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

  • 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.

  • Which Greek Island?

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

Latest Posts

  1. Samothraki

    Samothraki (Greek) or Samothrace (English) is a small island in the north-east Aegean Sea with the closest Greek islands being Thassos and Lemnos.

    Read More

  2. EU: Covid-19 Blow to Greek Economy Milder than Expected

    The European Commission revised its outlook for the Greek economy on Tuesday, saying prospects for 2020 in the aftermath of Covid-19 were milder than initially expected. Greece GDP is set to contract…

    Read More

  3. Greece Relaxes Covid-19 Measures in Shopping Malls, Restaurants

    Shoppers in Greek malls are no longer required to wear a mask, according to a joint ministerial decision published recently in the Government Gazette. According to the decision on rules to limit the s…

    Read More

  4. Ministry Aims to Include All of Greece on the Tourist Map

    The equal distribution of tourist traffic to all of Greece’s regions, ensuring in this way inclusive development, is a top tourism ministry priority, said Deputy Tourism Minister Manos Konsolas this w…

    Read More

  5. Greek Minister Says Covid-19 Testing at Entry Points ‘Effective’

    Targeted Covid-19 testing conducted at entry points across Greece has been effective and contributed to containing the spread of the virus, which is key to ensuring the safety of visitors and locals…

    Read More

  6. Greek Ouzo

    Greek ouzo is an aniseed-based aperitif made all over the country but especially on Lesbos, tasting like a Greek pastis or arak and usually drunk with water.

    Read More

  7. Changes to PLF Form for Travelers to Greece

    All travelers to Greece will be required to fill in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) 24 hours – not 48 hours as was the case until now – prior to travel starting July 9, the Greek Civil Aviation (HCAA…

    Read More

  8. Greece Puts Health First, Says New Tourism Campaign

    The Tourism Ministry and the Greek National Tourism Organization on Monday launched a new campaign that focuses on the restart of Greek tourism, following the COVID-19 crisis, and the country’s promot…

    Read More

  9. Greece Opens to Travelers with Tests and Caution

    Greek authorities may decide to boost testing for Covid-19 after thousands of tourists entered the country starting last Wednesday, when Greece opened its borders after months of lockdowns. More than…

    Read More

  10. How to Define True Greek Spirit

    Johnny Livanos, founder of Stray Dog Wild Gin, was born into the restaurant industry. His grandfather emigrated from the island of Lesbos and opened many of New York’s most iconic Greek restaurants. S…

    Read More