Embassy Contact Information: Americans living in or visiting Greece are encouraged to register at the consular section of the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Greece. The U.S. Embassy in Athens is located at 91 Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, tel: (30)(210) 721-2851. The U.S. Consulate General in Thessaloniki is located at Plateia Commercial Center, 43 Tsimiski Street, 7th floor, tel: (30)(2310) 242-905. The e-mail address for the Consular Section is firstname.lastname@example.org. The U.S. Consulate's web site addresses are http://www.usconsulate.gr/ and http://thessaloniki.usconsulate.gov/. The e-mail address for the U.S. Consulate General Thessaloniki is email@example.com.
Climate: From mid May to mid June and from mid September to the latter part of October, the temperatures are mild, normally 68-77 F/20-25 C. The latter part of June to the first part of September is crowded with tourists and hot, getting into the 90s F/30s C. In the winter months, temperatures are often below 50 F/10 C, which is fine for touring, but usually too cold to swim or lie on the beach. Greece has fairly little rain year-round. The breezes that keep the summer bearable are called meltemi.
Calling Internationally: In the cities and larger towns, many kiosks have telephones from which you can make local calls for Dr20 (6¢). (In remote areas, they will let you make long-distance calls from these phones.) Older public telephones require a Dr20 coin--which are in short supply, so hold onto several if they come your way. Deposit the coin and listen for a dial tone, an irregular beep. A regular beep indicates the line is busy.
Previously, most foreigners went to the offices of the Telecommunications Organization of Greece (Organismos Tilepikinonion tis Ellados), OTE--pronounced oh-tay--to place most of their phone calls, especially overseas calls. But because card phones are now so widespread throughout Greece, this is no longer necessary, once you get the hang of using them. You must first purchase a phone card at an OTE office or at most kiosks. (If you expect to make any phone calls while in Greece, you should buy one at the OTE office at the airport on first arriving.) These come in three denominations: Dr1,000 ($2.90) for 100 units, Dr1,900 ($5.45) for 200 units, and Dr4,200 ($12) for 500 units; there are plans to introduce a 1,000-unit card for DR8,200 ($24). Note that the more costly the card, the cheaper the units.
A local call of up to 3 minutes costs Dr20 or two units off a phone card; for each minute beyond that, it costs another Dr20 or two units off the card (so that a 10-minute local call costs 16 units).
Electricity: The electric current used in Greece is 220 volts AC, alternating at 50 cycles. (Some larger hotels have 110-volt low-wattage outlets for electric shavers, but they aren't good for hair dryers and most other appliances.) Electrical outlets require Continental-type plugs with two round prongs. U.S. travelers will need an adapter plug and a transformer/converter, unless their appliances are dual-voltage. (Such transformers can be bought in stores like Radio Shack.) Laptop-computer users will want to check their requirements; a transformer may be necessary, and surge protectors are recommended.
Travel Insurance for Greece Trips: You should consider the benefits of travel insurance as part of your Greece travel planning. Most travelers look for travel tips that discuss the importance of travel insurance and travel insurance through Travel Guard can provide important coverage for your trip.
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