Greece is a popular tourist destination in Southern Europe. Athens is the capital city. The official name is the Hellenic Republic. Greece is a part of Europe (and not Asia) because of its location in the center of Europe.

It borders with AlbaniaMacedoniaBulgaria, and Turkey. Greece consists of nine geographical regions. Most of these regions have been prominent since ancient times. These are:

  • Thrace
  • Crete
  • Macedonia
  • Thessaly
  • Epirus
  • Aegean Islands
  • Central Greece
  • Peloponnese
  • Ionian Islands

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Greek Culture

The people of Greece are Greeks.

Greek history is one of the most famous. Because of this, it is one of the most portrayed examples of civilization.
The foundations of philosophy, literature, sports (e.g. marathon), and other major cultural pillars were first established in this country during ancient times. 
Because of this, Greece was the birthplace of some of the most prominent scientific inventions, theorems, and other intellectual theories currently in existence.

Orthodox Christianity is the religion most widely practiced in the country. Religion has been a rich subject in Greece since ancient times when its people believed that there were many ancient gods and goddesses.

The country’s tourism industry has developed greatly, due to its rich cultural heritage. It is one of the most visited countries in Europe.

Almost 30 million tourists visit the country annually. The biggest number of tourists comes to Greece from the United Kingdom and Germany, followed by other European countries.

Fun Fact: In 2010, Lonely Planet called Thessaloniki, the second-largest city in Greece, the world’s fifth-best party town, along with Dubai and Montreal. In 2011, Travel + Leisure also named Santorini “The World’s Best Island”.

Santorini is the most popular tourist area in Greece nowadays. However, for a peaceful beach vacation, many people heat towards Corfu. The island offers various sandy beaches, magnificent skylines, plenty of flora and authentic architecture.

For the best hiking experience, go to Meteora mountains, near the town of Kalambaka, on the continental part of the country. This is a place you will not find probably anywhere else in Europe.

UNESCO World Heritage Site, translated as “suspended in the air”, these mountains and rocks are just breathtaking and give you a truly unforgettable experience. There used to be dozens of orthodox monasteries at the tops of mountains, now there are only six left. However, it is still the second pilgrimage place in Greece (after Mount Athos). 

Being the birthplace of Western Culture, Greece owns a huge variety of monuments, theaters, and other buildings, which played important roles at the beginning of Western Civilization and its further development.

Local Cuisine

When in Greece, you must taste their seafood dishes. Just make sure, the fish and other sea habitats have been picked locally and they are fresh.

Greek cuisine offers some of the best octopus, shrimps, and mussels you have ever tried. Also, locally produced wine, olive oil, tea, honey, and spices are well worth both trying and taking back home with you. 

Money & Currency

The Currency in use is the Euro. Currency exchange is available in banks and some travel agencies. Keep in mind there is a commission for exchange, so it is better to bring Euro with you when you arrive at the country. All major credit cards are accepted. Also, ATMs are available widely. 

Getting Around

Taxis are plentiful in Greece, both official and private. In big cities, they are rather cheap, while in tourist areas they can be much more expensive. You always need to negotiate the price. The public transport network is not always well developed, especially on islands. 

It is best to get around Greece in a rental car. Car rental service is available at airports, ferry ports, all cities and towns, resort areas and tourist spots. The minimum age to hire a car is 21. Cars drive on the right side of the road here.

However, most of the roads are mountainous roads, so you need to be an experienced driver to get around by car. In fact, Greek drivers drive really fast, even on mountain serpentine roads, so watch out and be careful.

Shopping

Our motto of traveling is to explore the unknown realms and writing unsaid stories. When we travel, we all want that one epitome of an item which represents our trip. But to reflect the essence of your destination, the object should have deep roots in the culture of that place.

Or it should carry a name which makes the place attractive. In Athens, many things will knock you out of your socks, but choose wisely, and you can be back with amazing gifts for your friends and yourself.

SANDALS FROM A POET

Talking about poets, if you love poems, then Stavros is your man. It is not so hard to find him. Go to Monastiraki square just next to metro and go to Ag Theklas Street.

There you go, in his place, Stavros sits and caters to the need of his customers. His sandals are not just a piece of accessory but piece of art. Beatles wouldn’t buy his sandals if he were not that good! So go ahead and buy some beautiful pieces. Now his son runs the store, but if you are in luck, then Stavros might stay in.

LADEN YOURSELF WITH GOLD

In Adrianou Street in Plaka, there is the Byzantino Store which has an eclectic collection of Gold jewelry. Specially handmade jewelry designed by Greek Artists, are a joy to wear.

Gold is comparatively cheap in Greece, and the labor is less expensive than anywhere else. So you can pack your bags with tons of jewelry from Byzantinos.

WARD OFF THE EVIL

Greek have a custom which every household follows. To ward off the evil they use the Evil Eye. The original store Tzamala which sold the evil eye 50 years ago still stands in Monastiraki.

A common belief is that the blue eye fights the evil power away. Hence this set of eyes is now in every Greek shop. It is a defining custom so that you can take this token back home as a memento.

Electricity & Plug Type

In Greece, they use electric sockets of types C and F, as almost everywhere in Europe. The standard voltage is 220V.

August 17, 2016 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

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