Regrettably, vacations are sometimes marred by emergencies, so it's good to know where you should turn for help. In Athens and other cities, hospitals treat emergencies on a rotating basis; an ambulance driver will know where to take you. Or, since waving down a taxi can be faster than waiting for an ambulance, ask a cab driver to take you to the closest "e-phee-me-re-von" (duty) hospital. Large islands and rural towns have small medical centers (iatreio) that can treat minor illnesses or arrange for transport to another facility.
Medications are only sold at pharmacies, which are by law staffed by licensed pharmacists who can treat minor cuts, take blood pressure, and recommend cold medication. Pharmacies are marked with a green-and-white cross and there's one every few city blocks. Outside standard trading hours, there are duty pharmacies offering 24-hour coverage. These are posted in the window of every pharmacy. The tourist police throughout Greece can provide general information and help in emergencies and can mediate in disputes.
Embassy of the United States of America. Vasilissis Sofias 91, Mavili Sq., Athens, Attica, 10160. 210/721–2951; athens.usembassy.gov.