Greece Travel Information

Photo Greece achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories with Greek-speaking populations. Following the defeat of Communist rebels in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. A military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven years. Democratic elections in 1974 and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy; Greece joined the European Community or EC in 1981 (which became the EU in 1992).

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

Greece was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic period and by 3000 BC had become home, in the Cycladic Islands, to a culture whose art remains among the most evocative in world history. In the second millennium BC, the island of Crete nurtured the maritime empire of the Minoans, whose trade reached from Egypt to Sicily. The Minoans were supplanted by the Mycenaeans of the Greek mainland, who spoke a dialect of ancient Greek. During the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires (1st-19th centuries), Greece's ethnic composition became more diverse. Since independence in 1830 and an exchange of populations with Turkey in 1923, Greece has forged a national state which claims roots reaching back 3,000 years. The Greek language dates back at least 3,500 years, and modern Greek preserves many elements of its classical predecessor.

Important: Travel to Greece may require a travel visa. Whether a visa is required for travel depends on citizenship and purpose of journey. Please be sure to review Travisa's Greece visa instructions for details. Visa instructions for other countries are available on our do I need a visa page.

Country Statistics

Full country name: Hellenic Republic
Capital city: Athens
Area: 131,957 sq km
Population: 10,767,827
Ethnic groups: population: Greek 93%, other
Languages: Greek
Religions: Greek Orthodox
Government: parliamentary republic
Chief of State: President Karolos PAPOULIAS
Head of Government: Prime Minister Antonis SAMARAS
GDP: 293.9 billion
GDP per captia: 26,300
Annual growth rate: 6.9%
Inflation: 3.3%
Agriculture: wheat, corn, barley, sugar beets, olives, tomatoes, wine, tobacco, potatoes
Major industries: tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products
Natural resources: lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential
Location: Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey
Trade Partners - exports: Italy 9.5%, Turkey 7.9%, Germany 7.9%, Cyprus 6.1%, Bulgaria 5.5%, US 5.2%, China 5.1%, Switzerland 4.7%, Belgium 4.7%, Poland 4.3%
Trade Partners - imports: Germany 10.6%, Russia 9.4%, Italy 9.2%, China 5.7%, Netherlands 5.5%, France 5%, Iran 4.5%, Czech Republic 4.1%