Friday, January 29, 2021

Greece

Greece Flag




Why visit Greece?
Offers something for everyone whether enjoying ancient culture, architecture, authentic villages, beaches, birdwatching, blue-domed churches, casinos, caves, festivals, historic sites, islands, museums, nightlife, scuba diving, scenery, shopping, skiing, snorkeling, spas, temples, whitewashed homes, windsurfing, and yachting.



Santorini, Greece. Photo Credit: Michelle Maria/Pixabay 



A popular destination for:
  • Amateur & Professional Photographers
  • Bucket List Destination
  • Cruise: Disembark/Embark
  • Groups: Family, Friends, Incentive Travel, Multigenerational, Reunions
  • Milestones: Anniversary, Birthday, Honeymoon, Retirement
  • Romance
  • Wine Connoisseurs & Mediterranean Cuisine Foodies


Village, Karpathos (Carpathos) Island, Greece. Photo Credit: analogicus/Pixabay 



At a Glance
  • Souvenirs to Buy:  Ceramic tiles, colorful hand woven handbags, embroidery, handicrafts,  jewelry, lace, kilim rugs, leather goods, olive oil, plates, pottery, rugs, and wines.
  • Local Cuisine to Try: Amygdalopita (almond cake). Avgotaracho (fish roe). Baklava (filo pastry). Bougatsa (breakfast pastry). Bourdeto (fish dish). Daktyla (bread). Diples (dessert delacy). Fasolada (soup). Feta (cheese). Formaela (hard cheese). Graviera (cheese). Gyros (roasted meat). Kopanisti (spicy cheese). Loukaniko (sausage). Loutza (pork tenderloin). Magiritsa (lamb soup). Melomakarona (honey macaroons). Saganaki (fried cheese). Spanakopita (filled pastry). Tiropita (feta pastry). Tomatokeftedes (tomato fritters).
  • Local Drink to Try: Commandaria (wine). Kitron (liqueur). Kumquat (liqueur). Mastichato (liqueur). Metaxa (brandy). Ouzo (anise alcohol). Retsina (wine). Tentura (cinnamon liquor). Tsikoudia (brandy). Zivania (brandy).


Navagio Beach, Zakynthos Island, Greece. Photo Credit: Greg Montani/Pixabay 



Fun Facts
  • Petralona Cave (southern Balkans) has evidence of human ancestors dating back to 270,000BC.
  • Birthplace of Western Civilisation around 3200 BC.
  • Birthplace (776 BC) of the ancient Olympic Games (Olympia). 
  • Birthplace of Democracy.
  • Forgotten for 1700 years, Temple of Apollo Epicurius (Bassae) is considered one of the best preserved monuments.
  • Varied by definition has between 1,200 - 6,000 islands.
  • One of the most popular vacation destinations in the world.
  • The Cyclades consists of 220 islands.
  • Before soap, ancient Greeks historically soaked in water followed by daubs of olive oil. 
  • Mamma Mia film was shot from Skiathos and Skopelos.
  • Mount Olympus is the legendary home of the Greek gods (Twelve Gods).
  • Founding Member of United Nations. 
  • One of Europe's most mountainous countries.
  • Males 18 - 60 could be required to serve the National Guard part-time.
  • Large producer of almonds, figs, olives, rice, tobacco, tomatoes, and watermelons.
  • Thessaloniki City ranks as a top party town worldwide.
  • Construction project of the Thessaloniki Metro system is estimated to cost $1.83 billion. 
  • Thyme is their most traditional herb. 
  • The island of Icaria claims to have invented wine.
  • Has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in Europe.

Karpathos (Carpathos) Island, Greece. Photo Credit: analogicus/Pixabay 




Special Holidays/Occasions
  • Annual Events: (January) Patras Carnival, (February) Karnavali Carnival, (March) Thessaloniki Documentary Festival,(April) Feast of St George, (May) Athens Digital Arts Festival, Athens Festival, Hellenic Film Academy Awards (June) Aegean Festival, Athens Festival, Aegean Rally, Simi Festival, International Classical Musical Festival, Meis–Kaş Swim, Midsummer Eve, Navy Week, Santorini Film Festival, (July) Dionysia Wine Festival, Dodoni Festival, Epidaurus Festival, Hippokrateia Festival, International Folklore Festival, Puppet Festival, Renaissance Festival, Wine Festival, (August) Aegina Music Festival, Aeschylia Festival, Epirotika Festival, Olympus Festival, (September) Thessaloniki Film Festival and Festival of Popular Song, Thessaloniki International Fair,  (November) Thessaloniki Festival of Greek Cinema, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, (December) AthensCon, and VideoDance Festival.
  • Holidays: New Year's Day, Epiphany, Clean Monday, Independence Day, Great Friday, Labour Day, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, Assumption DayOchi Day, Christmas Day, and Glorifying Mother of God.

Parthenon (Temple), Athenian AcropolisGreece. Photo Credit: Nick115/Pixabay 



Good to Know
  • An entry fee is charged for beaches equipped with concessions, lifeguards, showers, sun beds, and umbrellas.
  • June - September is commonly the Honeymooner Season.
  • Spring is the best season for birdwatching (Crete and Lesbos).
  • Between July - August the Cycladic Islands are prone to strong winds.
  • Golf is available on Athens (Glyfada), Halkidiki and on the islands of Corfu, Crete and Rhodes.
  • Scuba Diving is best in Corfu, Crete, Santorini, Zakinthos.
  • Between December - March skiing is popular on Mount Helmos and Mount Parnassos.
  • Windsurfing is popular on Kefalos on Kos, Prassonissi on Rhodes, and Vasiliki on Levkas.
  • A special tourist police force and tourist police stations have been assembled for travelers (Dial 1571).
  • No bare arms or legs are permitted in churches or monasteries.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all public places.
  • Most visited islands are Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, and Rhodes.
  • Catamarans and hydrofoils services connect visits to various islands.
  • Demonstrations and strikes are common. Avoid them!
  • Tourist areas are prone to pick-pocketing and purse-snatching.
  • Rental car theft is known to occur to steal luggage, passports, and valuables.
  • Photography of the military persons and buildings is prohibited. Could lead to arrest.
  • Mace or pepper-spray are illegal. Subject to arrest, confiscation or detention.
  • Do not purchase protected antiques. Carry all receipts for all purchases.
  • Handicap parking spaces and sidewalk ramps are often blocked by parked vehicles.
  • Sidewalks are often narrow with broken paving stones, large holes, obstructed by trees and street signs.
  • Buildings often lack accessible elevators and/or bathrooms.
  • Hospitals may require payment in cash prior to treatment or hospitalization.
  • International Driver’s Permit (IDP) required.
  • Failure to validate your public transportation ticket could fine one up to 60 times the basic fare rate.

Theatre of Dionysus (Akropolis Hill), Athens, Greece. Photo Credit: yvanox/Pixabay 


This international destination requires:
  • A valid passport with six months of validity upon return and one blank page for entry stamp.
  • Tourist VISA not required for visits under 90 days.
  • Currency Restrictions for Entry/Exit: $10,000USD.

Subject to earthquakes, forest fires, and tremors.


Meteora (Monastery), Thessaly, Greece‎. Photo Credit: Tasos Lekkas/Pixabay 



  • Best Time to Visit: May - June & September - October
  • Coolest Months: December - February 
  • Hottest Months: July - August
  • Peak Season: June - September

(Castle) Mandraki Harbour, Rhodes, Greece. Manfred Richter/Pixabay 



Your Must-See & Do
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Acropolis Athens, Archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina), Archaeological Site of Mycenae and Tiryns, Archaeological Site of Philippi, Archeological Site of Delphi, Archeological Site of Mystras, Archeological Site of Olympia, Delos, Medieval City of Rhodes, Meteora, Monasteries of Daphni Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios, Mount Athos, Old Town of Corfu, Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos, Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos.

Santorini, Greece. Photo Credit: Herbert Bieser/Pixabay 


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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" Saint Augustine



Skiathos Island, Greece. Photo Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas/Pixabay


                                               All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Subject to change without notice. 

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