Facts on Greece

Information about Greece

flag of greeceThe Official Language if Greece is Greek

The greek language was first spoken around 3,000BC and is still around today, making greek the world's oldest living language.

The blue and white greek flag features horizontal stripes and a white cross on a blue background.

Greek Money

The currency of Greece has been the Euro since 2001 . Before that the currency was the Drachma (pronounced "Drak-mar").

Where is Greece?

Greece is in Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Seas. The highest point in Greece is Mount Olympus which rises to 2,917 metres.

Since ancient times the greeks are a traditionally seafaring nation with 13,676 km of coastline.

The capital city of greece is Athens.

How many Greek islands are there?

There are about 2,000 major islands within the greek nation. Mainland Greece also has land borders with Albania, Bulgaria , Turkey and the former yugoslav Republic of Macedonia .

thomas cook

The Weather in Greece

Greece is blessed with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers making it a popular tourist vacation destination for northern europeans. The terrain is mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands.

a fishing village on rhodes island

The most popular tourist destinations in greece are the greek islands of Crete, Rhodes and Corfu as well as the capital city of Athens which is a world heritage site.

Greece played host to the modern summer olympic games in 2004. historically Greece was home to the original olympic games around 2000 years ago.

Travel to Greece from mainland Europe is very easy with many budget flights to athens and the holiday islands almost every day.

Popular Greek Holiday islands such as Rhodes and Corfu attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Greek Food

Greece is famous for its food. The climate is ideal for growing olives and Greece is the World's top exporter of olives. Olive Oil is used in much greek cookery.

Greek honey, feta cheese and wine are also famously exported from Greece. Much of Greece is rocky and mountainous and so sheep and goats have always thrived better than other animals grown for their meat. They feature heavily in Greek food. Seafood is another favorite, but sadly the Mediterranean is fished out and so much fish has to be imported from elsewhere.

The greeks are also great at producing sweets. Nuts and honey are offten key ingredients in light flaky pastry parcels.

Greek History

The Greeks have a noble history, having been largely responsible for the rise in what we now know as western civilisation. Ancient Greeks were the first to write down philosophies so we know about the ideas of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and many others. They also wrote plays which survive to this day. More importantly, the Greeks developed the first versions of democracy in Europe. The idea of the general mass of people being ultimately in charge of their own lives was first enshrined in the ancient Greek word demokratia which meant literally 'people-power'. Cleisthenes of Athens first introduced democracy to his city in 508BC. Most other greek cities also switched to democray in the following century. The grand experiment continued for 186 years until Phillip of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) took control of Athens in 322 BC.

Greek Wildlife

The country is largely mountainous and semi arid (dry). Greece still has a small population of wolves and bears in the Pindos moutains. Elsewhere Eagles and Vultures soar high above the many goats that live all over the rocky parts of the country.

Greece is a paradise for reptile hunters and insect enthusiasts, while butterfly fans flock to Greece (noteably the island of Rhodes) in late spring to see the thousands of varieties of wild butterflies that live there.

The sea around Greece is not as fertile as it once was, but nonetheless, thousands of species of marine life make their home in the waters around Greece.

Religion in Greece

There are Muslims, Roman Catholics and Jews in Greece, but about 95% of the people are Greek Orthodox. The Greek Orthodox Church is part of the confedreacy of The Eastern Orthodox Church which is the second largest Christian communion in the world (after the Catholic Church from whom the Greek Orthodox departed in Roman Catholics in 1054).

Visiting Greece

The Greek Islands are not all alike, so a bit of research is recommended. On the greek islands, crime against tourists is very low, whereas in Athens a number of tourists get pickpocketed.


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