Greece has captured the world’s imagination with its ancient culture, fantastical myths, fresh seafood and sizzling Mediterranean passion.

Greece; the very word conjures up a vision of tiny white houses perched on a hill overlooking endless blue sea and with endless blue sky overhead. It’s a well trodden path but Greece keeps drawing people back not just for this classical image of a Greek seaside town but also for its unique history, architecture, thousands of islands and tasty Mediterranean cuisine. Everyone who has been has favourite places but you might be surprised by some hidden gems which to this day are little visited.

Athens is surely one of the most scenic capitals in the world. To see the ruins of the Acropolis perched up high above the city as you approach it for the first time is a spellbinding experience. Modern Athens offers a thriving urban buzz despite well-publicised economic troubles in recent times. Cool cafes abound, full of Greeks of all ages engaged in heated discussions over a coffee and a glass of ouzo. Big families gather around huge tables for a lunch that may go on until evening. This is the way of life in this social country, and not just in Athens.

There are some 1400 Greek islands, many of which can be accessed via the gigantic ferry network departing from the port of Piraeus in Athens. Amongst the better known are the Cyclades which include Santorini and Mykonos but also lesser-known ones like small, charming Ios where Byron spent time. The Ionian Islands have Kefalonia, featured in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin but nevertheless unspoilt and peaceful, and busy but beautiful Corfu.

Back on the mainland the lesser-visited Peloponnese peninsula offers glorious, wild landscape on a big scale. The Peloponnese are remote and sparsely populated, still deeply rural, where you can experience real Greek life amongst vineyards and farms without the clamour of tourism. The peninsula is steeped in classical heritage too; here you’ll find Olympia, from where the eponymous Games began in ancient times.

Happy memories are made by Greek food and wine. The cuisine is pretty simple, made with outstandingly fresh and ripe vegetables, salad and fruit, fish straight from the sea, deep green olive oil sourced locally, salty feta cheese, earthy oregano and freshly-baked bread. There’s plenty of regional specialities but these are the staples which are to be found countrywide. Wash down the food with some young, honeyed white wine straight from the barrel.

So you can feast like a king, island-hop to your heart’s content, relax on a white sand palm-fringed beach all day, trek up a volcano on Milos island, swim with sea turtles in the Blue Aegean, meander through narrow alleyways in numerous pretty villages, wander aimlessly through dreamy olive groves or vineyards, or go and sit awe-inspired on the steps of an amphitheatre where ancient Greeks sat many centuries before – whatever you are looking for, Greece offers it all.

Greece has captured the world’s imagination with its ancient culture and fantastical myths.


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