What Was Ancient Greece Surrounded By?

Ancient Greece, known as the cradle of Western civilization, was a land surrounded by various natural features and man-made structures. Situated in southeastern Europe, the country was bordered by several bodies of water, mountain ranges, and neighboring territories.

Geographic Features:

To the west of Ancient Greece lay the Ionian Sea. The Ionian Sea is an elongated bay of the Mediterranean Sea that separates Italy from Greece. The sea provided a major transportation route for Greeks to trade with other civilizations such as Rome and Egypt.

To the south of Ancient Greece was the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean is one of the largest seas in the world and connects three continents: Africa, Asia, and Europe. This sea provided access to many islands such as Crete and Cyprus that were important trade hubs for ancient Greeks.

To the east of Ancient Greece lay the Aegean Sea. The Aegean is a small sea that is located between Greece and Turkey. This sea contains many small islands such as Mykonos and Santorini that have become popular tourist destinations today.

Mountain Ranges:

The mountain ranges in Ancient Greece played a significant role in shaping its history. The Pindus Mountains are located in northern Greece and form a natural barrier between Thessaly and Epirus regions. These mountains were home to several ancient Greek gods like Zeus who was believed to live on Mount Olympus.

The Taygetus Mountains are located in southern Greece in the Peloponnese region. These mountains were home to Sparta, one of Ancient Greece’s most powerful city-states known for its military prowess.

Neighboring Territories:

Ancient Greece was bordered by several territories which influenced its politics, culture, and trade. To the north of Ancient Greece lay Macedon which became a powerful kingdom under Alexander the Great who conquered much of Asia during his reign.

To the south lay Crete, an island that was home to the Minoan civilization which was one of the earliest in Europe. The Minoans were known for their art, architecture, and advanced trade networks.


In conclusion, Ancient Greece was surrounded by a diverse range of geographic features, mountain ranges, and neighboring territories. These features not only helped shape Ancient Greek culture and history but also provided access to trade routes that connected them with other civilizations around the Mediterranean and beyond.