Greece is a country in the south of Europe, one of the southernmost countries in Europe. It’s official name is the Helen Republic and it hsares borders with Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The Greek culture of the antiquity is one of the most important for the impact it has given to modern society, with it’s most important “invention”, the democracy. Until the 2nd century BC, when the area of modern day Greece was invaded from Rome, the Greek culture flourished in all its numerous city-states and this culture was adopted and modified from the Romans. During the Byzantine Empire was one of the most important parts of the empire and the Greek language and culture once again flourished, before going into its dark ages under the Ottoman Empire starting from mid-15th century until 1821 when was declared independent. Since then, Greece enlarged its area and also developed from time to time into achieving the membership in EU in 1981 and being one of the fastest countries to develop in Europe in its peak.
Despite the fact that Greece is in the vortex of economic crisis, Athens still hasn’t lost it’s beauty. The touch of history still stands stong in Athens in the same was as the Acropolis stands. Founded some 3400 years ago and carring the name of the graceful and fierce goddess, Athens became the cradle of democracy pushed by the ideas of the ancient greek philosophers such as Aristotle and Socrates, and the government of Pericles. In years, Athens has gathered historical material that now is world inheritance. And speaking of inheritance, the culture the bursted from Athens has influenced the world in a way that no other city ever did. And the greatest symbol of this is the Acropol that stands atop it’s hill since centuries.
From the historical documents, Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC from Cassander of Macedon and has always been one of the most important cities of the region. It was so during Roman Empire as a free city and was along the way of the famous Via Egnatia. Thessaloniki is also mentioned in the New Testament in the Bible for a letter that Paul sent to the Thessalonians. It used to be the second wealthiest city in the Byzantine Empire. During the Ottoman Empire was one of it’s major ports and it has kept that status at all times since. In the modern days, Thessaloniki is in the top five cities for tourism. And speaking of tourism, while in Thessaloniki you will visit its major attractions, starting with a view of the White Tower, the Fortress of Thessaloniki, the Arch of Galerius, a visit of the archaeological museum (one of the most rich museums in the region), and many other attractions along the way and during the walking tour in Thessaloniki.
No, you are not in a futuristic alien movie, and no, you are not in the vastlands of China. This miracle of nature is in Greece, in the Kalambaka region, and these stunning rock formations are in the Meteora Valley. Despite the lack of the modern contruction companies, in the 15th century there were build 24 monasteries atop these rocks, out of which 6 still wonderfully stand. You haven’t been in Greece at all if you don’t visit these monasteries, where you will be left breathless from the amazing view there and the special building technique. The Great Meteoron Monastery is the oldest and the largest of the remaining monasteries. There is also the Varlaam Monastery, Holy Trinity Monastery, Roussanou Monastery, St. Nikolaos Anapafsas Monastery and St. Stephen’s Monastery, and this last one is also connected with a bridge. And if you haven’t had enough already, the valley below offers a special fauna mix that will keep you with no breath.
- Being the highest mountain in Greece and the second in row in the Balkans peninsula, Olympus Mountain offers that mountanious adventure everyone would ask for. The mountain rises for almost 3000 meters and the stunning view is irreplacable. For sure you might have heard for Zeus and the other gods of the Greek mythology. Well, according to the legends, Olympus Mountain is their front garden and the peak of the mountain is their home.Now it is a National Park and a World Biosphere Reserve due to it’s highly diverse flora and fauna. The derivation of the name is also diverse. It’s origin means “sky”, “bright”, “high”, “rock”. In Greek it might simply mean “mountain” and in Turkish is the word for “heavens’ house”.
Surface area: 131,957 km2
Time zone: GMT + 2
Population: Over 10.800.000
Coast line: Its total length is 13,676 km, the longest in the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th in the world.
Climate: The country has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. It is one of the sunniest and warmest coasts in ELITE and an average summer temperature of 29°C. The inland part has a typical continental climate
Religions: Mostly Greek Orthodox
Official language and alphabet: Greek language and Greek alphabet
Political system: Unitary Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
Monetary unit: EURO (since 2001)
International telephone code: ++30
Pets: Allowed, is better to have a vaccination record and veterinary certificate.
Customs formalities: Expensive professional and technical equipment should be declared at the border crossing.
Traveling documents: To enter Greece you need a valid passport depending on international agreement between the countries.
Visa: If required, please check with the nearest Greek Consulate or Embassy
Currency: Foreign currency can be changed at Banks, Exchange Offices, Post Offices, Tourist agencies, hotels etc. All major cards (American Express, Visa, Euro/MasterCard, Diners) are accepted for a wide range of services.
Medical services: Medical care for foreigners can be provided at hospitals and clinics in all major cities in Greek.
Drivers: Valid documents for themselves and for the vehicle, as well as the green insurance card.
Rent-a-Car & Taxi: Cars and Taxi can be rented at the airport, in towns and in all major tourist centers.
Cellular phone range: Communication by cellular phone is possible throughout Greece.
Postal services: Postage stamps are sold at post offices, hotel receptions and newspaper stands. FedEx, EMS and DHL air-express carrier services are also available. For international calls, besides using hotel and post office services, phone cards (for sale in all post offices) are used in all public phone booths.
Top Ten facts about Greece
No one in Greece can choose to not vote. Voting is required by law for every citizen who is 18 or older.
About 7% of all the marble produced in the world comes from Greece.
Greece has more international airports than most countries because so many foreign tourists want to visit.
The world’s third leading producer of olives, the Greeks have cultivated olive trees since ancient times. Some olive trees planted in the thirteenth century are still producing olives.
According to Greek mythology, Athena and Poseidon agreed that whoever gave the city the best gift would become guardian over the city. Though Poseidon gave the gift of water, Athena’s gift of an olive tree was deemed by the other gods to be more valuable.
Most of Greece is mountainous and rocky terrain. Greece has zero navigable rivers because of the mountainous terrain. Nearly 80% of Greece is mountainous.
Approximately 98% of the people in Greece are ethnic Greeks. Turks form the largest minority group. Other minorities are Albanians, Macedonians, Bulgarians, Armenians, and gypsies.
About 12 million people around the world speak Greek. They live mostly in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Albania, Turkey, the United States, among other countries.
Thousands of English words come from the Greek language, sometimes via the Roman adaptation into Latin and then to English. Common English words from Greek include “academy,” “apology,” “marathon,” “siren,” “alphabet,” and “typhoon.”
Greece has more than 2,000 islands, of which approximately 170 are populated. Greece’s largest island is Crete (3,189 sq. miles) (8,260 sq. km.).
Top Ten famous Greek people