INFO on Greece
is situated in Southeastern Europe, with an area of 131,957 sq.km. and a population of 10,964,020.
Athens is the capital of Greece with a population of 3,192,606.
Local time is GMT +2 hours.
The currency is euro.
Notwithstanding its limited surface area, Greece is endowed with a particularly rich and diversified natural environment as a result of a rare geomorphology, with many striking natural contrasts and areas of great ecological value. The country’s abundant natural gifts –thousands of indented coasts, imposing rocky massifs, caves, gorges, lakes, rivers, biotopes of spectacular beauty and unique natural habitats– coupled with the mild climate, place it among the ideal destinations for ecotourism and alternative forms of tourism.
The Greek coast has a total length of approximately 16,000 km. Half of these are on the thousands of Greek islands, while the rest extends along the mainland. What characterises the famous Greek coasts is their unique diversity (beaches stretching over many kilometres, small bays and coves, sandy beaches with dunes, pebbly shores, coastal caves surrounded by steep rocks and with the characteristic dark sand of volcanic soils, coastal wetlands), their clean and transparent waters which have made them renowned all over the world and, for this reason, extremely popular.
The islands are Greece’s chief morphological trait and an integral part of the country’s civilisation and tradition. The Greek territory comprises 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, a truly unique phenomenon on the European continent; of these islands only 227 are inhabited.
Greece is full of archaeological sites and monuments of distinctive prestige and charm, on which all known periods of its long-standing history have left their mark. Visitors have the opportunity to make a unique “journey” through the rare “mosaic” of historic and cultural memory which has left an indelible mark on every region of the country and effortlessly highlights the manifold manifestations of Greek culture to date.
What to see
Travel to the Capital
Athens is a beautiful city with a history of thousands of years. It is the cradle of one of the greatest civilization which invented and developed the politics, mathematics, physics, architecture, arts and more…
Athens ( Greece ) is the city of the Olympic Idea, the city of artists, cultural channel scientific centre, East and West for each voyager, the crossroads of every major event for the active, the fashion that is in for avid sophisticates, the Parthenon, of all and for all.
During the Mycenaean period, the female deity of Earth was worshipped in the small settlement of Delphi. The development of the sanctuary and oracle though, began in the 8th century B.C. with the establishment of the cult of Apollo. Under the protection and administration of the Amphictyony, the sanctuary continued to be autonomous after the First Sacred War and, as a result, increased its panhellenic religious and political influence. The Pythian Games were re-organized, the sanctuary was enlarged and it was enriched
with nice buildings, statues, and other offerings. In the 3rd century B.C. it came under the domination of the Aetolians and later, in 191 B.C., was conquered by the Romans. During the Roman occupation the site was sometimes plundered but was also favoured by some of the emperors. With the spread of Christianity, the sanctuary lost its religious meaning and was permanently closed down with a decree of emperor Theodosius the Great.
The Temple of Apollo
The Treasury of the Athenians
The Altar of the Chians.
The Stoa of the Athenians.
The Theatre of the sanctuary.
The Castalia spring.
The Polygonal wall
Santorini is like three islands. One side is the caldera with the villages of Thira, Imerovigli, Firastefani and Oia perched so far above the sea that it may as well be a painting.
Piraeus is Greece's third largest city in terms of population and its biggest port. It was first settled in the time of Themistocles, when the Long Walls were built (478 BC), the town being laid out to the plans of the architect Hippodamus. It gained considerably in importance when Athens became a naval power. The ancient harbours of Piraeus were Zea and Munichia.
The largest of the Dodecanese, Rhodes (or Rodos) has become an important regional centre, thanks to its location, climate and natural attractions.
Rodos is known as the isle of the Sun. Pindar mentions in one of his Odes that it was born of the union of Helios the sun god and the nymph Rhoda. In antiquity it also bore the names Aithraia, Ophiousa and Telchinis.
One of the most important sanctuaries of antiquity, dedicated to the father of the gods Olympian Zeus. Olympia is the birth-place of the Olympic Games and also where they were held.
The area, of great natural beauty, has been inhabited uninterruptedly since the 3rd millenium B.C. and in the late Mycenaean period it became a religious centre.
The excavations at Olympia were begun in May 1829, two years after the battle of Navarino, by French archaeologists.
The finds (metopes from the opisthodomus and parts of the metopes from the pronaos of the Temple of Zeus) were transferred to the Louvre where they are still being exhibited. When the Greek government was informed of the looting of artifacts, the excavation was stopped.
Excavations started again 45 years later by German archaeologists. The research is being continued to this day by the German Institute of Archaeology in Athens, and the Ephorate of Antiquities in Olympia.
For half a century the Greek Island of Mykonos has been a Mecca for tourists and adventure seekers
it is not an exaggeration to say there is something on Mykonos for everybody. Great beaches, fine restaurants, beautiful hotels, amazing bars and clubs and the widest assortment of people that you will find anywhere.
The Island of Crete
While the mountain villages and coastal towns on the Eastern and Western tips of the island have retained their traditions and their beauty, towns like Malia, and many of the beach towns in Northern
Naxos would love to have the high-class tourism and the big bucks that comes with it like their neighbor Mykonos, but they have their fields and their fruit and olive trees and their fishing and are content to be the kind of place that is attractive not only to those seeking sunlight, bars and bikinis, but also those looking for a little Greek culture to go along with it. Naxos is the greenest island in the Cyclades with impressively high mountains and fertile valleys. There are beaches that are among the most beautiful in Greece, a few minutes drive from villages where they still wear traditional dress, weave on old looms and live off the fruit of the land. Naxos is an island of beautiful old churches, monasteries and Venetian castles and homes. Naxos has been continuously inhabited since the 4th Milennium BC and excavations around the island bring to light ancient artifacts and buildings almost daily.
Sifnos is the fourth island in the Western Cyclades and is easily reachable by ferry and high-speed catamaran from Pireaus. Sifnos is a mountainous island with fertile valleys, beautiful beaches and several towns. It has a long history and has been inhabited since 3000 BC.
The lush, green island of Lesvos, or Mytilini, is like no other Greek island. It is the third largest of the islands in Greece behind Crete and Evia. Virtually unaffected by the mass tourism that has turned other islands into amusement parks, Lesvos is the perfect place to visit for people who want to experience the real Greece.
In April, the Mediterranean Garden Society arranged a three-day excursion to Kea, a Cycladic island only a 75 minute ferryboat trip from Lavrion (a 1-hour drive from Athens).
Sixteen members participated and Kea surprised more than a few of us. Usually visited during the summer months, we’d thought of it as a dry, rocky island where the wind blows endlessly. What a pleasant surprise, therefore, Kea turned out to be with its abundant wild flowers, delightful walks, verdant valleys, ancient sites, beautiful old stone walls . . . and no wind!
Heart and Soul of Greece
Gythio in the southern Peloponessos is within driving distance of the Mani, Mystras, and much of the south-eastern coast of the Peloponessos. It also has some amazing old buildings built in the last two centuries. Gythio (or Gythion) is a pleasure to wander through with the neo-classical houses, shops and spectacular old apartment buildings, hugging the side of Mount Koumaros all the way down to the sea.
Nafplio was a charming city with a spectacular waterfront, small streets and historic buildings crowned by a fortress that looks over another fort in the middle of the harbor.
Greece is perfect for those who enjoy the sun, as for over two thirds of the year the country basks under clear, sunny skies. Temperatures do vary, however. Winters are mild and rainy, with temperatures sometimes dropping to freezing point, especially in the north. Summers are long and dry, with extremes of 37°C (99°F), making the yearly mean temperature about 17°C (63°F). For those not overly fond of the heat, the mountainous areas offer some respite as they receive more rain in summer, and even snow in winter.
Rainfall figures vary, depending on the region. Thessaly is very dry, receiving around 38mm (1.5in). Portions of the western coast paint a different picture, however, receiving about 1,270mm (50in) of rain.
Greece can be divided into the northern and southern climatic regions:
Northern Macedonia and the northern part of Epiros have a climate similar to the Balkans, with freezing winters and very hot, humid summers. Attica’s peninsula, the Southern Aegean Islands and the central and eastern Peloponnese have a typically Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and milder winters.
Snow covers the highest mountains during the winter, while the temperatures soar to 40°C (104°F) during July and August. During these months the meltemi, a strong northerly wind, sweeps the eastern coast of mainland Greece and the Aegean islands. The areas more to the south and to the west do not experience the meltemi.
Crete stays warm the longest - you can swim off its southern coast from mid-April to November. Mid-October is when the rainy seasons starts in most areas, and the weather stays cold and wet until February, although there are also occasional winter days with clear blue skies and sunshine.
Greece has sixteen international airports, but only those in Athens, Thessaloníki, Iráklio (Crete), Rhodes and Corfu take scheduled flights. Athens handles the vast majority of flights, including all intercontinental traffic. Greece has an extensive domestic air network. The majority of flights are handled by Olympic Airways and its offshoot, Olympic Aviation. Olympic Airways has offices wherever there are flights, as well as in other major towns. Travelers can contact the Olympic Airways head office in Athens for more details.
International airportAthens (ATH) Located 27km northeastern of Athens, the new Athens International Airport, is accessible via "Attiki Odos", a six-lane motorway constituting the Athens City Ring Road. Public transport is provided by express airport bus connections with Athens center and the port of Piraeus on a 24 h basis, ensuring efficient transport of air travelers and facilitating linkage to key tourist attractions.
Approximate flight times: From London to Athens is 3 hours 15 minutes, From Los Angeles to Athens is 18 hours 35 minutes. From New York to Athens is 10 hours 10 minutes. From Singapore to Athens is 11 hours 25 minutes. From Sydney to Athens is 22 hours 5 minutes
Roads are fairly good. On the main roads, signs are in the Roman alphabet as well as the Greek one. Off the beaten track, signs are often only in Greek and you will need a working knowledge of the Greek alphabet to find your way. The speed limits are 50km/h (31mph) in built-up areas, 80km/h (50mph) outside built-up areas and 100km/h (62mph) on motorways.
Note that Greece has a high accident rate so make sure you drive defensively. Drive on the right-hand side and remember that safety belts are compulsory. Petrol prices are not regulated.
A full British or other EU driver's license is valid for driving in Greece. Most other nationalities require an international driver's license. This can be obtained before you leave home, or in Greece from the Automobile and Touring Club of Greece (ELPA). You will need your national driver's license, passport and a passport-size photograph.
Buses link Athens and all main towns in Greece There are two terminals in Athens: Terminal A and Terminal B. For information on buses from Athens to the provinces, enquire at Terminal A, 100 Kifissou Street, Athens or Terminal B, 260 Liossion Street, Athens.
Inter-city buses are cheap, frequent and fast. Municipal buses within Athens and Thessaloníki display their number and destination on the front. Tickets can be bought before boarding from ticket booths near main stops, or from a corner kiosk. You will need to stamp your ticket in the machine at the door when boarding.
Trains are cheap but slow, with the exception of the express trains between Athens and Thessaloníki, which take six hours and fifteen minutes. Main routes run between Athens and Thessaloníki, Athens and Corinth, and Patrá and Kalamáta with international connections. The most spectacular rail journey in Greece is between Dhiakofton and Kalávrita.
Greece Food and Wine
Greece Food and Wine is famous for its good quality products and the amazing taste of its food and wines.
Some dishes are the same everywhere in Greece and the Greek Islands, whereas some others are local culinary specialties or same dishes cooked in different manners (in islands, Crete, Thessaloniki, etc).
Greece is a big producer of wines and local alcohols.
famous food:MEZEDES,Horiatiki Salata,Taramosalata,Moussaka,Pastitsio ......
famous WINES: Tsipouro,Ouzo,Mavrodafni, Retsina .....
INFO on Greece