Living in Greece
Ya Sas (hello) and Herete (welcome) to Greece, situated at the crossroads of three continents in the southern part of the Balkan peninsula in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is a beautiful country, when you get to know it, encapsulated in this quotation from the novelist Henry Miller: 'In one way or another, at some time or other, we have all been there, even if only in a dream.'
Greece has a total area in excess of 130,000 square kilometers and consists of mainland and islands, which occupy approximately 20 per cent of the total area and contribute to Greece's severely indented coastline of over 15,000 kilometres. Greece borders on the north with Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and on the north east with Turkey. It is Europe's closest link to the Middle East. With the European Union operating as a single market, Greece is ideally situated as an entry port to the EU from the Middle East, North Africa and most of the north-east Balkan countries. Greece is surrounded on three sides by sea: the Aegean in the east, the Ionian in the west and the sea of Crete in the south.
Over 80 per cent of Greece's land space is covered by mountains, the highest of which is Mount Olympus at 2,917 metres in the east central region. The principal mountain range, Pindus, runs north to south in western Greece. Less than 30 per cent of the total land is cultivated. Expansive plains abound in Thessaly and Macedonia and to a lesser extent in the north west of the Peloponnese, a peninsula which was connected to the rest of the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth. The Corinth Canal, completed in 1893, makes an artificial island of the Peloponnese.