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CURR€NCY €XCHANG€

As of January, 2002, the Euro replaced the drachma as the legal unit of currency in Greece and, at some stage; you’ll need to exchange your national currency, e.g. pounds sterling or dollars, etc, for euros as personal cheques drawn on foreign bank accounts can’t be cashed in Greece.

Greece is a very safe country for visitors and many people prefer to bring cash and then change it in resort as this reduces the commission charges.
bouboulina
Laskarina Bouboulina, Spetsiot heroine of the Greek War of Independence, looks
out towards the Palamedes fortress, Navplion, on the old fifty drachma note


Nevertheless, Travellers Cheques remain one of the safest ways to travel with money. In the UK you can buy these either in sterling or in euros. If you buy euro Travellers Cheques then you buy them at whatever the exchange rate is at that exchange office on that day, i.e. the actual exchange between pounds and euros occurs when you buy them in the UK. If you buy sterling Travellers Cheques then the exchange between pounds and euros occurs when you cash them in Greece. The Post Office usually offers a good rate on euro notes or euro Travellers Cheques. The daily foreign exchange rate in Greece and an online currency calculator can be found here.

Generally, the exchange rate in Greece is slightly better than in the UK overall. Travellers Cheques and bank notes can be exchanged at banks in Greece, also at the main post office in Argostoli and at various exchange offices in resort (usually tour / car hire offices). If you’re staying in a hotel you may be able to change money at reception, albeit at a higher charge. Note: there are no exchange facilities at Kefalonia airport.

Wherever you change your money in Greece it is the norm for the daily bank exchange rate to apply and the standard bank charge of 2% commission (we all have to earn a living). The actual bank exchange rate is liable to vary from day to day and may vary very slightly from bank to bank.

Visa and MasterCard cards are widely, but not universally, accepted in Greece (American Express less so). You should be able to use them to pay for car hire and tours; some tavernas will also accept payment via credit or debit card, as will some garages and some shops. Not all peripteros (cigarette kiosks) will accept them for cigarettes but the Duty Paid shop at the airport will. You can also use most credit and debit cards to withdraw cash from your bank account via ATMs, located as follows: Airport, Argostoli, Fiskardo, Lassi, Lixouri, Poros, Sami, Skala.



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