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

Greece, Ireland, and Mexico: My Roving Retirement in 2018

Greece, Ireland, and Mexico: My Roving Retirement in 2018

Daily Postcard
By |
January 13, 2018

One of the best things about a “roving retirement” is that I can define what it means for me. When I began my living-abroad journey, it was difficult for me to commit to one place to move to, even with all the research I had done. I had a list of places that I wanted to “try on” first to see which one fit me best.

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.

Do You Have the Right to a Second Passport?

Do You Have the Right to a Second Passport?

Daily Postcard
By |
March 23, 2017

You may not have considered it, but you may have a right to become a citizen of more than one country—and doing so could change your life for the better. Under U.S. law, upheld by several U.S. Supreme Court decisions, “dual citizenship” (holding a second citizenship) does not jeopardize U.S. citizenship.

Top 10 Things To Do in Belize

Top 10 Things To Do in Belize

Countries
By |
March 25, 2019

If you’re planning your first trip to Belize it can be hard to decide what to do, given there are so many choices. Here’s a list of the top 10 activities to consider when planning your trip: 1. Visit a Mayan Ruin. Remnants of the amazing Mayan civilization have been found throughout Belize. After all, Belize was the center of the Mundo Maya. It’s a special treat to explore one of the unique ruins and step back in time. In the Cayo you have a choice of touring Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, or Caracol. If in Corozal, check out Santa Rita or Cerros. Even if you stay on Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker you can take a boat trip and tour of Lamanai or Altun Ha.

Top 10 Things To Do in Belize

Top 10 Things To Do in Belize

Countries
By |
March 25, 2019

If you’re planning your first trip to Belize it can be hard to decide what to do, given there are so many choices. Here’s a list of the top 10 activities to consider when planning your trip: 1. Visit a Mayan Ruin. Remnants of the amazing Mayan civilization have been found throughout Belize. After all, Belize was the center of the Mundo Maya. It’s a special treat to explore one of the unique ruins and step back in time. In the Cayo you have a choice of touring Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, or Caracol. If in Corozal, check out Santa Rita or Cerros. Even if you stay on Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker you can take a boat trip and tour of Lamanai or Altun Ha.