Administrative regions of Greece

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Not to be confused with the traditional geographic regions of Greece.
Administrative regions of Greece
Διοικητικές περιφέρειες της Ελλάδα (Greek)
Peripheries of Greece.png
Category Unitary state
Location Hellenic Republic
Number 13 Regions
1 Autonomous Region
Populations (Regions only):199,231 (North Aegean) – 3,828,434 (Attica)
Areas (Regions only):890.71 square miles (2,306.9 km2) (Ionian Islands) - 17,500 square miles (45,000 km2) (Central Macedonia)
Government Region government, theocracic government(Autonomous region), Central government
Subdivisions municipality, community
Coat of arms of Greece.svg
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The administrative regions of Greece (Greek: περιφέρειες, peripheries) are the country's first-level administrative entities, each comprising several second-level units, originally prefectures and since 2011 regional units.


The current regions were established in 1987, replacing the traditional division into broad historical–geographical regions (γεωγραφικά διαμερίσματα), which are still often used in popular discourse and in statistics. Although the post-1987 regions were mostly based on the earlier divisions, they are usually smaller and, in a few cases, do not overlap with the traditional definitions: for instance, the region of Western Greece, which had no previous analogue, comprises territory belonging to the Peloponnese peninsula and the traditional region of Central Greece.

The first seven peripheries were established by the then-ruling military regime in 1971. They were abolished after the fall of Georgios Papadopoulos in November 1973. The current regions were created by Law 1622/1986 and Presidential Decree 51/1987, and were conceived as an auxiliary regional level of the central government.

As part of Greece's decentralization process, they were accorded more powers in the 1997 Kapodistrias reform of local and regional government. They were transformed into fully separate entities by the 2010 Kallikratis plan (Law 3852/2010), which entered into effect on 1 January 2011. In the 2011 changes, the government-appointed general secretary (γενικός γραμματέας) was replaced with a popularly elected regional governor (περιφερειάρχης) and a regional council (περιφερειακό συμβούλιο) with 5-year terms. Many powers of the prefectures, which were also abolished or reformed into regional units, were transferred to the region level.

Map showing modern regions of Greece

  1. Attica / Αττική
  2. Central Greece / Στερεά Ελλάδα
  3. Central Macedonia / Κεντρική Μακεδονία
  4. Crete / Κρήτη
  5. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace / Ανατολική Μακεδονία και Θράκη
  6. Epirus / Ήπειρος
  7. Ionian Islands / Ιόνια νησιά
  8. North Aegean / Βόρειο Αιγαίο
  9. Peloponnese / Πελοπόννησος
  10. South Aegean / Νότιο Αιγαίο
  11. Thessaly / Θεσσαλία
  12. Western Greece / Δυτική Ελλάδα
  13. West Macedonia / Δυτική Μακεδονία
Map showing modern regions of Greece

Bordering the region of Central Macedonia there is one autonomous region, Mount Athos (Agion Oros, or "Holy Mountain"), a monastic community under Greek sovereignty. It is located on the easternmost of the three large peninsulas jutting into the Aegean from the Chalcidice Peninsula.

Kallikratis Plan administrative divisions[edit]

The Kallikratis plan (Law 3852/2010), which entered into effect on 1 January 2011, transformed the modern regions of Greece into 7 fully separate entities by the 2010 with elected regional governors and regional councils.

The previous government-appointed general secretary disappeared at the regional level, and the regional organs of the central government were in turn replaced by seven decentralized administrations (el), which group from one to three regions under a government-appointed general secretary.

Administrative divisions
   Attica, with the capital of Athens
   Macedonia - Thrace, with the capital of Thessaloniki
   Epirus - Western Macedonia, with the capital of Ioannina
   Thessaly - Central Greece, with the capital of Larissa
   Peloponnese, Western Greece and Ionian Islands, with the capital of Patras
   Aegean Islands, with the capital of Piraeus
   Crete, with the capital of Iraklion

See also[edit]