There is nowhere else in the world where you can stand on the shores of the Aegean and Ionian Seas and feel centuries of culture and civilization spring to life before you.
Greece has the tenth longest coastline in the world, and is covered with beautiful mountains and hills. In Greece there are a great number of lakes and wetlands and many sights to behold.
Travel back to ancient times in any number of ancient remains. This beautiful country of Greece holds more culture and historic value than anywhere else in the world.
Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and Communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. A military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven years. The 1974 democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union in 2001.
Athens is a Wonderful City when you get to know it. But most guidebooks are as confusing as Athens seems to be for those unfamiliar with it. Not my Athens Survival Guide. My Athens Guide makes the city and surrounding areas simple and enjoyable by following my steps and just doing what I do. Includes restaurant reviews, hotels, archaeology sites, nightlife and more and hundreds, maybe thousands of photos. You can print out the whole thing and take it to Greece. It is the only Guidebook you will need and it is free. Recommended by Travel Guru Rick Steves and even used by Athenians themselves.
Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey
Greek island information including lists of hotels available, beaches, restaurant reviews, archaological sites, history, nightlife and museums and whatever else there is to do on the islands, plus which islands are easy to get to from which other islands, an important thing to know when you make up your itinerary. If you don't know much about the Greek Islands this will give you some idea of what each has to offer.
Many people use the Greek Island Synopsis to research their trip where they can fill in a form that tells which islands, how many days, category of hotel, tours and so on and an agent comes back with a price for that trip. It's a pretty creative way to plan your holiday.
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds
Economy - overview:
Greece has a capitalist economy with the public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP at least 75% of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 15% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP. The Greek economy grew by nearly 4.0% per year between 2003 and 2007, due partly to infrastructural spending related to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, and in part to an increased availability of credit, which has sustained record levels of consumer spending. Greece violated the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criteria of no more than 3% of GDP from 2001 to 2006, but finally met that criteria in 2007. Public debt, inflation, and unemployment are above the euro-zone average, but are falling. The Greek Government continues to grapple with cutting government spending, reducing the size of the public sector, and reforming the labor and pension systems, in the face of often vocal opposition from the country's powerful labor unions and the general public. The economy remains an important domestic political issue in Greece and, while the ruling New Democracy government has had some success in improving economic growth and reducing the budget deficit, Athens faces long-term challenges in its effort to continue its economic reforms, especially social security reform and privatization.
Disputes - international:
Greece and Turkey continue discussions to resolve their complex maritime, air, territorial, and boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea; Cyprus question with Turkey; Greece rejects the use of the name Macedonia or Republic of Macedonia; the mass migration of unemployed Albanians still remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy