Greece the Greek peninsula is the most south-easterly extension of Europe.The Pindus Mountains divide Greece from the Albanian border in the north to the Gulf of Corinth in the south.About 70% of the land is hilly with harsh mountain climates and poor soils and there are few natural resources of economic value although there are deposits of petroleum and natural gas found under the Aegean Sea.The Greek islands and coastal regions have a typical Mediterranean climate with mild rainy winters and hot dry summers.Winter in the northern mountains is severe with deep snow and heavy precipitation.Agriculture is the chief activity and large scale farming is concetrated on the east coasts.The main industries are small processing plants for tobacco,food and leather.Fishing is an important activity around the 2000 islands which lie off the mainland.Tourists visit the country in the summer for the sun and in winter for its spectacular ancient ruins and provide a major source of revenue for the country along with shipping.
Greece is always more than one expects. And with good reason.Around every corner it seems there lurks some hidden treasure:splendid ruins that indicate past glory and long human occupance,a shop full of appealing folkcraft,a beach sited bungalow resort,a stretch of sapphire sea, or a wayside taverna inviting you to lose all sense of time over a glass of wine. This combination of antiquity and modernity keeps the visitor hovering between reality and fantasy until he reconciles the long history of Greece with its living present.
Then again,Greece consists of several bits of diverse geography.Soaring moun-tains are separated by deep valleys,lakes and seas,its ternal imprint.There are countless peninsulas and bays and indentations. And,of course,innumerable islands. It is really a land of islands,one after the other,no two alike.
The waters that almost surround the 50,000 square miles of Greece are blue,pure and clear.They moderate its temperatures in all seasons,and the constant sunshine gives a diamong sparkle to everything.To think of Greece is to think of its climate, which is typically Mediterranean and just as warm and delightful in April and October as it is in July and August.
There are some 9 million Greeks: cheerful, hospitable,funloving,unpredictable perhaps,but full of contagious enthusiasm. One hardly ever comes across a bored or surly Greek.From the beginning,indeed,from the time when Greece was first inhabited,some 7000 years ago,her hardy people have been intent on proving that they are a special breed,fully capable of guiding their own destiny they still are.And they still do. Their boundaries may have altered,and they have undergone the most diverse experien-ces in the course of history,but this has moulded them into a single nation embracing countless generations.The spirit that made this craggy land what it was 25 centuries ago,a very small corner of the earth that exercised an influence out of all proportion to its size, still persists. Greece is once again a living entity, responding to the call of the centuries, yet remaining herself through time.
The Present Scene
Along with the scenery,the history,the beautiful islands,brilliant sunshine and blue seas,Greece also has to offer modern facilities in all parts of the country. That is why it is now fast becoming one of the favourite holiday countries in Europe and the Middle East. Almost all the hotels are new and equipped with every up-to-date amennity.Even a third class hotel with a bath is the rule rather than the exception.Travel by boat,train,airplane or car ferry is easy and comfortable. Reasonably cheap too.The beaches are crowd free,and there are well-placed camping sites for the go-it alone traveller. Yachts and cruise ships are catered for by some 85 supply stations and marinas,on islands and coasts.
The ideal way to see Greece and to gain some insight into the true spirit of the Greeks is by car or bus combined with ship or airplane.The magic of Greece works on you the moment you set foot in the country,and by combining ample leisure time with well planned sightseeing you will find that Greece has few equals for the wealth and variety of impressions it leaves in the mind. And these will remain cherished memories long after the holiday itself is over.
Greece Tour: Greece – Fact and Info
- Geographic coordinates: 39 00 N, 22 00 EArea: 131,940 sq km
- Coastline: 13,676 km
- Climate: temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers
- Population: 10,737,428
- Ethnic groups: Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7%
- Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
- Languages: Greek 99% (official), other 1% (includes English and French)
- Capital city: Athens
- National holiday: Independence Day, 25 March (1821)
- Internet country code: .gr
- International Country Calling Code: 30
- Currency: euro (EUR)