Social Events: The conference participants will have the opportunity to enjoy the famous Cretan hospitality and to taste one of the oldest and most tasty gastronomic traditions in the world. A tradition of tastes, aromas, ingredients and skills which begin from the prehistoric years, such as cheese, extra virgin olive oil, herbs as of thyme, oregano and marjoram, honey and local drinks as “raki” or “tsikoudia”.
Voltage: Voltage in Greece is 220 V, at a frequency of 50 Hz. Plugs are continental style, two-pin. A plug adaptor should be taken along incompatible electric / electronic gadgets to be used.
Internet: There will be a WiFi Internet connection available in the conference rooms.
Mobile Telephones: There is excellent coverage for mobile telephones in Greece. The local mobile telephone providers have roaming arrangements with worldwide mobile telephone providers. Please note that in Greece speaking on a mobile telephone, whilst driving is not allowed and if caught it may lead to prosecution. Mobile telephones MUST be switched off when inside the scientific sessions.
Emergecies: Whilst in Greece, European Union citizens may seek any help they might need (police, ambulance, fire brigade, coast guard) by ringing from anywhere in Greece the number "112". The number is answered by English-speaking staff, and may be dialled from public telephones or mobile telephones.
There is a University Medical School Hospital in Heraklion.
Recommended Hotels: (Hotels in the City Centre, 3-5 min walk, from conference venue)
Aquila Atlantis Hotel
Reaching Heraklion by air: The closest airport is that of the city of Heraklion Kazantzakis Airport. Seneral airline companies fly regularly to Heraklion from Athens and Thessaloniki (Salonica). From April to October there are also numerous direct charter flights from many places in Europe.
From the airport you can reach the city centre(~5 Kms) :
By public transport: Public bus lines No 12,6,8,11,31,10 connect Heraklion Airport with the city Centre (you will get off the bus at station Elefterias Square-Astoria). A trip between the initial and the final destination lasts approximately 20 minutes. This costs 1.10 € and tickets can be bought at the bus station of the airport which is at your left side when you get off the arrivals’ department. More info about busses at http://astiko-irakleiou.gr/en
By taxi: Τaxi stand is in front of the airport at your left side when you get off the arrivals’ department. The price to Heraklion downtown is around 12 € and it takes between 10 and 15 minutes. More info about taxis and fares at http://www.herakliontaxi.com/, http://www.taxi-her.gr/en.html, http://www.candiataxi.gr/index_en.html
Reaching Heraklion by sea : There are three major shipping companies that serve Heraklion out of the Piraeus port of Athens. The Heraklion Port is very close to the center of town (~1 Km)
Rent a car: Sometimes it is convenient to rent a car. We have been using the company: Royal Rentals that is providing reasonably priced mostly small cars with air-conditioning and full insurance.
Passports and Visas: EU citizens are not required to carry a passport, as long as they carry the proper Identification Card. Only UK citizens are required to carry a passport, although all other entry conditions for EU nationals are applicable.
Citizens of countries such as the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and several South American nations, need only a valid passport to stay in Greece for up to 90 days without a visa. On the other hand, citizens of the majority of the countries that are not Member-States of the Schengen Agreement require a visa to enter Greece, issued by the consular authority of the place of residence of the applicant. Visas are distinguished into short-term residence ("Schengen" visa) and long-term residence (national visa). It is illegal to stay in Greece with an expired visa and individuals that do so are subject to prosecution.
Note: During their stay in Greece, visitors with a visa must also have suitable insurance coverage for emergency medical or other needs.
Getting Euros: The official currency of Greece is the Euro and its denominations. It is very easy to exchange currencies in Greece, as there is a large number of exchange booths in Athens and all major Greek cites. Currency exchange rates are clearly displayed in every bank that accepts currency exchange, while debit card holders may acquire money from the ATMs of the collaborating banks. ATMs have English menus as well, and in some cases other languages too. Greek banks are open for the public from 8:00 to 14:30 Mondays to Thursdays and from 8:00 to 13:30 on Fridays. They are closed on weekends and Public Holidays. Euros can also be exchanged for notes of other foreign currencies at exchange offices that are situated at the airport and certain main ports, in the larger cities, as well as at many tourist destinations. A passport is required when exchanging currencies.
Credit cards are not very common in everyday transactions in the Greek society, but this varies with the sector. You can pay by credit card in most hotels and upscale restaurants and shops. you may not be able to do so in simple tavernas etc. Make sure that you carry enough cash with you.
Money can also be changed at the airport.
History and Museums, a brief history of Crete:
- The Archeological Museum of Heraklion
- The Archaelogical Site of Knossos
- The Historical Museum of Heraklion
- The Natural History Museum of Crete
- The Icon collection of St Elkaterini of Sinai
- The icon collection of St Matthaios of Sinai
- The Kazantzakis Museum
- The Lyxnostatis open air Museum
- The Municipal Museum of the battle ofCrete and National Resistance
- The Museum of Cretan Ethnology
- Greek Ministry of Culture whose website contains useful info on several museums in Greece including Crete