The birthplace of Western civilisation sits on the south-eastern flanks of Europe. Home to the Olympian gods and host to countless of sun-seekers, Greece welcomes all to its countless isles and craggy shoreline.
It’s easy to understand why Zeus and his fellow Gods choose this part of the world as their base. As they sit on their throne above Mt. Olympus they can look down at the dazzlingly blue Aegean Sea sparkling with the myriad jewels we call islands, scattered as far as the horizon, it is a view fit for Gods.
The Greeks are stubborn and proud, they love life, and a good Greek drama is always appreciated, above all they are survivors. The Persians try to subdue them and got a bloody nose, the Romans succeeded only to find out they had already been infiltrated by Greek culture to such an extent that they might as well have been Greeks themselves, and so the list goes on.
For the tourist there is plenty to do in Greece, from island-hopping to culture shopping. Old temples and ruins dot the landscape, white-washed villages keep out the summer heat, the blue sea conceals hidden treasures, the valleys overflow with olive groves, and the mountains offer plenty of hiking opportunities. And at the end of the day you can indulge yourself in the world famous Greek cuisine. Yum! If you are lucky you won’t even have to do the dishes at the end, just smash that plate!
So if you are seeking solitude and time to think like Plato or Aristotle, or simply want to party like the Bacchantes, the Gods have provided for all.
Highlights from Greece
- Athens (aka Athína, or Αθήνα) with its Acropolis containing the world famous Parthenon is not to be missed. Pay your respects to the Gods and thank them for creating Greece
- Island hopping around the Aegean (aka Αιγαίο Πέλαγος)
- If you are a male, Mount Athos (aka Οros Αthos, or Όρος Άθως) is an autonomous state on the Halkidiki Peninsula of northern Greece with 20 Eastern Orthodox Monasteries. Male entry only! Sorry ladies
- Meteora (aka Μετέωρα), six monasteries located on top of rocky pillars, it is spectacular. And ladies are welcome here!
- Delphi (aka Δελφοί) , the most important site in ancient Greece, with the oracle of Delphi frequently enlisted to provide her insights
- Crete (aka Kríti, Κρήτη), for partying or for culture, it has plenty for all. Visit the Palace of Knossos (aka Cnossos, Knossus, Cnossus, or Κνωσός), or hike Samariá Gorge (aka Φαράγγι Σαμαριάς), and for the hedonistic there are the party resorts of Malia (aka Μάλια) and Hersonissos (aka Chersónisos, or Χερσόνησος)
- Santorini Island (aka Σαντορίνη, official name Thira or Θήρα) with its white washed houses and windmills and fantastic views
- Pretend to win the Olympics in Olympia (aka Ολυμπία, where it all started back in the day
- Relax on the beach, or party at night on Mykonos (aka Μύκονος)
- Hike around the region of Zagori (aka Ζαγόρι), or take a road trip around Peloponesse (aka Πελοποννήσου) the most southern mainland region of Europe, full of ancient Greek temples, Byzantine churches and empty beaches
Hints and Tips for Greece
- Many people limit themselves to island-hopping and skip the mainland, this is a pity since there is plenty of beauty you are missing.
- The Greek alphabet is different from the Latin alphabet, luckily most signs are in both. Still, take a phrasebook with you, with the alphabet in it, just in case!