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Local Information

| Lifestyle and Food | Public Holiday/Festivals | Working in Greece |
| Medical | Crime | Driving and Transport | Sports and Shopping | Media |

Geography

Mainland Greece consists of a mountainous peninsula extending some 500 km (310 miles) into the Mediterranean from the Southwest corner of the Balkans, with the Aegean Sea to the east. The Ionian Sea to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the South.

The mainland and islands have a combined coastline of some 13,350 km (8,300). The principal structural feature of Greece are the Pindos Mountains extending southeast wards from the Albanian border and covering most of the peninsula. Some 80 per cent of the mainland is mountainous with 20 mountains over 2,000m/6,560 feet (the highest peak is Mount Olympus at 2,900m/9,500 feet) permanently covered in snow. Greece has little flat or cultivated land and woodland covers around half the country. Greece has borders with Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and the former Yugoslavian State of Macedonia (now independent).

photo of Turtle Island

Climate

Greece has a warm Mediterranean climate. The subtropical summers by the sea are hot and dry with clear blue skies, often cooled by a system of seasonal breezes known as the "meltemia". The mountain areas are much cooler and often covered with snow in the winter. Winters are mild in the low lands, frost and snow is very rare. Most rainfall occurs between November and March. On average the sun shines 3,000 hours per year, that's 8.5 hours a day. Solar heating has becoming popular as a result.

Average Temperatures (C)

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

10

12

14

19

24

26

27

29

26

21

17

12

(The time is 2 hours ahead of the UK)

Language

The Greek people are warm and welcoming, and visitors and residents alike find themselves quickly making friends and joining the community and spending time in the local Taverna's Language.

Greek, English and other foreign languages such as German are widely spoken in tourist areas. English is taught at most schools and given the long association with Britain, there is a very warm welcome for British visitors and residents. Most road signs are bi-lingual, and there are English newspapers and radio stations. Satellite TV is, of course, available. You feel right at home here very quickly, and integration into the community is quick and easy.

Currency

The Euro is now the official currency of 12 EU member states including Greece. Foreign currency can be exchanged at all banks, savings banks and bureau de change. Exchange rates can fluctuate from one bank to another, so shop around.

Traveller's cheques in all major currencies are widely accepted and can be exchanged easily at all banks. Generally, banks in Greece charge an exchange commission of 2 per cent. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars.

Credit & Debit cards are widely accepted although less so in petrol stations.

Currency restrictions: The import of local and foreign currency is not restricted provided any amount exceeding Euro 10,000 is declared on arrival. The export of local and foreign currency is allowed although amounts over Euro 2000 require an import Declaration form issued on arrival.

Banking hours

Mon-Thurs 0800 -1400

Fri 0800 -1330

Banks in Thessaloniki tend to stay open in the afternoon and some during the evening to offer currency exchange facilities during the tourist seasons.

Lifestyle

Wake up to the glorious morning sunshine with breakfast on the terrace or in your garden, where another beautifully warm day awaits. Youcan sit in the shade of your own olive tree and watch the first sailboats leaving the harbour to catch the offshore breezes, a late supper in the old square in Pefkohori watching the world go by and sampling the local wine.

Food

Restaurants and Tavernas generally offer best menus with generous sized portions and 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 80 cents a bottle, cigarettes €2,00 per packet).

There are a number of large supermarkets well stocked with local and imported food. Feeding 2 people for a week would cost you around €50.

Recommended Restaurants - Captains (pefkohori main road)

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Public Holidays / Festivals 2010

Public holidays tend to be religious in origin:-

1st January

New Years Day

6th January

Epiphany

15th February

Orthodox Shrove Monday

25th March

National Holiday - Independence Day

2nd April

Orthodox Good Friday

4th April

Orthodox Easter Sunday

5th April

Easter Monday

1st May

National Holiday - Labour Day

16th June

Whit Monday

15th August

National Holiday - Assumption

28th October

National Holiday - Ochi Day

25th December

Christmas Day

26th December

Public Holiday

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Working in Greece

Any national of an EU member country has the right to work in Greece or any other EU country. Non EU nationals can obtain a work permit in Greece if a vacancy matching their qualifications exists.

For more information contact the Employment Inspection Services or the Ministry of Labour (Department for Foreigners Working in Greece) Tel: Athens 0030 210 5295245, Fax: 0030 210 5242942)

Income Tax

Anyone who earns income originating in Greece is required to file a tax return for his entire earnings, Greek law makes no distinction between Greek citizens and other nationals whether permanent residents or not.

Temporary residents of Greece are taxed only on income earned and sourced in Greece
A UK/Greece tax treaty eliminates double taxation.
Anyone who owns a car with Greek license plates must file a tax return.

Bullet Point

Temporary residents of Greece are taxed only on income earned and sourced in Greece

Bullet Point

A UK/Greece tax treaty eliminates double taxation.

Bullet Point

Anyone who owns a car with Greek license plates must file a tax return.

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Medical

Greece has a reciprocal health agreement with the UK. Refunds for medical treatment are available from The Greek Social Insurance Foundation on presentation of form E111 (available from UK post offices) Local chemists can diagnose and supply a wide selection of drugs.

For emergencies, ring 166 (public ambulance). Many ambulances without adequate facilities have air-ambulance backup.

Further help and advice on medical treatment can also be provided by the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT) at 34 Themistokleous Street, 106 78 Athens,
(Tel: (1) 381 6404)

We do recommend that you obtain a private health insurance, European Assitance.com

Health services and First Aid in Halkidiki

Doctors and pharmacies can be found in all areas. A government ambulance service covers all of Halkidiki.

General Prefecture Hospital of Poligiros:

+30 2371024021-7

Medical Centres

Agios Nikolaos

+30 2375031788

Ierissos

+30 2377022222

Kassandra

+30 2374023950

Nea Moudania

+30 2373022222

Paleohori

+30 2372022222

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Crime

Greece has an extremely low crime rate - one of the lowest in the world - it's a very safe and law abiding place to visit and to live. It's also a pollution free environment, apart from the centre of Athens. When many countries are seeing crime rates rising, particularly street crime, Greece is a safe haven where you can live without these fears. Theft is very uncommon, and everyone feels very secure.

Police Stations

Kassandra

+30 2374022204

Nea Moundania

+30 2373021111

Nea Potidea

+30 2373041111

Neos Marmaras

+30 2375071111

Poligiros

+30 2371022227

Polihrono

+30 2374051111

Tourist Police

Kassandra

+30 2374023333

Poligiros

+30 2371023496

Port Police

Nea Moudania

+30 2373021172

Nea Potidea

+30 2373041082

Nea Skioni

+30 2374071239

Custom Offices

Kassandra

+30 2374022695

Nea Moudania

+30 2373021496

For further police numbers please look at www.halkidiki.com

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Driving and Transport

Throughout Greece and the European continent you drive on the right hand side of the road.
The main roads are pretty good, but the country lanes require care and attention.

Full UK driving licences are valid in Greece and Europe.

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 €1.00 per litre!

Car Rental

Car rental is about €30-50 per day, depending on size and duration of hire. Most car rental companies will provide you with a road map. Let us know if you require a car as we have negotiated attractive rates with several car hire companies that we recommend.

Public Transport

Bus Services

Bus stations (K.T.E.L.)

Thessaloniki

+30 2310924444, +30 2310924445

Nea Moudania

+30 2373021496

Poligiros

+30 2371022309

Kassandra

+30 2374022214

Nea Moudania

+30 2373021228


Taxis

Taxi Stations

Thessaloniki

+30 2310266406

Poligiros

+30 2371022460

Arnea

+30 2372022212

Neos Marmaras

+30 2375071500

Nea Moudania

+30 2373022303

For further bus timetable information visit the website www.halkidiki.com

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Sports

There are plenty of sporting activities in Halkidiki; horse trekking is available, water sports - windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing and Fishing.

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

The Greek ski season season starts in December To March, and the nearest ski resort to Thessaloniki is Verea which is about 2 hours drive.

Shopping

Nea Moudania - is a fishing town with a Market which is held every Wednesday and Kassandria Market on a Tuesday.  You will find local dairy products delicious fresh vegetables, salads, fruit and fish. They also have a number of very reasonable clothing stalls.

Thessaloniki - is a shoppers paradise, you have the traditional markets, Italian leather shops, designer shops and more shoe shops than you can imagine. You will also find all the local history and culture in the museums and architecture all around the City. If you visit the old part of Thessaloniki there are magnificent panoramic views from the remainder of the walls which used to surround the City.

photo of white tower

There are also large stores such as Ikea, Leyroy Merlin, Dixons, Electroworld, Makro, Carrefour & Media Market all within close vicintiy to Thessaloniki Airport.

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Media

Bullet Point

The Athens News and Athens Daily Post are both published daily in English

Bullet Point

Foreign newspapers are pricey

Bullet Point

Local radio stations often broadcast in English.

Bullet Point

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

Bullet Point

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.

TV Halkidiki

Halkidiki's TV Station
Address: Leoforos Eleftherias 28, 63200, Nea Moudania
Tel.: +30 2373024352,+30 2373024.713, +30 2373024753
Fax: +30 2373021967
Web: http://tv.halkidiki.com
E-mail: info@tv.halkidiki.com

Athlitiki Gnosi

Halkidiki's Sport newspaper
Address: 63200, Nea Moudania
Tel.: +30 2373025121
Fax: +30 2373025121
Web: http://www.halkidiki.com/athlitiki-gnosi/

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For Further Information Telephone: 00 30 6936 982095 (English) 00 30 6945312058 (Greek)
Email: info@halkidikihomes.co.uk

(c) copyright 2007-2008 Halkidki Homes Real Estate Ltd