General information of Greece

Introdution

In Greece, you are standing at crossroads of cultures, colours and civilisations, you feel thegrandeur of history and the warmth of beingat the southernmost part of Europe, you discoverthe evolutionary process of thought, influence and experience.Also, Greece is a very safe country for tour

A countrywith a uniquely affluent historical past, inhabited by people gazing confidently andoptimistically into the future;A country that although statistically small, is huge in its diversity;A landscape that has given us thousands of postcard images but remains incredibly vibrant and impossible to capture.

Greece is a country of beautiful contradictions, a constant journey in time, from the present to the past and back again. Walk through the olive groves, through ancient sites. Move to clusters of sparsely inhabited islands. Roam from beaches to rocky mountains and explore thebreathtaking scenery.

In Greece the fusion of images becomes more than imagery and turns into reality. Explore your senses in Greece.

General Information

Greece is situated in SoutheasternEurope, with an area of 131,957 sq.km. anda population of10,964,020. Athens is the capital of Greece with a population of 3,192,606. The Hellenic Republic is a Presidential Parliamentary Democracy.

Local time in Greece is GMT +2 hours. Parliament is three hundred elected members with elections held every four years

Greece is a member state of E.U. since 1981. The currency is euro.The Greek economy adopts the principles offree enterpriseand is bound by the regulations of international organisations such as ECOFIN and WTO, of which it is a member.

Greek coasts

The Greek coast has a total length of approximately 16,000 km.What characterises the famous Greek coasts is their unique diversity (beaches stretching over many kilometres, small bays and coves, sandy beaches with dunes, pebbly shores, coastal caves surrounded by steep rocks and with the characteristic dark sand of volcanic soils, coastal wetlands), and their clean and transparent watersthat have made them renowned and extremely popular all over the world.

In 2009,425 beaches and8 marinas in Greece were awarded the "Blue Flag", a figure thatplaces the country in a top-ranking position among other European countries.Each year this programme presents an award to the coasts and marinas which meet strict criteria as regards the cleanness of the sea and the coast, good organisation and safety as well as the protection of the coastal environment in general.

Greek Islands

The islands are Greece's chief morphological trait and an integral part of the country's civilisation and tradition. The Greek territory comprises 6,000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, a truly unique phenomenon on the European continent; of these islands only 227 are inhabited.

The Greek Archipelago takes up 7,500 km of the country's total 16,000-km coastline, offering a highly diversified landscape: beaches stretching along many kilometers, sheltered bays and coves, golden stretches of sand with dunes, pebbly beaches, coastal caves with steep rocks and black sand typical of volcanic soil, coastal wetlands... All the above, combined with the ideal climate, the safety of Greek waters and the short distances between ports and coasts, have rendered the Greek islands extremely popular among Greek and foreign visitors.

Prons of Greece

Types of tourism product in Greece

Sea tourism

The wealth and diversity of the Greek seas, the endless kilometres of the Greek coastsand the thousands of Greek islands, the protected sea areas covering thousands of square kilometres, the mild climate, the high percentage of sunshine and its interesting and varying landscape make Greece the ideal destination for the development of sea tourism activities.

This advantage is strengthened both by thousands of years of marine tradition and by conditions favourable for sea travelling: the Greek seas are considered safe, distances between coasts are small, while conditions related to wind strength, ambient and sea temperatures are equally favourable.

Water sports

Water ski - All over Greece there are private schools, which operate at organised beaches or at the facilities of big hotels.

Sailing - a sport irrevocably connected with the Greek people throughout the country's long history and centuries of nautical tradition.

Windsurfing - As the weather conditions in Greece are ideal (mild climate, appropriate strength of the winds etc), the popularity of the sport has increased spectacularly and more and more Greek people practise it systematically.

Cruises

Greece is an idyllic place for short or longer cruises, as it has many islands and ports which you can visit, as well as an ideal climate allowing for pleasant travelling conditions nearly all year round.Moreover, a cruise on the Greek seas gives you the opportunity to visit important archaeological sites, unique churches and monasteries, monuments of more recent periods, extremely interesting museumsand traditional settlements and villagesas well as to enjoy the natural beautiesin many of the country's regions.

Yachts

A trip on the calm Greek waters, on your own or a chartered yacht, offers you the possibility to sail among extremely beautiful clusters of islands, to visit inaccessible beaches and to swim with safety in exceptionally clear and transparent waters.

Diving Tourism - Greek waters are the cleanest and bluest in the Med. Diving along lace-like coasts or around picturesque islands, satisfies even the greatest expectations. Warm weather makes scuba diving possible all year round. The optimum season begins on April(18oC), peaking on August (26oC).

Marinas - Moorings

Nowadays there are 19 marinas with 6,661 docking places in Greece, offering high quality services. New modern marinas, hotel ports and moorings for the safe docking of boats already operate or are in the process of starting their operation, in order to meet the needs of tourists coming to Greece by sea in the most satisfactory way and under the safest conditions.

Mountain Holidays

Greece is above all a mountainous country, as it is occupied by more than 300 rocky masses varying in elevation. The Greek mountains are reknowned for their diversity, landscapes of singular beauty and unique forests, many of which rank among the oldest natural wooded lands in Europe. Due to the astoundingly rich flora and fauna they support, many of these environments have been designated as National Parks and are protected as such, while as a result of infrastructure developed over the last decades, they constitute today ideal destinations for winter and alpine tourism.

Mt Olympus (Macedonia), known from Greek mythology as the abode of the gods, is the highest mountain in the country, rising at 2,917 m.

Skiing

At present, 19 ski resorts operate on the mainland meeting modern standards, which lend themselves to the development of winter tourism and are particularly popular with both Greek and foreign visitors.

Hiking - Mountaineering - Climbing

Mountain hiking can be practised on any mountain. Its main characteristic is the difference in elevation one may encounter along the route, which may reach as much as 500-600 m.

Hang Gliding - Parapente (Paragliding)

In hang gliding, the pilot "hangs" underneath the glider, in such a way that his/ her body hangs in the air like a pendulum.Parapente (Paragliding) The sport requires good physical condition, excellent technique, mental clarity and peace of mind, perceptivity, as well as knowledge of meteorology and aerodynamics.

Attractions

Greece has an abundance of resources that tourists with ecological and cultural interests will find attractive. The wealth of cultural as well as ecological resources, both biotic and abiotic, constitute a special comparative advantage of the country for those interested in the conservation of cultural diversity, bio-diversity and eco-systems.

Greek nature - Ecotourism

Notwithstanding its limited surface area, Greece is endowed with a particularly rich and diversified natural environment as a result of a rare geomorphology, with many striking natural contrasts and areas of great ecological value. The country's abundant natural gifts - thousands of indented coasts, imposing rocky massifs, caves, gorges, lakes, rivers, biotopes of spectacular beauty and unique natural habitats - coupled with the mild climate, place it among the ideal destinations for ecotourism and alternative forms of tourism.

Archaeological sites - Monuments

Greece is full of archaeological sites and monuments of distinctive prestige and charm, on which all known periods of its long-standing historyhave left their mark. Visitors have the opportunity to make a unique "journey" through the rare "mosaic" of historic and cultural memory which has left an indelible mark on every region of the country and effortlessly highlights the manifold manifestations of Greek culture to date.

According to the UNESCO catalogue, total 17 archaeological sites and cultural areas in Greece have been characterised as Monuments of Cultural Heritage.

Museums

A great number of museums operate throughout the country. More than 207 of them are state-run or supervised by the Ministry of Culture and 107 are privately owned. Visitors are afforded the opportunity to admire unique artifacts and scientific achievements produced on Greek territory more than 6.000 years ago.

Special forms of tourism

In recent years special forms of tourism, offering travellers the opportunity to enrich their activities by attending specialised programmes such as therapeutic-spa tourism, religious tourism, ecological tourism, agrotourism etc, have been developing more and more systematically in Greece. Thus, the country has become a popular tourist destination not only for holidays of the "classical type" but also for people interested in alternative holidays who, apart from relaxing and sightseeing, wish to enjoy the unique experience offered by the country's nature and its "products", its religious culture and the specialised infrastructure of the Greek tourist industry.

Events

Greece is a country with a vast wealth of cultural tradition and folklore.Some of the most important events are held under the auspices of the Hellenic Festival that, during the summer months, organises the Athens Festival, the Epidaurus Festival (theatre) and "Musical July" (in Epidaurus), which are considered to be among the most significant art festivals of the European continent. Highly interesting are the productions of the Greek National Opera during both winter and summer seasons. As for the theatre, apart from private companies and the Municipal and Regional Theatres, the two national theatres, the National Theatre of Greece in Athens and the National Theatre of Northern Greece in Thessaloniki, stage very interesting plays. In Thessaloniki, the International Thessaloniki Film Festival, which in recent years has become one of the major regional festivals in Europe, is held every November, while every year in May the Thessaloniki Book Fair is held.

Climatic conditions- Weather

Greece has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and a limited amount of rainfall. In summer, the dry hot days are cooled by seasonal winds called the meltemi, while mountainous regions have generally lower temperatures. The winters are mild in lowland areas, with a minimum amount of snow and ice, yet, mountains are usually snow-covered. Moreover, a common phenomenon is the occurrence of different climactic conditions during the same season. The tourist season is from April to October, peaking in August.

Cons of Greece

Transportation

During the past few decadew the transportation network of the country was modernised and impressively upgraded and, as a result, Greece today has an integrated transportation structure allowing for fast and safe travelling all over the country.However, until now the airline still don't have direct flight from Malaysia to Greece and the time of flight will more than 14 hours.

Expend

Greece is a member state of E.U. Since the currency is euro, the currency rate is high. The cost includes meals, accommodationand transportation will be very high cost.

Language

In Greece people speak Greek - an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages.Thus foreigner will be not easy to communication in Greece.

Greek gastronomy

The unique tastes of Greece that you are in for many culinary surprises during your stay in the country. Contrary to common belief, you will discover that Greek cuisine is not only moussaka, souvlaki and choriatiki salata, but has a wide variety of dishes that can meet the culinary demands of both meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Nevertheless, because of different culture and different cuisine, malay guest may be not agree with the tastes of Greece food.

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