FOR BRITISH PASSPORT HOLDERS
Guide to Greece
British Embassy, Athens
Persons possessing valid passports giving the holder’s national status as:
are permitted to enter Greece and remain for three months from their date of entry
without a visa or any other formality except customs examination. If this three month
period is exceeded without the permission of the Greek authorities difficulties may be
experienced on trying to leave the country and prosecution for contravening the
regulations may follow.
Intending visitors whose passports bear different descriptions from that above should
consult the nearest Greek Consulate or visa issuing post to find out if a visa is required.
Passports should be safeguarded at all times and renewed before the expiry date.
British passports remain the property of Her Majesty’s Government and should
not be used as collateral. Standard ten-year passports are issued by the Consular
Section of the British Embassy in Athens. Application forms for renewal may be obtained
from the Embassy or other British Consulates in Greece. HYPERLINK http://www.britishembassy.
‘British Dependent Territories Citizen’
‘British Overseas Citizen’
‘British Protected Person’
‘British National (Overseas)’
Passport holders who are uncertain of their position under this Act and who wish to travel
overland to Greece through other countries, should consult the relevant Embassies
before embarking on their journey.
Those coming to Greece to take up RESIDENCE should obtain a change of residence
certificate which is issued by the Greek Consular authorities in the United Kingdom. This
certificate contains only items which are subject to Special Consumption Tax in Greece.
From 1 January 1993 EU Nationals visiting Greece may freely import and re-export
personal effects and are no longer subject to any customs controls or other formalities at
points of direct entry from another EU Member State. However, for cars, boats, etc.
please see the following paragraph. Small quantities of flowers, bulbs and fresh fruit may
be imported. Plants must be accompanied by phytosanitary certificates issued by the
appropriate authority in the country of origin. Small animals may be imported as long as
accompanied by a veterinary certificate issued by the MAFF.
TEMPORARY IMPORTATION OF CARS BY TOURISTS
Tourists from other EU Member States, whose cars are registered in that EU State, are
free to circulate in Greece for a period of six months without customs control. The car
registration document and proof of ownership of a caravan or boat is required. Travellers
should at all times be able to prove to the authorities when the car was brought into
To qualify for a second period of tax free circulation: either both the car and the owner
should be out of Greece for at least 185 days or while the owner is away, the vehicle can
remain at a special Customs compound in Greece for the period stated. Greek road tax
is payable for all additional periods of circulation.
The entitlement to circulate on foreign plates is strictly personal, consequently only the
wife/husband or children may use the car in addition to the owner. After the expiry of the
period granted by the customs authorities, the person concerned will be required to
re-export the car,
seal it with the customs for a period of at least 6 months (but no more than 24 months)
after which time, provided the owner can show that he/she has been out of Greece for at
least 6 months during this time, another 6 month circulation period will be granted, or
clear it through customs.
Failure to conform to the provisions of Greek Law as above may result in the Greek
Customs imposing fines for each extra day after the expired period. Such fines can
be very steep. Under such circumstances, the vehicle is not released to the owner
unless he agrees to clear it through customs or export it from Greece.
Advice on extensions, transfer or sale of tourist cars in Greece can be obtained from the
Directorate for the Supervision and Control of Cars (DIPEAK) at the following address:
Directorate for the Supervision and Control of Cars
Akti Kondyli 32
Piraeus 185 10
Telephone No: 210 46 23615 46 26325 and 46 27325
PERMANENT IMPORT OF VEHICLES – CHANGE OF RESIDENCE
EUROPEAN UNION NATIONALS, who are residents in other European Union Countries
for at least two years, who decide to transfer their place of residence to Greece are
exempt from VAT and Registration currently levied in Greece on:
cars (owned and used privately)
At the time of application the applicant has not been resident in Greece for more than two
The applicant has/had been domiciled in another member state for at least 185 days in
each year of the three years prior to their initial arrival in Greece.
The applicant holds a change of residence certificate issued by the Greek Consular
Authorities in the EU State of previous residence. This certificate is valid for use within 12
The applicant owned and used the vehicle in the prior EU member state of residence for
at least 6 months and that appropriate TAX and VAT has been paid in the country of
The applicant is in possession of a 5-year residence permit. Applicants who are not in
possession of a 5-year residence permit should be aware that, usually, the relevant
taxes and dues are required to be paid or a bank guarantee deposited for a sum equal to
those taxes and dues, until they produce a 5-year residence permit to the appropriate
Within one month from the date of importation, owners of such vehicles must appear in
person at the nearest Customs Authority to request exemption from payment of
Registration and VAT. The owner will then be granted special Greek registration plates.
Normally the charge for such plates is equivalent to 20% of the Registration tax.
Vehicles entering Greece are also required to undergo a test at a Vehicle Technical
Control Centre (KTEO). Diesel engine vehicles are not permitted to circulate in Athens,
Piraeus or Salonika. It is highly recommended that all vehicle owners consult the
nearest Greek Consulate for full information prior to their departure for Greece.
A VEHICLE IMPORTED UNDER THE ABOVE REGULATION may not be transferred,
leased, pawned or lent, nor its use assigned in any other manner without prior
approval by the customs authorities. In the event of transfer, lease, pawning, lending
or assignment of the use of such a vehicle before the lapse of one year, the total amount
of tax due shall be collected.
Authoritative information on this special concession is available from the Greek Customs
Director of Customs
Ministry of Finance
Athens 105 62
Telephone No: 210 324 5552
210 324 5587
A British motorist driving in Greece temporarily need not possess an International Driving
Licence provided he/she holds an appropriate valid “European Union Format” British
driving licence and passport. British motorists driving their own car MUST obtain
adequate insurance for Greece from their insurance company in the UK. The Motor
Insurance Bureau in Greece has a department serving foreign drivers who hold Green
You may obtain information through the:
MOTOR INSURANCE BUREAU
10 Xenofondos Street (4
Athens 105 57
Telephone No: 210 323 8402, 210 323 6562
Fax No: 210 323 8370
Under EC Directive 80/1263/EEC, the holder of a driving licence issued in a member
state of the EU (unless the licence bears an indication that it was granted in exchange for
a non-EU licence) has the right to exchange it for a licence of the new country of
residence without taking a driving test. The application must be made within one year of
taking up residence in a different member state; the previous licence must be
surrendered to the licensing authority. EU Directive 91/439/EU (implemented in Greece
on 01/01/97) states that such a change for persons holding the EU pink common-format
Driving Licence is not obligatory. A Greek driving licence remains valid until the holder
reaches the age of 65 years, after which an application for extension is required.
Persons hiring a car or motorcycle in Greece should look carefully into the question of
adequate insurance cover. In the event of an accident the driver may be liable for
payment of damages and may be held in custody pending payment. There are many
motorcycle accidents in Greece, some fatal. The wearing of helmets by motorcyclists is
obligatory by law.
British passport holders wishing to stay in Greece for more than three months need to
obtain a residence permit. Application MUST be made in person within three months of
the date of arrival in Greece.
In Athens and its suburbs application should be made to the Aliens Department Offices
ATHENS: 99 Antigonis Street, off Lenorman, Kolonos
Tel: 210 510 2834 and 210 510 2833
MAROUSSI: Ag. Orous 15 Tel: 210 687 5177
PIRAEUS: 37 Iroon Polytechniou Street Tel: 210 412 2501 ext 382
GLYFADA: 23 Karaiskaki Street Tel: 210 960 1340
In districts outside Athens application should be made to the nearest police station. The
grant of residence permits and their renewal is entirely a matter for the Greek authorities
and the Embassy or Consulates cannot support applications or intervene on behalf of the
applicants. Since regulations concerning residence and employment are under review,
you should check with your nearest Greek Consular office in Britain for up-to-date
RESIDENCE PERMIT REQUIREMENTS
As from 1 January 1988 nationals of the European Union are allowed to work in Greece
without work permits. However, residence permits ARE required, whether a person will
be working in Greece or not. Those persons wishing to set up their own business should
comply with the relevant regulations in obtaining a licence to practice. In accordance to
legislation such persons also need to register with the local tax office. Certain
occupations directly involved with food and beverages also require a work licence issued
by the Hellenic Police (e.g. bar/cafeteria or restaurant work).
The following documents will be required when applying for the issue of a residence
IN THE CASE OF THE WORKING PERSON
The passport on which the applicant entered Greece.
A statement by the applicant’s employer, duly certified by the local Labour Inspectorate,
specifying nature and duration of the work to be done by the applicant.
(NB: The medical certificate, which had previously been required according to
Article 12 of Presidential Decree No. 499 / 1987 has now been abolished
according to the provisions of Presidential Decree No. 403 / 2001.)
IN THE CASE OF MEMBERS OF HIS/HER FAMILY
A document issued by the appropriate authority of the country of origin showing their
relationship, i.e. marriage/birth certificates.
that the persons in question are supported by the applicant, or live under the same roof
as he/she, in that country.
The documents at 1) a). Every time employees change work they must report the
change to the local Labour Inspectorate Office of the new employer’s area. Persons who
are coming to Greece to work for THREE months only, should report this fact to the
nearest Aliens Police or police station within 8 days of their date of arrival in Greece.
A number of employment agencies in Greece deal with enquiries made in person or by
letter. Some are reliable. There are also agencies in the United Kingdom who may be
able to assist in finding employment in Greece, usually as nannies and governesses.
You are advised to secure a written statement (agreement) before arrival in Greece as to
duties involved, hours of work, salary and arrangements for payment of fares to and from
Greece. If in doubt you should seek legal advice before any contract for employment is
signed. The Embassy has no authority to intervene in disputes between employers and
Technically, private employment agencies cannot operate in Greece. This function is
performed by the State through the Ministry of Labour regional OAED Offices. British
Nationals, however, may find employment opportunities through English Language
publications such as the “Athens News” and “The Herald Tribune” – Kathimerini. There
are also various regional newspapers in other areas in Greece (such as “The Corfiot” in
There is a considerable demand for the teaching of English as a foreign language and
there are many opportunities for regular and part-time employment, however, prospective
employees should examine contracts carefully before taking up such engagements. A
Presidential Decree signed in 1997 made it possible for European Union Nationals to be
generally employed in and also open Foreign Language ‘Frontistiria’. There are certain
criteria for teachers and Directors of Study at Frontistiria vis-a-vis certification of basic
knowledge of the Greek Language. Relevant examinations for the obtaining of such
certificates are organised periodically under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.
The Embassy has no means of finding employment in Greece for British Passport
Since 1 January 1981 nationals of EU countries, by virtue of Article 52 of the EC Treaty,
have the right of self-establishment in Greece. This means that EU nationals may work
on their own account as self-employed persons. However, in some areas, e.g. selfemployed
teachers, the Greek authorities may require persons to satisfy certain
qualifications and requirements. Consequently anyone wishing to set up as a selfemployed
person in Greece should consult the Greek authorities regarding their position
before doing so.
Qualified nurses wishing to take up employment in Greece should write before coming to
Greece directly to: The Association of Graduate Nurses, Athens Tower, Building ‘C’, 2
Floor, 2 Messoghion Avenue, Athens 115 27 Telephone No: 210 770 2861. With their
letter nurses should include full details of their qualifications and experience and mention
when they would be available commence employment.
Persons who receive unemployment benefit in the United Kingdom and move to Greece
in an effort to find work may continue to receive unemployment benefit in Greece from
the local Manpower and Employment Organisation Office (OAED) for a period of THREE
months. They should produce to their local OAED office form E303, which is issued by
their local Benefit Agency in the United Kingdom. They must also register themselves at
the same OAED office as unemployed within 7 days of signing off in the U.K. IF THE
APPLICANT DOES NOT FIND WORK WITHIN THREE MONTHS HE/SHE MUST
LEAVE THE COUNTRY.
A person can remain abroad for 4 weeks and continue to receive benefit on return to the
United Kingdom. However, if a person remains abroad up to six months they will need to
re-register with the Benefits Agency on their return to the United Kingdom.
MEDICAL – HOSPITAL TREATMENT IN GREECE
Where to get information: The Social Insurance Foundation (“Idrima Kinonikon Asfaliseon”
known as IKA) situated on the 3
floor at 47 Megalou Alexandrou Street, Athens 104 36,
or its regional or local offices called “Ipokatastimata” or branches which are called
The Greek National Health system provides a basic medical service to Greek NI
contributors, and has a reciprocal agreement with the British National Health Service. You
should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The
EHIC replaced Form E111. The EHIC is available free of charge through most UK post
offices or through the UK Department of Health via their website at: HYPERLINK http://
www.dh.gov.uk www.dh.gov.uk or by telephoning 0800 555 7777 and obtaining their
leaflet "Health Advice for Travellers". The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel
insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Greek
nationals. You will not be covered for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or
treatment of a non-urgent nature. We strongly recommend that you obtain
comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. You should check any
exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
There are many Public and Private Hospitals and Medical centres of varying standards.
Doctors and facilities are generally good on the mainland, but may be limited on the
islands. The standards of nursing and after care, particularly in the public health sector
lag behind what is normally acceptable in Britain. The Public Ambulance Service, (Tel No:
166) will normally respond to any accident. There have been reports of severe
shortages of ambulances on some islands.
When the IKA facility is required, by calling 184 one can make an appointment to see a
doctor or a specialist at an IKA Centre. Patients are given an appointment with a doctor
or dentist who works for the social insurance. Patients will not be charged. Prescriptions
given under this scheme may be taken to any chemist where they are charged 25% of
The 'European Health Insurance Card' (EHIC) should be shown. If you choose to
approach Greek practitioners/hospitals direct for private treatment, the Community
arrangements will not apply and you will be responsible for the full cost of any treatment
received. You should therefore take out sufficient private insurance to cover full costs
for yourself and your family before you leave the U.K.
IKA will arrange free hospital treatment. If a patient cannot get to an IKA office before
going to a hospital or first aid station, he/she should ask the authorities at the hospital or
station for free treatment under the IKA scheme. The 'EHIC' must be shown. Pensioners
who intend to take up residence in Greece and who are entitled to free medical treatment
in the United Kingdom, also enjoy a similar entitlement in Greece. They should produce
to their local IKA office form E121, which is issued by their local Department of Health
Office in the United Kingdom. A person coming to look for work in Greece, who was
unemployed in the U.K., is entitled to free medical treatment in Greece if he/she produces
to their local IKA office form E119. This is also issued by their local Department of Health
Office in the U.K. In both the above cases IKA will exchange the form for a medical
booklet. If in a more remote part of the country or on a small island, there may be no IKA
office within easy reach. One may have to receive and pay the full costs of private
treatment. Before leaving Greece a postal application needs to be made to the nearest
IKA office for a refund. REFUNDS USUALLY COVER ONLY PART OF THE COST.
INDIVIDUALS PAY THE BALANCE THEMSELVES.
British tourists who need urgent medical treatment can be treated at one of the state
hospitals on duty. An 'EHIC' only covers costs in state hospitals. Those who have travel
insurance and can claim refunds from their insurance company can seek treatment at a
Private hospitals and clinics in the Athens area are:
1. Athens Medical Centre (Maroussi) 5-7 Distomou St, Maroussi, Athens 151 25
Tel: 210- 619 8100
Athens Medical Centre (Neo Psychico) 1 Andersen St, Neo Psychico 115-25
Tel: 210-697 4000.
Athens Medical Centre (Paleo Faliro) 36 Areos St, Paleo Faliro, Athens 175-62
Hygeia Hospital, Kifissias Ave and Erythrou Stavrou 4, Maroussi, Athens 151 34
Tel: 210 - 682 7940
Normally banks in Greece will not cash a private cheque drawn on a bank in Greece or
abroad, unless the drawer can produce a Eurocheque card. Addresses of British Banks
are given on page 12.
TRANSFER OF CAPITAL
It is an offence to send cash, cheques etc. by mail from Greece to another country
without obtaining the prior permission of the Greek authorities. Currency controls
affecting a large number of currency transactions have recently been lifted.
It should be noted that at all times EU Nationals who wish to transfer funds abroad will be
required by their commercial bank to prove that the transaction falls within permitted
Those interested should seek advice from a local bank or alternatively from the relevant
section of the Bank of Greece in Athens. Importation of foreign exchange in any form is
not limited. However a person who is carrying more than the total equivalent of 10,000
EURO when entering the country, which he/she intends to take out again, should declare
the amount on arrival.
Travellers leaving Greece are permitted to export:
Amounts up to € 10,000 EURO freely.
Amounts over € 10,000 EURO provided a declaration is submitted on departure to the
Customs Authorities which will include (for residents) a Greek Tax Office certificate that
taxes have been paid in Greece, or (for tourists) evidence that this amount had been
declared on arrival. NOTE: For amounts over € 10,000 EURO further arrangements
from a commercial bank may be required.
Income tax is payable by all persons having income arising in Greece, regardless of
nationality or place of residence. The total income acquired in the immediately preceding
financial year is subject to income tax after the deduction of allowances and exemptions
provided for. There is a bilateral taxation convention between the United Kingdom and
Greece whose object is to avoid double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with
respect of taxes on income, however, according to the Convention, persons are obliged
to submit their tax declaration to the local tax authorities IN THEIR COUNTRY OF
RESIDENCE irrespective of where his/her income arises. For example: a pensioner
living in Greece on his/her U.K. pension must submit a declaration to the local Greek Tax
Office. The Ministry of Finance will then, upon request, issue certificate for use with the
UK Tax Authorities stating that the pensioner in question has been taxed in Greece.
More information can be obtained from the Board of Inland Revenue, Somerset House,
London S.W.2, and locally from the Greek taxation authorities or Ministry of Finance.
CAMPING AND HOSTELS
There are a number of caravan and camping sites, on the mainland and on the islands.
Camping in open areas is prohibited without prior police permission. There are some
youth hostels on the mainland and on the islands.
Neither the Embassy nor British Consular Posts elsewhere in Greece accept private mail
for collection, any mail so received is passed to the Athens Poste Restante facilities and/
or its offices throughout Greece. Some travel agents will hold mail for travellers. HM
Government accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage to mail sent to travellers
care of British Embassies or Consulates.
Foreigners may purchase property in Greece with the exception of certain designated
areas. The best person to approach for advice and assistance on these subjects is a
lawyer. The Embassy has lists of Greek lawyers and Estate Agents who correspond in
English. The Embassy cannot advise on property purchase.
Travellers should keep their relations or friends informed of their whereabouts and their
plans in case they are needed in an emergency. Those staying in Greece for over three
months may register at the Embassy or nearest British Consulate and in January of each
year thereafter. They should keep the Consulate informed of any change of address and
notify it when they leave Greece permanently. The Embassy cannot assist in tracing
missing persons except in cases of minors.
American Community Schools Byron College School
Agias Paraskevis 129 & 7 Filolaou Street
Kazantzaki Street Gargitos, Geraka
Ano Halandri Athens 153 44
Athens 152 34 Tel: 210 604 7722-5
Tel: 210 639 3200
Fax: 210 604 85542
Web: HYPERLINK http://www.acs.gr www.acs.grWeb: HYPERLINK http://
Campion School International School of Athens
Agias Ioulianis Street Xenias & Artemidos Streets
Athens 153 44 Athens 145 62
Tel: 210 607 1700 Tel: 210 623 3888
Fax: 210 607 1750 Fax: 210 623 3160
Web: HYPERLINK http://www.campion.edu.gr www.campion.edu.grE-mail:
St. Catherine's British Embassy
St. Lawrence College
73 Sofokli Venizelou Street Anemon Street
Lykovryssi Loutsa Kouke
Kifissia 141-23 Koropi 194 00
Tel: 210 282 9750 Tel: 210 891 7000
Fax: 210 282 415 Fax: 210 891 7010
There is no organisation in Greece which undertakes to find penfriends but schools will
sometimes arrange for friends from amongst their students. The addresses for two
Greek Colleges are given on page 12.
British Council Reading Room British Hellenic Chamber of Commerce
Filikis Etairias 17 25 Vas. Sofias Street
Kolonaki Square Athens 106 74
Athens 106 73 Tel: 210 721 0361 210 721 0493
Tel: 210 369 2333
St. Paul’s Anglican Church
27 Filellinon Street
Athens 105 57
Tel: (chaplain’s) 210 721 4906
Holy Communion every Sunday at 10.15 a.m. The Chaplain is also Chaplain to Her
Majesty’s Ambassador and can also be contacted at his home on Tel: 210 721 4906.
St. Andrew’s (International and non-denominational)
66 Sina Street
Athens 106 72
Tel: 210 645 2583
St Andrew’s is based at St Catherine’s British Embassy School.
St Peter’s Church meets at St Catherine’s British Embassy School, 73 Sophocles
Venizelou, Lykovryssi, Kifissia 141-23.
Hellenic International Christian Church (Pentecostal)
18 Tsaldari Street
Kifissia 145 61
Tel: 210 854 0513 and 210 854 0475
Scripture Union Headquarters, La Verne Premises, meets at 11.15 a.m. every Sunday
St. Dennis Roman Catholic Church
24 Panepistimiou (a.k.a El. Venizelou) Avenue & Omirou Corner
Athens 106 72
Tel: 210 362 3603
Services in English every Sunday, at 7.00 p.m.
Monday – Saturday 07.30 a.m.
Many other churches are available in Athens and in other parts of Greece. For full details,
please request our separate “List of Churches”.
Islam - For a list of mosques please contact the Mufti’s offices
Mufti’s office – Komotini
82 Ermou Street, Komotini 691 00
Mufti’s office – Xanthi Mufti’s office – Didimotiho
15 Clemanso Street, Xanthi 671 00 Tel: 25530-22266
tel: 6942- 280298
For a list of synagogues please contact the Central Jewish Council, 36 Voulis Street,
Athens 105 57 tel: 210-3244315/18
15 Sonierou Street, Vathis Square Athens
tel: 210-523 1491
USEFUL ORGANISATIONS & ADDRESSES
The above notes are brief and intended for general guidance. Intending travellers wishing
to have more details and information on specific points may find the following addresses
Hellenic Tourism Organisation (EOT - London) Consulate General of Greece
4 Conduit Street 1A Holland Park
London W1R ODJ London W11 3TP
Tel: 0044 207 495 9300 Tel: 0044 207 221 6467
National Tourism Organisation (EOT – Athens)
2 Amerikis Street
Athens 105 64
Tel: 210 327 1300
American College of Athens Athens College
6 Gravias Street 15 Delta Street
Agia Paraskevi Psychiko 154 10
Athens 153 42 Tel: 210 679 8100
Tel: 210 600 9800
General Education Directorate
Ministry of Education
15 Mitropoleos Street
Athens 105 57
Tel: 210 323 0461, 210 323 0862-4
YMCA (XAN) (men & women) YWCA (XEN) (only women)
Acadimias & Omirou Streets 11 Amerikis Street
Athens Athens 106 72
Tel: 210 362 6970 Tel: 210 362 4291
Athens Youth Hostels
75 Damareos Street
Athens 116 33
Tel: 210 523 4170
Fax: 210 751 0616
Details of official youth hostels throughout Greece can be obtained from the Hellenic
Youth Hostel Organisation (Tel: 210 751 9530 & Fax: 210 751 0616)
Athens News The Herald Tribune (Kathimerini)
3 Christou Lada Street Eth.Makariou & Dim. Falireos 2
Athens 102 37 Neo Faliro 185 47
Tel: 210 333 161 Tel: 210 480 8000
Fax: 210 323 1384 Fax: 210 480 8255
Lasithi, Crete 72400
email - info at britsincrete.net
109-111 Messogion Avenue
Athens 115 26
Tel: 210 696 0000
Royal Bank of Scotland
61 Akti Miaouli Street
Piraeus 185 36
Tel: 210 459 6500
BRITISH CONSULATES IN GREECE
British Vice Consulate Honorary British Vice Consulate
1 Menekratous Street Gr. Lambraki 29
Corfu 491 00 Rhodes 851 00
Tel: 26610 23457/30055 Tel: 22410 22005
Fax: 26610 37995 Fax: 22410 24473
British Vice Consulate Honorary British Consulate
Papa-Alexandrou 16 21 Aristotelous Square
Heraklion Salonika 546 24
Crete 712 02 Tel: 2310 278 006
Tel: 2810 224 012 Fax: 2310 283 868
Honorary British Vice Consulate Honorary British Vice Consulate
Annetas Laoumtzi 8 Akti Petrou Ralli 8
Kos 853 00 Ermoupolis,
Tel: 22420 21549 Syros 841 00
Tel: 22420 26203 Tel: 22810 82232/ 88922
Fax: 22420 25948 Fax: 22810 83293
Honorary British Vice Consulate Honorary British Vice Consulate
Votsi 2 5 Foskolos Street
Patras 262 21 Zakynthos 29100
Tel: 2610 277329 Tel: 26950 22906/ 48030/ 45386
Fax: 2610 225334 Fax: 26950 23769
DO’s AND DON’Ts IN GREECE
BRING SUFFICIENT FUNDS with you for your stay and your return. Bank transfers
take time especially to the Greek islands. If you miss your return charter flight you
may need to buy another ticket ‘or pay a surcharge’.
HOLIDAY INSURANCE – DO bring medical card E111 available from your the UK Post
HIRING A VEHICLE, BOAT OR MOPED? - Do check beforehand: is it roadworthy or
seaworthy? Is there proper insurance cover? Do wear a helmet when on a
moped and drive carefully – an accident can ruin your holiday.
SEXUAL ASSUALTS - Women should not walk home alone at night, nor should they
accept lifts from strangers or casual acquaintances.
PERSONAL SECURITY - Do take care when visiting well-known historical sites – they
are favoured haunts of bag-snatchers and muggers.
DON’T GET INVOLVED WITH DRUGS - Penalties are severe – sentences range from
10 years to LIFE imprisonment for trafficking. Prescriptive drugs for personal use
may not be permitted or may require an import permit.
GREECE HAS UNEMPLOYMENT - Do not expect to find work easily. A good
knowledge of Greek is essential for most jobs. Fruit picking opportunities are
DO RESPECT CUSTOMS REGULATIONS - Contraband is a serious offence and
carries heavy prison sentences. Vehicles, boats and aircraft must be taken out of
Greece by you within specified time limits.
DO RESPECT THE GREEK LAWS - Drunken and violent tourists resisting arrest have
been given heavy prison sentences. The British Consulates cannot obtain your
TOO MUCH SUN – especially if mixed with alcohol – can result in dehydration and lead
to serious health problems. DO take care.
IN CONCLUSION PLEASE REMEMBER THAT….
Tourists are STRONGLY advised to take out medical insurance to cover their stay in
Greece before leaving Britain. However, many policies include clauses which exempt
responsibility in the case of injury or death caused by moped accidents.
IT IS AN OFFENCE to pick up, or to attempt to carry away any item, no matter how small
or apparently worthless, which could be described as an antiquity. It is also an offence to
dive for, or to photograph antiquities in Greek territorial waters.
A law introduced in August 1987 provides very SEVERE SENTENCES FOR DRUG
OFFENCES. For example, possession of even a small quantity of narcotics is
punishable by a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a very high fine. Other offences
carry prison sentences of up to 20 years as well as very high fines. Anyone convicted of
causing the use of narcotic substances by individuals below the age of 18 years may be
imprisoned for life and face an extremely high fine. Under this law over 100 substances
are classified as narcotics. The possession, trafficking or use of the following non
prescriptive drugs is prohibited: Hashish, Marijuana, Heroin, various Hallucinogens
such as: LSD, STF, Mescaline and except by permission of the Greek authorities the
following prescriptive drugs: Cocaine, Codeine, Opium, Morphine, Demerol,
Methadone, all synthetic narcotics, opium derivatives, amphetamines. Persons
visiting Greece in possession of these prescriptive drugs should contact the nearest
Greek Consulate before they travel.
NUDISM is not an offence in itself, but British visitors have been prosecuted by private
persons laying a charge with the police under the law dealing with offences against public
morals/decency. The courts do not accept ignorance of the law as an excuse.
Every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of these notes but:
this leaflet is only a guide
it is not exhaustive
many situations will require professional legal advice
the Embassy cannot give legal advice but can provide a list of English speaking
The Embassy cannot be held responsible for any errors or wrong information.
1 Ploutarchou Street
106 75 Athens
Telephone (0030) 210 7272600
Facsimile (0030) 210 7272720
The comprehensive guide for British and
Irish expatriates living, working, retiring,
investing in property, or enjoying lengthy
stays in Crete, Greece's southernmost
island. A lively forum also provides lots of
practical answers for living in Crete and
Greece where the reality on the ground is
often different to what is expected.