Official language: Greek
Total Area: 131.957 km²
Per Capita Net Income: 26.040 $
Visa (from Turkey): Greece demands visa from Turkish citizens.
Greece is a country located in southeastern Europe. According to the 2011 census, Greece’s population is around 10.8 million. Athens is the nation’s capital and largest city, with Thessaloniki being the second largest and referred to as the co-capital.
Geography and Climate
Located in Southern Europe, Greece consists of a mountainous, peninsular mainland jutting out into the sea at the southern end of the Balkans, ending at the Peloponnese peninsula (separated from the mainland by the canal of the Isthmus of Corinth) and strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Due to its highly indented coastline and numerous islands, Greece has the 11th longest coastline in the world with 13,676 km (8,498 mi); its land boundary is 1,160 km (721 mi).
Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains or hills, making the country one of the most mountainous in Europe. Mount Olympus, the mythical abode of the Greek Gods, culminates at Mytikas peak 2,917 m (9,570 ft), the highest in the country. Western Greece contains a number of lakes and wetlands and is dominated by the Pindus mountain range. The Pindus, a continuation of the Dinaric Alps, reaches a maximum elevation of 2,637 m (8,652 ft) at Mt. Smolikas (the second-highest in Greece) and historically has been a significant barrier to east-west travel.
Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína), is the capital city of Greece with a metropolitan population of 3.7 million inhabitants. It is in many ways the birthplace of Classical Greece, and therefore of Western civilization.
The sprawling city is bounded on three sides by Mt Ymettos, Mt Parnitha and Mt Pendeli; whilst inside Athens are twelve hills [the seven historical ones are: Acropolis, Areopagus, Hill of Philopappus, Observatory Hill (Muses Hill), Pnyx, Lykavittos (Lycabettus), Tourkovounia (Anchesmus), the Acropolis and Lykavittos being the most prominent. These hills provide a refuge from the noise and commotion of the crowded city streets, offering amazing views down to Saronic Gulf, Athens’ boundary with the Aegean Sea on its southern side. The streets of Athens (clearly signposted in Greek and English) now meld imperceptibly into Piraeus, the city’s ancient (and still bustling) port.
Featured PlacesThe Acropolis
Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio
Omonia and Exarheia
Pangrati and Mets
Thessaloniki (Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, Selanik in Turkish and Солун, Solun (Солун) in South Slavic languages) , also known as Thessalonica (pron.: /ˌθɛsəlɵˈnaɪkə/ or pron.: /ˌθɛsəˈlɒnɪkə/) and Salonica, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia.
At about a million inhabitants, it is considered Greece’s cultural capital, renowned for its festivals, events and vibrant cultural life in general and has recently been ranked by Lonely Planet as the world’s fifth-best party city worldwide. More importantly, it is also a city with a continuous 3,000 year old history; preserving relics of its Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman past and of its formerly dominant Jewish population. Many of its Byzantine churches, and a whole district of the city in particular, are included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Featured PlacesAtatürk House
The Church of Agios Demetrios
The Agia Sofia church
Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki
Museum of Byzantine Culture
Mount Olympus coast
Prespa and Doirani lakes
Kavala is mentioned in most guidebooks only marginally, although it is one of the most beautiful and most livable cities in Greece. A wealth of possibilities for excursions in the surrounding area and many interesting, often little occupied beaches, archaeological sites and natural beauty makes it a fun-filled vacation address. It not as crowded as the famous sights in Central and Southern Greece and the climate in Kavala is much milder than e.g. in Athens.
Featured PlacesMehmet Ali Paşa House
Waterfall and footpath at Palea Kavala
Ancient city and theatre of Phillipi
Stalactite cave of Maras
Limestone Cave of Alistrati
Around the Pangeon massif
Nature reserve Nestos
Rhodope Mountains National Park
Chalkidiki (Greek: Χαλκιδική), also Halkidiki or Chalcidice, forms a trident-like peninsula. The coast hosts numerous excellent beaches. Located near the city of Thessaloniki. The capital of Chalkidiki prefecture is the town of Polygyros, located in Northern Chalkidiki.
Featured PlacesKassandra peninsula
Kalabaka (Greek: Καλαμπάκα, Kalabáka, alternative transliteration Kalambaka) is a municipality in the Trikala regional unit, part of Thessaly in Greece. The population 11,841 (2001). The Meteora monasteries are located in the town.
Great Meteoron Monastery
Holy Trinity Monastery
Natural History Museum of Meteora and Mushroom Museum