Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Greece

Answers to questions often made by clients while planning their vacation to Greece.

- Why book through a local agent?

Usually the prices are more favourable when booking through a local agency, but the major advantage is, that the local agent is present when a problem arises.

- What services can you book through Dolphin Hellas?

The services we can provide are the following:

- What is the best time of the year to travel to Greece?

It depends on where you want to go. The best months to visit the islands are May, June, early July, September and early October. Avoid the dates July 20th to August 20th which are the busiest of the tourist season, and late October because the weather gradually becomes rough. If you want to visit the mainland, then March, April, May, June, September and October are suitable months. July and August are very warm and busy.

- How can one spend one’s holidays in Greece during the Winter period (November - February)?

The winter months in Greece are much milder than they are in Northern Europe, but still we get heavy rains, low temperatures, strong winds and snow (in the North). The majority of the tourist related enterprises on the islands - hotels, shops, restaurants - close down, the transportation to/from/between the islands becomes irregular and weather dependent, the sights and museums close earlier and many hotels on the mainland close down for renovation and maintenance. Good destinations are Athens, bigger islands with many permanent inhabitants like Crete and Rhodes, and certain mainland areas in Greece that offer Winter activities (e.g. ski centres) or can be easily visited throughout the year like Delphi, Nafplion, Meteora, Karpenissi, Mani etc….

- What are the average temperatures in Greece?

Get information on weather all over Greece at EMY or at e.g. OpenWeather.

Average weather data for the Athens centre
  High Temp. (oC) Low Temp. (oC) Humidity (%) Precipitation (mm) Winds (m/s)
Jan. 12.9 6.5 72 45 2.1
Feb. 13.6 6.9 71 48 2.1
Mar. 16 8.4 68 43 2
Apr. 20.3 11.6 61 28 1.8
May 25.3 15.4 58 17 1.6
Jun. 29.8 20.1 52 10 1.8
Jul. 32.6 22.5 48 4 2.1
Aug. 32.3 22.3 49 5 2.2
Sep. 28.9 19.2 56 12 1.9
Oct. 23.1 14.9 66 48 2
Nov. 18.6 11.4 73 51 1.8
Dec. 14.7 8.3 73 67 2

- What should I pack?

It depends on the time of the year and the kind of holiday you have booked. Overall, bring casual clothes with only a few formal pieces for evening outings. If you go on a cruise, ask for the evening dress code. In all cases, bring good, sturdy shoes, sunglasses and your hat.

- Passports & Visas: What is required?

Overall E.U. nationals and USA/Canadian citizens do not need a visa. For specific information, please contact the appropriate consulate or embassy in your country and visit the visas section on the website of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

- Health requirements

No vaccinations or immunisations are needed when traveling to Greece.

- Pregnancy and wheelchairs

Most airlines require a medical certificate stating fitness to travel for pregnancies of over 28 weeks on the date of return travel. For pregnancies of over 32 weeks on the date of return travel, permission to fly is normally refused. Wheelchairs can usually be pre-arranged (adequate notice is 2 weeks minimum).

- Airport delays

Delays can occur for a variety of reasons - industrial action, mechanical failure, weather conditions, air traffic control problems - and we are intensely aware of the frustration they can cause. If you have heard that delays are likely, here are some precautionary measures you can take to ease the discomfort:
Carry enough spending money in local currency for your needs.
If you are travelling with babies or young children, have the necessary items to hand; and a good book or two might be useful. Remember to carry the above in your hand luggage, therefore do not pack them.
Even if delays seem probable, you must still check in at the time specified, unless advised otherwise by the air carrier. This is simply because delay situations can alter very rapidly, and a departure slot for your flight could be allocated at short notice. If a delay is caused by aircraft technical faults, then any refreshments or meals are at the airline's discretion.

- Airline Regulations - Safety

For safety or security reasons any explosive or flammable material (e.g. gas cartridges/refills, firearms including toy guns, lighter fuel, ammunition, acid, knives, paint, explosives, mercury, weapons) cannot be taken onto aircraft.
Any valuables, fragile items and electronic devices (laptops, video cameras, chargers, etc.) must be carried in hand baggage only. And by newest regulations any kind of liquids, nail accessories etc.
According to the European Regulation, liquids (e.g. water, alcohol and beverages, gel, cream, glue, lotion, perfume, shampoo, toothpaste, shaving foam, aerosols, contact lens solution, honey, marmalade, soup, olive oil etc) have been added to the list of prohibited articles that you may not carry on board, unless conditions are met. Detailed information is provided upon flight booking and check-in.

- Lost or damaged luggage

The world's airlines carry over 800 million pieces of luggage in a year so it is not surprising that occasionally luggage may go missing, although usually this is only temporary. Should you find at your arrival airport that your baggage is missing or in any way damaged, you should immediately report the matter to the airline representative in the Baggage Reclaim area and complete a Property Irregularity Report (PIR). Please ask for one if it is not given to you, as this is your proof that you have reported the loss or damage. Such evidence is required by insurance companies should you need to make a claim on your return home.

- Is an international driver's license needed?

For citizens of E.U., Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, USA, Canada, Australia, UK: No
All other nationalities: It is suggested that you check with your country's relevant authority in order to check if you need an international driving permit.

- What is the voltage in Greece?

220 V (an adapter may be needed for most visitors).

- To which time zone does Greece belong?

Time in Greece is GMT/UTC +2:00

- Public Holidays in Greece

You may refer to our calendar.

- Useful telephone numbers (while in Greece):

European Emergency Number (reachable also by mobile phones):
Doctors on call:
Tourist Police:
Greek National Tourism Organisation:
First Aid:
Fire Brigade:
Airport of Athens ("Eleftherios Venizelos"):
US Embassy (Athens):
UK Embassy (Athens):
Canadian Embassy (Athens):
Australian Embassy (Athens):

- Bus and train schedules to the mainland

It is not so long ago that tickets for buses and trains could only be bought on the spot. Nowadays, however, tickets for most routes can be purchased online (see below links). Our company can also assist with the issuance of bus tickets (for specific routes only, please specify on your request) as well as train tickets. There is a fee of EUR 15 per booking.
- Rural/Long-distance bus service: KTEL
- Train service: Hellenic Train

- Discounts on ferries, hydrofoils, planes and sites.

Domestic airfare: age groups entitled to discounts are children under the age of 12
Domestic ferries: age groups entitled to discounts are children from age 4-10. Children under 4 are free of charge, when not occupying a bed in a cabin.
Domestic hydrofoils/catamarans: age groups entitled to discounts are children from age 4 to 10.
Children under 4 are free of charge, when not occupying a seat.
Eurail passes: see
International airfares: here the cases are too many to be listed under a regular FAQ list. Please contact us when having a specific request.

- What are the hydrofoils, catamarans, flying dolphins?

Hydrofoil (also met as "Flying Dolphin"): fast passenger only vessel (speed of about 30 knots, capacity of about 100 passengers)
Catamaran: fast passenger and car vessels. There are two main types travelling in the Greek seas: the HighSpead ones (capacity of about 650 passengers and 70 vehicles) and the smaller FlyingCat and SeaJet ones (about 400 passengers, no cars). Catamarans travel at a maximum speed of about 40 knots.
Regular Ferries: The older ones travel at a maximum speed of 19 knots and carry about 1500 passengers and 200 cars. These ferries are being gradually replaced by new, bigger, faster and more comfortable ferries, for example: The Knossos and Festos Palace -Crete (32 knots, 2200 passengers, 750 cars) The Kriti I & II -Crete (22 knots, 1500 passengers, 700 cars) The Blue Star Ferries -Cyclades (25 knots, 1500 passengers)

- Country codes you should be familiar with

GR: International 2-letter code of Greece
EUR ( ): International 3-letter code for Euro
GRD: International 3-letter code for Greek drachma (also occasionally written DRS) (Information in effect till end 12/2001)
+30: when calling Greece, dial 0030 and then the area code and the number (e.g. 0030-210-9227772). If you are calling from the USA or Canada dial 01130 and then the area code and the number (e.g. 01130-210-9227772).

- What currency or credit cards should I bring?

All major credit cards (Master card, Visa, American Express) are accepted in Greece, but small restaurants and shops may only accept cash. Bring enough cash for the first days to cover such expenses as a taxi ride, dinner or a tip and the rest in Traveller's Cheques or use your credit card. ATM's are widely available.

- How much should a taxi cost?

The taxis in Athens and big cities have a meter; in Athens it starts at EUR 1,29. The minimum fare is EURO 3,44. The fee when taking a taxi from ports, railway stations and main bus stations is EUR 1,17. For every piece of luggage over 10kg there is a supplement of EURO 0,43. After midnight the per kilometer tariff is almost doubled. Specifically for rides from/to the Athens Airport to/from the city center (ring) depending on the time of disembarkation from the taxi, the flat rate is EUR 38 between 05:00-23:59 while the night fare is EUR 54. You can only pay cash but credit card remote POS machines are gradually making their appearance. Taxi drivers are obliged to issue computerized receipts.

- How much to tip?

The prices in most restaurants already include the tip, it is mentioned on the price list. In most of the cases, it is left to the client's discretion.

- Restaurant recommendations while in Athens?

Geros tou Moria in Plaka (Greek cuisine) : Mnisikleous Street 27 (lunch, dinner and Greek folk dances)
Thanassis and/or Bairaktaris: the most famous Souvlaki in Athens right at the end of Mitropoleos Street (near the metro station Monastiraki) - no reservation but patience required.
Strofi : 25, Rovertou Galli Street, Makrigianni area, near the Acropolis. Good Greek cuisine with nice view over Acropolis from its terrace.
Mani-Mani: a charming little restaurant, housed in a renovated neoclassical building. Greek cuisine with a twist, very good service, pleasant ambiance. Advance reservations are recommended.
Kouzina: right across the entrance of the Ancient Agora, it is housed in a beautiful, neoclassical mansion with a fantastic roof terrace with panoramic view. Innovative recipes that combine Greek and international ingredients, excellent service, lovely atmosphere. Advance reservations are required, especially for the roof section.