Everything You Need To Know About Greece

18 July 2018

Greece has captivated travellers for centuries with its ancient ruins, iconic dishes, golden shores, mythical sites, turquoise seas and incredible architecture. Here’s everything you need to know to enjoy the holiday of a lifetime in Greece.

Greece 101

Greece is the southernmost country in Europe, bordered by Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey. It’s a land of majestic mountains, dense forests, and idyllic islands. This country was the cradle of European civilisation, with the first Ancient Greek societies forming around 4,000 years ago, giving us influential figures like Pericles who shaped the democratic system we still use. Today Greece is a modern country that has become a popular holiday destination for visitors from around the world.

When to visit?

With its pleasant climate, Greece is an ideal holiday destination year-round. The high season for tourists falls between July and August when temperatures can reach up to 31°C. The warmer weather lasts from April to October, so you can indulge in outdoor pursuits like fishing, sailing, swimming and windsurfing throughout much of the year. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Greece in September or October, when it’s not that busy but still quite hot.  

Island hopping

Greece is famous for its islands that dot the Aegean, Mediterranean and Ionian Seas. The most visited island is Rhodes, where you can meet locals in hillside villages, kite-surf in Prasonisi Bay and frequent quaint cafes in Rhodes Town. Crete is the largest island; tourists are often drawn here for its Knossos palace ruins, Samariá Gorge hiking trail, and snorkelling hot spots such as Platanias Beach.

Santorini is a must-see destination with its white-washed buildings, Nea Kameni hot springs and prehistoric ruins. Corfu is an attractive place to many with its 19th-century Achilleion Palace, cosmopolitan capital and Orthodox monasteries, as well as its various Venetian fortresses. A favourite tourist pastime here is island hopping on a local boat, so feel free to tour a few of them!

Cradle of civilisation

The civilisations of Ancient Greece, from the Mycenaeans to the Athenians, left behind a wealth of archaeological sites to discover. The most iconic is the Acropolis of Athens, a collection of centuries-old buildings which includes the legendary Parthenon. Some of Athens’ other historical sites of note include Mount Olympus – where the gods supposedly lived – the Temple of Hephaestus and the Athenian Agora which was once the centre of city life. Find more time-worn sites to include on your itinerary across the country from Olympia, where the original Olympics were held, and the legendary Temple of Apollo at Delphi, to ruins of Sparta and the Epidaurus theatre.

Beach paradise

Beach lovers, Greece is the destination for you, with many scenic shores to explore. Head to the dark, volcanic-sand beaches of Santorini which make stunning holiday snap backdrops. Paradise Beach on Mykonos is a great spot for snorkelling with its reef-rich waters, while Crete’s Elafonsi Beach is ideal for families due to its gentle shallows. The perfect place for sun-seekers is Myrtos Beach in Kefalonia, where you can relax on a swathe of golden sands, or become an explorer by discovering the shipwreck at Navagio beach on Zakynthos!

Something for everyone

Greece is the perfect family destination with beaches, water parks such as Corfu’s Aqualand, and attractions like the CretAquarium which houses intriguing creatures like red scorpionfish. Revellers, head to party island Mykonos with its glitzy bars or Skiathos, where locals party in the cocktail bars of its main harbour until dawn! Culture enthusiasts will find things to see and do all over Greece, from touring ornate Orthodox churches to checking out the Kalfayan Galleries in Thessaloniki where contemporary art is displayed. Foodies will be drawn to local delicacies like ‘tiropita’ (cheese pie), moussaka, the sweet pastry ‘baklava’ and ‘tsatsiki’ - a delicious cucumber and yoghurt dip.

Keen to book a getaway to Greece? Get in touch with your local Travel Counsellor to learn more.

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