Greece Tourist Attractions

General Information

The Republic of Greece is located in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula and is one of the most popular holiday directions for the tourists from all over the world. The area of Greece is surrounded by the Aegean Sea, the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Its main inhabitants are Greek people and the dominant religion is the Orthodox Church.

Greece is mainly a mountain country. The western part of continental Greece, from the border with Albania to the Corinthian Gulf, comprises the Pindos Mountains. Their maximal height amounts to 2,637 meters in the Smolikas range. Another huge mountain range spreads in the eastern part of the country. Its central part is the Olympus Massif with the highest peak of Greece– Mitikas (2,917 meters). In the south, on the Corinthian Gulf, there is the Parnasu Massif which reaches 2,457 meters. There are only few lowlands in Greece, the biggest of them is the Thessaly Lowland in the central Greece and the Salonica Lowland in its northern part. Agricultural areas comprise tobacco fields in the north-east; grape and other fruit and vegetable plantations are in the south. One thirds of the country’s population lives in the capital city, Athens, which is a centre of cultural, financial and political life.

Greece comprises also a countless number of islands, and 169 of them is populated. The biggest island is Crete, and its area amounts to 8,372 km2.

The rich history of Greece dates back to about 3 thousand years BC when the tribes from Anatolia settled here. During the next hundreds of years, the local culture, civilization and trade developed in this region. This magnificent period was stopped by earthquakes and a volcano eruption at the place of current Santorini island. In spite of these disasters, Greece managed to revive and in the 9th century BC first cities started to develop, where the beginnings of democracy originated. Unfortunately, in the 3rd century BC, the development of valuable Hellenic culture was stopped with the seizure of the area by Macedonia. For next hundreds of years, the area currently belonging to Greece was invaded many times. As a result, in the 15th century, Greece was under the Ottoman reign for the next 4 centuries. First in 1830, with the support of western countries, Greece managed to declare its independence. The last invasion was in 1941 by fascist Italy and Germany. With the end of the Second World War, Greece hardly managed to avoid the fate of other East European countries.

Next, the country was engaged in the brutal civil war for four years and the communists were finally defeated. Greece was granted the western aid within the Marshall plan. Nevertheless, next years didn’t ensure Greece any political peace. Finally, when in 1974 the infamous regime of „colonels” was put to an end, Greece became a republic and turned to democracy. In 1981, Greece became a member of European Economic Community and next of the European Union.

The valuable culture of present Greece was certainly influenced by all the nations that for the hundreds and thousands of years have been living in this country. The Byzantine people left here beautiful buildings and churches, the Venetian people fortresses and Frankish people castles on the highest rocks. The most visible influence, however, is left by the Ottoman Turks, mainly in such spheres as: music, cuisine, language and the style of living. Greece is a nation that likes to have much fun, feasts and rich social life but at the same time it is a country with deep-rooted religious traditions.

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