With ancient sites in abundance, a rich history immersed in true real life struggles and survival battles, untold stories and fairytales of its mythical past, all entwined to reveal such an interesting country every time you visit, Greece is well known to be the secretive and mystical playground of the Gods.
Total area: 131 990 km² (50 944 sq.miles)
Population: 11,305,118 Million (2010 Estimate)
Greece (historically known as Hellas and officially known as the Hellenic Republic) is located in Southern Europe and politically considered as part of Western Europe.
Greece borders with TURKEY to the East, FyRoM & Albania to the North-West and BULGARIA to the North. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece reportedly boasts the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a vast number of islands (approximately 1,400, of which 227 are inhabited). Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains, of which Mount Olympus is the highest at 2,917 m (9,570 ft).
Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilization of ancient Greece, generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. As such it is the birthplace of democracy, and with a vast legacy reflected in the Olympic Games, Western philosophy and literature, major scientific and mathematical principles. Such legacy is partly reflected in the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites existing in Greece, ranking Greece 7th in Europe and 13th in the world. The modern Greek state was established in 1830.
Since 1981, Greece has been a member of what is now formed and named as the European Union, a member of the eurozone since 2001, a NATO ally since 1952 and the European Space Agency since 2005. It also takes the identity of a founding member of the United Nations, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Greece is the largest economy of the Balkan States. Athens is the capital and the largest city in the country
Greece was the first area in EUROPE where advanced early civilizations emerged, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3000 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete (2700–1500 BC) and then the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland (1900–1100 BC). The period between 1200 and 800 BC is known as the Greek Dark Ages following the supposed Dorian invasion, which marked the end of the Mycenean era. Two of the most celebrated works of Greek literature, the Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer, were written during that period.
The climate of Greece can be divided into the following 3 Mediterranean climate subtypes:
During summer months, the weather is almost always sunny and dry, and any precipitation falls in the form of showers or thunderstorms. The air is usually hot during the day and pleasantly warm at night. Heatwaves can occur, but they are usually quite mild at the coastal areas, where the Etesian winds blow throughout the summer. Winters are wet and any snow that falls does not last too long. Rain in winter is often persistent and can cause flooding and subsequent discomfort in many areas. The mentioned characteristics of this sub climate occur in the Aegean Islands, especially the Cyclades and the Dodecanese, low-lying areas of Crete, thesouthern and parts of central Evia, the eastern and south Peloponnesus, and the low plains of Attica.
This climate is to be found on high mountains, like Pindus and Rhodope. In this sub climate, the winter is harsh with abundant snowfalls, while the summers are cool with frequent thunderstorms. Few meteorological stations are in areas with a truly Alpine Mediterranean climate in Greece and these are not online traceable.
Occurring in most of Macedonia and Thrace, this climate is wetter than the characteristics of the dry mediterranean sub climate with winters being wetter and cooler summers.
• Abs. minimum temperature: −27.8 °C (−18.0 °F), Ptolemaida.
• Abs. maximum temperature: 48.0 °C (118.4 °F), Elefsina and Tatoi.
Average annual temperature in Greece ranges from +10 °C to +19.7 °C (50 to 67 °F), but since however, the country is generally a mountainous one, real average temperatures vary considerably from region to region.
Source: Wikipedia 2012
An important percentage of Greece's national income comes from tourism. According to Eurostat statistics, Greece welcomed over 19.5 million tourists in 2009, which is an increase from the 17.7 million tourists it welcomed in 2007.
Greece received around 15 mln overseas visitors in 2010 (source: Sete, GR) and just over 16.5 Million Tourist Arrivals, reported in Dec 2011 for the same year (source: Easytraveller), more that one and a half times its population, and according to 2008 statistics, it’s ranked 17th in the list of most visited countries in the world
The vast majority of visitors in Greece in 2007 came from the European continent, numbering over 12 million. In 2010, the most visited region of Greece was that of Central Macedonia, with 18% of the country's total tourist flow (amounting to 3.6 million tourists), followed by Attica with 2.6 million and the Peloponnese with 1.8 million. Northern Greece is the country's most-visited geographical region, with 6.5 million tourists, while Central Greece is second with 6.3 million.
In 2010, Lonely Planet ranked Greece's northern and second-largest city of Thessaloniki as the world's fifth-best party town worldwide, comparable to other cities such as Dubai and Montreal. In 2011, Santorini was voted as "The World's Best Island" in Travel + Leisure. Its neighboring island Mykonos, came in fifth in the European category.
The nationalities of visitors to Greece vary greatly, but the top 11 countries providing tourists in Greece (in 2010) were:
1. Germany – 2.04 million (13.6%)
2. United Kingdom – 1.80 million (12.0%)
3. FYROM – 1.11 million ( 7.4%)
4. France – 0.87 million ( 5.8%)
5. Italy – 0.84 million ( 5.6%)
6. Serbia-Montenegro – 0.71 million ( 4.7%)
7. Bulgaria – 0.66 million ( 4.4%)
8. Cyprus – 0.57 million ( 3.8%)
9. Turkey – 0.56 million ( 3.7%)
10. Netherlands – 0.53 million ( 3.5%)
11. Other – 5.33 million (35.5%)
(2010 International Tourist arrivals-Source: Sete, GR)
Sources: Wikipedia, World Tourism Rankings
Car Hire in Greece with MisterHire.Com
Renting a self drive car in this heavenly god-favored country is an exciting way to visit and explore historic sites and most idyllic locations.. At a drive pace set entirely by you, you may pause at historic sites of interest which range from its Northern mountainous parts (the city of Salonica, Alexandroupolis etc), throughout the picturesque and mesmerizing river area of Veroia, through the ancient city of Pella (Alexander the Great’s birthtown) near to modern town Edessa and down to its Southest part, the majestic island of Crete.
As we continuously aim to provide the lowest of prices and best all inclusive car hire deals to our leisurely customers and most frequent business travelers, your support is vital as it allows us to show impressive booking results to our Car Rental partners and hence, push for low prices (despite inflationary pressures) that guarantee you value all the time in repeat bookings, coupled -where possible- with our associate’s occasional free upgrades.
Why visit Greece and rent a Car from MisterHire.Com
Firstly, there is an abundance of activities to do including (but not limited to): Art and culture, rich history reading/viewing, a multitude of historical buildings such as the Delfoi set at an idyllic location, the Acropolis in Athens etc. Activities such as Yacht or Sail boat chartering is in abundance along the Greek Coasts and isles, nature trailing, visiting lakes, bird watching, hiking mountains, snorkeling the crystal clear seas, playing golf, water skiing & boating, thermal spa relaxation in selected hotels, and many other outdoor sports & activities.
Secondly, our dedicated purchasing team compares prices across all the main suppliers such as Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, Budget, Avis as well as an abundance of carefully selected reliable local suppliers to find you the best car rental rates possible, 24/7 all year round. Visit any of our pages and receive a concise Online quote today and see how much can be saved on your next car rental in Greece by using our services.
Speed limits in Greece
Using the below limits as a guide, please always try to obey the posted limits, which may vary from area to area. Generally though speed limits in Greece are as follows:
Urban areas: 50 km/h (30 mph)
Outside cities: 110 km/h (68 mph)
Freeways/Expressways: 120 km/h (75 mph)
Greece Driving Conditions
Technically, it's illegal in towns and urban areas except in case of emergencies. Use it freely if and where required; it could be lifesaving. On high mountain roads, a short beep shortly before going around a tight and blind curve, is always a good practice.
It is forbidden (and it may well not be marked) within 9 feet of a fire hydrant, 15 feet of an intersection, or 45 feet from a bus stop. In certain areas, street parking requires purchase of a ticket from a booth. These areas will usually be posted in both Greek and English.
Traffic or Parking Violation Tickets
Fines are expensive, often hundreds of euros. Enforcement rates and driving penalty fees usually rise with a looming crisis.
EU citizens can use their very own. Other nationals should carry an International Drivers License with them, though in practice, a recognizable photo license is usually accepted. US licenses have been readily accepted in the past, but it would be recommended to having the international version as a handy second form of ID.
ELPA offers coverage to members of AAA (Triple-A), CAA and other similar assistance services but any driver can contact them. Check with your membership department for information on using the ELPA shared services in Greece. ELPA has quick-access numbers dial-able in Greece: 104 and 154. One of MisterHire.Com's CUSTOMER SUPPORT CENTRES is also never far away from you and you are always prompted to call it for anything concerning your car rental deal..
Restricted Areas in Athens
The central Athens area restricts car access to reduce congestion, based on whether or not the car license plate ends in an odd or even number, but these restrictions do not apply to rental cars.
Driving Your Own Car
You need a valid registration, proof of internationally valid insurance (checking beforehand with your insurance company would save you from potential trouble…), and your driver's license.
For visitors to Greece, dial 112 for multi-language help. Dial 100 for Police, 166 for Fires, and 199 for ambulance service. For roadside service, use the ELPA numbers above.
Road Tolling Stations
The two special roads called Ethniki Odos, the National Road, do require tolls, which vary and must be paid in cash. These have also risen recently (May 2012).
Drive on the right, same as in the United States.
Circles and Roundabouts
While these are standard in many European countries and in the UK and Ireland, they are new to many US drivers. These circles serve as a kind of perpetual-motion intersection, keeping traffic flowing without the use of signal lights. This sounds more difficult than it actually is, and roundabouts are actually kind of fun once you get used to them.
Cell / Mobile Phone Usage
It is now illegal to use your cell phone while driving in Greece. Violators can be stopped and issued an on-the-spot fine.