All those do's and dont's from an insider's point of view!
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TIPS AND HINTS >
About dining > When selecting a restaurant, know that estiatoria (plural) are the more expensive conventional restaurants, tavernas are informal, mostly family-run establishments, psistaryies offer mostly grilled meats and psarotavernas specialize in seafood dishes. Mezedopolia and ouzeri serve meze or hors d'oeurves that are shared amongst those at your table.
About local time > Greece is on East European Time, which is two hours ahead of GMT. Daylight savings time is the same as the rest of Europe. As an example, New York is therefore 7 hours behind Greece and Los Angeles is 10 hours behind.
About Athens Sightseeing Bus Line No 400 > Discover Athens on board the new Athens Sightseeing public bus, Line 400, to the highlights of the City of Athens, a city rich in history and culture with contrasts between ancient and modern, that awaits for you. Schedules are every half hour, from 09:00 am till 06:00 pm, starting from and terminating to Athens Archaeological Museum (at Vas. Irakleiou street). The duration of the round-trip is about 80 - 90 minutes. At every bus stop of this line you may find the exact bus schedules. The ticket costs 5 Euro and can be purchased ONLY on the vehicle. For more info visit > AthensUrbanTransportOrg
More Tips and Tricks >>>
Toilet Paper > In most places the Greek sewerage system cannot cope with the disposal of toilet paper, so a pedal bin or basket is provided alongside the toilet for its disposal.
Books > One of the books to buy when visiting the Greek Islands, would be "Greek Island Hopping" by Frewin Poffley, available at AmazonCom, UK site. Updated annually, this popular, bestselling title is the most comprehensive and detailed guide to the Greek Islands available. With an honest, trusted commentary and packed full of essential practical travel information it is indispensable for first-time and seasoned island hoppers alike. It covers all the islands as well as Athens and all mainland ports.
Drinking water > Tap water is drinkable on most islands, but it always pays to check first. If in doubt, or you simply do not like the taste of the local water, bottled mineral water is easily available.
Sea Urchins (Black with sharp spines) > Found throughout the Greek islands clinging to rocks in shallow water, not poisonous, but the spines can break off under the skin so tweezers will not remove them. Try a fine sterilized needle.
Eating Out > Greek food is usually very good. There is no need to order a main meal if you do not wish, try ordering a selection of starters and sharing them between you. Many tavernas have local wine on the menu (if not ask), the quality can differ from taverna to taverna and is ordered by the kilo or half kilo and is usually brought to the table in a jug, it is cheaper and not quite as strong as the bottled wines. Service can sometimes be much slower in Greece than you might be used to, so order your drinks as soon as the menu arrives, also if the bread and side plates have arrived but still no sign of any food, then poor some olive oil onto a plate, season with salt and pepper, and you have a delicious dip for the bread.
Cold Beach Drinks > Remember to drink a lot more water than you usually would at home, dehydration can have some disastrous effects. If you are heading off for a day on the beach, the night before you go, place a large bottle of mineral water, two thirds full, into the freezer compartment of your fridge, prop up the neck of the bottle so that when the water freezes it won't block it off. Just before setting out next day, top the bottle up with other cold water from the fridge, you will have cold drinks all day.
Taxis > Island Taxis are all metered, but it has been known for drivers to forget to switch them on. To save any problems, it is always recommended to check that the meter is turn on when you get into the taxi. There may also be an extra charge for carrying individual items of baggage. During quiet periods, it may be possible to negotiate a lower fare, especially if you are heading to a long distance trip. It is not uncommon, if there are spare seats in the taxi, for drivers to stop and pickup other passengers along the way, this is standard practice in Greece, but unfortunately this will not reduce the cost of your fare.
Ferries > Tickets are usually purchased from travel agents or kiosks near the harbour. There is little to no advantage in buying a return ticket for a ferry in Greece as they often charge the same as for two single tickets. As a general rule, the faster the ferry the more expensive it is. If you are island hopping on a limited budget, then try doing the longer trips on a slow overnight ferry, not only is the fare cheaper, but by sleeping on the ferry, you can save yourselves the cost of a room for the night.
Torches > In quieter areas, especially on the smaller islands, there will be little or no street lighting. Paths to and from your accommodation may be rough and uneven, so always pack a small torch, just in case.
Page Last Updated > June 30, 2006
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