The official language is Greek. However, English, German, French, Russian and other languages are widely spoken in tourist resorts. Foreign visitors that try to speak even a few words of Greek are rewarded with warm smiles.
In Greece the right to religious tolerance and freedom is constitutionally established. The majority of the population is orthodox Christians, but there are also ceremony areas for other religions.
Climate – Weather
The climate of Crete is a factor that greatly contributes to its attractiveness. It is mild Mediterranean – dry and warm, which means high sunshine all year round, very small seasonal changes in temperatures and no extreme weather phenomena. In spring temperatures fluctuate between about 16 and 24 degrees Celsius. During the summer, the average temperatures fluctuate between about 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, the maximum values reaching even 40 degrees Celsius, while the “meltemi” winds mitigate the warm weather. Autumn is the mildest season in Crete, with the average temperatures fluctuating between about 12 and 13 degrees Celsius. In general, eastern Crete is warmer than western Crete, the southern part of the island is warmer than the northern, the western part of Crete has more vegetation and in the mountainous areas the weather is cooler.
Time of Greece: GMT +2
Working hours of public offices and shops
1. Public Offices: Monday – Friday 7:30 – 15:00 2. Post Offices: Monday-Friday 7:30 – 14:00
3. Banks: Monday – Thursday 8:00 – 14:30 and Friday 8:00 – 13:30
4. Shops are open on Monday and Wednesday: 9:00 – 15:00, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9:00 – 14:00 and 17:30 – 21:00, Saturday: 9:00 – 15:00. In touristic areas during the summer months shops have free working hours.
5. Although pharmacies have free working hours they are usually open from 08:00 to 14:00 on Monday and Wednesday. On Tuesday,
Thursday and Friday they are also open in the afternoon from 17:30 to 21:00. There are also emergency pharmacies which are open 24 hours and at weekends. You can find the lists of them on the doors of all pharmacies.
Currency – Exchange
In Crete, like in the rest of Greece, the euro is used. Coins of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and of 1 and 2 euros circulate. The notes circulate in values of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. Before your trip, contact your bank to inform them about the use of your credit card and the withdrawal of money.
Passports & Visas
Find out whether the issue of a visa and a passport is required for your country of origin and undertake the necessary actions in time.
Electric current – electrical appliances
The electric current is 220 V (50Hz). In order for appliances from North America to function properly and without problems a transformer is necessary (schucko adaptors). For appliances from England a special adaptor is necessary. Make sure before use that the appliances you are going to use function at this voltage.
Health services –Medical Care – Insurance
Crete has very good public hospitals, private hospitals etc. Make sure that your healthcare insurance is valid. Visitors coming from European Union (EU)member-states and wish to receive the necessary healthcare should have the European HealthCard or another legal Community document, issued by their competent insurance authority. On the basis of it part or the whole of their care costs is covered. Those whose country is not a member of the European Union, in order to receive the necessary healthcare should consult their insurance authority before they travel.
Tap water is safe for consumption, the consumption of bottled water is recommended though.
International Call code – Calls from and to Crete
The international call code for Greece is +30 . If you wish to make a call from abroad, you should call +30, followed by the telephone number. If you wish to call another country from Crete, dial 00 and then the code of the country and the telephone number. You may also make calls from telephone boxes which operate with call cards.
Smoking is prohibited in all closed public areas, according to Law 3868/10. Hotels and similar accommodation may reserve rooms for smokers.
Emergency telephone numbers
National Emergency Center: 166
Emergency Hospitals, Pharmacies, Doctors: 14944
Fire Brigade: 199
Emergency Intervention of the Port Authority: 108
Εuropean Emergency Number: 112