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General information on Greece. Country profile, climate, health care, tips. Major airports, business hours.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Country profile

Official Name: Greece/Hellenic Republic
Area: 131,990 km² (50,944 sq. miles)
Highest Point: Mount Olympus 2,917 m
Lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

Population: est. 11,170,957 (2007)
Population density: 84/km² (218/sq. mile)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Total est. $391.395 billion (2007) Per capita $35,167
Human Development Index (HDI): 0.926 (high) (2005)

Capital: Athens
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Languages: Greek

Days of sunshine per year: about 300
Blue flag beaches: 430

Daily flights connect Greece to every European major airport. During the tourist season plenty of charter flights are available to Crete, Corfu and Zante. In winter you will have to use either a flight or ferry to connect you to Athens or Thessaloniki.

Major airports: Athens (ATH), Rhodes (RHO), Alexandroupolis (AXD), Kavala (KVA), Thessaloniki (SKG)
Main Ports: Agioitheodoroi, Aspropyrgos, Irakleion, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki

International dialing code: +30
Emergency services: Ambulance (178), Emergencies (175), Hospitals (166), Fire (199)
Internet top-level domain (TLD): .gr

Religions: Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslim 1.3%, other 0.7%
Time: GMT +2

Government: Parliamentary Republic
President: Karolos Papoulias
National holiday: Independence Day, 25 March (1821)

Business hours:

Offices: Mondays to Fridays 09:00 - 17.00 (with an hour's break at midday)
Banks: Mondays to Thursdays 08:30 - 14:00 (until 13:30 on Fridays)
Stores: Mondays to Saturdays 09:00 - 18:00

Most major credit cards are widely used and accepted.


LEARN MORE ABOUT...

Island of Thassos

The Cyclades

Porto Cheli


LEISURE, ENTERTAINMENT & CULTURE IN GREECE

Greece offers numerous archaeological sites, museums and galleries. Greece entertainment is an ideal mix of tradition with modernity. The theaters and cinemas and concerts in Greece give a feel of the rich civilization. Greek Amphitheaters are unique. The performers stage a play in an open boundary and the audience seated at a higher level enjoys the show. On the other hand, the bars, cafes and clubs all over the country, are a major source of Greece entertainment. The capital city of Athens has some of the finest clubs in the country.

The restaurants and taverns are also a major source of entertainment in Greece, especially for food lovers. Tourists get a chance to taste authentic Greek cuisine rich in traditional flavor and taste. Apart from this, these restaurants and taverns also serve Indian, Chinese, middle eastern and Thai cuisine. Click here to learn more


HEALTH CARE

Health care system in Greece is under-funded and overused, so it is wiser to use a private clinic if needed.

CLIMATE

Greece enjoys sub-tropical summers in the lowlands, but is cooled by the meltemi wind. Mountain areas are colder and can be snow-covered in the winter. On average, sun shines 3,000 hours per year - that's 8,5 hours a day.

MARKET PREDICTIONS

Greece has a comprehensive real estate market with opportunities throughout the country spanning the residential, commercial, retail and industrial property sectors. According to latest figures, property prices have increased year-on-year by 7% in the first quarter of 2007. One of the reasons that the market has diversified away from the already popular residential, second and holiday home sectors is the effect of the 2004 Olympics, which cannot be underestimated. Demand for rental accommodation was boosted and in turn heightened investors interest in new residential opportunities, particularly within Greeces major cities.
Greece remains a very alluring property destination as its low property values indicate that some serious profits can still be made both in capital growth and high value short-term rentals.

TOP TIP

Pay attention if your choice is an older property. You may find it difficult because usually these properties have more than one owner and before any deal can do ahead, every one of the owners should give his permission.

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