Country profile - Distinguishing factors (Greece)
Greece has a Mediterranean climate with mild and rainy winters, relatively warm and dry summers and many hours of sunshine almost all year. The coldest months are January and February, with mean minimum temperature ranging between 5-10 0C near the coasts and 0-5 0C in mainland areas, and lower values (below freezing) in the northern part of the country. The warm season lasts from April until September. The warmest period is in July and August, with mean maximum temperatures in the range 29.0-35.0 0C. Precipitation is concentrated in the cold period, with almost no precipitation in the warmest months. The amount of rainfall is approximately halved in the eastern part compared to the western part of the country (HNMS, 2009).
Geographic and demographic data
Greece is situated in the southernmost extension of the Balkan Peninsula. The surface area of Greece is 130 100 km2 of which 20 % is distributed on its 3 000 islands. Two‑thirds of the Greek territory is hilly or mountainous with steep slopes. More than 40 % of the land is over 500 metres in altitude (peaks >2 000 m). Greece has the longest coastline in Europe (14 000 km length), of which 5 % belongs to areas of unique ecological value. The coastline is equally distributed between the mainland and 3 000 islands. Over 70 % of the coastline is rocky (EEA, 2009).