Area: 131,957 sq km (50,949 sq miles)
Population: 10,722,816 (2008)
Religion: 97% Greek Orthodox
Time Zones: GMT +2 (GMT +1 end of Sept. to the end of Oct.)
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz
Passport: Valid passports are required by all.
Currency: Drachma (Dr)
Health: Bottled water is advised for the first few weeks of the stay.
Climate: Greece has warm Mediterranean climate. In summer, dry hot days are often relieved by stiff breezes, especially in the north and coastal areas. Athens can be stiflingly hot, so visitors should allow time to acclimatize. The evenings are cool. Winters are mild in the south but much colder in the north. November to March is the rainy season.
International Dialling Code: 011+30
Greece is situated on the Mediterranean, and is bordered to the north by Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, and to the east by Turkey. To the east is the Aegean Sea, and to the west the Ionian Sea. The mainland consists of the following regions: Central Greece, Peloponnese, Thessaly (east/central), Epirus (west), Macedonia (north/northwest) and Thrace (northwest). Euboea, the second largest of the Greek islands, lying to the northeast of the central region, is also considered to be part of the mainland region.
The country's beauty, its history, and the warmth of its people left a lasting impression.This is short excerpt on a couple who decided to travel around Greece.
Doris and Bertie explored the islands of Greece aboard Royal Olympic Cruise's charming Olympic Countess, a medium-sized ship with a Greek crew. Ports of call included Crete, Mykonos, Rhodes, Patmos, and even a couple of stops in Turkey . The port of Kusadasi featured the ancient marble city of Ephessos . Istanbul offered a shopper's paradise of street bazaars filled with incredible bargains on leather, silks and spices.
While a cruise is a fabulous mode of transport around the sun drenched isles, a trip to Greece is not complete without several nights in Athens . Bertie and Doris took in the sights, toured the ruins and the Acropolis, and still had time to shop and dine in the Plaka. The Plaka is a labyrinth of narrow streets with hundreds of small stores and some of the best restaurants to be found.
Doris and Bertie decided the September weather was perfect and just late enough in the tourist season to keep the crowds away. A good piece of advice, however, is to plan to visit Greece during the tourist season (May through September) because many restaurants, inns and shops will be closed at other times of the year.
As a popular travel guide states: "In Greece you can find beautiful settings that will soothe your soul while centuries of art and history invigorate your mind." Greece has something for everyone. If you love history, art, sailing, beaches, quaint villages and extraordinary cuisine, Greece is your next destination. You won't be the same
Map of Greece