Country profile

About Greece

Don’t let the recent economic troubles put you off Greece as a destination; the country has stood for four thousand years and survived far worse troubles than their current situation. If you have any doubt about the longevity of this ancient society, just look around any Greek city or island and you will see the wealth of history and tradition that surrounds you.

Greece is situated in south east Europe and is bordered by Bulgaria, the former Yugoslav Republics of Macedonia and Albania to the north and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, and the Ionian Sea to the west with the stunning Greek Islands in the Mediterranean basin. It is a surprisingly diverse country with mountains, caves and rainforests and steaming hot summers that contrast with snowy winters.

Greece attracts as many visitors every year as it has citizens, with ten million of us choosing the country as our holiday destination. Although with over 9,000 miles of coastline (the tenth longest in the world) and 3,000 islands to choose from, it never feels too crowded. What’s more, Greece has almost 400 Blue Flag beaches, placing it second best in the world and giving you plenty of choice for safe sun worshipping.

140 of the Greek islands are inhabited, with famous destinations such as Kos, Corfu and Crete, alongside historic islands steeped in legend, such as Mykonos, Pharos and Rhodes, the legendary home of the Colossus. Some are known for their party atmosphere, and some as friendly family destinations, while others are quiet islands that are hidden gems just waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous traveller.

The capital, Athens, is a must for any Greek odyssey, with the iconic Pathenon (or Acropolis) towering over the city, and a whole host of other spectacular sites close by, enough to satisfy the most ardent culture vulture. And if you do want more, there’s still the Temple of Apollo at Bassae, the ancient city of Rhodes and so much more waiting to be explored.

Inland, Greece has spectacular mountains to hike and climb, with a warm welcome awaiting you when you come down. Every village has a taverna or two serving exquisite mezes, washed down with plenty of quality Greek wines and the obligatory Ouzo to end the night.

Greece has a seven month summer, with sunshine almost every day, which perhaps explains the laid back way of life. It also has an excellent diet, rich in olive oil and fresh tomatoes, which adds to the feeling of wellbeing. And when the Greeks do feel off their best, they have no less than 850 therapeutic spas to choose from, as healing waters bubble from the ground all over the country.

Whatever Greece’s economic woes, ten million visitors a year just keep coming for everything that this very special country has to offer.

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Quick facts

Population: 10.8 Million
Currency: Euro
Capital: Athens
Languages: Greek/td>
Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%

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