This part of mainland Greece is one of the largest in the country, extending from the Aegean Sea in the east to the Ionian Sea in the west. In the south it embraces the Saronic and the Corinth Gulfs and reaches northwards as far as Thessaly. (For Attica see pages 18-37). Central Greece is mostly a mountainous region dominated by the massive ranges of Giona, Agrafa, Tymphristos, Vardoussia, Parnassus and Iti. Several small and fertile plains and valleys lie between these mountains, their formation determined by the rivers Sperchios, Acheloos, Kifissos, Asopos and Mornos. The largest lakes are Trihonis and Amvrakia in western Greece and Iliki in eastern Greece.
The climate is not the same everywhere, for whereas the sea bord climate is Mediterranean, the inland and mountain regions experience bitter winters and pleasantly cool summers. The main products in Central Greece are olive oil, wine, cotton, cereals, rice and tobacco. In the mountain regions stock-raising is also well developed. Ore is mined too in many places: lead and zinc at Lavrion, bauxite in the mountains of Parnassus and Giona, and marble from Penteli.
Central Greece was the birthplace of Hellenism in very ancient times. In fact, recorded history begins in what later developed as the most important cities in the ancient world – Athens, Thebes, Delphi.
The region also flourished during the Byzantine period, when cities like Thebes were densely populated, enjoying a thriving industry and trade.
During the Turkish occupation, Central Greece together with the Peioponnese played an important role in the fight for freedom, since the countless Greek insurgents could easily harry the enemy from hideouts on the untrodden mountains of the region.