Greece travel tips

3 Greece travel tips: A roadmap to the Greeks’ hearts

21.09.2017

Today we would like to share with you some unexpected and useful Greece travel tips which you can use during your next visit. A crash course…

‘While we had Socrates and Aristotle changing the world, you were still living in caves’ is a remark that you may have heard. It is usually uttered by a Greek poking fun at you. If you pretend to be upset, they see it as a recognition of their heritage. It also means you are on the right path to ‘approval’.

It has become a mechanism of defence after the harsh criticism that the country and its people have endured during the past years. Even though the Greeks know very well what needs to be fixed, they crave some kind words, some acknowledgement.

Follow these Greece travel tips to win the Greeks’ hearts

It’s all Greek to you, but still…

Practice some tongue-twisters before setting foot on Greek soil (the best in the world, wink) and you will make friends for life, earning their eternal respect. Have a go at this one:

‘Ασπρη πέτρα ξέξασπρη, κι απ΄τον ήλιο ξεξασπρότερη

Aspri petra kseksaspri, kai apo ton ilio kseksasproteri

(a white stone, very white, whiter than the sun)

Also, recognizing which words in your language stem from Greek definitely is a winner. Failing to realize, though, that the Greeks no longer speak ancient Greek shows that you need to read up on Modern Greece. 

Greece travel tips

Love goes through your stomach

Greeks undeniably know a thing or two about food and they love to share this information with you. Have pen and paper ready and start taking notes so that you can impress your friends next time you meet as there is nothing better than having a firsthand recipe from a Greek housewife. If you have already been in Greece for a while, you may have noticed that there are different ways to cook certain dishes. It is up to you to choose the one you prefer. Once you make it clear that you prefer this new recipe because it is far, far better than ‘the other one’, the sky obviously is the limit.

Make a wish

You impress Greeks if you know when to say what. It may sound easy, but there is a whole bunch of fixed phrases that come with each holiday or celebration. There are expressions for every event. Just to name a few:

  • To the cook who prepared your delicious meal: ‘gia sta xeria sou’, ‘bless your hands’.
  • At the beginning of the month ‘kalo mina’, at the beginning of the week ‘kali evdomada’, have a good month or week
  • When a woman is pregnant and is close to her due date, wish her ‘kali eleftheria’, which literally means ‘good freedom’.
  • At the beginning of the new school year, wish parents, teachers and children ‘kali hronia’, a good year.
  • Somebody who celebrates his or her birthday or Name Day will enjoy hearing ‘hronia polla’.
  • When someone buys something new: ‘me gia’, ‘with health’ (this is also suitable when someone has had a fresh haircut). For bigger purchases such as a house or car, you say ‘kaloriziko’.
  • ‘Perastika’ means ‘may your illness pass quickly’, while ‘siderenios’ expresses your hope that the other will soon be strong as iron again.
  • ‘Kalo dromo’ or ‘sto kalo’ is the equivalent of ‘get home safely’ and ‘kalo taxidi’ means ‘have a nice trip.

Show Greeks that you have warmed to their ways and treat them like your long-lost family members. They will appreciate it! Some off-the-record info: Greeks are very fond of hugs and kisses. Remember, ‘enthusiasm’ comes from Greek and that can’t be a coincidence!

What made you connect to the Greeks? Was it something you said or something you did? Which Greece travel tips would you like to share?

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