Before Travelling

Before you travel in Kefalonia, it is advisable to bear in mind the following:

  • Depending on your country of origin, you might need a passport and a visa; you could obtain a visa through the Greek consulate nearest to your residence.
  • Call your bank or your credit card company to let them know that you will be using it in Greece.
  • The Electric Current in Greece is 230V AC (50Hz). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor.
  • In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from member states of the European Union (EU) wishing to visit Greece must be holders of the European Health Card (EHIC) or any other legal Community document issued by their competent social security agency. Tourists from countries other than the member states of the European Union must consult their social security agency for information before travelling.
  • Contact your phone company in order to make sure that your can use your mobile phone in Greece.

As a consumer, you are protected by Greek consumer protection law for all transactions you make while travelling in the country.

 


Safety in Kefalonia
Tourist Police

The Tourist Police is a department of the Greek Police Force that consists of specially trained men and women, who all speak foreign languages. In the framework of its action it provides the following services:

  • It serves domestic or foreign tourists on information issues, facilitations and solving problems that arise with the tourist enterprises.
  • It collaborates with the qualified Tourism Directorates and the Local Authorities Organisations in order to cope with tourist issues.
  • It implements the tourist legislation in enterprises, means and places of tourist interest, such as hotels, apartments and rooms to let, travel agencies and buses, leasing stores for passenger cars and motorcycles of private use, archaeological sites, guides, ski centres, watering places, stations of massive arrivals and departures, health stores operating in tourist enterprises, in free camping spaces etc
  • It carries out controls in tourist enterprises, in order to serve and to protect the tourists, in the best possible way.

Tourism police operates a telephone line - just dial “171”-, on a 24-hour basis where they provide all kinds of information and directions, in Greek, in English, in French and in German, for the immediate solution of tourists problems.

Tourism Police of Kefalonia: (0030) 26710 22818

Emergency contact telephone lines
In case of emergency call the Police dialing "100"
The number of emergency medical care is "166"
Both numbers can be dialed from any landline or mobile phone.

Additionally, the European emergency number 112 can be used in case of an emergency (i.e. ambulance, police, fire brigade, coastguard).
The call to 112 can be made from any landline or mobile phone, any phone booth or public telephone and it is free of charge.
Number 112 operates within the range of any mobile network. So even if your network does not work on the site, you can still call 112 provided that there is coverage from any other network.
Operates with or without SIM card in your mobile handset.

Port authorities
Argostoli: (0030) 26710 22224
Lixouri: (0030) 26710 94100
Poros: (0030) 26740 72460
Sami: (0030) 26740 22031

 


 

Passport, Visa, Embassies
A valid passport, or valid travelling document (such as identity card), for the citizens of the EU, are enough for tourists to enter Greece. During your arrival to a hotel or guesthouse in Greece, your passport or the approved travelling documents of EU should be presented. Citizens of Australia, Canada, all countries of the EU, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and the USA can remain in Greece for three months without visa. The Greek embassies have a list of other citizenships that are allowed to travel to Greece without visa.

The list changes, but it includes the nationals of Monaco and Saint Marino and most southern American countries. Those that are not included in the list, such as South Africans, need visa. For the revised list of these citizenships, please come in contact with a Greek embassy near you. Keep in mind that Greece will deny the entry in the nationals of Somalia, with passports that are published after January 1991 and the holders of Yugoslavian passports with a stamp of renewal of "Macedonia". The Greek embassies are recommended as the most informed agencies and can provide all types of information to travellers. All foreign embassies in Greece are in Athens and its suburbs.

 


 

Tourist Rights
For tourist information (fx. itineraries of boats, planes etc, schedules of museums and archaeological sites, leaflets with sights and special interests of each region, etc) the consumer can address:

The local offices of the GREEK NATIONAL TOURISTIC ORGANISATION and the Tourist Police, at the tel.: 171, or in the Offices of Information of each Prefectures or Local Authority.

More concretely, INKA reports the following:

In the plane

At the purchase of air services, you must always ask from the air company or the tourist office, a written analytical briefing on the category of the services and the terms of your contract the moment you buy your ticket. Particularly if you buy a ticket with an open date of return, you must require at the moment of purchase, an analytic, written briefing of the deadlines and the terms that the air company has an obligation to provide.
If you purchase an organised tour (flight and stay or other services) the briefing is also provided via an advertising booklet, and must always be written, complete and precise. The travel organizer or the salesman is compelled to insure his services through a travel insurance company, so that you are protected from unanticipated events, such as, fx. the inability of completion of the flight. Check early if this obligation has been noticed by the tourist office.
If you fly with a regular flight from any airport inside the European Union and, although you came in time to the tickets control, the air company denies you a seat because of exceeded reservations, the carrier will have the obligation to initially "call on volunteers", to resign from their reservation, with the proportional compensation. For the remainder passengers, the company must offer a) monetary compensation, b) the possibility of choice of another flight with simultaneous payment of the ticket price and c) the benefit of assistance at the duration of waiting. In the event of cancellation of the flight, the air company must provide corresponding choices, as in the case of the refusal of seat. The airline company is not compelled in any type of compensation if it can prove "extraordinary circumstances that could not be avoided", or "that it had informed the passenger five days before the flight". In the event of a great time delay, the passengers might select between the possibility of changing the flight or payment of the ticket value along with the benefit of assistance at the period of waiting.
Do not place things of great value in the luggage that you deliver for transport. Learn that in the event of loss, the airline company compensates in the base of weight and not the real value of content of baggages. If in any case, your baggages contain things of value, you must declare it beforehand. If you realise loss or deterioration of your baggage at your arrival to your destination, you must declare it immediately to the airline company and you must fill in the special form for the search of the baggage, its replacement or your compensation. The European Union has established the rights of passengers that travel by air.

Here are the main rights a passenger has today:

The travelling agent should provide direct access to the information that is portrayed in the computer system when the passenger requests it, allowing him to see the elements portrayed in the screen or printout.
If the ticket reservation is done by the travel agent or directly from the airline company, they are compelled to show to the passenger all the available information in the computer system concerning:
- the identity of the carrier, which will actually execute the transport service to the contrary of the carrier which is mentioned on the ticket,
- the change of planes at the duration of travel,
- the intermediate travel stations, and
- the re-embarkations between airports at the duration of travel.

A passenger, to whom embarkation is denied due to excessive number of reservations, is eligible to:

Select between return without economic compensation of the ticket costs for the not realised part of the travel, transferring to his final destination with the first available flight and transferring at a later date of his choice. If the passenger selects to be transferred with the first available flight and this flight takes off from other airport, the carrier owes to cover the cost of transfer to the other airport.
Direct payment of a minimal economic compensation by the carrier, irrespective of the choice of passenger (based the previous paragraph), that amounts to:
- 150 Euros for flights up to 3.500 km.
- 300 Euros for flights over 3.500 km depending on the final destination as it is reported on the ticket.

This compensation is liable to be decreased at 50%, when the passenger selects the transfer to his final destination at the first possible occasion, if the time of arrival does not exceed two hours for flights up to 3.500 km, and four hours for flights above 3.500 km, from the initially scheduled time of arrival (in any case, this compensation can not exceed the final destination ticket price). Furthermore, the carrier is compelled to cover telephone and fax call expenses, as well as offer sufficient meals and refreshments depending on the waiting time of the passengers.

Disposal of hotel lodging with carrier expenses, when one or more additional nights are essential

Initially, when the air companies expect refusal of embarkation to passengers due to overbooking, before any other action, they are compelled to ask for volunteers who would be willing to offer their seat with certain benefits as compensation. In other words, they will try come in agreement with the passengers who are interest to offer their seats. Only if a sufficient number of volunteers are not presented, will they be allowed to deny the embarkation to passengers despite their will. Only, if all airline companies or travel agents deny the embarkation to the passengers, will they be compelled to offer overwhelming compensations of:

-250 Euros for flights under 1.500 km
-400 Euros for intra-EU flights over 1.500 km and other flights between 1.500 and 3.500 km
-600 Euros for all other flights

In addition to the financial compensation, passengers who are denied access will continue having the following rights:


The choice between return of the cost of the ticket and alternative flight, and
Meals, refreshments and stay at a hotel.

When airline companies or travel agents cancel a flight due to their own mistake, passengers have the right of compensation that is determined in the event of refusal of embarkation, unless:

they are informed two weeks before the scheduled time of departure, or
they are informed in time and are transferred with another flight to their destination in a time interval that does not exceed a lot from the time of departure of their initial flight.

Moreover, in the event of cancellation, passengers have three additional rights:

Meals and refreshments, and Stay at a hotel, when the cancellation compels the passenger to overnight, and Refund, when the cancellation delays the passenger for at least five hours.

When airline companies expect a big delay, they will be compelled to provide the passengers with:

Meals and refreshments, and Stay at a hotel, when the cancellation compels the passenger to overnight, and Refund, when the cancellation delays the passenger for at least five hours.

The first step that a passenger should take is to come in contact with the airline company or the organizer of the trip. If the passenger believes that the law was not kept, he or she should come in contact with the Ministry of Transports and Communications or the Service of Civil Aviation. When a passenger suffers damage due to invalidity of Community legislation, there may be reasons of exercising of a private lawsuit in the national courts. INKA, as well as passenger organisations can also offer you advice or support.

In the ferry

If the ferry delays excessively to sail, you are eligible of:

Covering of meal and stay expenses.
Cancellation of the ticket and refunding of your money.
If the travel is cancelled due to the ferry, then the ticket is entirely refunded by the shipping company.
If you do not travel due to your own accountability and provided that you informed the shipping company in time (or the travel office that published the tickets), you are eligible of a 50% refund of the ticket value.
If your car is damaged in the ships garage, from bad handling, you are eligible to compensation from the shipping company.
If you have valuables, large amounts of money and objects of value, you can deliver them to the pursers’ office for safe transport. If they are lost or stolen, you can ask for compensation equal to the value of the objects that you gave.
If you have bought a ticket with a cabin and on your embarkation on the boat you find that your place is occupied, you should submit a lawsuit at the nearest port authorities, because the double holding of a cabin, is considered as a supernumerary ticket and the sentences that are imposed in such cases can reach up to 14.500 Euros.

In the train

If the passenger did not start or continued his travel because of OSE (Hellenic Trains) accountability, such as (train cancellation, strike, damage), he has the following possibilities:

Travel with another train with the same ticket. If it is superior category, no difference is paid, if it is more inferior, he is refunded the difference of price of the ticket.
Postpone his travel for other date. The ticket is in effect.


If the travel is interrupted in the middle of the way, the passenger can return to the starting station with the first suitable train, without ticket payment. Moreover he can be refunded for the initial ticket.

In the Hotel

In the event that the booked hotel room is not available, then the hotel keeper is eligible to transport the traveller to another hotel of the same category, in the same city, undertaking the expenses of transport and any difference in price. If he does not do that, then the consumer is entitled of compensation equal with the total of cost of stay for all the planed time interval of stay.

The hotel keeper is eligible to ask an advance for the reservation, equal with the 25% of the total cost of stay. The consumer is eligible to refunding of the advance, provided that he/she cancels the stay at least 21 days before.

In the Restaurant

Restaurants are compelled to provide price lists and to print receipts. It is prohibited to impose minimal individual consumption to the consumer.

In the Club-Bar


In the Clubs and Bars, a minimal individual consumption is permissible. An increase of prices at 5% is permitted, in regions that are characterized as touristic. In any occasion, the printing of receipts is obligatory.

 


Matters of Health

The tourists, coming from European Union (EU) countries who wish to visit Greece, should be provided with the European Card of Insurance of Illness (EKAA) / European Health Card (EHIC) or other legal Community documents published by their insurance institution, in order to enjoy the necessary health care.
In these cases, the necessary care in Greece is provided by:
The Health Centres or the local IKA surgeries
The regional Surgeries (former rural) or the Health Centres of ESY
The externally contracted Hospital Surgeries
The tourists, whose country is not a member of the European Union and wish to visit Greece, should consult their insurance institution before travelling, in order to enjoy the necessary health care.
Travel insurance is recommended, so that you are covered in the event of serious illnesses or accidents.
Vaccinations are not needed for your visit to Greece, even though it is wise to make the essential vaccinations for tetanus and poliomyelitis, before you decide to travel outside your country.
If you come in the summertime, be prepared for hot temperatures: Bring a sun-block cream, sun glasses, and a hat.
In the event of a need cituation, call:
EKAV (ambulances): 166
SOS Doctors: 1016
On duty Hospitals and Clinics: 1434
Poisoning Center Telephone: 210 7793777
Drugstores: 1434
Open information line for alcohol and narcotics: 210 3617089
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