Greece is of interest to almost anyone. Someone is interested in the history of Ancient Hellas, someone aspires to this country, considering it the cradle of Orthodoxy, and some tourists, and they seem to be the majority, just want to relax in the beautiful Greek beach resorts. More than 15 million tourists from all over the world visit Greece every year.
In the 5th century BC, Greece was the center of the ecumene, the undisputed leader in art, architecture, science, mathematics, philosophy, theater and literature. Now Greece is famous for its amazing landscape, natural beauty, numerous historical monuments, as well as beautiful beach resorts.
Geography of Greece
Greece is located in southeastern Europe. In the east and northeast, Greece borders on Turkey, in the north – on Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, in the south it is washed by the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, in the west – the Ionian, and in the east – the Aegean Sea.
The total area of Greece is almost 132 thousand square kilometers, including islands (about 20% of the territory of Greece are islands), and the total length of the state border is 1,228 km.
A significant part of the territory of Greece is occupied by mountains. Moreover, the highest of them is the famous Mount Olympus in Thessaly (2,917 m).
There are about 3,053 islands in Greece. The largest Greek islands are Crete in the Mediterranean and Euboea in the Aegean.
According to itypejob.com, the capital of Greece is the ancient city of Athens, which is now home to more than 5 million people. This city was founded about 3,500 years ago.
Official language of Greece
The official language of Greece is Greek, which is a branch of the Indo-European languages. The first archaeological evidence for the existence of the Greek language dates back to the 15th century BC.
About 97% of the Greek population consider themselves Orthodox Christians belonging to the Greek Catholic Church. According to a Eurostat poll, 81% of Greeks believe that “God exists”.
According to computerminus.com, Greece is a parliamentary republic in which the head of state is the President (he is elected by the Parliament). The current Greek Constitution was adopted relatively long ago, in 1975.
Legislative power in this country belongs to the unicameral Parliament (300 deputies).
The main political parties are the liberal New Democracy, the leftist Panhellenic Social Movement, the Coalition of the Radical Left, the People’s Orthodox Appeal, and the Communist Party of Greece.
Climate and weather
In the coastal regions of Greece (Athens, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete, Peloponnese and part of Central Hellas), the Mediterranean climate prevails (winter is mild and humid, and summer is dry and hot).
In the mountainous regions of northwestern Greece (some parts of Epirus, Central Greece, Thessaly and Western Macedonia), as well as in the mountainous part of the Peloponnese, including Achaia, Arcadia and Laconia, the climate is alpine with heavy snowfalls.
In the interior of central Greece, in Central Macedonia, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, the climate is temperate.
In July, the average air temperature in Athens is +28.7C, on the island of Corfu – +27.8C, and on the island of Rhodes – 26.8C.
Sea in Greece
Greece is washed by the waters of the Ionian (in the west), the Mediterranean (in the south) and the Aegean (in the east) seas. The total coastline is about 17,000 km. About 85% of the population of all of Greece lives in coastal areas (up to 50 km from the coast).
Sea water in Greece amazes and surprises all tourists. Its deep blue color is due, in part, to the reflection of the blue sky and the fact that it does not contain a large amount of solid matter (for example, plankton, dirt and dust).
There are about 450 species of fish and 12 species of cetaceans in the Greek seas.
There are about 3,053 islands in Greece. The largest of these are Crete in the Ionian Sea, Euboea in the Aegean Sea, and Corfu in the Ionian Sea.
Average sea temperature in Greece:
- January – +15C
- February – +14C
- March – +14С
- April – +15С
- May – +18C
- June – +22С
- july – +24C
- August – +25С
- september – +23С
- october – +21C
- November – +19C
- december – +16C
The average water temperature near Crete in May is +19C, in August – +25C, and in October – +23C.
Rivers and lakes of Greece
Despite the fact that a significant part of the territory of Greece is occupied by mountains, this country also has many rivers. In ancient times, the Greeks believed that the rivers belonged to the world of the gods, and worshiped them as separate deities.
The largest rivers in Greece are Alyakmon (297 km), Aheloos (217 km), and Mesta (230 km).
Perhaps tourists will be interested in Greek lakes, among which we single out Trichonis, Volvi, and Vegoritis.
History of Greece
Greece marked the beginning of European civilization. The Greek city-states of Athens, Corinth, and Sparta joined forces only when threatened by Persian invasion.
In the 5th century BC. Athens was the political, economic, and, of course, the cultural center of the Mediterranean. Then Sparta, led by Alexander the Great, gained a dominant role over the Greek lands. At this time, the Greeks defeated the Persians and extended their influence over vast territories, up to India.
In 146 BC. Greece was conquered by the Roman Empire. In 395 AD, after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Byzantium (the official name is the Eastern Roman Empire) was formed, with Constantinople (modern Istanbul) as its capital.
In 1453, the Byzantine Empire was liquidated, and the territory of modern Greece fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. For the next 350 years, Greece was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
As a result of the liberation war of 1821-1829, Greece finally gained independence. In 1833, Otto of Bavaria became king of Greece. The monarchy in Greece (since 1863 the Danish royal family ruled the Greeks) lasted until 1973.
After World War II, Greece plunged into civil war until the right-wing monarchists won in 1954. From 1967 to 1974, Greece was ruled by the so-called. “black colonels”.
In 1981, after years of consultation, Greece became a member of the EU.
Greek culture begins with the Mycenaean and Minoan civilizations (this is an example of 2000 BC). After that, there was a period in the history of Greece, which historians call classical. At this time, Greek culture was formed, which began to influence neighboring peoples. In general, Greece is the birthplace of mankind, and one way or another, Greek culture has influenced a huge number of countries. The successors of Greek culture are Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire.
In the Middle Ages, the culture of Greece was greatly influenced by the Ottoman Empire. But this is understandable, because. For about 350 years, Greece was just one of the provinces of the Ottoman Empire.
It was in ancient Greece that science was born. Modern philosophy, mathematics and astronomy are based on the knowledge gained by the ancient Greeks.
The most famous ancient Greek philosophers are Aristotle, Plato, Diogenes, Crates of Athens, Diogenes and Socrates.
The most famous ancient Greek mathematicians are Archimedes, Pythagoras, Democritus and Euclid.
The Greeks are very superstitious, they believe not only in God, but also in supernatural powers. Until now, the Greeks take the myths of ancient Greece seriously. Moreover, in every region of Greece, in every village, on every island, there are their own superstitions and traditions.
The Greeks will never personally hand over a knife to a person who asks them about it, but simply put it, for example, on the table. It is believed that if you give someone a knife, then this person will have to fight.
The most popular Greek folk (and very often religious) holidays are Epiphany, Gynecocracy, Tsiknopempti (Meat Thursday), Maundy Monday, Annunciation, Good Friday, Easter, Pontic Genocide Remembrance Day, Trinity, Polytechnic and Christmas.
If two Greeks say the same words at the same time, they will definitely touch some red object, otherwise, it is believed that they will fight and become enemies. Where this superstition came from – history is silent.
We definitely advise tourists in Greece to visit local restaurants and enjoy Greek cuisine. The variety of dishes, as well as their taste, make Greek cuisine unique. A characteristic feature of Greek cuisine is the use of olive oil in absolutely every dish.
Also, the Greeks usually use a lot of vegetables and spices when cooking. However, the spices are quite mild, and there is no need to be afraid of strong spiciness.
We all know “Greek salad” and moussaka. However, these dishes are only a prelude to real Greek cuisine. Each region of Greece, each island has its own dishes and methods of their preparation. Therefore, the taste of moussaka on the island of Corfu will not be the same as that of moussaka on the Dedecanes Islands.
We definitely advise tourists in Greece to try Fasolada bean soup, shrimp fried in butter, souvlaki (shish kebabs on wooden sticks), Greek fish fillet, flatbread with meat, potatoes and tomato “gyro”, “fritta” from vegetables with tzazyki sauce, as well as kakavia fish soup.
The ancient Greeks considered wine to be the drink of the gods, and in modern Greece this alcoholic drink is very popular. True, the ancient Greeks diluted wine with spring water, and modern Greeks for some reason forgot this, in general, very useful tradition.
The most famous Greek spirits are tsipouro (also called tsikudya or crayfish), 38-47% alcohol, ouzo (aniseed vodka, 40% alcohol), and Metaxa brandy.
We also advise tourists in Greece to definitely try the local coffee, which is very tasty there.
Sights of Greece
Greece ranks 1st in the world in terms of the number of attractions (in second and third places are Italy and Bulgaria, respectively). Therefore, we will highlight, in our opinion, the ten best attractions in Greece, although in fact there are many more.
Top 10 best attractions in Greece:
- Acropolis in Athens
- Agora in Athens
- Archaeological National Museum (Athens)
- Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion
- Mount Athos
- Ruined city of Mystras in Sparta
- Theater at Delphi (4th century BC)
- Monasteries of Meteora in the mountains of Thessaly
- The ancient city of Mycenae in the Peloponnese
- Mount Lycabettus in Athens
Cities and resorts
The largest Greek cities are Athens, Piraeus, Patras, Thessaloniki, and Heraklion.
The coastline in Greece is 13,676 kilometers, which means that there are a huge number of beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters, which are surrounded by rocks with pine and palm trees.
The most popular beach resorts in Greece are Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Chania and Chalkidiki.
We advise tourists from Greece to bring:
- Greek shoes (in particular, handmade sandals).
- Gold jewelry.
- Folk talismans that “drive away the evil eye.”
- Bouzouki (baglama) is a small stringed musical instrument.
- CDs with Greek folk music.
- Olives, olive oil.
- Greek cheese.
- Kitchen utensils.
- Alcoholic drinks – ouzo, tsipuro (tsikudya or raki) and Metaxa brandy.
Bank opening hours:
Banks on the larger islands tend to be open in the afternoon to cater to tourists.
Shops in Greece are open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am (from 8:30 am in summer)
Greece has signed the Schengen Agreement. Ukrainians need a visa to enter Greece.
Since 2002, the euro has been used in Greece instead of the Greek drachma.
Banknotes in denominations: €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5.
– €2 and 1
– 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents
Visa, American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, etc. are accepted.
The import and export of currency in Greece is not limited, but the amount of 10,000 euros and more must be included in the declaration.
In Greece, residents of non-EU countries can bring:
– 200 cigarettes;
– 1 liter of strong alcoholic drinks;
– 50 g perfume and 250 ml toile. water;
– Gifts worth no more than 175 euros per person.
It is forbidden to import meat, milk, dairy products, certain types of plants, drugs into Greece. Weapons and explosives can only be imported with a special permit.
It is forbidden to export archeological objects from Greece unless there is a special permit from the Archaeological Service in Athens.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Greece in Ukraine
01901, Kiev, st. Panfilovtsev, 10
Phone: (044) 254-54-71
Fax: (044) 254-39-98
E-mail: [email protected]
Embassy of Ukraine in Greece
Address: st. Stephanou Delta, 2 – 152 37 Filotei
Phone: (210) 680 02 30
Fax: (210) 685 41 54
e-mail: [email protected]
- Medical assistance – 166
- Please. service – 199
- Police – 100
- Police for tourists – 171
- Maritime Police – 108
Time in Greece is Eastern European. There is no difference with Kyiv time. Those. if in Athens, for example, 9:00 am, then in Kyiv it is also 9:00 am.
Tipping in Greek restaurants is usually 10-20% of the bill. In taxis, the tip is 10%. It is customary for hotel maids to leave 1 euro per day.
No special vaccinations are required to enter Greece.
The Greeks are, of course, a very hospitable people, but this does not mean that they do not commit crimes against foreigners (this happens very rarely). In the subway, public transport, as well as beach resorts, purses and bags are stolen.