Yassas! Clear blue skies, beautiful beaches, delicious food and endless azure waters. Greece combines the ancient and the modern with panache. Where else can you visit the most famous monument from the ancient world as well as sunbathe on powder soft beaches or visit a bustling modern city with links to the entire world Athens. Come and join in the fun and fall in love with the people, landscape and the food.
Greece is situated in Southern Europe and enjoys some of the most fantastic weather in the whole of the Mediterranean. It shares its borders with Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey so it sits at the very edges of Europe. Greece (alongside Italy and Rome) formed the centre of the ancient world. Almost all legends worldwide have their roots in Ancient Greece and its reputed to be the birthplace of the Gods!
Greece has a varied and fairly violent history having been conqueror and conquered many times over the centuries. It isn’t all ancient history either. Greece was invaded during the Second World War and many thousands of Greeks died in combat or in concentration camps or horribly due to starvation. The Greek Resistance managed to seize control back in 1944 once the Germany and Italian armies were in retreat (Have you seen Captain Corelli’s Mandolin?) The Greek Civil War followed and although some semblance of peace was established in 1949, there was lots of disruption still to come with the establishment a Greek Military Junta. Eventually there was a coup against the military regime and finally in 1974 a democracy was declared and modern Greece was established.
Greece is adept at balancing the past, present and future so you can visit museums and art galleries, take part in the vibrant music scene or visit galleries of modern art or culture. You can even scale the peaks of Mount Olympus or visit a volcano! There really is something for everyone in Greece.
Greece is a very big country but with a surprisingly small population of just over 11 million inhabitants. Its capital city is Athens and almost half the total population lives here or in the key port of Pireus. The rest of the population live in the mountainous mainland or spread out across the Greek islands, which are so popular with so many tourists worldwide. (Think Mamma Mia).
Modern Greek (Demotike) is the every day language. It’s used in government, newspapers and universities although there are some differences between standard or formal Greek and the everyday spoken word. English is also widely spoken (as are most other European languages) so you shouldn’t struggle when ordering your sketos (unsweetened Greek coffee).
The Greeks are famously welcoming and very laid back. They are family oriented and love to create and share their food. Tzatsiki, humus, feta cheese and souvlaki are some of the best known delicacies. You can get a fantastic meal for just a few Euro at almost every restaurant or tavern.
Greece is however suffering from the worldwide economic downturn and is currently experiencing severe ‘austerity measures’. Life for many Greeks is tough at the moment and they are struggling to keep major industries such as tourism on track so that they can continue to thrive in the future. In the elections of January 2015 The far-left Syriza party formed an anti austerity coalition with a right wing party -the Greek Independents and Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras took the oath as the new Prime Minister. However, he in fact resigned in August 2015 but actually was elected as Prime Minister again in the snap election in September 2015.
At a glance facts
- Population – 11,142,161 (2018)
- Language: Greek although many people also speak English, French and other European languages
- International Dialling Code: 30
- Timezone: Greece is 2 hours ahead of the UK GEM/CET.
Europe, member of the EU