Fun facts about Greece
Greece has 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Santorini has a number of different colour beaches.
It has more archaeological museums than any other country.
Greece is the third-largest producer of olives.
It’s one of the most mountainous countries in Europe, with 80% of Greece made up of mountains!
Greece comprises over 6,000 islands, but only 227 of them are inhabited.
It boasts approximately 300 sunny days in a year, making it one of the sunniest places in the world.
Things to know before travelling to Greece
With so much to see and do, it helps to have a helpful guide before you depart for this bright and breezy country. Here are some need-to-knows:
It’s a relatively safe country
While you should be precautious when visiting Greece, it’s still considered an extremely safe country. Crime rates are low in Greece, so don’t worry too much about walking around during the day or at night.
Locals are friendly to foreigners
Greek locals are extremely hospitable and friendly, with many appreciating when attempts to speak Greek are made. Greeks are proud of their traditions and culture, value relationships, and are warm and kind.
Greece is a laid-back country
Expect a very relaxed way of life when visiting the Greek isles! The locals live on island time, avoiding rushing through their everyday routines while enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Tap water isn’t always safe to drink
Many of the islands in Greece don’t have safe tap water, so keeping bottled water on hand is important. If you’re unsure, just ask. Staying hydrated is also important because the climate can get very hot and lead to heatstroke, particularly if you’re visiting beaches with minimal shade.
Be careful with hand gestures
Two hand gestures are considered impolite in Greece, namely, the “OK’ sign (making a circle with your thumb and index finger) and holding your hand up with your palm facing outward (this includes waving). This can offend locals, so avoid it at all costs.
Dress appropriately when visiting religious sites
While a casual dress code is generally accepted when visiting beaches and cities, always make sure to cover your arms, midriff and legs when paying a visit to churches, monasteries and sacred sites.
Currency and local language
Greek is the official language of the country, but English is also widely spoken, along with a few other languages. It helps to learn a few common Greek words and phrases when trying to connect with locals!
The currency in Greece is called the Euro, with the cost of living in Greece being generally lower than other European countries.
Visa requirements in Greece
To visit Greece, you’ll need to obtain a specific Greece Schengen Visa that depends on your reason for travel.
You must have travel medical insurance to visit the country, with a coverage of €30,000 within Greece and the entire Schengen area. Allianz Travel and Allianz Assistance offers a variety of travel insurance options for UAE locals and residents who are planning a trip to Greece. From medical insurance to coverage of lost baggage and personal items, we can assist you with travel insurance that meets your unique requirements.
It’s also required to submit a flight itinerary indicating your arrival and departure dates and flight numbers, a cover letter stating the purpose of your trip (including an itinerary), and a hotel reservation for the entire duration of your stay. To view more information on what is required to obtain a Greek visa, visit the link.
Popular places to visit in Greece
Athens: as the capital of Greece, Athens is widely popular for its cobbled promenades, sun-bleached ruins and vibrant piazzas. Culture enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to this historic city.
Crete: visit Greece's largest island to enjoy the bustling marina, luxury resorts and breathtaking beaches. Here’s also where you can enjoy local flavours at the Cretan Olive Oil Farm.
Thessaloniki: old-world charm meets new-age sophistication in Thessaloniki. Top places to visit here include the Old Town and 16th-century White Tower, with this city also offering impressive galleries and art museums worth exploring.
Santorini: discover Oia, a picturesque village in the popular city of Santorini. Carved into the volcanic cliffs, you can look forward to mesmerising sunset views and venturing into the Oi Castle. Santorini also features numerous coloured beaches, including orange and black beaches.
Mykonos: travellers who enjoy a vibrant nightlife will fall in love with Mykonos. From party-centric beaches to the charming white-washed village called Chora by locals, there are plenty of beaches, quaint cafes, shops and boutiques to explore.
About Allianz Travel and Allianz Assistance
Allianz Travel has over 30 years of experience in offering first-class services and products to tourists from around the world.
Allianz Travel offers UAE travellers visiting Greece our Schengen Travel Insurance package that gives you access to the mandatory insurance certificate required to apply for a Schengen visa.
You can enjoy coverage of up to USD 50,000 in emergency medical expenses for injury, sickness and other medical-related instances. Unlike other Schengen Visa insurance providers, we also include up to USD 300 that covers you in the event of the loss or theft of your travel documents. An additional USD 5,000 is also included to cover you in case of personal accidents.
You can purchase our affordable Schengen Travel Insurance priced from just AED 45 per person.
Get in touch with us for any queries you may have and allow us to assist you with your exciting trip to Greece.