Greece Travel Guide

Always refer to a Greek travel guide

Greece is a country that opens its hospitality to thousands of tourists every year.  With more than four hundred islands and beaches this country is a hot place to go for on a holiday. Wherever you travel you need know a little about the place before hand. You should always refer to a travel guide. This is your online travel guide to Greece. Here you can get all the information for various flights that land in Greece. Know all about the places that this country boasts of and are on the must watch list. You will also find all that you want to know about the different hotels and accommodations available all over the country.

Before you board the flight to Greece you should keep the following in mind.

Greek Tourism Offices

There are many tourism offices and organizations in Greece that are present to help make the tourist stay a memorable one. If you want a packaged deal that fulfills all your wants then you could go to these organizations and ask for one.

Greek Maps

Greece is a beautiful country with many nooks and corners that are worth exploring. There are plenty of churches and museums that this country boasts of. With so many streets the presence of a map is a must. Having a map can help you make an exciting and fun filled itinerary.

Transportation in Greece

Where ever you go you first need to see the transport facilities that are available in that vicinity. If you have gone for a packaged deal then check whether you have pick and drop facility available as well. There are some places in Greece where finding a taxi at all hours of the day is not feasible. There are so many islands in Greece that traveling in a ferry becomes a necessity.

Weather in Greece

Knowing the weather conditions is also important. That helps you choose what clothes you pack for your trip. The general advice is to carry comfortable clothes. But if you want to go clubbing, then you should carry trendy clothes as there are many pubs and discos in Greece.

Greek Culture

Greece today is often regarded as the cradle of Western civilization. Greece has experienced an extensively affluent history. The Greek culture has evolved over thousands of years and has proven to be influential throughout European, North African and Middle Eastern cultures. The Greek culture’s primitive beginnings were in the times of Ancient Greece and developed substantially throughout the periods of the Roman Empire, Ottoman Empire and Greek independence.

Some of the traditional customs in Greece include the celebration of Namedays, weddings and funerals. Namedays are different from birthdays, they are held to celebrate the name of a child. There is vast importance attached to the name given to a child, and parents go through an extensive process searching for the perfect name. Weddings are much more festive than the traditional North American wedding. The wedding celebration consists of days of feasting, drinking and dancing.

People in Greece are much more superstitious than North Americans or other Europeans. Some of the superstitious beliefs consist of the “evil eye” which comes to people who are too envious. This is why you will often see Greeks wearing a piece of blue eye shaped glass on a chain around their necks, as this chain is believed to ward off the “evil eye”.

Another dominating characteristic of Greek culture is Greek art and architecture. The influence and popularity of Greek art has spread throughout the entire world. Greek architecture is probably the greatest influence; Greek temples and buildings that were built throughout history play a large role in the world’s architectural movement.

greece map flag

Greek Language

The native language is modern Greek and is vastly different to ancient Greek, although much is still spelt the same. Pronunciation has changed between modern (demotic) Greek and the purer (katharevousa) Greek which is much closer to classical Greek.

Today demotic Greek is the ordinary spoken language. It is the result of much development and is now used in modern literature and newspapers. The differences between demotic and katharevousa are found in their grammar and vocabulary.

In many areas of Greece most locals have some knowledge of English or other European languages. In remote regions various local and insular dialects are spoken. The main religion in Greece is the Orthodox faith with approximately 94% of the population. Roman Catholics, Jews and Mohammedans make up the minor proportion.

Greek Religion

The prevailing religion in Greece today is the Eastern Orthodox Church. The definition of Orthodox is “right belief.” The Orthodox Church was introduced to Greece by Constantine the Great in the 4th Century. Constantine was drawn to Christianity by a vision of the cross.

Constantine’s beliefs were not easily accepted; by the 8th Century there was conflict among the patriarch of Constantinople and the Roman Pope. Much of this conflict was based on smaller details within the broad base of the religion. Differences in opinion were in areas such as fasting, meat eating and wine drinking.

Membership of the Orthodox Church was a defining factor in Greek culture during the Ottoman period. In Greece today approximately 98% of the population belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church. The remaining 2% of the Greek population are Muslim, Jewish or Roman Catholic.

Since 1864 the Orthodox religion has been established as the state church, with the archbishop of Athens as its head. The religion is taken very seriously by the people, particularly the women and often whole villages will turn out on religious festivals.

Greek Government and Politics

The Governmental structure in Greece is very similar to Western democracies. The power (head of state) lies in the hands of the president who is advised by the council of state and elected by the parliament to a five-year term. The president performs ceremonial duties and has the power to declare war and participate in International alliances. The prime minister and the cabinet perform the central roles in the Greece’s politics. Parliamentary deputies are elected for a maximum of four years but elections can be held sooner.

The three primary political parties in Greece today are the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), New Democracy (ND) and the Communist Part of Greece (KKE). The socialists have moved to a more neo-liberal style of government, similar to Clinton. The New Democracy party is very conservative and business oriented. The Communist party stands in elections receiving only about 4-6% of the votes.

For administrative purposes Greece is divided into regions and island groups:

Athens Mainland regions:

  • Peloponnese
  • Sterea Ellada
  • Epiros
  • Thessaly
  • Macedonia
  • Thrace

Island groups:

  • Cyclades
  • Dodecanese
  • North-Easter Aegean
  • Sporades
  • Saronic Gulf

Greece today is formally known as the Hellenic Republic. The official language in Greece is Greek and the population, as of 2004 is 11,018,000. The currency used today in Greece is the Euro. The current President is Karolos Papoulias.

Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with a total GDP of $230.684 billion, and a per capita GDP of $18,722. Tourism provides a large portion of Greece’s GDP and foreign exchange earnings: the Greek economy has moved from an Agricultural country to a Service based country, as the Services sector contributes approximately 59% to Greece’s GDP.

Photo Source:commons.wikimedia.org

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