Will I need an ETIAS to visit Greece?
Greece is a member of both the E.U. and the Schengen zone.
Many nationals of non-E.U. countries will need to apply for an ETIAS once it comes into operation in 2021.
The ETIAS will work in much the same way as the U.S. ESTA system. Using an online application form, you provide personal information, previous travel, and health information, an online payment, all at least 96 hours before you travel, then wait to be authorized. Once you receive authorization, you will be allowed to travel in the Schengen zone for a consecutive period of 90 days out of 180 days.
Travelers to Greece will be free to make Greece part of a multi-destination European vacation. Greece is popular for island hopping, sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling and is also a short flight to other European countries.
Travelers will have to name their initial country of entry to Europe on their application, but once they are in that country, they are free to travel in the rest of Europe. In order to cross borders into other countries, passports will have to be shown.
The ETIAS is being introduced as a means to secure European borders from the risk of terrorist activity, health epidemics, and unauthorized migrant movement.
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic is a country in the Mediterranean, occupying the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula it is in southeastern Europe. It is at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Greece is composed of two main peninsulas and a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Crete, Rhodes, the Dodecanese, Corfu, and the Cyclades are some of the more well-known islands.
Greece is bordered by the Aegean, the Ionian, the Cretan, and the Mediterranean seas. It shares a maritime border with Cyprus, Egypt, Italy, and Libya. The country is bordered by Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey and the Republic of Macedonia.
Greece has an area of 132,000 sq. km and has a population of about 11.5 million people.
The official language is Greek with Turkish spoken by a minority.
Eastern Orthodoxy is the prevailing faith of the country, but the Greek Constitution guarantees freedom of religious belief for all.
The currency in Greece is the euro.
Eighty percent of the country consists of hills or mountains, giving Greece the distinction of being one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. It has 16,000 km of coastline, 7500 of which are found around the islands of the Greek archipelago.
Greece at a glance
Timezone: UTC/GMT +2 hours
Languages: Greek 99%, Other 1%
Area: 131,940 KM2
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Calling Code: +30
Travel in Greece
Greece is one of the world’s most popular countries to visit, ranked in the world’s top 20 countries. As such, Greece is very aware of the responsibilities it holds as an entry country to Europe. It has joined with other E.U. countries to tighten border security for all member countries.
Having struggled with its economy, Greece has managed to maintain its membership of the E.U.
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Greece and a key economic activity.
With a combination of climate, islands, beaches, history, culture, cuisine and music, travelers find Greece an ideal destination.
Whether standing in the ring where Olympians first competed, standing in the shadow of the Acropolis, climbing steps carved out of stone to Meteora monasteries or enjoying the grandeur of Delphi, Greece is a country with stunning history and architecture.
There is a Greek legend that tells how God distributed soil through a sieve and the stones that were left were used to build Greece. The countries terrain is varied, idyllic beaches, towering mountains, vast fields of olive groves, wine-producing valleys and lush forests.
For the adrenaline junkies, there are rock-climbing locations with the most dizzying of views. World-class kite surfing, jet skiing, and wreck diving are easily arranged. Sailing is a popular, if not so active sport.
The most popular tourist pastimes revolve around the beach and the cafes, but cultural visits are an important part of the Greek experience.
The US and Greece
Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Greece are regarded as cordial.
With strong cultural, religious, historical and political ties between the two nations, Greece and the U.S consider themselves allies.
Greece and the U.S belong to the same following organizations
- The United Nations
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- International Monetary Fund
- World Bank
- World Trade Organization
Greece is also a permanent observer to the Organization of American States.
Greece’s geographic location makes it a vital ally in engagement and dialogue with the Muslim world. Greece is the primary entry location into the Schengen zone for migrants from Southwest Asia, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.
There are direct flights from North America to Greece in the summer season; other seasons will require a stop off in Europe. Direct flight times are approximately nine hours.
When the ETIAS scheme is introduced in 2021, once you have been authorized, you will be allowed travel into the Schengen zone, of which Greece is a member. If Greece is listed as your point of entry to Europe on your ETIAS application, it will not be possible to change your plans and fly into another country. All applicants must fly into their stated point of entry to Europe, onward travel from that point is flexible.
List of US diplomatic offices in Greece
The Embassy of USA in Athens, Greece
Address: 91 Vasilisis Sophias Ave 10160 Athens, Greece
Facts: Gregory W. Pfleger, Jr – Ambassador
Consulate of USA in Thessaloniki, Greece
Address: 43 Tsimiski, 7th Floor 546 23 Thessaloniki Greece
Phone: +30 2310 242 905
Fax: +30 2310 242 927