Greece is the land of history & civilization. Ancient Greeks made many influential contributions to western civilizations, such as in the areas of philosophy, art & architecture and math & science. Today, Greece has been the country that tested austerity and reform. While its economic reputation has taken a battering, Greece remains a premier-league and very safe destination. It is worthwhile to visit the country and meet its people, to admire the attitude they have maintained during their crisis.
Greece is the cradle of ancient civilization, liberally sprinkled with architectural gems – from Minoan palaces to bright blue-domed Greek Orthodox churches – and sacred sites dedicated to the Greek gods. It is also full of natural wonders, including remarkable volcanic landscapes, gorges and valleys and many kilometers of beautiful coastline. Islands that speckle the turquoise seas surrounding the Greek mainland, spectacularly rugged mountains, dazzling whitewashed villages and isolated beaches, to resorts as cosmopolitan as any in the Mediterranean.
Its incredible historic sites span four millennia, encompassing both the legendary and the obscure. Its convoluted coastline is punctuated by superb beaches, while its mountainous interior urges you to dust off your hiking boots and explore.
The largest island, Crete, is one of the best known, while the unassuming Syros is smaller but just as beautiful. Verdant Corfu forms the backdrop to Shakespeare’s The Tempest, while Santorini is believed to be the legendary Lost City of Atlantis.
Minoans, Romans, Arabs, Latin Crusaders, Venetians, Slavs, Albanians and Turks have all left their mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes. And let’s not forget the museums stuffed to bursting with Classical sculpture and archeological treasures, from the Acropolis museum in Athens, voted one of the best in the world, to the Archaeological museum of Heraklion, on Crete, one of the most impressive ones!
Greece also means the pleasures of languor and warmth, swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars, Greek food at its best, fresh, abundant and uncomplicated.
But, the best natural resource is its people. 'Filoxenia' ("friend to foreigners"), is an important point of pride for Greeks, and is something rooted in ancient times and in mythology. Xenia is the ancient Greek concept of hospitality, the generosity and courtesy shown to those who are far from home. This is still expressed in the genuine welcome you receive at the simplest taverna, or the help you will be offered if you ask for something on the street.
Greece can offer surprises and a true sense of discovery to every visitor.