Greece lies at the Southeastern tip of Europe occupying a total area of 131,990 sq. km. The country shares borders to the north with Albania, ex-Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and to the east with Turkey, a total length of 1,228 km.
23% arable land; 40% meadows and pastures; 20% forests and woodland; 9% other.
Mostly mountainous with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands.
Mediterranean. Summers are hot and dry, winters usually mild. Most of the rain falls in autumn and winter.
Greece, the southernmost extremity of the Balkan peninsula, is a mountainous, stony country with a highly indented and crenellated coast. According to a Greek myth, when god created the world he distributed all the available soil through a sieve and when he had provided every country with enough of it he tossed the remaining stones from the sieve over his shoulder - and there was Greece. More than two thirds of the country is classified as hilly and mountainous.
The Pindos range traverses the Greek mainland from N.W. to S.E. dividing it in two. The mainland coastline is 4,000 km long while 9,841 islands, 114 of which are inhabited, add another 11,000 km of coastline.
Greece is divided into ten regions of which Macedonia is the largest with an area of 34,177 sq. km and a population of 2,263,099. The highest Greek mountain is Mount Olympus (2,917 m.), believed to be the seat of the 12 Gods of ancient Greek mythology. The largest river is Aliacmon (297 km.).
The largest city and capital is Athens, with a population of over 3m. Piraeus is the main port. The second largest city, Thessaloniki, capital of Macedonia, with a population of nearly 1m, is an important seaport functioning as the gateway to the Balkans and a major economic and cultural centre for the whole of northern Greece.
Time: 2 hours ahead of GMT in winter
3 hours ahead of GMT in summer
Trees include white poplars, spearheaded cypresses, chestnut, pine, fir and olive trees. Of special beauty are the cultivated and wild flowers of Greece, many of which are mentioned in classical poetry and mythology, such as evosmon, anemone, violets, tulips, peonies, narcissus, parthenium, primrose and chamomile.
Fauna: Wild animals include boar, bear, wild cat, brown squirrel, jackal, fox, deer, wolf. A rare white goat is found in Crete. A number of 358 species of birds are found throughout Greece, two-thirds of which are migratory. Among the birds of prey are the golden and imperial eagle, and several species of falcons. Other indigenous varieties of birds are the owl, pelican, pheasant, partridge, woodcock and nightingale.
Marine Fauna: Some 246 species of marine life have been identified in Greek seas. Among the best known one species such as red mullet, lobster, squid, octapus, shrimp, crab, oyster, mussel and cockle. River fish are rare. Dolphins, so familiar in the legends and sculpture of antiquity, are still present in the Greek seas.
Mountains of Greece:
There are 21 lakes which total 59,890 hectares in area (and 14 artificial lakes), while the 33 deltas of the greek rivers cover 327,100 hectares.
Rivers of Greece
(*) length of river on Greek territory