Greece travel guide

Where to go and what to see: your Greece travel guide

Why visit Greece?

Sitting beautifully at the heart of the Mediterranean, Greece has been capturing our imagination long before Shirley Valentine landed in Mykonos back in 1989. Considered the birthplace of civilisation, Greece is home to the world’s most ancient classical sites, along with red-roofed mountain towns, pretty cobbled streets, winding lanes, cypress groves and atmospheric tavernas.  

For modern Greeks, the word for foreigner – xenos – also means guest, which goes some way to explain their world-famous hospitality.

Some of the greatest classical sites in the world are found here. In the capital, Athens, the 2,500-year-old Acropolis stands proud, in silent and mystical domination of the city. Greece is the birthplace of truce and democracy, and also the Olympic Games. The original running track still exists; and ancient Olympia is still used every Olympic year for the torch lighting relay ceremony. It is the motherland of 12 gods, along with Homer, Aristotle, Hippocrates, Socrates and Aesop.

 

Weather and climate in Greece

When is the best time to visit Greece?

The climate is Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers, and it has the right balance of humidity that allows almost anything to grow. Greece enjoys warm weather almost all year round, but summers can be especially hot, particularly between June and August.

To help you plan, below are average low and high temperatures for Greece.

 

 

 

 

 Athens

 January

 6/13°C

 February

 8/16°C

 March

 16/25°C

 April

 23/33°C

 May

 19/28°C

 June

 12/18°C

 July

 6/14°C

 August

 11/20°C

 September

 21/30°C

 October

 23/33°C

 November

 16/24°C

 December

 8/14°C

 


Browse our Greece holidays

Available tours & cruises: 14

Select when you wish to depart and we will be able to show you all tours and cruises that depart on the day you have selected.

2019
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2021

Greece food and fun facts

Food specialities of Greece

The Greek diet is one of the healthiest. Some dishes well worth trying include yemista (tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant stuffed with rice), dolmades (cabbage or vine leaves stuffed with beef and rice), moussaka (ground meat and eggplant with béchamel sauce), briam (for vegetarians), and stamnaki (beef cooked in a clay pot with cheese, tomato sauce, and potatoes). Sample ouzo, the national drink, with ouzomezedes or ouzo snacks, and savour wines from Crete or the Peloponnese. Finish with a cup of Greek coffee accompanied by baklava or halva; then turn over your cup and let the woman of the house tell your fortune.

The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages as provided by our experienced personnel.

  • The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is €2-2.50.
  • An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately €6-10.
  • Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at approximately €15-20 (seafood will be slightly more expensive).
  • Please note that soft drinks and mineral water are often as expensive, if not more expensive than wine or beer.

Tipping

A service charge is automatically figured into the price of your meal in Greek restaurants, but it is customary to leave an additional 10%. During the Christmas and Easter holidays, an obligatory 18% holiday bonus is added to your check/bill for the waiters.

  • Tipping taxi drivers is uncommon in Greece. If you would like to tip, round up the fare to the nearest whole Euro as an acceptable amount.
  • Tip hotel staff €1 for room service.
  • A few coins will be needed for public restrooms.

 

 

Fun facts

  • 80 percent of Greece’s landscape is comprised of mountains. Only two-fifths of the country is covered by forests; the rest is barren.
  • There are about 1,400 islands in Greece. However, only a few hundred of them are inhabited.
  • The popular yo-yo toy, and the game of dice originated in the days of ancient Greece, around 3,000 years ago.
  • Traditionally, Greeks have been known to celebrate their name days rather than their birth dates.

 


Things to consider before visiting Greece

How to call Greece: Country code

The country code for Greece is 30. When calling to Greece from overseas, dial your international access code (00 from the UK), followed by the country code, area code, and phone number. Phone numbers in Greece are 10 digits in length. Dialling from the UK: 00 30+### ### ####.

Greece’s currency

  • The official currency of Greece is the Euro. 
  • Bank hours: 8 am to 2 pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Bank note denominations: €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500
  • Coin denominations: 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, €1, €2

Shopping in Greece

Greece has a reputation for exquisite jewellery as well as gold and silver workmanship. Antique jewellery and gold articles from 16th century BCE are displayed in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the new Acropolis Museum, and in museums all over the world. Copies are available in reputable shops. Delicate embroidery and lace make good purchases, as well as handmade icons depicting saints. Handicrafts of brass, wood, and alabaster can be found at reasonable prices.

Useful phrases

Good morning: Kalimera

Good evening: Kalispera

Good night: Kalinikta

Hello: Yiassou

Goodbye: Andio

Please: Parakalo

Thank you: Efharisto

Yes: Ne

No: Ohee

OK: Kalla

Excuse me: Signomi

Do you speak English?: Milas anglika?

I don't understand: Then katalaveno

How much?: Posso kanie?

Today: Seemera

Tomorrow: Avreeo

Where is...?: Pou enee...?

Telephone: Tilefono

Bathroom: Toualetta

Tea: Tsai

Coffee: Caffe

Sugar: Zaharee

Milk: Ghala

Bottled water: Bookali nero

Ice: Pagos

Wine: Krasee

Restaurant cheque/bill: Logariasmós

Cheers!: Stin iyiassou!

Numbers

1: Ena

2: Dyo

3: Tree-a

4: Tessera

5: Pende

6: Exy

7: Epta

8: Octo

9: Ennea

10: Deca