GENERAL INFORMATION

 

 

Official name: 

Hellenic Republic                                                                                   


Capital:

Athens, population over 3 million.

 

Flag:

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 symbolize Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion.

 

Government type:

Presidential Parliamentary Democracy

Digraph: GR

 

Location:

Situated in Southeastern Europe, in the Mediterranean Sea, between the Aegean and Ionian Sea. Bordering with Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey.

Area:
land area: 130,800 sq. km. It is mostly a mountainous country with ranges extending into the seas as peninsulas or chains of islands.

Climate:

Greece generally has mild wet winters and hot dry summers. Winter temperatures can be severe in the mountains and even Athens can get viciously cold. Maximum temperatures on the islands hover around 30°C (87°F) in summer, but the heat is often tempered by the northerly wind known as the meltemi.

Natural resources: bauxite, lignite, magnesite, petroleum, marble

 

Total population:

10,934,097 (2001 census)

 

Urban population (percentage):

65.7%

Religions:

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

 

Local time:

GMT +2 hours.

 

Currency:

Euro

Country code:

Greece +30

Electricity:

220V 50 HzHz . European plug with two circular metal pins

Languages:

Greek. The Greek language with a documented record spanning three and a half millenia is a strong element of national continuity. Modern Greek derives from the same idiom used by Homer.

National holiday:

Independence Day, 25 March (1821) (proclamation of the war of Independence against Turkish occupation.

Geography:

The peninsula that constitutes mainland Greece is surrounded by more than 1400 islands, of which 169 are inhabited. The islands are divided into six groups: the Cyclades, the Ionians, the Dodecanese, the islands of the Northeastern Aegean, the Sporades and the Saronic Gulf islands. The two largest islands, Crete and Evia, do not belong to any group. Roughly four-fifths of Greece is mountainous, with most land lying over 1500m (4920ft) above sea level. Epiros and Macedonia, in northern Greece, still have extensive forests, but goat grazing, felling and forest fires have seriously denuded the rest of the country.

When To Go:

Conditions are perfect between Easter and mid-June - beaches and ancient sites are relatively uncrowded; public transport operates on close to full schedules; and accommodation is cheaper and easier to find than in the mid-June to end of August high season. Conditions are once more ideal from the end of August until mid-October, as the season winds down. Winter is pretty much a dead loss outside the major cities as most of the tourist infrastructure goes into hibernation from the middle of October till the beginning of April. This is slowly changing, however; on the most touristy islands, a few restaurants, hotels and bars remain open year-round, while the ski resorts on the mainland do thriving business.

Visas:

Nationals of Australia, Canada, Cyprus, EU countries, the European principalities of Monaco and San Marino, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the USA and most South American countries are allowed to stay in Greece for up to three months without a visa; most others can enter Greece for up to two months without a visa; Greece will refuse entry to anyone whose passport indicates that, since November 1983, they have visited North Cyprus.

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