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Greece Travel Guide

Athensguide

Greek Island Guide

Lesvos

Hotels of Greece

Turkey

Paris

Preparation for Greece

Greece Travel: Greek island

Greece Travel, dining

Greece Travel: beaches

Greece Travel, Gythion

This page will give you some general information about what to read, books to bring with you to Greece, learning the language and some other practical stuff. Then scroll down to the last section which has some odds and ends that I did not know what to do with but thought you would find interesting. If you have somehow stumbled on this page on your own you should click on the link to Introduction below which will take you back to the beginning of my Greek Travel webpage. If you like using my site please share it with your friends on Facebook and Google+ by using the buttons on this and other pages.

Introduction

General Info

Athens

Islands

Mainland

Preparation

Last Minute Travel Details

Matt Barrett in Greece If you want to know about the weather and what to pack see my Athens Guide Weather and Packing Page. My advice is to pack light. You can always buy something extra to wear if you need it and once you have seen the sights of Athens there is nothing more fun than shopping for clothes. The variety is extensive and you will find designs and styles that you may not have at home. If you are there during the sales you can buy your whole wardrobe and save what you spent on the airfare. Or else bring lots of clothes and leave them for refugees and poor Greeks and fill your suitcase with new clothes that you buy in Greece. This is a great way to support the economy and help the needy. Traveler's Checks or Credit Card? It doesn't matter. Obviously a credit card is easier to carry and there is no shortage of ATM machines with instructions in English. Shots? I mean the kind they give you in your arm for disease? You probably won't need them. Most likely you won't need a visa either unless you are from a very short list of countries which require them. Check with your local Greek consulate or embassy if you are not sure. You can e-mail me if you have questions about any of this stuff.

Preparatory Reading Material for Travel in Greece

 Greece GuidesMy book Spearfishing in Skatahori is very funny and it can be purchased from Amazon or you can read some of it and decide if you want to buy it at Spearfishing in Skatahori E-Book. It is not really a guidebook but it will certainly tell you a lot about Greece.

I used to have a list here of recommended books but it got way out of control. So I made a whole site for books which I think you will enjoy. There is a section on Guidebooks and Travelogues, history, cookbooks, novels, poetry and more. It's at www.greektravel.com/books

If you are looking for a guidebook to bring with you to Greece there are a number of good ones. For academics and people who want to know why what you are looking at is important the Blue Guides have historically been considered the most in depth. For more mainstream travelers Rough Guides and Lonely Planet are both good because they originally used some of the best Greece travel writers who went to every nook and cranny of the country. But those days are gone and their best writers have moved on. But their words are still a part of these guides and the guidebook companies send out interns and aspiring writers to make sure that what the lost generation of writers have written is still accurate. The trend has been to break up Greece into seperate books either because there is so much more information out there or else because you can make more money selling 2 small books than one big one. So I suggest buying whatever book has all of Greece in it. The DK Eyewitness Guides have lots of great photos and cutaway images of buildings and entire sections of town. They are a little short on info but there should be more than you need, especially if you have a hand-held computer device and access to my pages. One thing about these guides is that the writers are traveling on a shoestring budget and so they have to eat and stay in the cheapest places. But it is also a drawback because if you are looking for somewhere a little more upscale to eat or stay the info they have is the same info you can find on the Internet. Anyway it is pretty obvious that the Internet has killed the guidebook business with the exception of Rick Steves Guides which still sell due to his legion of followers and his personality which shines through them. On the islands and in various touristic places a company called Toubis has put out local guides which not only give you cultural and historical information but they make great souvenirs or gifts when you return from Greece. They also make nice maps. If you go to any island book or magazine store there is often a self-published guide to the area written by an x-pat with a lot of time on their hands or a very well educated Greek who loves the island.

Also of interest is my History of Greece which was supposed to be an introduction to Greek history but goes into as much detail as many of the history books do.

If you are wondering what the food in Greece will be like visit my Greek Food Guide

If you are interested in Greek Mythology check out Dick Caldwell's Greek Mythology at www.greecetravel.com/greekmyths


Greek Film and Movies about Greece
From Benji to Zorba and some you have never heard of. See my guide at www.greecetravel.com/film and www.greecetravel.com/film/mattspicks.htm


Matt's Greece Photo Album:
If you need inspiration to book your ticket or you want to pretend you are there I have an entire gallery worth of photos at www.greecetravel.com/photos including some amazing photos my father took of Greece in the sixties.

Greece4Kids
If you are bringing your children and you want to let them know about Greece from a child's perspective see my daughter Amarandi's website at
www.greece4kids.com
They will love it but once they read it you will probably have to stay at a hotel with a pool. Also see my Guide to Traveling with Children which is more parent oriented.

Education
See my Index of
Schools and Study Abroad Programs at www.greecetravel.com/schools where I list various summer programs, language courses, various classes and programs that are more mind-body-spirit than academic and anything else I could think of.

Greece-China Connection
Remember the name
Theresa Mitsopoulou . She is an archaeologist who has devoted her life to proving that the ancient Greek and ancient Chinese cultures are the same. Many Greek archaeologists consider her a crank but she has written several books on the subject and numerous articles and I think she is rather convincing. Of course some of the most revolutionary thinkers the world has known were dismissed by their peers so whether Theresa is correct only time will tell. But I have begun to publish her material and if you are interested in Archaeology or the implications of what Greece and China being one and the same could mean then go to www.greecetravel.com/archaeology/mitsopoulou


Enhance your enjoyment of Greece:Learn Greek!

One of the things that seems to amaze travelers is how many people speak English. Does everyone in Greece speak English? Not everyone but it is possible that just about everyone you come in contact with will speak some English. Still some people want to learn at least a few words of Greek and these programs are helpful:

Learn Greek with Free Podcasts

GreekPod101.com offers a unique learning experience that cannot be found in conventional classrooms. Lessons focus on pronunciation and listening comprehension, so that you can start practicing what you learn from professional teachers. GreekPod101.com is not a genericpackage language learning course, such as some of the other big name language learning programs out there. Many other programs “scale” their solutions across several languages, simply recycling the same material over and over - the same pictures, the same conversations, just in a different language. But each language is unique, and at GreekPod101.com we pride ourselves on developing a system that’s only about the Greek language and Greek culture! GreekPod101.com - The Fastest Way to Learn Greek Guaranteed

The Read and Speak Greek CD-Rom program by Dr. George Balanis and his wife Toula is a fun way to learn. With hundreds of lessons that cover all facets of learning Greek, I bought it for my 6-year old daughter and I use it as well. I have recommended this to many people. If I used it more than I would probably be fluent by now. Don't do as I do. Do as I suggest and check out this program by visiting www.greecetravel.com/anotek

The Modern Greek Language Series by Matina Psyhogeos has grown out of the need for a comprehensive Beginning through Intermediate-Advanced course for the student of the Greek language. The strict criterion is that techniques and principles of this curriculum are presented simply and methodically. The Psyhogeos Program has been tested and applied extensively in high schools and colleges and was presented, by its developer - the highly regarded educator - in many conferences, seminars and workshops in the US and other English-speaking countries with excellent results. It offers a variety of books for the study of the Greek language by the student at home or under the supervision of an instructor when the student is very young. For more info see www.greeklanguagecourses.com

You can use this website to help you learn Greek for your trip. It can be used as a reference guide for those of you who are already taking Greek classes, or as a simplified course for those who want to start with the basics. Steve Aronis has put a lot of work into his site and everytime I look it gets better and better. Steve created this site for everyone that wants to learn the modern Greek language on the internet. He has included complete simplified grammar and tests. I Learn Greek.com also has a Vocabulary directory that contains more than 3000 words and phrases complete with phonetics translation and some of them sound!

Learn Greek In Two Months!
The Phonetic Method
is a unique method that will teach you conversational Greek in the shortest period of time - 2 months! It is done phonetically, and comes with a book, 2 CDs, and an ENGLISH- GREEK (phonetic) DICTIONARY. Total cost: $79.00

The author, Helen Dumas, is nationally recognized twice as "The Teacher of the Year", and three times by the Greek government" as "the international authority in teaching the Greek language in the simplest, easiest, and most effective way. Mrs. Dumas also teaches via the INTERNET AND TELEPHONE 6 different ability levels of Greek to children and adults - all over the world. For information her e-mail is: speakgreeknow@aol.com, and phone: 310.373.0808


Music and Extra Stuff and Other Matt Barrett Sites

See my Greek Music Index at www.greecetravel.com/music. The most popular page in that section is my Introduction to Rembetika Music which is my secret passion. Originating in the cafes, refugee settlements and prisons of Greece in the nineteen-twenties, it became the popular music of the country. There is a list of clubs in my Athens Survival Guide Guide and for a list of my favorite Rembetika CD's see www.athensguide.com/cds which is very helpful if you want to get into Greek Music and are not sure where to begin.

Matt Barrett for Mayor of Athens?
It was not my idea. If nominated I will not accept. If elected I will not serve. But what does it pay? To read the article which appeared in the Athens News go to
www.greektravel.com/athensnews

Greek Food and Wine:
For the most comprehensive guide to Greek food and drink see my Guide to Greek food and drink. Pages and pages of Greek food photos, restaurant reviews, the best retsina, ouzo and more at
www.greecefoods.com

Going to Paris?
This site is not really complete yet. I am still working on it in my spare time but you can take a peek at
www.aparisguide.com

A History of Greece:
This is probably the website I worked the hardest in the shortest amount of time. It was like doing a college paper or a book report but a lot more fun. See
www.ahistoryofgreece.com  

Whatever happened to Matt Barrett: Poet, Rock-star, Folksinger?
I used to be a musician and have a site dedicated to my music which I think is pretty good. If you love bands like the Kinks, the Move, Free, the Beatles, the Raspberries, the Who and Del Amitri and believe that pop music can have meaning, melody and be able to make you dance, then check out my music site at www.mattbarrett.net/music.

Links

Take a look at my links for other interesting websites mostly about Greece or travel but also of general interest and some eccentric stuff too. Mostly people who wanted to exchange links whose pages I liked enough to agree. There is a strategy that if you have links from a million other websites it improves the value of your site in the eyes of the search engines. Actually it just devalues the idea of links. So sites like mine which have lots of links from other sites because people actually liked it enough to link to it is competing for attention with some guy who used keywords, link exchanges and other sneaky methods to elevate the visability of his site which he copied out of a guidebook. Anyway people seem to find my website somehow, but if you want to help, tell your friends and at least a hundred strangers.

Using Travel Agents in Greece

Travel agent Litsa from Fantasy TravelI definitely recommend using a Greek travel agency for your trip to Greece despite the appearance that booking on your own seems to be so easy. The fact is that the booking is easy. It is only after you get to Greece that you may discover that there is more to booking hotels and ferries than booking hotels and ferries. Every hotel in Greece has their own website these days and the quality of the web design does not always reflect that of the hotel. Unless you are back-packing and prepared to sleep anywhere, a trip to Greece is a lot easier if you work with a travel agent who knows what they are doing. They can organize ferries, flights, transportation to and from airports and ports, find the right hotel for you, deal with any unforeseen circumstances, answer all your questions and in the end save you time, money and your sanity. You can choose from dozens of itineraries or you can create your own and by using my website you should have a pretty good idea of what you would like to do. Read more about using Greek travel agencies and meet the ones I recommend

Support the People of Lesvos: Visit Lesvos

Amarandi in Sigri, LesvosYou have read about the flow of refugees coming to Greece, many of them landing on the island of Lesvos. The people of Lesvos have been helping the refugees, rescuing many at sea, giving them warm clothes and food as soon as they come ashore, and assisting them on getting to the administration centers in Mytilini so they can be registered and continue their long journey to the rest of Europe. You can support the people of Lesvos in a couple ways. You can donate to organizations like The Starfish Foundation who have been helping refugees from the very beginning. Or you can come to Lesvos and visit what I think is the most beautiful island in Greece, where you can eat, drink, swim and if you feel like it volunteer to help. Because of the negative press international tour and cruise companies have abandoned the island, which is silly. Lesvos is as beautiful and enjoyable as ever and the people of Lesvos don't deserve to suffer economic hardship because they have chosen to assist refugees instead of turning a blind eye. So consider Lesvos as the island to visit this summer and support the people who are actually helping the refugees. See my guide Lesvos: More Than Just Another Greek Island.

Greece Travel T-shirts

Greecetravel T-shirt I took a walk past some of the tourist shops in Athens and it seemed to me that the shirts had become so generic that you could probably buy the exact same shirts in Jamaica, or Thailand or just about anywhere you would go for a holiday. So I took it upon myself to design t-shirts that I would wear. Then I came up with a great idea. Why not ask all the restaurants, cafes and shops that I have been advertising on my site for free to give something to anyone who is wearing one of my shirts. It could be a discount, or a small gift or a carafe of wine, or a desert. So not only do they look cool but if you wear them enough they will probably pay for themselves. Plus you will be able to recognize other people who use my website and you will have something to talk about. Anyway I think you will like them whether you are going to Greece or have already been or may never go but want something to remind you that you would like to go someday. You can see them on my Greece Travel T-shirts page.

About Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guides

Matt in Lesvos, GreeceThis website began as a hobby in 1996 and since then it has grown in popularity and size. 99.9% of the material on my websites was written by myself. I don't have a staff.  I update the site continuously so unlike a guidebook I don't have to wait for the next printing to fix a mistake. People have been asking me how they can contribute. First of all you can contribute by using the travel agencies I recommend. Without their support this site could not exist. The best way to contribute is to help spread the word about my Greece Travel Guides. Tell your friends. Tell your family. Tell strangers on Tripadvisor and the other travel message boards. If you have your own website or blog make a link. There is a Facebook share button at the bottom of this page too. The only way I can compete with the big commercial sites is with your help.

DONATIONS: If you enjoy my website and wish there was some way you could show your appreciation and at the same time help Greece: Click Here

Remember if you have any questions about services, itineraries, problems or anything having to do with Greece you can e-mail me  and I will respond quickly. There is no fee. All info is Free.
I hope to see you in Greece!
Matt Barrett

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