11 Reasons Why Greece Should Be On Your Vacation List
Greece, the mother of western civilization, is genuinely an illustrious country. It has a rich history and plenty of accolades to its name. What adds to Greece’s charm is its natural beauty and near-perfect preservation of the past civilization. We recommend adding Greece to your bucket list and ticking it off at the earliest.
Bask in the glory of pristine Greece
Rightly considered as the gem of the Athenian civilization, this acropolis is built in 5 B.C. Perched on a hill-top are three magnificent temples, that are built using glittering marble. This site was home to the renowned statue of Athena, the goddess of Athens. Enter through the Beule Gate to witness the magnificent architectural design of the Propylaia, the Parthenon, and the Erechteion.
Another picturesque location in Greece is the dazzling Santorini, probably the most dramatic Greek isle. The stunning west coast cliff-top towns of Fira and Oia appear to perch over the deep-blue sea. Lined with Cycladic whitewashed cube-shaped building, many of which are now boutique hotels, Santorini has become a hot favorite for honeymooners.
The glam quotient of Greece is the island of Mykonos. Its chic boutique hotels, live music venues, and classy seafood restaurants attract millions of visitors to this picture-perfect destination. Psarou Beach known for its signature blue sun loungers in Mykonos is a must-visit. The island town has a quieter side to it as well, but if you visit during summers, it may get tougher.
Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was considered as the center of the world by the ancient Greeks. It held a significant place in Greek civilization as Greeks came to this place on pilgrimages to worship Apollo. Picturesque Delphi is located on the south-western slope of Mount Parnassus, overlooking the coastal plain and the valley of Phocis. Stunning ruins of several temples, a theatre, and a stadium built during the 8th century B.C. to 2nd century A.D. are the major attractions here. The Delphi Archaeological Museum has an impressive collection from the ruins.
Corfu has been a favorite vacation spot for ages now. Earlier visited by the royalty and elite of Europe; it is now frequented by all kind of visitors from around the world. Set in the Ionian Sea, the island’s capital, Corfu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Corfu Town is a gem of elegant Italianate architecture and is best explored on by walking on the quaint Venetian streets. The most popular beach on the island is Paleokastritsa on the west coast.
Zakynthos or Zante island is home to abundant landscapes dotted with stunning blue caves, fertile plains, vegetation, jagged mountains, and forests. Blessed with an extensive coastline of 125 km, Zakynthos has paradisaical beaches and intriguing ones like Shipwreck Beach, a pebble and sand beach. The water inside the Blue caves reflects the color of the blue sky, creating a unique attraction for spelunking. There are abundant spots for snorkeling and scuba diving.
A popular weekend destination for the rich folks of Athens, Nafplio is often cited as the most beautiful city in Greece. Nafplio was the capital of modern Greece in 1828 before Athens took over. It is built on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese and is home to several Neoclassical mansions and churches. Other attractions include Tiryns, Epidaurus Theatre and Ancient Corinth.
Lying on the Aegean Sea, Thessaloniki is the second biggest city, losing only to Athens. Due to its proximity to Turkey and Bulgaria, the culture here has subtle influences of their culture. The main attractions of Thessaloniki include UNESCO-listed Byzantine churches, 4th century Rotunda, Triumphal Arch of Galerius, a Byzantine Museum and 15th century White Tower on the seafront.
Nestled on the gorgeous island of Crete, Samaria Gorge is a heavenly abode for lovers of the great outdoors. The Samaria Gorge is 16 km in length and is 4 meters wide at its narrowest part. Several treks are arranged at the Gorge from Chania and Rethymnon. The Gorge is a refuge for the kri-kri, a Cretan goat and several other endemic species, thus making it popular amongst the animal lovers.
Located on the Aegean Sea, nearby to Turkey, this UNESCO-listed town is one of the popular tourist destinations. It is encompassed by an impressive fortification that includes monumental towers and gates built by the Knights of St. John. The town is best explored by wandering on the cobbled streets. Other attractions include the coastal town of Lindos and Marmaris on the Turkish coast.
If you wish to sway away from the typical itinerary of Greece, you should include Thessaly Plain. Bizzare rocky formations in the plain have been crowned by beautiful monasteries of Metéora. Six of the monasteries of this UNESCO World Heritage site are open to the public. Come prepared to climb several flights of stone steps to reach each monastery to find Byzantine frescoes.