Athens was named after Athena the goddess of wisdom. Scented with mythology, Athens is a sociable city enlivened by outdoor cafes, pedestrian streets, parks, gardens and urban eccentrics. Almost every house and apartment has a balcony bulging with geraniums, and many of the city's streets and squares are fringed with orange trees. Even though you've probably come here to see the "glory that was Greece," perhaps best symbolized by the Parthenon and the superb statues and vases in the National Archaeological Museum, your best moments may come sitting at a small cafe, sipping a tiny cup of the sweet coffee.
Chania is a delightful town nestled between mountains and sea. It has a unique charm since the Venetians and Turks effectively stamped the old town in their own image. Its Old Town is considered the most beautiful urban district on Crete. The heart of the touristic activities in the area is the main square of the Old Town. The Topanas area is very picturesque, with many narrow alleys and old charming buildings, some of which have been restored as hotels, restaurants, shops and bars.
Corfu is an Ionian Island located between mainland Greece and Italy, especially popular with British tourists. The interior of the island has lush vegetation and gentle slopes, modest villages and farms, and countless olive and fruit trees. Corfu is steeped in history and it is perennially connected to the history of Greece starting from Greek mythology. Its history is full of battles and conquests. The island of Corfu is a good starting point for a trip to Ionian. This beautiful island is home to the Ionian University.
Corinth, along with Patras, is one of the two major gateways to the Peloponnese. It makes a pleasant daytrip by bus from Athens. The main attraction is the old town with ruins of the Roman times when Corinth was the capital of Greece. The old Roman market place, the museum and the fountain of Pereine are worth a visit. From the top of the 'Acrocorinth', you can admire the ancient lower town. The Corinth Canal, carrying ship traffic between the western Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, is about 4 km east of the city.
Crete is the most popular tourist destination in Greece. It is best known as the center of the Minoan civilization (ca. 2600-1400 BCE), the oldest civilization in Europe. The temples and palaces they built were the basis of many myths. The main attractions include the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the classical site of Gortys, the Venetian castle in Rethymno, and the Samaria Gorge, as well as many other natural sites, monuments, and beaches. Don't miss the town of Paleochora, one of the most relaxing places in the world, and the Samaria gorge.
This Greek site is full of glorious history from about 3,000 years. The most famous remains is Apollo's sanctuary, where a stone marks the "center of the world", as considered by the ancient Greeks. Apollo's priestess Pythia was known to live here, advising kings before all major actions (like the unfortunate Persian war). Besides history, Delphi attracts tourists due to its splendid location, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus; spring offers a magnificent view, combining both wildflowers and snow.
Founded in 824 AD by an Arabic Muslim people, Iraklion is home to the world's only comprehensive collection of Minoan artifacts. It has magnificent fortified walls and several other testimonies to the Venetians' time of power. Iraklion is close to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the biggest centre of population on Crete. Iraklion is also big enough, it is the 6th-largest city in Greece and confident enough to have its own identity as a busy modern city.
The Meteora ("suspended in the air") is the largest and most important complex of monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. By 1500, there were 24 monasteries here, of which six - the Great Meteoron, Varlaam, Rousanou, Ayia Triada, Ayios Nikolaos Anapaphsas, and Ayiou Stefanou - are still inhabited and welcome visitors. These six monasteries, built on spectacular natural sandstone rock pillars at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly, are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Located between mainland Greece and Italy, Kefalonia is the largest of the seven Ionian. It is one of the most enchanting of Greek islands mostly famous for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Kefalonia also boasts several natural wonders, a few historical buildings and archaeological sites. The landscape is stunning varying from green valleys, to mountains. You can explore a multitude of geological wonders, including subterranean Melissani Lake and the nearby Drogarati Caves.
This island in the Dodecanese has a rich history of about 10,000 years. Among the ancient touristic attractions, the main is Asklepion - the famous centre where the father of medicine Hippocrates taught and worked. The capital is also called Kos and it's both an historical and modern town - with many archaeological sites opened in the streets and many resorts along the coasts. Beside the Asklepion, you can also see a medieval fortress at the harbor and the Hippocratic Institute and Museum.
Part of the Cyclades islands, Mykonos is a top European summer destination, offering magnificent beaches and scuba diving centers. The main town in the island is Hora, an architectural landmark where you can admire the nice Alefkandra area, called the "Little Venice". You can enjoy careless walks on the maze of alleys, as motorized traffic is prohibited in Hora. The nightlife is an essential Mykonian attraction, made of famous clubs and taverns, like the beach bars of Paradise and Paranga.
Nafplion is a charming city with a spectacular waterfront, small streets and historic buildings. The main platia called Syntagma (Constitution) Square, is paved in marble and is on a much grander scale than anything you will find in the Plaka and surrounded by historical buildings including a Turkish mosque cafes, shops, a bank and a hotel. It has two hilltop Venetian fortresses, a miniature castle on an island in the harbor, shady parks, some interesting museums good restaurants, and shops.
Olympia offered to the world one of the most important ancient Greeks heritages: the Olympic Games that took place at the athletic complex for 1,000 years. 15 minutes from the ancient site is the modern village, filled with many shops of jewelry and reproductions of antiquities. The main attractions are the Olympic Museum and the Galerie Orphee bookstore. The statue of Zeus in the ancient temple of Olympia was one of the world's seven wonders, unfortunately, it did not survive; still, antique artifacts were preserved at the archaeological museum.
Mount Athos, the "Holy Mountain", is a mountain and a peninsula in Macedonia, northern Greece. This World Heritage Site is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms an autonomous theocratic state within the sovereignty of the Republic of Greece. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Only males are allowed entrance into Mount Athos, but only with a special permission, and Orthodox Christians take precedence in the permit issuance procedure.
As a central island among the Cyclades, Paros is a stop for all the ferries traveling to Santorini or Naxos. Paros itself offers nice places to the tourists: beaches and excellent scuba diving, windsurfing and horse riding opportunities. Parikia is the main town of Paros, where you can admire the remarkable Church of Ekatontapliani and the nearby Butterfly Valley. Charming towns and villages deserve to be seen; the old fishing village of Naoussa is a top destination, hosting a Venetian castle.
This island of sun generously offers over 300 days of sunshine yearly. The cleanest Aegean beaches and splendid natural spots make Rhodes a perfect holiday choice. The capital Rhodes is a combination of modern and ancient, as it keeps untouched scars from all the invaders. The Mediterranean climate suits a rich flora and fauna in the inhabited mountains; specifically beautiful are the butterflies - tiger moths. High points offering nice views are the acropolis in Lindos and the Mount Attavyros.
This volcanic archipelago is among the most spectacular worldwide. The largest island is Thera, host of a giant central lagoon surrounded by high cliffs on three sides and the small island Therasia on the fourth. A magnificent view is offered by Santorini cities, from the top of the cliff over the entire lagoon, which is in fact a caldera left by a huge volcanic eruption 3500 years ago. A legend relates this eruption to the lost Atlantis. A real wonder of Santorini is the town of Akrotiri, covered by lava, but incredibly preserved under it.
Thessaloniki is Greece's second-largest city and the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia. This is a city filled with Byzantine churches and chapels, as well as some Ottoman, and Jewish structures, a city with squares built around Roman palaces, whose markets pulse with life. The city is famous for its picturesque restaurants and tavernas as well as for its lively nightlife. Thessaloniki is known for its bougatsa delicacy that can be found in special stores in just about every corner of the city.
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