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    General Information about Greece

    1. The official language in Greece is modern Greek, but in tourist areas English, French, German and Italian are also spoken.

    2. Time: Greece is two hours ahead of Greenwich mean time.

    3. For a stay of more than three months, a resident's permit must be obtained from the Aliens Bureau. Phone +30 (210) 7705 711.

    4. Driving in Greece is on the right, and there are many car rental agencies in the various tourist centres. Tourists may use an International Driving Liscence if they wish to drive. Motorcycles are very com monly used in Greece and on the islands, for convenience reasons. But motorcycles are also the primary cause of injury, so great caution must be used when driving one.

    5. Electricity is 220V - 50Hz, AC. Devices that operate using 120V can be used after applying a voltage transformer.

    6. Greece uses the metric system, and the visitor from Anglo-Saxon countries which have not yet converted may find the following conversions usefull:

      1 inch = approx. 25 mm
      1 mile = approx. 1.6 km

      77oF = approx. 25oC

      1 kg = approx. 2.2 pounds
    7. Greece is a European Union member. The currency currency being used is the euro. 8. Shops and supermarkets in areas frequented by tourists are usually open all day long, from 9 am to 10 pm. A periptero is a sort of kiosk that sells all kinds of things, ranging from chocolate and chips, to batteries and magazines. These kiosks are very useful, they can be found easily and many are open 24 hours / day.

    Public phones are widely available and operate with a calling card. Calling cards can be purchased at kiosks (periptero) or at any OTE (national telecommunications) office. A calling card is always useful to have.

    Water in all areas where tourists are likely to find themselves is chlorinated and perfectly safe to drink. Yet bottled water, you will find, is very popular, primarily for conveni ence reasons, and is widely available.

    11. The sun in Greece is very bright and strong, and a sunscreen should always be applied when sunbathing.
    Useful tip: Most TV channels interrupt their regular summer program several times per day to broadcast Sunbathing Report. This report will tell you how long it is advized that you stay in the sun accordi ng to the time of day and your geographic location all around Greece.
    12. Use of narcotic substances and dangerous drugs, including marijuana, is strictly prohibited in Greece.

    13. There are no restrictions on amateur fishing, and visitors can even indulge in underwater speargun fishing without a licence, as long as they stay at least 200 meters away from the shore. When spear fishing, it is advised to go in pairs. Particular attention should be paid for speed boats and other sea vehicles. Also take great care not to injure yourself or other swimmers.

    Credit cards are honored at practically all hotels, restaurants and shops.

    15. The drinking age in Greece is 16.

    Taxi drivers in Greece, just like in all popular tourist resorts, might try to take advantage of your infamiliarity with the place you are visiting and overcharge you. In airports and popular tourist reso rts, you will often find a police officer standing by the taxi station, who is there to prevent such conduct. Feel free to consult them for cab-fare approximations and routes.
    Interesting trivia: Starting this year, the government will require taxi drivers and even police officers to attend seminars to ensure more cordial treatment especially of tourists.
    17. Prices of commonly used, premanufactured goods, like milk, bottled water, ice cream, etc. can vary significantly from one location to another. For the consumer's protection, factory prices of such products are required to be in clear display. Be sure to compare these suggested prices with the actual prices of the product in that store, before deciding what to purchase
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