To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.
— Aldous Huxley, 1894 - 1963
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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

Spin the globe....summer 2018

by madjeanne

Temperature hit 100, gotta go!

May 2018 - Jul 2018  »  United States | Italy | Croatia | Montenegro | Greece | Turkey | Malta | Spain | France | Monaco

Greece 2008

by erezarmo

Sep 2010 - Sep 2008  »  Greece

Featured hotels in

Greece

GreeceElysium Resort & Spa 

Rodou-Falirakiou
Rhodes 85100
Greece

Price (US$): $638 - $639 / night

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Location. Elysium Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Rhodes's Kallithea neighborhood, close to Kallithea Beach, Kallithea Springs, and Water Park Faliraki. Faliraki Beach is also a point of interest near this luxury hotel. Hotel Features. Dining options at Elysium Resort & Spa include 3 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves a complimentary breakfast. Recreational amenities include a children's pool,… more »

GreeceThe Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort 

Apollonos 40
Vouliagmeni
Vari-Voula-Vouliagmeni 16671
Greece

Price (US$): $293 - $1511 / night

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Location. The Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort is located on the beach in Vari Voula Vouliagmeni's Vouliagmeni neighborhood, close to Vouliagmeni Spa Lake and Kavouri Beach. Another point of interest is Glyfada Golf Club of Athens. Hotel Features. Dining options at The Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort include 3 restaurants. 2 bars/lounges and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The hotel serves hot and cold buffet breakfasts each… more »

GreeceGrand Lagonissi Resort 

40th km Athinon-Sounio, Athens
Lagonissi 190 10
Greece

Price (US$): $541 - $4026 / night

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Location. Grand Lagonissi Resort is located on the beach in Lagonissi's Athens Coast neighborhood and local attractions include Vouliagmeni Spa Lake. Regional points of interest also include Kavouri Beach and Factory Outlet Airport. Resort Features. Grand Lagonissi Resort features a beach bar, a bar/lounge, and a swim up bar. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves a complimentary full breakfast each morning in the restaurant. Recreational amenities include a health club… more »

GreeceRODOS PARK SUITES SPA HOTEL 

12 Riga Fereou Street
Rhodes Town 85100
Greece

Price (US$): $196 - $462 / night

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Looking across the soft green swathes and the medieval city, Rodos Park Suites and Spa is one of the most desirable places to stay. Synonymous with providing the right blend of luxury, warm service and quiet efficiency, this boutique hotel welcomes you into a place where everything is designed to combine business and leisure. After restoration in April 2008, all spacious rooms and suites are beautifully decorated, adopting a distinctive style and modern design; overlooking either parkland or… more »

GreeceSemiramis Hotel 

48 Charilaou Trikoupi Str.
Kifisia 145 62
Greece

Price (US$): $188 - $251 / night

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Location. Semiramis Hotel is located in Kifisia, close to Mall Athens and Avenue Shopping Mall. Additional area points of interest include Athens Olympic Stadium and Helexpo. Hotel Features. Semiramis Hotel's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served each morning. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a health club, a sauna, and a steam… 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