GREECE is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa and has land borders with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the Northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Arrival in Athens (ATH): A representative will be waiting for you at “Baggage Claim Area”, holding a sign “Peony Tours” for easy identification.
Climate: Most of the country enjoys a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry with a seven-month period of near constant sunshine generally from April until November. For weather broadcast please check: www.theweathernetwork.com
Language: Greek is the national official language. English is the most widely understood foreign language in Greece, followed by French and Italian.Religion: More than 95% of Greek citizens are Greek Orthodox Christians. Visa: Greece is a party to the Schengen Agreement. U.S. citizens who hold valid passports may enter Greece for up to 90 days for tourist without a visa. For non-US passport holders, note that PGA tour requires multiple visa to enter Greece. For more visa information please check www.mfa.gr/usa/en/the-embassy.
Health: Vaccinations are not required to enter Greece. Current information on vaccinations and other health precautions can be found at US Centers for Disease Control website: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
Cash Controls: Any person entering or leaving the EU has to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 Euros or more, this includes checks, travelers’ checks, money orders, etc.
Customs: Greek customs authorities have strict regulations concerning the export from Greece of antiquities, including rocks from archaeological sites.
Currency: The currency of Greece is the Euro. You are advised to take more than one means of payment with you (cash, credit card, travelers’ check). It’s always a good idea to set aside a small amount of cash or pocket money for buying small items and for using public washroom.
Electricity: Electrical current is 230V, 50Hz and uses two-pinned plugs. Appliances from USA require a universal plug adaptor and transformer.
Clothing: 1) Bring comfortable, casual clothing and good walking shoes. A warm sweater or jacket is a must for cool evenings. You'll need only comfortable and casual clothes for Aegean Cruise. 2) Meteora Monastery Attire: Shorts, tank tops and sleeveless shirts are prohibited. Men have to wear pants. Women need to wear long skirt, dress or sarong to cover knees. Wrap skirts are available for visitors to borrow for free at the monastery entrance.
Shopping: The most popular souvenirs are products of Greece including jewelry, organic and natural products such as olive oil, honey, and jams.
Food and Water: Be careful of the water in all areas and especially on the islands. Bottled water is available everywhere. Olive oil is the main ingredient you will find probably in just about every Greek dish.
Things to Pack: The sun is very strong in Greece. Don’t forget sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, sandal, bathing suit. Remember the Insect repellent, motion sickness pills, medications in the original packaging, and your own toiletries.
Safety and Security: Most visits to Greece are trouble-free, but be aware that incidents of theft of wallets, handbags etc are common on the metro and crowded tourist places. If you are the victim of crime, contact your tour guide and call the emergency line 112 immediately for English speaking assistance.
Important Telephone Numbers: In the event of any problem or in complicated situations, you can get help from US Embassy in Athens, Tel: (210)729-4444, or check website http://gr.usembassy.gov. Have the following three digit telephone numbers with you at all times: Universal Emergency Line 112, Fire Service 199, Ambulance 166, Police 100, Tourist Police 171, Coast Guard 108.
National Holidays in 2020: New Year’s Day (1/01), Epiphany (1/06), Clean Monday (3/02), Independence Day (3/25), Orthodox Good Friday (4/17), Orthodoz Easter Monday (4/20), Labor Day (5/01), Orthodoz Holy Spirit Monday (6/08), Dormition of the Holy Virgin, The Ochi Day (10/28), Christmas Holiday (12/25-12/26).
International Calls: The international dialing code of Greece is 00, country code is 30; Athens’ area code is 210. Calling USA from Athens, dial: 00 + 1 + Area Code + Phone Number。Calling Athens from USA, dial: 011 + 30 + Area Code + Phone Number
Aegean Cruise: 1) The cruise embarkation labels indicating names and cabin number will be delivered to you by the tour director on the evening before cruise departure. 2) Cruise tipping, shore excursions and beverage package are included in your tour fare as specified in the itinerary. All other expenses on the cruise line will be automatically charged to your Sea Pass Account. For more information, please refer to the cruise company’s website http://celestyalcruises.com.
TURKEY is on the Mediterranean, in the Anatolian region of West Asia, with a small section in Southeastern Europe separated by the Turkish Straits.
Visa: Turkey entry visa is required for all foreigners; however, PGA passengers who are traveling to Turkey by cruise ship are allowed to enter Turkey without a visa for a maximum period of 72 hours.
Climate: The climate in Turkey has a vast diversity depending on the diverse topography and latitude. Aegean and Mediterranean coastal areas enjoy the typical Mediterranean climate. For more information please check: http://www.theweathernetwork.com
Language: The official language is Turkish. English is popular among the younger generation.
Religion: 98% of Turks are Muslim.
Cash Controls: US dollars, Euros, major credit cards (Visa and Master card) and traveler’s checks are widely accepted in big cities.
Currency: The currency of Turkey is Lira (TRY). Better have some local money with you at all time for the smaller purchase. Pocket money are usually needed for using public washroom.
Clothing: Dress conservatively and follow all traditional procedures while visiting Turkey. Upon entering a mosque, women have to wear headscarves and not to wear miniskirts or shorts.
Shopping: Bargaining and shopping is part of Turkish culture. Famous products that you may want to bring home from Turkey: carpets, silk, earthenware, coffee, olive oil soap, etc.
Food & Water: Avoid drinking tap water. It is recommended to buy bottled drink water which can be found almost everywhere at stores. Turkish dishes are mainly cooked of meat (beef, lamb, and chicken – pork is not eaten).