Greek Geography, mountains, lakes, rivers, seas

Greek Regions Soil Mophology Greek seas Lakes Rivers Mountais Aegean Sea

Regions of Greece

Greece is divided into 13 geographical regions and each region is divided into prefectures. The region of east Macedonia and Thrace have the prefectures of Evros, Xanthi, Rodopi, Drama and Kavala. In the region of central Macedonia are the prefectures of Serres, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Kilkis, Pella, Imathia and Pieria. In the west Macedonia region are the prefectures of Kozani, Kastoria, Florina, and Grevenon. In the region of Epirus are the prefectures of Arta, Ioanina, Thessprotia and Preveza. In the region of the Ionian islands are the prefectures of Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Lefkada. In the region of western Greece are the prefectures of Aetoloakarnania, Achaia, Ilia. In the regions of Pelopenesse  are the prefectures of Corinthia , Messinia, Arkadia, Lakonia and Argolida. In the region of Thessalia are the prefectures of Larissa, Trikala, Karditsa and Magnesia. In the region of Sterea Ellas are the prefectures of Fokida, Fthiotida, Evrytania,Viotia and Evia.

The prefecture of Attica where the capital of Greece,Athens, is located. In the region of the north Aegean are the prefectures of Lesbos, Samos and Chios. In the region of the south Aegean are the prefectures of the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. And finally, in the region of Crete are the prefectures of Heraclion, Chania, Lasithi and Rethymno.

Geographically, Greece is part of the Large family of 33 European countries, occupying the 13th position in area, the family of 17  Mediterranean countries and finally the smallest family of the Balkan states. Globally, the area of ​​Greece corresponds to less than 1/100% of the total area of ​​the continents. It is 125 times smaller than Russia, about 70 times smaller than the US and 65 times smaller than Brazil.

Soil Morphology

greece-geophysical-mapGreece presents an extremely complex horizontal and vertical division. Too many factors, geological and climatic, have influenced in the past and caused the creation of high alpine mountains. Lower peaks of basins, small plains, valleys and peninsulas. Only steppes and deserts are missing from the surface of Greece.

This landscaping and the variety of landscapes rank the country among the most beautiful countries in the world. However, only a small part of the land is arable while the largest consists of rocky and inaccessible mountains which yield almost nothing.

Scientists have geographically defined the wider area of Greece that emerged at the end of the Mesozoic era (65 million years ago) with the name Aegida.This large and almost single land included the area that located south of the mountain range of Aimos, north of Crete, east of the Ionian Sea and west of Asia Minor.

Greek Mountains

One of the great upheavals mentioned above was the creation of the mountain ranges which, starting from the Alps, goes to the south-east, passes through the former Yugoslavia and Albania and Crete with direction from east to west and continues through Karpathos and Rhodes, continues into Asia Minor. This mountain range was named Dinarotauric, because its two extreme parts are the Dinaric Alps (in former Yugoslavia) and the Taurus Mountains (in Asia Minor).
The mountain range of Pindos, the mountains of the Peloponnese, the mountains of Evia and Western and Central Macedonia extend in the direction North/North west and south southeast.
In Crete the picture changes and the mountains are extended in the direction East to the West. The same orientation have the mountain masses and the three peninsulas of the Southern Peloponnese, Argolis, Attica, Evia, Thermaikos, Halkidiki, etc. who extend in the direction of North/North west and South/southeast.

Specifically, 4/5 of the territory of Greece is mountains and plains, while the plains cover only 1/5 of the land.  These mountain ranges of the mainland, are interrupted by the sinking of the Corinthian gulf, continue in the Peloponnese. are interrupted again and now appear in Crete. The part of the Greek mountain ranges from the Greek-Albanian border up to the Corinthian gulf, is the well-known mountain range of Pindos. Pindos consists of more than about parallel mountain ranges with branches and has over 200 peaks. Plains

The plains of Greece are distinguished in coastal areas that have an opening to the sea and in mainland that are inland. Some of the mainland plains have come from the drying of lakes. Such are those of Kopaida, Karla, Giannitsa, etc. . The plains and valleys occupy only 1/5 of the Greek territory. The main Greek plains are the following, Trikala – Karditsa, Thessaloniki, Serres, Larissa, Komotini, Drama, Xanthi Kozani, Ptoleiada, Nea Orestiada, Katerini etc.

Seas of Greece

aegean seaThe Aegean Sea is actually divided into three parts, north central and south. In the old days the Greek seamen gave the different parts of the Aegean sea different names. the area around the north Aegean Islands was known as the Thrakiko Pelagos. the area between the Cyclades and the Dodecanese was known as Ikario Pelagos. the seas south of the Saronic Islands down to the S.E. Cyclades Islands was called Myrtoon Pelagos. The sea north of Crete was known as the Cretan Pelagos (Kritiko). Finally, the sea between the S.E.Cyclades Islands, Rhodes and Karpathos was called Karpathion.
The Ionian Sea stretches between the west coast of Greece and the coast of Southern Italy. The Ionian sea has some of the deepest waters of the Mediterranean and in some parts can reach a depth of 5,000 metres. 
The seas around Greece cut in and out of the shoreline creating an interesting lacework coastline with many large and small peninsulas, gulfs and caves. Because of this geographical morphology Greece has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean. 

From antiquity to the present day the sea has played an important role in the life of the Greek people. As an island nation the only chance they had for developing both politically, culturally and economically was to expand and become proficient at seafaring in order to communicate, both with each other and with other nations. Still today, the Greek fleet is one of the largest in the world. Thus, once could argue that the sea has been paramount to the development of both modern and ancient Greece.

Rivers valleys and lakes

Pinios riverRivers:

Greece does not have many large rivers. The biggest are Aliakmonas (320 km), Acheloos (220 km), Pinios (205 km), Strymonas (118 km), Thyamis (115 km), Arachthos (110 km), Evrotas (82 km), Louros (80 km) and Sperchios (80 km). The largest are those that originate outside its borders: Evros (it is 530 km long, of which 204 in Greek territory) and Nestos (it is 234 km long, of which 130 in Greek territory). In Greece there are also many underground rivers, which appear as springs. They feed the rivers of the surface but are also fed by them. Dams and reservoirs have been built on many rivers for irrigation and energy production. There are irrigation dams in Aliakmonas, Axios and Pinios. There are hydroelectric units in Louros, Acheloos, Edessaio, Ladonas and Megdova.

Most of the lakes of Greece are located in northern Greece, mainly in the region of Macedonia. Among them the lakes of small and big Prespa and the lakes of Volvi and Vegoritis. the lake of Trihonis is located in Sterea Ellas

Most of the biggest rivers of Greece have their springs on the mountain range of Pindos. Among them, the rivers Aliakmon, Pinios, Acheloos, Kalamas and Arahthos rivers. The rivers of Evros and Nestos have their sources in Bulgaria. In the Peloponese are the rivers of Alfios and Eurotas with their sources in the Taygetos Mountains.


valley thessalyThe largest valley of Greece lies between the east slopes of Vermion mount the south slopes Paikon mount and west of Thessaloniki facing to the south the Aegean sea with the cultivation of cotton ,tobacco ,wheat ,peaches ech. The next largest is the Valley of Thessaly (Kampos Thessaly) . In Thessaly Valley, at the village of Kileler, was the first agricultural revolution in Greece in 1910.

There are smaller valleys in many regions of Greece where the main fruit production of Greece is cultivated. This is especially so in the valleys of Crete the garden of Greece with the biggest production in oranges ,tomatoes ,olives and olive oil ,cucumbers and many other kind of fruits and vegetables .In North Peloponese valleys on the northern slops of Helmos and Kylini mountains with cultivation of sultana grapes in Corinthia, lemons and grapes in Achaia.


lakes in greeceIn Greece there are natural and artificial lakes. Natural are found in Western Greece and mainly in Etoloakarnania, Epirus and Macedonia. Such are Trichonida, Amvrakia, Pamvotida, Volvi, Vegoritida, Little and Big Prespa and the lake of Kastoria.

Artificial lakes, created with the waters of the rivers, are the lake in Kastraki and Kremasta, Mornos and Tavropos. However, there are lakes that have been drained for the purpose of agricultural exploitation of the areas. Such are Kopaida, Carla and Agoulinitsa.

Aegean Sea

This is the name of the sea area between mainland Greece in the NW, the islands of Crete and Rhodes in the N and Turkey A. Its length is 640 km, its width is 320 km and its surface is 250,000 sq. Km.

Its boundaries were set in 1919 by the International Hydrographic Congress in London. Its beaches are inhabited by 45% of the inhabitants of Greece. It communicates with the Black Sea with the Dardanelles, the Propontis and the Bosphorus.

There are many large and small islands in the Aegean Sea that give it this unique color. The main island groups are the Cyclades, the Dodecanese and the Northern Sporades. The salinity of its waters varies, the tides are low, its shores are richly divided with many bays which have taken their current form, the Quaternary period from the subsidence and elevation suffered by the area. The many ports with the most important being Piraeus, Thessaloniki and on the Turkish coast Smyrna.

Its geographical location gave it great commercial and strategic importance, which is why it was a field of competition and conflict between the great powers. Signs of a significant cultural breakthrough began to appear in the area in the sixth millennium.

In the fourth millennium and until 1100 BC. the Aegean reaches its peak as important civilizations develop. Crete, which with its fleet dominated the Aegean and the neighboring seas and Mycenae, were the centers of civilization. In the first historical times from the cities located on the east coast of the Aegean, a great colonial movement began that spread going from the famous culture of Greece to Gibraltar.

Many peoples (Persians, Arabs, Normans, Venetians, Turks, Germans, etc.) tried unsuccessfully to conquer the Aegean and dominate this bridge that connects Europe with Asia.