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Cell Phone Solutions for Greece


I can't travel without a local cell phone, but I realized recently that not everyone knows how to find one for Greece. Here are a few different options for getting and using a cell phone in Greece.

1. Vodaphone Pay-As-You-Go Cell Phones

I bought the cheapest phone Vodaphone offered over three years ago, and despite heavy use and even some abuse, it's held up wonderfully. My particular model is a small, feature-free Nokia which cost me 50 Euro and came complete with a number of "units" on it - something that is close to minutes, but that's determined by an arcane formula and varies with call distance. I'm a light cell phone user, but to cover six or seven months travel in Greece, I added about 100 Euro and still came home with minutes. All of the Vodaphone personnel I've dealt with spoke English and were very willing to help

Downside: you'll have to find a Vodaphone office. All cities and most towns of any size will have one.

2. Cellular Abroad Greek SIM Cards

This service is pricy compared to buying a SIM card in Greece, but the advantage is that you can purchase it in advance. They also offer Greece-compatible cell phones, including very full-featured ones, but the prices are on the high side. Incoming calls are free, and the number is Greek, making it easy for Greek friends and hotel keepers etc. to call you without making a very expensive international call to your U.S.-based cell phone.

3. Mobal Cell and Satellite Phones

I don't like the per-minute rates on this cell phone system, but the big advantage is that usage is charged to your credit card, so you don't have as much worry about running out of time at a bad moment or far from where you can put more minutes on your phone. If you're going into remote areas, or traveling by sea on a yacht cruise or something similar, they also offer satellite phones for rent at a low daily rate.

Cell Phone Drawbacks: the number they provide you is for Britain, not Greece, so people calling you will have increased charges. And they also charge you for incoming calls.

Nitpicking: Their website immediately launches a distracting audio presentation

4. Greece Travel-Phones

This is a cell phone service which rents you a phone to use in Greece, with several unique advantages. First off, they will deliver the phone to you in Greece for a small charge, and they also will let you know what your Greek cell phone number will be before you arrivei in Greece, so you can let friends, family, and business associates know the number ahead of time. The phone is pre-loaded with 60 Euros of minutes on it, but they refund (by Paypal) what you don't use at the end of your trip.

5. GSM Cell Phones

These cell phones are all "GSM" phones which work internationally. If you have an older-model cell phone, it may not work abroad. If you want to use these in Greece, verify with the individual vendor that they are indeed "unlocked" and can be used with a Greek Sim card.
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