Greece

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About

Corinth Channel

  • Greece is a country in Southern Europe, on the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula
  • It shares borders in the north with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
  • Greece is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world’s top 20 countries.
  • Over 90% of visitors who come to Greece come from other European countries, although in recent years there have been growing numbers of tourists from other world regions.
  • The large majority of visitors arrive during tourism season, which is April through October. Peak season is July through August.
  • Greek is the national official language, but the English speaking visitor will encounter no significant language problem. English is the most widely studied and understood of foreign languages in Greece, followed by French, Italian, and German.
  • 80% of Greece consists of mountains, of which Mount Olympus is the highest at 2,917 m (9,570 ft).
  • There are 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Greece.
  • Greece is a parliamentary republic. The nominal head of state is the President of the Republic, who is elected by the Parliament for a five-year term.
  • The official name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic.
  • Athens is the capital of Greece. It is also the most populated city in the country.
  • Ancient Greek civilization comprised of Southern Italy, the coastal areas of Turkey and the Black Sea, along with some colonies in North Africa, Southern France and Spain. Modern Greece is just a part of it.
  • 80 percent landscape of Greece comprises of mountains. Only one half of the country is covered by forests, the other half is barren.
  • There are about 3000 islands in Greece. However, only a few hundred of them are inhabited.

HISTORY

  • Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829.
  • In 1897, financial collapse ends with national bankruptcy.
  • In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy and next occupied by Germany
  • In 1941-1942, over 100,000 civilians died from starvation during the winter of 1941–42, and the great majority of Greek Jews were deported to Nazi extermination camps.
  • Greece joined NATO in 1952
  • In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, and forced the king to flee the country
  • In 1974, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy
  • In 1981, Greece joined the EU
  • Greece adopted the Euro in 2001
  • Greece successfully hosted the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004


FACTS

    Street in Greece

    • Greece boasts of having 7,000 (limestone) caves, which form 24,000 km of underground galleries.
    • Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece, with a height of 2,919m. It is believed to have served as the home of the Gods in the ancient Greek religion.
    • As per 2007 UNICEF report, Greece had the lowest percentage of teenagers smoking cigarettes (or cannabis) or living in a step family structure.
    • WHO 2002 stats state that Greek men and women have the highest incidence of obesity in Europe.
    • The renowned Belgian pralines Leonidas have been named after the 5th century BC King of Sparta, who was homonymous.
    • Greece spreads over an area of somewhere around 51,000 square miles, with the length of its coastline being 9,300 miles.
    • There are as many as 63 different folk dances in Greece.
    • The popular yo-yo toy, the second oldest known toy in the world, originated in the days of ancient Greece, around 3,000 years ago.
    • Traditionally, Greeks have been known to celebrate their name days, rather than their birth dates.
    • No one in Greece can choose to not vote. Voting is required by law for every citizen who is 18 or older.
    • About 7% of all the marble produced in the world comes from Greece.
    • Greece has more archaeological museums than any other country in the world.
    • Greeks do not wave with an open hand. In fact, it is considered an insult to show the palm of the hand with the fingers extended. Greeks wave with the palm closed.
    • Soldiers in ancient Greece wore up to 70 pounds of bronze armor.

Avg. Costs

Balos Bay, Crete

  • Average meal cost 12€
  • Beer 5 €
  • Pizza delivered 8-10 €
  • Bus ticket 1 €  Monthly 35 €
  • Ferry Ride 15-80 €
  • Price of beer and coffee has risen sharply in the last two years

 

MUSEUM FEES

  • New Acropolis Museum (Mondays CLOSED) 5€
  • The National Archaeological Museum 7€
  • Cape Sounion (temle of Poseidon) 4€
  • Ancient Corinth 7€
  • Acro-Corinth Free
  • Eleusis 4€
  • Rhamnus 4€
  • Marathon  4€
  • Mycynae 9€
  • Nafplion (Palamidi Castle) 4€
  • Nemea 4€ Delphi 9€
  • The Theater of Epidaurus 6€
  • Olympia 9€
  • The Byzantine Fortified Town of Mystras 5€

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Meteora

  • Violent crime and theft rates are very low
  • Public disorder is very rare, and public drunkenness is frowned upon and not common.
  • Although Greece is an extremely safe and friendly destination, it is always advisable for foreign tourists to exercise basic precautionary measures just as they would at home.
  • The places where the visitor is most likely to encounter crime and theft are probably the handful of overcrowded, and overheated, tourist resorts filled with younger foreigners.

 

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Climate

White Houses in Thira

  • Despite its small size, Greece has a varied climate.
  • Most of the country enjoys a Mediterranean climate.
  • Summers are hot and dry with a 7-month period of almost constant sunshine from April until November.
  • July to August is the height of summer, and the midday sun tends to get very strong; during this time, most Greeks avoid heavy physical activity outdoors between 1PM and 5PM.
  • The remainder of the year is a relatively cool, rainy period which generally starts sometime in November and lasts until late March or early April.
  • Sporadic rains do occur during the dry season, but they tend to be rare, quick showers.
  • Greece’s Ionian Coast and Ionian Islands tend to receive more annual precipitation than the rest of the country.
  • The islands in the southern Aegean and parts of the southeastern mainland are the driest areas of the country.

Places to See

The Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens

  • The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock that rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares.
  • It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king.
  • The Acropolis was formally proclaimed as the pre-eminent monument on the European Cultural Heritage list of monuments on March 26, 2007.

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Mount Athos

  • An Orthodox spiritual centre since 1054, Mount Athos has enjoyed an autonomous statute since Byzantine times.
  • The ‘Holy Mountain’, which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognized artistic site.
  • The layout of the monasteries (about 20 of which are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.

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Museum of Athens

  • The largest museum of Greece houses an extensive collection that includes masterpieces of Greek art from all the periods of Ancient Greece.
  • The museum is located in the heart of Athens near Victoria Metro station and is a popular destination for scholars and tourists alike.

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Meteora, Kalampaka, Thessaly

  • The Meteora are a series of monastic buildings perched on a cluster of detached precipitous rocks.
  • One of the most striking sites in the world, the monasteries were set up during the late Byzantine period when persecuted monks settled here.
  • At its peak, there were 24 inhabited monasteries on top of these rocks.

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Olympia

  • Olympia is located in the West Peloponnesus and was the site of the first Olympic Games.
  • Every four years athletic competitions were organized at Olympia in honor of Zeus.
  • The Games began in 776 B.C and carried on until 5th century B.C.
  • There is much to see at Olympia with some of the most important monuments of the site including the temple of Zeus, The Temple of Hera, the Stadium, the Bouleuterion where athletes were sworn in, the Prytaneion (site of the eternal flame) the Treasuries, the Gymnasium and the Leonidaion (a guesthouse dating from 330 BC). The Archaeological Museum at Olympia contains some fascinating exhibits.

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Delphi

  • Located about one hundred miles northwest of Athens, Delphi is considered by archeologists to be one of Greece’s greatest cultural treasures.
  • The complex includes the Temple of Apollo (home to the famous oracle) the sacred Corycian Cave and the Castalian Spring.
  • In mythology, Delphi was regarded as the centre of the world or the “Navel of the Earth”.
  • Legend has it that the shrine was originally watched over by the she-dragon Pytho who was eventually slain by Apollo.
  • Allow at least a half-day for visiting the site.

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Dion

  • Lying at the foot of Mount Olympus in northern Greece, the ancient and sacred city of Dion was completely destroyed by an earthquake in the 5th century AD.
  • The site was first excavated in 1928 and the digs uncovered a fascinating network of flagstone streets, public buildings, shops, workshops, statues, houses, an orchestra and a large theatre.
  • Wander these ancient streets and allow yourself to be transported back in time.

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Samaria Gorge

  • Located in western Crete, the Samaria Gorge is the longest gorge in Europe measuring some 18 kilometers.
  • The area is well known for its outstanding beauty and for its challenging hiking routes.
  • Hiking is only permitted in summer and is dependent on the weather as the gorge is cut by a stream, which flows between the highest peak of the White Mountains and the Volikas Mountains.

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Knossos Royal Palace, Crete

  • Knossos was the court of the legendary King Minos, whose wife Pasiphae gave birth to the Minotaur – half-bull, half-man.
  • Excavations were begun by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans in 1893 and lasted 35 years.
  • Entering the Great Palace through the West Court you can easily understand why the legend of the labyrinth started here.
  • It takes nearly two hours to walk around the site and explore the entire Palace.
  • During this walking tour, you’ll see the superb Royal Quarters, the Throne Room with an antechamber and main throne and the Queen’s Quarters.
  • The wall above the entrance door of the Queen’s Quarters is decorated with a copy of the famous dolphin frescoes.

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Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Greeks tend to be warm and polite people
• Upon meeting a firm handshake with direct eye contact and a smile is acceptable
– Good friends often kiss the cheeks and embrace one another
• Celebrating name day is more important and practiced then celebrating birthdays
• Arriving 30 minutes late to dinner arrangements is considered arriving on time
– Expect to be treated like royalty
– Treat them with the same respect
– Dressing well is also a sign of respect to your hosts
• Family is the basis of their social structure
– Family relationships often carry over into business

Business Etiquette:
• Greeks like to do business with people that they have developed a relationship with
– It takes time to develop relationships – put effort into developing this one
• Networks of family and friends are always used and appreciated in Greece
• They appreciate and prefer face-to-face meetings
• Business is relaxed and also very serious
• Appointments are necessary
– Often possible to make on short notice
• Have printed material in both English and Greek
• Business dress is very comparable with the rest of Europe
– Men – Dark colored conservative suits
– Women – Either business suits of tasteful dresses, dark colors
• Business cards are exchanged during introduction
• Greeks respect position and age
– Companies are an hierarchy

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