Things to know about Greece

Numerous bays with fine sandy beaches, turquoise sea, an impressive, varied nature and exciting historical sites from antiquity – all that is Greece. No wonder that both mainland Greece and the Greek islands are among our favorite destinations. Besides the many hours of sunshine and the delicious Greek cuisine, it is the hospitality of the Greeks that is most appealing. In order to bring you a little bit closer to this great country, we give you here an overview of the most important facts about Greece and numerous tips for your stay.

Greece key data

  • Location: Southeastern Europe, located on the Mediterranean Sea
  • consisting of the mainland, the Peloponnese peninsula and 3.054 Islands in the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea
  • Capital: Athens
  • Official language: Greek
  • Population: 11.16 million (as of 2018)
  • Currency: EURO
  • 15 international airports
  • Time difference: + 1 hour in Greece

Climate and weather in Greece

The location on the Mediterranean Sea gives Greece a Mediterranean climate – it brings hot, dry summers and mild humid winters. In May the sea can still be quite cool, but the flowers are most beautiful in this month and a real highlight for nature and hiking lovers. In the summer, temperatures quickly rise above 30° C and invite you to swim.

But even in Greece there are regional differences in climate and weather. The mountainous regions as well as the north (e.g. Corfu) tend to be a bit cooler on average. On Crete it can even snow occasionally in winter.

Greece Tips

In order to enjoy your stay in beautiful Greece, it is helpful to know in advance some important information about arrival, country and people. Here are some general tips for your vacation:

Arrival: Usually takes place by plane. Especially in the high season, there are several daily departures from Germany to Greece, both to the mainland and to the many islands. Direct flights from Germany are available from Bremen, Hamburg, Cologne, Frankfurt am Main, Munich, etc. The flight time is between 2.5 and 3.5 hours, depending on the departure and arrival time. Destination. Of course you can also reach the mainland by car, but this is a very long journey: From Munich to Thessaloniki it is almost 1.600 km.

Entry: Greece is a member of the European Union, so if you are a German citizen your identity card is sufficient. Passport is not required.

Travel tips Greece

Import regulations: Exists for tobacco products as well as alcohol. For example, you can take a maximum of 800 cigarettes or 10 liters of liquor free of charge. If you are unsure about the import, you should inquire directly at the customs in advance.

Water: Tap water should not be used for drinking, it could be contaminated with bacteria and lead to gastrointestinal diseases. Note: Generally use water sparingly, due to the long hot summers there is often a shortage of water in Greece.

Lunch break: As in many southern countries, there is also a lunch break in Greece. Depending on the region, this is usually between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. However, restaurants and stores in larger tourist places are usually open.

Tipping: Since customs vary by country, you obviously don't want to put your foot in your mouth. Here are a few guidelines you can follow:

  • In restaurants you pay about 10 % of the bill. Often the tip is already included in the bill, so you should look closely at the receipt
  • In taverns you should not give more than 1 €
  • Chambermaids should receive a small tip, depending on hotel category and satisfaction between 1 – 3 € per day
  • For cab rides it is best to round up appropriately
  • Tour guides can get between 5 and 10 €, of course depending on their satisfaction

A highlight: Greek cuisine

Greek cuisine is known far beyond the country's borders and the delicious food is also very popular in Germany. Greek cuisine is Mediterranean and predominantly hearty. A bite of Gyros& Co. tastes immediately of summer, sun and sea. Fish plays a particularly important role in Greek cuisine, after all, many kilometers of the country lie directly on the sea. Sheep and goat products are also typical of the country, for example the famous feta cheese. There is also a lot of fresh, seasonal vegetables on the table, a highlight of which are Greek olives. White bread is a staple and is eaten as an appetizer and main dish. Among the most famous dishes are: Bifteki, Souvlaki, Gyros, Calamare, Tsatsiki and Greek Salad. Desserts often include fresh fruit or very sweet, oriental-influenced dishes and nibbles. In addition to Greek wine, ouzo is also a popular drink with meals or afterwards as a digestif. With the Greeks, especially the cozy sitting together at the common meal plays a very central role.

Hotels and accommodations in Greece

Greece offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. The choice goes from hotels to vacation apartments and cottages to campsites. Especially hotels or vacation homes are often built in Greek style. Keep in mind that the prices in the high season are almost twice as high as in the low season. It is also more difficult to find a room or accommodation spontaneously in high season.

Public holidays in Greece 2020

Greek public holidays apply to both the mainland and the Greek islands. The general rule here is: public facilities are closed; stores and smaller stores are either closed all day or only open in the afternoon.

Public holidays in Greece for the year 2020

  • Tue, 01.01.2020: New Year
  • Sun, 06.01.2020: Epiphany (Three Kings)
  • Mon, 11.03.2020: Shrove Monday
  • Mon, 25.03.2020: National Holiday
  • Fri, 02.04.2020: Good Friday
  • Mon, 05.04.2020: Easter Monday
  • Wed, 01.05.2020: Labor Day
  • Mon, 17.06.2020: Whit Monday
  • Thu, 15.08.2020: Assumption Day
  • Mon, 28.10.2020: National holiday (sog. Ochi Day)
  • Wed, 25.12.2020: 1. Christmas Day
  • Thu, 26.12.2020: 2. Christmas Day

Festivals and celebrations in Greece 2020

Also in Greece there are great events that are worth a visit. Probably the most spectacular celebrations are Carnival as well as Easter. In addition, there are various festivals related to wine or other Greek specialties, such as the sardine. Also music festivals or art exhibitions are regularly offered, in addition, one can observe the typical Greek hustle and bustle on weekly markets and at the same time still delicacies or other typically Greek products admire and buy. In the following you will find an overview of all important events in 2020 in Greece.

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