Thessaloniki is the 2nd city of Greece after Athens. Its center is built on the sea shore and many restaurants ...

About Greece

Geographical position

Greece is a small country situated South East of Europe. It borders from the north with Albania, FYROM and Bulgaria. From the east it borders with the European part of Turkey. To the west of Greece lies the Ionian Sea and Italy, to the east is the Aegean Sea. To the south is the Libyan Sea. The coast line of Greece is 13,676 km, therefore having the longer coastline in the Mediterranean. On top of that the sea is never more than 80 kilometers from any point on the mainland. Most of the Greek islands and islets are situated in the Aegean sea, while a smaller number of islands are situated in the Ionian Sea. In total: 2.500 islands!

Climate and population

Surrounded by the Mediterranean sea, Greece has a mild climate with dry summers and mild winters. Greece is perfect for those who enjoy the sun, as for over two thirds of the year the country basks under clear and sunny skies. Temperatures do vary, however. Winters are mild and sometimes rainy, with temperatures sometimes dropping to freezing point, especially in the north. Summers are long and dry, with extremes of 37° C making the yearly mean temperature about 17°C. For those not overly fond of the heat, the mountainous areas offer some respite as they receive more rain in summer, and even snow in winter. 

Greece in general is not densely inhabited. With a total surface of 132 000 km², Greece has a population of about 11,100,000 inhabitants. The reason for that is that most of the Greek mainland is mountainous with a few plateaus in Thessaly, Macedonia and Thrace and a large part of the country consists of islands. Therefore most of the population of Greece is concentrated in the big urban centers with Athens - capital - and its greater area and Piraeus to have one third of the Greek population, followed by Thessaloniki  (north), Patras (south west), Heraklion (capital of Crete in the south) and Larissa (central Greece).


Greece is a country well known all over the world firstly for its glorious history. Democracy was born in Greece and the Ancient Greek civilization is a stepping stone for the modern western civilization. Greek philosophy and Philosophers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many others effected widely the western civilization. Drama and theatre was also born in Greece during the 61st Olympiad - almost at the same time as democracy - and writers like Euripides, Aristophanes, Sophocles and Aeschylus wrote immortal plays like Electra, Iphigenia, Oedipus, Medea which one may still admire in one of the numerous ancient and contemporary theatres throughout the country.

Greek history has had many glorious times, the Golden Age of Pericles of Athens, the Hellenistic times of Alexander the Great, the Byzantine times with its empire of 1000 years long – the longest lived empire ever. So much to say and to see also when visiting ancient Greek monuments … The best known example would be the Parthenon which have effected dramatically the Architecture of the western world and contemporary architecture.

Historically, the country has suffered - mainly because of its strategic position – from many wars and had to face many conquerors, starting with the Persians and then the Romans, later the Venetians and the Ottomans.

During the last 25 years Greece has developed very fast in all kinds of sectors. Nowadays, Greece is a modern western European country and member of the European Union and has become one of the most beloved holiday destinations. It proudly ranks in the top 10 destinations worldwide and holds one of the best positions of the best standards of living and quality of life. Last, but not least, thanks to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the country literally changed and modernized in all aspects.

Life style, people & shopping

But Greece is also quite well known for its unique life style. Climate, short distances, warm people seem to make things much easier and relaxed in Greece. Greeks love to take life easily and at their own pace. The dry, warm climate keeps doors open and people happy. Outdoor cafes, restaurants, tavernas with Greek good food and outdoor cinemas are a way of life - a quality of life possible here.

Greek people are probably the warmest and the most hospitable and smiling among Europeans. The role of hospitality among Greeks dates back in ancient times and hospitality tradition has been well kept through generations and is encountered everywhere. In villages and islands it is more striking and you should never refuse when an old woman or man you just met kindly invites you in his small home to offer you a “spoon sweet”. This is a traditional and delightful Greek custom and a great gesture of hospitality.

As far as shopping is concerned you may find very good shopping prices on high quality items like shoes and clothing in many boutiques in the cities. All designer items are found in Athens and in some other cities or even islands. Here like everywhere during sales’ period some good deals can be made! Gold and silver jewelry are popular and some of them renowned. A multiple of jewelers shops are located in Athens and in some of the islands. You may find a wide selection of reproductions of ancient Greek jewels as well as modern designs. Also, many attractive tourist shops are found all over the country. The bigger choice though, would be in Plaka and Monastiraki in Athens’ historical center where you should not forget the after shopping refreshment with an amazing view of the Acropolis… Food products are found everywhere and are cheaper than elsewhere in Europe, not to mention quality – especially for fruit and vegetables – which is superior. In general, prices for shopping are lower than other European countries.

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