Geography of Greece
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The country of Greece is located in southeastern Europe, on the southern end of the Balkanic peninsula. Greece is surrounded on the north by Bulgaria, the FYROM and Albania; to the west by the Ionian Sea; to the south by the Mediterranean Sea and to the east by the Aegean Sea. 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 mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth; and around 3000 islands, including Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. Greece has 15000 kilometres (9300 mi.) of coastline. 80% of Greece is mountainous, and the country is one of the most mountainous countries of Europe. Western Greece contains lakes and wetlands. The Pindus Mountains lie in the country's centre, with an average elevation of 2650 m. They continue as the islands of Kythera, Antikythera and end in the islands of Crete and Rhodes. The islands of the Aegean Sea are peaks of underwater mountains that are a geological extension of the Pindus. 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 second deepest after the Grand Canyon, plunging vertically for more than 1100 meters. Mount Olympus is the highest point of Greece and the fourth highest in Europe, rising to 2919 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.
Greece's climate is divided into three classes:
- A Mediterranean climate features mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures rarely reach extremes, although snowfalls do occur occasionally even in Athens, Cyclades or Crete during the winter.
- An alpine climate is found primarily in Western Greece (Epirus, Central Greece, Thessaly, Western Macedonia as well as central parts of the Peloponnese like Achaea, Arkadia and parts of Lakonia where the Alpine range pass by).
- A temperate climate is found in Central and Eastern Macedonia as well as in Thrace at places like Komotini, Xanthi and northern Evros; with cold, damp winters and hot, dry summers.
The southern suburbs of Athens are in the Mediterranean zone, while northern suburbs have a temperate climate.
 Fauna and flora
Seals, sea turtle and other rare marine life live in the seas around Greece, while Greece's forests provide home to Western Europe's last brown bears and lynx and to wolves, Roe Deer, Wild Goat, foxes and boars, amongst others.
total: 309,050 km²
land: 130,860 km² mainland-islands
water: 1,140 km² lakes-rivers 177,050 km² Aegean basin-Islets-Ambrakikos Kolpos-Korinthiakos Kolpos-Patraikos Kolpos all of them located within the boundaries of the territory (Attention: this refers neither to the territorial waters nor to the Ionian sea territorial waters, just to the enclosed Aegean region within the country itself bordered by the Peloponnese, Kythera and tens of other surrounding islets, Crete, Karpathos and other surrounding islets, Rhodes, the Dodecanese and the NE Aegean Islands with the exception of Imvros (Gökçeada) and Tenedos (Bozcaada) both belonging to Turkey. Out of this area to the east, the Aegean continues but that part out of the aforementioned Aegean basin belongs to Turkey.) <p>Area - comparative: slightly bigger than Arizona <p>Land boundaries:
total: 1,935 km
border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 931 km (206 km in the Evros river at NE Greece and 725 km in the Aegean from Thrace to Rhodes), the Former Yougoslavian Republic of Macedonia 228 km <p>Coastline: 15,021 km <p>Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nautical miles <p>Climate: Three well defined climatological areas; Mediterranean, Alpine, and Mid-European Temperate <p>Terrain: mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands <p>Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Olympus 2,919 m <p>Natural resources: bauxite, coal in lignite form, magnesite, petroleum, marble, zinc, nickel, lead, hydropower, wheat, fruit and vegetables, tobacco, olives, salt, sugar beets, grapes, cotton, livestock <p>Land use:
arable land: 19%
permanent crops: 8%
forests and woodland: 50%
other: 23% (1993 est.) <p>Irrigated land: 13,140 km² (1993 est.) <p>Natural hazards: severe earthquakes <p>Environment - current issues: air pollution; water pollution <p>Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol <p>Geography - note: strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 3,000 islands. The Country can be divided in three main geographic areas. The mainland, the islands and the Aegean basin.
 See also
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 External links
- A Geological Companion to Greece and the Aegean by Michael and Reynold Higgins, Cornell University Press, 1996