on Friday – up 14.00, or in exchange offices that are open after 17.00 and at weekends. Widely used credit cards VISA, MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS and traveler’s checks.

Visa

For a trip to Greece issued a Schengen visa. In the Consular Section of the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic granted PTD shelf life of at least four months. date of return, filled and signed application form, one photograph, copies of Web pages of the Russian passport, a letter from employer stating income and position, a statement from the bank on the availability of currency from $ 50 per person per day, or a responsible statement. For minors traveling with one parent is required notarized power of attorney and a picture of the child.

Customs

In accordance with Greek customs regulations permitted to be imported duty free personal belongings (clothing, tourist equipment, etc.), food and beverages up to 10 kg, cigarettes – 300 pcs. or an equal amount of tobacco, spirits – 1,5 l or dessert wine – 2 liters; playing cards no more than 2 decks (on playing cards, as well as matches, Greece introduced a state monopoly).

Permitted to bring a camera and film or video camera and film to her; binoculars, musical instrument of small size, audio and video equipment, bicycles, sports equipment.

The import of narcotics, drugs (except for a limited number of drugs prescribed by a doctor), antiques, explosives, weapons. For advice on specific restrictions relating to import and export of animals and plants, as well as specific items (such as: fireworks, art objects and antiques), should contact the Greek embassy, consulate or local tourist organizations.

Medical care and insurance

It is recommended to buy medical insurance, providing medical care abroad, including the evacuation of patients by air if necessary. In the absence of insurance you may require on-site medical services to pay in cash. Health services in Greece is based on various forms of payment and fully conforms to European requirements.

Employment agencies

Shops are open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 08.30 to 14.30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 08.30 to 14.30 and from 17.00 (17.30) to 20.30 (21.00). Department stores and some department stores are open from 08.00 to 20.00 (summer to 21.00) without interruption, on Saturday – to 18.00.
TAX FREE drawn in large stores with one-time purchase of goods for a certain amount of VAT refund by the airport. In small private shops, and especially when buying fur products can and should haggle.

As in many Mediterranean countries, in Greece from about 15 to 18 hours during afternoon rest. Shut down most of the institutions and shops. At this time, no appointments and do not make phone calls without a specific need.

Banks are open weekdays from 8.30 am to 14.00 (on Friday till 13.30). Some banks in the areas of major tourist centers operate from 15.00 to 21.00. On weekends and public holidays all banks are closed.

Transport

Greece – a country of islands, so widely developed ferry. To get to the island and on the plane (more than 20 airports) or by speedboat. On the mainland rail network is virtually absent, you can travel on the bus.
In a taxi in the city is paid by the meter, but if you are traveling to the suburbs, it is recommended to negotiate with the driver about the price, because at a certain distance from the center of tax changes. In the night hours (22.00 – 07.00) fare increases.

Traveling in a rented car is easy and pleasant. Renting a car is made with a credit card (you can substitute collateral), passport (21 years) and driver’s license of the international sample (the experience of not less than 1 year). If you plan to move within the country for passenger and cargo ferries, it is desirable to notify to the company car rental – in some cases you may need special authorization. Rental price – from 30 euros per day.

Drinking water

In most areas of Greece drinking water is not an absolute no threat to public health and meet all EU standards. However, the country’s inhabitants and tourists urge to drink bottled water, poured exclusively in glass bottles.

Electricity

220V.

Attractions

Greece – a country with a long history, rich culture and amazingly hospitable and friendly people. Traveller is surrounded by unique monuments of ancient architecture, familiar even to school textbooks. Greece – a real treasure house of historical and cultural values, where every stone tells of gods and heroes. No wonder, tours in Greece traditionally are deservedly popular with tourists from all over the world.

If you are interested in the history of art and archeology, the trip to Greece will give you a lasting impression will be an exceptional event. Not only big and famous, but also small towns and many islands have their own monuments of antiquity, its eventful history.

Delphi – Sanctuary of Apollo in Phocis, where the famous oracle and held the Pythian Games. The nature and ancient ruins are a surprising mix, emphasizing the beauty of each other. You can visit the temple of Apollo, theater, stadium, museum, wash water Kastalsky source (according to legend – rejuvenation), see the “navel of the Earth, stone Sybil.

Olympia – since prehistoric times every four years here were the Olympic Games in honor of Zeus. Since the revival of the Games in 1896 here in the ancient sanctuary, again ignited the Olympic flame. Hence, he makes his journey to the venue of the regular Olympic Games.

Meteora – a unique medieval monastic complex. About a thousand of huge rocks rise perpendicularly over the city and the village of Kalambaka Kastraki. These giant rocks to visitors surprised and perplexed because of their fantastic origin.

Once the monastic community had 24 monasteries located on the cliffs up to 300 meters today in force for only five. They were are structured in 14 century by monks who were looking for spiritual retreats. Previously, the monks climbed up the cliff using a rope ladder, and for transporting clothing and provisions used the hanging mesh. Later, between 1922-1925 years, the rock had been nibbling dark passageways and stairs. The way of life of the monks was and remains quite severe. For 14 hours they spend in prayer, 5 – 6 hours engaged in physical labor, and slept only 4 hours.

Currently, Meteora, because of its Christian, historical, architectural and geological significance is recognized by UNESCO and other international organizations, as a monument to humanity, to be protected.

Athos – a self-governing part of the Greek state, which is under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Located on the third “finger trident” on the Athos peninsula in Halkidiki. The first Christians came to the sacred mountain at the time of Emperor Constantine the Great. It was he issued a decree banning entry of women to the Holy Mountain, which operates to this day. The first settler is Peter Athos, who came to the Holy Mountain in the 7 century AD. Oe. The monks of Mount Athos in subordination to the Ecumenical Patriarchate Kostantinopolya. Of the 20 monasteries, 17 Greek, one Bulgarian, one Russian and one Serbian.

Cave Petralona. Here in 1960, at an altitude of 250 meters above sea level, were found the remains of ancient man – Neanderthal age of 200,000 years, and the remains of various animals, comprising the age of 500,000 years. The cave is 800 meters from the village Petralona in Halkidiki.

Fantastic stalactites and stalagmites, traces of fire kindled by ancient man, tools, and many other exhibits displayed in the anthropological museum near the cave, can monitor the air of a man, who was at the evolution of humankind intermediate between Pithecanthropus and modern man.

Mykonos – the city and fortress in the northern Peloponnese. In the second half of II millennium BC here was one of the centers of ancient civilization, known as Mycenaean. In Mycenae, the famous Lion Gate, the Tomb of Agamemnon, the royal palace.

Epidaurus – the Theatre. Built in the IV. BC It is well preserved and is now used for its intended purpose. Festival of Epidaurus, held here today, includes musical and theatrical performances.

Crete – the biggest island of Greece, the cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations on earth – the Minoan, the place with which connected the legend of Daedalus and Icarus. Up to the present day ruins of the remarkable monument of the era – palace of Knossos. Crete – it is also an island that has all the conditions for perfect holidays – Sandy beaches, tranquil blue sea, hot sun, first-class hotel.

Rhodes – a large fertile island off the south-western coast of Asia Minor. It is famous for situated therein, once the statue of Colossus – one of the seven wonders of the world, as well as three thousand other statues scattered around the island. In Rhodes, there are monuments of the classical period, the period of the conquest of the island of Jerusalem Knights Islands, etc.

Traditional cuisine

Greek cuisine is characterized by widespread use of lemons, walnuts, raisins, olive oil, mutton, fish, garlic, tomatoes and a large number of acute mixtures. Very popular in the Greek meat dishes cooked on a spit, dolmates (such as stuffed vine leaves in grape leaves), chir-chir (type chebureks), Allan (a drink made of sour milk), sweet dishes.

Of the large number of Greek cuisine are most popular: barbuni – sea fish; horiatiki salad – green salad with slices of cheese; domates gemistes – roasted tomatoes stuffed with rice and meat, Gardes – shrimp, lobster, kalamarakia – squid; melitsanes – eggplant; pastisio – pudding or souffle pasta; souvlaki – family barbecue, slices of meat on the spit; taramosalata – salad with fish roe. Wine – the most common drink in Greece. Well-known white wines: “Demestika”, “Kambas,” Pallini “and” Santa Elena “, red:” Mavrodafni “and” Demestika. The most famous spirits – “Ouzo” with aniseed flavor, strong “Cancer” and treated with resin mastic tree mastic. Of the many brands of Cognac – the most famous is “Metaxa”. And, of course, Greek coffee. This strong black coffee served in small cups, together with a glass of clean water. It’s called: glikos (very sweet) metrios (middle), sketos (without sugar).

Traditions and rules of conduct in the country

The Greeks love and cherish tradition. And not just a guard, but also reviving. Even those who seemingly hopeless thing of the past. And this they call for the respect of all who understand – no tradition of Greece would not have been Greece. Before the holidays Greeks are particularly sentimental. Living in Athens, for example, remember that they love the hurdy-gurdy. In the not too distant past, these musical instruments were a symbol of their capital. Now, in the flats from the rich, they are as adornments. Traditions is filled with all of Greek life. Do not know the movements of folk dances – for the Greeks simply indecent. A dance to, or in a restaurant Messmates decide that you’re not a real Greek. Suddenly jumped up from the table and start dancing to a Greek – a common thing. Greece, ancient and eternally young … Hellas managed to smuggle through the Millennium respect to labor, beauty and talent. And to make it their most important tradition.

Religion: Orthodox Christianity.

Give way to public transport for women and the elderly are not accepted. Treatment – usually by name, but very soon you may be asked to address by name.

Athens taxi drivers often choose to travel a longer route or do not include the counter. Such acts are severely punished – to record taxi number and report it to the tourist police. As a kind of insurance against fraud can be advised to negotiate a fee for the trip before getting into a car.

Official holidays, which closed all facilities and shops, with the exception of kiosks and shops in tourist areas, the following:
January 1 – New Year’s
January 6 – Epiphany
March 25 – Annunciation; Independence Day
1 st day of Lent – Lent Monday
Date change – Good Friday
date varies – Easter
2 nd day after Easter – Easter Monday
May 1 – Day Flowers
Date change – Trinity
August 15 – Assumption
October 28 – Ochi Day
December 25-26 – Christmas.

Searching in Greece that an address should be borne in mind that the streets with the same name may appear in different areas. Therefore, writing the address, specify the area and landmarks. Sometimes even the taxi drivers do not know exactly where this or that street and house.

Smoking

Almost all smokers and nearly everywhere, except for non-smoking rooms and aircraft company Olympic airways.

Tip

Considered as a sign of good breeding, and your satisfaction with services (10%) as a rule, service charges included in the bill.

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