Greece Travel Guide
Sun-soaked ruins, endless coastline, picture perfect white-washed towns perched by the Aegean, adventure sports, a thriving culture, and vibrant cities and cuisines – Greece is a country that demands to be explored. As a nation with centuries of history, unique traditions and cultural mores, it is natural that certain aspects of daily life in Greece can be unfamiliar to visitors. To ensure your trip to Greece is as safe, smooth, and easy as possible, find more information on traveling in the country in our Greece travel guide.
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Visa and Entry
As Greece is both part of the EU and the Schengen Agreement -a European border policy that allows for easy travel between Schengen countries, citizens of the United States can visit and stay in Greece for up to 90 days. If you have spent much time in Europe, this may be familiar to you. Bear in mind that you need at least six months of validity of your passport to be allowed inside Greece.
In addition, you may need to present some indication of your travel plans and intention to leave Greece such as a return ticket, as well as your ability to financially sustain yourself while in Greece. For the latter, a credit card or bank statement is ideal.
Cash and currency
The official currency of Greece is the Euro and you can find the latest exchange rate here. Make sure to carry some amount of cash with you, as although bank and credit cards are widely used you will likely find some stores, cafes, and restaurants, especially in rural or less touristy areas, only take cash.
You will be able to use any ATM in Greece, however, in rural areas and some of the smaller, more isolated islands, ATMs can be few and far between.
As the Greek alphabet is completely different to the English alphabet, it can be difficult for visitors to the country to learn the language. However, English is extremely widely spoken, especially in areas popular with travelers and in the major cities. You’re unlikely to find a Greek under the age of 50 who doesn’t know at least some basic English or isn’t completely fluent. In fact, according to research, English is more common in Greece than it is in Germany, Italy, and even France, so you should be able to get by without having to study the language.
Currently the CDC advises all travellers to Greece to be fully immunised against hepatitis A and B, rabies, polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza, and meningitis. This isn’t to say you’re likely to get sick in Greece – for example, not a single case of rabies has been detected in Greece since 2014. However, to ensure your journey is as safe as possible, it is good to be prepared.
- 112 – for all emergencies, this number is common across Europe
- 100 – connects directly to the Greek police
- 199 – will connect you to the fire brigade
- 166 – emergency medical service and ambulance
- 108 – will connect you to the coast guard
- 197 – emergency social or psychological assistance
The most popular means of transportation around Greece is by bus, with routes all over the country linking Greece’s towns, cities, and villages. Most of the main bus services are run by KTEL, and are air conditioned, safe, reliable and clean.
Travel to and in between the Greek islands is simple, the most comfortable and scenic method is by ferry or cruise. Numerous catamarans, modern ferries and overnight boats operate between islands, but seats may fill out fast during the season so we advise you to plan ahead.
A large number of domestic flights operate in Greece, especially in the mainland. It is also possible to fly as most islands have airports of varying size.
Generally speaking the Greek islands don’t have a rail network but taxis and buses are common. Cars and motorcycles are also available for hire if you have a valid International Driving Permit. Please note that petrol prices in Greece are the highest in all of Europe and fuel stations may be closed on holidays and weekends. As with the rest of the Continent, expect to drive on the right side of the road in Greece.
Tipping waiting staff and servers is common in Greece, but the level of expectation or the appropriate amount varies depending on the service. For example, in cafes, tipping is not necessarily expected, however leaving a Euro or two when you depart will be appreciated.
In restaurants, tipping is expected. However, some restaurants include an additional service charge in the bill. If this is not the case, adding 5-10% of the overall cost would be sufficient.
If you choose to have a drink at a bar, then you won’t be expected to leave a tip. However, if you are feeling especially generous, rounding up the cost to the nearest Euro is a good rule of thumb.
Get in touch with us today for more information on this colorful and culturally diverse country.
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One of the very best travel experiences I have ever had. We even got updates once at 3 am! He also made one change in one day’s itinerary to accommodate our wishes which was very wonderful. For business, I have traveled to Europe, Russia, all over Asia and South Africa but was blown away by all the beautiful sites in Argentina and Chile.
All the little touches made by our Enchanting Travel consultant, Amelia Edwards, were noticed and recognized by my wife and I. Thank you for making our milestone trip (25th wedding anniversary) such a memorable one! We look forward to engaging Enchanting Travels again for our next South American adventure!!
This was my first adventure as a solo traveler. But while I may have traveled on my own, I was never alone. I was well taken care of by a superb team of planners, trip coordinators, guides and drivers.
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