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Before you Travel

Basic

Before you travel in Greece, it is advisable to bear in mind the following:

 

  • Depending on your country of origin, you might need a passport and a visa; you could obtain a visa through the Greek consulate nearest to your residence.
  • Call your bank or your credit card company to let them know that you will be using it in Greece.
  • The Electric Current in Greece is 230V AC (50Hz). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor.
  • In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from member states of the European Union (EU) wishing to visit Greece must be holders of the European Health Card (EHIC) or any other legal Community document issued by their competent social security agency. Tourists from countries other than the member states of the European Union must consult their social security agency for information before travelling.
  • Contact your phone company in order to make sure that your can use your mobile phone in Greece.

 

Source: Visit Greece

 

Passport & Visa

   Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and has ratified the Schengen Agreement. Citizens traveling inside the E.U. just need to display their police I.D. Card without the need of a passport. However, a passport is necessary for a number of other transactions, such as currency exchange, purchases, etc.

Visas are not required by citizens of Member-States of the Schengen Agreement. Greece follows the provisions of the Schengen Agreement, which abolished controls on common internal lands, at air and sea borders and allows Member-State citizens to travel around without a visa for a short stay period of up to three (3) months. However, airlines and other carriers require a valid passport and/or police I.D. Card or other form of official identification means.

Citizens of the majority of the countries that are not Member-States of the Schengen Agreement require a visa to enter Greece and the E.U. Visitors from these countries can obtain further information from the Hellenic Embassies or Consulates in their countries, or even from their travel agencies.

Visas are not required by holders of valid passports from the following non-E.U. countries if they want to visit Greece and remain in the country for up to 3 months (90 days) within a chronological period of 6 months:

Andorra
Argentina
Australia
Brazil
Brunei
Canada
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Israel
Japan
Malaysia
Mexico
Monaco
New Zealand
Vatican
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
Saint Marino
Singapore
South Korea
USA
Uruguay
Venezuela

Note: During their stay in Greece, visitors with a visa must also have suitable insurance coverage for emergency medical or other needs.

Embassies and Consulates in Greece

Source:Visit Greece

 

Health & Safety

   In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from member states of the European Union (EU) wishing to visit Greece must be holders of the European Health Card (EHIC) or any other legal Community document issued by their competent social security agency.

In these cases, the necessary treatment in Greece is provided by:

  • the IKA (Social Security Institute) Health Units (polyclinics) or doctor’s offices in the region;
  • Regional clinics (former rural clinics) or the Health Centres of the National Health System; and
  • the outpatients’ departments of the hospitals on contract

In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from countries other than the member states of the European Union wishing to visit Greece must consult their social security agency for information before travelling.

In case of emergency call:

Ambulance Service: 166
SOS Doctors : 1016
Duty Hospitals and Clinics: 1434
Pharmacies: 1434
Open Line for alcohol drug Addiction: 210 3617089
Poisoning First Aid: 210 7793777
Police: 100

Source:Visit Greece

 

Weather

   Greece has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and a limited amount of rainfall.

Due to the country's geographical position, its rugged relief and its distribution between the mainland and the sea, there is great variation in Greece's climate.

In summer, the dry hot days are cooled by seasonal winds called the meltemi, while mountainous regions have generally lower temperatures.

The winters are mild in lowland areas, with a minimum amount of snow and ice, yet, mountains are usually snow-covered. Moreover, a common phenomenon is the occurrence of different climactic conditions during the same season (for instance, mild heat in coastal areas and cool temperatures in mountainous regions).

More info : National Meteorological Service

 

Source:Visit Greece

Time Zone & Holidays

Time Greece: GMT +2

 

  • New Years Day: 1st of January
  • Epiphany: 6th of January. Sea water is consecreated in the area of Piraeus. The priests throw the Cross into the sea and young men dive to catch it.
  • Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. It is the day people begin the Lent. On Ash Monday Greeks fly kites, eat meatless food and celebrate Koulouma. Athenians gather on Philopappou Hill.
  • Independence Day and Celebration of Evaggelismos: 25th of March. Military parade.
  • Easter: From Holy Friday until Easter Monday. On Holy Friday evening every church decorates the Epitaph (Bier of Christ). During the procession of the Epitaph the streets of every city or village in the country are full of people. It is a religious procession where everybody holds lit candles in their hands and sings hymns.
  • Night of the Resurrection: It is celebrated in midnight before Easter Sunday with fireworks and candles.
  • Easter Sunday: On Easter Sunday Greeks eat barbecue lamb. The celebrations include singing and dancing all day long.
  • Labor Day: 1st of May. Flower feasts all around Athens.
  • Pentecost: It is celebrated 50 days after Easter.
  • Assumption of the Virgin Mary: 15th of August.
  • 28th of October: National Celebration. Military parade.
  • Christmas: 25th-26th of December.

 

Source:Visit Greece

 

Currency

   Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and uses its uniform currency – the Euro. Greece, as is the case with the other Member-States of the E.U. uses eight coins as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents or lepta in Greek and 1 and 2 Euros. The banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros.

Currency exchange rates are clearly displayed in every bank that accepts currency exchange, while credit card holders may acquire money from the ATMs of the collaborating banks. Greek banks are open for the public from 8:00 to 14:30 Mondays to Thursdays and from 8:00 to 13:30 on Fridays. They are closed on Public Holidays.

Euros can also be exchanged for notes of other foreign currencies at exchange offices that are situated at the airport and certain main ports, in the larger cities, as well as at many tourist destinations. A passport is required when exchanging currencies.

 

Source:Visit Greece