Greece and the Greek Islands are among the most-well known tourism destinations in Europe, very safe and friendly. A very romantic country, filled with history and offering a great coast line, Greece attracts over 16 million tourists each year. The prices are relatively low, making Greece a very attractive destination for a lot of travelers.
Greece is truly a country for every visitor. It offers magnificent landscapes for those who like to hike and enjoy the nature, lovely and unique beaches for those who like to get a tan or enjoy a night in a beach bar listening to world famous DJs, picturesque villages for those who love to take day trips, a rich culture filled with traditions, mythology and history for those who want to learn more about Hellada.
The majority of Greeks are Greek Orthodox. That’s why Greece gets very crowded before (and during) Easter, as any traveler can experience the lovely traditions. Although Christmas was never much of a holiday in Greece, things have started to change. Now Christmas is celebrated with festivals of light and Christian Traditions. Religion plays a very important role in Greeks’ life.
New Years also plays an important role in Greece as on this day, called Protohronia, it’s customary to exchange gifts. Along with the celebrations and fireworks, the day is fill with traditions which are mean to bring good luck and money to the people.
Greece is a peninsular and insular country situated in Southern Europe, bordered by the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Greece borders Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Macedonia.
Fifth of Greece’s area is represented by the islands as it has 1400 islands, of which only 169 are inhabited, scattered in the Aegean Sea.
Tourism in Greece is run by the Greek National Tourism Organization, although on many islands you won’t be able to find any tourism offices. There are tourism offices located on the following Greek islands: Paros, Santorini, Rhodes and Corfu but you won’t find any in Mykonos or Naxos.
Greece has been a popular tourism destination for years but it was criticized many times for lacking proper infrastructure and amenities to support the tourism. However, after the 2004 Olympic Games, this aspect has improved a lot.
The local Currency is Euro. You can exchange cash, Eurocheques and traveler’s cheques in any bank while post offices only exchange cash. You can use your Visa, MasterCard or Eurocard as most restaurants, hotels and shops accept credit cards. Most banks have ATMs and you can access your debit or credit card to withdraw money.
It’s customary to leave a small tip although the service fee is included in all restaurant bills.
According to the Helen Chamber of Hotels, there are 155 AA (best class) hotels, 944 A hotels, 1,712 B hotels, 4,496 C hotels and 1,729 other hotels in Greece.
>>more information on Hotels in Greece
Once in Greece the most popular form of transport is the bus. Also, domestic flights are reliable to travel to the Greek islands, although it’s quite expensive. Trains only operate on mainland, while ferries are another good option to travel between the mainland and the islands.
A special service by the Greek Police Force, the Tourist Police is formed by specially trained staff, which provides information to foreign visitors and offers assistance and help to deal with tourism issues. They are also responsible for ensuring that the travel legislation is applied in all tourist areas.