- Capital: Athens
- Political System: Parliamentary Republic
- State member of the European Union and Schengen Area
- Population: 11.1 million
- Official Language: Greek
- Currency: Euro (EUR)
- Time Zone: UTC + 2, Summer Time: UTC + 3
- Greece has the same official hour as Romania
- Phone Prefix: +30, Internet Domain: .gr
Situated in the south-eastern Europe, with exit to the Mediterranean Sea, Greece has heavily influenced, through its history, the Occidental culture, from the birth of Democracy as a form of government to philosophy, literature and science.
Greece has an important number of islands, 227 of them being inhabited, and 80% of its territory is comprised of mountain areas. The highest know point is Mount Olympus (2917m), a place of legend where, in the old days, the Gods might have lived.
Having a mild Mediterranean climate, Greece awaits its visitors in the colder season as well with spectacular landscapes and, of course, their impeccable hospitality.
White and floral decorated houses, the noisy cicadas and the vast olive plantations, the rocky areas and the turquoise sea, history, gastronomy, everything in Greece is impressive and you set off again and again with the same joy to explore this country like no other.
Good to know
Good morning (Kalimera)! Hello (Gia sas)! The Greeks love to use these two words with someone that they already know, or someone that they see for the first time. Also, Greeks, being very friendly people, like to be called by their first name, a gesture that shows intimacy and friendly atmosphere.
If you are invited to a Greek house for lunch or dinner, please make sure that you have enough empty space in your stomach as the Greek cuisine with the rich Mediterranean tastes will offer you unique dishes. It is also a habit when visiting a house to buy a cake from one of the many pastry shops around the city.
Casual wear is widely acceptable, but a more formal code is required when visiting nice restaurants, theatres or museums.
Eat and drink like a local
Eating is invariably a casual affair in Greece. Look out for the restaurants that the locals dine in as the food will be much better. Just remember that Greeks eat late – often after 10pm.
Always ask for local barrelled wine, which is cheaper than bottled, or try a fiery spirit such as ouzo or tsipouro. Likewise, don’t be fobbed off with bottled water, as what comes out of the tap is perfectly potable.
Don’t be shy
Greeks are mostly extrovert types and love exchanging views and opinions with anybody and everybody. So, don’t hold back on asking people about their beliefs and opinions or expressing your own.
Beware of directions and regulations
There’s a good deal of truth in the saying that if you ask five Greeks how to get somewhere you’ll get five different answers. But don’t worry – getting a bit lost is all part of the fun.