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Greece Holiday - Greece Travel & Tourism

Culture and People of Greece

The seat of the most ancient civilization and home to the world's first philosophers and intellectuals, Greece has enthralled generations with its intriguing mythology, and contribution to literature, war, history, art, mathematics and science and of course, sports.

The southern shores of Greece overlooking the Aegean Sea witnessed the growth of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations, their influence gradually spreading to the islands around the Black Sea, southern Italy and Asia Minor. In a democratic environment which nurtured the free flow of thought, Greece became the fountain of knowledge. It is no wonder than that Greece arouses so much interest even from not very regular travelers, making it one of the world's most visited destinations.

Its history and monuments apart, Greece makes for a great vacation. Its people live life to the fullest, and the islands offer tourists great cruises, beaches and ski resorts. Modern Greece enjoys a high quality of life and tourism accounts for 15% of the country's GDP.

Best Time to Visit Greece

Lying on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe, most of Greece is traversed by the Pindus Mountains. Its territory includes the islands of Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Chios and the Dodecanese and Cycladic groups of islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The weather is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea along the coast, and the mountains dictate the temperatures and rainfall in the interiors, where the climate is either Alpine or temperate.

Between April and June, and again from August to October, the weather is perfect for touring Greece. The ski resorts are open in winter and the islands continue with brisk business between October and April, generally off-season months on the mainland.

Greece Tourist Attractions - Places to see in Greece

Contrary to expectations, Greece has a rather diverse architectural landscape. The Cycladic islands like Paros stand out with their freshly painted homes and characteristic blue domes on the churches. Ermoupolis and Nafplio have a typical neoclassical design, while the Ottoman influence is seen in Grevena and Kozani. Baroque architecture can be identified in the construction of churches in Corfu.

Apart from the striking architecture of the medieval churches, castles, temples and ruins, Greece's olive orchards, vineyards, beaches and mountains paint a pretty picture.

Athens, the capital and birthplace of the Greek civilization, can best be toured on the funicular railway. The celebrated monuments at Acropolis, Anafiotika, Plaka and Monastiraki can be covered on foot. At the ancient town of Acropolis, the Parthenon, Erecthion and the Temple of Athena are remnants of the Greek Classical age. In the vicinity are the ruins of Ancient Agora and the Temple of Zeus. Other must-visit destinations in Athens include the Benaki Museum, National Archaelogical Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art.

A three hour drive from Athens will take you to the magnificent site of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, located on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassos. Above the temple is the Theatre dating back to the 4th century, and beyond it, up the pine slopes is the stadium. The Castalia Spring, the Athena Pronoia and the Gymnasium are other historical sites at the Delphi site.

At Olympia, visit the Sanctuary of Zeus, and the venue of the first Olympic Games. Also, the Temples of Zeus and of Hera, the Palaistra, the training ground for boxers and wrestlers, and the Gymnasium and the Archaeological Museum.

On your way to Mistra where remains of the Byzantine empire can be found in its ruined fort and lovely churches, you can stopover at the ancient palace of Helen and Menelaos at Menelaion.

A six-hour train ride from Athens will get you to Thessaloiki, where again, you will find history preserved in its museums, the White Tower, its traditional houses, the Byzantine citadel, churches and the Eptapyrgion fort.

Heraklion is the capital of Crete, and its Archaeological Museum carefully preserves 3000 year old souvenirs of the Minoan civilization. The Palace of Knossos, the Venetian Castle of Koules and the St. Minas Cathedral are visit-worthy.

To experience Greece in entirety, don't miss out on the bubbling energy of its islands. Mykonos is one of the popular ones centered around a fishing bay. Red roofed churches add color to the natural blues, browns and greens of this picturesque village, as do the 16th century windmills. The Paraportiani Church, the Arhaeological and Maritime Museums and the Folklore Museum are other sights you must visit.

A string of beaches, each with its own charms lines the Mykonos coast - choose from between Gios Sostis, Agios Stefanos, Agios Yannis, Agrari, Elia, Fetelia, Kalafatis, Kalo Livadi, and Lia amongst others. Explore these at leisure, and enjoy the delectable cuisine at any of the alfresco or fine dining restaurants.

Plan your holiday to Greece so you don't miss out on any of the sights this wonderful country has to offer.


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