Travel

Airports

Between cities and towns, domestic flights are offered by Olympic and Aegean Airlines, and are extensive and regular. Advance bookings are advised in summer or around public holidays. Taxes are included in the ticket price.

Ground transport

Taxis are plentiful at the major airports. They are comparatively cheap – a one hour ride from the airport to the centre of Athens should cost around A$56-64, including extra charges for tolls and baggage. Fares are higher (the mileage rate is about double) between midnight and 5.00am. If you suspect you are being over-charged, ask for help at your hotel or other destination before you pay.

Hailing a taxi can be a challenge in Athens. One must stand at the side of the road and tell the driver through his window where they want to go. If the driver accepts the destination he will signal for you to get in. It is not unusual for taxis to take on additional passengers during your trip and charge everyone whatever is on the meter.

Public buses are available which take you to the downtown area at less cost than taxis. Tickets can be purchased at the kiosk near the bus stop and should be validated aboard the bus.

The metro in Athens is brand new, inexpensive and efficient although has limited routes. Stations are large, open, marble structures, and tickets can be bought at counters or machines.

Hotels

Travel bookings should be made in advance if visiting during times of peak tourism (ie. over the northern hemisphere summer, especially July-August), or around major Greek holidays.

Tipping

Tipping is common. Service charges are added at restaurants, but a small tip (rounding up the total) is usual. All taxis have meters.

A 10-15 per cent surcharge is usually added to the cost of airport trips. Flat rates are common on airport trips on most of the Greek islands. Some drivers may try to bargain, especially on tourist routes and historical sites.

Most restaurants serve a value-for-money daily lunch on a set basis, but these are not really suitable for entertaining business contacts and you should choose the a-la-carte menu.

Tipping was almost non-existent in Finland, however it has become more common recently.

Tourist attractions

Greece has plenty of tourist attractions – the Acropolis and Plaka are located in Athens and are the main attractions.