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Greece is a country that will fill your imagination. It’s the birthplace of democracy, home of the Olympics, a culinary delight and yet so much more too. It is a unique country with warm and friendly people, where ancient culture and modernity easily mingle together. It will provide you with an experience that encompasses history dating back to the cradle of western civilisation, yet offers you all of the modern comforts that you could possibly desire.
Enriched by the beauty, inspired by the history, thrilled by the memories of beautiful food and wine. If holidays are a dream commodity, Greece is a dream come true.
It is a land of bleached limestone ridges, brown hills, olive groves and an incredible collection of bays and coves lapped by green and turquoise seas. It is the cradle of western civilisation, origin of our drama, much of our history, the Olympic Games and birthplace of democracy.
Greece’s population was estimated to be almost 11 million in 2011.
Greece is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and daylight saving is during European Summer. Athens is 7 hours ahead of EST.
Greek is the official language, but English is becoming more widely spoken, especially in the main cities and towns by the younger generations.
The currency of Greece is the Euro (EU). Travellers cheques in Euros, Canadian, Australian and US Dollars are all accepted and Visa, MasterCard, Diners and American Express are all widely accepted.
Canadian and US passport holders do not require a visa for Greece, only a valid passport is necessary with at least 6 months remaining validity.
Greece experiences a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm dry summers.
Greece’s current electrical system is 240V. Two pronged cylindrical round adapter plugs are required.
Greek cuisine has been considered a traditional aspect of Greek society throughout a period encompassing approx 4000 years of history. It is typical of Mediterranean cuisine, using the fresh produce grown in each region, including the widespread use of olives and olive oil and the fresh seafood of the coastal waters and islands. Most traditional tavernas in Athens are located in the Plaka (Old) district and this is a good place to enjoy a Yeros (a meat dish served with a sauce on pita bread) and Ouzo (the traditional drink made from Anise). There is food to suit all tastes, from vegetarians to meat eaters and seafood lovers. Visitors will quickly discover there is more to Greek Cuisine than meets the eye.
By Air: Air Canada operates direct flights to Athens, while most major European carrier operated daily flights to Greece via European cities.
By Sea:Italy-Greece: There are daily overnight ferries from Bari and Ancona in Italy to Patra (200km west of Athens), as well as ferries from Brindisi and Venice, but these are not daily. There are no ferries from Italy to Athens. Turkey-Greece: There are daily ferries between the months of April to October from Kusadasi in Turkey to Samos Island, from Bodrum in Turkey to Kos Island and from Marmaris in Turkey to Rhodes Island. There is no direct service, Athens to Istanbul or vice versa. Athens-Greek islands: Most services by sea from Greek islands land at Piraeus Port, about 10km from Athens.
Train services in Greece mainly run between Athens and Thessaloniki and are limited elsewhere. Buses connect main cities and villages on the mainland. Car hire is suitable to get around mainland Greece, but parking and navigation around main cities can be quite tricky at times. In terms of travel to the Greek Islands, there are limited ferry departures from mid-October to mid-April. During high season there are regular services from Piraeus Port to the main islands but there are not daily services connecting each island. Not all islands are connected by direct ferry. Local buses are available on most islands, but generally they only run between the main stops and not all hotels can be accessed by bus. Taxis are also very limited hence transfers are highly recommended. There are options of direct flights from Athens to main cities and islands, but there are very limited flight connections between the islands.
For dedicated shoppers and souvenir hunters, Greece is widely considered a favourite destination. There are many bargains to find, particularly for gold and silver jewellery and handicrafts such as lace and embroidery, ceramics and alabaster. Shopping and trading hours vary from location and season, but generally Monday to Friday 9am to 2:30pm with Tuesday, Thursday and Friday open also from 5:30 to 8:30pm and Saturday 9am to 5pm.
Tipping within Greece is similar to those done elsewhere in the Western World. Generally, a service fee is included onto the bill. Drivers and guides usually appreciate tips as well as restaurant staff.
SKYWAY TOURS has been in the travel business since 1976.
We are the experts on Greece and throughout the years we have become the premium European custom vacation specialists in Canada and the USA.