Overview

Greece is located in south-eastern Europe, on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula (Haemus peninsula); it lies at the meeting point of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa. Greece borders to the North on Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M.), to the Northwest on Albania, to the Northeast on Turkey; to the West it is washed by the Ionian Sea; to the South by the Mediterranean Sea and to the East by the Aegean Sea.

The total area of Greece is 131,957 km2 and consists of three main geographic areas:

• a peninsular mainland (that extends from the region of Central Greece on the South to the region of Thrace on the North) being the biggest geographic feature of the country

• the Peloponnese peninsula that is separated from the mainland by the canal of the Corinth Isthmus,

• and around 6.000 islands and islets, scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, most of them grouped in clusters, that constitute the unique Greek archipelago. Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades are some of the famous and popular islands and island clusters in Greece.

Eighty percent of the country consists of mountains or hills, making Greece one of the most mountainous countries of Europe; furthermore, it has 16.000 kilometres of coastline of which 7500 are found around the thousands islands of the Greek archipelago, a truly unparalleled phenomenon on the European continent.

Living in Greece

Greece is a truly unique location. Despite its small size, the country enjoys a particularly pristine and diverse natural environment that offers everything from scenic island getaways to cozy mountain retreats. The country’s stunning topography provides the backdrop for an unequalled array of recreational opportunities. This, combined with a spirited lifestyle that blends the Mediterranean’s ancient and modern culture, makes Greece a simply extraordinary place to be—and a wonderful place to call home.

With 300+ days of sunshine per year, the climate in Greece makes living in this Mediterranean destination a year-round joy. Take a swim in the crystal clear Aegean before work. Play 18 holes at one of the nearby golf clubs in the afternoon. Or, if you need to escape it all, dash off to a luxurious spa for a little rest and relaxation.

If that’s not enough, take advantage of other nearby options like yoga, tennis, hiking, sailing, skiing, rafting, biking, kite surfing and rock climbing—just to name a few. Afterhours, an endless array of restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment centers and cultural venues all contribute to a vibrant nightlife that is bursting with Mediterranean zeal, yet is uniquely Greek. And with a modern tourism infrastructure at your disposal, weekend getaways to some of the world’s most beautiful locales are a snap. Whatever you choose to do, healthy, joyful living is part and parcel of the Greek lifestyle.

History & Culture

As the birthplace of Western civilisation, Greece’s cultural legacy lives on in the modern Greek society. While countless archeological sites and museums—including the new Acropolis Museum—offer visitors a chance to experience Greek history up close and personal, the country’s deep heritage is also felt in the spectacular concert halls, in the summertime open-air theaters, and in the bustling neighbourhood art galleries throughout Athens. Greece is today, as it has been for thousands of years, an inspiring place to be.

Greece offers the visitor and resident unlimited opportunities to explore the very roots of Western civilisation. Throughout the country, there are hundreds of museums, archaeological sites, and monuments that detail the rise of art, architecture, crafts, design, ideas and thought.

For an introduction to Greek culture and an extensive guide to events, exhibitions, museums, and venues, please visit http://www.culture.gr/

Gastronomy

The Mediterranean diet is a global brand that needs no introduction. There is nowhere on earth better suited for healthy, wholesome eating than Greece. Greece offers a bountiful array of raw ingredients and traditional products that will satisfy every foodie, and thrill every cook (a trip to a Greek farmers market is a joy for the senses).

It doesn’t matter if you’re eating at a neighbourhood “taverna”, a traditional “ouzerie”, or in a Michelin-starred restaurant. From the freshest seafood to aromatic ground coffee, specialty olive oils to artisan cheeses, tempting patisseries to sumptuous yoghurts, eating and drinking well is not only one of the pleasures of living in Greece, it is also a pre-requisite. And, of course, whether they are harvested from the volcanic slopes of Santorini or the rich soils of Nemea, Greece’s globally celebrated wines are just one more gastronomic perk of the Hellenic life.

For more information about Greek cuisine, please visit http://www.kerasma.gr/

 

Useful Information

Currency

Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and uses its uniform currency – the Euro. Greece, as is the case with the other Member-States of the E.U. uses eight coins as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents (lepta in Greek) and 1 and 2 Euros. The banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros.

Climate

Temperate, mild, wet winters, hot, dry summers

Health Care

Greece offers a very modern healthcare infrastructure and highly skilled physicians and specialists that have been trained in the world’s finest medical facilities. Many healthcare specialists speak English and are accustomed to treat foreign residents and visitors.

Health care in Greece is provided by the National Healthcare Service and by the private sector. Workers in Greece must be insured through one of the national insurance funds and can also choose complementary private coverage.

Transportation

Greece boasts a robust and modern transportation network that seamlessly connects air, land and sea. By plane, ship, train or car, traveling to Greece, and moving through the country, is simple and quick. Almost the entire country is covered by public transport, making travel simple within Greece.

Public Holidays

• New Year’s Day: January 1st

• Epiphany: January 6th

• Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. Lent begins.

• Independence Day and the Feast of the Annunciation: March 25th, military parade

• Anastasi (Resurrection): celebrated with fireworks and candles at midnight, on the eve of Pascha (Easter)

• Pascha (Easter)

• Labour Day: May 1st

• White Monday: 50 days after Easter

• Dormition (Assumption) of The Virgin: August 15th

• October 28th: ‘Oxi’ day, rejection of the Italian ultimatum in 1940, military parade

• Christmas: December 25th-26th

Links

www.visitgreece.gr

www.discovergreece.com

www.mythicalpeloponnese.gr

www.investingreece.gov.gr

Facts & Figures

Total Population

Population 10,815,197 (Resident population, census 2011)

Population Density 81.96/km2

Major Greek Cities – Population (census 2011)

Athens (greater region) 3,827,624

Thessaloniki (greater region) 1,110,312

Patras 213,984

Iraklio 173,993

Larissa 162,591

Volos 144,449

 Geography

Area: 131, 990 sq. km

Border Countries: Albania (282 km), Bulgaria (494 km), Turkey (206 km), FYROM (246 km)

Terrain: Μostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands

Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m -Highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m

State

Legal system: Based on Roman law, judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts

Time zone: GMT +2

Official language: Greek

Currency: Euro

Capital: Athens

Government type: Parliamentary democracy

Legislative branch: Unicameral Parliament– 300 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to four-year terms

Head of State: President

Head of Government: Prime Minister

 

Guides about Greece

athens_guide Source: GNTO
dodecanese_150_225 Source: GNTO
ionians_150_225 Source: GNTO
 
gastronomy_150_202 Source: GNTO
culture_en_150_202 Source: GNTO