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!

Some other more general Greece pages

  • Which Greek Island?

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Top Ten Things to Do in Greece

    Top Ten Things to Do in Greece include seeing the Acropolis and Parthenon, visiting the National Archaeological Museum and ancient sites like Knossos on Crete.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Ten Biggest Cities in Greece

    The ten biggest cities in Greece start with Athens and Thessaloniki, followed by Patras and several suburbs of Athens which are Greek cities in their own right.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

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