Greece with a population of around 11 million people is located in southeastern Europe. This country has a rich history, amazing culture and stunning islands. Greece attracts millions of international tourists every year. We all have some knowledge about this country but in this post, I am going to share some fun facts you probably didn’t know about Greece.
1. Ne in Greek means Yes
When you are talking to your Greek friends and you expect them to say yes, but they say "ne" (sounds like nah), don’t get confused. Ne means yes.
2. Greece has 6000 Islands
Greece is home to 6000 islands, while only 227 of them are inhabited. This country is famous for its beautiful islands including Santorini, Mykonos, Symi and many others. The biggest Greek Island is Crete.
If you plan a trip to Crete, make sure to check out my travel guide to Crete.
3. Spitting at someone is a good sign
When you are in Greece, you might find yourself in a situation where a local might spit at you. Don’t get offended.
Basically, Greeks spit at the people they care about because they want to protect them against the curse of the evil eye.
4. In Greece, you are always close to the sea
No matter where you are in Greece, you can’t get away from the coast, even on the mainland. The farthest point in the country from the sea is only 85 miles. This is because Greece has one of the longest coastlines in the world, at almost 9000 miles.
5. Retirement homes are rare in Greece
Most young people stay in their parents’ home until they get married and grandparents also live with their children’s family until they pass away. For this reason, retirement homes are not popular in Greece.
6. Greece is one of the sunniest countries
No wonder many tourists travel to Greece even during the winters for the sun, Greece has more than 250 sunny days per year, which makes it one of the sunniest countries in the world.
7. Greek mums keep their children warm
Greek moms will make their children wear a jacket, even if it is hot out there. If a greek mum asks you to put a jacket on, don’t argue, you won’t be able to win.
8. Greeks use hand gestures to communicate
Using hand gestures is one of the ways Greeks communicate. If they want to say they are happy with something they shake their hand for approval. It can be for a portion of good food or showing they like someone.
9. Perfume can’t be a gift
If you want to buy a gift for your greek friends, please do not buy perfume. Greeks believe perfumes ruin any kind of relationship.
10. Greece is the leading producer of sea sponges
We all heard of the benefits that natural sea sponges have on our skin and the environment, but did you know that Greece is the leading producer?
You can find them almost everywhere, not only in Athens but also on any other beautiful island.
11. Olive oil consumptions is high in Greece
Greece is one of the top five producers of olive oil in the world, and it also uses the most olive oil per capita. Greeks love olives and olive oil and they put a lot of it in every kind of food.
12. Greek food is healthy
Greek cuisine is not only tasty and delicious, but it is very healthy. The Greek diet is amongst the healthiest food in the world since it is based on vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, fish, cheese and meat. I love Greek food.
13. Name days are bigger than birthdays
Greeks’ name days’ celebrations are bigger than their birthdays’. If you don’t know what “name day” is, I’ll explain. Name days are celebrated in Catholic and Orthodox countries. People celebrate the feast day of a saint whom they are named after.
14. Donkeys are used as a means of transportation
Donkeys are still the main transportation in some Greek villages and islands. Hydra, for example, is car-free and donkeys and mules are used to carry heavy loads around. Unfortunately, in some touristy destinations like Santorini, donkeys are being abused by tourists.
So, if you are planning a trip to Greece and you are able to walk, don’t ride donkeys uphill just for fun. You are in Greece, you will find a lot of other fun things to do.