Post offices are open Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 2:00pm, though certain main branches have hours until the evening and on Saturday morning.
Airmail letters from the mainland take three to seven days to reach the rest of Europe, five to twelve days to get to North America, and a bit longer for Australia and New Zealand. Generally, the larger the island (and the planes serving its airport), the quicker the service. Postal rates for up to 20g fall within the normal EU range: €0.60 for postcards or letters to Europe, €0.80 to North America or Australasia. For a modest fee (about €3) you can shave a day or two off delivery time to any destination by using the express service (katepígonda). Registered (systiméno) delivery is also available for a similar amount, but proves quite slow unless coupled with express service. If you are sending large purchases or excess baggage home, note that parcels should and often can only be handled in the main provincial or county capitals. Always present your box open for inspection, and come prepared with tape, twine and scissors – most post offices will sell cardboard boxes, but nothing to actually close the package.
Ordinary post boxes are bright yellow, express boxes dark red, but it’s best to use only those by the door of an actual post office, since days may pass between collections at other street-corner or wall-mounted boxes. If you are confronted by two slots, “ESOTERIKÓ” is for domestic mail, “EXOTERIKÓ” for overseas. Often there are more: one box or slot for mail into Athens and suburbs, one for your local province, one for “other” parts of Greece, and one for overseas; if in doubt, ask someone.