Greece

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The quick travel guide to Greece and Athens

Introduction

Greece is a land of mountains and islands located in southern Europe. It is relatively small in land area, 131, 990 sq km, but it covers a much larger area due to the large number of islands that make up its territory. Greece has borders with Albania to the north west, Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the east. It has a long coastline on the eastern Mediterranean; there are around 1400 islands within this area, 227 of which are occupied.  The population of Greece is around 10.3 million and the capital is Athens where approximately one third of the population live; - 3.1 million people.

The Aegean Sea lies to the east of mainland Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the tenth longest coastline in the world at 14,880 km in length, featuring a vast number of islands including Crete, the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, and the Ionian Islands among others. Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains, of which Mount Olympus is the highest at 2,917 m.

 

There are four main areas to country; Northern Greece - which includes the ancient regions of Thrace and Macedonia. Central Greece includes Athens and the port of Piraeus. The Peloponnesos peninsular and the city of  Corinth. And the Greek islands which make up 20% of the country. The largest island is Crete, located around 200 kms south of Athens and has a population of 650,000. 

 Western Greece contains a number of lakes and wetlands and is dominated by the Pindus mountain range. The Pindus reaches a maximum elevation of 2,637 m at Mt. Smolikas and is essentially a prolongation of the Dinaric Alps. The Vikos-Aoos Gorge is yet another spectacular formation and a popular hotspot for those fond of extreme sports.

Administratively, Greece consists of thirteen peripheries subdivided into a total of fifty-one prefectures (nomoi, singular Greek: nomos). There is also one autonomous area, Mount Athos, which borders the periphery of Central Macedonia.

The climate of Greece can be categorised into three types the Mediterranean, the Alpine and the Temperate that influence well-defined regions of its territory.

Annual growth of Greek GDP has surpassed the respective levels of most of its EU partners. The tourism industry is a major source of foreign exchange earnings and revenue accounting for 15% of Greece’s total GDP and employing, directly or indirectly, 16.5% of the total workforce.

Close to Skiathos, Skopelos (see photo above) is the second largest of the Sporades island chain after Skyros. Skopelos is virtually all forest, with 80% of the island cloaked in pine trees and several sleepy resorts scattered around the shoreline.

 

Location Map of Greece 

                         Map of Greece 

Please note - this map excludes the island of Crete in the south. 

Interactive Map of Greece

 
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