Greece is an extensive country with a main landmass and including numerous islands (see our Greece map). Geographically it falls between Italy to the west across the Ionian Sea and Turkey to the east across the Aegean Sea. The northern, mainland, border is with Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Greece is perhaps best seen as falling into five main regions:
This is the part of the European mainland that includes Macedonia and Thrace. Thessaloniki falls centrally within this region, and Mount Athos on the coast, with Chalkidiki also in this part of mainland Greece.
Still connected to the mainland but now forming a large promontory into the Aegean Sea. The transition netween the north and the centre includes the Meteora region, with the monasteries perched high on rocky outposts. the important historical site of Delphi is also in this part of Greece, and the city of Volos is near the eastern coast.
Athens and the immediate area around the city, are found at the south-eastern end of this central promontory
The Peloponnese region of Greece is almost an island - but not quite, since it is connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land to the west of Athens. There are many highlights to discover, including ancient Olympia, the ruins at Epidaurus, byzantine Mystras, Patras and the attractive houses of the Mani peninsula.
The fifth region comprises the Greek islands that are found off much of the Greek coastline into the Aegean and Ionian Seas. These fall into several natural geographical groups:
Chios: to the east of Greece and just off the coast of Turkey is the island of Chios