Greece is among the world’s top holiday destinations and there are so many reasons why this amazing country should become your all-year-long paradise! These next 5 words can describe Greece and its culture perfectly…
It’s like a miniature world, really! Amazing beaches for every taste, snow-covered mountains that reach the clouds, fairytale forests, lakes and rivers with crystal clear water, thousands of islands… let alone the beautiful villages and towns, with a completely different architecture from place to place. You can never get bored in Greece, that’s a guarantee…
Greek food is based on the Mediterranean diet which is considered one of the healthiest in the world. At this land you can feel how a juicy tomato tastes like and you can enjoy a bowl of fresh yogurt with honey and nuts, with all these ingredients being produced at the same place. Everything, somehow, tastes better here and this is why Greece is an authentic culinary experience… Let’s raise our glass of wine, or ouzo, or raki to that… hick!
More than 3000 years of rich history can be enough to make a place interesting, can’t they? This country has been through a lot, but the invaders never truly conquered her… Until today, Greece has managed to remain unaltered through the ages as a crossroad of cultures that have retained all the mystery of this finely-preserved precious heritage.
This country has a secret weapon, the perfect climate conditions. Never too cold, still… never too hot! That’s another fact that makes Greece the perfect destination during every season.
The summer is just amazing here, true! But have you ever seen the first falling leaves while strolling at a picturesque mountainous village of Peloponnese, have you been skiing at one of the numerous ski resorts up to the white mountains of the mainland or have you experienced the awakening of the nature on one of the lush and green islands of the Ionian sea? This country has so many things to offer during every season that can make you want to stay for a whole year or even forever!
This Greek exclamation perfectly describes the Greek way of life… Greeks are loud, sometimes they can cross the line and become quite rude and they lack patience but no one can deny that they are genuine, passionate, easy going, warm, creative, interesting people that you would love to have as friends. Greeks live every day as it is their last and that’s why you have to join them!
Santorini erupts with charm. A volcano embraced by the Aegean, this island-phenomenon in the Cyclades gives its visitors a mythical experience.
Santorini – also known as Thera in Greek – is the island immortalized by poets and painters, thanks to its celebrated light, multi-coloured cliffs and picture-perfect sunsets. On this island all senses are magnified, a product of its many contrasts: black earth against whitewashed homes clinging to the cliffside, or wild volcanic sculptures
Against sleek Cycladic lines.
Welcome to the Aegean, to one of the most beautiful islands in the world and one of the most popular destinations in Greece. Welcome to Santorini!
Mykonos Island, where tradition, nightlife and glamour live side by side
The Greek Island, Mykonos, flaunts its double personality the moment you set eyes on its coastline. Basking in year-round sunshine, its rugged rocky landscape blends seamlessly with smooth sandy beaches. In the distance, undulating hills host the island’s iconic windmills turning in symphony with the seasonal winds that have branded Mykonos ‘island of the winds’. On appearance, traditional white-washed villages seem untouched by time, but delve deeper into their maze of cobbled streets and you’ll find cosmopolitan bars, exclusive boutiques and gourmet restaurants. High-energy nightlife gives way to calming, picture-perfect beaches where it’s easy to find your inner peace.
And travel back through the centuries at Mykonos’ archaeological sites where you’ll encounter the Sanctuary of Apollo and many other fascinating ancient relics that reveal the island’s varied past. Then explore traditional villages such as Ano Mera where the pure white walls of Panagia Tourliani monastery appear crafted from the landscape.
Legends and beauty – Samos is an island steeped in history
Thick lush forests carpet the slopes of an island that’s shrouded in mystery and magic. Deep pockets of caves appear from nowhere and virgin landscapes seem untouched by time. Cosmopolitan yet deeply historical, the island of Samos guards layer upon layer of fascinating historical times that only those who venture in can discover.
An island of legends: Pythagoras, Epicurus, Aristarchus, Aesop and birthplace of Hera, it’s no coincidence that its temples rival the Parthenon. Arriving by cruise ship into Pythagoreio port, you’ll encounter an enchanting quayside promenade crammed with tavernas and shops as well as the Archaeological Museum that’s an island must-see.
Journeying further inland you’ll find waterfalls amidst dense lush forests and villages that peep out of the hills. Pristine beaches fringe the coastline and nature lovers can delight in the wetlands, lake and marshes that attract a wealth of birds to Samos island every year.
Heraklion Crete, a city filled with palaces, fountains and mythical labyrinths
Sailing into Heraklion port, the intimidating walls of Koules Fortress emerge from the sea to guard the ancient treasures found within the city. Capital of Crete, Heraklion is brimming with landmarks, world-class museums, golden beaches and a stylish nightlife scene that shape a destination to please everyone’s taste.
Pedestrianized streets wind their way around the historic center connecting squares, ornate Ottoman fountains and arcaded walkways within the secure Venetian walls. Strolling along the picturesque harbor-front promenade, you’ll spot traditional fishing boats coming and going, old vaulted shipyards in the distance as well as tavernas spilling out onto the seafront grilling freshly-caught fish and serving ice-cold drinks.
As the birthplace of Minoan civilization, Heraklion shows you the best of Crete history and culture. Exploring the Archaeological Museum, you’ll lose track of time looking at exhibitions covering more than 5,000 years, and you’ll soon uncover the city’s rich artistic heritage having given the world El Greco, poet Odysseas Elytis and novelist Nikos Kazantzakis.
A lunar landscape with otherworldly experiences – Milos a unique and mesmerizing island
Dramatically emerging from the Aegean Sea before you, you’ll be spellbound by Milos’ contrasting volcanic landscape that’s full of refreshing surprises. Its coastline reveals surreal shapes of sculpted rock that captivate viewers for hours, juxtaposed with quaint white stone fishing villages that blend seamlessly into the landscape.
Stepping off the cruise ship, a laid-back Cycladic island retreat awaits. Find peace and tranquility on one of the many beaches and feel the cooling, refreshing effect of the Aegean as you swim in its serene sea caves. Marvel at Cape Vani’s geological formations and travel along its ever-changing coastline to admire multi-colored sea cliffs at Paleochori and see evidence of how the island’s history was shaped by mining.
Arching its way around a central caldera, the island’s volcanic coastline spoils you for choice. Near Trypiti village, you’ll be able to explore one of the most ancient monuments in Christianity – the Milos Catacombs, where expansive underground chambers and passages were carved into the volcanic rock. Or sit back and relax in one of Milos’ quality terraced tavernas serving only the freshest catch of the day, discover colorful boathouses that magically emerge from the sea in Klima and stroll along Plaka’s hilltop cobblestone streets.
A timeless holy island, Patmos radiates spiritual wellbeing
Approaching the port of Skala, you can’t take your eyes off the monumental grid of medieval walls that emerge as if staking their claim over the island. Inching ever closer to Patmos island, your eyes will be drawn further down the hill to the fringes of white houses that circle Chora all the way to the pretty harbor of Skala.
Stepping foot on the island of Patmos you’ll be bowled over by its ageless, touching presence – villages appear undisturbed for centuries and its natural volcanic beauty captivates and absorbs all your attention. Patmos is also steeped in history: where architecture remains testament to Greek, Roman and Byzantine influences. And legends say that St John was inspired to write the Book of Revelations here.
The picturesque harbor of Skala may appear small on the outside, but a wealth of quality bakeries, shops and tavernas line the waterfront promenade tempting you to take a break and enjoy a refreshing drink. With no big towns; just secluded bays, towering cliffs and untouched landscapes, Patmos is as authentic as they come.
Beaches, castles and butterflies – Rhodes is an island like no other
Approaching Rhodes island by sea is an experience all of its own. The clifftop Acropolis at Lindos rises slowly from the still blue waters, evoking the ancient Colossus which once adorned the harbor, and modern hillside villages lay in the shadow of the imposing medieval fortification.
Stepping off the cruise ship, an island of contrasts awaits; a tranquil paradise, rich with nature and layered with history. Wandering the Old Town, you’ll feel the presence of the Crusaders who once walked the same cobbled streets. The ruins left behind by Byzantines, Romans and ancient Greeks will whisk you even further back in time.
Alternatively, find peace and seclusion on the miles and miles of sandy beaches, or feel your cares drift away in the mineral-rich waters at one of the island’s many natural spas. Then head into the forested inland, where rivers and waterfalls flow, butterflies surround you in the Valley of the Butterflies, and native deer still roam free on the wild hills and mountains.
The large bustling city of Volos lies cradled within a bay at the northern end of the Pagasitikos Gulf, a superb natural harbour that’s sheltered by the long arm of the Pelion Peninsula, curving to the east.
Both a lively university town and a major Greek port, Volos is not in itself a tourist destination, but many travellers do pass through en route to the Pelion or the Sporades. Volos is believed to have originated as ancient Iolkos, the mythic starting point of Jason and his Argonauts; the precise site of the Mycenaean settlement has been unearthed in Dimini nearby.
Ten kilometres southwest of central Athens, Piraeus is dazzling in its scale, its seemingly endless quays filled with ferries, ships and hydrofoils. It’s the biggest port in the Mediterranean (more than 20 million passengers pass through annually), the hub of the Aegean ferry network, the centre of Greece’s maritime trade and the base for its large merchant navy. While technically its own city, it melds into the Athens sprawl, with close to half a million people living in the greater area.
Shabby and congested, central Piraeus is not a place where visitors normally choose to linger. Beyond its shipping offices, banks and public buildings are a jumble of pedestrian precincts, shopping strips and rather grungy areas. The most attractive quarter lies east around Zea Marina, Pasalimani and Mikrolimano harbours. The latter is lined with cafes, restaurants and bars filled with Athenians, locals and visitors.