Greece, the mighty Hellas, is one of those countries that every tourist fantasizes about because of its scintillating ancient history (for more information, please watch the movie “300” –wink), its agreeable weather and its unparalleled sights. Since much of the country’s economy relies on tourism, you are surely going to feel at home there. Yet before you hop on the plane, take a look at the top six things to know before you visit Greece.
1. Raki, Ouzo and Koum Quat:
First and foremost, know that, like most countries, the Greeks love their alcohol. Their traditional drinks come in the form of Raki, Ouzo or Koum Quat, depending on where you are. While Raki and Ouzo are more available, Koum Quat is more prominent on the island of Corfu. Do not leave Greece without indulging in at least one of these fine beverages for you will see that they have quite a knack for completing your experiences with nothing but positivity. Oh, and do not forget to say “Yamas!” when you cheer. Cheers!
2. Souvenirs, souvenirs everywhere:
As we have already mentioned above, much of the Greek economy is based on tourists so no matter where you’ll be going, you are surely going to run into swarms and swarms of souvenir shops. They will go as far as selling just about anything to attract you. Haggling is not a custom in Greece so pay the price that you are asked and be on your way. Oh, and you’ll see a lot of miniature bottles with the aforementioned traditional beverages – they make excellent presents if you wish to bring some home for relatives or friends.
3. Topless paradise:
Did you know that most Greek people are Orthodox? While this would normally demand that people dress a bit more reserved, topless sunbathing is generally accepted and it will not attract unwanted attention or frowns. If you are one of those ladies who like to bronze the sensible areas as well, we are happy to tell you that Greece is a gorgeous and accepting haven for you. Do take sunscreen, though (wink)!
You may have heard about the “crazy” drivers of Cairo or Lima but we assure you that Greece can compete just as well. If locals see you cruising at the speed limit, they will whizz past you in such haste, that you will be wondering whether they are actually sitting in cars or riding missiles. What we recommend tourists on four wheels to do is to stick to the right side of the road and drive safely. Disregard the rocket-drivers and let them outrun you like you were a carriage – better safe than sorry.
5. Hospitality is key:
Well, if this isn’t the prime characteristic of Greece, then we have no idea what is. When it comes to hospitality, there are no better candidates than the Greeks. Most shopkeepers and waiters will stand in plain sight as you walk by their establishments and they will not only call for you but also wave. Additionally, you can experience the local tradition that they call “Greek Nights.” What this means is that they will feed you to your heart’s content and dance for and with you to traditional Greek music – definitely an unforgettable experience, we assure you!
6. Pay with cash and go island hopping:
The title said it all: getting around with credit cards might prove difficult in Greece as the financial situation of the country isn’t exactly in its primes. Things are perfectly affordable so you do not have to carry too much cash on you. Also, you need not fear pickpockets for there aren’t too many. Keep your credit cards in your wallets and go island hopping with cash in your pockets for Greece has over 6,000 of them (of course, only around 227 are inhabited).
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Greece and what taste have they left you with? Tell us all about your travels in the comment section below and be sure to check back from time to time for some interesting updates! Safe travels!