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Greece & the Greek Islands are famous for 3 things: ancient civilization, amazing landscapes, and well-established tourism.
Discover our guide of Greece with information about general facts: History, Geography, Culture, holiday destinations, travel info, photos, beaches, politics, economy and more.
Really beloved by people, Greece (Ελλάδα in Greek, Ellada) 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 holiday destinations worldwide. It is all about Greece, from nature to locals, that makes people coming and coming to this wonderful land every summer.
You will find below a complete guide with facts and general information to discover Greece, before organizing your holidays there.
Travel to Greece and the islands have become a must activity, according to the modern lifestyle. Over the last decades, it has been visited by the jet-setters, including politicians, musicians, actors, artists and other celebrities with a significant contribution to the popularity of Greece.
Our guide of Greece has gathered information about important aspects of the country:
This section proposes information about the various historical periods in Greece and the islands, starting from the Bronze Age until Modern time. You will also find information about the history of more than 90 locations in Greece. For more specific interest, we also offer information about famous Greek people and quotes, archaeological sites and historical places listed by Unesco as world heritage monuments.
Greece is a mountainous peninsula located 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. The northern side borders with other Balkan countries. Due to the many islands, in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea, Greece has the longest coastline in Europe and the fifth longest coastline in the world. The country has a population of about 11 million, with 4 million living in Athens, the country's capital. The largest cities after Athens are Thessaloniki and Patras. For a better understanding of the country's geography, visit our section with maps.
In general, the Greeks are particularly proud of their culture and speak of their country with an intense passion, feeling that the culture in Greece is a definition of their national and ethnic belonging. Traditions, religion, music, language, food, and wines are the major composites of the culture in Greece and constitute the base for those who wish to visit and understand today's country.
Holidays in Greece is the ultimate summer experience. Why visit Greece? The hot sun, the relaxing beaches, the marvelous nature, the rich culture, and the warm hospitality will charm you from the first step in the country. There are so many islands and mainland resorts in Greece that it will take you many years to explore the entire country. However, if you believe that Greece is only about swimming in gorgeous beaches and visiting sightseeing, then also check other types of holidays and you will change your mind. Greece is a wonderful place to visit all year round and gives amazing chances for trips off the beaten track.
You will find in this section Information about travelling to Greece: Why choose Greece for your holiday, how to get there (flights, ferries, bus, train), what documents your must have in order to enter the country, what you need to know about the country, when to go and why you need to travel to Greece.
We offer a huge collection of photos (+200.000) from all the amazing destinations of the country and the Greek islands. All photos were taken by our team of professional photographers but also by members of our online community. New photos are uploaded on a daily basis. As a member, you can upload your holiday pictures from Greece, rate, and comment on photos of other members and also participate in our annual photo contest
Greece is world famous for its amazing beaches. Sandy or pebbled, organized or secluded, beaches in Greece are ideal for all tastes. Most impressive beaches are found in the Cyclades and the Ionian islands, such as Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia, Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, Porto Katsiki Beach in Lefkada and Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos. Every year, the Greek beaches are rated among the most beautiful and clean beaches in the world.
Apart from beautiful beaches, Greece also has traditional and picturesque villages. These villages have differences in architecture, depending on their geographical location. For example, villages in the Cyclades are famous for the white sugar houses, villages in the Dodecanese have a Medieval style, villages in the mainland have more earthy colors, while many cities have beautiful Neoclassical buildings.
The conventional names of the country are Hellas or the Hellenic Republic. The political regime is the 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, most 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.
The Greek mythology is a sum of fables told by the ancient Greeks to explain the existence of the world, some natural phenomena or just for pleasure, to intrigue the imagination of people. Most of these Ancient Greek myths survive till our days because they have been included in the works of famous ancient writers and historians.
The level of Greek gastronomy is getting higher from year to year. Discover some of the best places to eat, have a cocktail or a dessert.
The country is getting a popular destination for sports, extreme sports, and alternative tourism. Discover some of the sports you can practice while on holiday.
Visitors will find all kind of shops in Greece: from mini-markets and small shops with traditional products to brand shops with expensive items in the most cosmopolitan destinations.
In August 2004, the Olympic Games returned to their birth country. Athletes from over 200 countries joined Athens for 17 days in August 2004. Greece proposes many events, especially 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. The foreign press can also be found in large cities and popular islands.
Discover the different aspects of the nature in Greece: Canyons, Caves, Farms, Fauna, Flora, Forests, Lakes, Mountains, Rivers, Volcanoes and more.
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.
Like most states in Europe, Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in Greece, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour; 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3).
After the Summer months, the time in Greece is shifted back by 1 hour to Eastern European Time (EET) or (GMT+2)
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.
• Most Cosmopolitan Islands of Greece • Best things to do in Greece • Basic guide for the must do things • How to spend a week in Greece • Running events in Greece • Road trips in Greece
Discover information about some regions and island groups of Greece: