From Andrew Harper
The pleasures of Greece are simple but intense: diving from a yacht into water so limpid that you glimpse pebbles on the sea floor 50 feet beneath; turning over a fragment of white marble to find marks left by a chisel 2,500 years ago; sitting in the shade of a quayside awning to eat lightly grilled fish served with lemon, oil and fresh oregano; and watching the sun descend into the Aegean, with a glass of chilled white wine from Santorini and a dish of succulent olives from Kalamata. Ultimately, though, it is the intensity of the light that is incomparable. Greek sunlight endows the landscape with an atmosphere of numinous significance. Colors are supersaturated. And nowhere else in the world are the sea and the sky quite so flawlessly and fathomlessly blue.
CLIMATE: Santorini is indicative of the weather in the Greek islands, while Athens is typical of coastal Greece. May/June is the ideal time for a visit: The weather is settled and the Mediterranean has warmed to a pleasant temperature for swimming. July/August can be excessively hot, and the strong meltemi wind is tiresome, as well as potentially dangerous for those out at sea.
TIME: Seven hours ahead of New York (EST).
CURRENCY: Euro(€). Fluctuating rate valued at €1.00=US$1.30 as of December 2012.
U.S. EMBASSY: Athens, Tel. (210) 721-2951.
DIRECT DIAL CODES: To phone hotels and restaurants in Greece, dial 011 (international access) + 30 (Greece code) + city code and local numbers in listings.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Passport (valid for three months beyond end of stay). Visit www.travel.state.gov, and for travelers’ health information, www.cdc.gov
GENERAL INFORMATION: Visit www.visitgreece.gr before your trip.