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Greek peninsula

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Greek peninsula

Geography of Greece

Greece is a country located in Southern Europe, its mainland located at the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. Greece is surrounded on the north by Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia and Albania; to the west by the Ionian Sea; to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and to the east by the Aegean Sea and Turkey. The country ranges approximately in latitude from 35°00′N to 42°00′N and in longitude from 19°00′E to 28°30′E. As a result, it has considerable climatic variation, as discussed below. The country consists of a large mainland; the Peloponnese, a peninsula connected to the southern tip of the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth; and a large number of islands, including Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. According to the CIA World Factbook, Greece has 13,676 kilometres (8,498 mi) of coastline [1]

80% of Greece is mountainous, and the country is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe. The Pindus, a chain of mountains lies across the center of the country in a northwest-to-southeast direction, with a maximum elevation of 2637 m. Extensions of the same mountain range stretch across the Peloponnese and underwater across the Aegean, forming many of the Aegean Islands including Crete, and joining with the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey. Central and Western Greece contain high and steep peaks dissected by many canyons and other karstic landscapes, including the Meteora and the Vikos Gorges - the latter being one of the largest of the world and the third deepest after the Copper Canyon in Mexico and the Grand Canyon in the USA, plunging vertically for more than 1,100 metres. Mount Olympus is the highest point of Greece and the fourth highest in relative topographical prominence in Europe, rising to 2,919 m above sea level. The Rhodope Mountains form the border between Greece and Bulgaria; that area is covered with vast and thick forests. Plains also are found in eastern Thessaly, in central Macedonia and in Thrace. Western Greece contains lakes and wetlands.

Climate

Main article: Climate of Greece

Greece's climate is divided into three main classes:

The southern suburbs of Athens are in the Mediterranean zone, while northern suburbs have a temperate climate.It has an occasional hot climate.

Physical geography

Greece is located in Southern Europe, bordering the Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey. It is in a strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and the southern entrance to the Turkish Straits. It is a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 3,000 islands.

It has a total area of 131 940 km²[2] Of this, land area is 130 800 km², internal waters (Lakes and rivers) account for 1 140 km². Land boundaries measure 1,228 km, bordering Albania 282 km, Republic of Macedonia 228 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km

Greece's coastline measures 15 021 km.

Regions of Greece
Cities and islands of Greece


Mainland

Mainland Greece forms the southernmost part of the Balkan peninsula, in the north including parts of the historical regions of Macedonia and Thrace, further to the south narrowing into a "Greek peninsula" in its own right, including historical Epirus, Thessaly, Achaea, Boeotia and Attica, and concluding in the separate peninsula of Peloponnese, comprising the historical territories Sparta, Corinth and Argos, all surrounding the peninsula's heartland of Arcadia.

The major mountain range of Greece is Olympus, separating Thessaly from Macedonia. Its highest peak rises to 2,919 m above sea level, making it the second highest of the entire Balkan peninsula after peak Musala in the Rila Mountain.

Islands

Greece has a very large number of islands and islets, most of them in the Aegean Sea. No exact figures exist for their total number. Depending on the minimum size to take into account, estimates vary between approximately 1,200 and 6,000.[3] A figure frequently cited in travel guides is 1,425 islands, of which 166 are said to be inhabited.[4] The Greek Tourism Organization speaks of 6,000, with 227 of them inhabited.[5]

Further information: List of islands of Greece

Crete

Main article: Geography of Crete

Crete is the largest island of Greece and the second largest (after Cyprus) in the Eastern Mediterranean. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west and 60 km at its widest, although the island is narrower at certain points, such as in the region close to Ierapetra, where it reaches a width of only 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km², with a coastline of 1046 km ; to the north it broaches the Sea of Crete; to the south the Libyan Sea; in the west the Myrtoan Sea, and toward the east the Karpathion Sea. It lies approximately 160 km south of the Greek mainland.

Crete is characterized by a mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different subranges:

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