Greece is a country located in southern Europe. It is situated at the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula, at the intersection of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Albania borders Greece to the north-west, Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the north-east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the continent, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Cretan and Mediterranean Seas to the south. Greece has the longest Mediterranean coastline, with thousands of islands. The country is divided into nine traditional geographical regions and has a population of approximately 10.4 million people. Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece, followed by Thessaloniki and Patras.
Some interesting facts about Greece
- Greece has a rich history dating back to ancient times, with many famous philosophers, inventors, and artists hailing from the country. Greece is also known as the birthplace of the Olympic Games, which were held for the first time in Olympia in 776 BC.
- The country has over 6,000 islands and islets, making it a popular destination for beach vacations and island hopping. Some of the most popular Greek islands include Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete.
- Greece is home to many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Acropolis of Athens, the ancient city of Delphi, and the monasteries of Meteora.
- Greek cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors, with popular dishes like moussaka, souvlaki, and tzatziki. Greek yogurt and feta cheese are also famous exports from the country.
- The official language of Greece is Greek, which has a rich history and is considered one of the oldest living languages in the world.
- Greece is a popular destination for outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and sailing. The country has many national parks and scenic trails to explore.
- Greek Orthodox Christianity is the predominant religion in Greece, and the country is home to many beautiful churches and monasteries, such as the Monastery of Daphni near Athens.
- The currency of Greece is the euro, and the country is part of the European Union.
- Whether you’re interested in history, beaches, or outdoor activities, Greece has something to offer everyone. With its beautiful landscapes, friendly people, and rich culture, it’s no wonder that Greece is a popular travel destination
When is the best time to visit Greece?
The best time to visit Greece is determined by your travel preferences and the activities you intend to participate in. Here are some things to think about:
Weather: Greece’s high tourist season runs from June to August, when the weather is hot and dry. If you prefer cooler temperatures, consider visiting in the spring (April to May) or fall (September to November) (September to October).
Crowds: To avoid crowds, travel during the shoulder seasons of April to June or September to October. The weather is still pleasant during these months, and there are fewer tourists.
Beaches: The best time to visit the beaches is between June and September, when the water is warm enough for swimming.
Festivals: Throughout the year, Greece hosts numerous festivals and events, such as the Athens Epidaurus Festival in the summer and the Carnival in February/March. If you want to go to a specific festival, make sure to plan your trip accordingly.
If you intend to visit the Greek islands, keep in mind that some may have a limited tourist season. Some smaller islands, for example, may only have ferry service during the summer months.
Overall, the shoulder seasons of April to June and September to October are the best times to visit Greece because the weather is still pleasant and the crowds are smaller. If you want to enjoy the beaches and hot weather, visit during the summer months of June to August.
Things to Know before visiting Greece?
If you are planning a trip to Greece, here are some things you should know before you go:
- Currency: Greece’s currency is the euro, so bring some cash or a credit card that is accepted in Greece.
- Language: Greek is the official language of Greece, but English is widely spoken, particularly in tourist areas.
- Greeks are friendly and hospitable, and it is customary to greet others with a handshake or a kiss on the cheek. Tipping is also common in Greece, with a standard tip of 10% expected in restaurants and taxis.
- Greece’s transportation system is well-developed, with buses, trains, and ferries connecting many parts of the country. Taxis are also available, but make sure to agree on a price ahead of time.
- Dress code: Although Greece has a lax dress code, it is polite to cover up when visiting churches or monasteries. When in town, it’s best to dress modestly and avoid wearing beachwear.
- Safety: Although Greece is a safe country for visitors, it is always a good idea to take basic precautions, such as keeping valuables secure and being aware of your surroundings.
- Food and drink: Greek cuisine is known for its fresh ingredients and Mediterranean flavors, with dishes such as moussaka, souvlaki, and tzatziki among its most popular. Greek wine and ouzo are also popular alcoholic drinks.
- The weather in Greece is Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters. Pack appropriately, especially if you’re visiting during the summer.
- By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your trip to Greece and experience everything that this lovely country has to offer.
What is the best gift from Greece?
Greece is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditional crafts, making it an excellent destination for finding one-of-a-kind and authentic souvenirs. Here are some of the best Greek gift ideas:
- Olive oil: Greece is a major producer of high-quality extra virgin olive oil, which makes a tasty and healthy gift.
- Handmade ceramics: Greek pottery is well-known for its intricate designs and vibrant colors, as well as traditional patterns such as the meander and key motifs.
- Leather sandals: Handmade leather sandals are a staple of Greek fashion and make an ideal gift.
- Traditional Greek sweets: Popular and delicious gifts include baklava, loukoumi (Turkish delight), and kourabiedes (butter cookies).
- Worry beads, or komboloi in Greek, are used as a stress-relief tool and are frequently made from high-quality materials such as amber, coral, or semiprecious stones.
- Greek wine: Greece produces a wide range of delectable wines, including reds such as Xinomavro and whites such as Assyrtiko.
- Handwoven textiles: Handwoven rugs, blankets, and towels are beautiful and functional gifts that showcase Greece’s rich textile heritage.
Giving one of these gifts will allow you to share a piece of Greek culture and history with your loved ones.
Things to Do in Greece
Greece has a rich history, breathtaking natural beauty, and a vibrant culture. The following are some of the best things to do in Greece:
- Visit the Acropolis, which houses the iconic Parthenon temple and is a must-see in Greece.
- Explore the Greek islands: Greece is famous for its stunning islands, each with its own distinct culture and charm. Santorini, Mykonos, and Crete are among the most popular islands.
- Greek cuisine is well-known for its fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and healthy Mediterranean diet. Moussaka, souvlaki, and spanakopita are all must-tries.
- Discover ancient ruins: Greece has some of the most impressive ancient ruins in the world, including the ruins of Olympia, Delphi, and Mycenae.
- Relax on the beaches: Greece has a plethora of stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters and breathtaking scenery. Navagio Beach, Balos Beach, and Elafonisi Beach are among the most popular.
- Hike in the mountains: Greece has some beautiful mountain ranges, including Mount Olympus, which has beautiful hiking trails and stunning views.
- Enjoy Greek nightlife: Greece is known for its vibrant nightlife, with bars, clubs, and tavernas open late.
- Attend a Greek festival: Throughout the year, Greece hosts numerous festivals, such as the Athens Epidaurus Festival, which celebrates Greek theater, and the Carnival, which takes place in February or March.
By participating in these and other activities, you will gain a better understanding of Greece’s rich history and culture.