Mainland Greece and its Islands

Ancient Greece - The Home of Civilization

Ancient Greece was a leading light on the world stage. However, of course, centuries ago this stage was somewhat different. It is fair to say, though, that the western world's civilisation owes much to Ancient Greece.

Ancient Greece expanded its boundaries and covered a much larger area than today. Its demise came with a Roman victory and the march of the Roman Empire.

Map of GreeceThe Ancient Greeks were leaders in mathematics and the science of the day, with notable citizens, such as Pythagaros and Archimedes. The culture of the day also created stunning architecture which still has influences around the world.

In fact, considering the time period, the ancient Greeks were very civilised. They appreciated literature and laid down the basic structure for modern day philosophy. Many Greek words have found their way into the English language, and languages around the world.

Greek religion at the time involved many gods, those of Greek Mythology, but modern Greeks tend to follow the Greek Orthodox faith.

Greece Today

Greece is made up of a mainland and hundreds of smaller Islands.

Mainland Greece, is home to the countries Capital city, Athens, where the Acropolis sits high over the city. Each small Island though has its own Capital.

The country is classified into 13 main areas which are:

The areas or peripheriesAttica, Central Greece, Central Macedonia, Crete, East Macedonia and Thrace, Epirus, Ionian Islands, North Aegean, Peleponesse, South Aegean, Thessaly, West Greece and West Macedonia.

The above means that even smaller Islands belong to a particular group or periphery. Many people think that Cyprus is part of Greece but this is not true. If you visit the Southern part of Cyprus though, you will find many similarities to Greece.

In the North, Greece has land borders with Albania, Turkey, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Its other borders are with the Ionian and Aegean seas and the Mediteranean.

World map showing the location of Greece


Greece is a popular holiday destination for tourists, especially those from Europe. Visitors tend to flock to mainland Greece for culture, history and archaeology, whereas sunseekers tend to visit the Greek Islands.

Ancient OlympicsThe weather in Northern Greece pales in comparison to that of the Greek Islands. These islands tend to enjoy a warm, sunny climate, for most of the year.

Each Island has a different feel to it and its own way and pace of life. The Islands are more relaxed and less hurried than cities on the mainland. The islands vary from lush, in the Ionian Islands, to dry and less green on Islands such as Kos, for example.

Olympics in GreeceUnfortunately tourism has spoiled some of the more commercial resorts.

Some areas are full of nightclubs with visitors drinking until, well into the night.

However, Greece still has a lot to offer. Greece has wonderful beaches, friendly local people and stunning scenery.

The Olympics

Greece is also the birthplace of our modern Olympic Games. In 776 BC these games began at Olympia, Greece. The games were held in a grove dedicated to the Greek God Zeus. Statues and temples were constructed in this grove and so the games were traditionally held in splendid surroundings.

Food and Drink

The mediteranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world. The chefs use liberal amounts of olive oil, olives, fresh vegetables, goat's cheese, lamb and little red meat.

Particular favourites, with tourists, are Greek Salad, stuffed vine leaves, Moussaka, Souvlaki which is a Kebab and Dolmades, which are stuffed peppers and the like. The local drink is either Retsina wine, or Ouzo, which is a highly potent, aniseed flavoured spirit.


The Greek currency is the Euro.


Greece is not a huge country and yet it offers a wealth of diversity. Its history is fascinating and pertinent to most people.

One thing is without doubt, though. The Greeks are great hosts and a warm welcome is always guaranteed.