Information About Greece
This content was last updated on 22.08.2023 23:48
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Greece, a mesmerizing country nestled in southeastern Europe, is a land where ancient mythology and modern civilization seamlessly intertwine. From its picturesque landscapes of azure coastlines and rugged mountains to its rich history that birthed democracy, philosophy, and the Olympic Games, Greece stands as a timeless testament to the enduring legacy of Western civilization. With a vibrant culture, delectable cuisine, and warm hospitality, Greece beckons travelers to explore its historic ruins, vibrant cities, and idyllic islands, making it a destination that enchants both the curious adventurer and the seeker of ancient wisdom.
Greece has perennially attracted travelers who come for its beaches, historical treasures, and warm Greek hospitality. Greece is a captivating destination, blending vibrant nightlife, delectable seafood, Mediterranean fervor, and ancient mythology.
Despite its popularity, Greece retains pockets of undiscovered charm, with places like Mount Olympus, the Peloponnese coast, and some remote islands staying off the beaten path for now.
Athens, the stunning capital, is often the first stop. Athens is a city rooted in classical civilization, where some of the world's greatest philosophers, poets, and thinkers once thrived. It's also the birthplace of democracy, a fact proudly shared by the locals. It seamlessly blends a modern city center with the timeless allure of the Parthenon, set against the backdrop of the Saronic Gulf's azure waters.
Throughout Greece, myths and legends abound, from Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, to the rugged Peloponnese, once frequented by gods.
The country boasts a dazzling array of islands, numbering around 6,000 in total, with only 277 inhabited. Rhodes, with its Minoan history and tales of the Minotaur, is famous for its beaches, charming towns, and lively nightlife. Corfu, Crete, and Santorini are renowned sun-soaked destinations, while Kos has become a haven for the world's elite.
Everyone is welcomed to savor its beauty and culture, making it a timeless and inclusive travel destination.
|Area:||131,960 km² (50,950 mi²)|
|Population:||10.36 million (January 2023)|
|Time Zone:||UTC + 2 |
Summer: UTC + 3
Greece History, Language and Culture
History of Greece
Greece's rich history spans millennia, earning it the title of the birthplace of European civilization. Here's a brief overview:
- Evidence of civilization in Athens dates back to the Neolithic Period (before 3000 BCE), with findings on the slopes of the Acropolis.
- Athens thrived under Peisistratus and his sons (approximately 560-510 BCE), expanding rapidly.
- Following the Persian Wars, Athens rebuilt and became a leading city-state in Greece.
- In 507 BCE, Cleisthenes introduced the world's first known democracy, "demokratia," meaning "rule by the people," laying the foundation for democratic systems globally.
- Greece was occupied by the Romans from 146 BCE to 324 CE, with several emperors embracing Greek influence.
- The Byzantine period spanned from 324 to 1453, followed by Ottoman rule until the Greek Revolution of 1821.
- Greece gained independence in 1832, becoming a monarchy with various rulers.
- The monarchy was abolished in 1973, and Greece transitioned into a democratic republic.
- In 1981, Greece joined the European Union and adopted the euro in 2001.
- Greece faced economic challenges, notably during the 2008 crisis, requiring multiple EU bailouts.
- Hopes for economic recovery emerged in 2019, but the nation continues to grapple with its debt burden.
- Greece is the birthplace of the ancient Olympics, with the first recorded Games in 776 BC.
- The 12 Dodekatheon gods ruled Ancient Greek mythology from Mount Olympus.
- Greece boasts the world's largest merchant fleet in its merchant navy.
Religion in Greece
Greece is predominantly Greek Orthodox, with approximately 98% of the population adhering to this faith. There are also minority communities of Muslims, Roman Catholics, and Jews.
Social Conventions in Greece
Greeks take great pride in their rich historical and cultural heritage, with varying traditions and customs observed throughout the country. There is a strong sense of unity among Greeks. The Greek Orthodox Church exerts a significant influence, especially in rural areas. Throwing back one's head is considered a negative gesture. Dress code is generally casual. Smoking is prohibited on public transport and in public buildings.
Language in Greece
Greek (Ellenika) is the official language. Many individuals involved in tourism and younger generations often speak some English, French, German, or Italian to cater to international visitors.
Greece Weather, Climate and Geography
Best Time to Visit Greece
Greece enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate.
Summers (June to August) are typically hot and dry, with coastal areas and islands experiencing refreshing evening breezes. Athens can get quite hot, with temperatures sometimes exceeding 40°C (104°F) in July.
Winters are mild in the south but cold in the mountainous north, where snow and temperatures well below freezing are common from November to March. This period is also the rainy season, especially on the Ionian Islands.
If you're planning a beach vacation, the sea is warm for swimming from June to September, with May and October also suitable for some. Seaside hotels and water sports facilities generally operate from Easter to late October.
Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) are ideal for activities like hiking and mountain biking when the weather is sunny but not excessively hot. Spring features wildflowers, while autumn showcases russet-colored trees. Greece even offers skiing and snowboarding in places like Arahova (near Delphi) and Kalavrita (on the Peloponnese) during the winter months.
During the summer months, lightweight clothing made of cotton is ideal, along with sun protection and sunglasses. Light sweaters are useful for evenings, especially on the islands. Waterproofs are advisable for spring and autumn. Winter months, particularly in northern mainland Greece, can be cold, so standard winter attire is necessary.
Greece is located in southeastern Europe, sharing borders with Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the east, and surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the south and west.
- The mainland includes regions like Central Greece, Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, and Thrace. It features high mountains, fertile plains, pine forests, and foothills.
- The Pindus mountain range runs through central mainland Greece, separating Thessaly and Epirus. The highest peak is Mount Olympus, with a height of 2,917 meters (9,570 feet), a place linked to Ancient Greek mythology as the home of the 12 Olympian Gods.
- Greece's islands make up about one-fifth of its land area. The majority are densely clustered in the Aegean Sea, between the Greek and Turkish coasts. The Ionian Islands are an exception, scattered along the west coast in the Ionian Sea.
- The Aegean archipelago comprises the Dodecanese, including Rhodes; the northeast Aegean group with Chios, Ikaria, Lemnos, Lesvos, and Samos; the Sporades off the central mainland; and the Cyclades, with 39 islands (24 inhabited). Crete, the largest island, stands alone and boasts 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of coastline and a population of approximately 650,000.
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