The Hellenic Republic
In the south of the Balkan Peninsula there is a sunny country with the rich history. It is Greece, a country of myths and legends about ancient Greek gods and heroes. The first settlements appeared here 40,000 years ago. The 6th-4th centuries BC are considered the Golden Era of Greece, an epoch of prosperity, when ancient Greek philosophers and scientists Socrates, Sophocles, Pericles and others lived. Greece is often referred to as the cradle of European civilization. Many branches of the science have been developed on the basis of works written by ancient Greek philosophers; modern buildings are decorated using different elements of ancient Greek architecture; Greek literature and art have been of great interest till the present day.
Athens, a capital of Greece, is the centre of ancient Greek culture. The history of this city goes back more than three and a half thousand years and is of great interest to tourists. The most famous and visited places in the city are considered to be ancient districts Plaka and Monastiraki, Syntagma Square, Mount Lycabettus, and of course the Acropolis of Athens, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Busy streets and quiet, friendly districts are harmoniously combined in Athens. Famous Athenian Riviera, known for beautiful beaches not far from the city, shouldn’t be missed by you.
A lot of architectural, cultural and historical monuments preserved till the present day attract tourists from other countries. Numerous Greek museums are notable among others for their rich collections of ancient artefacts. The most popular destinations among travellers are the Acropolis Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum, both located in Athens. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia is worthy of special attention, as within its walls the greatest collection of ancient Greek archaic and geometric exhibits is kept.
Covering part of the Balkan Peninsula, the country is a geographical masterpiece. Its bays cut into the shore, while forming fabulous harbours and cosy coves. The country is washed by several seas: the Ionian, Mediterranean, Aegean and Libyan. The territory of Greece is covered by more than one thousand islands, some of which are uninhabited. A voyage to one of them will open you the most beautiful views in the world.
Crete, the largest island of the country, is a great tourist attraction destination. The island is located on the border between Europe and Africa, and also separates the Aegean Sea from the Libyan Sea. You can notice here mild climate that is typical for a Mediterranean resort: warmly and damp in winter and hot in summer. Early summer is a great time for recreation and bathing. Diversity of unusual local flora ranges from pine forests to date-groves and steep mountain slopes; in addition the seashore is covered by endless sandy beaches. Along with ancient Greek temples, Venetian fortresses, including palaces of Zakros, Phaistos and Mallia have been preserved on the island of Crete.
Among the islands of the Aegean Sea there is the island of Milos. Its coast was inhabited in the 3rd century BC. The Venus de Milo, a sculpture and the recognized standard of female beauty now presented in the Louvre, has been discovered on this island.
In the north-western part of the Ionian Sea there is the island of Corfu, the most popular place among tourists from all over the world. Local coastline of 217 kilometres long impresses with its magnificent landscapes. The Corfu’s territory ranges from abundant in verdure highlands to rich orange and lemon plantations. Greece has got a lot of places of interest, for instance Corfu offers you to visit the Capodistrian Museum, the Archaeological Museum, and the Byzantine Museum of Corfu. Pilgrims come to the island of Corfu in order to visit churches and monasteries. There are over eight hundred holy places here and the most popular of them are Zooduhu Pigis Monastery, Blachernae Monastery, St Spyridon Church and many others.
Greece is not only the cradle of ancient culture, but also the guardian of Orthodoxy. Pilgrim tourism is well developed here. You can visit many monasteries of the country. Mount Athos has got a special status being home to the unique monastic state. On the Greek island of Euboea, relics of St John the Russian are kept; pilgrimage tours are regularly available there.
Despite the fact that Greece is a quite hot country, great fur goods are made here. The development of modern tourism has led to the popularization of a new direction – fur coat tours to Greece.
Greece is unique due to the fact that it is located in three climatic zones: Mediterranean, alpine and temperate. The most typical for the country is Mediterranean climate, characterized by dry hot summers and quite mild damp winters. In the mountain regions of Greece climate is more severe. Moderate climate is typical for north regions. Winters are relatively cold and damp here; summers are hot and dry.
Greece is unique not only for its clear waters and luxurious beaches. Mountains rise up in the centre of the Greek mainland. One of the most beautiful mounts of the country is Parnassus. There is a ski resort with wonderful climate and beautiful scenery, as well as the temple of ancient Greek god Apollo here. Famous Greek ski resorts are located near the town of Delphi, in the town of Kalavryta on the Peloponnese Peninsula, at Pelion Mountain, in small village Pertouli in the province of Trikala, and at Mount Vermion.
Greece is also famous for its unrivalled wines, which you can taste in this country. The culture of Greek wine-making has been known for 4,000 years; thereby Greece is often referred to as home of European wine-making. The most famous Greek wine is Retsina, characterized by strong flavour and smack of resin. Red wine Mavrodaphne is made on the island of Lefkada and the island of Samos is home to sweet Moscato. Demestika, Naoussa, Nemea, Rapsani are wines of great value as well.
The Greek cuisine mainly contains fatty much seasoned dishes, where lamb or veal are basic elements, as well as olive oil. The Greeks love wine, both white and red. Such spirits as ouzo and brandy are often drunk. Coffee is always served with a glass of clean water.
You’ll be delighted with beautiful Greek sunsets that look awesome on the Greek sky. The most memorable spectacles can be seen on the island of Sounion near the temple of ancient Greek god Poseidon, on Lykavittos Mount, in villages Oia and Fira, on the island of Delos, on the top of Mount Kalamos.
Greece is a European paradise, which attracts people with its legendary historical past, monuments of ancient culture, stunning beaches, beautiful islands and mild climate.
Administrative division — Greece
Athens Population: 655780
- Patras Population: 210494
- Piraeus Population: 181933
- Thessaloniki Population: 397156
- Volos Population: 144420
- Aegean Population: 508807
- Attica Population: 3761810
- Crete Population: 601131
- Epirus and Western Macedonia Population: 1094326
- Macedonia and Thrace Population: 2483019
- Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian Islands Population: 1592432
- Thessaly and Continental Greece Population: 1359217
- Mount Athos Population: 2262