Greece Geography

The surface area of Greece is 309,050 km² including inland waters of the Aegean basin, islands and islets. The distances of extremes in a straight line are SE-NW 993 km and SN 800 km and their geographical location between the parallels N35 and N42.


As a country that belongs to European Union according to, Greece is mostly mountainous and has several chains including the Dinaric Alps to the west (which through islands change direction towards the southeast to the south of the Peloponnese); Rhodope Mountains, the Olympus chain among others. The extensive chain of the Pindus separates Epirus from Thessaly.

Greece is the country in Europe with the highest number of mountain peaks. Its highest height is found in the Olympus chain, on Mount Mytikas 2,919 meters above sea level, this being the 4th in Europe in prominence (real height from base to summit) surpassed only by Mont Blanc, Mulhacén peak and Mount Etna. Its height of prominence is 2,919, coinciding with its height above sea level since its base is at 0 meters above sea level.

Its terrain is mainly based on mountains with ranges that extend into the sea as a peninsula or island chains.

The main mountains of the country are:

  • Mytikas Peak on Mount Olympus (2,919 m)
  • Smólikas (2,637 m)
  • Grammos (2.55 0m)
  • Giona (2,540 m)
  • Gamila (2,500 m)
  • Parnassus (2,457 m)
  • Léfka Óri (2.454 m)
  • Cilene (2.374m)
  • Erimanto (2,221m)


The vast northern plain of the country is crossed by the Axiós and Struma rivers. The Peneo is a mighty river that crosses the plain of Thessaly.

The rivers have two slopes, the Aegean and the Ionian. The Aegean rivers are going to give: Axiós, Strymonas, Aliákmonas, Pineiós and Kifisós. To the Ionian: Alfeiós, Achelóos and Árachthos.

With 9,000 islands, islets and rocky outcrops, 15,021 km of coastline (more than 16,000 km of coastline including rocky outcrops), being the second in Europe after Norway and tenth in the world behind the United States in coastal length. The Aegean Sea has been of great importance in the history and development of Hellenistic culture and civilization.

The main Greek islands in the Ionian Sea are the Ionian Islands ; in the Cretan Sea there is Crete and in the Aegean Sea, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. Some of these islands are a continuation of the continent, such as the arid Cyclades, of volcanic origin.

The main gulfs on its coastline are: Gulf of Thessaloniki, Gulf of Corinth, Gulf of Patrai, Gulf of Strymónas, Gulf of Vólos and Gulf of Euboea. The Isthmus of Corinth links Central Greece with the Peloponnese.


The climate of Greece is similar to that of the other Mediterranean countries. In the lowlands, summers are dry, hot, and clear skies, and winters are rainy. Mountain areas are much colder, with higher rainfall. Snow and frost are not frequent in the lowlands, but cover the mountains in winter. Precipitation varies greatly from region to region. In Thessaly, some years it falls less than 38 mm, while in certain parts of the west coast about 1,270 mm is received. The average annual temperature in Athens is about 17 ° C; extreme temperatures range from the usual lows of -0.6 ° C in January to highs of 37.2 ° C in July.

Natural resources

Greece is endowed with natural resources of low economic value. Less than a third of the land is arable; the rest is made up mostly of unproductive mountains. Forests, very abundant in ancient times, have greatly diminished, although today they still occupy 29.1% of the national surface. Soil erosion has hampered reforestation efforts.

It lacks coal and its lignite is of low quality, although, on the other hand, the country has considerable oil and natural gas deposits. These are located under the Aegean, near the island Thásos. Bauxite and Iron ore deposits are rich in metal content, but the reserves of other minerals of commercial importance such as Chromium, Nickel, Copper, Uranium and Manganese are relatively small. Although the waters surrounding the country are inhabited by a wide variety of species, only a few are abundant.

Flora and fauna

Greece has a very varied vegetation. From sea level to a height of about 460 m, oranges, olives, dates, pomegranates, figs, cotton and tobacco are grown. Deciduous and evergreen forests can be found in the territory, in which some species such as oak, black pine, hazel, beech and sumac grow. Tulips, hyacinths and laurel are characteristic of the area. Fir trees and wildflowers, such as garden anemones and cyclamen, can be found above 1,220 m; Mosses and lichens predominate over 1,525 m of altitude.

The most outstanding animal species are the wild boar, the brown bear, the lynx, the jackal, the mountain goat, the deer, the fox, the badger and the weasel. Some species of birds are the hawk, the pelican, the egret, the pheasant, the partridge, the nightingale, the dove

Greece Geography