General Information about Crete
Greece is situated in Southeastern Europe, with an area of 131,957 sq.km. and a population of 10,964,020.
Athens is the capital of Greece with a population of 3,192,606.
Local time is GMT +2 hours.
The Hellenic Republic is a Presidential Parliamentary Democracy.
President of the Hellenic Republic: Mr Karolos Papoulias.
Prime Minister: Mr Antonis Samaras.
Parliament: Three hundred elected members with elections held every four years.
Greece is a member state of E.U. since 1981.
The currency is the Euro.
The Greek economy adopts the principles of free enterprise and is bound by the regulations of international organisations such as ECOFIN and WTO, of which it is a member.
The standard in Greece is 230V AC (50Hz). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor.
Greek time is GMT +2 hours
National celebrations and Holidays
-New Years Day: 1st of January
-Epiphany: 6th of January. Sea water is consecrated in the area of Piraeus. The priests throw the Cross into the sea and young men dive to catch it.
-Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. It is the day people begin the Lent. On Ash Monday Greeks fly kites, eat meatless food and celebrate Koulouma. Athenians gather on Philopappou Hill.
-Independence Day & Celebration of Evaggelismos: 25th of March. Military parade.
-Easter: From Holy Friday until Easter Monday. On Holy Friday evening every church decorates the Epitaph (Bier of Christ). During the procession of the Epitaph the streets of every city or village in the country are full of people. It is a religious procession where everybody holds lit candles in their hands and sings hymns.
-Night of the Resurrection: It is celebrated in midnight before Easter Sunday with fireworks and candles.
-Easter Sunday: On Easter Sunday Greeks eat barbecue lamb. The celebrations include singing and dancing all day long.
-Labor Day: 1st of May. Flower feasts all around Athens.
-Pentecost: It is celebrated 50 days after Easter.
-Assumption of the Virgin Mary: 15th of August.
-28th of October: National Celebration. Military parade.
-Christmas: 25th-26th of December.
Greece is the ideal destination to shop for a wide variety of products, catering to everybody’s tastes and wishes. Prices are very reasonable in relation to product quality and visitors will be able to find something for every budget.
Shops are open Monday through Friday from 09.00 till 14.30 and on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday also from 17.30 through 20.30. On Saturday shops open from 09.00 till 15.00, while they are closed on Sunday. Supermarkets and kiosks may stay open till 22.00.
More specifically, in the centre of large urban areas as well as in tourist areas, tourist shops and kiosks are open from early in the morning till late at night, seven days a week.
Climate - Weather
Greece has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and a limited amount of rainfall. Due to the country's geographical position, its rugged relief and its distribution between the mainland and the sea, there is great variation in Greece's climate.
In summer, the dry hot days are cooled by seasonal winds called the meltemi, while mountainous regions have generally lower temperatures. The winters are mild in lowland areas, with a minimum amount of snow and ice, yet, mountains are usually snow-covered. Moreover, a common phenomenon is the occurrence of different climactic conditions during the same season (for instance, mild heat in coastal areas and cool temperatures in mountainous regions).
Greece's main meteorological data are given below (Source: National Meteorological Service):
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* The above information was taken from the official website of the Greek National Tourist Organization (G.N.T.O.) www.visitgreece.gr