Many people know Greece from “the beaches”, but there’s more!
The mountaineous mainland and the inland of many islands offer all kind of possibilities for hikers and bikers. Quiet asphalt roads for racing bicycles, dirt roads, cattle paths and classic mule paths for walkers and all terrain bikers.
Culture wise there’s more than the famous archeological sites: what about watermills, “nerotrivia” (natural washing machines), tsipouro distilleries, arched bridges and local musea.
The Greek inland is safe and the people very helpful. It’s a region to explore and AnnaHiking is very willing to help you with tips and advice.
Always greet everyone you meet: “kalimèra” or “yásas” will do in most occasions.
Shaking hands is general behaviour when you meet your host for the night. As soon as they know you better, you can expect kisses: one on both cheeks.
Normally Greek are very helpful and hospitable, and very curious about guests. Do inform about the number of kids; they’ll do the same with you! In western eyes Greeks can appear nosy, but they are genuinely curious and don’t mean to offend. You can always skirt the question.
Bathing naked or topless in sight of the villagers is unacceptable and forbidden by law.
Hitchhiking is officially forbidden, as to keep bus and taxi organizations in business. On quiet roads where no bus stops it is common practice and most people will take you. Walk on the right side of the road, turn around and hold up your flat hand (no thumb).
Most Greek are very honest and in the country stealing is rare. In Athens and other big cities you have to take care of your belongings! Never leave valuables, as this is not covered by insurance. Some hotels have safes in the room.
Many Greek speak more or less English, but in mountain villages the people often only speak Greek and read Greek characters. A phrase book certainly comes in handy.