Greece - the sun, the sea, the mountains and the rest, but it is steeped in history and culture of the country, numbering five thousand years, familiarity with the origins of Western civilization. A traveler does not have to seek a meeting with only classical Greece. Modern Greece, separated from the ancient period of centuries of history, different kind of beauty.
Greece (the modern name Hellenic Republic) is literally at the crossroads of East and West, in the south-east of Europe (the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula). Greece bordering the Aegean, Ionian, Cretan and Libyan Sea. Area of Greece is 132 thousand. Km. The westernmost point in the country is the island of Corfu, the southern - the island of Crete, the eastern-most - a small island Kastelorizo. Mainland Greece surrounds around 3,000 islands, 169 of which are inhabited.
The capital of the Hellenic Republic - the city of Athens, with a population 4,500,000 people.
Greece - a country with a long history, rich culture and amazing hospitable and friendly people. The traveler is surrounded by the unique monuments of ancient architecture, familiar even from school textbooks. Greece - a real treasure trove of historical and cultural values, where every stone tells about gods and heroes. No wonder, tours to Greece traditionally are popular with tourists from all over the world.
If you are interested in the history of art and archeology, a trip to Greece will give you an unforgettable experience, will be an exceptional event. Not only large and well known, but also small towns and numerous islands have their ancient monuments, its eventful history.
Delphi - Sanctuary of Apollo in Phocis, where the famous oracle and conducted the Pythian Games. Nature and ancient ruins are an amazing mix, emphasizing the beauty of each other. You can visit the Temple of Apollo, theater, stadium, museum, wash water Castalian Spring (according to legend - rejuvenating), see the "navel of the earth", Sybil Stone.
Olympia - since prehistoric times every four years, the Olympic Games were held in honor of Zeus. Since the revival of the Games in 1896 here in the ancient sanctuary, again lit the Olympic flame. Hence, he makes his journey to the venue of the next Olympic Games.
Meteora - a unique medieval monastery complex. About a thousand of huge rocks rise perpendicularly above the town and the village of Kalambaka Kastraki. These giant rocks to visitors surprise and perplexity because of their fantastic origin.
Once the monastic community numbered 24 monasteries located on the cliffs up to 300 m. Today operates only five. They were built in the 14th century by the monks, who were looking for a spiritual retreat. Previously, the monks climbed the cliff using a rope ladder, and for the transport of clothing and provisions used hanging grid. Later, between the years 1922-1925, in the rock were carved dark passages and stairs. The way of life of the monks has been and remains quite severe. For 14 hours they spend in prayer, 5 - 6 hours engaged in physical labor, and sleeping only 4 hours.
Currently Meteor because of its Christian, historical, architectural and geological values recognized by UNESCO and other international organizations, as a monument to humanity, to be protected.
Athos - a self-governing part of the Greek state, which is under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Located on the third "finger trident" on the Athos peninsula in Halkidiki. The first Christians came to the sacred mountain during Emperor Constantine the Great. It was he issued a decree banning the entrance of women to the Holy Mountain, which operates to this day. Peter is considered the first settler of Athos, who came to the Holy Mountain in the 7th century BC. e. The monks of Mount Athos are subordinate to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. 20 of 17 Greek monasteries, one Bulgarian, one Russian and one Serbian.
Petralona Cave. Here, in 1960, at an altitude of 250 meters above sea level, were found the remains of ancient people - the Neanderthal age of 200,000 years, as well as the remains of various animals, numbering age of 500 thousand years. The cave is 800 meters from the village of Petralona in Chalkidiki.
Fabulous stalactites and stalagmites, traces of fire ignited by ancient people, tools, and many other exhibits of the anthropological museum next to the cave, allow to follow the views of a person engaged in the evolution of mankind intermediate position between Pithecanthropus and modern man.
Mykonos - the city and the fortress in the north of the Peloponnese. In the second half of the II millennium BC Here is one of the centers of ancient civilization, called Mycenaean. At Mycenae are the famous "Lion's Gate", the tomb of Agamemnon, the king's palace.
Epidaurus - theater. Built in IV. BC It is well preserved and is now used for its intended purpose. Festival "Epidaurus" held here today, includes musical and theatrical performances.
Crete - the largest island in Greece, the cradle of one of the most ancient civilizations on earth - Minoan, a place which is connected the legend of Daedalus and Icarus. To this day the ruins of a remarkable monument of the era - the Palace of Knossos. Crete - it is also an island that has all the conditions for a relaxing holiday - sand beaches, calm blue sea, hot sun, first-class hotels.
Rhodes - large fertile island off the southwest coast of Asia Minor. It is famous thanks located there sometime Colossus statue - one of the seven wonders of the world, as well as three thousand other statues scattered around the island. Rhodes are monuments of the classical period, the period of the conquest of the island by the Knights of Jerusalem and other islands.
The climate in Greece is mild, Mediterranean: warm, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The swimming season in Greece begins in mid-May and ends in late October. April and May - the most beautiful months, when all the flowers and greens. This is the best time to travel to historical places. In June, set the perfect weather for swimming and recreation, and tourists still little, therefore, the prices are lower. The hottest months - July and August. On the islands of heat is easier because of the proximity to the sea, where light refreshing breeze blowing. The average January temperature is about 9 C, July 27th C. Indian summer set in September and October.
Summer behind Moscow for 1 hour.
Greek population speaks Greek, English, French and German.
Euro. You can exchange money at banks, which are open from Monday to Thursday from 08.00 to 14.30 on Friday - up to 14.00 or exchange offices that are open after 17.00 and at weekends. Widely used credit cards VISA, MASTER CARD, AMERICAN EXPRESS, and traveler's checks.
For a trip to Greece issued a Schengen visa. In the Consular Section of the Embassy of the Hellenic Republic granted PTD shelf life of at least 4 months. since his return, completed and signed visa application form personally, one picture, a copy of the information pages of the Russian passport, a letter from the employer stating income and position, statement from the bank of a currency at the rate of $ 50. $ per person per day or a responsible statement. For minor children traveling with one parent, requires a notary executed power of attorney and a photo of a child.
Greeks love and cherish tradition. And not just cherish, but also revive. Even those seemingly hopeless thing of the past. And this they call for the respect of all those who understand - no tradition of Greece would not be Greece. On the eve of holidays Greeks are particularly sentimental. Residents of Athens, for example, remember that they love the hurdy-gurdy. In the not so distant past, these musical instruments are one of the symbols of the capital. Now, in the apartments of the rich, they are for decoration. Filled with all the traditions of Greek life. Do not know the movements of folk dances - for the Greek simply indecent. A dance is necessary, otherwise the fellow diners in the restaurant decide that you're not a real Greek. Suddenly jumped up from the table and start dancing to the Greek - a common occurrence. Greece, ancient and eternally young Hellas ... who managed to smuggle across the millennia respect for the work, beauty and talent. And to make it their most important tradition.
Religion: Orthodox Christianity.
To give way to public transport for women and older people are not accepted. Treatment - usually by name, but very soon you may be asked to address by name.
Athens taxi drivers often choose to travel a longer route, or do not include the counter. Such acts are severely punished - it is necessary to record the number of taxis and report it to the tourist police. As a kind of insurance against fraud may be advisable to negotiate a fee for the trip to pick up the car.
Public holidays, which are closed to all facilities and shops, with the exception of stalls and shops in tourist areas are as follows: January 1 - New Year January 6 - Christening March 25 - The Annunciation; Independence Day 1st day of Lent - Clean Monday date varies - Good Friday date changes - Easter 2nd day after Easter - Easter Monday May 1 - Day flowers date changes - Trinity August 15 - Assumption Day October 28 - Day of "Oxx" December 25-26 - Christmas.
While searching in Greece anything at, one should bear in mind that street with the same name can be found in different areas. Therefore, writing the address, specify the areas and landmarks. Sometimes, even the taxi drivers do not know exactly where is this or that street and house.
Traditional cuisine Greece
Greek cuisine is characterized by the widespread use of lemons, walnuts, raisins, olive oil, lamb, fish, garlic, tomatoes and lots of sharp mixtures. Very popular in Greece meats, cooked on a spit, dolmades (stuffed cabbage type in grape leaves), Cheer-Cheer (type chebureks), Allan (a drink made of yoghurt), sweet dishes.
Of a large number of Greek dishes are the most popular: barbouni - sea fish; horiatiki salad - vegetable salad with slices of cheese; domates gemistes - baked tomatoes stuffed with rice and meat, gardes - shrimp, lobster, kalamarakia - squid; melidzanes - eggplant; pastitsio - pudding souffle or pasta; Souvlaki - born kebab meat pieces on skewers; taramosalata - salad with fish eggs. Wine - the most common drink in Greece. Famous white wine "Demestika", "Kambas," "Pallini" and "Santa Elena"; red "Mavrodafni" and "Demestika". The most famous spirits - "Ouzo" aniseed flavor, strong "cancer" and treated with resin of the mastic tree "Mastic". Of the many brands of cognac - the most famous is the "Metaxa". And, of course, Greek coffee. This strong black coffee that is served in small cups together with a glass of clean water. It's called: Glykos (very sweet), metrios (low) sketos (without sugar).
Political system Greece
Greece - a parliamentary republic, which is headed by the president. The territory of Greece is divided into 52 nome (region), noma divided into diocese, and the diocese - into districts.
10.66 million, of which 1.4 million live in the islands. Almost 90% - the Greeks, the rest of the Albanians, Romanians, Turks, Italians and other nations.
In accordance with Greek customs regulations allowed to be imported duty free personal belongings (clothing, camping equipment, etc.), food and drink up to 10 kg, cigarettes - 300 pcs. or equal to the amount of tobacco, spirits - 1.5 liters or dessert wine - 2 liters; playing cards no more than 2 decks (playing cards, as well as on the match in Greece introduced a state monopoly).
Allowed to bring a camera and photographic film or a video camera and film it; binoculars, musical instrument of small size, audio and video equipment, bike, sports equipment.
The import of drugs, medication (except for a limited number of drugs prescribed by a physician), antiques, explosives, weapons. For advice about specific restrictions related to the import and export of animals and plants, as well as specific items (eg - firecrackers, art and antiques), should contact the Greek embassy, consulate or the nearest Tourism Organisation.
Medical aid Greece
It is recommended to purchase health insurance, provision for medical assistance abroad, including medical evacuations by air if necessary. In the absence of insurance from you may be required to pay on-site medical services in cash. Health care in Greece is based on various forms of payment, and is consistent with the European requirements.
Working hours Greece
Shops are open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 08.30 to 14.30, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 08.30 to 14.30 and 17.00 (17.30) to 20.30 (21.00). Stores and some department stores are open from 08.00 to 20.00 (21.00 in the summer) without a break, Saturday - 18.00.
TAX FREE drawn in large stores with one-time purchase of goods by a certain amount, the VAT refund is carried out at the airport of departure. In small private shops, and especially when buying fur products can and should be traded.
As in many Mediterranean countries, in Greece from about 15 to 18 hours during a relaxing afternoon. Closed most of the institutions and shops. At this time, no scheduling appointments and make phone calls unnecessarily.
Banks are open on weekdays from 8.30 am to 14.00 (until 13.30 on Friday). Some banks in the areas of the major tourist centers operate from 15.00 to 21.00. On weekends and public holidays all banks are closed.
Greece - a country of islands, so well developed ferry service. To get to the island and on the plane (more than 20 airports), or by speedboat. On the mainland rail network is virtually absent, you can travel by shuttle buses. In a taxi in the city are charged by the meter, but if you move out to the suburbs, it is advisable to agree on a price with the driver, because at a certain distance from the center of fee changes. In the night hours (22.00 - 07.00) fare increases.
Travel by rental car is easy and pleasant. Car rental is made in the presence of a credit card (you can substitute collateral), passport (at least 21 years) and the International Driving Licence (length not less than 1 year). If you plan to move within the country on the passenger ferry, it is advisable to notify about this car rental company - in some cases you may need special permissions. Cost of hire - 30 euros per day.
Potable water Greece
In most areas of Greece drinking water is not an absolute no threat to public health and meets the standards of the European Union. However, residents of the country and tourists are strongly recommended to drink bottled water, distributed exclusively in glass bottles.
Smoke almost everything and almost everywhere, except for non-smoking rooms and airplanes Olympic airways.
Considered as a sign of good taste, and your satisfaction with the service received (10%); As a rule, the service charge is included in the bill.
Helpful information Greece
The Russian Embassy in Greece: phone: (30) 210-672-52-35, 210-672-61-30 Paleo psyche, str. Nicephorus Litre 28, Athens 154 52.
Russian Consulate in Athens phone: (30) 210-674-29-49, 210-672-88-49, Dzavela, 5, Athens 152 38.
Russian Consulate in Thessaloniki phone: (30) 2310-25-72-01 str. Dimosfenus 5, Thessaloniki.
Russian Consulate in Crete and the Dodecanese islands: phone: (30) 28310-35016, st. Emanuel Portals, 23, the town of Rethymno.