Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. In 2012, almost 17 million visitors were welcomed in Greece. A Southern European country situated at the tip of the Balkan Peninsula, Greece features very extensive coastlines, as well as enchanting islands dotting the seas of the Mediterranean, Ionian and Aegean. With equally beautiful countries for its neighbors, such as Albania, Bulgaria, the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey, it is no wonder that travelers from different parts of the world are drawn to this fascinating country. Well loved for its idyllic beaches and for its rich and colorful ancient history that has been very influential in different fields like the arts, sports and education paired with a very appealing Mediterranean climate, Greece continues to be a true gem, and people from different parts of the globe flock to it every year in an attempt to discover all the beautiful and fine things it has to offer.
Accessible to international visitors through its largest and busiest airport, Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens, guests from different parts of the globe can also opt to fly in through one of Greece’s other airports, namely Nikos Kazantzakis International in Heraklion, Makedonia International in Thessaloniki, Diagoras in Rhodes and IoannisKapodistrias in Corfu. Those arriving from nearby areas can access Greece through Trainose, the state train company, or by car passing through its neighboring countries or by international bus service. In addition, visitors can reach Greece aboard one of the Mediterranean ferries, such as Hellenic Seaways, Aegean Speed Lines and Euroseas.
Begin your Greece exploration with its capital, the City of Athens, which many consider the birthplace of western civilization. Be in awe of one of the iconic symbols of Greece, the Acropolis, and marvel at its many old monuments beginning with the famous Parthenon temple. Open to the public daily, general admission to The Acropolis is 12 Euros. Other very interesting spots one should visit here include the temples of Athena Nike, dedicated to the goddess of the city, Athena, and Erechtheion. While in Athens, try to visit many of its amazing museums, starting with The National Art Gallery at Michalakopoulou Street and the industrial museum of The City Of Athens Technopolis. And while you are at it, remember to explore one of the numerous parks found in the city, beginning with the enchanting Parnitha National Park and The National Garden of Athens.
Meteorais is another famous part of Greece that travelers from everywhere love to visit and explore. Translated literally as “middle of the sky,” this wonderful place consists of awe-inspiring pinnacles that defeated earthquakes and water and that are punctuated with 24 monasteries that are also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site lists. While there, discover the charming towns of Kalampaka and Kastraki at the foot of Meteora. Both places are rich with ancient history that any visitor will enjoy.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for even more stunning views and beautiful sunsets, the perfect Greek destination for you will have to be Santorini. Marvel at the quaint traditional villages perched on cliffs and characterized by numerous Cycladic churches. Walk up to Firostefani for a stunning view of the volcano, the sunset and the rest of Santorini. Most people also visit here for the beautiful idyllic beaches found in Kamari and Perissa.
Situated right in the middle of the Aegean Sea is another popular Greek destination, Mykonos. Considered one of the travel meccas of Greece, Mykonos has famous windmills, the medieval houses of Little Venice and a host of beautiful beaches, including the ones found in Psarou, Platys Gialos, and Elia, which is considered one of the larger beaches in Mykonos. After frolicking on the sandy beaches and under the Greek sun, a traveler can visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site found in the nearby island of Delos.
The Greek cuisine is as colorful and rich as its country’s culture and important contributions to civilization. That is why it is a must for any tourist to dine in any of the local tavernas and satisfy their palate with the local delicacies, starting with the interesting dishes of moussaka, sahanaki and stifado. Capping your gastronomic adventure with baklava or galaktoboureko will also prove to be a very pleasant experience.