Escorted tours to Greece
Time Zone: GMT+2/EET
Tipping: It is typical etiquette in Greece to leave a 10-15% tip.
Greece - An Introduction
Everyone will have read, watched or learned about some form of Greek history and Greece escorted tours allow you to say a cheerful kalimera (hello) this diverse country. The selection on offer to discover either mainland Greece or one of the 200 islands allows visitors to take in the huge open-air museum that is the mighty Parthenon in Athens, soak up the rays of sunshine in Halkidiki or cruise around the islands to get a sense of each one and what they have to offer. For an even more diverse holiday you can even combine with Turkey, Greece's neighbour.
Traditional and home grown cuisine makes Greece escorted tours the best for anyone willing to try what the people of this country do very well - create dishes to tempt you using fine wines, feta cheeses and olives. Fresh fish and slow cooked meat make meal times a true feast, with stuffed vine leaves and Kleftiko in the mix to name but a few.
From historical sights in Athens and seeing the Corinthian canal in the Penepolese to visiting the soft sandy beaches of the largest Greek island Crete or the laid back smaller resorts on Rhodes and Kos, there is an area of Greece to suit most visitors' desires.
Things to do
From ancient ruins to Aegean islands, there are lots of things to do in Greece. Here are our pick of the best:
As the capital city, Athens has played a large role in the history of Greece and still plays a massive role today. The ancient ruins of the Parthenon towers above the city and is definitely worth a visit when in the area. With ancient Greece having such a strong relationship to the ancient Olympic Games, Athens hosted the 2004 Olympic Games.
One of Greece's many islands in the Aegean Sea, Santorini is located around 120 miles south of the Greek mainland. A popular destination for cruise ships during the summer months, Santorini is a bustling, vibrant and somewhat hilly island. To reach the top of the Island you either need to use the cable car, ride one of the donkeys up the cobbled path or if you are feeling energetic you can walk! There are plenty of bars, restaurants and gift shops when you reach the top.
Another of Greece's islands, Mykonos is another popular destination. With white washed buildings, crystal clear turquoise sea and a sunny climate, this island is definitely worth visiting when in Greece. Explore the souvenir shops, cafes, bars and restaurants and take a look at the world famous windmills, which originally date back to the 16th Century.
Delphi is an archaeological site on the south-western side of Mount Parnassus, and here was the site of the Pythian Games, which were a pre-cursor to the Modern Olympics. There are a number of historical sites in Delphi; the Oracle, the Temple of Apollo, the ancient theatre, the Tholos and Sibyl Rock. Thousands of visitors flock to this area to immerse themselves in the history of this picturesque area.
Tips & Advice
One of the benefits of travelling in an escorted tour is that you'll be in the safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Greece take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
When visiting Greece you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) prior to travelling from the UK. The EHIC isn't a substitute for medical or travel insurance, but it does entitle you to state provided medical treatment should it become necessary during your trip. All treatment provided is given on the same terms as Greek nationals. It's worth noting that the EHIC does not cover repatriation, non-urgent treatment or on-going medical treatment, so you must make sure you have the correct travel insurance and also access to funds which can cover the cost of any treatment and repatriation. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
The Greek National Health system has a mutual agreement with the National Health Service in Britain. Facilities and treatment are generally of a high standard on the mainland, but can be limited on the islands. The levels of nursing and after care in the public health sector can somewhat lag behind what is seen as acceptable in the UK. The Greek public ambulance service, which will respond to almost any accident, is basic and there are shortages of ambulances on some of the islands.
Before travelling make sure you have sufficient medical supplies (including prescription medicines) which will last you for the duration of your stay. It's also a good idea to have an additional supply just in case there are any unforeseen delays.
There have also been cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) during the warm summer months.
Most visits to Greece are trouble-free, however theft of handbags and wallets is common on the mainland metro and in tourist places. Always leave valuables in a safe place back in your hotel or apartment and maintain the same level of personal security awareness that you have when in UK. There have been a few racially motivated attacks, however these tend to be in the inner-city areas.
Young female tourists are advised to take precautions when visiting popular tourist destinations as there have been some instances of attacks. These have been carried out by other British Nationals in some cases.
When in Greece, be aware that alcoholic beverages are often a lot stronger than we are used to in the UK, therefore we advise that visitors exercise caution when drinking substantial amounts of alcohol.
Local Laws and Customs
Indecent behaviour (which includes mooning) is not tolerated. The police will arrest offenders and the courts will most probably impose hefty fines or sentences. Younger travellers may want to be aware that some fancy dress costumes could be regarded as offensive and could break decency laws, so try to dress modestly.
When in Greece never become involved with drugs in any way, even if you have brought them from the UK. Possession of the smallest quantities can result in a long prison sentence. The plant Khat, a narcotic is illegal in Greece. If you are caught trying to bring it in to Greece you will be arrested and imprisoned.
When buying goods in Greece make sure you get a receipt for any items or services you buy. If you buy pirate DVDs or CDs you could be imprisoned.
Never buy any offensive weapons like knives with a blade length of 10cm or above.
As it is in the UK, it is also illegal to smoke inside public places in Greece. If you break this law you could incur a fine of up to €500.
When staying for up to three months your passport must be valid for the entire length of your stay. Visitors don't need an additional period of validity beyond this.
As a British Citizen you don't need a visa to enter Greece and can stay as a visitor for up to three months. If you plan to stay for longer you will need to apply for a residence permit.
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are not valid when gaining entry into Greece. However they are accepted for airside transit and for exit from Greece.
Any other nationality looking to visit the Greece must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
For further information about Greece visit the Official Tourism Website at: visitgreece.gr.