Destination Overview GREECE

“Greece, the birthplace of democracy, is located at the southeast end of Europe and is the southernmost country of the Balkan Peninsula, bordering the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas. Its neighbouring countries are Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania and Turkey. Despite its relative small area size, the weather in Greece varies widely between the different areas.

The northern, more mountainous regions, experience winter cold in its extreme; ice and snow become a permanent feature of the landscape and the temperatures settle on lower numbers.

The coastal areas and Greek islands experience a milder winter in terms of ice and snow, but high humidity and strong coastal winds during the winter make the cold seem very bitter. The summer is very hot and dry, which makes Greece a favourite vacation spots for sun and sea lovers.”

 

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Greek cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine. Being at the crossroads between east and west, Greek cuisine has been infused with the best of both worlds. Some of the most eclectic tastes from the west balance against some of the more raw and upbeat tastes from the east on Greek tables. Contemporary Greek cookery makes wide use of olive oil, vegetables and herbs, grains and bread, wine, fish, and various meats, including poultry, rabbit and pork. Also important are olives, cheese, aubergine, courgette and yoghurt. Greek desserts are characterized by the dominant use of nuts and honey.

Greece is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and the cradle of Western culture as we know it. The first signs of inhabitancy were the Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean maritime civilisations that lived and ruled during the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC). However, these collapsed by the 11th century BC and a ‘dark age’ followed. By 800 BC, there was a cultural and military revival and city-states like Athens and Sparta sprang onto the world map. The classical (or golden) age of Greece started soon after and gave rise to many of the world’s cultural emblems before ending with the Peloponnesian Wars (431-404 AD) in which the Athenians were vanquished by the Spartans. Alexander the Great, who marched into Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia and parts of what are now Afghanistan and India, ushered in the Macedonian empire. It ruled for three dynasties and is known as the Hellenistic period. During this time, Greek ideas and culture was amalgamated with other proud ancient cultures and a new tradition was created.

The powerful Roman empire turned its sights on Greece around 205 BC and over the next few centuries, the country came under the Romans, the illustrious Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Turks. All these influences combined to create a unique culture. A cultural revival in the late 18th century precipitated the War of Independence in 1821-29 but it was only in 1827, when Russia, France and Britain intervened that Greece became independent.

During WWI, Greek troops fought on the Allied side. Refugees from the Turkish territory of Smyrna weakened Greece’s economy. In 1936 General Metaxas was appointed as prime minister by the king and quickly established a fascist dictatorship. Despite Allied help, Greece fell to Germany in 1941. The destruction and economic problems led to a civil war that lasted until 1949. With economic help from America, Greece recovered after this and the royalists established an anti-Communist government and implemented the Certificate of Political Reliability, which remained valid until 1962. Fearing a resurgence of the left, a group of army colonels (military junta) staged a coup d’état in 1967. In 1981 Greece entered the European Community (now the EU), in 2004 the country hosted the Olympic Games.

In Greece, sea and mountain meet to dramatic effect, and everything is bathed in the bright, relentless light of the Mediterranean sun. Life here can be what you make it, either an endless party or a quiet affair. The smells of thyme and lavender, the shops tucked away on tiny island streets, the welcoming people, the undiscovered beaches, the gorgeous food, and the epic history will make you want to plan your next visit back to Greece before you’ve even left.

 

Top Destinations

Parthenon – the temple and the Acropolis museum as the symbol of Athens, Greece and of Western civilization.

Nafplion – considered as one of the most beautiful cities of Greece, rich in history as its first capital. Car free old town filled with neoclassical mansions.

Meteora Monastery – part of the UNESCO World Heritage list; where bizarre rocky outcrops are capped by the centuries old monasteries, 6 of which are open to the public.

Santorini – the most dramatic of all the Greek islands. It is best known for the west coast cliff top towns of Fira and Oia, its unique wines and the archaeological site of Akrotiri.

Mykonos – Greece’s most glamorous island destination. You’ll find chic boutique hotels, classy restaurants, all day beach bar restaurants with live music, and astonishing beaches all over the place.

Delphi – on the Greek mainland is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Built on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, overlooking a dramatic ravine, the site was sacred to the ancients ,who came here to worship Apollo and to ask advice from the mythical Oracle.

Phan Thiet

Phan Thiet

Tour prices includes 3 nights hotel accommodation Transport in air-conditioned vehicles Return arrival and departure transfers (conditions apply) Meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L ...

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Ho Tram

Tour prices includes 3 nights hotel accommodation Transport in air-conditioned vehicles Return arrival and departure transfers (conditions apply) Meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L ...

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Phu Quoc

Tour prices includes 3 nights hotel accommodation Transport in air-conditioned vehicles Return arrival and departure transfers (conditions apply) Meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L ...

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Tour prices includes 2 nights hotel accommodation Transport in air-conditioned vehicles Entrance Fees English-speaking guide Return arrival and departure transfers (conditions ...

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Tour prices includes 2 nights hotel accommodation Transport in air-conditioned vehicles Entrance Fees English-speaking guide Return arrival and departure transfers (conditions ...

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Our Insider Experience Observe leopards on safari in Yala National Park. Referred by locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World – Sigirya is the most visited highlight in Sri Lanka ...

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