Greece Fast Facts

Population: 10,773,253

Capital City: Athens

Climate: Temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Time Zone: GMT+2

Language: Greek

Country Code: 0030

Coastline: 13,676 km

In toy-town harbors, weather-beaten fishermen repair bright yellow nets. Donkeys clop down steep alleyways and wayward goats try to scrabble up into olive trees. White houses cascade with jasmine…cats of every color doze away on terraces…ya-yas (wizened old ladies) sit in doorways shelling peas and exchanging gossip. And the Aegean Sea is as idyllic as in Homer’s day: mother of pearl at dawn…deep blue at midday…shot-silk at twilight.

Greece is gorgeous. Of its hundreds of islands and islets, 166 are inhabited—so there is bound to be an island for you. Or consider the Peloponnese mainland—stunningly attractive, but barely known to North Americans.

Greece still holds onto a lot of its customary charm: particularly the islands, with their white-washed houses on stony hills; black-clad women delivering citrus and vegetables, carried by panniered donkeys to local tavérnas (taverns); leathery old fishermen sitting around in the sun, passing the time of day.

Even though tourism continues to make inroads into the traditional way of life, there is still something quite timeless about the whole scene. One fortuitous result of the extensive tourism trade is that many of the larger islands also have airports with connections to Athens, and (in peak seasons) with major European cities.

Speaking of the capital city, Athens—home to 4 million people—draws millions of visitors from all over the world every year. Of course the ancient ruins of the Parthenon, and other remains of Greek classical antiquity, have a huge part to play in that. Everyone should stand before these vestiges of civilization’s birth and marvel, at least once in their lives.

As with so many other Westernized countries, the Greek property market was hit by the financial crisis. Property prices in Greece had been increasing steadily since 2004, the year of the Olympics. Nationally, prices increased by 13% in 2005 and 2006. The year 2007 saw an increase of only 3.8%, with 2008 coming in at 2.6%

During 2009, the extent of the financial crisis unfolding in Greece had an impact on both mortgage availability and property transactions. In Athens prices fell by 3.1%. In Thessaloniki, the second largest city, prices fell 9.7%. Things have started to improve and prices have gone up in recent years, however.

Greece is big…and diverse. There are no square meter ball park figures. As with any country, price is driven by demand. In Athens and the major cities this demand is usually driven by employment opportunities, the most desirable neighborhoods etc. On the popular tourist islands, the strength of the demand from foreign and Athenian buyers is a major factor.

Resources

From the Archives of Greece

Part-Time Living on a Historic Greek Island for $1,000 a Month

Part-Time Living on a Historic Greek Island for $1,000 a Month

Growing up in suburban Vancouver, I always wanted to live in a village. The kind of village where houses fit so snugly together that, if you’re on a hillside overlooking the sea, the adjoining staircases and tongue-and-grooved patios and eaves save you from tumbling headlong to the shore.

Forget the Starving Writer Cliché…I Earned $500 in an Hour

Forget the Starving Writer Cliché…I Earned $500 in an Hour

Copy Writing
By |
April 20, 2016

A few years back, I was working a full-time, regular 9-to-5 teaching job. My bosses were inflexible, I was stressed, and I couldn't stand the work. When you're a teacher, you can't just take time off to travel. I'm also not a morning person, and waking up at 6 a.m. every day was tough. I was following the rules...and I don't like following rules. Writing was always my passion, but I had no idea how I would go about actually earning a living writing. Writers don't earn livings, everyone knows that. Right?

Property Bargains in Europe for Less Than $137,000

Property Bargains in Europe for Less Than $137,000

Expat-Advice
By |
August 14, 2014

Pundits are divided on whether Spain’s property market will see further price falls. A huge overhang of unsold homes remains, but for the first time in seven years, sales in Málaga province showed an increase in 2013. Spain will always be a popular retirement destination for northern Europeans, and the number of U.S. citizens registered as living in Spain has increased, too.

How I Hop Around the Globe with a Steady Income Stream

How I Hop Around the Globe with a Steady Income Stream

Copy Writing
By |
May 6, 2014

From 1993 to 1999, I traveled and lived all over the world. And during that time, I got to experience wonderful places like the white-sand beaches of the British Virgin Islands...the cafes of Aix-en-Provence, France...the wild summer parties of Corfu, Greece...the exotic culture of Bali, Indonesia...and more.

Crisis in Greece Pushes Property Prices into Free Fall

Crisis in Greece Pushes Property Prices into Free Fall

Real Estate
By |
August 31, 2012

Greece faces a great crisis today and its real estate is about to get dirt cheap. The country is in a classic “blood in the streets” situation…one that looks so hopeless that the public believes only a fool would want to buy real estate in the shadow of Athen’s Acropolis or on one of the country’s stunning Aegean islands. The story to this crisis goes back a few years.

Europe: Now More Affordable Than Ever for North Americans

Europe: Now More Affordable Than Ever for North Americans

Countries
By |
August 22, 2012

Right now, doom and gloom in Europe runs deep. But there is a story not being told…one of opportunity borne of this crisis. A story of places where you could own your own piece of the Old World…for less than half the price of a budget family sedan. In Greece and beyond—prices are falling like a rock. And for anybody who ever mused about a European retreat, that’s the silver lining.

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