Greece

Country Facts

Greece, surrounded by the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, is renowned for its beautiful rugged landscape, untouched gems, endless coastlines, and cosmopolitan islands. Its archaeological and historical sites gloriously depict the country's past. Go back in time as you discover Greek mythology, tales of heroism and the battles of the gods.

Discover Athens the modern metropolis, steeped in history. Take a cruise in the Greek islands. Go island hopping to Mykonos, with its cosmopolitan character; Santorini, with the most romantic sunset in the world; Rhodes, the island of the medieval castles; Crete with its revolutionary spirit; Ios, with its wild nightlife; Corfu, with its Venetian style; Ithaca, the homeland of Ulysses; Samos, the greenest of all Greek islands; Skiathos, with its long and sandy beaches.

  • Capital: Athens
  • Official Languages: Greek
  • Government: Parliamentary Republic
  • Currency: Euro
  • Time Zone: +2 GMT. (3 ½ hours behind India) Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Greece, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; so +3 GMT.
  • Telephone Calling Code: 0030

When To Go

Best time to visit: Greece is perfect for those who enjoy the sun, as for over two thirds of the year the country basks under clear, sunny skies. Winters are mild and rainy, with temperatures sometimes dropping to freezing point, especially in the north. Summers are long and dry, with extremes of 37°C.

What To Do

Greece and its sun-kissed isles offer a tantalizing cuisine that is fresh and fragrant, served with warmth and vitality.

What to eat and drink
  • Olives: Greece is known for its olives and olive oil
  • Meze: Appetizers
  • Dolmadakia: Grapevine leaves stuffed with rice and vegetables, meat
  • Tzatziki: Yoghurt with cucumber and garlic puree, used as a dip
  • Tyropita: A white-cream cheese pie with phyllo pastry
  • Fakes: A lentil soup and one of the famous everyday Greek soups usually served with vinegar and olives
  • Giouvetsi: Lamb or veal baked in a clay pot with and tomatoes
  • Gyros or souvlaki: Meat roasted on a vertically turning spit and served with sauce (often tzatziki), tomato and onions on pita bread
  • Kleftiko: Lamb slow-baked on the bone
  • Spetsofai: A stew of country sausage, green mild peppers, onions and wine
  • Pastitsio: an oven-baked layer dish with Bechamel sauce top, then pasta and ground meat
  • Fish and shell fish: Harbor-side tavernas serve them grilled, baked, and fried
  • Moussaka: A casserole layered with eggplant or zucchini and a garlic-scented meat sauce
  • Fila pitas: Composed of the wafer-thin pastry, and layered with chicken and mushrooms, spinach and feta, or lamb and leeks
  • Salads: An abundance of fresh vegetables inspires imaginatively cooked and marinated vegetable dishes
  • Cheese: Fresh feta, Romano, and Kasseri
  • Baklava: The most famous pastry, a multi-layered affair ribboned with nuts and oozing with honey syrup
  • Greek pastry: Fila pastries, many of Turkish origin
  • Fresh fruit: Figs, oranges, apples, and melon
  • Ouzo: An 80-proof clear alcoholic beverage that is flavored with anise
  • Tsipouroa: A clear drink similar to ouzo, often with higher alcohol content
  • Retsina: A white wine that has some pine resin added, a typical favorite of Athens
Shopping

Locally woven rugs, pottery, ceramics, antiques, metal work, lace, jewellery, intricate needlework, olive wood artifacts, garments and knitwear, furs, leather goods, local wines and spirits.

Packages

Escorted Tours

The best and easiest way to see the highlights is on an escorted tour, where all your travel, accommodation and sightseeing arrangements are well taken care of. A knowledgeable local guide brings history and culture to life as you travel in the comfort of your deluxe coach.

A world leader in budget travel, Cosmos combines the benefit of escorted travel with a great price. Ideal for practical, value-minded travelers. Vacations include comfortable hotels, breakfast and some meals, sightseeing with local guides and the services of an expert Tour Director.

Unmatched selection, more included features, quality first class hotels, and vast experience make Globus the obvious choice for travelers who want more. The world leader in quality escorted travel, Globus delivers memorable vacation experiences with knowledgeable Tour Directors and local guides.

Attractions

Travel Tips

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