Geography of Greece

The section provides all the information you need to understand the geography of Greece.

Table of contents:
General InfoCharacteristicsBy region


General Info

Greece is a peninsular and mountainous country located in Southern-Eastern Europe, in the Balkans peninsula, and has a land area of 128,900 km2 (49,769 sq. miles).
The country has the largest coastline in Europe (13,676km) due to its numerous islands. It has a total of 2,000 islands but only 168 are inhabited.
The country is washed to the east by the Aegean Sea, to the west by the Ionian and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea.


Greece's population is estimated at 10,4 million people in 2020.
In terms of total world population, it represents 0.13% and it is ranked at number 87 of all countries.
The density of the population is 81 per square kilometer (209 people per square mile).
85% of its population resides in the cities.


Two-thirds of the territory is covered with mountains.
The highest mountain is Mount Olympus, with its peak at an altitude of 2917 meters.

Natural Ressources

The country is very rich in natural resources providing petroleum, magnetite, lignite, bauxite, hydropower, and marble.

The geographical position of Greece has marked the development of many civilizations throughout the ages.
The special features of the geography have formed an equally special natural environment.
The country has a rich diversity of flora and fauna and many species are original in this country, which means that they only reside there.
These rare species live in forests, lakes and rivers.
The limestone and the volcanoes have composited the territory and allowed the formation of many caves and canyons.

Our guide features information about the natural characteristics of Greece: the geography and landscape of the country and its islands.


Characteristics of the geography

Information about the characteristics of the geography of Greece: Athens, the capital, the different regions in the mainland and the Greek islands.

Athens, Capital of Greece

Athens, the Capital

Athens is the capital of Greece. It belongs to the Prefecture of Attica, located at the center of the territory. Attica is a peninsula surrounded by four high mountains that form a basin. In this basin, the city and suburbs of Athens have been constructed. The southernmost point of Attica is Cape Sounion, on top of which an ancient temple dedicated to god Poseidon is found. According to the myth, King Aegeus fell from Cape Sounion and got drowned, when he thought that his only son Theseus was killed by the Minotaur in Crete. On the western side, the Attica peninsula is divided by Peloponnese with the Corinth Canal, an artificial work that was completed in 1893.

Greek islands

Mainland regions and Greek islands

The Greek mainland consists of the following regions: Sterea (Central Greece), Peloponnese, Thessaly (east-central), Epirus (northwest), Macedonia (north) and Thrace (northeast).
Peloponnese is the most popular region of the mainland. It is located in the southern part of the country and looks like an island connected to the mainland with two bridges: the bridge at the Corinth Canal and the cable bridge of Rio-Antirrio. It is dissected by high mountains that extend southwards towards a landscape of fertile plains, pine forests uplands, and craggy foothills.

The country also consists of many islands and island complexes: Crete, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian, Sporades, Saronic, and Eastern Aegean islands. There are more than 2,000 large and smaller Greek islands scattered both in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea. Most of them are located in the Aegean between the mainland and Turkey. The largest Greek island is Crete and the second largest in Evia. Lesvos and Rhodes come next. Some of the most famous islands are Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Crete, Zakynthos, and Corfu.


The geography by region

Information about the geography of Greece by regions: