Greece has started becoming one of the sought after destinations for the outbound Indian travellers…while the overall numbers are still not very high when compared to some other countries, the number of Indians visiting Greece doubled last year from the previous year to around
. This is set to grow significantly in the years ahead.
|Location / Language
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, covering an area of around 1.32 lacs sq kms and with a population of approximately around 11 million. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
The official language of Greece is Greek, spoken by 99% of the population. In addition, a number of non-official, minority languages and some Greek dialects are spoken as well. The most common foreign languages learned by Greeks are English, German, French and Italian.
|Visa Requirements / Currency (please note these procedures/ exchange rates can changed from time to time…please get an update from the embassy prior to travel)
As India is not part of the Schengen Area, if one is an Indian passport holder you will need to apply for the appropriate type of Schengen Greek Visa for travelling to the country. To be eligible for a Schengen Visa for Greece one will mainly need their current passport, along with certain documents, to be submitted with the Visa application form.
Currency : Euro (EUR)
Conversion: Rs.1 INR = 0.013 EUR
1 EUR = Rs. 78.04 INR
|Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Greece.
- Acropolis in Athens – Considered the symbol of Greece, and the Western civilization, it is a rocky mound rising in the heart of Athens, crowned by three magnificent temples dating from the 5th century BC. The best known and most distinctive is the Parthenon, originally made up of 58 columns supporting a roof and decorated by ornate pediments and a frieze.
- Santorini – Stunning and dramatic of all the Greek isles, it is best known for the west coast cliff-top towns of Fira and Oia, which appear to hang over a deep, blue sea-filled caldera. Made up of typical Cycladic whitewashed cubic buildings, many of which have been converted into boutique hotels with infinity pools, they are considered romantic destinations, popular for weddings and honeymoons.
- Samaria Gorge - On the island of Crete, it measures 16 kilometers in length and, at its narrowest point, only four meters wide and it runs from Omalos (1,250 meters) in the White Mountains down to Agia Roumeli, on the Libyan Sea. It is steep in parts and rocky and the gorge lies within the Samaria National Park, and is on the UNESCO tentative list.
- Mount Athos - Known as the “holy mountain”, it is a peninsula and mountain in the northern most corner of Greece and is a holy ground for the Christians due to the sacred monasteries located there. And the 20 monasteries along with some 1,400 monks that lie in the slopes are quite the attraction as they display some precious and holy artefacts.
- Delphi- A UNESCO World Heritage site, it is built on the lower slopes of Mount Parnassus, overlooking a dramatic ravine and made up of the crumbling ruins of numerous temples, a theatre, and stadium, dating from between the 8th century BC. People came here to worship Apollo (god of light, prophecy, music, and healing).
- Corfu - Corfu sits in the Ionian Sea and it’s capital, Corfu Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, thanks to its elegant Italianate architecture, its romantic pedestrian-only streets lined by old-fashioned cafes and discover two 16th-century fortresses. The most popular beach area is Paleokastritsa with its limestone rocks jutting out into the sea.
- Meteora Monastries – In Thessaly Plain, rocky outcrops are capped by the centuries-old monasteries of Metéora which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Six of the monasteries are open to the public within which are flickering candles, religious icons, Byzantine frescoes, and burning incense.
- Zákynthos Island - Located just 16 kilometers off Peloponnese's West Coast, it boasts of pebble and sand beaches and stunning sea caves like the Blue Caves, off the island's northern tip. The Blue Caves are only one of the many watery attractions around this island. There is also excellent snorkelling and scuba diving.
- Thessaloniki (Salonica)- This is the country's second biggest city after Athens and it’s main sightseeing attractions are its UNESCO-listed Byzantine churches, but there are also several Roman monuments (including the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and the 4th-century Rotunda), the 15th-century White Tower on the seafront, and an excellent Byzantine Museum.
- Mycenae- The centre of the Mycenaean civilisation, this is now a well-preserved archaeological site in the Peloponnese. At its peak, Mycenae was one of the most important Greek cities and today many of its wonders can still be explored, including the Lion’s Gate, its fortified walls, the Terraced Palace and of course the famous Tomb of Agamemnon.
|Things You Must Do in Greece.
- Visit Beautiful Nafplio - Often cited as Greece's most beautiful city, is built on a small peninsular on the east coast of the Peloponnese, it became the first capital of modern Greece in 1828. The car-free old town is filled with Neoclassical mansions and proud churches and overlooked by the 18th-century Palamidi Fortress. Nearby attractions include Tiryns, Epidaurus Theater, and Ancient Corinth.
- Go spelunking at Melissani Cave – The Cave is craggy and almost 4 kms long and was formed when water eroded the soft rocks over the centuries. Inside the cave is the equally famous Melissani Lake, an underground body of water where one can glide across the turquoise waters on a boat. Check out the tunnel leading to the cave.
- Marvel at Corinth Canal - The canal is sliced into a section of rock and spans 6 kms with sides that soar up to 90 meters. Catch and hop on to the ships travelling through the canal or just take off on the Zulu Bungy Jump which is an amazing way to take in all the majesty of the canal.
- Explore the Palace of Malia - The Palace in Malia dates from 1900 BC and has been rebuilt several times following a range of natural disasters like earthquakes. There are a variety of exhibitions halls here as well as photographic galleries and scale models of how the complex would have looked in days gone by. Look out for some of its signature pieces such as the Kernos Stone which is a disk with 24 holes in it.
- Enjoy the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil - The museum tells the story of the humble olive and how it became one of the most important ingredients in Greek life. One can visit galleries that will explain how olive oil was used for fuel and in perfume, and there are a variety of ancient oil presses that are still in working order.
|Food on the Plate
Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine. Contemporary Greek cookery makes wide use of vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish, wine, and meat. Other important ingredients include olives, pasta, cheese, lemon juice, herbs, bread, and yogurt. The most commonly used grain is wheat; barley is also used. Common dessert ingredients include nuts, honey, fruits, and filo pastries.
Greek food one must try includes:
- Moussaka –This is an oven-baked casserole of layered eggplant and spiced meat filling topped with a creamy bechamel will be the highlight of any Greek meal.
- Pastitsio - Three essential components make up this dish - pasta, meat filling, and a creamy bechamel sauce, all layered in a pan and baked to golden perfection.
- Fassolakia Lathera - Green Beans in Tomato Sauce - Vegetable dishes that are cooked with olive oil and tomatoes are referred to as lathera because the key ingredient is flavorful olive oil, or “lathi.” This is a great way to prepare fresh green beans as a side dish or a vegetarian main meal.
- Domates Yemistes - Stuffed Tomatoes With Meat and Rice - A Greek staple of the summer season when tomatoes are abundant and at their peak and one can also use the same filling for peppers, zucchini, or any other vegetables that may be available.
- Galaktoboureko - It is a custard-filled phyllo pie, drenched with a lemon and orange-infused syrup. It's rich, creamy and a sought after desert.
|Indian travel medical insurance for Greece
Since Greece is a country which is part of the Schengen countries in Europe, the traveller needs to purchase Schengen visa travel health insurance to satisfy the consular requirements.
Travel insurance India for Greece is relatively cheaper when compared to destinations in Americas, and most insurance companies offer a specific Schengen Insurance Plan. One must ensure that the minimum Accident & Sickness (A&S) sum insured for a Schengen plan must be €30,000 (around $50,000), and a visa to visit any Schengen country will not be provided without this minimum coverage.
The insured must purchase an “Excluding Americas” Plan, if they are travelling to other destinations that don’t include only Schengen countries.
These premiums are across different plans and different benefits.. please log in to www.eindiainsurance.com to compare and buy Indian travel insurance for visiting Greece.
|Sum Insured($USD or €Euro) / Premium in Rs. INR
||Insured Age 35
||Insured Age 65
|Schengen - €30,000
|Schengen - €50,000
|Excluding - $50,000