The wrath sing, goddess, of Peleus' son,
Achilles, that destructive wrath which
brought countless woes upon the Achaeans,
and sent forth to Hades many valiant souls
of heroes, and made them themselves spoil
for dogs and every bird; thus the plan of
Zeus came to fulfillment, [5] from the time
when first they parted in strife Atreus'
son, king of men, and brilliant Achilles.
Who then of the gods was it that brought
these two together to contend? The son of
Leto and Zeus; for he in anger against the
king roused throughout the host an evil
pestilence, and the people began to perish,
[10] because upon the priest Chryses the son
of Atreus had wrought dishonour.

MACEDONIA - VERGINA's STAR   

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Tell me, O Muse, of the man of many devices,
who wandered full many ways after he had
sacked the sacred citadel of Troy. Many were
the men whose cities he saw and whose mind
he learned, aye, and many the woes he
suffered in his heart upon the sea, [5]
seeking to win his own life and the return
of his comrades. Yet even so he saved not
his comrades, though he desired it sore, for
through their own blind folly they
perished--fools, who devoured the kine of
Helios Hyperion; but he took from them the
day of their returning. [10] Of these
things, goddess, daughter of Zeus, beginning
where thou wilt, tell thou even unto us.

The Greek peninsula, covering an area of 131,944 square kilometres and containing a population of about 10,000,000, consists of mainland Greece (Attica, the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Thessaly, Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace) and the Islands.

Geographically it belongs to Europe since it forms the most southerly extremity of the Balkan peninsula but it also has a special link with Europe through the small entity of the Ionian Islands (Zante, Ithaca, Corfu, Cephallonia, Lefkas and Paxi) which form a chain off Greece's western shores in the Ionian Sea.

Parthenon, ATHENS

The Saronic Gulf which is the stretch of sea linking the shores of Attica to those of the Peloponnese, contains a further group of small islands (Salamis, Aegina, Poros, Hydra and Spetses) which adds its variety to the general surroundings.

There are the numerous islands of the Aegean Sea, some isolated like Crete to the South, Ikaria, Chios and Lesbos to the East, Thassos and Samothraki to the North.

The Cyclades consist of 39 islands of which 24 are inhabited, the more important ones being Amorgos, Anafi, Andros, Antiparos, Delos, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Folegandros, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini (also called Thera), Serifos, Sikinos, Sifnos, Syros, Tinos.

Santorini, CYCLADES

Lindos, RHODOS

The Dodecanese group consists of twelve major islands, Astipalea, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Kassos, Kastelorizo, Kos, Lipsos, Leros, Nissiros, Patmos, Rhodos, Symi and a number of smaller islands, each with its distinctive features and peculiarities.

The Sporades, consisting of Alonissos, Skiathos, Skopelos and Skyros, lie of the eastern shores of mainland Greece and retain their genuine island characteristics and unchanged local traditions.

Variety is, in fact, the hallmark of the Greek geographical landscape generally. On the one hand, there are high mountains and entire mountain ranges such as the Pindos range (also known as Greece's backbone) or Mount Olympus (with its summit the Pantheon, the highest peak in Greece at an altitude of 2,917 meters) and the mountains of Macedonia and Thrace intersected here and there by a few valleys through which relatively small rivers flow.

Kremasta lake, EVRITANIA

On the other hand, the endless lacework of the coastline produces a series of scenic surprises. It is these heavily indented shores which give Greece such rare beauty, quite unique in the Mediterranean. The length of the Greek coastline is estimated at 15,000 kilometers. The marked variety of the terrain above water continues under water, along the seabed which, millions of years ago, formed a projection of the land. Close to Cape Tainaron, (Tenaro) off the South tip of the Peloponnese, the so-called Oinousai (Inousses) Pit is 4,850 meters deep which is the deepest point in the Mediterranean.

Rethymnon, CRETE

Epidavros

Vegetation and climate conform with the variations in the geographical area. The variety of plants is exceptional some 6,000 indigenous species having so far been recorded, 250 of which flourish on the island of Crete. It is an impressive figure due to Greece's geographical position between Europe and Africa.
Plants associated with the joys of life are the country's countless vineyards. Major vegetation is likewise peculiar and above all made to man's measures. The trees are of medium height and vary from pine, oak, fir, olive and mulberry trees to fruit and palm trees.

White water rafting

Another result of the country's geographical location is also seen in its climatic range with mild winters and sub-tropically warm summers cooled by a system of seasonal breezes popularly called "meltemia".

Lastly, an outstanding feature of the Greek climate is its ample sunshine.
It is no exaggeration to state the sun shines in Greece for 3,000 hours per year.

A beach in Lefkada

Meteora the famous Monastery-roks in Thessaly

MAP OF GREECE

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