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A Guide To Greece - The Lifestyle

Living in the Sun - International Property Sales

Information kindly provided by Living in the Sun -


The Lifestyle
Imagine waking at around 8.30am, slipping out of bed onto the terrace, already warm in the morning sun - sipping a chilled orange juice, perhaps made from a freshly picked orange from your own tree, you can bask in the sunshine and plan the day ahead. 

Imagine exploring a tiny cove framed by headlands clad in pine and cypress trees, walking to a simple taverna set on the edge of a little harbour where brightly-painted fishing boats bob on the turquoise sea, stumbling on a solitary whitewashed chapel hidden at the end of a donkey track. Thinking of a late supper in the old village with your new friends and neighbours, sampling the local wine whilst your meal cooks slowly over the charcoal fire. Then finally home, to the silence of the countryside at night, to sleep, dreaming of the next day….

In a word – Wonderful !  The mere mention of Greece conjures up images of timeless serenity, of rustic charm and blissful simplicity, and the days in the sun fly by.

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The style is hearty rather than overcomplicated. It’s better away from the tourist “chips with everything” areas in the major resorts. Country tavernas generally offer best menus. Portions are usually generous. The excellence of the local wine is a real bonus, and at good prices, so a night out tends to be inexpensive and a lot of fun!

All the markets in Greece produce plentiful and inexpensive food. There are large supermarkets well stocked with local and imported food. Feeding 2 people for a week would cost you around £60.

Restaurants and Tavernas are not expensive – you should be able to eat and drink for around £7 per head, and enjoy a really good meal.

Local wines and spirits are good value, and beer will cost about 50p a bottle, cigarettes £1 per packet).

The cuisine is best enjoyed at the invitation of a local to go to his house - don’t turn down an invite. Grilled fish or meat sprinkled with local herbs cooked slowly on an outside charcoal fire is always delicious, especially when its washed down with some local village wine. Greek salad is well known, of course, and the souvlakia (meat on a skewer) is always to be found in village Tavernas.

If you enjoy seafood find a local Ouzorea that’s used by the locals and try a meze.

At lunchtime fried Calamari with a bottle of chilled Retsina is wonderful.

Breakfast tends to be light, and of the continental variety. But most tourist tavernas now do full English breakfasts, Omelettes and toasted sandwiches.


A 10% service charge is included in most restaurant bills, so tipping isn’t necessary unless the service has been particularly good.

Greece is 2 hours ahead of UK time.

There are plenty of sporting activities (see the Useful Links Page for details of web-sites)

Horse trekking is available, and all the water sports – windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and Fishing.

There are excellent diving opportunities, and the rocky coves offer good snorkeling in the clear waters.

Golf is available at 4 International courses; these are situated in Glyfada (Athens), Corfu, Halkidiki, Rhodes and Elunda in Eastern Crete. There are several new courses planed.

Tennis is available in many places – and is becoming very popular in Greece.

Walking, photography and painting can all take advantage of the history, archaeology and natural beauty – a good way to see Greece as well as enjoy a hobby.

Mountain Biking is excellent by the sea or up in the Mountains. There are thousands of well-maintained trails and old donkey/goat tracks to explore. Hiking is equally good.

Skiing and Snowboarding, The Greek season starts in December till mid April, and there are 14 ski resorts to choose from.


Throughout Greece and the European continent you drive on the right hand side of the road.

Driving is fine in a car, though on two wheels you need to take care, as car drivers don’t pay as much attention to motorcyclists as they might. The main roads are pretty good, but the country lanes require care and attention. Mountain tracks will need a 4-wheel drive to negotiate.

Road sign distances are in Kilometres.

Speed limits are 50km/h (30mph) in cities and towns, 80km/h (50mph) outside cities and towns and 100km (60mph) on Highways. The Highways are toll roads charging a set amount per car.

There is no car road tax in Greece, and fully comprehensive insurance is likely to be about £270 (450 Euro). Petrol is about 45p per litre!

Private diesel cars are not allowed because the fumes destroy the ancient monuments.Foreign cars are except from this rule.

Car rental will be £20-£30 per day, depending on size and duration of hire. For 15 days plus, the smallest might cost £18, and a 4WD between £25 and £40.

Most car rental companies will provide you with a road map.


Business hours operate around a typical siesta at midday.

Opening hours in summer are usually 0900-1400 and 1700-2200, with no afternoon opening. The exception being tavernas and bars that usually stay open all day and evening till the last person goes home. In winter shops usually open from 0900 till 1400 and then 1800-2100.

Public holidays tend to be religious in origin.:-

Jan 1 st New Years Day.
Jan 6 th Epiphany.
Mar 18 th Orthodox Shrove Monday.
Mar 25 th  Independence Day.
May 1 st   Labour Day.
May 3 rd   Orthodox Good Friday.
May 6 th Orthodox Easter Monday.
June 24 th Day of the Holy Spirit.
Aug 15 th Assumption.
Oct 28 th Ochi Day.
Dec 25 th Christmas Day. 

It’s an easy task – labelling is sometimes in English as well as Greek in the supermarkets. Local dairy products are much in evidence, and you’ll find delicious fresh vegetables, salads, fruit and fish.

The busy street markets are recommended for farm products and meat. Bargaining is not that usual, though if goods are unmarked you could try for up to 20%.


The Athens News and Athens Daily Post are both published daily in English. Foreign newspapers are pricey – perhaps £1.50 for the Times.

Local radio stations often broadcast in English.

BBC world service is at: MHz 12.10 9.410 6.195 and 3.955

Voice of America: MHz 15.26 9.760 1.197 0.792

The local TV stations do feature a lot of foreign material with its original soundtrack, so you will find English programmes. Satellite TV is available.


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