Life in Greece

Greece is a democratic and developed country with a rich history and a very high standard of living.
It is a member of the European Union (EU), the Schengen Area and many other international
organisations. It is also the birthplace of democracy and philosophy and is considered by many the
cradle of Western civilisation.

Information in a Nutshell

Area: 131,990 sq. km
Population: 10.72 million (Eurostat, 2019)
Time Zone: GMT +2
Official Language: Greek (English is widely spoken)
Currency: Euro
Capital: Athens
Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy
Chief of State: President
Head of Government: Prime Minister

Where East Meets West

Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of
Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is also the strategic midpoint
between London and Dubai. The Aegean Sea lies to the
East of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the West, and the
Mediterranean Sea to the South.

Greece is one of the world’s largest shipping powers and
has the largest economy in the Balkans, where it acts as
an important regional investor.

Member of the EU and Other Organisations

Greece was the 10th member to join the European Union (EU) in 1981, before Spain (1986), Portugal
(1986), Sweden (1995) Austria (1995), Malta (2004) and the Czech Republic (2004). It has been part of
the Schengen Area since 1992 and the Eurozone since 2001.

The Greek banks are directly supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB).

Greece is one of the founding members of the United Nations (UN) and an old member in many
significant international institutions and organisations, including NATO, IMF, OECD, UNESCO and WHO.

Getting to Greece

You can travel to Greece by:

  • Road – Major roads link Greece with Europe and Asia.
  • Plane – The country’s over 15 international airports provide top-notch
    services and direct flights to many major cities across the globe. The
    country also has around 15 national airports that cater for domestic flights.
  • Train – Rail connections with Europe allow for a lovely nostalgic journey.
  • Sea – Greece has over 140 ports in main cities and islands that welcome
    ocean-going ships and local ferries all year round. The Port of Piraeus is
    one of the busiest passenger ports in Europe, providing connections between
    the mainland and almost all the Greek islands.

The Cradle of Western Civilisation

The history of Greece is one of the longest of any country, having been continuously inhabited since 270,000 BC.

Considered the cradle of all Western civilisation, it is the birthplace of democracy and philosophy. Modern democracies owe a debt to the Greek beliefs in government by the people, trial by jury, and equality under the law.

The ancient Greeks were pioneers in many fields of science that rely on systematic thought, including Biology, Geometry, History, Physics and Mathematics. They also introduced important literary forms, such as epic and lyric poetry, history, tragedy, and comedy.


An Awakening of the Senses

Greece is so steeped in culture and beauty that it seems you’ve never completely explored it, no matter how many times you visit it. The country is among the top tourist destinations for celebrities and Hollywood stars.

The capital, Athens, features many museums and sightseeing tours, with the Acropolis as its crown jewel.

If you are after sun-filled holidays by the beach, Greece has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi).
The country features a vast number of islands, with estimates ranging from 1,200 to 6,000. Out of those, around 220 are inhabited. So you will definitely find one with long sandy beaches, turquoise-blue waters and sun-bleached ancient ruins.

Hiking is another popular activity in Greece, where 80% of the terrain is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,917 m (9,570 ft).

The climate is temperate and mild, with very long periods of sunshine. Greece has over 300 days of sun, with a short mild winter season.

Greek Gastronomy
and Cuisine

Gastronomy has been deeply rooted in the Greek culture and lifestyle since ancient times. The Greek land produces unique products that contribute to the good health of Greeks, such as extra-virgin olive oil, aromatic herbs and spices, fresh vegetables and fruit, quality dairy products, meat, grains, fish and wine.

Traditional taverns and restaurants, famous souvlaki street food, European style deli spots and Michelin awarded chefs compose the gastronomic map of Greece.


Feels Like Home

Greeks are very generous to their guests, as they consider hospitality as one of the benchmarks of their philosophy.

It is extremely easy for someone to communicate in Greece as the majority of the population is fluent in English.

The greatest cluster of non-EU immigrant population is found in the larger urban centres, especially the Municipality of Athens, with the 132,000 immigrants, comprising 17% of the local population.

12 Years of High-Quality

Greeks have a long tradition of valuing and investing in education, which is both public and private.

Children start primary school at the age of 6 and continue their education for 6 years.

Attendance at secondary school starts at the age of 12 and lasts for 6 years (junior and senior high school). There are also international English-speaking schools and private high schools which offer International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes.

Holders of the Greek Golden Visa enjoy the same rights to education as the Greek citizens.


Public and Private
Health Services

The Greek healthcare system is marked by the co-existence of the National Health System (ESY), which requires mandatory social insurance contributions, and private insurance companies.

Public hospitals are the backbone of hospitalisation services, offering services to both locals and immigrants.

The private healthcare sector includes diagnostic centres and award-winning hospitals, which have been investing heavily in new medical equipment.

According to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures, life expectancy in Greece has been rising steadily since 1960 and is currently around 81 years.

Safety First

Greece is a developed and peaceful country, ranked among the safest in the world.

The crime rate is very low and Greeks are very polite and friendly. Anyone can safely wander through the streets, feeling no fear, even well into the night.


Environmentally Protected Areas

Greece currently has over 440 areas listed under the Natura 2000 network. This represents 28% of the country’s land and 20% of its marine territory.

Natura 2000 is the largest coordinated network of protected areas in the world. It recognises that humans and nature work best in partnership and mostly focuses on people working with nature rather than against it.
Its aim is not to exclude economic activities, but ensure they are compatible with the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats.

By encouraging sustainable forestry, fishing, agriculture and tourism, Natura 2000 also ensures the long-term future of the people who live in these areas and rely on these activities.

Clean Beaches

Greece is among the top 5 countries in Europe with the cleanest bathing water, with 95.7% of Greece’s waters ranked as “excellent” in 2019.

Based on EU legislation, the member states must monitor their bathing waters (rivers, lakes, ground waters and coastal waters) every year. The waters are classified according to their level of quality: poor, sufficient, good or excellent.

What’s more, Greece is ranked 2nd in the world in the number of blue-flag beaches and marinas, with 517 awarded sites.

The iconic blue flag is one of the world’s most recognised awards for beaches, marinas and sustainable boating tourism operators. To qualify for the blue flag, a site must meet a series of very strict environmental, educational, safety and accessibility criteria.

A second residency gives you travel freedom
and safeguards the next generations.