About Greece & the Greek Islands
Greece & the Greek Islands are known for 3 things: ancient civilization, amazing landscapes and high developed tourism.
Really beloved by people, this country is so rich in culture and beauty that it never seems to be completely explored, no matter how many times you visit it. After all, this is one of the reasons that brought it in the list with the top 20 tourist destinations worldwide.
Travel to Greece and the Greek islands has become a must activity, according to the modern lifestyle. Over the last decades, it has been always visited by the jet setters, including politicians, musicians, actors, artists and other celebrities with a significant contribution to the popularity of Greece.
General Information about Greece & the Greek Islands
Travel information & Services
Entertainment & Sports
Greece in a few words...
Greece is a peninsular and a mountainous country situated in southeast Europe, on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea, with a total area of 130,800 km2. The country is surrounded by sea from three sides, while on the northern side it borders with other Balkan countries. The Greek islands represent one fifth of the country's surface.
Greece has about 1400 Greek islands, of which only 169 are inhabited. The majority of the islands are scattered in the Aegean Sea, between the Greek and Turkish coasts. The country has a population of about 11 million (2000), with 4 millions living in Athens, the country's capital.
The conventional names of the country are Hellas or Hellenic Republic. The political regime is Parliamentary Republic with the President of the Hellenic Republic as the Head of the State.
Greece is an agricultural country. 22% of the workforce is employed in agriculture, 27% in the industry sector and 50 % in the services. Tourism and shipping are the sectors that contribute the most to the economy of the country.
Greek is the only official language of the country. However, a large part of the population, mostly people working in tourism and the younger generations, speak English fluently and occasionally they also speak other European languages.
98% of the Greek population are Orthodox in religion. The rest of the Greek population are Roman Catholics, Muslims and Jewish.
In August 2004, the Olympic Games returned to their birth country. Athletes from over 200 countries joined Athens during 17 days in August 2004. Greece proposes many events, especialy in summer. The famous Greek Festival includes various cultural events in venues of Athens and drama performances in the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus. Also particularly popular in summer are the panigyria, which are actually religious celebrations followed by traditional dancing in the village square.
Greece is the European country with the largest number of newspapers. There are 18 daily newspapers in Athens. Foreign press can also be found in large cities and popular islands.
220 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are used. North American visitors require a transformer and British visitors an adaptor. Some hotels provide these adaptors. Otherwise, you can buy them from the airport or large electric venues.
GMT + 2
Greece is two hours ahead the Greenwich time.
Banks and Public Services work from 08.00 to 14.00, Monday to Friday. The shops are usually open Monday-Wednesday- Saturday from 09.00 to 15.00 and Tuesday-Thursday-Friday from 09.00 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 20.00. In these three days of the week, shops close for the siesta at noon and open again in the afternoon. In the tourist areas in high season, most shops stay open all day long, from early in the morning till late in the evening. Malls in the cities also stay open all day.