Most of Greece has a mild climate. Summers are warm and dry, particularly in the southern coastal areas. Rain is heavy during the winter months, with some mountain areas getting snow. Read more about Greece Climate & Weather
Adequate and modern communication networks reach all areas. Mobile phone network coverage in general is good in most parts of the country. The main operators are Vodafone, Cosmote and Telestet. You can purchase locally inexpensive phone cards for international calls and sim cards which will enable you to use your mobile phone locally. There are also many internet cafes in Athens and on most tourist destinations and Greek islands.
The majority of people in Greece are of Greek heritage with small populations of Turks, Bulgarians and other Europeans. Although more than half the population is classified as urban, rural life retains a powerful influence. A strong sense of community and family ties prevail even in the busiest of metropolitan centres.
You may plan to visit some churches or monasteries during your stay in Greece. As a sign of respect men and women should dress conservatively when visiting these places. In some monasteries it is not appropriate to expose bare arms or entry is not allowed to men or women wearing shorts.
The achievement of a sound economy within the guidelines of the European Union is a major factor in the development of contemporary Greece. Rapid economic progress has enhanced Greece's international status, particularly in the surrounding region.
Greece is an agricultural country. 22% of the workforce is employed for agriculture, 27% in the industry sector and 50 % in the service industry. The tourism and shipping sectors make a significant contribution to the country’s economy. The main industries are: tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products, mining, petroleum.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used. North American require a transformer and British an adapter.
Greece is situated in southeast Europe on the Mediterranean Sea and covers a total area of 130.800 km2. The country is surrounded by the sea. The islands represent one fifth of the country's area. There are about 1400 islands of which 169 are inhabited. The majority of the islands are scattered in the Aegean Sea between the Greek and Turkish coasts. The total coastline is around 13,676 km. Greece Map
Greece has a population of 10,610,000 (2000) of which 3.7 million are located in Athens, the country's capital. The majority of people in Greece live in cities along the coast, with over 50% living in, and around, Athens.
Mainland Greece is well connected with a network of government and local buses. Bus depots are located on the outskirts of each city. The train network in Greece is rather limited. From Athens there are rail connections to Thessaloniki north of Greece through to the Balkan countries and Europe or eastwards to Turkey. A 2nd line goes into the Peloponnese region via Corinth and Patras.
The most popular form of transport to the Greek islands is by ferry, hydrofoil or high-speed ferry boats. The majority of these vessels depart from the port of Piraeus and link Athens on a daily basis with the Greek islands. For those with limited time there is a well established network of domestic flights to most of the major cities in Greece and the most popular Greek isles.
The cheapest way to visit the Greek islands is to use the ferries. When booking ferries there are a few things you should keep in mind. The weather may affect the frequency of ferries and at times services may be cancelled. It is important that you reconfirm the ferry times the day prior to travel to avoid any disappointment.
Greek is the main language of the country but most of the people associated with tourism and the younger generations currently practice English and sometimes German, Italian or French.
There are 18 daily newspapers in Athens. Foreign press can be found in the cities and in the popular islands.
The democratic Greek system works like a parliamentary republic with a president at the head of the state. The actual head of government in Greece is the Prime Minister and the chief of state second in charge.
98% of the Greek population belongs to the Orthodox church. The rest of the Greek population is Roman Catholic, Muslim and Jewish. Only Russia has such a proportion of Orthodox Christians. The Orthodox Church forms the third largest branch of Christianity.
GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).
Tipping is common practice in most Mediterranean countries, however it is optional and only required if you have enjoyed the service. Generally speaking you should allow 10%-15% for tips and $10.00 - $15.00 per day per person for tour guides or if you take a cruise.
You must at all times carry a valid passport. US citizens and Australian citizens do not currently require a visa to visit Greece if the stay in no longer than 3 months. No specific vaccinations are currently required for the Mediterranean region. However it is recommended that you check with your local doctor before departure for the latest updates.
The Public services are open from 08.00 to 14.00 from Monday to Friday. Private companies are opened from 09.00 till 17.00.
The shops are open:
· Monday-Wednesday- Saturday from 09.00 to 15.00
· Tuesday-Thursday-Friday from 09.00 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 20.00.
· These opening hours are not the same in the tourist areas where some shops may stay open all day long and even late at night.