Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. This is a list of things you should know before you travel to Greece.
Greece, which is known in the ancient times as Hellas, is a country located in southeastern Europe. There are over 10 million people living in Greece (as of 2011). The country is divided into 9 geographic regions: Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus, Crete, Thrace, Central Greece, Peloponnese, Ionian Islands and the Aegean Islands.
The modern Greek state came about following independence from the Ottoman Empire during the 1830s. Today, Greece is a highly developed and democratic country. The quality of life and economic condition is high. Greece is also one of the founding members of United Nations.
The geography of Greece is dominated by mountainous, peninsular mainland. The Greek coastline is listed as the 11th longest in the world. There are also several islands that consist of Greece and several of these are frequented by tourists. Meanwhile, its Mediterranean climate offers wet winters and hot and dry summers.
Travel Facts About Greece
Official Language: Greek is the official language of Greece.
Wi-Fi Availability: There are several hotels, cafes and coffee shops that offer free Wi-Fi access in Greece. There are also those that charge for connection and they can be quite expensive.
Airport/s: The main international airport in Greece is Athens International Airport.
Visa Required: Certain countries (such as those belonging to the Schengen Agreement) enjoy visa-free travel to Greece. For citizens from these countries, all they need is a valid passport for at least 3 months from departure date. For a complete list of countries that require and do not require visa to Greece, visit here: http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/before_you_travel/passports_and_visas
Driving: In Greece, you will be driving on the right side of the road.
International Driver’s License Accepted? If you are from any of the EU countries, you can use the driver’s license issued from your home country to drive in Greece. For citizens from other countries, you will need an international driver’s license.
Crime: Historically, the crime rate in Greece is one of the lowest in Western Europe. However, there is an increase in property and organized crimes in Greece over the past decade.
Electrical Adapters: The electrical supply in Greece is powered by 220 volts and 50 Hertz. Use an adapter or voltage converter if your country has a different electrical source type.
Trivia: There is an average of 16.5 million tourists that visit Greece annually – this is more than the entire population within the country. In fact, 16% of the country’s income is brought on by the tourism industry.
Greek cuisine is one of the most popular in the Mediterranean region and even in the entire world. The typical ingredients used for cooking Greek dishes are olive oil, wine, lemon juice, vegetables, olives, fish, poultry and lamb.
Greeks also serve mezes, or a collection of a variety of small dishes together with wine as part of every meal. You will also notice that the Greeks like to eat their meal, especially bread, with dips.
There are several notable dishes to come out of the Greek cuisine. For example, they have a variety of traditional breads aside from the popular pita. These breads include the following: lagana, paximadi, and eliopsomo or bread with olives. Salads are also an important part of a traditional Greek meal. A traditional Greek salad is made with tomato salad, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, olive oil and feta cheese. There are several variations to this recipe depending on which region you are from.
Other popular Greek dishes are as follows:
Historical Attractions of Greece
Acropolis of Athens: This ancient citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on top of a rocky outcrop in Athens. Today, the site features ruins of the ancient buildings that were of historic and architectural significance in Greece.
Parthenon: Aside from the Acropolis, the Parthenon is another notable architectural and historical site in Greece. It is also regarded as the symbol of Greece. The Parthenon was built in 447 BC during the height of the Athenian Empire’s power.
Meteora: This is one of the largest complexes for the Greek Orthodox in Greece. It is built on top of rock pillars and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Knossos: This archaeological site dates back to the Bronze Age. It is also the oldest city in Europe.
Temple of Zeus: This ancient temple is located in Olympia and was built around 472 and 456 BC. It features a classical Greek architectural style.
Greece Internet Resources
- The Greek Mythology Tour with Alternative Athens
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece
- Greece Pinterest Board