Greece, officially called the Hellenic Republic, is located in south-eastern Europe. In the north it borders with Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Bulgaria in the east with Turkey. The country covers an area of ??131.957 km2 and consists of the mainland and more than 2,000 islands.
Despite the fact that Greece - a relatively small country, it has a surprising variety of landscapes - from the legendary mountains of Olympus and Parnassus, stretching for miles to the coast. Indeed, because of the large number of islands, Greece has a particularly long coastline (15.021 km.), Which has the greatest extent in comparison with other Mediterranean countries.
The climate is mainly dry and mild, while in the mountains in the north often winter snows. Northern Macedonia and northern Epirus similar climate to the Balkans, with their cold winters and hot, humid summers, while Attica, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese islands in the archipelago, Crete and central and eastern parts of the Peloponnese have a climate more typical for the Mediterranean, with hot, dry summer and a mild winter.
The first sensation of Greece, with the first steps on its land - the smell of the sea. In any weather and at any time of year here you are met by the soft sea breeze.
The sea begins to "warm up" to May, reaching an average temperature 20-23 ° C (and on the southern islands, even warmer), and by September it rises to 27-29 ° C.
When to go:
Maximum number of tourists to the period from early May to late September.
The Hellenic Republic.
The flag of Greece consists of nine bands of two colors - white (a symbol of peace and purity) and blue (symbol of the sea), 5 blue stripes represent the five oceans, and 9 bands symbolize the nine letters of the Greek word "freedom", as the current flag adopted after the liberation from Turkish rule. White cross on a blue background is a symbol of the Christian republic.
Greece is traditionally divided into the following geographic regions:
In the Attic plain, home to most of the Greek population. In the attic there are regional and Athens is the capital of the country and its main administrative center. There are ministries, supreme courts, the main offices of most banks, insurance companies and other enterprises, and in addition, within the capital is concentrated most of the Greek industry. Athens attracts tourists from all over the world who come to visit the Acropolis, "brand" the city and country, the National Archaeological Museum and other archaeological sites.
In this region, in the heart of Greece, are Delphi, the former place of the oracle of ancient times. After reaching a steep central Greece Pindus mountain range, with a peak of 2.637 m (Mount Smolikas).
Peloponnesus - the southern part of mainland Greece. This region was located many large cities of the ancient world, such as Mycenae, Sparta and Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. The region has fertile soil and moderate climate, and therefore it is ideal for the cultivation of olive trees and vineyards.
Epirus is a region in north-western Greek mainland and is bordered to the north with Albania, and in the south of Central Greece. This region is almost entirely mountainous, and the high Pindus forms the eastern boundary of the region that separates him from Macedonia and Thessaly. The main attraction is located in the northern region. This National Park Vikos, rich waterfalls, gorges, rivers, picturesque villages and dense forests.
Thessaly is in the middle part of mainland Greece. Its territory also includes Northern Sporades archipelago. And its main geographical feature - the plain of Thessaly, surrounded by mountains, the most famous of which is Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece (2917 m).
Macedonia - the largest of the ten geographic regions of Greece. To the south it is washed by the Aegean Sea and shares borders with Thessaly, on the east by the western Thrace, Epirus to the west and north with Bulgaria, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). It includes a self-governing monastic republic of Mount Athos and Thessaloniki, the northern capital of Greece. Its landscape is quite diverse, as western and eastern Macedonia, in general, are mountainous, with the exception of several large fertile valleys, while the center of Macedonia includes the plain of Thessaloniki, the second largest in Greece.
This region occupies the northeastern part of continental Greece. Nestos River to the west it is separated from Macedonia, and the Evros River from Turkey (Eastern Thrace) to the east and north-east, north, the Rhodope mountain range separates it from Bulgaria, and from the south it is washed by the sea. The climate of this region can be characterized as "intermediate" between the Mediterranean and Central European types. Evros Delta, where many rare species of animals find refuge because of favorable environmental conditions, is the main attraction of this region.
Aegean archipelago consists of hundreds of islands and islets. All the islands are mountainous or polugoristye, and they enjoy a warm climate. With regard to the norms of rainfall, the climate of this region is the driest in Greece, but on the eastern islands of the Aegean Sea and the Dodecanese, on the contrary, the most humid.
Crete - the largest island of Greece. With regard to the landscape, the island is clearly not enough picturesque plains, because of its terrain is mainly mountainous. It should be noted that the southern coastline of Crete - the warmest area in Greece.
This region is the smallest geographical area of ??Greece and consists of seven main islands, which stretch along the western coast of Greece. The islands have a mild and relatively humid climate, and the rate of rainfall is quite high. As a result, the vegetation is very abundant and unites species of tropical forest, reminiscent of northern Europe. These islands are different from other archipelagos not only climate but also because they are influenced by Mediterranean Europe.
At last (2001) census registered 10,939,605 inhabitants.
Official and most common religion in the Greek - Orthodox Christianity - its hold almost 98% of believers. The church in the country and state are separate, although the constitution Greece - a secular state.
Muslims make up 1.3% of the population, other faiths - 0.7%.
The Greeks - a deeply religious people. Greece has many ancient and modern churches, chapels, modest and quiet monasteries. When you visit such places rules in choosing clothes, as in the manner of behavior is not so strict. So, you can appear in the temple wearing shorts, but there you should not laugh or talk loudly. It is located in Greece, Mount Athos, where the cells of monasteries and monks of all ages live in the Orthodox world.
Moscow minus 1 hour.
Modern Greek, a descendant of the very ancient Greek language, in which Aristotle and Plato.
The national currency of Greece since 2002 is the Euro, which replaced the oldest currency in Europe - drachma (340.75 drachmas = 1 Euro).
To visit the country's Russian citizens need a visa. Greece is a Schengen zone.
Restaurants, cafes and tavernas in Greece at every turn. Not a single institution in the evening is left blank. If among its visitors many of the Greeks, to be sure that the food here is excellent. Main story line of Greek cuisine - is olive, oregano (marjoram), and lemon. Everyone is familiar with Greek salad: feta cheese and fresh vegetables.
Recommend that you try "gyros" - slices of roasted meat, onions, tomatoes and french fries in a hot fragrant cake, "mussakas" - succulent casserole of ground beef, eggplant, potatoes and cheese.
Do not forget to enjoy a favorite beverage of the Greeks - "frappes" - cold coffee, whipped with milk and cream.
In any tourist area waiting for you jewelry and Fur shops, where the Russian-speaking salespeople often work. Usually tourists are brought from Greece products of local artisans. It can be ceramic vessels "under the Antiquity", small copies of famous ancient sculptures, embroidery and lace napkins rural craftswomen. We recommend purchase a symbol of Greece - the olive oil and olives. A good gift for someone to be a Greek wine. Of the spirits do not forget the traditional "ouzo" (anisette), "crabs" and the Greek brandy.
Easter - a favorite holiday of the Greeks.
Also, the Greek official holidays are:
Epiphany (January 6)
Independence Day (March 25)
Clean Monday (beginning of Lent)
Easter Monday (the 2nd day after Easter)
International Labour Day (May 1)
Assumption (15 August)
Day "Ochi" (translated from the Greek word "No" when October 28, 1940 the governor of Greece Ioannis Metaxas in response to the ultimatum of Mussolini, the immediate surrender of Greece, said, "No.")
Christmas (December 25-26).
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