Essential Travel Information for Greece
When to Go
June through August is high season in Greece, consider visiting during May or September, when the weather is equally beautiful but the crowds thinner. The low season, from mid-September through May, offers cheaper airfares and lodging, but many sights and accommodations have shorter hours or close altogether. Ferries and trains run considerably less frequently, although ski areas at Mt. Parnassos, Mt. Pelion, and Metsovo beckon winter visitors.
Greece has a Mediterranean climate, especially along the coastlines and in the islands. Winters are mild and rainy, but the summers are usually hot and dry. Rainfall occurs almost entirely during winter, the island of Corfu receives the maximum rainfall of 1,320mm / 52 inches. Winters can be severe in the mountains. Average annual temperatures range from 9°C (Jan) to 28°C (Jul) in Athens.
Health and Safety
Greece does not present health problems. No strange or particular disease can be catch in a travel in Greece or the Greek islands and consequently, no vaccines are required to travel in Greece. However take note that Codeine, found in some painkillers is banned in Greece, so if you are on a drug containing codeine, you should have a supply and a prescription. Violent crime in Greece is rare, but petty theft, car theft, and burglaries have been on the rise in recent years. The crime rate in Greece is among the lowest in the European Union, but you should avoid walking alone in deserted streets and alleys.
Visas and Passports
EU citizens do not need a visa to enter Greece. Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US do not need visas for stays of up to 90 days, though they are ineligible for employment. Citizens of South Africa need a visa for stays of any lengths. All visitors need a passport, valid for a period of 6 months after your stay, to visit Greece, however EU citizens will only require a valid id card.
Money and Currency
The official currency of Greece is the Euro. If you are carrying more than a 1000 Euros in cash upon entrance to Greece, you must declare it. There is no tipping anywhere except restaurants. Generally, bargaining is expected for street wares and in other informal venues, but shop owners whose goods are tagged will consider bargaining rude and disrespectful.