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GREECE: MYTH AND REALITY
Greece is an amazing country. Everybody loves it! There are definitely reasons to do it – the sea, light blue during the summer and royal blue in winter; the people – friendly, smiling, with black curly hair. We admire Greece for the sun shining 300 days a year, for the white yachts and the islands’ shapes in the horizon.

Greece is a relatively small country – the total area makes only 132 square kilometres. Partially it belongs to the European continent and borders with Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey. The other part of Greece is spread throughout many islands of the Mediterranean Sea. 

How many of islands are there?
Fifty? A couple of hundreds?
No, bit more than that!
Two thousands! 

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The water part that in all the world maps is called Mediterranean Sea, on the map of Greece is divided into Aegean, Ionic and Libyan Sea, not to mention the smaller seas and gulfs. All this diversity of waters surrounds a coastal line of Greece – the longest one in comparison with the other Mediterranean countries – more than 15 thousand kilometres.

The first impression of Greece usually is a smell of the sea. At any weather and season Greece welcomes you with a soft sea breeze.

An average temperature during the months of July and August is 32 degrees centigrade; in January-February it reaches approximately 12 degrees centigrade. The sea becomes «warm» in May, reaching average temperature 20-23 °C (and on the southern islands even warmer), and by September it rises up to 27-29 °C – what can be better for a scuba diving session?

Greek tourism season starts in the beginning of May, and the last charters leave in the middle of October. However, Russian tourists are keen to swim even during November and March while the local Greeks watch them from the coast wrapped in warm coats.

Greek is the official language of the country – one of the most ancient and the most difficult, the language of classic philosophy and literature, the language of the Bible and the first Church. The last reform on simplification of Greek language has been lead only in the middle '70s. Therefore still you meet elderly people speaking the language that for the youth is difficult to understand.

Since 1981 the Republic of Greece is a member of European Union. Besides, Greece is also a member of NATO, the European Council and OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

The national monetary denomination is Euro. In January, 2001 it replaced national drachma. The Greek Euro coin pictures an owl, the symbol of the goddess of wisdom – Athena – the same as the one on the tetra-drachms used in Athens in VI-V centuries BC.

Greece falls into the GMT + 2 time zone regarding Greenwich.

It's true that Greece is a small country, but it is the ones that gave Europe a basis of philosophy and a value of democracy, Russia – the alphabet and the Christian orthodox religion. Greece has it all...

Besides, many interesting events are happening in small Greece: interesting according to international standards, and ones that unite Greece with the rest of the world: the 2004 Olympic Games, Europe champion title in football, Eurovision of the last year in Kiev, and the Eurovision of the following in Athens. One of these days President Putin has visited Saint Mount Athos, and more recently Greek team has won European champion title in basketball.

So Greece becomes fashionable – world and Russian, attracting more tourists, more investors, more buyers and more visitors. And this is just the beginning of a long way ahead.
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