Greece has over 6,000 islands with 15,000 miles of coastline, scattered in the Aegean and the Ionian Seas, and even though a lifetime may not be enough to visit them all, you will be able to make your own itinerary, and visit the ones that you think are the most interesting or those that suit your taste best.
There are cosmopolitan islands, with frenzied nightlife, destinations for celebrities and VIPs from all over the world.
There are small, quiet islands, where you forget the frantic rhythms of everyday life. There are earthly paradises for those interested in archaeology and architecture or for those to whom traveling means a lot more than just seeing new places; the travelers who want to get acquainted with the traditions, the customs and the natives of the country they’re visiting.
There are places for sports fans and adventurous types, and places those whose ideal vacation is lying on the sandy beaches all day long.
The sure thing is that you will feel rejuvenated after a swim or a dive in the crystal clear waters that you will find everywhere. The variety of the landscape, the secluded bays, the sandy or pebbly beaches, the green hills and the bare rocks with terrific shapes, the blue caves will reward you for the miles that you have travelled to discover them.
For the citizens who travel from the EU, no passports are required. For the non-EU subjects, a valid passport is necessary to enter in Greece.
All the citizens of the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand enjoy travel to Greece without a visa.
In the case of loss, the local police and the embassy of your home government must be contacted.
It is recommended to have a photocopy of your passport in order to get the process of replacement lost quickly.
A passport can serve as an ID. Apart from the official identity card of your country, other forms of ID can be recognized: a driver’s license, a teacher or student identification.
Greece Pet Passport
The European pet travel scheme requires all pets traveling between EU member states to have a Pet Passport, offered from any licensed veterinarian.
Greece is a modern and democratic country, a member of the European Community. If you are a European citizen or if you come from abroad, things will be easier for you in case of an emergency. In today’s world Greece can still be considered one of the safest countries as far as crime is concerned. Violent crime is very rare and the rate of crime in Greece is considered among the lowest in the European Union.
The health system in Greece is able to make you feel safe even if you have your baby along.
Travelers will not feel threatened traveling around the country. Particularly in the islands, villages and smaller cities, crime is almost unheard of. One can enjoy the hospitality of the local population and relax.
In large cities such as Athens or Thessaloniki, some extra attention is advised mostly for pickpockets and petty theft. Pickpockets mostly work around the train stations and bus stops.
Some advice for travelers, lock your valuables in the safes of the hotel, place your wallet, passport and other valuables in places that are hard for others to reach and enjoy your walking around the town even in the middle of the night.
Driving around Greece can be very challenging and the driver must be very careful.
With exception of the highways, which are fairly safe, one must be very cautious when driving into the less-traveled roads because of the condition of the road, the insufficient signs and the animals crossing the road.
In Greece hospitality is a legacy. The Greeks are known for it throughout the centuries, from the times of Xenios Zeus, father of the Olympian Gods whose name actually means Hospitable Zeus, to our days. You will see friendly faces everywhere, ready to help you in case of need and certainly ready to entertain you until early in the morning!
Communication won’t be a problem, as most people speak English, and you will be surprised at how many of them speak French, German or Italian. But even if they don’t, they will be willing to help, and all it takes is just a warm smile!
Don’t be surprised if someone offers you ouzo or a raki (traditional Greek aperitifs), but don’t turn it down, either.
Greece has more than 220 sunny days per year, on average. The climate is good throughout the year, but especially in summer, the sun is hot, yet the sea breeze makes it comfortable.
Greece’s main meteorological data are given below (Source: National Meteorological Service):
Coast of Greece
The total length of the Greek coast is approximately 16,000km and most of it is around the thousands of Greek islands. Beaches of many kilometers, sundy beaches with dunes, dark sand of volcanic soils, pebbly shores, coastal caves and wetlands and the clean, clear blue transparent waters characterise the unique diversity of the Greek coasts.
Culture of Greece
Greek people in general feel a strong link with their past, emphasizing the Classical period of Greek history, its links via the Hellenistic world to Byzantium, and on to the present. Both Classical and Byzantine Greece represent for the majority of Greeks antecedents of the modern day the Hellenic Republic. For a time in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the former boundaries of the Byzantine Empire, or more specifically those which until this period had still retained their Greek populations, came for some to represent an ideal extent of the modern state. The cultural and linguistic continuity of the Greek people, however complicated it may have been through history by outside influences, such as Christianity upon latter antiquity, or pressure from without in the final stages of the Byzantine Empire, are things that are strongly emphasized by today's Greeks - being as they are, one of the most patriotic nations in Europe, according to Eurostat.
Following the Revolution of 1821 (the Greek War of Independence), Greece went through a period of artistic and cultural revival. Greeks today tend to regard the years before the Revolution, those of occupation of Greece by the Ottoman Empire, as the 'years of darkness', in which cultural development was perceived to have halted completely. Despite evidence to the contrary, particularly in regard of earlier Cretan Greek literature, Greece's revival following the formation of the first Hellenic Republic in 1831 is regarded by a huge majority of Greeks as marking the first rebirth of their nation.
Experience of occupation, both in the Ottoman and modern era, has left an indelible mark on the Greek psyche. In the twentieth century, the trauma of the Greek Civil War during which time the nation became the first theatre of the Cold War immediately following World War II, which itself brought a Nazi occupation of enormous privations, and the perceived interference of the U.S. in creating the Regime of the Colonels, which brutally governed Greece from 1967 to 1974, led cumulatively to the emergence of an 'Ethnos Anadelfon' (or 'Brotherless Nation') idea, emphasizing the only people Greeks could count on were themselves and their countrymen. However, from the mid-1970s onward, in parallel with Spain and Portugal, and above all following the entry of Greece into the European Union in 1981, Greece's orientation, and the aspirations of its majority, became focused around the European mainstream.
Greeks remain on the whole an extrovert and friendly people, known for their hospitality and somewhat relaxed approach to the demands and pressures of daily life, by turns common to all Southern European nations and their peoples, and in an earlier era captured by Nikos Kazantzakis' novel Zorba the Greek. Some in Greece regard this 'live and let live' approach, however, as more clearly conveyed in economic terms as a moderate work ethic; others prefer to reaffirm their position by highlighting the near sub-tropical climate of much of Greece compared to much of Northern Europe and thus the necessity for the famous afternoon 'siesta'.
Ecology in Greece
Greece offers to nature-lovers an abundance of natural gifts, a particularly diversified natural environment with areas of great ecological value.
In order to preserve and protect the environment, the Greek State has taken measures in recent years. Areas of high ecological interest were put under protection. Two marine parks were formed, the first near the island of Alonissos to protect the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus-Monachus and the second on the island of Zakynthos for the protection of the Mediterranean green loggerhead turtle Caretta-Caretta. Other preserved areas are the wetlands of international importance and natural monuments. The cleanness of the sea, the coast and the coastal environment are also protected by the Greek State and every year more than 400 beaches of Greece are awarded the “Blue Flag”.
Besides the actions for the protection of the environment taken by the Greek State, many environmental organizations were formed in recent years. Their role is very important as they organize meetings to educate people about recycling, waste disposal and other environmental issues. Others form volunteer teams to watch forests in the summer or clean beaches. The Arcktouros society is established to protect the wild bear in Greece, and the bird and wildlife sanctuary in Aegina works as a rehabilitation center for wounded, or sick birds and animals.
The successful combination of tourism and conservation of the natural habitats in Greece is of paramount importance. The protection of the environment is the responsibility of everyone, we must all respect and protect the country we live in or visit.
Particularly rich and diversified natural environment with rare geomorphology. Nature-lovers will:
- Wander in aesthetic forests and national parks, wonderful natural monuments, gorges, caves and waterfalls.
- Watch bird species in coastal ecosystems and wetlands
- Visit the marine parks in Alonissos island to see the Mediterranean monk seal Monachus-Monachus, and in Zakynthos island the Mediterranean green loggerhead turtle Caretta-Caretta
Flora in Greece
Trees include white poplars, spearheaded cypresses, chestnut, pine, fir and olive trees. Of special beauty are the cultivated and wild flowers of Greece, many of which are mentioned in classical poetry and mythology, such as evosmon, anemone, violets, tulips, peonies, narcissus, parthenium, primrose and chamomile.
Fauna: Wild animals include boar, bear, wild cat, brown squirrel, jackal, fox, deer, wolf. A rare white goat is found in Crete. A number of 358 species of birds are found throughout Greece, two-thirds of which are migratory. Among the birds of prey are the golden and imperial eagle, and several species of falcons. Other indigenous varieties of birds are the owl, pelican, pheasant, partridge, woodcock and nightingale.
Marine Fauna: Some 246 species of marine life have been identified in Greek seas. Among the best known one species such as red mullet, lobster, squid, octpus, shrimp, crab, oyster, mussel and cockle. River fish are rare. Dolphins, so familiar in the legends and sculpture of antiquity, are still present in the Greek seas.
Arable land: 19%
Permanent crops: 8%
Permanent pastures: 41%
Forests and woodland: 20%
other: 12% (2019 EST.)
Irrigated land: 13,140 sq km (1993 EST.)
Natural hazards: severe earthquakes
Environment - current issues: air pollution; water pollution
Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 6,000 islands
Geography of Greece
Location: Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey
Geographic coordinates: 39 00 N, 22 00 E
Map references: Europe
Total: 131,940 sq km
Land: 130,800 sq km
Water: 1,140 sq km
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Alabama
Total: 1,210 km
Border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, the Republic of North Macedonia 228 km
Coastline: 13,676 km
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Territorial sea: 6 nm
Climate: temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands
Lowest point: the Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m
Natural resources: bauxite, lignite, magnesite, petroleum, marble, hydropower
History of Greece
A unique journey through the rare mosaic of the historic and cultural memory, a visit to the Monuments of Cultural Heritage:
- The Acropolis of Athens
- The Archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tyrins
- Vergina – Aegae
- The Temple of Epicurean Apollo
- Samos: Pythagoreio and Heraion
Ancient Greece Facts
Greece takes you back in time thousands of years ago. Greece is the cradle of civilization and you will understand why soon as you step out of the yacht.
Every island has an interesting sight, some of them dating back to the prehistoric ages. On every island you will find a combination of classical, Roman, Byzantine and in some cases, medieval buildings, some of which ruined, but never failing to take you back to other eras.
You will see hills with monasteries and castles appearing in the middle of nowhere, and it is certainly worth listening to the tales about them.
If you have children with you, they will probably have the most interesting history lessons of their lives, and you might as well enjoy them yourself, even if you are past school age! The archaeological museums are usually worth a visit and the folk art museums will help you understand the local life in depth.
Byzantine and post-Byzantine monuments with excellent mosaics, paintings and icons give testimony to the rich heritage. The monastic community of Mt.Athos with twenty monasteries in Halkidiki, the monastery and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos (where as believed where St.John had written the Book of Revelation), the monastery complex of Meteora (built on the summits of vertical grey rocks in Thessaly) and the medieval city of Mystras in Peloponnese, have been characterised as Monuments of Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
If you want more information about the Greek History, please click here
The Greek language with a documented record spanning three and a half millennia is a strong element of national continuity. Modern Greek derives from the same idiom used by Homer. Greek is also the language of the Gospels.
The Greek alphabet and the Greek language have contributed much to all western languages. Today's Greeks, however, are the only ones who ensure this linguistic continuity. In this respect Greek, is to be distinguished sharply from Latin which generated numerous neo-Latin languages from Rumanian to Portuguese before it became itself extinct.
The Greek language is one of the very few in the world that has had such a homogeneous evolution in the course of thousands of years. It should not be a surprise if you find whole words, terms, or concepts used in modern Greek in exactly the same fashion as they were used in ancient times. Obviously, there have been significant changes since then, but the main grammatical structures have not changed, and this makes it easier to track the etymology or function of a word back to its very birth.
Now, one could break down the evolution of the language into four main periods:
- Ancient Greek
- Byzantine (or ecclesiastical) Greek
- A rather blurry era where both modern (Koine) Greek and an archaizing idiom, known as katharevoussa, co-existed
- Modern Greek, known as "demotic", which has been in use in the last 25 years or so
As you can understand, it would be very bold to pinpoint any specific time when the language changed from ancient into modern, since a lot of intermediary forms existed in between. I will attempt a rough definition of the different periods, but a more scholarly source would be far more reliable:
- Ancient Greek was superseded by Hellenistic Greek (the Byzantine Greek predecessor) sometime around the 7th or 8th century A.D.
- Byzantine Greek was dominant at least until the 15th century A.D. After the fall of Constantinople (today known as Istanbul), Greece suffered four-century oppression by the Ottoman Turks, which meant this formalized form of the language started to recede.
- This led to the development of a modern idiom, used by the common people, which was used in parallel with the formal archaizing form of the language by the scholars and the clergy. This binary identity of the Greek language was in effect roughly until the 1970s.
- After that, the so-called "language issue" took the form of never-ending arguments between Greek scholars and linguists as to which of the two forms of the languages should be used more extensively. Nowadays, "katharevoussa"; i.e., the relic of the ancient language, is used formally only in legal texts and mostly in writing. Modern Greek does not yet have a distinct form, since many elements of the previous forms still exist, but the truth is that time and evolution will lead to one unified form sooner or later.
|Vardousia (Korakas)||2,495||8,186||Pindus||Ioannina, Trikala|
|Lefka Ori||2,452||8,045||Lefka Ori||Chania|
|Athamanika (Kakarditsa)||2,429||7,969||Pindus||Ioannina, Trikala|
|Taygetus (Profitis Ilias)||2,404||7,887||Taygetus||Laconia, Messenia|
|Tymfristos (Velouchi)||2,315||7,595||Pindus||Evrytania, Phthiotis|
|Athamanika (Katarrachias)||2,280||7,480||Pindus||Ioannina, Trikala|
|Falakro (Profitis Ilias)||2,232||7,323||Falakro||Drama|
|Pieria (Flampouro)||2,190||7,185||Pieria||Kozani, Pieria|
|Agrafa (Delimidi)||2,163||7,096||Pindus||Evrytania, Karditsa|
|Avgo (southern Pindus)||2,148||7,047||Pindus||Trikala|
|Kalampaka (Radomir)||2,031||6,663||Kerkini (Belasica)||Serres|
Sport in Greece
Greece, the country where the Olympic Games were born, is ideal for the development of sports activities as well as holding sports events (sports tourism). During the past few decades, more and more big athletic events in many sports (world championships, European competitions, important international tournaments, etc.) have been organized in the country, culminating of course in the Olympic Games 2004, in Athens. These sports events have considerably contributed to the construction of many modern bigger or smaller sports facilities, stadiums and training centers for a wide range of sports all over Greece, where both the local people and visitors of the area have the opportunity to practice their favorite sports: from athletics, soccer, volleyball and basketball to tennis, golf, sailing or windsurfing.
Moreover, many hotels provide special sports facilities for their customers (basketball, volleyball, tennis, golf, water sports etc) and there are many sports activities someone can engage to, such as cycling, swimming and water sports, wind and kite-surfing, climbing, and many more. Please visit our Sports Tourism section and you will be able to browse through various sports tourism and activities service providers.
Health services are good; the hospitals in large cities are excellent and virtually all doctors in Greece can speak English or some other European language.
Diarrhea can be a minor problem with all travelers everywhere, so it’s wise to take along some of your favorite remedies.
For minor health problems, go first to the nearest pharmacy (farmakio), which will be marked with a green cross.
Newspapers also list the pharmacies that are open late or all night.) Pharmacists are well trained and usually speak English quite well, and many medications are available without a prescription. Just in case, ask your doctor to write you new prescriptions, using the generic-not the brand-name.
The standard in Greece is 220V AC (50Hz). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor.
We recommend that you pack one together with your electrical appliance, so that you do not have to spend valuable time looking for adaptors and transformers during your stay.
|Life Line SOS Athens||175|
|Hospital Information Athens||106|
|Pharmacy Information Athens||107|
|DIRECT ASSISTANCE CENTER Athens||166|
|Blood Donation Center, Greek Red Cross Athens||2108219391|
|Emergency Center & Hospital Info Athens||166|
|Poison control center Athens||2107793777|
|Road Assistance ELPA Athens||104|
|Fire Department Athens||199|
|FIRST AID STATION Thessaloniki||2310530530, 2310522583|
|The telephone line for AIDS Athens||2107222222|
|Tourist Police Athens||171|
|Traffic Police Athens Athens||2105230111|
|Traffic Police Piraeus Piraeus||2104113832|
|Health Center Athens||2106432332|
|SOS Doctors Athens|
Biggest Cities In Greece
AGIOS NIKOLAOS– General Hospital Address: 721 00, Agios Nikolaos, Crete
AGRINIO – General Hospital Address: Kokkali Terma, 30100, AGRINIO
ARTA – General Hospital Address: A. Zara 1, 47100, ARTA
ARGOS – General Hospital Phone: 0751-64290
AMALIADA – General Hospital Address: Evaggelistrias Terma, 27200, AMALIADA
ALEXANDROUPOLIS – General Hospital Address: Dimitras 19, 68100, Alexandroupolis
AMFISSA – General Hospital Address: 331 00 AMFISSA
CORFU – Prefecture General Hospital “Agia Eirini” Address: Ioul. Andreadi 1, 49100, CORFU
CORFU – Psychiatric Hospital
CHANIA – Psychiatric Hospital
CHANIA – Prefecture General Hospital “Saint George” Address: Dragoumis and Kapodistriou, 73100, CHANIA
CHALKIDIKI – General Hospital
DIDYMOTEIHO – General Hospital
DRAMA – General Hospital Address: Terma Ippokratous, 66100, DRAMA
EGIO – General Hospital Address: Anno Voulomeno, 25100, EGIO
EDESSA – General Hospital Address: Egnatia Terma, 58200, EDESSA
FILIATES – Prefecture General Hospital
FLORINA – General Hospital
GREVENA – General Hospital
GOUMENISSA – Prefecture General Hospital
GIANNITSA – General Hospital Address: Bafras 10, 581 00 GIANNITSA
Hios – General Hospital “Skylitseio” Address: Elena Venizelou 2, 82100, Hios
HALKIDA – General Hospital Address: Gazepi 48, 34100, HALKIDA
HERAKLIO – General Regional Hospital “Venizelio-Pananeio”
HERAKLIO – Regional General University Hospital Address: Voutes, 714 09 HERAKLIO ΚΡΗΤΗΣ
IOANNINA – Regional General State Hospital “Hatzikosta” Address: Leof Makrygianni, 450 00, IOANNINA
IOANNINA – Regional General University Hospital Address: Dourouti, 45500, IOANNINA
IERAPETRA – Prefecture General Hospital Phone: 0842-22488
KALAVRITA – General Hospital Address: Omogenon Amerikis 4, 250 01 KALAVRITA
KARISTOS – General Hospital
KIMI – Prefecture General Hospital Address: 34003, KIMI EVVOIA
KALYMNOS – General Hospital “Vouvaleion” Address: Syn. Anastaseos , 85200, KALYMNOS
KARPENISI – Prefecture General Hospital Address: P. Bakoyanni 2, 361 00 KARPENISI
Phone: 0237-080680-3, FAX: 0237-080684 e-mail: [email protected]
KOS – General Hospital Address: Metropolis 3, 85300, KOS
KRESTENA – General Hospital
KASTORIA – Prefecture General Hospital Address: Mafriotissis, 52100, KASTORIA
KARDITSA – General Hospital
KEFALONIA – General Hospital Address: Souidias, 28100, ARGOSTOLI
KEFALONIA – General Hospital Argostoli “Mantzavinateio” Address: Typaldou St. 1, 28200, LIXOURI
KAVALA – General Hospital Address: Amer. Erythrou Stavrou 113, 65201, KAVALA
KILKIS – Prefecture General Hospital
KORINTHOS – General Hospital Address: Leoforos Athinon 53, 20100, KORINTHOS
KOZANI – Prefecture General Hospital “Mamatsio” Address: K. Mamatsiou 1, KOZANI
KALAMATA – General Hospital Address: L. Athinon, 24100, KALAMATA
KYPARISSIA – General Hospital Address: 24500, KYPARISSIA
KATERINI – Prefecture General Hospital
KOMOTINI – General Hospital “Sismanogleio” Address: Sismanoglou 45, 69100, KOMOTINI
KYTHIRA – General Hospital “Trifylleio” Address: Potamos , 80200, KITHYRA
LARISSA – General Hospital Address: Tsakalof 1, 41221, LARISSA
LEROS – State Hospital Address: Lakki, 85401, LEROS
LEFKADA – Prefecture General Hospital Address: A. VALAORITOU 24, 31100, LEFKADA
LIVADIA – Prefecture General Hospital
LIMNOS – General Hospital
LAMIA – General Hospital Address: Terma Papasiopoulou, LAMIA
MESSOLONGI – General Hospital “Hatzikosta” Address: Hatzikosta 2, 30200, MESOLOGI Phone: 0631-25911
MOLAOI – General Hospital
MYTILINI – Prefecture General Hospital
NAFPLIO – General Hospital Phone: 0752-27309
NEAPOLI – General Hospital Phone: 0841-33333
NAOUSSA – General Hospital
PATRAS – “Karamandaneio” Children’s Hospital Address: Erythrou Stavrou 40, 26225, PATRA
PATRAS – Center for Chest Disease Southwestern Greece
PATRAS – Regional General State Hospital “San Andreas”
PATRAS – Regional General University Hospital Address: Rio, 26 500 PATRA
PETRA OLYMPOY – Psychiatric Hospital
Phone: 0351-38665PILOS – General Hospital
PTOLEMAIDA – General Hospital Phone: 0463-54000
PYRGOS – Prefecture General Hospital “Manolopouleion” Address: Manolopoulou, 27100, PYRGOS
PREVEZA – Prefecture General Hospital Address: Selefkeias 2, 48100, PREVEZA
RHODES – Rhodes General Hospital “Anreas Papandreou” Address: 85100 Rhodes, PO Box 138 Rhodes
Phone: 22410 80,000
RHODES – Prefecture General Hospital Address: Erythrou Stavrou 4, 85100, RHODES
RETHYMNO – Prefecture General Hospital Address: Trantalidou 17, 74100, RETHYMNO
SAMOS – General Hospital
SITIA – General Hospital
SPARTA – General Hospital Address: 23100, SPARTI
SYROS – General Hospital “Vardakeio” Address: G. Papandreou 2, SYROS
SERRES – Prefecture General Hospital
TRIKALA – Prefecture General Hospital
TRIPOLI – Psychiatric Hospital Address: 5 km of Tripoli Kalamata, TRIPOLI
TRIPOLI – Regional General State Hospital “Evangelistria” Address: Terma Erythrou Stavrou, 221 00, TRIPOLI
THIVA – General Hospital
VERIA – General Hospital
VOLOS – General Hospital “Achillopouleio” Address: Polymeri 134, 385 00 VOLOS
XANTHI – General Hospital Address: Neapoli, 67100, XANTHI
Phone: 0541-72131, 72132, 72133, FAX: 0541-72139
ZAKYNTHOS – General Hospital Phone: 0695-22514
Population: 10,601,527 (July 2019 EST.)
0-14 years: 15% (male 828,585; female 779,902)
15-64 years: 67% (male 3,580,079; female 3,574,788)
65 years and over: 18% (male 815,247; female 1,022,926) (2019 EST.)
Population growth rate: 0.21% (2019 EST.)
Birth rate: 9.82 births/1,000 population (2019 EST.)
Death rate: 9.64 deaths/1,000 population (2019 EST.)
Net migration rate: 1.97 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2019 EST.)
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.8 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2019 EST.)
Infant mortality rate: 6.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2019 EST.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 78.44 years
Male: 75.89 years
Female: 81.16 years (2019 EST.)
Total fertility rate: 1.33 children born/woman (2019 EST.)
Ethnic groups: Greek 98%, other 2%
Note: the Greek Government states there are no ethnic divisions in Greece
Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
Languages: Greek 99% (official), English, French
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 95%
Female: 93% (2019 EST.)
Greece Public Holidays
- New Year's Day: January 1st
- Epiphany: January 6th. The seas around Piraeus are blessed. A Cross is thrown into the sea and young men dive to retrieve it.
- Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. Lent begins.
- Independence Day: March 25th, Military parade.
- Easter: Good Friday-Easter Monday.
- Anastasi (Resurrection): celebrated with fireworks and lit candles at midnight, on the eve of Easter Day.
- Pascha (Easter): The festivities include singing and dancing through the day.
- Labor Day: May 1st.
- White Monday: 50 days after Easter.
- Assumption of The Virgin: August 15th.
- October 28th: the rejection of the Italian ultimatum in 1940. Military parade.
- Christmas: December 25th -26th.
Religion in Greece
Ancient Greek Religion
The Greek people recognized the 13 major Gods: Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares,Dionysus Hephaestus, Athena, Hermes, Demeter, and Hestia.
Of all citizens of the Hellenic Republic 97,6% are Greek Orthodox, 1,3% Muslim, 0,4% Roman Catholic, 0,1% Protestant, 0,6% other, including Jews. The Greek Orthodox Church is autocephalous, with its own Charter but indissolubly united in doctrine with the Great Church of Constantinople, i.e. the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
On the peninsula of Chalkidiki, located in southeastern Macedonia, is the famous Mount Athos, where a number of monasteries of the Greek Orthodox Church form, as they have for centuries, an autonomous monastic community.
Tourism Police in Greece
The Tourism Police is an integral part of the Hellenic Police (ELAS), consisting of men and women especially trained and competent to offer tourists information and help, whenever they have any problems. They are also competent to solve minor differences between tourists and entreprises. They all speak foreign languages. You can recognise them by the shoulder flash Tourism Police on their uniforms.
Tourism Police operates an emergency telephone line on a 24 hour basis (just dial 171 any day, any time, from all over Greece).
43, Veikou Street, P.O.Box 117 43 Koukaki
41, Zallogou Street
91, Othonos Street, P.O. Box 145 62 Kifissia
22, Dousmani Street, P.O. Box 166 75 Glyfada
Akti Xaveriou, P.O. Box 105 38 Piraeus
P.O. Box 180 10 Aegina
P.O. Box 180 30 Methana
P.O. Box 180 20 Poros
tel.: 02980 22256
P.O. Box 180 50 Spetses
P.O. Box 108 40 Hydra
4, Dodekanissou Street, P.O. Box 546 26 Thessaloniki
I. Polytechniou Street, P.O. Box 302 00 Messolonghi
6, Karaiskaki Street, P.O. Box 681 00 Alex/polis
16, Fotomara Street, P.O. Box 211 00 Nafplion
Plateia Krystalli, P.O. Box 47 100 Arta
Norman I. Polytechniou Street, P.O. Box 261 10 Patras
Archaeological Service's Building, P.O. Box 851 00 Rodos
Eparcheio Building, P.O. Box 853 00 Kos
32, El. Venizelou Street, P.O. Box 341 00 Halkida
3, Okeanidon Street, P.O. Box 343 00 Edipsos
62, Lomvardou Street, P.O. Box 291 00 Zakynthos
P.O. Box 270 65, Ancient Olympia
1, Karkavitsa Street, P.O. Box 271 00 Pyrgos
10, Dikaiossynis Street, P.O. Box 712 02 Iraklion
Minoos Â, P.O. Box 700 14 Hersonissos Iraklion
11, 28th Oktovriou Street, P.O. Box 451 14 Ioannina
119, Omonias Street, P.O. Box 651 10 Kavala
P.O. Box 540 04 Thassos
Time in Greece
Greek time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, an hour ahead of Central European Time and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Along with the rest of continental Europe, the clock is advanced one hour during summer -from the end of March to the end of September- almost a month earlier than the UK, the US and Canada. Therefore keep in mind that the time difference with these countries is one hour greater for some weeks in April and October.
If you want to find out what is the exact time call 141 (recorded message in Greek).
Public Administration in Greece
Greece is administratively divided into 51 prefectures (nomoi-nomos) and one autonomous region called the Ayion Oros, on the Mt. Athos (directed by the monks of the monastery and forbidden for the women to penetrate it). The "nomoi are": Ayion Oros* (Mt. Athos), Aitolia kai Akarnania, Akhaia, Argolis, Arkadhia, Arta, Attiki, Dhodhekanisos, Drama, Evritania, Evros, Evvoia, Florina, Fokis, Fthiotis, Grevena, Ilia, Imathia, Ioannina, Irakleion, Kardhitsa,
Kastoria, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kerkyra(Corfu), Halkidhiki, Chania, Chios, Cyclades, Kilkis, Korinthia, Kozani, Lakonia, Larisa, Lassithi, Lesvos, Levkas(Leucada), Magnisia, Messinia, Pella, Pieria, Preveza, Rethymno, Rodhopi, Samos, Serrai, Thesprotia, Thessaloniki, Trikala, Voiotia, Xanthi, Zakynthos.
Telecommunications in Greece
Telephones - main lines in use: 5.431 million (2019 )
Telephones - mobile cellular: 328,500 (2019 )
Telephone system: adequate, modern networks reach all areas; microwave radio relay carries most traffic; extensive open-wire network; submarine cables to off-shore islands
domestic: microwave radio relay, open wire, and submarine cable
international: tropospheric scatter; 8 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 the Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Indian Ocean region)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 26, FM 88, shortwave 4 (2019 )
Radios: 5.02 million (2019 )
Television broadcast stations: 64 (plus about 1,000 low-power repeaters); also two stations in the US Armed Forces Network (1999)
Televisions: 2.54 million (2019 )
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 23 (2019)
Transport in Greece
Total: 2,548 km
Standard gauge: 1,565 km 1.435-m gauge (36 km electrified; 23 km double track)
Narrow gauge: 961 km 1.000-m gauge; 22 km 0.750-m gauge (a rack type railway for steep grades)
Total: 117,000 km
Paved: 107,406 km (including 470 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 9,594 km (2019 EST.)
Waterways: 80 km; system consists of three coastal canals; including the Corinth Canal (6 km) which crosses the Isthmus of Corinth connecting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf and shortens the sea voyage from the Adriatic to Peiraiefs (Piraeus) by 325 km; and three unconnected rivers
Pipelines: crude oil 26 km; petroleum products 547 km
Ports and harbors: Alexandroupolis, Elefsis, Irakleion (Crete), Kavala, Kerkyra, Chalkis, Igoumenitsa, Lavrion, Patrai, Peiraiefs (Piraeus), Thessaloniki, Volos
Total: 779 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 24,744,872 GRT/43,734,138 DWT
Ships by type: bulk 273, cargo 60, chemical tanker 22, combination bulk 5, combination ore/oil 8, container 43, liquified gas 5, multi-functional large load carrier 1, passenger 12, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 245, refrigerated cargo 3, roll-on/roll-off 19, short-sea passenger 75, specialized tanker 4, vehicle carrier 2 (2019 EST.)
Airports: 80 (2019 EST.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Over 3,047 m: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 15
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 17
Under 914 m: 8 (1999 EST.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 12 (2019 EST.)
Heliports: 2 (2019 EST.)
Economy - overview: Greece has a mixed capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about half of GDP. The government plans to privatize some leading state enterprises. Tourism is a key industry, providing a large portion of GDP and foreign exchange earnings. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 4% of GDP. The economy has improved steadily over the last few years, as the government has tightened policy with the goal of qualifying Greece to join the EU's single currency (the euro) in 2019. In particular, Greece has cut its budget deficit below 2% of GDP and tightened monetary policy, with the result that inflation fell below 4% by the end of 2019 - the lowest rate in 26 years - and averaged only 2.6% in 2019. Further restructuring of the economy and the reduction of unemployment remain major challenges.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $201 billion (2019 EST.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (2019 EST.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $18,600 (2019 EST.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Services: 64.4% (2019)
Population below poverty line: NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: NA%
Highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.6% (2019 EST.)
Labor force: 4.32 million (2019 EST.)
Labor force - by occupation: services 59.2%, agriculture 19.8%, industry 21% (2019)
Unemployment rate: 9.9% (2019 EST.)
Revenues: $45 billion
Expenditures: $47.6 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2019 EST.)
Industries: tourism; food and tobacco processing, textiles; chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum
Industrial production growth rate: 1,6% (2019 EST.)
Electricity - production: 43.677 billion kWh (2019)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 8.26%
other: 0.5% (2019 )
Electricity - consumption: 42.18 billion kWh (2019)
Electricity - exports: 900 million kWh (2019)
Electricity - imports: 2.46 billion kWh (2019)
Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes; beef, dairy products
Exports: $39.4 billion (f.o.b., 2019)
Exports - commodities: manufactured goods, food and beverages, fuels (2019)
Exports - partners: EU 56% (Germany 25%, Italy 11%, UK 8%, France 6%), US 16% (2019)
Imports: $65.7 billion (c.i.f., 2019)
Imports - commodities: manufactured goods, foodstuffs, fuels, chemicals (2019)
Imports - partners: EU 61% (Italy 16%, Germany 16%, France 8%, UK 7%, Netherlands 5%) US 11% (2019)
Debt - external: $41.9 billion (2019 )
Economic aid - recipient: $5.4 billion from EU (2019 EST.)
Currency: 1 Euro (Eu) = 100 cents/lepta
Fiscal year: calendar year
Government in Greece
Conventional long form: Hellenic Republic
Conventional short form: Greece
Local long form: Elliniki Dhimokratia
Local short form: Ellas or Ellada
Former: Kingdom of Greece
Data code: GR
Government type: parliamentary republic; monarchy rejected by referendum 8 December 1974
Administrative divisions: 51 prefectures (nomoi, singular - nomos)and 1 autonomous region*; Ayion Oros* (Mt. Athos), Aitolia kai Akarnania, Akhaia, Argolis, Arkadhia, Arta, Attiki, Dhodhekanisos, Drama, Evritania, Evros, Evvoia, Florina, Fokis, Fthiotis, Grevena, Ilia, Imathia, Ioannina, Irakleion, Kardhitsa, Kastoria, Kavala, Kefallinia, Kerkyra, Khalkidhiki, Khania, Khios, Kikladhes, Kilkis, Korinthia, Kozani, Lakonia, Larisa, Lasithi, Lesvos, Levkas, Magnisia, Messinia, Pella, Pieria, Preveza, Rethimni, Rodhopi, Samos, Serrai, Thesprotia, Thessaloniki, Trikala, Voiotia, Xanthi, Zakinthos
Independence: 1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 March (1821) (proclamation of the war of independence)
Constitution: 11 June 1975; amended March 1986
Legal system: based on codified Roman law; judiciary divided into civil, criminal, and administrative courts
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Chief of state: President Konstandinos (Kostis) STEPHANOPOULOS (since 10 March 2019 )
Head of government: Prime Minister Konstandinos SIMITIS (since 19 January 2019 )
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
Elections: president elected by Parliament for a five-year term; election last held 8 February 2019 (next to be held by NA March 2005); prime minister appointed by the president
Election results: Konstandinos STEPHANOPOULOS reelected president; percent of Parliament vote - 90%
Legislative branch: unicameral Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; members are elected by direct popular vote to serve four-year terms)
Judicial branch: Supreme Judicial Court, judges appointed for life by the president after consultation with a judicial council; Special Supreme Tribunal, judges appointed for life by the president after consultation with a judicial council
International organization participation: Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, EIB, EU, FAO, G- 6, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNOMIG, UPU, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Alexandros PHILON
Chancery: 2221 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 2019 8
Telephone:  (202) 939-5800
FAX:  (202) 939-5824
Consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco
Consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston, and New Orleans
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador R. Nicholas BURNS
Embassy: 91 Vasilissis Sophias Boulevard, 10160 Athens
Mailing address: PSC 108, APO AE 09842-0108
Telephone:  (1) 721-2951
FAX:  (1) 645-6282
Consulate(s) general: Thessaloniki
Flag description: nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; there is a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country.
Politics in Greece
The conventional short form for the country's name is Greece (Ellas or Ellada). Its conventional long form name is Hellenic Republic (Elliniki Dimocratia) and its former name is the Kingdom of Greece. The capital of Greece is Athens.
Since the Constitution signed the 11th June of 1975 (amended in March 1986), after the military junta and a referendum, which rejected the monarchy, the newly built democratic Greek system is working like a parliamentary republic with a president at the head of the state.
A Political organization
The president is elected by Parliament for a five-year term; The Cabinet is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister.
- Legislative power is held by the unicameral Parliament called "Vouli ton Ellinon", of 300 seats, which members are elected for a four-year term by direct popular vote (suffrage is universal and compulsory from the age of 18 years).
The last election was held on March 7, 2004 where the right-conservative party, New Democracy, won. The Judicial branch is organized as follows. The Supreme Judicial Court and Special Supreme Tribunal are formed by judges appointed for life by the president after he has consulted a judicial council.
The legal system is based on codified Roman law and is judiciary divided into civil, criminal and administrative courts.
The other political parties of Greece are the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos).
Military of Greece
Military branches: Hellenic Army, Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Air Force, National Guard, Police
Military manpower - military age: 21 years of age
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 2,674,571 (2019 EST.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 2,043,414 (2019 EST.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 78,448 (2019 EST.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure: $4.04 billion (2019 EST.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
GREEK NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION
91 SCOLLARD STREET, 2nd FLOOR, TORONTO, ONTARIO M5R 1G4
Tel : (001416) 9682220
E-mail :[email protected]
GREEK NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION
POD ORECHOVKOU 19 1620 00 PRAHA 6, CZ
Tel : (004202) 24311683
GERMAN FEDERAL REPUBLIC
GRIECHISCHE ZENTRALE FÜR FREMDENVERKEHR
DIREKTION FÜR DEUTSCHLAND
NEUE MAINZERSTR. 22, 60311 FRANKFURT AM MAIN
Tel :(004969) 236561/2/3
E-mail : [email protected]
GREEK NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANIZATION
FUKUDA BLDG WEST, 5F 2-11-3 AKASAKA MINATO – KU, TOKYO 107-0052
Tel :(00813) 35055917, 35055948
INFORMATION/RECORDED MESSAGE IN JAPANESE : 35055911
URL : www.int-acc.or.jp/greece/
E-mail :[email protected]
GRIEKSE NATIONALE ORGANIZATIE VOOR TOERISME
KERKSTAAT 61, 1017 GC AMSTERDAM
Tel :(003120) 6248786
GENERAL INFORMATION NUMBER :0900/2025905
URL : www.grieksverkeersbureau.nl
E-mail :[email protected]