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Greece

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Table of contents

Things to do and see in Greece

Athens


Athens (Athina) with a population of over three million was named after Athena who was the goddess of wisdom and according to legend, won the city after defeating Poseidon in a duel. It’s the capital of the country and the cities biggest attraction is the hill of the Acropolis, which is probably the single most recognisable picture of the Balkans and also the site of the 2400-year-old Parthenon, one of the most famous monuments in the world. Some of the countries famous people are Socrates, Homer (not Simpson) and Aristotle just to name a few.

Greece’s capital Athens is one of the most visited cities in the world and since Greece hosting the 2004 Summer Olympics is one of the most modern cities in Southern Europe the 2004 Summer Olympics gave the city a much needed regeneration to its transport system, as before it was overcrowded and polluted. Now it’s easy to get around and see some of the planets most famous monuments and attractions. We recommend that you spend at least four days in Athens before heading off to the islands, as there is so much to do and see in this beautiful city. We recommend you take the ‘Happy Bus’, which is a bus you can catch in the city centre and it takes you to all the major sites in the city.

 

Akrópoli (Acropolis) / Parthenon

The Acropolis is one of the most famous sites in all of Athens and a symbol of Greek civilization. It’s located on a large hill that is over 60meters tall and it lies in the center of the city. It is the site of three different temples dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of Athens, the most famous of which is the internationally-renowned Parthenon. The Partheon dominates Athens and these majestic ruins of an ancient Greece are amazing.  It was completed in 438 BC and it’s known for its dignified white marble columns and perfect sense of proportion. We recommend going up to the Acropolis, as its worth it just for the magnificent view of the city. Admission is €7, but prices are subject to change. For more information go to www.culture.gr

 


Delphi

According to Greek mythology, Delphi stands at the point where two eagles, released to the east and west by the god Zeus, met, thus marking the centre of the world. Soaring high above the Gulf of Corinth, on Mount Parnassos, it has long been home to the sanctuary of Apollo and the seat of his oracle. Perhaps the best known of Delphi’s ancient inhabitants, dating from the second millennium BC, and the oracle's predictions affected matters as grand as those of warfare. Today, the ancient site lies in ruins, although visitors still come in their thousands to see the remains, as well as the Doric Temple of Apollo and the Sacred Way, all of which were excavated between 1892 and 1935. The Delphi Museum, which was built in 1903, exhibits various statues and offerings from the sanctuary of Delphi. Admission is €7, but prices are subject to change. For more information on the Delphi go to www.culture.gr

 


Plaka

Historic neighborhood located at the base of the hill topped by the Acropolis. Today, you will find people with stands selling loads of items and there are several restaurants along this area as well.

 


Acropolis Museum


This is a historic museum detailing the religious history of the Acropolis.  It features a collection of ancient statues that were used in religious ceremonies.

 


Kefalari Square


This leafy square is the hub of the nightlife for the suburbs in northern Athens.  There are some great pubs and restaurants in this area.

 


Olympic Stadium


The first modern Olympic stadium and it’s an important historical place in Greek history. It’s located in the city centre and definitely worth a look.

 


Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon


A great afternoon trip from Athens, this is one of those spots that are as much a favorite with the locals as it is with the tourists. It's a favorite sunset-viewing spot for everyone, and will give you a classically Greek moment against the ruined monument along with a terrific sea view.

 


Agora

These ruins are located in the heart of modern Athens and were once the site of a marketplace in ancient times. It was also a political, cultural and economic center of the ancient Greece.

 


National Archaeological Museum


Completed in 1899 this museum has an extensive historic collection and is housed in the heart of Athens. While even a brief visit is dazzling you should allow yourself at least 2-3 hours. Even then it wouldn’t be enough time. This museum has Greek culture, starting with the Cycladic Island civilization and the Minoans and Myceneans, and stretching up toward the present. The Minoans were an ancient tribe who once dominated the Aegean Sea area. Admission is €6, but prices are subject to change. If you love your history then this museum is definitely worth a look when you are in Athens.

 

 

 

 

 

Mykonos


This is the most visited and most expensive of all the Greek islands. Also, Mykonos is known for its lively nightlife and some of Greece’s best clubs, which in summer are open till the early hours of the morning. The island itself isn’t anything to right home about as the beach isn’t that great, but like we mentioned previously its really only the partying you would come to island for. The two best beaches on the island are Paradise and Super Paradise Beach, which just to let you know can also be a nudist beach at times.


Paradise Beach

It's not called "paradise" for nothing as this beautiful sandy beach is popular for its swimming and its clear blue waters.

 


Avenue of the Lions

This ancient street dates back to the seventh century BC. It is lined with majestic stone lions and it a must for any traveler.

 


Diving

There is a lot of coral and great diving around the Mykonos coast line. If you are interested go to Paradise beach and the company is called Dive Adventures Mykonos. For more information go to www.divemykonos.gr

 

 

 


Ios


Ios is in a class of its own, people come here for beaches and cheap alcohol. The island pretty much just consists of a port, a town and a beach. One road connects all three and during the day, a pair of buses travels this route back and forth. It takes 30 minutes to complete the journey, so you know you can catch a bus at the beach every half-hour. Life on Ios is about as uncomplicated as the bus service. It’s not the Island we would recommend to come to, but if you do I’m sure you will get caught up in all the drinking and partying that goes on.

 

 

 

 

Santorini


White buildings against the deep-blue Aegean Sea make Santorini stunning. Regarded by many as one of the most scenic places on Earth, Santorini offers the most stunning views in all of Greece. It's one of the only places on the planet that has both sunsets and rises which can be viewed from the exactly the same spot. Santorini's steep cliffs are the result of the largest volcanic explosion known to mankind in 1600 BC and it was so powerful it blew the island into three pieces. It also created crescent moon-shaped island from which the view of the Aegean Sea is unparalleled. Today, you can do day tours to the volcano, where you will have a chance to swim natural hot springs as well.

Oia is the place you will enter the island either by ferry or by plane in summer. The best swimming spot on the island is at Ammoudi where you can find excellent beaches. This island is definitely recommend as you will get pictures that will be some of the most beautiful you will ever take.


Beaches


There are several beaches on this island and many of them are recommended. When you come to Santorini you come for beaches and amazing scenery. Kamari is the nicest beach in Santorini; it's quiet and lined with tavernas. The two main beaches are Kamari and Perissa. Kamari is the most popular with most tourists as it has a rocky black-sand beach with ideal cliff-jumping. It is also lined with lots of cafes and shops. Perissa is popular among backpackers and budget travelers as it offers inexpensive accommodations such as camping for less than 10 Euros. The atmosphere is much more casual and it has a small beachside bar providing music.

 


Ancient Akrotiri

This ancient city was covered in a heap of volcanic ash that erupted many years ago. It has preserved it for present-day archeologists and interested tourists. Archeologists believe that this is the lost city of Atlantis.

 


Ia


This is a scenic, old historic village full of white houses and winding streets. It is an interesting spot for any tourist.

 


Panaghia Episcope


This beautiful Byzantine church was built in 1115 and it withstood invasions, fires and earthquakes.

 


Surrounding Islands

Santorini is by far the most beautiful island in Greece and the surrounding Islands are worth a look as well. The three we would recommend are Thisasia, Nea Kameni, and Palea Kameni.

 

 

 


Corfu


Corfu could be called the Paradise Island of Greece. Corfu was not given the name of the "Emerald Island" for no reason. Corfu is the greenest of all the Greek islands and its natural beauty is hidden beneath a cloak of emerald green, with a mountainous skyline that plunges into the bluest of blue waters.

Due to its location Corfu has an interesting history and it has been ruled by the Romans, Venetians, French, and the British. Today, it’s just the European tourists that have come in to try and withstand a weekend of partying, as Corfu does attract some big European DJs. Below is a list of some other things you can do when you go to Corfu.


Beaches


Many of Corfu’s beaches are beautiful and they have wide stretches of sand perfect for lounging and sun bathing. Some of the most popular are Agios Gordios, Mirtiotissa, and Pelekas Beach.

 


Zoodochos Pigi Monastery

This Medieval monastery is located on a mountain overlooking the surrounding countryside. It features a spectacular lookout point as well as a collection of rare religious icons.

 

 

 

 

The Rest of Greece


Olympia

This is the original site of the Olympic Games, which begun in 776 BC, and the site where the Olympic Flame is still lit today. You will also find here the Temple of Zeus, which once housed the colossal gold and ivory statue of Zeus, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the Ancient World’.

 


Crete

The largest and most southerly Greek island, despite a busy tourist industry concentrated along the north coast, Crete has preserved its local traditions and ancient monuments. The Minoan culture, Europe’s first advanced civilization, developed here between 2800 and 1000 BC. When Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, many artists took refuge on the island, founding the renowned ‘Cretan School’ of painters.

This island attracts millions of people each year for its beautiful beaches its crazy nightlife. The capital is the port city of Heraklion and here you will find the National Archaeological Museum, which is one of the country’s top museums, displaying finds from the Minoan era, and the History Museum tells the island’s story from Byzantine times up to the present day. We definitely recommend the island as it has so much to offer a tourist looking for history or beautiful beaches.

 


Halkidiki


This peninsula is located southeast of the city of Thessaloniki, which is Greece’s second largest city. With its characteristic three peninsulas (Kassandra, Sithonia and Athos), it resembles a trident piercing the Aegean. It has amazing golden sandy beaches, deep and picturesque gulfs, traditional villages, modern resorts and most important beautiful weather. The capital of Halkidiki is Poligiros, which is located 70 km from Thessaloniki. If you are looking for great beaches and amazing nightlife, go to the Penninsula of Kassandra, which has many cool seaside resorts. The three that are highly recommended are Possidi, Glarocavos and the areas around Hanioti. There are regular buses that leave from Thessaloniki every day, so getting to Halkidiki is easy and relatively cheap.

 

 

 

 

 



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