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Meet Greece

The unique guide

Greece is one of the most visited destinations in Europe due to its stunning landscape and rich history. During summertime, people flock to the beautiful islands, which range from a peaceful, relaxing getaway to a vibrant party scene, with beach clubs staying open til the early hours of the morning. From rugged mountains to the picturesque islands dotting the Aegean Sea, there is a wide variety of scenery to discover. Greece is also known for having one of the most influential impacts historically, and relics of Ancient times are one of the main attractions of the island, with impressive, preserved temples and civilisations ready to explore.

The Mediterranean diet: the secret to longevity

The Mediterranean diet has been linked to a longer lifespan and reduced risk of chronic disease, and Greece is one of the prime representatives of this lifestyle. Full of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and of course, healthy fats like olive oil and nuts, Greek cuisine uses the freshest of local ingredients. Olive oil is the most important component of Greek cuisine without a doubt, it's used liberally in cooking, as dressing on salads, and most Greek restaurants will leave a bottle on the table in case you want to soak your bread or add a little extra to any dishes. The diet is also more than just the food eaten, but there is also a cultural emphasis on socialising over meals and enjoying food in a relaxed, unhurried manner.

A country of geographical contrast

Most people automatically think of the beach when it comes to the Greek landscape, and they’re not wrong to think that. With over 18,000 kilometres of coastline and 6,000 islands, although only 227 of these 6,000 are inhabited, it's inevitable that beautiful beaches and seas will draw in visitors. Not to mention, Greece has some of the warmest waters in all of Europe, making it a perfect swimming destination. However, there is so much more to Greece than just its breathtaking beaches. Greece is quite mountainous, with villages and towns on the mainland being hidden in the hills. One of the most impressive rock formations in Greece is in Meteora, old documentations show that Greeks used to think that these formations came from aliens, that is how incredible they are. With monasteries perched on top of these rocks, this is one of the most interesting spots for hiking in the country.

Between ancient and modern times

Greece is a beautiful combination of ancient and modern times. In the capital of Athens, you’ll find a harmonious coexistence throughout the cities, such as trendy bars in cafes in Monistariki and Plaka, right under the shadow of the ancient Acropolis, dotted with other archaeological spots such as the Roman Agora of Athens and the Library of Hadrian. Walking around the city streets feels surreal, as leaving an innovative art gallery or a modern street market, you may stumble across some of the oldest standing things in the world. The country’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki, also offers this contrast. Known as the culinary capital of Greece for its delicious restaurants that have spun Greek food into contemporary dishes, Thessaloniki’s trendiest places are right around the corner from ancient ruins and Byzantine churches. Even on the islands you’ll find a mix of the new and the old. Traditional fishing villages home to authentic Greek tavernas, which are the purest form of Greek food you can get, recipes straight from yiayias, or grandmother’s in English are side by side with luxurious beach resorts and high-end, designer shops. As Greece has transformed over the centuries, they have held on to a sense of tradition that hasn’t been lost, while also changing with the times, creating a cosmopolitan yet cultural atmosphere.

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Meet Greece

Greek values are centred around the concept of “philoxenia,” which translates to “friends of strangers.” When visiting Greece, expect this to be embraced, as hospitality is an important cultural value in the society. Visitors will be treated with the uppermost kindness and generosity, and the hospitable population will be eager to show you the beauty of their country, one in which they take great pride in being from.

Another Greek saying that is short, yet a meaningful representation of Greek culture is the phrase “kefi.” This means “joy, passion, happiness, having fun, or loving life,” and has been used to embody the Greek lifestyle. Greeks look to add as many experiences that incorporate this saying into their life as possible, enjoying each moment, being present in the now, and having a great appreciation for the gift of life. Whether you are indulging in delicious Greek cuisine, strolling through the beautiful streets, or savouring a glass of ouzo, a traditional Greek liquor, you will be engulfed in the joy of life. Greece will leave a lasting impression, reminding you to always live your life to the fullest, filling each day with passion and joy.

Greece is a cultural paradise, and is a must-visit destination for history buffs. With a total of 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Greece is home to plenty of iconic historical sites, such as the Ancient Acropolis in Athens home to the iconic Parthenon, along with other temples and theatres, the ancient city of Olympia which birthed the competition we now know as the Olympics, and Knossos in Crete, also referred to as the oldest city in Europe, whose well-preserved ruins are too impressive to put into words, along with many other important ancient settlements and ruins. Besides just its ancient culture, there is a new wave of culture in Greece, between the relaxed island life, and the cosmopolitan city life in Athens. Whether you’re looking for a city break, a relaxing escape, or cultural exploration, there’s something for everyone in Greece.

The nine major geographical regions of Greece are:


Aegean Islands


Central Greece






Ionian Islands









The administrative regions of Greece are divided into 13, and each region with its own cultural traditions and variations.




Central Greece


Central Macedonia




Eastern Macedonia and Thrace




Ionian Islands


Northern Aegean




Southern Aegean




Western Greece


Western Macedonia

Of great artists and minds

Greek philosophers have played a great role in both Greek and Western society, shaping culture and thought for centuries. Dating back to the 6th Century BCE, Greek philosophy developed into an influential system of thought. Some of the most well-known philosophers are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle whose philosophies are still studied around the world to this day. Greek philosophers made a lasting impact on reason, ethics, and critical thinking, but they also made substantial contributions to other fields such as science, mathematics, and literature.

The art scene in Greece is mainly focused on the preservation and appreciation of Ancient art, its beauty, and realism, although in major cities the contemporary art scene can be seen in street art and modern art galleries. One of the most influential parts of Greek art is its sculptures and pottery. These are considered some of the finest examples of the skill in the world, and continue to inspire artists around the world to this day, and examples can be seen in Greek museums throughout the country in the form of pottery, paintings, mosaics, and sculptures.

Cultural catch-up

Greece has been the crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa throughout history, which has led to a unique combination of influences from different regions. Throughout the country, each region has its own variation on cuisine, traditions, and culture, making each region different from the next. This can be seen today from city to city and island to island, such as when looking at Naxos and Paros. Two islands, close together, yet many regional variations in cuisine and tradition.

Religion has played a significant role in Greek culture for thousands of years. The Greek Orthodox church plays a huge role in the country, and Greek culture prides itself on tradition. Traditional ceremonies, festivals, and rituals continue to be passed down from generation to generation. While the majority of the country is Greek Orthodox by religion, mythology has played a huge role in shaping the culture of the country, from ruins throughout to legends that are still told to this day, the influence of religion in Greece is an interesting mix between ancient and modern times.

When to go

Greece is great to visit year round. During summertime, visit the coast and the islands, as a lot of the hospitality facilities tend to be closed during the wintertime, besides in more residential islands. During wintertime, you can explore the mainland and its ancient ruins and modern cities without the risk of overcrowding and overheating.

Tourist Season: Jun - Sep
Best Weather: May - Oct


Time-Zone: Central European Standard Time (CET)
Currency: Euro
Cost/Expense: $$
Languages: Greek
Dates for your calendar
Jan - New Year’s Day, Epiphany Day
Feb - Clean Monday
Mar - Greek Independence Day
Apr - Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday (Eastern Orthodox dates, although these can occasionally happen in the beginning of May, they’re usually in April)
May - Labour Day
Jun - Pentecost, Whit Monday
Aug - Domination of the Mother of God
Oct - Ohi Day
Dec - Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve

Languages 101

Greek is the official language of Greece that is spoken by 99 percent of the population. The melodic language uses a different alphabet, so although there are some similar words to English and other languages, this can be hard for visitors to decipher without knowledge of the Greek alphabet. The modern Greek language is derived from Ancient Greek, and has had plenty of influence on the roots of words around the world. Besides Greek, you may hear communities speaking Albanian, Turkish, or Bulgarian as there has been a lot of immigration into Greece due to historical connections and proximity between these countries.

Essential Greek Phrases

Because of the extreme influence that tourism has on the Greek economy, in most major cities and popular islands you’ll find people who understand and can communicate in English. That being said, in less popular areas and smaller villages, you’re more likely to run into communication problems. Here are some essential phrases that will help you throughout your journey in Greece.

Speak the local language
Yia sou
Excuse me
Me synchoreís/Signomi
I am looking for
Psáchno yia
Can you show me on a map?
Boreís na mou deíxeis se hárti
My name is...
Me lene…
Do you speak English?
Milás Angliká?
I don’t understand
Then katalavaíno


Getting There

By Plane

There are several airports in Greece that have flights from Continental Europe and the rest of the world. The biggest airports are the ones in Athens, Thessaloniki, and Kalamata, and Athens is used for direct flights to the rest of the Greek islands. That being said, you can also find direct flights from some European cities to Heraklion in Crete, Kefalonia, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, and Skiathos.

By Train

There are usually trains from only 3 international cities to Thessaloniki, those being Belgrade, Blageoevgrad, and Sofia. However, those were suspended due to covid and there is no current knowledge of when they will be resumed.

By Bus

Getting to Greece via bus is an affordable option.

Getting Around

By Car

In Greece, people drive on the right side of the road and overtake on the left. In order to drive in Greece, visitors must be 18 years old with a valid driver’s licence. If renting a car, rental car companies in Greece require the renters to be a minimum age of 21. Renting a car is especially beneficial on the islands, as on less popular islands, the roads are not well developed, and public transportation won’t reach a lot of the beaches and sites that attract visitors.

By Public Transport and Ferry

Greece has a well-developed public transport system, although compared to a lot of Western European countries, some may say it is underdeveloped due to the lack of high-speed services, random rescheduling, and late arrivals and departures. Athens and Thessaloniki both have a metro system that is easy to use, offering maps and tickets in English.

KTEL buses go to almost every town in Greece from Athens, although it's likely that you will need to connect through Athens for a lot of places. Train services interconnect the country, stopping at smaller towns and villages on a lot of routes, although the journey can take quite a while due to slower trains, such as 6 and a half hours between Thessaloniki and Athens which would take 5 hours by car, and trains tend to be less convenient when interconnecting with the Peloponnese region of Greece, as most cities in the region can’t be reached from Athens by train, only by bus.

As for reaching the islands, the best way is by ferry. There are high-speed and regular-speed ferries, and the cost coincides with travel time. The ferries are comfortable with restaurants and reclining seats and depart from all the islands and many coastal cities. The Piraeus port in Athens easily connects the islands to the mainland, and the majority of islands are reachable from there, although a few smaller ones may require a stop and transfer at another island, such as the route of Piraeus to Paros to Antiparos. Ferry times have been known to change at random, only a few days before the trip due to scheduling issues, so make sure to keep an eye on your email, as any tickets purchased that are altered will send out a new timetabling prior.

On Foot

Going on foot is the easiest way to get around cities, as they’re all very walkable. Use our map to find out what’s near you, or combine it with the bus or metro for an easy, hassle-free day out.

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