Brief description of the country
Greece is located in southern Europe. It is called an industrial-agrarian state. The country has many ancient monuments and city ruins. This is the homeland of masterpieces of world culture and the cradle of democracy. Here are the Athens Acropolis, Olympia, Sparta. The population is more than 10 million people. State language ‒ Greek. There is freedom of religion, but most adhere to Orthodoxy.
Every year, tourists come to Greece as part of pilgrimage tours, gastronomic festivals, shopping trips. Here you can have a great rest and expand your horizons. The country has a rich history and culture, there are luxurious beaches. At almost every step there are attractions.
The capital of Greece since the recognition of state independence is Athens. The city was named after the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom and military strategy. Western civilization was born here, Athens has a rich historical past. In this city there is a 156-meter rocky hill of Acropolis, towering above the Attica plain and a modern city. This is one of the wonders of the world according to UNESCO.
Nicky Uptheros Temple deserves special attention. It was built by the architect Kallikrat in 421 BC. According to legend, Aegeus was waiting for his son Theseus, who went to fight Minotavr. The building was destroyed by the Turks, but after that the temple was restored several times.
Rhodes is famous for the vast beaches of the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. The coastline is 220 kilometers. There are deserted wild beaches, and there are comfortable places to relax. Even the most demanding travelers will be able to find the option suitable for themselves.
In Fivah you can go to the Archaeological Museum. Exhibits are collections of artifacts: engraved plates with linear writing, clay sarcophagi and sets of Mesopotamian seals.
Greece occupies almost 132 thousand square kilometers. The most favorable time for traveling to the country is May and all summer months, early autumn.
Greece preserves a unique historical and cultural heritage. The Greeks call the country Ellada. She gave the world Homer, Pythagoras, Plato and many world famous personalities. There is a statement: « Wherever you are in Greece, you will inevitably get acquainted with interesting monuments and distinctive traditions ».
It was in this state that democracy arose, which many countries of the world adhere to. In Ancient Ellad, all adult citizens participated in the discussion of public affairs. The foundations laid in antiquity have been preserved in modern society today. It is believed that the first people appeared on the territory of Greece 10 thousand years ago. Many monuments of Minoisk and other civilizations have survived to this day.
Historians have come to the conclusion that 1000 years before the beginning of the era, mass migrations of peoples came to the Aegean Sea. The Greeks founded the first cities, conquered land and developed trade and economic ties. The first Olympic Games were held in this country.
Athens taxed with a tribute to the allies, the influence of Greece was rapidly increasing. Sparta won many wars. Even those who have never been to Greece know about the courage and resilience of the Spartan people. During the period of civil strife, Philip of Macedon had a greater influence. His son Alexander continued his work and forever immortalized his name. He created an empire, and they began to call him Alexander the Great. Many books have been written about him and many films have been shot.
The Kingdom of Greece appeared on a world map in 1832. However, the state has long been ruled by foreign rulers. In 1924, the Greek Republic was proclaimed. The 20th century was a difficult period. Occupations, wars and civil unrest took place. Stability appeared only in the 80s. The country has joined the European Union. Around this period, tourism began to actively develop. Millions of tourists from different parts of the planet come here annually. The boom in tourism was recorded in 2018. As a result of this year, 33 million foreign guests visited Greece.
The Greek climate is divided into 3 types: Mediterranean, Alpine and temperate. Mostly mild climate prevails. In Greece, often sunny and warm weather, little rain.
The beach season starts in mid-May and continues until November. Summer is hot, but the heat is easy to bear. The average temperature of this season is approximately + 30 ° C. Humidity reaches 55 °%. In winter, it is not cold, the temperature often remains at + 10 ° C, humidity – 75%. In January and February, the temperature does not rise + 15 ° C. Swimming in the sea in winter is not worth it, at this time it is better to relax in spa centers, thermal pools or go shopping. In winter, travel agencies in different countries make big discounts on a trip to Greece.
In spring, air warms up to + 20 ° C. A daylight day at this time of year lasts more than 13 hours, you can spend a lot of time in the fresh air. But the sea in March and April is still cold. In May, you can already swim in the sea. It attracts many tourists. The main influx of tourists falls on the summer months.
Flora and fauna
Greece consists of mainland and island parts. The coastline is cut off by bays and bays. Approximately 80% of the country is mountains and plateaus. Plains make up one fifth of the land. The highest point is Olympus with a height of more than 2915 meters. The second largest mountain range is Smolikas, 2637 meters high.
Flora is represented in a wide variety. Greece really has a lot of vegetation. There are more than 5 thousand plants, of which 250 species are concentrated in Cyprus. There are wild flowers. Most often there are Fregan shrubs and makvis. The island of Halkidiki is covered with pine forests. Juniper, cypress trees, fruit trees, palm trees are common in Greece. There are oaks, needles and chestnuts. There are many herbs and flowers in the Greek mountains. Crete and Peloponnese are covered with tea, sage and iris. In the spring they resemble a picturesque carpet. During their flowering, the air becomes cleaner.
But the most valuable tree in Greece is the olive. It is a symbol of prosperity. There is a legend that she was imprisoned by Athena in Acropolis as a sign of the blessing of the Greeks. Researchers write that for the first time the tree was brought by the Phoenicians, and it took root. Olives are added to many dishes and salads. The second most popular tree is a platinum. It is called the unchanging attribute of Greek villages. The plane tree can reach up to 50 meters in height and up to 20 meters in diameter.
Fauna is not rich. In Greece, hare, badger, porcupine, turtle, various types of snakes and lizards live. In addition to them, foxes, trotters, boars and bears can be found on the territory of the state in Southern Europe. Birds are represented in 442 species, among them ‒ swans, geese, ducks, rowers and dummies.
The Greeks are good for their nature and cherish the flora and fauna, require appropriate attitude from the guests. At the state level, several programs are aimed at protecting the environment, so Greece, unlike other states, has a low level of environmental hazard. Even in large cities, air pollution indicators are uncritical.
Greece is based on the Balkan Peninsula and consists of 7 decentralized administrations with 13 regions and 325 municipalities. She has the most winding coastline, which in total occupies almost 14 thousand kilometers. It is washed by the waters of the Aegean, Ionic, Mediterranean, Libyan seas. It occupies the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin. The closest neighbors are Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. Greece maintains good relations with all countries and does not conflict. 20% of the state is located on the islands.
Greece has one of the most favorable geographical locations. Its uniqueness, first of all, lies in the fact that it is located at the junction of Europe, Asia and Africa. For this, it is called the crossroads of 3 continents. In Delphi there is a navel of land. This is the name of the middle of the world in the cosmological concept. You can get to Greece by plane, bus, ferry or private transport. The monetary unit is the euro, the other currency is not quoted.
Greek cuisine is hearty. Local are proud of the features of national cuisine and compare dishes with a work of art. They do not like fast food and add a lot of greenery to food, lemon juice is used instead of salt.
In each restaurant you can order barbecue soup and musak. The world-famous Greek salad with olives and lettuce is actually called « chorayatic » or « village ». As a quick bite in public institutions, they serve a cake with filling of vegetables and meat.
A popular dish is an escargo from snails, and in the country you can try beef with tomatoes. Often order kebab from mead fish and eggplant with octopuses. White wine is called relapse, pineapple vodka ‒ ouzo.
The most popular restaurants are Electra Restaurant, which overlooks the Acropolis, Milos Estiatorio, which is famous for all dishes being made up of the best ingredients, Spondi, marked with 3 Michelin stars. When ordering, it should be borne in mind that portions of dishes are generous, hungry from restaurants do not leave. Before bringing the main dishes, the waiters bring freshly baked bread and olive oil.
In Greece, the sun almost always shines. Before going outside, do not forget sunglasses. Many beaches are open, and it is hot in summer, but this is not a reason to move around the country in swimsuits. Local residents really do not like this, they look in disgust at travelers in bathing clothes.
If travelers want to visit temples, they will be welcome regardless of religion. The only condition is respect for the feelings of believers. Women should wear a skirt or dress below the knee, and men ‒ trousers.
If someone from the locals offers dinner, you should not refuse. If the time is uncomfortable, you can postpone it, otherwise the Greeks may be offended and make friends in the future is unlikely to succeed. It is also worth paying attention to prices on display cases in a cafe. Takeaway dishes can cost more than a meal in an institution, so it’s better to check the price in advance. Tipping will not be debited from the card without the desire of visitors. If desired, you can leave up to 5% of the cost of orders.
Rent a Car
In Greece, the right-hand traffic. The car rental service is very popular. You can rent a car for every taste and wallet. Most bookings are free. There are several prerequisites for becoming a client of a cashiering company. We need an international driver’s license and it’s important to have a driving experience. In some organizations, you can rent a car from the age of 21, in other companies ‒ only from the age of 25. You can rent a car with a driver. He is well oriented in Greece and can advise interesting sights.
The road network in Greece has improved several times in recent years. In the city, the speed limit is considered to be 50 kilometers per hour, and on the ‒ highways 80 kilometers per hour. On the freeway you can accelerate to 120 kilometers per hour. If unlit sections of the road come across, you need to be more careful, since a herd of animals can cross the road. Also among the inconveniences of ‒ cork. Most of the traffic jams in Athens.
Visa and customs
Greece is part of the Schengen area, so a visa and medical insurance are needed to cross the border. Customs rules are spelled out in European laws, but Greece has the right to tighten measures. You can’t take dairy products, desserts with cottage cheese, meat, narcotic and psychotropic substances, weapons, metal detectors, porn products and extremist materials on a trip. In addition, crocodile products cannot be transported.
An amount of 10 thousand euros and above is subject to mandatory declaration. In case of refusal, the customs have the right to confiscate funds. It is forbidden to import more than 2 thousand euros in cash. But this rule does not apply to tourists, it applies to residents of Greece who have the citizenship of the country.
It is allowed to carry baby food, chocolate, pastries without cottage cheese, 1 liter of a strong alcoholic drink or 2 liters of a low alcohol drink, 10 packs of cigarettes or 50 cigars. Duty-free shoes, clothes, personal hygiene items, a smartphone and a laptop or tablet computer, a camera are imported.
There are many bright events in the Greek calendar. Among the main holidays ‒ New Year celebrated on January 1, Epiphany ( January 6 ), Independence Day ( March 25 ), Labor Day ( May 1 ). There are also holidays without an exact date. They are installed annually. For example, Apocries oiler passes at different times. At this time, lush feast and festivities pass. Mistresses paint eggs in advance and make Easter wicker. People have fun. But it is strictly forbidden to swear. In the center, a stuffed Judah is burned. The next day, it is customary to eat lamb giblets soup and painted eggs.
On the first day of Lent, a clean Monday is celebrated. He is officially declared a day off. Christians cleanse the soul of sins. They pray a lot. You can eat lean dishes, vegetables, seafood, wine. The Greeks launch kites as a sign of spring. Especially this tradition is enjoyed by children.
On May 1, Labor Day is celebrated, a large-scale festival of flowers and the May Day wreath is held. In the morning there is a parade, and in the afternoon everyone gathers for nature on a picnic and to collect flowers. Wreaths are created from the vine, various colors, ears of wheat and garlic. This is a great opportunity to have a picnic and spend time in the fresh air with relatives and friends.
On many holidays, stores do not work, so it is better to buy products in advance. This advice will especially come in handy before Christmas and New Year.
Shopping and souvenirs
Greece ‒ is one of the best places for shopping. The sales season, where the maximum discounts are 80%, begins in mid-January and ends in February. The second season lasts from July to August. Shopping centers have off-season discounts of up to 40% of the initial cost. There is an unspoken rule: the further the outlet is from the center, the cheaper the price. You can inexpensively update the wardrobe. It is worth paying attention to the fur coats. There are several fur factories in the country. Pipes are of high quality and inexpensive cost. In numerous flea markets, you can buy antique and vintage things.
The main Greek souvenir is olives. They make soap, paste and butter. In second place in the number of purchases from travel are sweets. In Greece, they often buy nougat, onions and honey. Tourists take with them an ouzo, rakiya, kumkvat liquor or fridge magnets.
Handmade sandals occupy a special place in shopping. Masters take measurements and make leather shoes exactly on the leg. In addition, you can pay attention to linen clothes with national patterns. Believers buy sanctified icons.
The Tax Free system operates, within which you can partially return the cost of purchases. But the product should cost at least 120 euros. It must be purchased at a outlet connected to this system. This information can be clarified by the seller, but usually when you enter the store on the windows you can see the corresponding plate.
By the number of attractions, Greece is included in the list of the top ten countries in the world. You can draw up a cultural program taking into account any individual preferences. Greece is famous for historical monuments, picturesque islands, magnificent beaches, amazing excursions. Museums are in every city, you can move to past eras and see how people used to live in Greece.
Athens is called the capital-museum, because at every step you can find traces of history. The ruins of Delphi are concentrated in the central part of the country, you can go to Greece as part of pilgrimage tours and visit monasteries.
For lovers of outdoor activities, all conditions are created. You can ride water skiing and pedal bicycles, a banana and yachts, arrange fishing. Horseback riding is also popular. Before you sit in the saddle, instruction is given. Routes pass through picturesque landscapes. And through small mountain villages you can drive a jeep safari. This vehicle will drive off-road, you can see gorges, olive plantations and wild mountain ranges.
There are many theaters in Greece. Viewing performances will allow you to touch national traditions. The Dionys Theater in Athens is considered the Motherland of Greek tragedy. At a time, up to 17 thousand spectators can be in it. The National Theater of Northern Greece is located in Thessaloniki. It is called the first theater in the country to create a diverse repertoire.
The Butterfly Valley is open in Rhodes, which is a unique nature reserve. This is a narrow park along the gorge, where thousands of butterflies fly. This sight will appeal to romantic natures. In 1999, the Marine Reserve was opened in Zakynthos. He is also called turtle because he has become home to giant turtles.
Greece has a large selection of housing. You can check into economy class hotels, low-cost apartments or world-class network hotels. Many hotels operate on an all-inclusive system". The service in hotel complexes and guest houses is at a high level.
In addition to the classification by the number of stars, there is still a letter system. For example, L hotels mean that these are luxury hotels where each guest feels as if he is the only guest. Three stars correspond to the literature of S. E-class hotels ‒ 1-2 stars, service here is also good, but you can face the problem of lack of numbers. The hype occurs during holidays, so it is better to book your accommodation in advance.
In the Greek mentality is hospitality. If you do not like living in hotels and hotels, you can rent an apartment or a small house in the suburbs. Hostels are not in demand, but this is the cheapest night. You can stay in monasteries, but they have strict rules, for example, you can not stay overnight with a satellite of the opposite sex. This does not comply with the standards of decency, and there is no point in arguing on this topic.