With a land area of over 50,000 square miles and a population of 11.3 million, Greece is located in Europe, at the southernmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula. With a coastline beautifully punctuated by superb beaches, and a mountainous interior that invites you to hike and explore, Greece remains a top-tier travel destination. As a country with amazing historic sites spanning four millennia, with a history of both the legendary and obscure, a visit to Greece will surely inspire you. It is one of Europe’s most beautiful destinations, home to picture-worthy islands, delicious food, millennia of history, and wonderful people.
A trip to the capital city of Greece; Athens, located in the Attica region, on a peninsula that extends into the Aegean sea will make you appreciate nature and cultural values more differently. Surrounded by four mountains, Mount Pentelicus, Mount Aigaleo, Mount Hymettus and Mount Parnitha, Athens is considered a global city and as the capital of Greece, it serves the most important industrial, political, cultural and economic function in the country.
Greece is one of the world’s tourist destinations known for its food. From seasonal vegetables, seafood, grilled meats to bread, yoghurt and all other staples of a Mediterranean diet, you treat yourself to nice delicacies at affordable rates.
The official language of Greece is Greek and it’s spoken by nearly 99% of the population. With a total population of 11.3 million, one-tenth are immigrants, half of whom are from Albania, the country recorded a total number of 29 million tourists in 2016.
Just like some other European countries like Russia, Ukraine, Greece is an orthodox Christian nation and they embrace Christianity as part of their national identity. Christianity makes up 90% of the population, 4% goes for Islam, 3% for other Christians, 1% for other religions, while 4% of the population are unaffiliated with a religion.
Some of the best things to do in Greece include exploring its ancient ruins, visiting and enjoying the clear beaches on the Greek Islands, tasting different rustic delicacies and local wines and also enjoying the view of the spectacular Greek sunsets. Below is a list of the five best places to visit in Greece:
5 best places to visit in Greece
- Delphi (Journey to the centre of the earth)
According to its name, Delphi is considered to be the centre of the earth, as it has an unbeatable natural setting at the foot of Mount Parnassos in the Central Mainland. With these archaeological ruins, it is second to the Acropolis in Athens and its also Greece most popular archaeological site. Dedicated to the god, Apollo, Delphi is where people come for advice in ancient times. On your visit to Delphi, the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, the theatre and the hippodrome are some of the locations you should not miss.
- Greek Islands
Unarguably one of the reasons why tourists troop to Greece, the Greek Islands lure a large number of tourists every year, and this has made Greece one of the world’s top travel destinations. The country plays host to over 2000 islands, all of which possess different features. From ancient ruins, colourful harbours, gorgeous beaches, and active volcanoes, these islands have it all.
Topping the list of the islands is Santorini, which is among the most picturesque islands and also one of the best places to visit in Greece. From the Evia Island, also known as Euboia, the second largest island in Greece, Alonissos Island which is the largest and only permanently inhabited island in the Eastern Sporades, to the Ios island that boats of whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets, lovely beaches, and cliff top villages, all islands in Greek are a tourist destination to visit.
As the capital city of Greece, Athens made it to this list as one of the most beautiful locations for tourists in Greece. Widely known as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, Athens has been inhabited for more than 3,000 years. Famous for its confusing blend of key historical and modern features, it is home to famous ruins like the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Ancient Agora and the Theatre of Dionysos. Other attractions in Athens are:
- Byzantine and Christian Museum
- Museum of Cycladic Art
- Philopappos Hill
- Temple of Athena Nike
- Benaki Museum
This part of Greece gets its name from the Greek word Meteora which means “suspended in the air”. According to its name, Meteora is the house of spectacular cliffs that rise more than 1,200 feet (366 meters) into the air overlooking the villages of Kalambaka and Kastraki in the north-central mainland of Greece. A more interesting part of these cliffs is the historic monasteries perched along the summits of the cliffs.
As Greece’s second-largest city and the capital of the Macedonian region of Northern Greece, Thessaloniki is the house of lively festivals, social events and an interesting nightlife that makes this city the cultural capital of Greece. This part of Greece combines old and new attractions offered by its Byzantine walls, White Tower and Turkish baths to colourful food markets.
Here is a list of other things you can do in Greece:
- Scuba diving
When is the best time to travel to Greece?
If you are travelling to Greece to enjoy the beaches and hot weather, then the best time to travel is between June and September. For sightseeing, exploring, tours and hiking, the best time to go is late March to early June and late September to and early November. Travelling to Greece between November and March is not recommended as the weather will be gray, windy, and often rainy.
Travel essentials for Greece
The travel vibe in Greece is mostly casual and laid back, so when planning for a trip to Greece, consider packing lightweight and easygoing, functional and travel-friendly accessories. No matter what you pack, don’t forget to include Wallet, travel documents, medications, mini first aid kit, gum/mints, makeup, antibacterial or baby wipes, sunscreen, tissues and toiletries. Group your packing options into personal accessories like sunglasses, lip balms, tech accessories like E-reader and chargers, adapters and converters, clothing accessories like 3- 5 pairs of socks, nice shoes, non-slip walking shoes, lightweight jackets and others.
Greece is part of the European Union, and the currency used is the Euro. Although most major shops, stalls and restaurants accepts credit cards, there may be a minimum requirement to get them.
EM Travel in association with WAKANOW