Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
The ultimate period to visit is between late May and early July. The days are long but the temperatures are not excessive, the flowers are in full bloom, the strong, cold meltem wind has not yet begun to blow over the Aegean Sea and the water temperature is ideal for swimming… What more could you want? Reasonable prices, less crowds and an action-packed festival calendar? No problem! Well, we did say it was the ultimate moment to go!
Otherwise spring is very pleasant, with one small drawback: swimmers may be frustrated because the sea is still a bit chilly. Alternatively, they will be delighted in early autumn: the water is warm enough to swim and the beaches are far less crowded than during the summer. One word of warning: it is also the stormy season and many establishments in the smaller resorts or less popular islands close from October.
Greek winters are full of contrasts. Cold and snowy in the north and the mountains, while the sea maintains a temperate climate in the south and as you eat a leisurely lunch on a terrace in Athens (albeit warmly wrapped up), others are skiing just a 2-hour drive away!
Formalities and useful addresses
British citizens can enter and leave Greece freely with a valid or expired passport.
US citizens are not required to apply for a visa to stay in Greece for up to 90 days but they will need a valid passport for the length of stay and proof of sufficient funds.
Embassy of Greece – 1a Holland Park - London W11 3TP - [TEL] (0207) 229 3850 - www.mfa.gr/uk/en
Embassy of Greece – 2217 Massachusetts Ave NW - Washington, DC 20008 - [TEL] (202) 939 1300 - www.mfa.gr/usa/en/the-embassy
Greek Tourist Board – www.visitgreece.gr/greektourismboard
British Embassy – 1, Ploutarchou Str - 106 75 Athens - [TEL] (210) 727 2600 -https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-athens
U.S Embassy – Leof. Vasilissis Sofias 91 - Athens 115 21 - [TEL] (210) (210) 721 2951 - http://athens.usembassy.gov/
Money and budget
Banks are open Mon-Thurs 8am-2.30pm, 2pm on Fridays. Closed on public holidays.
Payments via credit card aren't always welcome, and more and more shops no longer accept them (or avoid them). You can however find ATMs in nearly every city or island.
Most hotels accept cards but it's less likely in small inns and motels.
Be sure to check if a gas station accepts credit cards before filling up.
Car rental category A (1week): €250/350.
Scooter rental per day: €15/25.
1 meal at an inn: €13/18.
1 meal in a restaurant: €20/30.
1 large bottle of mineral water: €1.
1 coffee: €2/4.
1 ticket to a museum or tourist site: €2/12 max.
Health and safety
European Emergency Number: [TEL] 112
Tourist Police: [TEL] 194
Fire brigade: [TEL] 199
Police: [TEL] 100
Current is 220 V, with plugs featuring 2 round pins. US travellers should pack an AC adaptor.
January 6 - Epiphany
Clean Monday - Orthodox Shrove Monday - 41 days after Orthodox Easter (movable)
March 25 - Independence Day
Orthodox Good Friday
October 28 - National Anniversary of Greek Independence
There is no lack of hotels in Greece and the quality of accommodation has improved greatly of late. A double room in a private house goes for around €40 and from €130 in an upmarket hotel.
Post offices are open Mon-Fri 7.30am-2pm
Eleftherios-Venizelos International Airport – www.aia.gr
Taxicabs are either yellow, grey or burgundy.