Tipping is not essential anywhere, though taxi drivers generally expect it from tourists and most service staff are very poorly paid.Restaurant bills incorporate a service charge; if you want to tip, rounding up the bill is usually sufficient. Greeks are the heaviest smokers in Europe, and although legally you’re not allowed to smoke indoors in restaurants, bars or public offices, in practice the law is almost universally disregarded. Thousands of women travel independently in Greece without being harassed or feeling intimidated.There are quite a number of nudist beaches in remote spots, with plenty of locals enjoying them, but on family beaches, or those close to town or near a church (of which there are many along the Greek coast), even toplessness is often frowned on.

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Two pieces of body language that can cause unintentional offence are hand gestures; don’t hold your hand up, palm out, to anybody, and don’t make an OK sign by forming a circle with your thumb and forefinger – both are extremely rude.

Nodding and shaking your head for yes and no are also unlikely to be understood; Greeks use a slight forward inclination of the head for yes, a more vigorous backward nod for no.

Getting the approval of the parea is crucial; it determines the course of your relationship.

Even before the financial crisis that hit the country, Greeks have always lived with their parents until a later age than the rest of Europe.

In general, Greeks are exceptionally friendly and curious, to an extent that can seem intrusive, certainly to a reserved Brit.

Don’t be surprised at being asked personal questions, even on short acquaintance, or having your personal space invaded.

On the other hand, you’re also likely to be invited to people’s houses, often to meet a large extended family.

Should you get such an invitation, you are not expected to be punctual – thirty minutes late is normal – and you should bring a small gift, usually flowers, or cakes from the local cake shop.

Even if you are here long term, meeting people may not be easy peasy. Get out of the house, you may stumble upon your Greek god or goddess in the most random place.