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some practical information for visiting Corfù

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Useful Info

Holidays:
Jan. 1: New Year's Day (Protochronia)
Jan. 6: Epiphany
Monday Purification (Kathari Deftera) *
March 25: Independence Day
Good Friday *
Easter Sunday *
Easter Monday *
May 1: Labour Day (Protomagia)
Pentecost Monday *
15 August: The Dormition of the Holy Virgin
28 October: The “Ochi Day”, celebrating the Greek refusal to let Italy occupy the country during WWII. The Italians invaded and were driven back into Albania and nearly back to Italy. There are military parades in the major towns and cities.
Dec. 25: Christmas
Dec. 26: Boxing Day
* Orthodox calendar. Usually one week after the Catholic one.

Telephone:
To call other countries from Greece you must dial 00 followed by the international dialling code of that country (44 for UK, 1 for USA/Canada, 49 for Germany, 39 for Italy).
To call a Greek telephone number from abroad it is required the international code 0030.

Useful numbers
Ambulance: 166
Weather Forecast: 148
Hospitals: 106
Emergency: 150
Breakdown Service: 104
Police: 100
Tourist Police: 171
Fire Brigade: 199
ELPA (Car Breakdown): 26610-39504

Currency:
Euro since 2001 (1 Euro = 340.75 Drachma)

Electricity:
The power supply throughout Greece is 220V volts AC (European standard). Sockets accept two-round-pin continental-style plugs. Visitors from the UK will need a plug adaptor and US visitors will need a voltage transformer.

Healthcare:
EU nationals carrying a European Health Insurance Card are entlited to free medical treatment in Greece, though you may be asked to pay first and claim a refund when you return home. Medical insurance is recommended, however, also because you need it for dental services.

Security:
Greece doesn’t have big problems regarding bag-snatchings and robberies, especially outside the main cities. Nevertheless, pay attention particularly in large cities. In case of theft you should be able to get help from your hotel staff. If you are in a small village you can contact the local police station.
The Greek hospitality is rightly famous. If you ask for directions or help, hardly ever you will get a refusing. It is important, however, not to be in a hurry to get the answer. One of the characteristics of Greece, especially in small villages, is to be a place on a human scale and, consequently, life is less chaotic than in other countries. If you ask a direction you must have the patience to wait for a precise answer. As an example, if you must wait for a breakdown van, it is not unusual that the police will drink a coffee or smoke a cigarette while waiting with you. Often it is worth adapting yourself to circumstances.

Religion
Most Greeks are Orthodox Catholic but you can find Roman Catholic churches in big towns. Anyway the Orthodox mass is valid also for a Roman Catholic.
In Orthodox churches you should wear appropriate clothing. It is not unusual that before entering some religious places, especially monasteries, you will have to help yourself with a basket of clothing in order to have shoulders and legs covered.

Working Hours
Corfu, like the whole of Greece, is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 2).
Sunday is holiday in Greece. As a tradition, a lot of Greeks go to the restaurants so you can expect to find them all open as usual. Shops and supermarkets are usually closed on that day.
The shops are open in the morning and in the late afternoon, with a long lunch break due to the hot climate. In tourist areas, some supermarkets and shops are open without any lunch break.

Weather
The climate of Corfu is warm mediterranean. The summer here is warm and relatively dry with a blue sky, often cooled by seasonal breezes, offering the ideal conditions for surfing, while rarely is it interrupted by rains. The mountainous areas are cooler. The winter here is mild. Rainfall occurs mainly from November till March. On average, there are 3000 hours of sun per year with an average daily sunshine duration of 8.5 hours.

Language
In Greece they speak Modern Greek, a beautiful language but difficult to understand.
The indications are in Greek with transliteration in Roman characters, except near some small villages.
English is spoken everywhere.