With bright blue seas and skies, and dazzling whites in the beaches and whitewashed houses - Greece is breathtakingly beautiful.
In addition to the natural treasures of the country, countless impressive historical sites that still stand today are reminiscent of a long history as a world and naval power. Antiquity and modernity as well as myth all mingle in Greece to create a magical atmosphere. You can travel through a country where not only mythological heroes accomplished legendary feats, but also a place where many of the achievements of our modern societies have their origins.
Last, but not least, Greece attracts people worldwide with its relaxed way of life, excellent hospitality and wide range of culinary delights.
Facts & Figures
Official name: Elleniki Dimokratia (Hellenic Republic) Location: Southeastern Europe, situated on the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea Area: 132,000 km² Capital: Athens Population: 10.2 million (2013) Religious and ethnic groups: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslims 1% / 93% Greek Language: Modern Greek Geography: Above all, mountainous, sloping downwards towards the coast. Highest point: Olympus (2917m) Time Zone: Eastern European Time (UTC + 02:00) Political and Economic: Parliamentary Democracy, GDP: € 175.9 billion (2014) Currency: Euro (since 2002)
Arrival and departure
The airport with the highest passenger traffic is Athens International Airport. Flight duration: Visa: Vaccinations: In general, a vaccination protecting against meningococcal meningitis C is recommended for children and adolescents. Upon arrival: The road network is considered good in most regions, but there is also a wide range of options for exploring the country by train, plane or on the water.
Climate and best time to travel
Greece's climate is maritime moderate with mild winters and hot summers. Winter average temperature: 10 ° C (lows around 5 ° C in February) Summer average temperature: 26 ° C (maximum temperatures around 34 ° C in July) Water temperature: max. 24 ° C in July For a trip to the mainland or inland, the best time is from autumn to spring. The same time is recommended for city breaks, as it is very hot in the summer canyons in the summer. A trip on the Peloponnese and the islands is very nice in the summer due to the breeze from the sea.
The most beautiful holiday regions
Athens - A cosmopolitan city known as the “Seat of the Gods” Crete / Island Realm - Island hopping and the black beaches of Santorini Leros / Aegean - Historic sites between green hills and numerous beaches
Public holidays and celebrations
New Year (January 1), Holy Three Kings (January 6), Rose Monday (February 19), National Day (March 25), Good Friday (March / April), Easter Monday (April), Labor Day (May 1) , Whit Monday (May / June), Assumption (August 15), Ochi Day (October 28), Christmas (December 25/26)
DOs and DON'Ts
DOs • Drink café freddo. Especially in summer, this ice-cold coffee keeps you fresh and awake. • Go dancing. The Greeks know countless folk dances and are happy even when uninitiated people join them. • Drive carefully. Drivers in Greece are known to be aggressive and fast.
DON‘Ts • Don’t confuse head gestures. “Yes” is indicated in Greece by a nodding down of the head, “no” by an upwards nod. This can often lead to confusion. • Don’t reject ouzo. Often after a meal, an ouzo is served on the house. Of course, you do not have to drink this. But accept it anyway, it is seen as a sign of courtesy.
Can you drink the tap water? The tap water in Greece is generally suitable as drinking water. Do I need an adapter? If you are coming from outside of continental Europe, you need an adapter for Greece. What about medical care? Medical care is generally considered good, but it is always advised to purchase a travel health insurance when traveling.
Top tips and discoveries
Thessaloniki Thessaloniki presents itself as a paradise for history and architecture lovers. The importance of the city in the Byzantine and Ottoman Empire can still be seen in the cityscape, as many of the imposing buildings from these periods are still preserved and give the city a very special flair. Not only does Thessaloniki’s history work its charms on visitors, but also the Greek rhythm of life, with its many cultural and activity offerings. Alongside colorful markets and a vibrant nightlife, the city attracts many tourists with various festivals that take place throughout the year.
Olympia Impressively, much of the original Olympic grounds is preserved after more than 2,500 years – you can walk throughout history! The facilities are extensive; everywhere sites can be found where the beginnings of various Olympic disciplines once were. In addition to the sports facilities, the sacred grove is worth a visit as well as the remains of the temples. These were dedicated to various deities and for a long time had greater importance than the games themselves. Before visiting the archaeological sites, we recommend a walk through the attached museum. Here the origins of the games, as well as the structure of the terrain and its archaeological development, are presented.
Secret Tips Loutra Kyllinis, a small village on the West Peloponnese, has hot springs. Just off the center is a eucalyptus grove where healing mud has been created by the spring water in the soil and the falling eucalyptus leaves. After the mud treatment, you can bathe under the arm of the healing springs emerging there. This treatment refreshes and regenerates the skin wonderfully, but is perhaps not suited to those who are sensitive to odors, since both the mud and water are very sulfurous.