ETIAS - Traveling to Greece
U.S. citizens can travel to Greece using an ETIAS visa waiver
Country of Greece
- UTC+02:00 (EET)
Emergency Greece Telephone Numbers
112 (112 is the equivalent to 911 in the US)
Greece: An Overview
The Hellenic Republic, historically known as Hellas, and in English, Greece, is like soul food; all at once nourishing, comforting, and stirring. Ancient is the wisdom that seeps from her sun-washed ruins, wise is the voice that whispers from the Aegean blue waters lapping the vast shoreline. Astounding beauty is found here from the enticing islands anchored amidst the sparkling waters that surround them, to stark and hallowed monasteries tucked with their centuries-old wisdom for all of time into soaring peaks, to long-cultivated olive groves with dappled sunlight ripening their delectable fruit and fresh streams drenching their tangled roots. And everywhere in between, this ancient place that has harmoniously woven the past with the present is rich with culture and history and rife with sensual pleasures. At the tip of Southeastern Europe along the edge of many seas, Greece is made of a mainland arcing into a peninsula and is peppered by more than 6,000 islands and islets. Greece joined The Schengen Agreement in 1992. A country of 11 million people, Greece welcomes three times that number of visitors each year.
Literature, art, philosophy, architecture, and incredible food and wine, Greece is a historically and culturally abundant part of Europe. Visitors yearn to explore countless ancient monuments, statues and artwork, and ancient sites like Delphi carved into the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, the Acropolis in Athens, the original Olympic Stadium at Olympia, and the ancient capital of Napflio on the Peloponnese Peninsula. The warmth of its people, the original farm to table cuisine―Greek fare, and the mystery of myriad religious festivals; Greece offers authentic adventures and experiences beyond what can be counted. When Aristotle said, “the whole is more than the sum of its parts,” he must surely have been thinking of Greece.
ETIAS is coming in 2021. With authorization for the ETIAS Visa Waiver Program for visa-free travel with a flexible 90-day limit to Greece, along with dozens of Schengen Area countries, daydreams of leisurely explorations of this ancient place hailed as “the cradle of all western civilization,” are deliciously close at hand.
Primary Languages: Greek, English, German, French, Italian.
Where to Go
The capitol city of Athens is the largest city in Greece and is expectedly crowded but the city’s popular tourist area is manageable, and worth a day or two. The smell of diesel mixed with the aroma of olive oil simmering meats, vegetable and herbs offers an unexpected patina of foreign mystique. Don’t miss: The Acropolis is the site of the temple, the Parthenon (447 BC), and around it is the Acropolis Loop which is an inviting walkway for strolling, sipping, shopping, and dining. The Temple of Zeus, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum, offer a look into Hellenic history. See the changing of the guard at Syntagma Square or wander over to the Greek Orthodox Mitropolis Cathedral, (1842) constructed from marble from more than 70 demolished churches. Meander the Central Market for welcome sensory inundation from the scents, tastes and sights found there. Athens accommodations include inner city, those with Acropolis views, or those along Athens Gold Coast.
The Peninsula: The Peloponnese
The charming peninsula region called The Peloponnese is not big city, but instead a relaxing region meant to be savored slowly. Walkers will delight in all there is to uncover on foot of this lesser-known and bewitching peninsula. The Isthmus of Corinth, a narrow land bridge connects the peninsula to the mainland. The windswept rugged landscape and dramatic seascape present some of the loveliest nature in Greece. Laced with ruins of Mycenaean palaces, crumbling churches and temples, and mediaeval castles, especially in Mystras which also houses an archaic amphitheater, the region offers a bounty to discover. Olympia is the site of the 776 BC Olympics; imagine picnicking in the grass on the hillside overlooking the spot where the games were born! The Mani Peninsula is home to some of the loveliest seaside villages anywhere on earth. Fortified stone houses and cobbled streets speak to its past and breathtaking beaches and darling clear coves with small fishing boats swaying on their anchors are beyond inviting. Gythion, or “Gythio,” tucked into the foothills of Taygetos Mountain, is a seaside spot where visitors can imbibe in the energy of an authentic Greek town. Off the tourist chart, this is a place one can fully embrace the Greek culture. A promenade, pastel-hued homes, artisan shops and portside eateries (and ouzeries!) let visitors know this is the real deal. A road to the south of the promenade leads to Kranai, and on weekends locals flock here from Athens. Beaches are clean and the swimming is divine.
Thousands of islands; some famous and some lesser known to the outside world are all beautifully arranged in the midst of the Aegean and Ionian seas. The Cyclades is an Aegean Sea group of more than 50 islands including the famed and breathtaking islands of Santorini and Mykonos. Both are drenched in sunlight, color and charm. A lush yet simple life is lived in a palette of brilliant white and cerulean blue interrupted only by the flashes of fuchsia bougainvillea blossoms which decorate window boxes and climb messily along window trellises. Mykonos is recognized for its Cycladic architecture and the island was named for the god, Apollo’s son. Exploring the town visitors will be led through winding narrow alleys filled with shops and boutiques and along the water-splashed Old Harbor are some small churches and restaurants perched at the edge of the Aegean overlooking a tiny fishing harbor where dinner may be carried fresh off the boats. Party beaches: Paradise and Super Paradise, have a backbeat all day long into the night, but further away quieter spots for sunning and swimming can be found; Kapari Beach is tiny and perfect for those who seek unassuming and pretty, hidden gems. Santorini is actually a crescent-shaped group of breathtaking islands―Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni. Thira is the island that draws the cognoscenti as well as those seeking to explore the most recognizable cliff-side villages with their sun-bleached white facades of homes, boutiques, hotels, and restaurants perched elegantly into the steep cliffs and offering breath-holding panoramas. East coast beaches with their rich black sand and southern beaches with sand of many colors offer unique and gorgeous choices on this most celebrated of the Greek islands.
Greece is bordered by 4 countries; from west to east they are Turkey, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Albania. Its water borders are the Ionian Sea to the west where it meets Italy, the Aegean Sea to the east and the Libyan and Cretan seas to the south, and Greece’s peninsula reaches south all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. Greece, as a member of the Schengen Area, will require ETIAS authorization for the visa waiver program being launched by the European Union in 2021.