G reece seduces you as few other places can. The warmth of its people, the almost ethereal light that caresses myriad islands, millennia-old ruins, the starkness of whitewashed houses against an azure sea, the soft greens of olive groves and vineyards…they all come together to make Greece a country unique in Europe.
This is the land of Homer, Socrates and Plato, but Alexander the Great, the Turks, Romans, Slavs, Venetians, and many more have also had an impact on this magical land, influencing and molding the present-day Greek persona. To get a real sense of time and history, one needs only to stand on a hillside above Athens and look across the modern city at the Parthenon, built almost 500 years before the birth of Christ.
There is enough in Greece to keep you mesmerized for a long, long time. Visit magical Santorini and the other islands strewn across the Aegean Sea, but also visit Corfu with its Venetian charm on the country’s Ionian Coast. See the ancient olive groves that cover the hillsides, but also see the centuries-old monasteries of Metéora, built onto their rocky pinnacles high in the Pindus Mountains.
Visit the ancient sites at Delos and Delphi and Sounion, and also Thessaloniki up north, and Crete, far out in the Mediterranean. And the more places you visit, the more intoxicated you become with the country’s beauty and people.
You can’t help but succumb.
Athens – heart of civilization
Santorini – a stunning island
Crete – idyllic and historic
Delphi – home of Apollo
Corfu – French, Italian and Greek influences
Metéora – monasteries reaching for the sky
Good to Know
Athens: 10 Things to Do
Athens’ naming rights were won, legend says, when Athena trumped Poseidon’s proffered well with a gift of an olive tree. The city’s devotion was worth winning. Always famously lively, Athens is again at the cultural fore since it has gone on re-creating itself, says Time.
Seeing the Greek Islands
One of the greatest experiences in Greece is to travel to its picturesque islands that lie like pebbles strewn across the Aegean Sea.
Corfu, showing great Venetian influences on Greece’s Ionian Coast , differs greatly from the other Greek islands.
Beginners guide to the Greek Islands
Don’t know your Skyros from your Symi? Here’s a beginner’s guide to 10 of the best Greek islands, from the UK’s Guardian newspaper, good for whether you’re looking for a crowd-free cove or classical culture.