Sunshine and culture
If you love catching some rays, then Greece is one of those countries that is lucky enough to bask in year-round sunshine with hot summers and mild winters. It’s also easy on the wallet, offering affordable hotels, villas and guest houses – plus the cost of food and drink is reasonable, too. Hospitality is welcoming and warm, and the locals always enjoy giving their local knowledge. If you’re after nightlife, entertainment is full on in the main capital of Athens, or alternatively, the smaller taverners display Greek dancing and traditional music. Local markets offer a great variety of souvenirs to take home, including leather and lace, and we love the flea markets and the popular Monastiraki market in Ifestou, near the centre of Athens.
Hot for history
The mainland is steeped in history, so you’ll be spoilt for choice of things to explore. Athens is home to many examples, from ancient ruins dotted across the city to amazing museums like the Acropolis. Whether you’re exploring the winding streets or the grand Temple of Olympian Zeus, you’ll never be struck for things to do. Make time for a day trip to Delphi, it’s the site of the famous oracle Apollo and the heart of the classic Greek world. But if you only have time for one visit, then you should choose the Acropolis, the ancient citadel that overlooks the city. It’s thousands of years old and is home the world-famous Parthenon temple and Theatre of Dionysus. You’ll find great guided tours, which will give you a proper insight into their history.
Famous for its turquoise waters and beautiful sandy beaches, Greece has one of the largest coastlines in Europe, so there’s something for everyone. The busy, organised shores have sunbeds, bars and beach taverners, and they offer water sports like kitesurfing and boat rentals, and entertainment, too. Meanwhile, there are plenty of more secluded options, such as the beautiful Lalaria beach on Skiathos, which is often voted one of the most beautiful in the world. You could also head to Myrtos Beach on Kefalonia – the film location of Captain Corelli – which has to be the most jaw-dropping and picturesque setting on the island.
The Greek islands are amazing with their deep blue waters and whitewashed houses that set them apart from other holiday destinations. The natural beauty of Santorini puts this island at the top of the list for weddings, honeymoons and couples’ escapes, while the carefree Kefalonia is a place to unwind and relax. For a family escape, the islands of Corfu and Halidiki are top of the list. Many others will also be ready to welcome you with open arms, including Zakynthos for beautiful beach resorts, Mykonos for nightlife, or Crete for relaxation and traditional experiences.
With delicious well-known favourites like tzatziki, dolmades, fried zucchini, souvlaki, kleftiko, stifado, Greek salad and calamari, Greek food is some of the freshest and tasty available in the Mediterranean. Most restaurants and taverners will serve freshly caught fish, and the local ouzo drink is enjoyed between friends and families. While the island of Corfu has been closed to visitors recently, the tourist board have been spearheading an initiative to encourage restaurants across the island to cook using only local produce. The aim is not just to support local suppliers, but also to give visitors a better food experience when they’re able to return. It’s already been taken up by many of the island’s restaurants and hotels.