Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Sea of Crete and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin, featuring thousands of islands.

Greece emerged as a modern nation state in 1830 following a war of independence. The following hundred years was characterised as a period of territorial expansion and conflict with the Ottoman Empire. After defeat in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) Greece retreated to its pre war borders. During the 20th Century Greece suffered civil war, royalist dictatorship followed by military dictatorship. Democracy was restored in 1974–75, and Greece has been a parliamentary republic ever since.

Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic, and a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. Its economy is among the largest in the Balkans, where it is an important regional investor. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union) and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001. It is also a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, NATO, the OECD, the WTO, and the OSCE. Greece has a unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, and prominent shipping sector.

Border Facts

Greece – Albania border is 282 km long. Established in 1913, when the Albanian state was created, and when Greece took control over former Ottoman territories in Epirus. The border starts at the tripoint ALGRMK in Lake Prespa and runs south west to the Ionian Sea east of Corfu. It is an external border of the EU. There are four border crossings between Greece and Albania. The border crossings are called: Kakavia, Bilisht, Qafe Bote and Tre Urat. The is currently no rail link although one is being constructed between Krystallopigi (Follorina) to Pogradec (130km). There has been an ongoing dispute between Greece and Albania over the maritime jurisdiction areas for years. 

Greece – North Macedonia border is 228 km to the north of the country. The border runs from the Tumba Peak BGGRMK in the east, transecting Lake Dojran and ending the wet tripoint ALGRMK in Lake Prespa.

Greece – Bulgaria border is 475 km long, the border between Bulgaria and Greece begins in the west at the tripoint between the borders of Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia at BGGRMK

Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine (1919) established the current border, where Bulgaria lost various territories due to it being on the losing side in WW1. Although these territories were regained during WW2, after 1945 the 1919 border was restored. The border extends eastwards through the Nestos valley, up to the border tripoint between Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey (BGGRTR), where it crosses the river called “Maritsa” by the Bulgarians and “Evros” by the Greeks.
This border is in large part formed by the Rhodope mountain range. The busiest border crossing point is the Struma valley, the second busiest is close to the Turkish border, in the Maritsa/Evros valley. Greece has been a member of the European Union since 1981, with Bulgaria joining more recently in 2007.

Greek – Turkey border is 206 km long, this boundary was confirmed by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), which resolved persistent boundary and territorial claims involving areas in Thrace and provided for a population exchange. Under the agreement, most members of the sizable Greek-speaking community of western Turkey were forced to resettle in Greece, while the majority of the Turkish-speaking residents of Thrace who were not forced out during the Balkan wars were removed to Turkey. It mostly follows the river Evros. It is the external border of the European Union.

GR border crossing at Kastanies.
GR border crossing at Kastanies.

In 2012, a high border fence was erected along the land border where it is not separated by the river, because of the European migrant crisis. In 2020 there have been ongoing clashes between migrants and Greek security forces, leading in some cases to death. Turkey has used the crisis as lever in international negotiations for aid and bilateral agreements.

Relationships between the 2 counties is strongly influenced by the situation in Cyprus. Turkey invaded Cyprus on 20 July 1974 by unilaterally exercising Article IV in the Treaty of Guarantee (1960), but without restoring the status quo ante at the end of the military operation.

Turkey’s justification for military intervention was due to Greek nationalists removing the President and replacing him with a pro union with Greece politician. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognised only by Turkey, was established. Since then there have been several attempts to resolve the issues none of which have been successful. Recently there has been improvements from the 2 sides with increasing cooperation and the opening of several border crossings.

Greek Registration Plates

Greek Passport Stamps

Greek Tripoints

1ALGRMKAlbania – Greece
– Macedonia
WetPalmberg (2005)
2BGGRMKBulgaria – Greece
– Macedonia
3BGGRTRBulgaria – Greece
– Turkey
DryPalmberg (2005)

Tripoint Gallery

Please click on the images below to access the tripoint visit reports


Site Navigation

In order to find your way around the site, either click on the links (text in red) or use the menus at the top and side of the pages. About leads you to the main areas of the site. The European Tripoints menu leads directly you to my visit reports whereas the Country Visits page allows you to choose which country to look at first. Clicking on photos can lead you directly to reports too.

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