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Greece Faq

These are questions I am frequently asked about traveling to Greece. I will ad to this page as time goes on. This page is meant to be helpful in planning a trip. It is by no way to serve as a guide book. I have a list of recommended guide books that you can order from to assist you.

1.0 Where do you suggest going?

2.0 Getting Around.
3.0 Money.
4.0 Swimming.
5.0 Eating out.
6.0 When to go.
7.0 Accommodations
8.0 Cultural Differences.
9.0 What guide books do you recommend?
10.0 What is your favorite place in Greece?

1. Where do you suggest going.

2.0 Getting around.
    Greek is the land with over 700 islands. Therefore, if you want to do serious exploring, abandon your car and catch the always dependable ferry boats and flying dolphins (hydrofoils). They almost always come and leave on schedule. If you are exploring the main land, a rental car may be the answer, though watch the small print. Some charge per day AND per kilometer! Busses can get you from point A to point B, though they are cramped. Greece has a fledgling train service that is infamous for having problems.
    If you are island hopping, it may be cheaper to rent motor scooters on each island. Rental is cheap. Some of the islands require you to have a scooter license though. Its also easier than lugging them around with you.
3.0 Money
    Though part of the European Union, Greece still uses Drachmas. (They didn’t qualify for the Euro). Inflation is fairly bad there, when I visited in 1997 the rate was 300 drachmas per dollar. The good news is everything is fairly cheap. Because of inflation, merchants love when you pay with travelers checks or dollars. When you go, bring Travelers checks and 2 ATM cards with 4 digit pin numbers.
4.0 Swimming.
    Greece is surrounded on all sides by beautiful water. It draws you to swim. So go swimming. There are no official nude beaches. Many its O.K. to be topless and a few ignore it if you are nude. Look around first to be sure it is all right to be nude first!
5.0 Eating Out.
    Greece is loaded with scenic, tavernas. I found the more hole in the wall, the better the food, though this may not always be true. If you order American style, it could be a bit pricey. But if you order a few dishes for a group of people you can eat a lot for very cheap. Also, you are automatically brought bread for between 100 and 300 Drachmas. This is their form of a tip.
6.0 When to Go.
    Greece is extremely hot in July and August. The major island are also packed with tourists at that time. If you must go at that time do, but stick to the islands. Athens is unbearably hot (the smog helps). You will want to be near water to go swimming.
7.0 Accommodations.
    Though not the rule in all cities, such as Athens and Corinth, proprietors of hotels, hostels and villas meet boats as they arrive in cities. All offering you great deals for places to stay. Ask around to find the best deal. Most will even drive you to their lodgings. I arrived in Athens from the port of Zea and this did not happen, though I saw people advertising hotels in the main port.
8.0 Culture shock and customs.
    As I mentioned earlier tavernas automatically bring you bread when you sit down to eat. This is their version of a tip. Also Greeks sit down to eat for a long time, though in Athens they may try to rush you through. Secondly, Greece is an extremely hot place. Often between 1 and 5 everything is closed down for a siesta. This is because Greeks eat large lunches, its to hot, and they stay up late at night. In Athens things remain open, elsewhere, they do not. Sleep during this time, your body will thank you. Greeks also tend to stay up late at night (3 A.M. easily) because of this siesta. In small towns, some shops may not open the next day till ten or eleven, especial on weekends.
9.0 Guide books 10.0 Where is your favorite place in Greece.