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With thousands of years of history, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Greece is the cradle of western civilization. The nation’s diverse terrain is marked by its mountainous landscapes and pristine beaches, while its seas are dotted with numerous picturesque islands. Add excellent wine and delicious food, and you are in for a treat of your lifetime.
Capital Athens is Greece’s beating heart and home to most of the population. The city is packed with ancient landmarks dating back to over 2000 years. Athens is one of the perfect examples of a city where ancient culture and tradition coexist with modernism. The Acropolis of Athens is the most notable (and the most popular) monument and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. The monument’s crown jewel is the Parthenon – a ruined temple of goddess Athena. Don’t miss the nearby Acropolis Museum, where you will encounter numerous archaeological findings of the Acropolis. Other significant historical landmarks include ancient Athens’ administrative, commercial and social centre called the Ancient Agora, and Temple of Olympian Zeus – the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the Greek god Zeus. Other than its historical attractions, Athens houses some excellent museums and cultural centres like the National Archaeological Museum, Benaki Museum of Greek Culture and Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center to name a few.
Greece’s historical importance is not limited only to Athens. Meteora and Delphi in Central Greece and Olympia, Mycenae and Mystras in the Peloponnese Region also carry some stunning historical elements and are considered some of the must-visit destinations in the country.
When it comes to islands, Santorini in the Cyclades archipelago is a honeymooner’s paradise. This whitewashed island is known for its lovely black-sand beaches, rugged terrain and romantic setting. Other popular islands in the Cyclades group are Delos – with a UNESCO world heritage archaeological site and the birthplace of twin Greek gods Apollo and Artemis, Mykonos – a beach lover’s delight and known for its vibrant nightlife and Naxos – the largest island in the group. Talking about large islands, the island of Crete is the largest in the country and known for its beautiful beaches, surreal scenery, lively cities and traditional villages. Just like other parts of Greece, Crete is also rich in history and the Palace of Knossos is its superstar destination. If you’re more of an outdoor person and seek adventure, you should head over to Samaria Gorge, where you can experience excellent hiking. The Dodecanese island group is another place that caters to hikers, divers as well as history buffs. To experience a fresh landscape and weather, head over to the Ionian Islands, which offer a relaxed atmosphere amidst verdant forests, mountains and architectural gems. Corfu Town is the focal point of the Ionian islands group and known for its historical and cultural heritage. Closer to Turkey than to Greece, the Aegean islands group is home to the third-largest island in Greece – Lesvos. The well-preserved Ottoman-era towns of Mytilini and Molyvos are the highlights of Lesvos.
The northern part of Greece is a diverse region with remains of multiple ancient empires, variety of cultures, great food and houses the second-largest city in the country – Thessaloniki. The city is home to numerous attractions, and the White Tower is its most renowned site. Northern Greece is also home to the highest point in Greece – Mt Olympus, which can be reached either on a vehicle or you can opt for a hike.
Greece is one of the most bucket-listed destinations in the world and there are many reasons that you can be attracted to this paradise. Be it the astonishing historical heritage of Athens, the picture-perfect setting of Santorini or the delicious food and wine, a trip to Greece will never disappoint you.
The Acropolis of Athens is the most popular monument in Athens and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.