There’s a lot more to Greece than just the recent debt crisis or gyros. It’s considered the birthplace of Western civilization and the original home of democracy. This rich history plus stunning Mediterranean locales are just a couple reasons why Greece is Continental’s Country of the Week.
- Capital (and Largest City): Athens
- Population (2015): 10,992,589 (80th)
- Total Area: 131,957 km2 (97th)
- National Language: Greek
- Currency: Euro (€) (EUR)
It’s ancient history
Advanced civilization first flourished in Greece around the year 3200 BC and it remained the preeminent European power for almost three millennia. This was a time of gods and heroes.
Ancient Greece brought us tales such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, heroes like Alexander the Great and King Leonidas, the first Olympiad and so much more. Eventually the Roman Republic – influenced in many ways by Greek civilization – usurped the position of power in the region. Since then, Greece has had been part of the Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, and – eventually – an independent country. Today, Greece is a member of the European Union, though the recent economic troubles could lead to yet another shift, and potentially a new direction for Greece.
A proud and rich culture
Greek society is proud of their traditions and resilience in the face of hardship. Recent troubles haven’t dampened the people’s resolve and desire to improve their lot. Greeks possess strong, Orthodox Christian religious beliefs, plus a perpetual belief in both education and democracy – dating back millennia.
Today, Cafés, restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife are all part of the Greek lifestyle. Events, festivals, and museums all celebrate the rich history and traditions across the many Greek islands. Mediterranean, but also unique, get a taste of Greek living and you might just find that you’re hooked.
Greece: Land of the Gods
For a relatively small country, Greece plays host to a spectacular range of scenery. From Mt. Olympus – the famed abode of the Greek Gods – to coastlines stretching as far as the eye can see. There is an awe-inspiring beauty to the country.
Looking to take a holiday on a Greek island? Well there happen to be between 1200 and 6000 – depending on who’s counting. A trip around the Aegean will make it quite clear that there is a near infinite amount to discover.
Whether you prefer the cool mountain air, or would rather relax on the white sand beaches – you’ll find something that speaks to you. Best of all, the manageable size of Greece makes it easy to experience it all within hours. There’s something for everyone, and even a short stay in Greece will show you why Zeus, Athena, and all the rest chose this land as their home.
It’s a shame that Greece is only in the news these days for it’s economic and political problems. The country has a rich and proud history to which nowhere else in the world can compare. With an ideal climate, and a lifestyle both relaxing and energetic Greece will surely enchant anyone lucky enough to visit.
Stay tuned to the Continental Current for our Country of the Week. We’ll explore the familiar and the foreign, plus uncover some hidden gems.
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