Greece at a Glance

This Greece at a glance page is a very simple guide to the practical side of Greece and the Greek islands, to help you plan a holiday there. It covers basic information like the Greek currency, language, weather, health requirements, food, safety, and other everyday stuff.

Currency
The Euro

Language
Greek but English widely spoken in tourist areas

Health requirements
No jabs needed, just take plenty of suntan cream and insect repellent: anti-mosquito devices are essential in some places.

What’s the weather like?
The best times to visit are April/May and September/October. August is best left to the sunworshippers: with temperatures sometimes hitting the hundred mark, it can be too hot for some people. The Ionian Islands (which include Corfu, Kefalonia and Zakynthos) can be cooler with a chance of rain in late spring or early autumn, but most of the Aegean Islands and Crete will probably have no rain from May to September.

Which Are the Hottest Greek Islands?
See this piece we wrote for 101 Holidays.

Is it safe?
Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe. There is very little petty crime, and any trouble is usually concentrated in those resorts where young Brits go to dance and get drunk.

Will I like the food?
Greek menus can be a bit samey, and there is usually fresh fish, plenty of meat dishes like chicken or pork, and the ubiquitous Greek salad (with tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, onions, olives and topped with a slice of feta cheese).

Vegetarians will usually find a few dishes to suit them, like bean stews or stuffed tomatoes and peppers – but check that they don’t contain minced meat as well as rice. If you like your food hot, be sure to order something grilled like a souvlaki (kebab), as some dishes such as the ever-popular moussaka may be made at lunchtime and only served lukewarm. Greeks themselves prefer food not to be piping hot. 

The Ubiquitous - and Healthy - Greek Salad

Is it expensive?
Greece is inexpensive compared to Britain, France or Italy. You can spend a lot on a meal if you want to have fresh fish or lobster, and a good bottle of wine, but if you are on a budget there are plenty of good, inexpensive options. In the shops, leather goods are usually cheaper than in most countries.

Watch out for…
Don’t put toilet paper down the toilet! The pipes are small and easily blocked. All rooms will have a bin for the paper. The only exceptions are the newer and more modern hotels.

Fish on a menu is priced by weight, and can be expensive, so ask to see the fish or fillet and check the cost before it’s cooked, to save yourself a shock when the bill comes!

You might like these...

  • Six of the Best Beaches in Greece

    Greece Travel Secrets chooses six of the best beaches in Greece including beaches on Corfu, Santorini, Crete, Lefkas, Kefalonia and on the Peloponnese.

  • The Nomads of Greece

    The nomads of Greece are the Vlachs, nomadic shepherds whose capital is Metsovo in the Pindus Mountains, and the Sarakatsani, shepherds in Macedonia and Thrace.

  • Greek Ferry Guide

    Greece Travel Secrets Greek Ferry Guide page uses an extract from the Aferry Greece website with advice on island-hopping, buying tickets online and timetables.

  • Greek Music

    Greek music is the sound of the bouzouki and tunes like Zorba the Greek and Never on Sunday are heard everywhere, while rembetika is called the blues of Greece.

  • Which Greek Island?

    How to choose which Greek island from six of the most popular, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Kefalonia and Zakynthos.

  • Weddings in Greece

    Weddings in Greece and the Greek islands can be luxury or cheap, are easy to arrange from the UK or USA in Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes.

  • Top Ten Biggest Greek Islands

    The Top Ten Biggest Greek Islands, the largest in size, are listed by Greece Travel Secrets and include Crete, Evia, Lesbos and Rhodes.

  • Travelling Around Greece

    Practical information on travelling around Greece by plane, by ferry, by bus, by train and by driving, including car rental, parking and other driving advice.

  • Tipping in Greece

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to tipping in Greece from two Greece travel experts, including when to tip, what to tip and when not to tip.

  • The Greek Gods

    The home of the Greek Gods was the top of Mount Olympus, and among the better-known Gods and Goddesses in the Greek pantheon were Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite.

  • Sailing in the Greek Islands

    Greece Travel Secrets lists four of the best destinations if you want to go sailing in the Greek islands.

  • Quick Guide to Greece: How to Choose the Best Destination for You

    This quick guide to Greece gives advice on choosing the best Greek destination for your holiday, whether in the Greek islands or the mainland.

  • Life as a Waiter on Zakynthos

    Life as a waiter on Zakynthos tells what it was like for travel writer Mike Gerrard to work in a Greek restaurant, the Mantalena in Alykanas.

  • Greek Architecture

    This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

  • Greece for Beginners

    Greece for beginners is an introduction to Greece and the Greek islands by way of a memoir by travel writer Mike Gerrard about discovering Greek kindness.

  • Luxury Weddings in Greece

    Luxury Weddings in Greece, including venues such as a boutique hotel with deluxe spa on Santorini, can be booked through Ionian Weddings.

Latest Posts

  1. Covid-19: PM Mitsotakis Appeals to Greeks to Follow Rules to Help Avoid Lockdown

    Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called on the Greeks to be vigilant and respect the current health and safety measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), as confirmed cases cont…

    Read More

  2. Athens to Celebrate European Day of Languages 2020 with Digital Treasure Hunt

    The Municipality of Athens on Saturday, September 26, will join the celebrations for the European Day of Languages ​​2020 with an online treasure hunt. Organized in collaboration with the EU National…

    Read More

  3. Greece Revises Law on Vouchers for Canceled Travel Due to Covid-19

    The Greek government has revised regulations to the law on refund claims regarding bookings of airlines, ferries, yachts, hotels and travel packages that were canceled due to the coronavirus (Covid-19…

    Read More

  4. Czech Republic Passengers Need Negative Covid-19 Test to Enter Greece

    All travelers entering Greece from the Czech Republic from Monday, September 28, will be obliged to present a negative molecular test result (PCR) for coronavirus (Covid-19) upon arrival to the countr…

    Read More

  5. Greece to Launch Online Map with Latest Covid-19 Restrictions Per Area

    Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias on Tuesday announced that the government is preparing to introduce a platform to provide citizens with the latest coronavirus (Covid-19) restrict…

    Read More

  6. Ministry’s Tourist Guide Schools Attract 2,880 Applications

    Greece’s five tourist guide schools this year have accepted a total of 2,880 applications, which shows the increasing demand for tourism education in the country, the Greek Tourism Ministry said in an…

    Read More

  7. Covid-19 Hits Greek Accommodation & Food Services in Q2

    Greece’s accommodation and food services activities in July suffered the biggest blow to turnover, down by 71.4 percent as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to the latest data…

    Read More

  8. 24-hour Ferry Strike at Piraeus Port on Thursday

    Five seamen’s unions have announced a 24-hour strike on Thursday, September 24, at the Piraeus Port, which is expected to cause disruption to ferry transport in Greece.

    Read More

  9. Cruise Companies Submit Plan for Healthy Sailing in Covid-19 Era

    In efforts to ensure safe journeys at sea in the Covid-19 era, cruise companies have tabled a comprehensive plan that includes heightened health protocols aimed at safeguarding crew, passengers, and c…

    Read More

  10. Greece Suspends Outdoor Theatrical Performances Due to Covid-19

    Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias on Tuesday said that all outdoor theatrical performances in Greece will be suspended as of Thursday, September 24. The measure has been added to…

    Read More