You can travel on for ten thousand miles, and still stay where you are
— Harry Chapin, 1942 - 1981




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.


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


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


GreeceNJV Athens Plaza Hotel 

Constitution Square Syntagma
Athens 10564

Price (US$): $226 - $377 / night

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Location. Located in central Athens, NJV Athens Plaza Hotel is a business friendly hotel steps from Syntagma Square and Hellenic Parliament. Additional points of interest include National Library of Greece and Athens Presidential Mansion. Hotel Features. NJV Athens Plaza Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts each morning (surcharges apply). This 5 star property has… more »

GreeceDaios Luxury Living 

Nikis Avenue 59
Thessaloniki 54622

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 »

GreeceNaxos Imperial 

Agios Prokopis Naxou
Naxos Town
Naxos 84300

Price (US$): $107 - $538 / night

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Location. Naxos Imperial is located on the beach in Naxos's Agios Prokopios neighborhood, close to Agios Prokopios Beach, Agia Anna Beach, and Plaka Beach. Other points of interest near this luxury hotel include Agios Georgios Beach and Archaelogical Museum. Hotel Features. Naxos Imperial features a restaurant, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an indoor pool, a children's pool, a health club, and a spa tub. Spa… more »

GreeceAthens Ledra Marriott 

115 Syngrou Avenue
Athens 117 45

Price (US$): $187 - $335 / night

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Location. Connected to the airport, Athens Ledra Marriott is located in Athens's Syggrou neighborhood and close to Philopappos Monument, Zappeion Hall, and Athens Presidential Mansion. Additional points of interest include Acropolis and Hellenic Parliament. Hotel Features. Athens Ledra Marriott features a coffee shop/café, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves buffet breakfasts (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an… more »

GreeceDomotel Les Lazaristes 

Kolokotroni 16
Thessaloniki 54001

Price (US$): $100 - $251 / night

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Location. Domotel Les Lazaristes is a business friendly hotel located in Thessaloniki, close to Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art, Saint Demetrios Church, and Church of Panagia Chalkeon. Additional points of interest include Aristotelous Square and Church of Agia Sophia. Hotel Features. Dining options at Domotel Les Lazaristes include a restaurant and a coffee shop/café. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. Recreational… more »

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Full name
Hellenic Republic

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


13,676 km


temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers


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


10,749,943 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

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


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


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

Government type

parliamentary republic


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


Internet users

4.971 million (2009)


81 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Agioi Theodoroi, Aspropyrgos, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki

Other countries in the region