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F.A.Q.

A. General Information about Windmills Travel, our services and policies  
 
   
B. General issues about your stay in Greece  
 
 
Who is Windmills?  
 
Our Agency, Windmills Travel & Tourism is a full service Inbound Tour Operator Established in 1979. It is accredited by the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) and is a member of HATTA, the Hellenic Association of Travel Agents as well as ASTA (American Association of Travel Agents). We are also proud to be exclusive partners of such reputable companies, as Hertz International and Western Union International Money Transfers on the islands of Mykonos and Tinos, were long ago our agency was established. Through the last years, our services extended from the Cyclades to Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Peloponnese, and the mainland as well, and at this point we're in the actual position to handle requests for any destination in Greece. Apart from the individual reservations, which occupy a great part of our business activities, we also deal with Tours Operators providing all land arrangements. We have dealt in the past and still dealing with some of the most important Tour Operators. Netherlands (Island World/Rent-a-casa, Olympia International), Austria (RuefaReisen / Reiseladen), Finland (Aurinkomatkat), and Italy (I vostri viaggi,visual viaggi, gay.it) each with their own weekly charter flight, as well as Tour Operators from Spain (Iberosol, Tierra Joven), the USA, Great Britain (Man Around),Germany, Scandinavia, Hungary and Poland, to mention but a few. We work closely with them to assist them in producing a successful tailor-made marketplace. We contract the Hotels on their behalf, or invite them to make use of the allocations that we ourselves take in most Hotels, Self-Catering Apartments and Villas.
 
What kind of services do you provide?  
 
Our agency provides a wide range of services including: accommodation -from deluxe hotels to basic self-catering rooms-, transportation -from anywhere to any place within Greece, and at anytime-, ticketing, guided tours & excursions, cruises, car rentals and lots of other activities, like horseback riding, scuba diving, etc.
 
Do you specialize in any particular groups of clientele?  
 
We can actually cover, more or less, every need or request from any type of client. However, due to the fact that the below mentioned types of clientele are simply the ones that will generally book their holiday with a travel agent through the Internet more often than others, we have accumulated special experience in honeymooners and gay/lesbian travelers. Please don't misunderstand this: if you do not belong to either one of these groups, you will be taken care of and spoiled in exactly the same style!
 
Why Windmills?  
 
Because we're simply the best!
- 25 years of experience and thousands of satisfied clients, many of whom, year after year, trust Windmills for the organizing of their vacation, can guarantee that the provided services are of the highest possible standards.
- Any e-mail message that arrives to our reservation office is quickly -within 24 hours at the latest- and efficiently replied, offering advice and information about any destination requested.
- Our relationships with the hoteliers and the other businessmen at each destination allow us to achieve the best rates on accommodation and the other services that we provide.
- Our long activity in tourism guarantees that from the moment a visitor arrives at his destination, we are able to deal with any kind of problem and solve it as quickly as possible.
- Finally, we may be dealing with hundreds of clients daily, but we are particularly careful to acknowledge that every visitor has an individual personality. Please let us know of your special needs and wishes, and we'll be glad to form a tailor-made vacation package especially suiting requirements
 
What about gay visitors?  
 
A very important aspect of our activities has to do with the Gay Market, which comprises a large portion of the clientele on the island of Mykonos. Through the hard work of our specialized Gay Department in this field we have established ourselves as the leading Gay Travel Specialist in Greece. Our agency is a member of IGLTA (we're actually the first Greek agency that joined the Organization) and our office is responsible for the annual updates for Greece in the Ferrari and Frommer's Guides, widely-acclaimed gay travel books. Our clients include specialised Gay travel tour operators/travel agents from Italy (Arcoturismo), Spain, the USA (Above and Beyond tours, Club Exotika), Germany (Jornada, Teddy Travel, Reisebuero am Hellkamp), France (Eurogays), the UK (Man Around/Sensations, Galeria Travel) and Switzerland, to mention a few, as well as numerous direct clients who call us from all over the world. For these, we provide accommodation in carefully selected gay friendly establishments and services such as transfers and expert advice on where to go and what to do.
 
What exactly is "gay friendly accommodation?"  
 
Some of our accommodation is "Gay Friendly" - this term refers to hotels which are located close to gay facilities (gay bars etc.) and where the management and staff welcome gay guests. This accommodation is carefully selected and seldom, if ever, poses problems for our gay clients. However, you should be aware that, while we do not envisage any problems and while the overwhelmingly vast majority of holidays pass without incident, we cannot be held responsible for the behaviour of other guests booked with other holiday companies. You may find that some "Gay Friendly" properties will have their fair share of families with children, especially during school holidays. If you feel that this may adversely affect the enjoyment of your holiday, please seek our advice before you book.
 
How do I book my vacation with you via Internet?  
 
It's easy as it sounds: In 3 simple steps!
Step One: Send us an e-mail with your request. We'll need the dates when you've decided to travel, the destination you wish to visit, your approximate budget and the type of accommodation where you'd prefer to stay - what type of room you'd need and 2-3 preferred hotels which you can choose from the ones listed in our site.
You can send this email to the address info@windmills-travel.com
After we receive it, we'll check out availability at the requested accommodation for the specific dates, and reply back to you with an availability confirmation email, or with any alternative suggestions (if the requested hotels are fully booked). Attached to that message, you will usually find a charge authorisation form for the payment of your deposit.
Step Two: Print out and send us by fax the Charge Authorisation form, filled in with the needed information and the requested deposit amount, along with a copy of your identification card or passport and a copy of both sides of your credit card.
The requested deposit amount is usually 50% of the total reservation cost, with the balance due 4 weeks prior to your arrival. If the reservation is made less then a month prior to the arrival, the total reservation cost is required at once. Our fax number is +30 2109916383 in Athens and +30 22890 22066 on Mykonos. After we receive the requested documentation, we will proceed with booking your room, charging your credit card for the agreed amount, and issuing your e-vouchers. Our amendment and cancellation policy is explicitly mentioned in that form.
Step Three: Receive your e-vouchers through our second mail and print them out. You're ready!
Of course, the first step takes usually the longest time, as most of the travellers need a lot of information and advice before they decide about the specific accommodation they'll choose and the destinations they'll visit. A useful tip, so as to lessen the time needed for the reservation, would be to visit our official site at www.windmills-travel.com, take a look at the information given on each destination and study well the list of hotels to find which would be closest to your style and budget.
 
Is it safe to send you my credit card information through fax or email?  
 
Throughout all the years that our agency has operated, not one single case of misuse of personal information was reported to us by any client. However, for additional safety, you can use alternative ways of sending the information: for example, you can leave the last 4 digits of your credit card number uncompleted on the charge authorisation form, and send them to us through an e-mail, or even by giving us a call.
 
When is the best time to book my room?  
 
A good piece of advice would be to book your vacation as early as possible. The rooms that offer a good quality of standards for a fair price are not as many as you'd imagine. Especially if you're planning to visit the island during July or August, it would be hopeless to search for a good deal after the summer has begun. If you're interested in the low or middle season, the possibilities are better, but then again it would be wise to book at least a couple of months before your arrival.
Don't worry if you're not yet sure about the destination you wish to visit or the hotels you wish to stay at. Send us an email with your general request, and we'll be glad to give you all the needed information, organize your holidays and guide you further through the reservation process.
 
Can I book my tickets in advance as well? How and when do I receive them?  
 
Of course you can book your tickets in advance! You will then receive them upon your arrival at the destination for which these tickets are to be used. For example, if your package includes ferry tickets from Tinos to Patras, you won't receive them at your arrival in Athens, but at your arrival on Tinos.
 
How do I know the time of pickup from my accommodation?  
 
When you arrive to your destination, our representative will be waiting for you with a welcome envelope that will also include your pickup time from the hotel. Otherwise, you will be called at your hotel 24 hours prior to your departure, in order to be told the exact pickup time. If you are not in your room at that time, we will leave a message at the reception desk.
General rules for pickups are the following:
- If you are departing by ship or domestic flight from one Greek destination to another, then the pickup will roughly be one hour or one hour and 15 min. prior to departure time.
- If you are taking an international flight, pickup will be two hours before departure (if you are on an island) or three hours before departure (if you are in Athens or on a very big island like Crete, where you need quite a bit of time to get from your accommodation to the airport).
Due to the fact that most of the ferry companies publish their monthly schedules at the last moment, it is possible that in some cases, you will not know the exact time of your departure, even before your very arrival!
 
What good is it in booking my transfers in advance?  
 
Finding your way to a foreign country is not a simple thing, especially if we're talking about Greece -a place not famous for its organisational virtues-, and especially if it is your first visit there. Why let the anxiety of finding a way to reach your hotel or catch your flight ruin your holidays, since you can have everything arranged by people who do that for hundreds of other visitors? Our colleagues will be glad to welcome you on the airport or the port at your arrival, solve any kind of problems you may have, answer your questions, and provide you with all the necessary information about the destination. Moreover, a vehicle, especially waiting for you, will transport you and your luggage safely and quickly to your accommodation (or back to the airport/port) without any effort on your part. So simply book your transfers together with your accommodation: It doesn't cost much, and it can save you a lot of trouble.
 
What if I've made a booking and I wish to cancel?  
 
If you wish to cancel a confirmed booking for any reason and at any time, a sum of 45 € will be charged to cover administration costs. In the event of cancellation the following cancellation charges will be applied:

Cancellation Period before beginning of services
Charge as a Proportion of Total Invoiced Cost
30 days - 20 days
60%
20 days - 10 days
80%
10 days - 0 days
100%

In case a cancellation is made more than 30 days prior to your arrival, a charge of 10% of the total reservation cost plus the administrative fee of 45 € will be applied.
 
What if I've changed my mind? What if the weather doesn't permit?  
 
Any major amendment such as hotel or flight booking changes (at any time) to a confirmed booking, will incur an administrative cost of 45 €, in addition to the cost this amendment involves. Unforeseeable circumstances, such as weather conditions may force changes to your itinerary. While our agency will do its best to minimize the extra costs this may involve, any such costs are to be covered by the traveller. Of course, in such cases the 45 € fee does not apply.
 
What if I've missed my flight/boat?  
 
If for any reason you have missed the flight or boat that would carry you to your destination, please call and let us know of the new date or time of your arrival at the soonest possible moment, so that we can inform the hotelier and rearrange your arrival transfer. That way, major misunderstandings will be avoided, and any extra costs can be minimized.
In case you've missed your departure boat or flight, again let us know as soon as possible, and our agency will do whatever it can to arrange your accommodation or transfers, until you'll be able to depart.
 
Do I need a visa to enter Greece? Is a vaccination required?  
 
Visitors from the European Union need only their Identification Card to enter Greece.
For visitors from the US, Canada, Australia and Japan, a Passport is required. A visa is not required for tourist/business stays of up to 90 days. However, if you travel on an official or diplomatic U.S. passport, you will need a visa issued through the U.S. State Department. Similar restrictions exist for other official and diplomatic passport holders from other nations. More importantly, your U.S. or Canadian passport must be valid for a minimum of three months beyond the end of your projected stay. This is true for many countries, not just Greece, and it is a good idea to never travel on a passport with less than six month's validity. For additional information consult the Consular Section of the Embassy of Greece, 2221 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008 (202/939-5818 or 5800).

Citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, South Korea (the Republic of Korea), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, St Kitts & Nevis, San Marino, the Slovak Republic, Switzerland and Vatican City, also do not need a visa.
For the citizens of Brazil, El Salvador and Uruguay a visa is also not required, but the visa-free period is for 60 days only.

Requirements for other countries vary substantially and should be verified with the local Greek Embassy or Consulate in that country.
Technically, Greek officials may ask to see travel tickets for your return home or for additional destinations beyond Greece. In practice, this rarely occurs and usually will only be asked for if there is a suspicion that the visitor intends to attempt to work in Greece illegally. It is more likely to occur prior to a one-way flight or other transportation into Greece rather than once you've arrived on Greek soil.
No vaccinations are required for Greece.
 
What's the time difference for Mykonos/Greece?  
 
The following chart shows the time difference between Greece and :

ALBANIA (-1)
ALGERIA (-1)
ARGENTINA (-5)
AUSTRALIA
MELBOURNE (+8)
SYDNEY (+6)
AUSTRIA (-1)
BAHRAIN (+1)
BELGIUM (-1)
BRAZIL
BRAZIL (-6)
RIO DE JANEIRO (-5)
SAO PAOLO (-5)
BULGARIA (0)
CAMEROON (-1)
CANADA (-7)
CHILE (-6)
CHINA (+6)
CROATIA (-1)
CYPRUS (0)
CZECH (-1)
DENMARK (-1)
EGYPT (0)
FINLAND (+1)
FRANCE (-1)
F.Y.R.O.M. (0)
GERMANY (-1)
HONG KONG (+6)
HUNGARY (-1)
INDIA (+3)
INDONESIA (+5)
IRAN (+1)
IRAQ (+1)
IRELAND (-2)
ISRAEL (0)
ITALY (-1)
IVORY COAST (-2)
JAPAN (-7)
JORDAN (0)
KENYA (+1)
KUWAIT (+1)
LEBANON (0)
LIBYA (-1)
LUXEMBOURG (-1)
MALAYSIA (+6)
MALTA (-1)
MEXICO (-8)
MOROCCO (-2)
NETHERLANDS (-1)
NEW ZELAND (+10)
NIGERIA (-1)
NORWAY (-1)
PAKISTAN (-1)
PANAMA (+3)
PERU (-7)
PHILIPPINES (-7)
POLAND (+6)
PORTUGAL (-1)
QATAR (+2)
ROMANIA (0)
ST. PETERSURG (+1)
MOSCOW (+1)
ODESSA (0)
SOUTH AFRICA (0)
SOUTH KOREA (+7)
SAUDI ARABIA (+1)
SENEGAL (-2)
SINGAPORE (+6)
SLOVENIA (-1)
SPAIN (-1)
SUDAN (0)
SWEDEN (-1)
SWITZERLAND (-1)
SYRIA (0)
TAIWAN (+6)
TANZANIA (+1)
THAILAND (+5)
TUNISIA (-1)
TURKEY (0)
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (+2)
UNITED KINGDOM (-2)
U.S.A
ATLANTA (-7)
BOSTON (-7)
CHICAGO (-8)
LOS ANGELES (-10)
MIAMI (-7)
NEW YORK (-7)
PHILADELPHIA (-7)
PITSBURGH, PA (-7)
SAN FRANCISCO (-10)
WASHINGTON D.C. (-7)
VENEZUELA (-6)
 
Can I use my electric appliances there?  
 
Greece has 220 volt electricity, meaning that, unless your computer or appliance is dual voltage or designed for 220 volts, you will need a converter or transformer. The cycles (Hz) are 50 per second.
 
Do I have to speak Greek to survive in Greece?  
 
But of course you don't... Fortunately, Greece is a country with a very long tradition in tourism and Mykonos itself the most cosmopolitan island in the Aegean. Therefore, all the people who are working in the tourism industry have a good knowledge of the English language. But, even the local people living on the island have a basic understanding of the English language and are usually happy to give you any kind of information you wish. Especially among the young, you will find most of the people speaking Italian in addition to English and Greek, as the island gets crowded with visitors from Italy during the high season.
So speaking Greek is not necessary...however, visitors who attempt to speak Greek are thoroughly encouraged by the locals. Even if it's just a phrase or a few words, the gesture is always appreciated. Indeed, Greek is a language of gestures and to speak it also entails a lot of gesticulation. One point of confusion however, is the slight jerk of the head or eyebrows upward which indicate "no."

So, here are some tips in Greek that you might find useful during your stay:
-Don't confuse 'yes' and 'no.' Yes is ne - which sounds like 'no' or 'nah' to English speakers. No is okhi - which sounds like 'okay' to English speakers.
-Need something? Remember to say 'Please!' - parakalo - par-ah-kah-LO.
-And always say 'Thank you!' - efkharisto- eff-car-ee-STOH
-A general affirmative is entaksi en-tahk-see - right, okay, uh-huh.
-Greece greets differently depending on the time of day.
-In the morning, say kalimera - kah-lee-MARE-ah -
-and in the afternoon, say kalomesimeri - kah-lo-messy-mary-
-In the evening, say kalispera - kah-lee-spare-ah
-To say good night, say kalinikta - kah-lee-neek-tah.
-You can also just say 'Hello' anytime - yia sas or yiassou or giasou - yah-sooo - this can also be said in parting, or as a toast.
-Think you're really mangling your Greek pronunciation? Smile wider - this will completely compensate for any mistakes you may make
 
What about the Greek Cuisine?  
 
Greek food is considered to be both delicious and most nutritious at the same time, so don't be afraid to try it out: Find a nice restaurant with a great view, open the menu, and let the party begin!
In case you're completely confused with what you read in it, this is a small useful guide for you:
Soup - Avgolemono. This is a pleasant chicken soup with lemon and rice.
Mezedes - Assorted appetizers, such as a selection of olives, and some taramosalata (caviar spread, generally pretty mild flavored), tzatziki (a cool, creamy cucumber and garlic dip), and/or hummous (flavorful mashed garbanzo bean dip). You may also find cold dolmadakia, stuffed grape leaves filled with rice and tomato, which as meat-filled dolmades do double-duty as an entree. Tyropita and spanakopita are cheese and spinach pies.
Souvlaki - Skewers of chicken, lamb, beef, or, most commonly, pork, grilled and often served with tzaziki sauce. Simple fare, generally delicious, occasionally tough.
Moussaka - A layered primarily vegetable casserole, often made with eggplant, sometimes with the addition or substitution of squash or potatoes or other vegetables. Topped with Bechamel sauce, a rich fluffy cheese flavored custardy sauce usually forming a high-calorie layer about an inch thick. But it is delicious.
Pastitsio - Similar to the above, only made with macaroni and ground beef, vaguely similar to lasagna, but without the tomatoes. Usually a safe bet for kids.
Stuffed Tomatoes or Stuffed Bell Peppers - Nearly universal dish, especially savory in Greece, great for the timid eater. It will taste pretty much like home no matter where you come from. The plain little cafes directly across from the gate to Knossos offer excellent examples of this simple standby.
Coffee - If you want something like American coffee, ask for a filtered coffee or Nescafe. Nescafe is greatly respected in Greece, and finer restaurants will ceremoniously bring out an empty cup, a small silver pot of water, and the precious single packet of Nescafe in response to a request for a cup of coffee. Now, genuine Greek coffee is delicious and can be ordered in a variety of ways - give it a try!
Baklava - honey drenched pastry with nuts. Delicious if a bit sticky and chewy. Not good for those with sensitive teeth!
Note: If you are a vegetarian travelling in Greece, you may be surprised at the relative scarcity of vegetarian restaurant meals in Greece except at specifically vegetarian restaurants. With wonderfully abundant fresh vegetables available, more choices might be expected. But in Greece, people go to restaurants largely to dine on cooked meats that they may not get every day. Worse, vegetables are often cooked in chicken broth, and it is very difficult to get trustworthy information on this point from the restaurant staff. Salads are a safe bet, but cooked vegetable dishes will often contain meat or animal products.
Many restaurants still allow diners to wander into the kitchen to see what's cooking. Bring your camera for a great "action shot" you'll treasure.
Enjoy your exploration of Greek cuisine!
 
What about the tipping policy?  
 
a) Tipping for Tourist-type restaurants: Ask for the bill - usually, it will not be brought until you request it. Check over the bill for obvious errors, and bring any substantial errors to the attention of your waiter. Minor error? Decide if it's worth trying to sort it out. Confirm that a 'service charge' has been included. If it has, follow suggestion below.
Pay the bill.
To reward warm service from the waiter, leave 1-2 Euro on the tray. If service has been poor, skip this step, as the waiter generally shares in the revenues from the meal and from the service charge.
Regardless of the general service, unless it has been memorably abysmal, ease the burden of the busboy, who often receives virtually nothing for his work, by leaving 1-2 Euro on the table.
If appropriate, thank the owner or person in charge for the great meal.
The 'cover charge' on the bill is literally the cost to cover the table when you sit down, and includes your bread and non-bottled water. It's generally 50-100 cents per person. The cover charge is cannot be removed, even if you don't drink the water or eat the bread. Don't argue it.
Had a horrible experience and feel ripped off? Contact the local 'Tourist Police' office. They exist to handle complaints and assist tourists - not to arrest them!
b) Tipping for Traditional Eating Places: Ask for the bill. Check for obvious errors, and bring any to the attention of your waiter. If it's a few cents, forget it.
Note if a 'service charge' has been included - it probably won't be.
Tip your waiter between 10 and 20 percent of the total. Leave this on the tray, or give it to him directly.
Leave some small change totaling 1-2 Euro on the table for the busboy.
Thank the owner or person in charge for the great meal.
c) Tipping Taxi Drivers: Generally, they don't expect tips (but won't turn them down). There is a 50 cent charge by the taxi driver for handling each piece of luggage - this is not a tip, but an official charge.
d) Tipping Public Toilet Attendants: Tip 50 cents and bless them, since without them, there would be no toilet paper or soap there.
Don't stress over tipping - get it close to the guidelines above, but don't break out your calculators.
 
What currency should I use?  
 
The new currency of Greece, in effect since the 1st January 2002, is the Euro. The euro conversion rate of the drachma is: 1 euro=340.750 drachma. One euro is subdivided into 100 euro cents. To convert drachmas into euro we divide the drachma amount by 340.750, and then we round to the nearest euro cent. Alternatively, to convert euro into drachmas, we multiply the euro amount by 340.750, and then round to the nearest drachma. US Dollars are also widely accepted at lots of tourist destinations.
 
Can I use my credit cards/traveller's cheques?  
 
All major Credit Cards as well as Euro-cheques are recognized and accepted in most hotels, shops, travel and car rental agencies and restaurants. Stickers in the front windows will advise you as to which cards are accepted.
Traveller's Cheques issued by all the major companies are widely recognized. You can cash your traveller's cheques in all Greek and foreign banks, exchange bureaus and big hotels, but do not forget to have your passport with you. Identification is necessary for the transaction.
 
Can I use my mobile phone in Greece?  
 
If you want to use your mobile abroad, you may need to get permission from your network operator before travelling. This involves calling customer service and asking for your phone to be enabled for international use. This function can be switched on remotely. But you should also check to see that the specification of your phone is compatible with networks abroad. The GSM Association's website has a full list.
Once you arrive in Greece, your phone will lock onto the network with the strongest signal. The active networks specifically on Mykonos are Vodafone, Stet and Cosmote. While some devices will let you choose which one you can use, you will have to reset it each time you switch on the phone.
Frequent travellers often purchase a mobile phone for Greece, or purchase another Sim card which they swap when they arrive in the country.
 
Can I bring my own car to Greece?  
 
Yes, you can. For drivers bringing their own cars to Greece, no special documents are required for limited stays of up to four months. However, international third-party insurance is required.
The vehicle's details are entered into the driver's passport on entering the country. This helps with respect to possible theft and prevents the car from being left in the country.
For stays exceeding three months, drivers should contact the Greek Automobile Touring Club (ELPA), Athens Tower, Messogion 2-4, Athens 115 27. Telephone + 30 210 779 1615.
 
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