Greece is a country in the south-east of Europe that is directly below the countries of Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Greece is also made up of many islands and over 220 of these have a permanent population. The country has a rich history that dates back to the earliest civilizations of Europe. The following are some fun facts about Greece that you might find interesting.
Interesting facts about Greece
- The official name of Greece is the Hellenic Republic and the official language is Greek. It is a member country of the European Union. Modern Greece was formed in 1830 after the Greek War of Independence.
- The population of Greece is about 11 million and about two thirds of the population live in urban areas. The largest city, and the capital of Greece, is Athens with a population of just over 3 million people.
- Greece is a relatively small country that is about 132,000 km² (about 51,000 mi.²). The territories of Greece contain over 1400 islands and the largest is the island of Crete. Even though it is a small country, thanks to its many islands, it has the 12th longest coastline in the world. Much of the country is mountainous and the highest peak is Mount Olympus at 2,917 m (9,570 feet).
- Ancient Greece is credited with much of the development of Western civilization. It was the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, the Olympic games, university education, as well as many important scientific and mathematical discoveries. This rich history is responsible for many of the 17 UNESCO world heritage sites in Greece.
- The beauty and ancient history of Greece makes it a very popular countries with tourists. It is estimated that over 20 million people visit the country each year. Greece is also popular for its wonderful climate. It averages over 250 days of sunshine a year.
- The currency of Greece is the Euro which was adopted in 2002. Prior to this time the currency was known as the drachma.
- The official sport of Greece is football (soccer) and there are 16 teams in the country’s highest professional league. The best result the Greek national team has ever achieved was winning Euro 2004 (the European Football Championship).