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Travel tips to European Countries: Greece

About the county
Being one of the earliest civilizations known to humankind Greece is a country with rich history, heritage, and culture. It is the place where Byzantine Empire once ruled and also great Ottoman Empire. It is also considered to be the birthplace of Democracy. Athens is the capital city of Greece. The Olympic games originated in Greece. Not only that, it was the world center for western philosophy, political science, astronomy, mathematics, major scientific studies and what not. It is also known as a Mediterranean country as it has the Mediterranean Sea in the south. It is a popular destination for world tourists in that region known for its beautiful beaches, reach history and charming villages. The Greek islands are one of the most wonderful places to be explored by Cruise or Yacht. The trip to Greece will definitely be one of the most memorable to remember in oneís life.
Population & Languages
The population of Greece is around 11 million and the official language being spoken is Greek. The other popular languages are English and French.
The voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment, round pin with the ground, Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.
Geographic Location
It is located in Southern Europe bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea between Albania and Turkey. It is situated on the southern side of Balkan Peninsula. It is also bordered by Bulgaria and Macedonia in the southeast.
It has three distinct climates namely Alpine, Mediterranean and temperate climate with mild and wet winters and also hot and dry summers due to Mediterranean effect. The Alpine system is seen in mountainous regions. The temperate climate is seen near border along Macedonia. Athens has both temperate and Mediterranean weather.
Local Customs
The Greece is a place with strong historic and cultural background. There are different traditions and customs in different parts of the Greece. The throwing back of a hand is considered to be a negative gesture here in Greece. Casual dress can be worn most of the times. Smoking is prohibited in public transport services and public buildings. Tipping 12 to 1 percent is customary in restaurants, hotels, and taxis.
* The Olympic Games in Athens (the spot of the historic 2004 Olympic Games)
* Mardi Grass Celebrations in February
* The Parthenon in Athens
* Skiing in Arahova Mountains between October and March
* Easter Celebrations
* Thessalonikiís White Tower and countryís rich Byzantine culture
* The south of Corinth
* The beaches in Lesvos
* The wine vineyards in the countryside
* The islands near the Aegean Sea
* The wildlife preserve in Alonissos (Sporades Marine Park)
* The famous, Moni Panagia Chozoviotissa, a Byzantine monastery in Amorgos
By Air: The national airline of Greece is Olympic Airlines. Many popular airlines like British Airways and Delta Airlines operate daily flight from Athens. The biggest airport is newly constructed Athens International Airport which is located 17 miles northeast of the city. The other international airports of Greece are Heraklion (Crete), Thessaloniki (Macedonia) and Corfu (Kerkira).
By Sea: The popular Greek ports include Corfu, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Piraeus (Athens), Rhodes, Thessaloniki and Volos. Shipping vessels and ferryboat lines link these ports with Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Russia and Turkey. Some of the popular cruises operating in Greece are Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Festival Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea and Swan Hellenic.
By Rail: If one is coming from the UK, the best way is to take Eurostar train to Brussels or Paris and from there take the connecting train to Greece.
Prohibited Items
Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty percent alcohol.

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