Interesting Facts about Greece.  

Not only is it amazingly beautiful, but it has a long and interesting history as well. Here are just a few of the interesting facts !

1. Approximately 25 million tourists visit Greece each year, more than the country’s entire population.

2. No one in Greece can choose to not vote. Voting is required by law for every citizen who is 18 or older.

3. Greek men must serve from one year to 18 months in any branch of the armed forces.

4. The saying “taking the bull by its horns” comes from the Greek myth of Hercules saving Crete from a raging bull by seizing its horns.

5. About 7% of all the marble produced in the world comes from Greece.

6. The world’s third leading producer of olives, the Greeks have cultivated olive trees since ancient times.

Some olive trees planted in the thirteenth century are still producing olives.

7. Greek has been spoken for more than 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest languages in Europe.

8. Greece has zero navigable rivers because of the mountainous terrain. Nearly 80% of Greece is mountainous.

9. In Greece, people celebrate the “name day” of the saint that bears their name rather than their own birthday.

10. According to Greek mythology, Athena and Poseidon agreed that whoever gave the city the best gift would become guardian over the city. Though Poseidon gave the gift of water, Athena’s gift of an olive tree was deemed by the other gods to be more valuable.

11. Greece has more than 2,000 islands, of which approximately 170 are populated.  Greece’s largest island is Crete

12. Over 40% of the population lives in the capital Athens (Athina in Greek).

13. Thousands of birds stop in Greece’s wetlands on their migrations. As many as 100,000 birds from northern Europe and Asia spend their winters there.

14. Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges.

15. Retirement homes are rare in Greece. Grandparents usually live with their children’s family until they die. Most young people live with their families until they marry.

16. Soccer (called football in Greece) in the national sport.

17. Feta, which is made from goat’s milk, is the Greece’s national cheese.

It dates back to the Homeric ages, and the average per-capita consumption of feta cheese in Greece is the highest in the world.

18. Greeks do not wave with an open hand. In fact, it is considered an insult to show the palm of the hand with the fingers extended. Greeks wave with the palm closed.

19. No point in Greece is more than 85 miles (137 kilometers) from water. Greece has about 9,000 miles of coastline, the 10th longest in the world.