Greece is a peninsular and mountainous country located in Southern-Eastern Europe, in the Balkan Peninsula and has the largest coastline in Europe (13,676km) due to its numerous islands. It has more than 2,000 Greek islands but only 168 are inhabited. The country is one of the world's most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world's top 20 countries. According to the Greek Ministry of Tourism, the nation received about 17 million visitors from January to mid August 2007, a large number for a small country of 11 million. Visitors are drawn to the country's beaches and reliable sunny summer weather, its nightlife, historical sites and natural beauty. Over 90% of visitors who come to Greece come from other European countries, although in recent years there have been growing numbers of tourists from other world regions. The vast majority of visitors arrive during tourism season, which is April through October. High season is July through August. Many first-time visitors arrive in Greece with specific images in mind and are surprised to discover a country with such regional and architectural diversity. many medieval churches and castles as classical ruins and temples .
Greece is a member of the European Union since 1981, a member of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union since 2001, NATO since 1952, the OECD since 1961, the WEU since 1995 and ESA since 2005.