Interesting facts about Greece

Greece is an amazing country that is fraught with treasures such as rich history, architecture, unique culture, mild Mediterranean climate, delicious cuisine and many others. It’s a place where you can relax your body and soul, to promote your health and settle your nerves. "Greece has everything" – this popular expression is actually near the mark. But what is this “everything”? What are the reasons that attract people all over the world to this beautiful country? We have gathered some of the most interesting facts about Greece that you may not know:

  • Tourism is one of the key sectors of Greek economy: revenues from tourism account for about 15% of GDP. The flow of tourists from around the world is growing every year: in 2013, Greece was visited by about 20 million people; this number increased to 23 million in 2014, and in 2015, 25 million visitors set up a new record.

  • The number of sunny days in Greece exceeds 250. The hottest month is August when the temperature rises to 35 ° C. The swimming season begins in mid-May and lasts until the end of October.
  • After Spain, Greece is second country in the number of "Blue Flag" awards: since 1987 this title is being annually conferred on the beaches and piers where the water meets high quality standards and is suitable for safe swimming. In 2014, it was conferred upon 408 Greek beaches, once again taking second place among more than 50 countries.

  • Greece takes first place in Europe in terms of the seas surrounding its territory. The country is washed by five seas: Aegean and Thracian Seas in the east, Ionian Sea on the west, Mediterranean and the Sea of Crete in the south.
  • Greece is famous for its delicious food. Traditional Greek cuisine is not only varied and extremely tasty, but also very useful: it is a typical Mediterranean cuisine, which has been recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. The main ingredients of Greek cuisine are olives and olive oil, goat and sheep cheese, fruits and vegetables, greens, meat and seafood.

  • Greek "meze" or "mezedes" (in plural) is a set of small dishes with a variety of snacks that are served before the meal. It was meze that became the prototype of a buffet. You will find Mezedes on the menu of almost any tavern, but they differ from each other in different places. It may be dips and sauces, a variety of sausages, burgers and meatballs, meat or seafood, mushrooms, vegetables or stuffed leaves. As a rule, Greeks meze is just an appetizer before the main meal, but they are so filling that inexperienced stomach may no longer fit the main dish after such a “snack”.
  • Since the beginning of the financial and economic crisis property prices in Greece fell by 200-250%, that is more than in 2 times. Together with favorable tax treatment it created propitious atmosphere for long-term investments, which today attracts people from all over the world.
  • 98% of the population belongs to the Greek Orthodox Church and Orthodoxy is enshrined in the Constitution as the state religion. Church in Greece is not separated from the state, and on the third "finger" of Halkidiki peninsula there is an Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain – the monastic republic with its own form of government.

  • Apart from the mainland, the territory of Greece consists of more than 1 400 islands. However, only 227 of these islands are inhabited and only 78 of them have over 100 residents. There’s no other country in the world that would have as many islands as Greece.