Greece Hotel Deals
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Greece Travel Utilities
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Greece Cheap Hotels
Greece is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world's top 20 countries. According to the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the nation received about 17 million visitors from January to mid August 2007, a large number for a small country of 11 million. Visitors are drawn to the country's beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites and natural beauty. Greece is at the southernmost tip of the Balkan peninsula, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It shares borders in the north with Albania, the FYROM, Bulgaria, and Turkey. It has an ancient culture that has had a significant influence on the arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports of western society, including the genres of comedy and drama, western alphabets, Platonic ideals and the Socratic method, democracies and republics, and the Olympics. Furthermore it's a geographically appealing place to visit, with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches. Over 90% of visitors who come to Greece come from other European countries, although in recent years there have been growing numbers of tourists from other world regions. The vast majority of visitors arrive during tourism season, which is April through October. Peak season is July through August, and most of the tourists and tourism industry are concentrated in Crete, the Dodecanese, Cyclades, and Western Greek Islands, and to a lesser extent: the Peloponnese, and the Halkidiki peninsula in Macedonia. There are still many rewarding areas in the country free of large-scale tourism. Visitors will find Neoclassical architecture in the cities of Ermoupolis and Nafplio, Ottoman-influenced buildings in Grevena and Kozani, whitewashed Cycladic homes on the island of Paros, and pastel-colored baroque homes and churches on Corfu. The nation's terrain is just as varied as its architectural heritage: idyllic beaches, towering mountain ranges, wine-producing valleys, vast stretches of olive orchards in the south, and lush forests in the north. (Pause for advertisement): Book deals on hotels in the best locations at your travel destinations. Make hotel reservations. Reserve hotel rooms and suites. Find lodging and accommodations to suit your tastes. Look up hotel deals at AirGorilla and HotelGorilla.com (end of ad). Greece's historical sights are just as varied; the country is littered with just as many medieval churches and castles as classical ruins and temples. Greece is a member of the Schengen Agreement. For EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) or Swiss citizens an officially approved ID card (or a passport) is sufficient for entry. In no case will they need a visa for a stay of any length. Others will generally need a passport for entry. Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport located near the Athens suburb of Spata is the country's largest, busiest airport and main hub, handling over 15 million passengers annually as of 2006. Other major international airports in terms of passenger traffic are, in order of passengers served per year, Heraklion (Nikos Kazantzakis Int'l), Thessaloniki (Makedonia Int'l), Rhodes (Diagoras), and Corfu (Ioannis Kapodistrias). Athens and Thessaloniki handle the bulk of scheduled international flights. However, during tourism season, several charter and planned low-budget flights arrive daily from many European cities to many of the islands and smaller cities on the mainland. The presence of low-cost carriers in Greece's international market has increased tenfold within the past decade, offering service to Athens and Thessaloniki from several other European locations, such as Easyjet. Thessaloniki is Greece's hub for international rail service. Trains connect Thessaloniki to Sofia (3 daily), Bucharest (1 daily), Budapest (2 daily), Istanbul (2 daily), Beograd via Skopje (2 daily), and other international cities.