Opa! Passionate lovers of life, the Greeks have an unmatched reputation for warmth and hospitality. Add the almost perennial blue sky, the warm Aegean sea, and a history steeped in magical myth-steeped legend, and you have the perfect setting for the perfect holiday (with plenty of gloriously unique places to stay thrown in!)
For starters, it’s hard to imagine anywhere else that can offer such a masterful array of ancient culture. Not only is the Greek calendar filled with lively festivals and long, languorous holidays, you can also visit the very birthplace of civilisation, let alone wander into the ring in which the first Olympians competed.
It almost goes without saying that the capital city of Athens is an utter must-visit. Home to the mighty Acropolis, itself crowned by three majestic temples that include the iconic Parthenon, you can take the one-and-a-half mile walkway that leads you to the Ancient Agora, the Roman Forum and the Temple of Zeus (no wonder the walkway is unofficially named the Archaeological Promenade!) Visit the cutting-edge, architect-designed Acropolis Museum if you’re after a more modern structure.
Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is another essential traveller spot, built on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. And you’ll find the ancient city of Thessaloniki a wondrous mixture of Byzantine churches and Roman monuments, with the 15th century White Tower standing proudly by the sea.
Speaking of the sea, Greece’s stunning collection of islands provide the ideal backdrop to the world’s best beach holiday, from the romantic, whitewashed buildings of the ‘Captain Corelli’ island of Cephalonia, to the dramatic black sand beaches of Santorini.
Corfu, one of Greece’s most-visited islands, was once ruled by the Venetians, and you’ll find it filled with elegantly romantic Italianate architecture. Mykonos Town, meanwhile, is a favourite of international celebs, and a hotspot for lively parties and long, sandy beaches alike. Why not grab an ouzo at the nearest boutique bar, and see who you can spot?
Ready to take life in the slow lane? Then head for Rhodes, the timeless Dodecanese island where you can laze on sandy beaches amidst the scent of fresh, outdoors-baked bread. Saunter into the medieval-walled Old Town, and watch the world go by over a platter of salty feta, plump olives, herbs and houmous.
Wash it all down with a glass or two of world-renowned Greek wine, and there you have it – a sumptuous holiday that’s fit for the gods!
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