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Greece

Background

Greece

Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and other anti-Communists and Communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country. In 1974, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union in 2001. In 2010, the prospect of a Greek default on its euro-denominated debt created severe strains within the EMU and raised the question of whether a member country might voluntarily leave the common currency or be removed.

About

Greece (Ελλάς, Hellas) is a country in Southern Europe, on the southernmost tip of the Balkan peninsula, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. It shares borders in the north with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. It has an ancient culture that has had a significant influence on the arts, language, philosophy, politics, and sports of western society, including the genres of comedy and drama, western alphabets, Platonic ideals and the Socratic method, democracies and republics, and the Olympics. Furthermore it's a geographically appealing place to visit, with a mountainous mainland and idyllic island beaches.

Read more about Greece in our Greece travel guide »

Featured journals from

Greece

One Month in Greece

by TremontBruce

(two days of rain)

Jun 2013 - Jul 2013  »  Greece

Paralos Yachts

by ParalosYachts

Yachts, Bareboats and Sailing Boat Vacation in Greek Islands

Jan 2017  »  Greece

Greece 2008

by erezarmo

Sep 2010 - Sep 2008  »  Greece

Featured hotels in

Greece

GreeceSani Asterias Suites 

Sani
Halkidiki
Kassandra 63077
Greece

Price (US$): $976 - $1348 / night

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Location. Sani Asterias Suites is located on the beach in Kassandra's Halkidiki neighborhood and attractions in the region include Kalithea Beach. Hotel Features. Sani Asterias Suites's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a children's pool, outdoor tennis courts, a spa tub, and a sauna. Spa amenities include spa services, massage/treatment rooms, facials,… more »

GreeceThe Bristol Hotel 

2 Oplopiou & Katouni Street
Ladadika
Thessaloniki 546 25
Greece

Price (US$): $150 - $314 / night

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Location. The Bristol Hotel is located in central Thessaloniki, close to Aristotelous Square, Church of Panagia Chalkeon, and Church of Agia Sophia. Nearby points of interest also include Saint Demetrios Church and Arch of Galerius. Hotel Features. The Bristol Hotel features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. This 5 star property has a business center and offers small meeting rooms. Complimentary wireless Internet access is… more »

GreeceVedema Resort 

Megalohori
Thira
Santorini 84700
Greece

Price (US$): $492 - $4644 / night

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Location. Vedema Resort is located near the beach in Santorini's Megalochori neighborhood and close to Athinios Port, Red Beach, and Nea Kameni Volcano. Additional points of interest include Museum of Prehistoric Thira and Wine Museum Santorini Island. Resort Features. Vedema Resort's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club… more »

GreeceRodos Palace Luxury Convention Resort 

Trianton Avenue
Ixia
Rhodes 85100
Greece

Price (US$): $126 - $299 / night

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Location. Near the airport, Rodos Palace Luxury Convention Resort is located in Rhodes's Ialisos neighborhood and close to Hellenistic Stadium, Governor's Palace, and Acropolis of Rhodes. Nearby points of interest also include Temple of Apollo and Palace of the Grand Masters. Hotel Features. Recreational amenities include an indoor pool, a children's pool, a health club, and a sauna. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, massage/treatment rooms, facials, and beauty… more »

GreeceDaios Luxury Living 

Nikis Avenue 59
Thessaloniki 54622
Greece

Price (US$): $220 - $880 / night

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Location. Located in central Thessaloniki, Daios Luxury Living is connected to the airport and within walking distance of White Tower of Thessaloniki and Church of Agia Sophia. Additional points of interest include Aristotelous Square and Arch of Galerius. Hotel Features. Daios Luxury Living's restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary buffet breakfast. Spa amenities include… more »

Browse more hotels in Greece »

Greece

Full name
Hellenic Republic
Capital
Athens
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

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Alabama

Border countries

Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, Macedonia 246 km

Coastline

13,676 km

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

Mediterranean Sea 0 m

Highest point

Mount Olympus 2,917 m

Natural resources

lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential

Population

10,749,943 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

population Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7% (2001 census)

Religions

Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%

Languages

Greek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)

Government type

parliamentary republic

Independence

1829 (from the Ottoman Empire)

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 March (1821)

Chief of state

President Karolos PAPOULIAS (since 12 March 2005)

Head of government

Prime Minister Georgios Andreas PAPANDREOU (since 6 October 2009)

Internet country code

.gr

Internet users

4.971 million (2009)

Airports

81 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Agioi Theodoroi, Aspropyrgos, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki

Other countries in the region