By The Non Fiction Author
Published by The Non Fiction Author
Copyright ©2017 The Non Fiction Author
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. All pictures are held by commercial license and may not be duplicated by anyone without express permission.
Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this book was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Shakespir.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
The information provided in this book is designed to provide helpful information on the subjects discussed. The author’s books are only meant to provide the reader with the basics travel guidelines of a certain location, without any warranties regarding the accuracy of the information and advice provided. Each traveler should do their own research before departing.
Sand between your toes as you eat a fresh salad of green olives piled on crimson tomatoes and crisp lettuce topped with olive oil and feta. In the afternoon you wander down the very streets that Socrates and Plato strolled while developing the cradle of democracy and the foundation for the western world we know today. After a few days exploring the ruins you catch a ferry to the islands where whitewashed churches with bright blue domes await, welcoming visitors to stay a while and relax on the beach. You will meet locals and tourists from around the world, all emitting the relaxed glow of spending the day in the sun. By the time you leave you will never look at a Greek salad the same way again.
Greece has a long, ancient history that dates back thousands of years. The early Greek civilizations faced scores of invaders and both were conquered and victorious. The influences of these other cultures is still present today in the architecture, cuisine, and customs all over the country. To check out neoclassical architecture go to Ermoupolis and Nafplion, or make your way to Grevena and Kozani to see some of the Ottoman-influenced buildings. At the same time there are plenty of foods and traditions that are authentically Greek in origin and have been preserved through the ages, so don’t miss out on all of the nationally vintaged wine, fresh produce, and tasty meats.
With its idyllic weather and the Mediterranean Sea as a stunning backdrop, Greece has been known as a vacation and holiday destination for centuries though the tourist industry has picked up in the past century and boomed in the last three decades. The hot summer and cloudless skies beckons young and old travelers to the beaches to sunbathe and surf, and to watch the sunset with a friend or at least with a drink. Then they migrate to the archeological ruins and many UNESCO World Heritage Sites to learn about the rise and fall of empires ,and how our predecessors lived their lives similarly yet differently from ours. In recent years there has been an influx of visitors who are following the booming nightlife in both Athens and on the islands where the party doesn’t stop until the sun shows up, so don’t forget your party hats at home.
Nature lovers are always impressed by the scenery in Greece with lush and green forests and rolling hills next to deep crystal waters, cut off by cliffs. To make your trip even more nature filled you can visit the breathtaking Pindos mountain range to see the Vikos Gorge, one of the deepest in the world. The Vikos-Aoos National park is full of forests and waterfalls where there are lakes lying next to the jagged mountains and the whole area is dotted with villages built out of stone.
Greece has been an important part of western civilization since there was such a thing as western civilization, and historians as well as political scientists, theorists, and philosophers are pulled to the land where it all started. Historians are awed by the Acropolis and Eastern Orthodox Monasteries of Meteora, built on natural sandstone rock pillars. There are traditional old town areas within many of the modern villages on the islands where you can spend days getting lost in the maze of alleys and temples that have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years. Grab a glass of wine and perch on a wall as you watch the sun go down, philosophizing for yourself about the ways of the world and how Greece helped to shape it today.
With so many types of attractions, landscapes, and cuisines to try it is a wonder that you can see even a fraction of Greece in just a week or two, but it is possible to get a good sampling of everything before you have to depart. Most visitors fly into Athens and then head out to an island or two islands, or even three. There are more than 1,400 islands in Greece, 227 of which are inhabited, so there is an island for every type of traveler. The quintessential pastel colors of seaside towns can be found in the Cyclades group of islands while other visitors seek the Dodecanese islands, or hop on down to Crete for a spell. Wherever you go you will not be disappointed nor will you be bored, there are simply too many white sandy beaches, historic monasteries, vibrant walking trails and windsurfing lessons to keep you entertained. The Greek have perfected the leisurely holiday so join in the action and relaxation to see what it means to be Greek today.
The season for visiting Greece is when the weather is best, starting in spring around April and finishing off in October as autumn comes to a close. The high traffic of tourists is mainly from July to August when it is hottest and every day is a beach day. This is also when a lot of Europeans take their yearly holidays and since Greece is primarily visited by Europeans, there is a large influx in the hot summer months. Greece is the 10th most visited country in Europe and in 2014 alone it welcomed approximately 21 million visitors, a huge number considering the population of Greece is just 11 million. While a large part of its economy is due to tourism it also capitalizes on its coastline in the fishing industry and merchant shipping. Historically Greece was the birthplace of democracy but politically today is a Parliamentary republic, where the president is elected by the parliament who also vote to elect the Prime Minister.
Geographically Greece is located in southern Europe in the mountainous Balkans, bordering with Albania to the Northwest, Macedonia and Bulgaria to the North, and shares a small border with Turkey in the Northeast. It has the longest coastline in the whole of the Mediterranean Sea, which is located to the south of the mainland. The Aegean Sea flows to the East and the Ionian Sea to the west, dividing Greece from Italy and Turkey respectively. The highest peak in Greece is the famous Mount Olympus rising at 9,570 feet, which gets its name from nearby Olympia, also the namesake of the Olympic Games. In Greek mythology Mount Olympus was the home of Zeus, the god of thunder and the sky. There the Greek gods and goddesses ruled over the people below, the Goddess Aphrodite playing with their hearts and the God Ares sending them to war.
With fertile land and an abundance of coastline, the Grecian diet is full of fresh vegetables, grains and seafood. What is known as a Greek salad in the rest of the world is simply a country salad made of tomatoes, diced cucumbers, chopped onions, a hefty slab of feta cheese, whole olives, sliced green pepper, and copious olive oil drizzled on top. These are a staple in any tourist’s day as they are both fresh and tasty but also healthy and cheap, not usually more than 7 or 8 Euros.
Greek food does not stop at the salads, there are many sweet and savory temptations that are little known outside of the borders. For breakfast try “tiropita”, a pie made of fresh cheese, “spanikopita”, tiropita’s spinach cousin, or “bougatsa”, custard filled pie. Wash it down with a Greek iced coffee, a blend of instant coffee powder, water, sugar and milk served over ice, perfect for starting your day on a hot summer morning. Coffee is an important part of daily life in Greece, there are many “kafeteries” where Greeks go to sit outside and socialize with their friends. Grab a friend or a book and have a brew while you watch the world wake up. You can also get espresso drinks like a cappuccino “fredo”, which is espresso with ice and foam or cream.
Traditional Greek coffee is similar to the thick, strong Turkish coffee which is made by boiling coffee grounds in water on the stove and it is served with the grounds still in the mug, giving it a muddy, watery look. Don’t worry, it tastes great but be wary of the strength in flavor and caffeine that it packs. The pot used to make traditional coffee is a called a “briki”, a popular souvenir that is readily available around Athens at any of the shops. Picking up a pot is a great way to make authentic Greek coffee for your friends back home when you are sharing tastes of your vacation.
Homecooked and hot meals are not lost on the Greeks, they know how to make a rich, protein-filled meal that will prepare you to fight off the next invading armies. In particular Greeks have a taste for lamb, beef and pork, with generous amounts of olive oil, lemon and tomatoes included to compliment the bread and wine. For dinner you can try the “pastitsio” lasagne or “moussaka” eggplant with meat. While restaurants specifically catering to vegetarians are not common, there are many meatless Greek dishes so you shouldn’t have any problems avoiding meat if you want to.
Whatever you do, don’t skip dessert. Greeks are known around the world for their thick, decadent yogurt but in Greece it is even creamier with a higher fat content. But don’t let the fat or calories worry you, you will work it all off exploring the islands, swimming and surfing, or shopping late in to the evening. Find a cup of fresh yogurt and sprinkle it high with honey and fruits, your taste buds will thank you. For sweet pastries you have bountiful options of “baklava” to choose from, so make sure you have plenty of time to try the pistachio, walnut, and other flavors that the thin, flaky honey-filled pastry is made.
Grecian cuisine has many external influences from Italy and Turkey primarily so you may recognize some dishes on the menu. However most of the Greek restaurants outside of Greece serve a variety of cuisine that may not be genuinely Greek in origin, strictly speaking. The Greek restaurants you may be used to are catering to your expectations of Greek food, rather than what is necessarily authentic Greek food. While you will find plenty of Greek salads you may notice that “gyros” are a relatively recent fad in Greece, where the chicken or pork kebab has been adapted from the Turkish “doner kebap”, and now is a popular fast food choice. To try more bona fide Greek fast food stop by one of the “souvlaki” stands to get your fill of grilled meat on a skewer, an inexpensive and hearty snack (or meal) for travelers on a budget.
All this talk of food may have you wondering how to whet your whistle after you’ve eaten your way through salads, lasagnas, soups and baklava. For alcoholic drinks there are many national and regional products to choose from. Greece produces a wide variety of wines that are not often seen on the international market due to the small output so take advantage of the availability while you are there. To satisfy your sweet tooth you can try the “imiglyko” red, or the stronger “retsina”. Santorini makes some delicious white wines while Naoussa and Drama are known for the reds. Buy a bottle or two before you leave to toast your return home with friends and family, but make sure to check the import/export laws first.
If you’re hankering for something harder and stronger, Greece has that too. Though Greece does produce some beer it is better to try the local liquors like “ouzo” which has a trademark liquorice flavor. It is a clear liquid except when it is mixed with water or served with ice, which causes it to appear milky. It is often served on the islands and to tourists this way, as it makes the flavor a bit more palatable and adds a refreshingly chilly twist. Another spirit popular in the Balkans region is “raki” which is made from boiling the remnants of grapes after they have been made into wine. Both drinks are quite strong, ranging from 30-40% of alcohol so drink with care and share with friends.
When it comes time to depart for your home don’t despair as there are many souvenirs you can take along with you to keep the Greek memories alive. Olive oil travels well and it will make your cooking healthier while transporting you back to the sandy beaches and endless sun. You can also reminisce over a bottle of “ouzo” or shots of “raki”, Greek liquors that you can try in any local “taverna” after your meal. There are handicrafts and chess sets, leather sandals and a hefty selection of postcards to send to friends and family who wishes they were on the beach with you.
Life in Greece has changed a lot over the last few millennia but some things are still the same, the mountains haven’t moved nor have the seas claimed any islands. The sun, sand and historical ruins are waiting for you. But don’t worry, there are plenty to go around so strap on your sandals and come see Greece for yourself.
This guide contains a broad range of information to aid you as your plan your trip to Greece, whether you are leaving tomorrow or in two years. Each section has valuable information on how to make the most out of your holiday with insider tips and background information on Greece all in one digestible guide. There are so many destinations and attractions in Greece that it can be difficult to decide which ones are right for you, and how to make the most out of the limited time you have. This guide will help you narrow down what you want to see and do while providing insight into how to have the ultimate trip.
Greece has long been a popular tourist destination for Europeans and in the last few decades with the rise in leisure travel it has boomed as the ultimate vacation and holiday hotspot on the Mediterranean, easy to get to and easy to enjoy. There is a wealth of information out there in the form of formal guidebooks, personal travel blogs and official Greek websites. These tools in conjunction with this guide will help you plan and explore the possibilities.
Though in the last few years it has faced some economic difficulties it is still a stable and exciting place to visit that attracts all sorts of travelers. This guide was written for all of those types of travelers, from Europeans on a week long holiday, backpackers visiting 25 countries in three months, couples on a romantic getaway, families with kids exploring new lands, and amateur historians learning about the birth of western philosophy. Whether you prefer to book everything in advance or land and figure things out as you go this guide will help you find your way.
To help you start the planning process, Chapter 3 provides an overview of things to know and how to get started with planning your trip. There is information about entrance requirements what to pack, what NOT to pack, and other useful tidbits on where to go in the amount of time you have. There are hotels and hostels dotting the tourist trail and plenty of transportation options to take you from the cities to the mountains and on to the islands. Since Greece is quite a large country, you will have your choice of forms of transportation to get around, from planes to buses to ferries, or a combination of all.
With a wealth of history spanning over thousands of years, Greek philosophy, culture and politics have drastically shaped the world we live in today. To enhance your experience and understanding Chapter 4 covers a summary of Greek history, highlighting important moments in antiquity and in particular recent events that have shaped the country and its culture. This is an informational section that you can reread as your plane has begun descending on Athens, so you can picture the battles lost and won and the languages spoken in these lands all those years ago.
Chapter 5 covers the Greek mainland, including Athens and Thessaloniki. This section gives a rundown of the most common sights and activities in the hills in the far north as well as in the capital, where you can spend as little as a few days but as much as a week. There are temples to explore, monasteries that date back centuries, thriving nightlife, shopping stalls and mountains to trek through. So make sure to give yourself some time to explore these ancient cities and experience how they have developed today.
Chapter 6 is the highlight for many who visit Greece, whether it is their first time to the country or their fifth. The Greek islands, in all their fame and glory, never fail to live up to their reputations. From well known Crete and Santorini to party-filled Mykonos and the more tranquil Naxos. Visitors have been dreaming about those sunny beaches and crystal waters next to the village on top of a cliff, and they are out there, waiting to be explored.
In Chapter 7 you will find an informative mix of helpful tips and tricks to having a great trip, covering a wide range of logistical and cultural information about the country. Though Greece is a safe country some of the laws and customs may be different than what you are accustomed to so read through in order to be prepared. It is also a very warm country so there are some recommended precautions you should take when spending a lot of time under the sun, as you likely will do.
Finally Chapter 8 is a bonus section that covers the most useful Greek words and phrases that will help you ease your way around the country. The pronunciation can be challenging so the guide simplifies it considerably so that you can pick up a few words before you go. Once you arrive you can practice and learn even more from the native speakers themselves. You can also use it as a reference once you have arrived and forget how to ask for the location of the nearest toilet, always a good phrase to memorize.
As a major tourist destination, Greece is very easy to visit for most nationalities including Americans and European nationals, both of whom can visit without a visa. For Americans your passport must be valid for 3 months beyond when you plan to exit Greece, and you need one empty visa page for the entry and exit stamps. European nationals simply need their passport or identity cards to visit for tourism purposes.
Greece is a member of the Schengen Agreement which encompasses most European countries that are a part of the European Union, and a few that aren’t. US citizens don’t need a visa to visit the countries that members of the Schengen Agreement for stays up to 90 days within every 180 days. This means that you can spend a total of three months within every six month period in Greece, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, etc. combined. The counter of your days in the zone begins the day you enter a member country and is paused when you leave for a country that is not a part of the Schengen Area. If you spend 30 days in Greece then visit Bulgaria (which is not in the Schengen Agreement) for 30 days and return to Greece, you can only stay for 60 more days, the count is not reset when you depart.
If you enter Greece overland from neighboring countries Albania or Bulgaria you will pass through border controls since they are not members of the Schengen agreement. Between land borders of members of the Schengen Agreement, like Germany and France, you would not pass through a border control in a car or bus. This can add anywhere from twenty minutes to three hours to your journey, depending on how much traffic and if the systems are all functioning properly.
Visit: http://www.Shakespir.com/books/view/719424 to purchase this book to continue reading. Show the author you appreciate their work!
The Greece Traveler's Guide to Make The Most Out of Your Trip. Sand between your toes as you eat a fresh salad of green olives piled on crimson tomatoes and crisp lettuce topped with olive oil and feta. In the afternoon you wander down the very streets that Socrates and Plato strolled while developing the cradle of democracy and the foundation for the western world we know today. After a few days exploring the ruins you catch a ferry to the islands where whitewashed churches with bright blue domes await, welcoming visitors to stay a while and relax on the beach. You will meet locals and tourists from around the world, all emitting the relaxed glow of spending the day in the sun. By the time you leave you will never look at a Greek salad the same way again. Greece has a long, ancient history that dates back thousands of years. The early Greek civilizations faced scores of invaders and both were conquered and victorious. The influences of these other cultures is still present today in the architecture, cuisine, and customs all over the country. To check out neoclassical architecture go to Ermoupolis and Nafplion, or make your way to Grevena and Kozani to see some of the Ottoman-influenced buildings. At the same time there are plenty of foods and traditions that are authentically Greek in origin and have been preserved through the ages, so don’t miss out on all of the nationally vintaged wine, fresh produce, and tasty meats.