National information on Greece

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Greece:

Greece is a peninsula or island state in south-east Europe. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, the weather can change significantly from season to season. Since 1974, the country has been governed by a parliamentary democracy with a single-chamber system and 300 MPs. The rug, jewellery and leather goods industries are distinctive parts of the Greek culture and in some cases have been so for centuries. This is why, as part of our tour, we will be visiting a jewellery studio, a leather shop and a traditional rug-making factory. Here you will learn lots of interesting information about the art of rugmaking and experience how hand-knotted carpets have been made for generations. As part of an interesting demonstration, you will learn more about how the silk threads are prepared, the natural colours of the wool and the delicate and very time-consuming process of knotting. You will then also have 1-2 hours in each of our craftsman’s studios to take a look at the works of art and products on display. Haggling is part of the country’s culture. If you are not interested in buying anything, the sellers also accept a clear no. Haggling is not acceptable in department stores and supermarkets. This also applies to markets at which local farmers sell their produce. In Greece, it is customary to give tips. Similar to the USA, this forms part of income for people working in the service sector. Moreover, it symbolises recognition for the service provided. One can tip chambermaids £0.90 per night. In a restaurant or taxi, tipping around 10% of the billed sum is customary. Tips are not given in shops. On group trips, the suggested tip for a tour guide could be £1.80 per person per day, while for bus drivers the appropriate tip is around £0.90 to £1.35 per day per person. Of course, everyone may decide for themselves whether and how much of a tip they wish to give.

Electricity:

220V alternating current, and 110V DC in some areas

Local time:

Greece is two hours ahead of UK time, all year round.

Making telephone calls:

The country code for Greece is 0030 with the zero cancelled before the area code. If you are calling the UK from Greece, please dial 0044 and the area code without the zero.

Entry requirements for British citizens:

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. You don’t need a visa to enter Greece. As a British passport holder, you can stay as a visitor for 3 months. For longer stays, you will need to apply for a residence permit. Nationals of other countries are advised to inquire at the Greek Embassy about the entry requirements applicable to them. Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary, we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied.
Travelling after BREXIT: The UK government recommends that travellers going to the EU after BREXIT have six months left on their passport, and is also advising that any extra months which have been added to a 10 year passport will not be valid. You can check your passport validity here: https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-apassport. For upto-date information on developments regarding BREXIT, please visit the ABTA page at regular intervals: https://www.abta.com/.

Tour guides:

Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history culture, etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Crete has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people. Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras. We recommend booking the following packages:
Gourmet package: This package includes half-board, i.e. sumptuous buffet every evening with international specialties.
Explorer package: The package includes a day trip to Agios Nikolaos, a Greek evening, a qualified guided tour through the ancient city of Knossos and a qualified guided tour of the archaeological museum.

Currency/Banks/Credit cards:

Greece is a member of the EU. The currency is the Euro. Exchange rate (as at November 2019): 1 GBP = 1.17 Euro; 1 Euro = 0.86 GBP.
Bank opening times are Monday – Thursday 08:00 – 14:00, Friday 08:00 – 13:30. In major cities opening hours are sometimes longer. Popular credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted almost everywhere. A debit card and PIN number can be used to withdraw cash from cash machines for a fee. Cards bearing the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are also accepted as means of payment.
Caution: When paying with debit or credit cards, we recommend vigilance against fraudsters who will secretly try to copy tourists‘ bank cards and spy out the associated PIN so that they can then withdraw cash from cash machines using a cloned card. Travellers are therefore advised when paying by card to always keep their card in sight and to conceal the PIN when entering it. Caution is advised when using debit and credit cards with a PIN in currency exchanges.

Customs regulations:

When travelling from non-EU countries, goods for personal use can be imported without problems. The following guidelines apply for alcohol and tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250 g of tobacco. 1 litre of spirits with an alcohol content of more than 22% or 2 litres of spirits with an alcohol content of no more than 22%. Other customs regulations can be obtained from the embassy of your destination country. This is the only place from which to obtain legally correct and binding information. Information regarding customs regulations governing the import of goods into the UK can be obtained from the website of the UK Customs and Excise service at https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control.

Special criminal law provisions:

In Greece, the acquisition, possession and export of “cultural and natural goods” is severely punished since these are regarded as state property. Violations can mean several months of custody and high bails (currently around Euro 9,000) even for tourists, even if the antiquities or oldlooking objects are of apparently little monetary value. It is therefore expressly advised not to buy antiques, old coins, fossils, etc. from dealers or to take any such objects away from sites you may visit. The acquisition, possession, import or export of drugs (even in small quantities) is severely punished. Do not carry defence sprays with you either. Their possession and use is banned in Greece and is a prosecutable offence. Photographing military installations and important civilian facilities (airports / ports) is prohibited due to the risk of spying. Violations will be prosecuted. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/local-laws-and-customs.

Medical information:

No vaccinations are required for entry into Greece. All travellers should ensure they have sufficient protection against tetanus and polio, however, as well as hepatitis if necessary. Anyone entitled to free healthcare in the UK is also entitled to treatment in Greece – if it is urgently required – from doctors, dentists, hospitals, and so on. Proof of cover must be provided in the form of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or cover note (which is obtained from your medical insurance company if you have separate medical insurance). Please note: In the event of a no-deal BREXIT, UK registered EHICs will no longer be valid. Travellers with separate medical insurance should check their level of cover with their provider before they travel. The Foreign Office also recommends taking out medical insurance with repatriation cover. The customer must ensure that they are physically and mentally well enough to undertake their chosen trip. They should find out for themselves the physical mobility levels and mental capacity required for the trip in question. Customers should ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit for undertaking the selected trip and make the necessary queries concerning the level of physical and psychological fitness required. Please observe that the excursions are accessible by foot only and that the buses used for the roundtrip are not customised to transport wheelchairs or similar devices.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: November 2019


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