Greece, officially called The Hellenic Republic, is a country in south-east Europe with a population of about 11 million people living over an area of 131,957 km².

It has an area of mainland, which is very mountainous, with hundreds of small islands dotted around it in the Aegean and Ionian seas. The country is divided into three geographical regions: the mainland, the islands and Peloponnese, the peninsula south of the mainland.

The national flag of Greece consists of four white and five blue horizontal stripes, with a white cross in the upper inner corner. Many believe that: the blue represents the colour of the sea, the white represents the waves and the cross stands for Christianity, which is the country's major religion.

Flag of Greece

It has a Mediterranean climate with sunny, hot summers and mild, wet winters. Temperatures average about 30oC in the months of: June, July and August, although the warm, dry days are cooled by seasonal winds called the metemi. From December to February, the temperatures then lower to between 13oC and 15oC and the mountains usually get covered in snow. Rainfall peaks at about 65mm in December and January but lowers to only 6mm in July and August.

Flickr - ronsaunders47 - GOLDEN BEACH. THASSOS. GREECE.

Most Greeks speak the modern Greek language and the country's currency is the Euro, which is divided up into 100 cents. It's Internet domain is .gr and it's time zone is GMT+2 (which means that it is two hours ahead of the UK).

Euro banknotes