A holiday to Greece offers many different things to holidaymakers. It is a stunningly beautiful country, with a warm and sunny climate, plus it has historical sites and culture in abundance. Some resorts are relaxing and traditionally Greek, whereas others are lively, modern and adrenalin-fuelled. The capital Athens is situated on the mainland but there are also 227 inhabited islands to choose from.
Greece is part of the European Union and is bordered by the Ionian, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, as well as having land borders with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. 80% of Greece is mountainous and the highest of these is Mount Olympus.
Greek hospitals are generally well-equipped, although the public hospitals can be busy. European Union Nationals can obtain an EHIC card before they travel, to receive free treatment in a state hospital. The heat of summer can lead to sunstroke, dehydration and sunburn, so it is important to drink plenty, salt your food (to replace salts lost through perspiration) and take the necessary precautions. It is safe to drink the tap water in Athens and other big cities, but it is best to drink bottled water in other destinations. Codeine (which is a common ingredient in many headache medications) is banned in Greece and there are strict regulations on bringing medication into the country. If you are taking a special medical treatment, it may be best to acquire a medication medical certificate in order to be able to bring it with you, as you may not be able to find it in Greece.
The Greek cuisine is famous for using quality, fresh local produce to create a healthy Mediterranean diet. Famous dishes include stuffed vine leaves, moussaka and meze (lots of taster dishes), as well as the alcoholic drinks ouzo, metaxa and the wine retsina.
Electricity – you will need to take a two-pin electrical adaptor for electrical appliances
Currency – the Euro
Driving – on the right
Climate – it can be very hot in Summer, with daytime highs of around 30 degrees
Clothing – pack light clothing for Summer, extra layers for cool evenings. Religious centres and monasteries don’t allow shorts for men or women to wear shorts, miniskirts or trousers.
Where to go?
For history and culture – you are spoilt for choice in a country with 17 Unesco World Heritage Sites. A highlight has to be Athens, which is the city of the ancient gods and birthplace of great philosophers. Explore the marble temples of the Acropolis and the magnificent Parthenon.
For kids and teens – Relax on the golden beaches of Corfu, or enjoy one of the island’s waterparks. Alternatively, go to Zante and take a swashbuckling day trip to treasure island Shipwreck Beach (Naviago Beach) or snorkel off Marathonisi (Turtle Island) where loggerhead turtles lay their eggs.
Relaxation – Head to the green island of Corfu, where you can have a tranquil time in a resort such as Agios Georgios, surrounded by olive groves and beautiful beaches.
Action – Challenge yourself to hike Crete’s 18km long Samaria Gorge, which is Europe’s longest ravine, stretching from the White Mountains to the Libyan Sea.
Nightlife – Hedonistic resorts abound – including Kardamena in Kos, Kavos on Corfu and Faliraki on Rhodes.