Greece, the official name of the Hellenic Republic is a state in Southern Europe in the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Peloponnese and on the islands of the Aegean Sea.
Greece is one of the most visited countries by tourists.
The area of the country is 131,940 sq. m.
Greece borders Albania in the north, former Yugoslav Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey in the east. The shores of Greece are washed by the Ionian, Aegean and Mediterranean seas. In addition to the mainland, the country is located on more than 2000 islands, the largest of which are Crete and Euboea.
The population as of July 2006 is 10 688 058 people. The share of the urban population is about 75%. The largest cities in Greece are:
The city of Athens has a population of about 750 thousand inhabitants, but the metropolitan area of Greater Athens, which includes such cities as Piraeus, Glyfada and other suburbs of the Athens nomarchy, has a population of more than 3 million people. The same situation is developing with Thessaloniki, which has a population of about 360 thousand inhabitants within its administrative borders. With the suburbs, the population increases to 750 thousand people. During the summer, the population of many cities increases by several thousand, as a result of the arrival of large numbers of tourists, seasonal workers and immigrants looking for work. The Peloponnese and Attica have the highest population density. Epirus and Western Macedonia, on the contrary, are the least sparsely populated territories, which is primarily due to the geographical and historical characteristics of these regions. There are a large number of small uninhabited islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas.
The majority of the population of Greece (about 99%) is Greek. There is only one officially recognized national minority in the country - the Muslims of Thrace, who profess Islam. These are, first of all, Turks and Pomaks - Muslim Bulgarians. They live compactly in the north of Greece, in Thrace, near the border with Turkey, and in large cities of the country. Epirus and Western Macedonia are home to a large number of Albanians, mainly in Kastoria and Florina. There are also small ethnic groups of Jews, Aromanians, Bulgarians, Macedonians and other Balkan peoples.
The predominant religion in the country is Orthodoxy, which is professed by 98% of the country's inhabitants. In this regard, Greece is home to a large number of churches, temples and monasteries. Islam is widespread to a greater extent in the north of the country. Until recently, Athens was the only European capital that did not have a mosque. On the territory of the Ionian Islands and the Dodecanese Islands, which for a long time were under the rule of Catholic states, Catholicism is quite widespread.
What to do in Greece if you come there in winter? Or don't you like a beach holiday? Let's talk about the six most popular types of recreation for every taste and budget.
"Beautiful Hellas", "the cradle of Europe", a country with the most ancient and diverse culture, unique language, a country of biological diversity and amazing landscape. Unfortunately, in recent decades, Greece has gained popularity only as a summer tourism destination, when a beach holiday is combined with a trip to nearby attractions or buying a fur product. This is unfair because Greece is interesting all year round. In each season, stepping on the ancient land of Hellas, the traveler will discover unexpected little joys with which he can replenish the treasury of impressions. Here are six types of recreation that this wonderful country has to offer.
Excursions to historic sites
Undoubtedly, the first thing to see in Greece is the legacy of ancient civilizations. Archaeological sites are scattered throughout the country. Remains of the Palace of Knossos in Crete, in the labyrinth under which the legendary Minotaur was imprisoned, the impressive Lion Gate in Mycenae, Dion - the city of Zeus at the foot of Olympus, the Delphic Oracle, and of course the Athenian Acropolis. This is not a complete list of historical monuments that can be seen in Greece.
Of course, a self-guided tour will cost a little more than the excursion programs offered by tour operators, but it should be noted that within the framework of such programs the sights are looked around very quickly, many are not looked around at all. Therefore, if you want to truly immerse yourself in the spirit of Ancient Hellas, thoroughly, and, most importantly, to see the sights without haste and fuss, you still better go on an independent journey. I assure you that you will discover treasures and secrets that are inaccessible to the clients of travel agencies.
In addition to interesting and informative excursions to historical sites, Greece provides a wide range of options for outdoor activities. The mountains and mountain rivers of Greece are undeservedly ignored by tourists, and in addition to their stunning beauty, they open up opportunities for sports such as skiing, speleology, rafting, mountaineering, trekking (hiking), mountain biking.
Who among us has not heard of such a city in Greece as Sparta. Moreover, the adjective "Spartan" has already become a household word in our language, denoting harsh and harsh methods of education. Those who studied history well at school remember what caused the glory of this city, but we will tell you more.
The city of Sparta was founded in the XI century. BC ... and was one of the most independent cities in ancient Greece. First, this territory was developed by the Achaeans, and in the X century. BC ... captured by the Dorians. For the Spartans, the main values in life were courage and patriotism, thanks to which Sparta could do without walls until the period of the Roman Empire. The basis of the polis was the legislation that was established by King Lycurgus. So Sparta from a military democratic city turned into a slave republic.
The population was divided into 3 strata: aristocracy (homey - full citizens), common people (hypomeyons - people who have partially lost their rights) and dependent (helots - slaves). The upbringing system in Sparta was quite tough: children were considered the property of the state and from the age of 7 they were brought up in special military boarding schools in order to then defend their country from the encroachments of strangers.
Another moment familiar to the modern world is the story of the 300 Spartans based on real events. Sparta played a key role in the development of not only Greece, but also the subsequent history of Europe.
Now, little is left of ancient Greek Sparta. The modern city was rebuilt in the first half of the 19th century and is now a commercial, agricultural and political center. Numerous enterprises of the textile, chemical and food industries are located on its territory. The entertainment and tourism business is developing rapidly. However, Sparta is interesting, first of all, for its monuments of architecture and history, of which there are enough.
The city itself is located at an altitude of about 200 meters above sea level on the right bank of the Evrotas River in the southern part of the Peloponnese, 153 km from Athens. According to the 2011 census, about 16 thousand inhabitants live in Sparta. Due to its location, the climate in Sparta is Mediterranean - with mild winters and hot summers. On the hottest days, the air temperature can rise up to 30 ⁰C, and on the coldest days, it can drop to 0C. Despite the fact that Sparta is not a coastal city, it is close to the waters of the Messinian and Laconian gulfs. There you will be greeted by sandy and pebble beaches with all the necessary infrastructure.
The city of Sparta in Greece on the map
How to get there
The basic concepts of tourism, types, means, methods and forms of tourist activity are revealed, various aspects of tourism are analyzed: the motivation of tourist trips, management and marketing of tourism, the legislative framework.