Greece

The cradle of Western civilization

As the birthplace of Western civilization. Greece is a country that was very influential in ancient times and still draws people of modern times to her ancient charms. Located in south Eastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Adriatic, Aegean and Ionian seas, Greece is a tourist’s paradise.

Athens is steeped in history and culture. The city is full of fascinating museums and ancient ruins, including the Acropolis and the Aeropagus, site of St. Paul’s famous speech (Acts 17). And Thessaloniki is the country’s second-largest city, where you’ll find a pleasant blend of Byzantine and modern. It’s well known for its world-class artists, musicians, poets, and nightlife.

Greece’s largest island is Crete,  full of ruins of the Minoan civilization and other archaeological treasures. Former capital Chania is known for a 14th-century Venetian harbor, narrow streets and waterfront restaurants, but if you enjoy outdoor activities the island has numerous caves, valleys, and gorges to enjoy. You’ll find a new surprise at every turn.

The Greek Isles enjoy a first-rate ferry system, with countless virgin beaches and archaeological wonders that draw millions of visitors each year. Corfu, Katakolon and Nafplio are on many Mediterranean cruise itineraries, where a top cruise excursion is to the legendary Mount Olympus.

Santorini is popular for its black (volcanic sand) beaches, while Rhodes has castles built by the Knights of Saint John. Rhodes also boasts remnants of the Roman and Byzantine empires as well as classic medieval architecture.

Greeks love their veggies as much as the Spanish love their olives. If you’ve never heard of the famous Greek salad, then you are missing out on a treat.

Olive oil, cheeses, fish, nuts, and wine also play a huge role. Don’t miss tasting baklava, a decadently rich honey and nut pastry. Other dishes to try are “Chaniotiko Boureki.” a delicious zucchini, potato, myzithra, and mint casserole, and Fasolada, a white bean soup that’s a favorite throughout the Mediterranean.

Tourist-friendly Greece has a mild climate. Most agree that the best time to visit is between June and September, when the weather is usually perfect.

Greeks are hospitable, and their country has a general exotic flavor that you cannot resist. Whether you’re fond of antiquities, looking to tour its popular historical sites, or simply want to relax on vacation, this is an ideal destination.

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Tourism website: Visit Greece

Time zone: UTC/GMT +03:00

Currency: EUR – Euro

Official language: Greek

UNESCO World Heritage sites: 18

See more of the country in our Greece photo galleries.