Visitors are drawn to the country’s beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites, and natural beauty. It’s also a safe country and a beautiful place to visit. It is ranked 39th out of 162 on the ranking of safest and most dangerous country. So, it is always wise and safe to do a lot of research in order for you to be aware of the do’s and don’ts while visiting any country.
Get Required Documents
Before buying your tickets and planning your trips, it is important to check all the documents you will need to have a perfect trip. Make sure to double check the validity of your credentials. Your passport should have at least 6 months of validity. Depending on your nationality, you must check visa requirements and procedures.
The currency in Greece is Euro, no other money is accepted so, you will have to exchange your currency in a currency exchange offices or in the airport. And payments mostly in cash so bring enough to cover the duration of your stay. Be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at a short notice. Now is more common people traveling for vacay and more international cards are accepted, for me UnionPay China worked good in some places on the island, make sure to ask your bank before your trip.
Climate and Clothing.
Greece has a warm Mediterranean climate. In summer, dry hot days are often relieved by stiff evening breezes, especially in the north, on the islands and in the coastal areas. If you are planning a beach holiday, the sea is warm to swim from June to September and hardier types will also manage in May and October. Spring and Autumn (waterproofs are advised) are the ideal seasons for hiking and mountain biking when the days are sunny but not reasonably hot. Lightweight clothes or cotton are best during summer months. Lightweight sweaters are needed as well for evenings, especially on the islands, due to the geography most turn to be really windy so keep that in mind while making your suitcase.
Learning the Language.
The language barrier will not be a big problem, the main languages are Greek and English. If you know some words, you’ll be one step ahead. “Yassas” instead of saying hello, “Kalimera” instead of saying good morning or good day or “Efharisto” to say thank you. Greeks are proud of their culture and language and it means a great deal if you greet them in Greek even if you can’t speak a bit more. Just try it!
Greeks are heaviest smokers in the European Union. 50% of them are smokers and this number has decreased over the last 5 years, but it seems like it’s their habit already which can be annoying for non-smokers. The ban on smoking indoors has been introduced but it is still very common to enter a cafe or restaurant where people smoke, although a lot of places are enforcing the ban which works really good on the best areas of the islands these days. Just ask before you get fined.
Visitors are drawn to the country’s beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites, and natural beauty.
Nowadays most current electric equipment (laptops, cell phones, etc) use chargers which adapt to voltage changes automatically, so you do not need a transformer for those. However, you do need a plug adapter Europlug style, in most of the hotels with cost you only 5Euro deposit. Easy breezy if you forget about it.
Local Greeks will be the one to tell you that the worst petty criminals are taxi drivers. Snap a picture of your taxi’s license plate and make sure you agree on the fare before you get in (make sure to ask on your hotel how much will cost you the route to the place you want to go. We almost got ripped in Mykonos). Have in mind also that fares are doubled at night hours (12pm – 6am).
Maps or GPS.
Always get a detailed one in English. Most roads are written in English and Greek but there may be no signs at all. So whenever you need to cross the street, please look carefully and cross quickly. In places like Naxos all roads are connected and there are just a few signs, I personally recommend Google Maps for every trip or Foursquare.
Evetyghing that Greek people give you to eat, eat it. Aside from their basic food which is Olive fruit, Oil, and Bread, you will be introduced yourself with their “national cheese” which is made from sheep, goat or cow. They are also known for their “Salata” greek salad with the tastiest tomatoes. Fish and seafood, herbs and spices, gyros, yogurt, and Greek wines are just a few greek foods that you’ll look forward to.
Churches & Monasteries.
Churches and Monasteries are everywhere in Greece, as they are much bonded with their religion, there are plenty of chapels in all towns and islands. In fact, there is a particular dress code to enter a church or a monastery. Visitors should be properly dressed, that means no swimming tanks, long trousers for men and long skirts for women. Keep your eyes on it and be respectful.
Get informed on the opening hours of each museum or archaeological places. Every museum has different working days and hours, some have discounts on selected days or are closed on specific periods of the year. The usual practice is that they are open from early in the morning till midday, closed on Sundays and Mondays. Famous archaeological places are open till sunset, but still, there may be differences between one and the other. Do your research before planning the visit.
Tipping is a personal choice but one that should always encourage especially in a city that knows how to treat visitors and to provide good service. It is expected in Greece and it’s a common practice in most holiday destinations so if you are happy with a good service, give something as a way of saying Efharisto!
Greece has a lot of tourist destinations especially in Mykonos and beaches in Naxos. You will be doing a lot of hiking, biking, nightlife, and swimming. So, make sure to bring comfy shoes, sunglasses, swimsuits, sunscreen if any and of course your camera!