Greece lies at the most southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. It is placed at the juncture of Europe, Asia, and Africa, being at the same time European, Balkan, and Mediterranean. The Greek peninsula has an area of 50,949 square miles (131,957 square kilometres), of which one-fifth constitutes of the Greek islands. More than 2,000 islands belong to Greece - 170 are inhabited - giving the country a strong nautical tradition.
The country is bordered to the west by the Ionian Sea, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and to the east by the Aegean Sea. To the north and northeast it has land borders, which run from west to east with Albania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Greece consists of the following regions: Sterea Ellada, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace in the mainland, the islands of the Aegean Sea to the east, the Ionian Islands to the west and Crete to the south, the largest of the Greek islands.
Athens, the capital of Greece, has expanded from 700,000 to almost 4 million inhabitants. The area around the capital, Attica, is home to around one third of the country’s population.
Greece has a temperate continental climate: hot summers, cold winters, generally very distinct seasons.
The climate is typical Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers - pleasant and healthy due to its distinctive dryness, with ample sunshine, reaching the 3.000 hours yearly.
Languages: The official language is Greek although English is spoken by most people.
Religions: Greek Orthadox (91%); Roman Catholic (9%); Protestant; Muslims; Jews
According to the NSSG, Greece's total population in 2005 was 11,082,752, of whom 5,486,632 were males and 5,596,119 females.
Almost two-thirds of Greeks live in urban areas. Greece's largest cities in 2001 were: Athens (3,361,806), Thessaloniki (800,764), Patra (185,626), Iraklio (144,642), Volos (124,591), and Larissa (124,394).
The only minority in Greece which receives special treatment is the Muslim minority in Thrace, which amounts to approximately 0.95% of the total population. Its members are predominantly of Turkish, Pomak and Roma ethnic origins. Other recognized ethnic minorities include approximately 35,000 Armenians, and 5,500 Jews.
Social and political indicators:
Language: Greek is an Indo-European language with a documented history of 3,500 years, the longest of any single language in that language family.
Religion: Greek Orthodox (98%), Muslims, Roman Catholics,
Density: 84 /km², ranking108th in the world
Government: Parliamentary republic
Map of Greece