Jan. 1: New Year's Day (Protochronia)
Jan. 6: Epiphany
Monday Purification (Kathari Deftera) *
March 25: Day of Independence
Good Friday *
Easter Sunday *
Easter Monday *
May 1: Labour Day (Protomagia)
Pentecost Monday *
15 August: The Dormition of the Holy Virgin
28 October: The “Ochi Day”, celebrating the Greek refusal to let Italy occupy the country during WWII. The Italians invaded and were driven back into Albania and nearly back to Italy. There are military parades in the major towns and cities.
Dec. 25: Christmas
Dec. 26: Boxing Day
* Orthodox calendar. Usually one week after the Catholic one.
To call other countries from Greece you must dial the international access code of that country.
To call a Greek telephone number from abroad it is required the international code 0030 (+30 if you use a mobile)
Weather Forecast: 148
Breakdown Service: 104
Tourist Police: 171
Fire Brigade: 199
Euro since 2001 (1 Euro = 340.75 Drachma)
220V (European standard).
There is the right-hand drive and, in order to use a car, you just need an EU driving licenses. Very often the rental companies ask for both the driving license and a credit card.
In order to have access to health care services you just have to present your European Health Insurance Card.
Greece doesn’t have big problems regarding bag-snatchings and robberies, especially outside the main cities. Nevertheless, pay attention particularly in large cities. In case of theft you should be able to get help from your hotel staff. If you are in a small village you can contact the local police station.
The Greek hospitality is rightly famous. If you ask for directions or help, hardly ever you will get a refusing. It is important, however, not to be in a hurry to get the answer. One of the characteristics of Greece, especially in small villages, is to be a place on a human scale and, consequently, life is less chaotic than in other countries. If you ask a direction you must have the patience to wait for a precise answer. As an example, if you must wait for a breakdown van, it is not unusual that the police will drink a coffee or smoke a cigarette while waiting with you. Often it is worth adapting yourself to circumstances.
Most Greeks are Orthodox Catholic but you can find Roman Catholic churches in big towns. Anyway the Orthodox mass is valid also for a Roman Catholic.
In Orthodox churches you should wear appropriate clothing. It is not unusual that before entering some religious places, especially monasteries, you will have to help yourself with a basket of clothing in order to have shoulders and legs covered.
The local time is GMT + 2.
Sunday is holiday in Greece. As a tradition, a lot of Greeks go to the restaurants so you can expect to find them all open as usual. Shops and supermarkets are usually closed on that day.
The shops are open in the morning and in the late afternoon, with a long lunch break due to the hot climate. In tourist areas, some supermarkets and shops are open without any lunch break..
In Greece they speak Modern Greek, a beautiful language but difficult to understand.
The indications are in Greek with transliteration in Roman characters, except near some small villages.
English is spoken everywhere.