Last updated: 17 Feb 2021

Greece

About

Often regarded as the birthplace of European civilization, Greece offers a mix of ancient archaeological sites, modern hotels, rustic tavernas, family-orientated seaside resorts and lively night clubs.

Do not miss the Hellenic Festival in Jun-Sep, which sees music, dance and theatre performances held in the second-century AD Odeion of Herodes in Athens. There is a beach for every preference, for the family, for singles, for nudists, for sun worshippers. Sail Greece's myriad islands. Depending on experience, visitors can go bareboat (chartering just the boat), flotilla (as part of a group of yachts lead by an expert) or skippered. Several tour operators and independent companies offer all-inclusive sailing holidays in Greece.

The shallow, fast-flowing rivers of mainland Greece offer excellent facilities for water-based adventure sports such as rafting, kayaking and canoeing. Sea-kayaking is also becoming increasingly popular on the islands.
Formal Name: Hellenic Republic
Local Name: Ellás
Local Formal Name: Elliniki Dhimokratia
Capital:  Athens (ATH)
Currency:  Euro (EUR)
Language:  Greek. English, French, German and Italian may be spoken in the tourism industry. 
Dialling code from SA:  + 30
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sun in March to last Sun in Oct: UTC / GMT +3 (1 hour ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2021: 

Jan 1, 6; Mar 15, 25; Apr 30; May 1, 3; Jun 21; Aug 15; Oct 28; Dec 25, 26

Side of the Road: Right.
Best Time to Go: June – August. Late Spring (April – May) and Autumn (Late August – September) are good months to visit if you want to enjoy the warm weather but miss the crowds. 
Best for: Mediterranean Beaches, Historic Sightseeing, UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. Outside of the main towns, and on the islands, water may be contaminated and bottled water should be used. 
Health: Healthcare facilities in Athens are good, but less so elsewhere. If visiting outside of Athens, and you require any medication on your travels, it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. Visitors are required to pay for healthcare services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended, and it should include emergency air evacuation coverage. Note that there are reports of underhanded dealings by healthcare professionals, particularly in public hospitals. 
Customs: Normal social courtesies. If visiting a church, dress should be conservative: men should wear long pants, and women should keep their arms and legs covered. Attempts at speaking the language / greeting in the language will be appreciated. 
Local Offences / Laws: Indecent behaviour and public drunkenness is not tolerated and will be fined. Identification should be carried at all times. Smoking is prohibited in public areas. If you will be driving, be sure to know and follow the traffic regulations, as fines will be issued for disobeying them. Greece has very strict laws against drug use.
Travel Tips / Warnings: When travelling in Greece, you are protected by the Greek consumer protection law (read more). Strikes can inconvenience travellers, but are usually non-violent. However it is advisable to avoid areas where there are protests.  Some restaurants and stores may not accept credit cards, be sure to carry cash. Most street signs are in Greek and English. Public transport may be preferable to driving on Greek roads. 
Duty Free: If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 200 cigars or 400 cigarillos or 1kg of tobacco
• 10L of spirits (over 22%), 20L of spirits (under 22%), 90L of wine and 110L of beer

If you're arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Greece by travellers over 17 years of age:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco (if arriving by air)
• 40 cigarettes or 20 cigarillos or 10 cigars or 50g of tobacco (if arriving by other means)
• 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of spirits up to 22% volume
• 4L of wine
• 16 L of beer
• 50ml of perfume and 250ml of eau de cologne
• Gifts up to a value of €430 if arriving by sea or air or €300 if arriving by other means (reduced to €150 for children under 15). 
Prohibited Imports: The import of soil (as well as plants) and certain animals is restricted. The import of meat, meat products, milk and milk products from outside the EU is also restricted. Firearms, explosive and drugs are very tightly controlled.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory:

- All passengers of international flights arriving to Greece will have to show a negative molecular test (PCR) for COVID-19, taken up to 72 hours before their entry. Upon their arrival, they will also be subject to random testing (rapid tests) as per the procedure described in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
Greek residents who are passengers of international flights leaving Greece are also required to fill in the Passenger Locator Form (PLF).

- All flight passengers entering Greece, whether arriving from a third country or from a European Union Member State, will have to self-isolate for seven (7) days, as a precaution, at home or at their sojourn address stated in the PLF form. If they remain in Greece for a period shorter than seven days, then they will have to self-isolate until their departure. In case their test result is positive, they will be quarantined for 14 days. 

- Non-EU citizens are not allowed to enter Greece. Exceptions apply to residents of the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation and Israel.

- Until 6 a.m., March 1st, 2021, domestic flights across the country will be allowed only for essential travel (i.e., for health / business / family re-uniting reasons, or for returning to place of residence).

REFER: greecehealthfirst.gr

RE-OPEN EU: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/GRC

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) Greek Consulate-General,
Fortune Kunene House,
261 Oxford Road,
Illovo, 2196
PO Box 2405, HOUGHTON, 2041.
Tel: (011) 214-2300
Fax: (011) 214-2304
O/hrs: Mon - Fri: 09h00 - 13h30
Wed. closed for visa applications & collections.
E-mail: ecocom-johannesburg@mfa.gr / greekconsulate-johannesburg@mfa.gr
Web: www.mfa.gr/johannesburg
O/hrs: Mon - Fri: 09h00 - 13h30
Wed. closed for visa applications & collections

b) Greek Consulate,

9th Fl., Reserve Bank Building
30 Hout St., Cape Town, 8001
PO Box 3232 Cape Town 8000.
Tel: 021 424-8160
Fax: 021 424-9421.
E-mail.: grconcpt@mweb.co.za  /  grcon.cpt@mfa.gr 
O/hrs: Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri: 0900 - 1200 Visas
Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri: 0900 - 1330 Consular Matters
Wed: Closed

Visa Requirements

  • Visas are required by South African passport holders.
  • Foreign passport holders with Permanent Residence Status in South Africa, Lesotho or Swaziland must ensure that their PERMANENT RESIDENCE IS AT LEAST ONE YEAR OLD.

REQUIREMENTS: See General Schengen Requirements for terms and conditions of a Schengen short stay visa and application procedures for multi-destinations.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING :
VFS GLOBAL no longer accepts visa applications on behalf of the Embassy of Greece in South Africa.
For all visa queries regarding Greece, please call the Embassy direct or GVCW on +27 064 760 4151 .......
GVC World: Greece Visa Application Centre
Tel: 012 425 3018
Email: info.zagr@gvc24assist.eu
Web Address : http://za-gr.gvcworld.eu

JNB: 2nd Floor Harrow Court, 11 Boundary Road, Houghton, JNB
CPT 47 Strand Street, 5th Floor, Cape Town
DUR Unit 101A, 1st Floor, 91-123 Cowey Road, Essenwood DUR

08h00 - 12h30 and 13h30 - 15h00 Mon - Fri (Submission for Cpt & Dur)
14h30 - 16h00 Mon - Fri (Passport Collection Cpt) 
10h00 - 12h30 and 13h30 - 16h00 Mon - Fri (Passport Collection for Dur)

NOTE:
Please note that in addition to the standard Schengen visa requirements:
• When travelling with a family, please submit a copy of flight reservation and insurance with each application, remaining documents may be submitted with the main application. 
• If passenger is a pensioner: A letter confirming proof of pensioner status to be submitted.
• Applicants must apply personally for visa. (if unable to apply in person, an arrangement can be made through the Embassy/Consulate concerned)
The Greek Issuing Authority will refuse to grant a visa if the application form is incorrect or incomplete. Should an applicant be refused a visa, the administrative fees for processing the visa will not be refunded.
Further documents may be requested from the passenger.
• Visa applications will not be accepted if submitted longer than 3 months before departure.
• 2 colour photos are required for Greece.
DEFINITELY NO EMERGENCY VISAS WILL BE ISSUED

Transit visa application can only be accepted if visas to other countries to be visited or transited have already been obtained.

Greek passports issued before 1 January 2006 are no longer valid.

 

Visa Processing Time

Visas can take up to 15 days to process.

In order to collect visas, messengers must produce receipt/collection slip issued by Consular offices. The Greek issuing authorities may refuse to grant a visa if the application form is incorrect or incomplete for a second time.

• Check visa details on delivery. In case of disagreement please make immediate contact.

The consulate retains the right to issue visas of a different type or duration than those required in the application form. If the applicant does not inform the consulate, he/she has to conform to the specifications of the visa as it is issued.

Visa Cost

Due to the fluctuating exchange rate please contact the Embassy/Consulate for the cost on the day of submitting the visa.

Visa fee of 80 EUROS .

Payment of Visa Fees:
* Bank Deposit (before visiting the Visa Application Centre)
* Credit / Debit Card (only at the Visa Application Centre)

Banking details: 
Bank Name: Nedbank
Branch Name: Business Banking North Rand
Account Name: Euro World
Account No: 1050318277
Branch Code: 146905 or 198765 (Universal Code)
Swift Code: NEDSZAJJ
Reference: Passport Number

 GVCW: Additional service charge of R350 (incl.vat) over and above the Consular fee per applicant is charged by GVCW

SA Representative

South African Embassy,
60 Kiffisias Ave.,15125, Athens, Greece
Tel: 0030 210 617 8020
E-mail: athens.consular@dirco.gov.za

Travel Health

Compulsory:  None
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis B, Tetanus, Polio