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  Greece

CAPITAL : Athens
POPULATION : 11,306,183 (2010 estimate)
DISTRICTS : 13 prefectures; Attica (capital district); Mount Athos is seen as autonomous
RELIGION : Greek Orthodox, although by law, free religion is allowed
TIME : EET (Eastern European Time)
CURRENCY : Euro

Overview

Home of the most popular notions of gods and goddesses, and rife with ancient history, struggle and beauty, Greece remains one of the most treasured and visited attractions in the Mediterranean and the world. Breath-taking ocean views, thousands of islands and rugged coastlines are all part of what makes the ‘birthplace of European civilisation’ a memorable place to visit and a great place to enjoy.

History and Culture

With an illustrious history behind it, as well as being known for its historical impact across the world in terms of philosophy, art, culture and government, Greece is not only defined by its contribution to the world, but also for its inherent cultural splendour as a tourist attraction. Modernisation of road and railway systems has also significantly improved the infrastructure of the country. An example would be the Egnatia Highway, which connects northwest Greece – like Igoumenitsa, which is a primary access point for travellers from Italy and the rest of Europe – with the northern area.

Climate

Climate in Greece plays a significant role in the areas most frequented by tourists and investors. Greece has Alpine, Mediterranean and Temperate regions. Due to its mountainous topography, Greece often experience snowfall in its otherwise wet winters, but those more inclined to the balmier sections of the country will find their sunny spots on the islands, or in the south of mainland Greece.

Economy

Greece’s economy has surpassed the annual growth of its EU partners, with tourism bringing up nearly 17% of the total. In 2004, Greece averaged 16.5 million tourists, with many of them from mainland, land-locked Europe, the Americas and also China. Major international airports like Eleftherios Venizelos, Heraklion and Thessaloniki ensure that tourist influx is manageable, while ports like Corfu, Patra and Igoumenitsa make travelling by sea to the idyllic Greek paradise an entirely different pleasure.

Dining

Greece is noted for its tavernas – small restaurants – and while it is definitely a treat to participate in these establishments’ festive, local atmospheres, regular restaurants with other-than-Greek cuisine on the menus also offer excellent food quality and services.

Interesting Facts

  • Minoan civilization started on the island of Knossos around 3650 BC, predating the earliest Chinese civilizations by almost more than a millennium.
  • The world-famous Belgian chocolate pralines, Leonidas, were named after the most notable ancient Spartan king.
  • 85% of all Greek citizens own their properties, making Greece the country with the highest rate of property ownership in the European Union.
 

 

 

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