Greece is a country teeming with myths, traditions, history and living culture. Travellers choose it as a destination not only for its incomparable natural beauty, but because it is a magical place, full of discoveries, charm and secrets. Travelling in Greece is at the same time a way of becoming acquainted with the origins of western civilization. Let yourself be captivated by its historical wealth and singular modern reality. A trip to Greece is the experience of a lifetime that leaves the pleasant feeling that the world is ultimately very rich, very beautiful and very interesting.
A visit to Greece gives you an insight into Greek history from the Paleolithic Era to the Roman Period in the hundreds of archaeological sites, as well as in the archaeological museums and collections that are scattered throughout the country.
Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide, as every year it welcomes more than 12 million tourists, placing it among the top ranked countries on the World Tourism Organization’s list of countries.
Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades are some of the famous and popular islands and island clusters in Greece.
Stroll through the streets of old neighborhoods and you will see building from different eras located next to each other.
Greece is located in southeastern Europe, on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula it lies at the meeting point of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. Greece borders to the North on Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Northwest on Albania, to the Northeast on Turkey; to the West it is washed by the Ionian Sea; to the South by the Mediterranean Sea and to the East by the Aegean Sea.
The total area of Greece is 131,957 km2 and consists of three main geographic areas:
a peninsular mainland (that extends from the region of Central Greece on the South to the region of Thrace on the North) being the biggest geographic feature of the country the Peloponnese peninsula that is separated from the mainland by the canal of the Corinth Isthmus, and around 6.000 islands and islets, scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, most of them grouped in clusters, that constitute the unique Greek archipelago.
Eighty percent of the country consists of mountains or hills, making Greece one of the most mountainous countries of Europe; furthermore, it has 16.000 kilometers of coastline of which 7500 are found around the thousands islands of the Greek archipelago, a truly unparalleled phenomenon on the European continent.
Capital of Greece: Athens
Official language: Greek
The currency: Euro (€)
Calling code: The international calling code of Greece is +30
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 (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.
Time Greece: GMT +2
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. You can find more information about the EHIC here
In these cases, the necessary treatment in Greece is provided by:
-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 36 17 089 -Poisoning First Aid: 210 77 93 777
-Tourist Police: 1571