Greece is a country in southeastern Europe consisting of 2 mainland peninsulas and thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. It’s often called the birthplace of Western civilization, and Athens, its capital, retains ancient landmarks including the 5th-century-B.C.E. Acropolis citadel and Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.
Population: 11.1 million
Total Area: 131,957 square kilometers
Official Language: Greek
Religions: Christian Orthodox 98%, Other 2%
Voltage: 220/240 volts.
Borders with: Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania
Greece as we know today was established in 1830 following the war of independence from the Ottoman Empire. However the country’s roots date back to the civilization of Ancient Greece, which is considered the forefront for Western civilization. The principles behind democracy, philosophy, astronomy and mathematical principles were created in Ancient Greece. Similarly leisure and sporting activities such as the creation of the Olympic Games have also influenced the world we know today. Ancient greek mythology and legends are still learnt and have been used in Western popular culture including many classical drama performances. Greece’s important legacy is shown by the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe and the world.
Geography and weather
Greece is located in the southeastern region of Europe and borders Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. Mainland Greece is a region with mountainous terrain, running all the way to the the coast. Its highest peak is the well-known Mount Olympus which stands at 2919 m above sea level. It also lays claim to around 6000 islands which are scattered around the Aegean and Ionian Seas, with only 227 of them being inhabited. Greece has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild, sometimes damp winters.
Greece is part of the EU so most nationals of Europe do not need a visa to enter Greece however other nationalities do (it is important to check the rules for your nationality with your nearest embassy, consulate or travel agent). Entry for those not requiring a visa is granted on production of a passport valid for more than six months and proof of funds to support yourself (although this proof not usually requested).
Local currency – The monetary unit in Greece is the Euro (€).
Changing money, credit cards & ATMs
It is advised to take a combination of Euros and bank cards whilst in Greece.
Many find Greece a friendly, safe country. Nevertheless, when in busy cities, keep an eye on your personal possessions and exercise caution late at night.