It is difficult for a first-time tourist in Greece to understand or accommodate with some Greek practises, habits and traditions. That is why we have created an extended list for you with things that you should know or things to have in mind before you travel to Greece and the Greek islands. To make it even easier for you, we have divided these info in various categories. This is a very useful page to organize your vacations better, avoid any unpleasant surprises and familiarize with the Greek reality!
Do no try to see too many islands/locations.
Enjoy every region and relax, after all that is the meaning of vacations. Do not organize trips every other day to see as many Greek islands / locations as possible. Give every island the time it takes to love it.
Make your bookings early
The earlier you book your hotels or air tickets, the cheapest prices you will get. Concerning ferry tickets, it is better to book the Greek ferries early if you plan to travel between mid July to the end of Augurst. In all cases, book early if you need a cabin or if you are traveling with a car.
As hotel rating in Greece may be a bit different than the international hotel rating, make sure the accommodation you book has all the facilities you need. Also note that hotels are rated with stars whiles other accommodation (apartments, rooms, studios, etc) are rated with keys.
Persons with special needs
Greece is not organized very well for disabled person. If you are a person with special needs, book early your special cabin for disabled in the Greek ferries. Unfortunately, ferries in Greece have only a few such cabins. Also make sure that the ferry and your hotel is easily accessible for you. Moreover, some Greek islands, like the Cyclades, are much troublesome for disabled people. Prefer more "flat" islands.
Read our blog article: Disabled travel in Greece
Have cash with you
Make sure you have enough money or you have ways to get some, for example through an ATM. Always have a credit card with you. You will find ATMs but many restaurants do not accept credit cards.
Also vist some mainland areas
Apart from visiting the famous popular islands, it would also be a good idea to visit some mainland, too. This is the best chance to get to know some traditional Greece but also to discover some of the most important ancient sites of Greece.
Smoking is a very bad habit of the Greeks and it results very annoying for tourists. Till recently, smoking was allowed almost everywhere but closed public rooms should have special areas for smokers and non-smokers. A law published in July 2009 prohibited smoking in all indoor places and demanded special distinctions to be put in restaurants and clubs to separate smoking and non-smoking areas. Note that almost 50% of the Greek population smokes, so it will be impossible to avoid it.
Another problem in Greece is the stray animals. You will see many dogs and cats on the streets of every single city or island. Some sensitive locals may give them food, but the problem remains unsolved and it grows with so many locals abandoning new-born animals.
Churches and monasteries
You will find churches and monasteries everywhere in Greece, As the Greeks are much bonded with religion, there are plenty of chapels in all towns and islands. In fact, there is a particular dress code to enter a church or a monastery. Visitors should be properly dressed, that means no swimming tanks, long trousers for men and long skirts for women.
Greek toilette system
Have in mind that the toilette system in Greece is not much advanced as in other European countries. Almost everywhere, they ask that you do not throw the paper in the toilet, but instead there are small bins next to the toilette to put the paper. These bins are emptied by the cleaning staff.
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