Travel Guide: Greece
Greece Travel Guide: General Travel Guide Information about Greece.
As a special service to our valued clients and readers, we at World Interpreting offer you something different aside from our language translation and interpretation services. We continue to strive for excellence in our services but we also want to provide you with country travel guides that can come in handy for you or your business. Our Greece travel guide contains information and other interesting travel tidbits related to Greece. This travel guide for Greece has been written so that you, as a traveler and tourist, will have a better understanding about the country as well as the different places you can visit. Traveling to Greece can be a wonderful experience, no doubt about it. However, not knowing what to do or spend for can leave you feeling pressured and worried constantly.
Travel Guide Greece will take you to different fantastic places in Greece as well as some of the famous landmarks and notable places, so you will already have a general idea about Greece if and when you decide to actually travel and explore this fascinating country. And other than the places of interest, Travel Guide Greece will also give you valuable information such as the geography, demographics and the languages spoken in different parts of this country. Don’t forget to check out the travel safety tips in Greece as well as the other sections in our Travel Guide Greece! We do hope you will come back often to travel with us to other destinations around the world.
:: Introducing Greece ::
When people hear of the country Greece, most people think of ancient ruins, mythology, warm Mediterranean weather and laid back living. Greece is one of the most visited countries in Europe and it is with good reason it remains a popular tourist destination in the world. It may not be one of the most prosperous nations in Europe, but it certainly has one of the oldest histories and is one of the most archeologically interesting.
Much of the terrain in Greece is made of mountains, upon which many impressive monuments and structures are built on. When in the country, it’s very clear how the water and the land have shaped this nation. The archipelago is scattered across the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea, providing a beautiful backdrop for one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
There are many things that travelers can expect when traveling to Greece. Our Greece pocket travel guide makes an excellent travel companion since it provides an overview of what the country of Greece is like. Here, you can learn the most interesting places to visit and what points of interest you shouldn’t miss. Using out Greece pocket travel guide, you can learn much about this amazing country. On practical matters, you can also pick up a few useful safety travel tips. To make things easier, you can find some useful Greek words and phrases that you can use to help you communicate with the Greeks, ask for directions and make things more convenient for you during your trip. Our Greece travel guide is easy to read and use because it is written into concise sections. This makes it the perfect travel companion during your trip as your make your way and travel around Greece.
For many travel itineraries, a trip to Greece begins in the capital city of Athens. This city boasts of breathtaking ancient ruins, a tribute to the prestigious past of Greek culture during its heyday in the 5th century. Today, Athens is a mix of the old and new, with a population that is still largely conservative and highly protective of its ancient history while at the same time attempting to face the challenges of the modern day world.
When in Athens, it’s very easy to see how the ancient Greeks managed to at one time become one of the most powerful nations in the world, and how the country has managed to capture our imagination and influence the lives of the rest of the human race. From the splendor of the Parthenon in the Acropolis to the Temple of Zeus, every traveler who visits Greece is sure to leave its shores enthralled and inspired.
No trip to Greece is complete without making a stop at the Acropolis. It is here where one of the world’s most recognizable ancient monuments stand, the Parthenon. Built in 447 BC, this tribute to Athena is a showcase masterpiece of Greek architecture, using curved lines instead of straight lines, resulting in a visually perfect structure. Travelers should also pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which is a temple that is constructed even larger than the Parthenon, and just as impressive. Taking a trip to Greece is like taking a step back in time, when the Greeks ruled the world, people believed in the gods of their mythology and when man seemed like he had no limits.
Travelers will find many exciting sights and things to do in Central Greece. From the various temples, such as the Sounion or the Temple of Poseidon, to the various monasteries, travelers will simply be enthralled by the grandeur, majesty and magic of the sights. How could a traveler not be held in awe by the sandstone towers of Meteora, which are often called “suspended rocks” in Thessaly? Being in Greece, it’s very easy to see how the Ancient Greeks came up with their complex mythology. Simply being in Ancient Delphi on Mount Parnassus will make any traveler see the world in a whole new way. Travelers going to Pilio (Pelion) on the mainland will find that it is one of the most beautiful places in Greece to see.
The natural landscape of Greece is largely made of mountains. Thus, there is Mount Olympus, Mount Athos and much unexplored natural wonders in the country. However, there are also a number of islands that form the nation of Greece. Of these, only about a hundred are occupied and visited by tourists. Island hopping is a popular activity of many travelers visiting Greece, whether it’s tourists onboard luxury cruise ships or travelers who choose to take day trips from the mainland. It seems like wherever you go in Greece, the sights will be astounding, the food will be fantastic, the terrain will be beautiful, the waters will be blue and the people will be friendly.
The country of Greece relies mostly on tourism to keep the economy alive. This makes the country one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Travelers who wish to escape the cold climate of other European nations will find solace under the hot Greek sun. Greece is the perfect destination for those who want to learn about ancient history, appreciate architecture, enjoy nature, love moussaka and simply want to have a great time. If you’re looking to slow things down and unwind, Greece may just very well be the perfect place to do it.
Many travelers who go to Greece visit the country to go hiking or enjoy the waters of the black beaches of Santorini. The white-washed buildings found in the different islands provide a perfect contrast to the blue skies and water, making it a photographer’s paradise. Food lovers will also take delight in many of the gastronomic feasts the Greeks have concocted, from tender grilled kebabs dipped in yogurt sauce, to cheese moussaka, as well as fresh Greek salad laden with feta cheese.
There’s something for everyone in Greece, whether it’s travelers on their honeymoon or looking for a romantic getaway, families with children or people who simply want to discover this gem in the Aegean Sea. Use the Greece travel guide to help you plan your trip and help you create one of the best vacations.
The countries of Albania, Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, and Bulgaria surround the country of Greece. However, it is the Aegean Sea and the Ionian Sea that surround most of its geographical area. Thus, the country is known to have one of the longest coastlines in the world, ranking 12th, with 13,676 kilometers or 8,498 miles. As an archipelago, Greece comprises over 1,400 islands. However, only about 200 of these are occupied, and of these, only about a hundred are frequented by tourists. Some of the most famous islands in Greece are Santorini, Crete, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes, Kefalonia, Kos, Naxos, Milos and Hydra. Mykonos and Santorini are often favorite travel destinations for their beautiful scenery and lively atmosphere. Most of the terrain is mountainous, the highest being none other than Mount Olympus, which stands at 2,917 meters or 9,570 feet. No wonder the ancient Greeks named this for the God of Gods.
Historians credit Greece as the cradle of Western civilization. It is in Ancient Greece where one of the earliest civilizations began, as early as in the Neolithic period. It is from the Greeks that we owe democracy, philosphy, mathematical principles and university education. Of course, there is also the Olympic Games. Architecture, drama, political science, coinage, tragedy and mythology are just other areas where the Greeks have influenced the world. The pursuit of learning and higher thought was given much importance in ancient Greece, and this has shaped modern civilization as we know it today. There are 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. This makes it one of the most in the world, ranking 13th in the world and 7th in all of Europe.
It is Greece that gave the world literary greats such as Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey. Plays of Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes and Aeschylus are just some of the grand works it has contributed to the world. Of course, there is the Greek mythology, with the fascinating story of Zeus, Athena, the many gods, the demi gods, heroes and mortals all woven in tragedy, that has captured the imagination of the world and to this day is told and passed down from generation to generation.
Greece is also known as the Hellenic Republic, as the Greeks themselves call their nation Hellas or Ellada. The official currency in Greece is the euro. As a country that is highly dependent on tourism, the tourism industry generates about 15 percent of the country’s GDP. Close to 20 million tourists land on Greek shores every year. It is also for this reason that the tourism service industry is alive and well in the country. Shipping is another industry that is important to Greece’s economic backbone. Some famous Greek shipping tycoons include Aristotle Onassis as well as Stavros Niarchos.
Modern day Greece can boast of high standards of living. As of 2010, it ranked 22nd in the world. It is also active politically, being a member of both the European Union and the Eurozone. It is also a member of NATO and a founding member of the United Nations. Indeed, it seems that modern day Greece remains as politically active and influential as it did in ancient times.
There are over 10.8 million people in Greece. The population tends to have a long life span, while at the same time they have a low birth rate. The average life expectancy in Greece is 79.92 years. This means that much of Greece will soon have an ageing population. Most of these people live in Athens, with about four million residents, as well as Thessaloniki, which has a population of about a million people. There are also many Eastern Europeans who have chosen to live in Greece and make it their home, so travelers may run into a diversity of people during their stay.
Most of the Greeks are members of the Greek Orthodox Church. However, service on Sundays is predominanty attended by women while the men stay home or wait in nearby cafes. As in other countries, there are also some Jews, Roman Catholics, Potestants, Muslims and a number of other religions in the country.
The Greeks are known to be very hard working. There is a strong labor force in the country that is willing to put in long hours. The purchasing power of the citizens is one of the strongest in the world. The country also has a very high standard of living, which means that Greece can be quite an expensive place to be in. Greeks are known to be largely conservative, with arranged marriages even happening in modern times.
Modern day Greece is relatively young compared to its European neighbors. There is still political and economic unrest in the country. Recently, the country has been going through some economic turmoil resulting in some civil unrest and massive public demonstrations. In fact, it is estimated that the debt to GDP ratio of the country will hit around 167 percent. Because of this, there have been some transport strikes and protests that have resulted in some travel advisories about Greece. If you’re planning to go, stay on top of news developments and stay away from public gatherings, which can get rowdy or even dangerous at times.
The official language in Greece is Greek. This is one of the oldest languages in the world, used as early as 15th Century BC. Dimotiki is the language from which the vernacular is derived as we know it today. Most Greeks don’t speak other foreign languages, although tourist spots will have friendly staff more than willing to accommodate travelers.
Greece takes pride in having one of the best health care systems in the world. It has a universal health care system in place, ensuring the good health and well-being of the general public. However, travelers staying in the smaller islands are advised to go to the mainland or other major islands to get medical assistance for better access to medical facilities, as well as English-speaking medical personnel.
Travelers who wish to enjoy Greek cuisine will take comfort in knowing that the Mediterranean diet is not only flavorful, but also one of the healthiest in the world. Greek cooking uses many fresh ingredients, as well as olive oil. This heart-healthy diet is probably one of the reasons why they have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. Every traveler will savor the fresh flavors of stifado (stew), spanakopita (spinach pie) as well as souvlaki (grilled meat and vegetables on skewers). There’s lentil soup, as well as tzatziki (yogurt and cucumber with garlic appetizer), feta cheese and stuffed grape leaves or dolmades.
Travelers who want to dine well will find many delicious food options in Greece. Don’t be surprised if you don’t get a menu as soon as you sit down in a taverna or restaurant. Go with the flow and order the day’s specials, which are based on what is in season. If you’re a meat eater, there’s an endless selection of lamb, beef and chicken choices. For vegetarians, Greek Salad or Horiaktiki salatas is a delicious staple. Seafood lovers will find many fresh fish options, as well as interesting meze (pl. mezethes) or small plates of cold, hot and savory food, oftentimes salty, sometimes spicy that are served to enhance and complement a drink. Try a glass of Ouzo, a specialty drink made of licorice, and raise it and toast your friends with “yiamas”!
The country enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate. The summer season is quite hot and dry, while the winter season can be wet and cool. The winds called etesians provide a cool breeze, especially between the months of May to October. The hottest months are from June to August, during the summer season. At this time, the temperatures can reach 27 degrees C in Athens. It is also when the country receives the most sunshine during the day, as much as over eleven hours of sun. This makes the weather perfect for basking or swimming in the beach, or taking a stroll around the many amazing sights in the country.
The coolest is in January and February, when the temperatures drop to about 10 degrees C. The best time to go to Greece is during the spring and summer seasons. Travelers to Greece should pack for warm weather, altough a light jacket is recommended. The temperatures tend to be cooler by the coast and it drops during the evening hours.
Travelers to Greece should be aware of the many holidays and festivals in the country. Most museums are closed on public holidays, beginning with New Year’s Day, which also coincides with the Feast of St. Basil. There are also many religious holidays, including the Feast of the Epiphany, as well as the first Monday of Lent, Easter and the Ascension and Pentecost in May. In August is the Feast of the Virgin Mary, while in September is the Virgin Mary’s Birthday. There is also the Feast of St. Demetrius in October, as well as Ohi Day every 28th of October. Like in other nations, Christmas Day is widely celebrated in the country. Greek Independence Day falls on March 25.
At the start of the Lenten Season, there is a Carnival festival, which is marked by feasting, dancing and much merriment. Travelers who will be in Greece during St. George’s Day in April 23 will be pleased to know that there will be dances, horse races as well as wrestling matches. For those going to Thessaloniki in October, don’t miss the Feast of St. Demetrius.
Let the Travel Guide Greece be your favorite travel assistance during your stay in Greece. It’s informative, concise and well-written, and can provide the most sophisticated travelers some useful information. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the unique black beach on the coast of Santorini, or want to take in the view from the top of Mount Olympus, Greece with enthrall you and engage your senses. Use our Travel Guide Greece to learn more about this country. It is a nation that is both ancient and modern in the most delightful way. Have fun! Kali thiaskethasi!
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