Useful information about the country.
Greece is a state in Southeastern Europe, located in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula and on the adjacent islands of the Ionian, Mediterranean and Aegean Seas. Approximately 2/3 of the territory is occupied by medium-altitude mountains and plateaus. The coast is heavily dissected. The territory is 132 thousand square meters. km. The country consists of the mainland and the islands of the Aegean and Ionian Seas, which make up one fifth of the territory of Greece.
According to Bridgat, Greece is part of the Mediterranean climate zone (subtropical, Mediterranean climate): in summer there is almost no rain, and during a short winter it rains, sometimes it snows, but it melts quickly. Only the mountainous regions of the central part of the country are characterized by a temperate continental climate. The amount of precipitation per year is 400 – 700 mm in the plains, up to 1500 mm in the mountains. The average January temperature is approx. 9 C, July 27 C. The velvet season is set in September-October.
Behind Moscow for 1 hour.
The population is approaching 11 million, of which 1.4 million are on the islands. Of these, 95% are Greeks. The rest are Turks, Macedonians, Albanians, etc. This corresponds to an average population density of 79 people/sq.km.
The import of foreign means of payment is not limited, but you can export no more than $ 1,000 without a currency declaration. The import of plants in the ground is prohibited. It is forbidden to export: items of historical and cultural value.
The monetary unit of Greece is the euro. In circulation are banknotes in denominations of 5,10,20,50,100,200,500 euros, coins of 2 euros, 1 euro, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents, 2 cents, 1 cent.
In order to avoid problems with medical care, it is necessary to take out international insurance before the trip. Medical care in Greece is paid. The only exceptions are accidents (first aid is provided free of charge). An ambulance in Athens can be called by phone: 116, in Thessaloniki – 150.
What not to do.
You should not enter the monasteries in shorts or miniskirts, refuse refreshments in village houses. Despite the fact that the Greeks love to criticize their country, they will not tolerate even irony on this topic from a foreigner. Don’t leave a restaurant without leaving a tip. In restaurants – 10% of the order value, but not less than 1.5 euros, in the cafeteria 1 euro, in a taxi 40-60 cents and more.
Clear salt water. All together: sea, climate, food, mountains create a unique mixture. Greece is a country where you don’t want to do anything. This is Greece.
The Greek seas are of stunning color: the Ionian – from deep to bright purple, the Saronic Gulf and the Aegean – emerald-turquoise.
The import of plants in the ground is prohibited. The export of items of historical and cultural value is prohibited. Mains voltage 220 V.
Greek cuisine is heavily influenced by the Oriental and favors fatty, richly spiced dishes. Lamb and veal are the basis of most national dishes. In international restaurants, the menu is presented in two languages. In small restaurants and taverns, it is often allowed, according to the Greek custom, to go into the kitchen and choose your dishes there. Greek cuisine is represented by a large number of dishes: rice soup with lemon and egg, fish caviar salad, baked rice and meat balls in white sauce, small pieces of stew, almond cake with syrup and honey. Greek cuisine is characterized by the extensive use of lemons, walnuts, raisins, olive oil, lamb, fish, garlic, tomatoes and plenty of spicy concoctions. Meat dishes cooked on a spit are very popular in Greece.
Greece has a dry hot climate, softened by the proximity of the sea, poor soil, consisting of chalk, volcanic rock and cobblestone. All these conditions allow viticulture to develop successfully. Characteristic of Greece are ordinary, but solid red and white wines, which are consumed domestically. The largest and most important wine region in Greece is the Peloponnese. Red wine is produced here: Nemea wine, which has an almost black color; strong sweet dessert wine Mavrodafna; white Muscat wine from Patros, Mantinia from Arcadia. The Peloponnese supplies the finest Greek wine, Retsina, a wine with a distinct taste of pine resin and the smell of turpentine. Retsina can be white or rosé wine. The northern Greek provinces (Thessaly, Macedonia, Thrace) produce good quality red wines. The Greek islands produce about 20% of the country’s wine. The islands of Crete and Samo are especially distinguished, it is also worth noting the tiny island of Thera, famous for its very strong sour wines.
January 1st. New Year. On this day, St. Basil brings Christmas gifts to the Greeks.
January 6th. On the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, the priests bless the sea by throwing a cross into the water, which the daredevils then take out from the bottom.
Pancake week. 7 weeks before Easter everywhere, especially on about. Patras, there are magnificent processions.
March 25. Independence Day (beginning of the Revolution of 1821). National holiday in honor of the victory over the Turks.
Feast of Holy Easter. Easter in the Greek Orthodox Church (1997-April 27, 1998-April 19) does not coincide with Easter celebrated in Western Europe.
1st of May. Labor Day. Doors and balconies of houses are decorated with flowers. From this day, performances in ancient theaters begin. Festivals and open-air concerts take place from early June to mid-September, for example in Athens and Epida Vrosa (pp. 30 and 44).
Wine Festival. On about. Patras and Daphni in the summer you can taste the famous Greek wines. August 15. Assumption of the Virgin.
28 of October. The second most important national holiday (Ochi Day) commemorates the uprising against the Italian occupiers during World War II.
December 25th. Christmas in Greece is not celebrated as magnificently as in Western Europe, and gifts are given here for the New Year.