Santorini in Greece
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Is Greece Eastern Europe: What part of Europe is Greece on?

Are you into geography and wonder whether is Greece Eastern Europe?

Greece has always been a fascinating place and a bit of a mystery to me. Because it bridges between the West and the East, its geographical location is often a topic of debate. So, is Greece Eastern Europe?

But it’s not just about its geographical location, it’s also about their identity, their history, and the different influences that played its part throughout time.

This interesting country at a crossroads might make you wonder, where does Greece really fit on the European continent?

Let’s dive in and find out!

What part of Europe is Greece on?

Greece is in the southeast of Europe. It is at the tip of the Balkan Peninsula, which is the most southern part of Europe. Because of where it is, it is often placed in Southern Europe. Greece is at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa because of its location.

This has made it a historically important place for trade, culture, and military positioning.

Is Greece Eastern Europe - The Island of Rhodes
The Island of Rhodes

Greece is surrounded by the Aegean Sea in the east, the Mediterranean Sea in the south, and the Ionian Sea in the west. It has many islands, with Crete, Rhodes, Corfu (my personal favorite) and Mykonos being some of the most well-known.

Because it is close to the place where Asia and Africa meet, it has seen and been a part of many political and cultural events that have shaped the Mediterranean as a whole.

Why isn’t Greece in Eastern Europe?

As mentioned, putting Greece in either Eastern or Western Europe isn’t just a matter of geographical location. It also has strong connections to history, politics, culture, and even ideology.

Greece is not in Eastern Europe for the following reasons:

  • Historical and Cultural Roots: Greece is where Western democracy, philosophy, and many of the most important ideas and ideals of Western civilization got their start. Cities like Athens have been very important in the past of the West.
  • Byzantine and Ottoman Influences: Greece was part of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire and then was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, but it always kept its own character.

    The Byzantine Empire, whose capital was Constantinople (now Istanbul), was a bridge between the East and the West. It was Christian and spoke Greek.
  • Cold War: During these times, Europe was split into the capitalist West and the communist East. The Eastern Bloc was made up of countries that were ruled or influenced by the Soviet Union.

    Even though Greece is in the southeast of Europe, it was part of the Western Bloc because it was a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and had close links with the United States.
  • Religion: Most Greeks follow Eastern Orthodoxy, which is a religion that is common in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

    This might make you think that Greece is in the East, but Greek religion comes from the Byzantine tradition, which is not the same as the Slavic customs of most of Eastern Europe.
Orthodox Church in Meteora
Orthodox Church in Meteora
  • Economic and Political Ties: Greece has had strong economic and political ties with Western Europe for a long time. In 1981, it became the 10th member of the European Communities (which we now know as the European Union).

    This helped the country to get closer to other countries in Western Europe.
  • Geographical Location: Greece is in the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula. Because of this, it makes more sense to place it in the Southern Europe category than in the Eastern Europe category.

Greece has been influenced by both the East and the West. However, its history, culture, politics, and ideas place it more in Western or Southern Europe than in Eastern Europe.

What countries are in Eastern Europe?

Eastern Europe is a big territory and very diverse. Even though the term is ambiguous, and probably makes you think of countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union, it is a bit more complicated than that.

Eastern Europe primarily consists of:

  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Belarus
  • Moldova

You could say that Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia are also part of Eastern Europe. However, to me, these countries are either part of Central Europe or the Balkan Peninsula!

But because all these countries, besides the ones in Central Europe, are in the end a part of Southeastern Europe, I still cover them in my blog.

Is Greece Eastern European time?

Yes, Greece does follow Eastern European Time. So, when we talk about time zones, we say that Greece is in the same one as some countries in Eastern Europe.

This means that when it’s noon in Greece, it’s also noon in Ukraine and Belarus for example. It’s important to know this, especially if you plan to travel or talk to someone in a different country, so you can match up your times.

Is Greece more culturally Western or Eastern Europe?

Greece kind of has the best of both worlds. It has a mix of both Western and Eastern influences, but it’s still mostly seen as part of Western culture.

One big reason is people like Plato. Plato was a Greek thinker who shared ideas that shaped Western ways of thinking.

Statue of Plato

While Greece has some Eastern touches, especially from times when nearby Eastern empires had control, its deep roots, like those from Plato’s time, connect more with the West.

Is Greece Eastern Europe: FAQs

The information below is related to Greece and it’s history, geographical location, and what the best time is to visit this beautiful country!

Why Greece is called as the cradle of European civilization?

Greece is often called the cradle of European civilization as it laid the foundations of the Europe we know now. Greek minds like Socrates and Plato came up with big ideas and asked important questions about life a long time ago.

In a certain place called Athens, people first had the idea that they should be able to have a say in how their government works. The Greeks also gave the world great stories, plays, statues, and buildings, some of which are still standing.

Is Greece Eastern Europe - The Acropolis in Athens
The Acropolis in Athens

Also, Greeks like Archimedes and Pythagoras did early work in science and maths that still affects how we learn today. All of these things make Greece a unique place for European culture to begin.

Where did the Greeks originate from?

Well, finding out where the Greeks came from is sort of an adventure in itself. If you believe in it, myths talk about gods, half-gods, and a wide range of heroes. That’s the cool version!

But in the past, waves of Indo-European tribes moved to Greece because of its green landscapes and strategic location, and their stories became intertwined.

Over time, they shaped the Hellenic character and created a strong culture.

What ethnic group is Greece?

The spirit of Greece is unmistakably Greek. Hellenes, or people of Greek descent, have had a society for thousands of years that honors their ancient gods and shows how they have changed over time.

This identity, which shows both the bravery of the Spartans and the creativity of modern Athens, is a celebration of the fact that people can be alike and different at the same time.

What are the Greeks known for?

The Greeks have had a huge impact on many parts of history, and this covers a wide range of examples. Here is a deeper look at what the Greeks are known for:

1. Philosophy:

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, do these names ring a bell? These three Greek thinkers, laid the groundwork for Western philosophy. Their ideas about ethics, politics, and metaphysics, have shaped academic conversation for thousands of years.

2. Democracy:

The idea of democracy, which basically means rule by the people, comes from ancient Athens. Athens’ form of direct democracy is one of the earliest examples of people having a say in how their government works. Cool, right?

3. Literature:

When it comes to literature, Greek epics like Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and tragedies by Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus are important works. Their ideas about courage, tragedy, and how people are still relevant today.

4. Math and Science:

Greek minds like Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes laid the groundwork for many areas of math and science. Their findings and theorems are still taught in schools today!

5. Olympics:

Did you know that the Olympic Games actually began as religious events in ancient Greece, in the city of Olympia? Today, the Olympics are a world-wide event with the best athletes in the world competing.

Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus

6. Art and Architecture:

From the famous Parthenon to the ancient sculptures of important figures, Greek art and architecture have helped set the standards for art in the West, from the Parthenon to the sculptures of people.

For example, the Doric columns, Ionic columns, and Corinthian columns are all examples of real gifts to architecture.

7. Mythology:

Greek myths, which are full of gods, goddesses, heroes, and monsters, are a big part of Western way of thinking. Zeus, Athena, Hercules, and Medusa are well-known characters in many countries all over the world!

8. Greek food:

Their food is known for its great taste. It is usually made with olive oil, plants, fish, and meat. Moussaka, souvlaki, tzatziki, and baklava (my personal favorit) are dishes that people all over the world love.

9. The Greek language:

The Greek language, which is one of the oldest in the world, has had a big impact on many other languages around the world. Greek is the source of a lot of English words, especially in science and health.

10. Festivals:

The Dionysian rites and the Panathenaic Games are two examples of old Greek traditions that showed how rich their culture was.

These are just a few examples of how the Greeks have shaped culture, knowledge, and traditions around the world. Each of these places has a long past and lasting effects that are still felt today. Fascinating, if you ask me.

Best Time to Visit Greece?

Greece is a country that welcomes people all year long, even though there are some differences in seasons and the amount of tourists.

Is Greece eastern europe - Santorini
Santorini

If you want to explore Greece without a lot of other people around, the spring breeze (April to early June) and the autumn colors (September and October) are the best times.

When you want to enjoy the sun and swim in the sea during the summer, the period between June and August is the best!

If you’re looking for a car to rent when you’re visiting Greece, I can really recommend Discover Cars! You can book by clicking on the link below:

Click here to book your Rental Car and discover Greece!

The Wrap-Up: Is Greece Eastern Europe?

So, to come back to the question – Is Greece Eastern Europe – I can tell you that it’s not part of Eastern Europe but it’s part Southeastern Europe and located on the Balkan Peninsula.

It has been heavily influenced by the West as well as the East but also culturally, Greece has more affection with the West than with the East.

If you want to know more about Greece, check out my post about the Greek language and how the Greeks call their own country!

Do you want to discover more of Greece, check out my post about Kassiopi in Greece or my post about the largest islands in Greece!

Your restless voyager,

Dustin

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