Brief History of Greece

The history of Greece is a rich tapestry that has significantly influenced Western civilization. The roots of Greek history stretch back to the Bronze Age with civilizations like the Minoans on Crete and the Mycenaeans on the Greek mainland.

After the decline of the Mycenaean civilization around 1100 BCE, Greece entered a Dark Age where literacy and organization waned. By the Archaic Period (c. 800–500 BCE), the Greek alphabet was developed and the city-states, or “poleis,” like Athens and Sparta, became more organized and influential.

During this time, colonization also helped to spread Greek culture throughout the Mediterranean. The Classical Period (c. 500–323 BCE) saw Greece repel the Persian invasions in the famous Persian Wars, which led to a brief alliance among various Greek states.

Athens entered its Golden Age, marked by the birth of democracy and contributions from figures like Socrates, Plato, and Pericles. However, the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta led to the weakening of these city-states.

Macedonia, under Philip II and his son Alexander the Great, eventually conquered the weakened Greek states. Alexander’s empire stretched from Greece to India, disseminating Greek culture far and wide.

Following Alexander’s death, Greece entered the Hellenistic Period (323–31 BCE), marked by division and rule under various successor states. Eventually, Greece became part of the Roman Empire, then later the Byzantine Empire, retaining its cultural influence even as political power shifted.

After a period of Ottoman rule, modern Greece gained independence in the 19th century and has since been a nation navigating between its ancient legacy and its role in the modern world.

About Greece

Country Code: +30.

Crime: Greece is generally considered to be a safe country. Common crimes in tourist areas include pickpocketing, bag-snatching, and other forms of petty theft. Scams targeting tourists can also occur, particularly in urban centers and heavily-touristed islands.

In recent years, Greece has faced economic challenges, including a significant economic crisis that started in 2008. Economic hardship often correlates with an uptick in crime, but Greece has remained relatively safe despite these challenges. Protests and strikes occur more frequently in times of economic or political tension and can sometimes lead to confrontations between police and protesters, but these are not usually targeted at tourists or the general populace.

Organized crime does exist, as it does in many countries, but it largely operates in the background and is not usually a concern for the average citizen or tourist. Drug trafficking and human smuggling are issues that the Greek government and international organizations are working to combat.

Cybercrime, fraud, and corruption also exist, but again, these are issues that most tourists or average citizens are unlikely to encounter.

Greece has also been a primary entry point for refugees and migrants into Europe. This has led to political and social tension, though the crime rate has not significantly spiked because of this.

Currency: EU Euro.

Electricity: Type F, but Type C and Type E can also be used (2-pin round for all).

Language: Greek.

Latitude and Longitude: 39.0742° N, 21.8243° E.

Population: 10.64 million (2021).

President: Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

National Parks

Pindus National Park

Located in the Pindus mountain range in Northern Greece, Valia Calda is one of Europe’s most biodiverse regions. It is home to several endangered species, including the brown bear, wolves, and Balkan chamois.

The park’s dense forests are primarily composed of beech, pine, and fir trees. Valia Calda is a hiker’s paradise with several trails offering varying levels of difficulty and stunning scenic views.

Samaria Gorge National Park

This park on the island of Crete is home to the Samaria Gorge, one of the longest gorges in Europe, stretching over 16 kilometers. The hike through the gorge can take between 5 to 7 hours and takes you through a diverse range of landscapes including rocky terrains, forests, and riverbeds.

The park is also home to the endangered Cretan wild goat, locally known as “kri-kri.”

Vikos- Aoos National Park

Situated in the region of Epirus, the Vikos Gorge within the park is listed as the world’s deepest canyon relative to its width by the Guinness Book of Records. The gorge is a haven for ornithologists, with over 100 species of birds recorded.

The Aoös river, which flows through the park, is also a hotspot for activities like rafting.

Mount Olympus National Park

Mount Olympus is Greece’s highest peak and is steeped in mythology as the home of the Twelve Olympian gods and goddesses. The national park is a hub for mountaineering and trekking, with various routes available, some of which lead to the mountain’s highest peak, Mytikas.

The area is also rich in biodiversity, with hundreds of species of flora and fauna, some of which are endemic to the region.

Alonissos National Park

Alonissos Marine Park is the largest marine protected area in Europe. Located in the Northern Sporades islands, the park is particularly known for its population of the Mediterranean monk seal, one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world.

The park is also rich in fish species and is a popular spot for diving and snorkeling.

Prespa National Park

Surrounding the Prespa Lakes that are shared between Greece, Albania, and North Macedonia, this park is a significant wetland area that provides habitats for numerous bird species, including the endangered Dalmatian pelican. The park is a popular destination for birdwatching, particularly in the migratory seasons.

Zakynthos National Park

This marine park is located in the Bay of Laganas on the island of Zakynthos. One of its main attractions is as a nesting ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta).

The park also includes a variety of ecosystems like dunes, wetlands, and underwater seagrass meadows.

Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest National Park

Situated in the Evros region in northeastern Greece, this park is renowned as one of Europe’s major bird-of-prey reserves. Over 36 species of raptors, including the rare black vulture and the eastern imperial eagle, can be observed here.

Top Tourist Attractions 

Greece is a land steeped in history, myth, and natural beauty. Here’s a look at some of the top tourist attractions the country has to offer.

Athens: The Acropolis

One of the most iconic archaeological sites in the world, the Acropolis dominates the Athenian skyline. At its heart lies the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens.

Beyond its historical and architectural significance, the Acropolis also offers panoramic views of the sprawling city below. The nearby Acropolis Museum provides further context to the ruins, housing artifacts recovered from the site.

Santorini: Scenic Views and Sunsets

Santorini is a postcard-perfect island known for its dazzling sunsets and cliff-side villages with white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches. The towns of Fira and Oia are particularly popular for their sunset views.

Santorini’s beaches are another draw, offering unique landscapes due to their volcanic origins, with Red Beach and Kamari Beach being notable spots.

Mykonos: Beaches and Nightlife

Mykonos is part of the Cyclades islands and is especially famous for its vibrant nightlife, which includes a range of bars, clubs, and beach parties. By day, visitors can enjoy the island’s sandy beaches, like Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach, or explore the charming, narrow streets of Mykonos Town.

Delphi Archaeological Site

Nestled in the slopes of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was once considered the “center of the world” in ancient Greek religion. The site was home to the Oracle of Delphi, who offered prophecies to seekers of wisdom.

The site consists of a series of temples, a stadium, a theater, and the ancient Sanctuary of Apollo, all set against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty.


This northern Greek city is a bustling metropolis that offers a different vibe from Athens. It has an array of cultural landmarks, including the White Tower, the Rotunda, and a host of Byzantine churches.

The Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Byzantine Culture offer rich insights into the area’s history.


Meteora, which means “suspended in the air,” lives up to its name. The site consists of monasteries perched atop towering rock formations.

These monasteries were originally built by monks seeking solitude and spiritual connection. Apart from its religious significance, Meteora is also a geological marvel and offers numerous opportunities for rock climbing and hiking.


Crete is Greece’s largest island and offers a diverse set of attractions, from the ancient ruins of the Minoan civilization at Knossos to the stunning beaches of Elafonissi and Balos. The Samaria Gorge, another major attraction, offers a challenging yet rewarding hike.


Olympia is where the ancient Olympic Games were born, and the site includes ruins of various athletic facilities, temples, and other structures. The museum at Olympia houses important statues and other artifacts that offer a glimpse into the athletic and religious practices of ancient Greece.


The Old Town of Rhodes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. The Palace of the Grand Master and the Street of the Knights are particularly noteworthy.


Also known as Shipwreck Beach, Navagio is one of Greece’s most photographed beaches. Accessible only by boat, the beach is framed by towering cliffs and features the rusting remains of a ship that was wrecked on its shores.

Corinth Canal

Although not ancient, the Corinth Canal is a marvel of modern engineering. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and connects the Aegean Sea to the Ionian Sea.

The sheer cliffs on either side make for an impressive sight and are a popular spot for bungee jumping.

Mount Athos

Mount Athos, also known as the Holy Mountain, is an autonomous monastic state. It’s home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and is accessible only to male pilgrims.

Special permits are required to visit, but those who make the journey describe it as a deeply spiritual experience.