Hedonists rejoice! Greece is ancient sun-bleached ruins piercing blue skies, the balmy Aegean lapping an endless coastline and a culture alive with passionate music, wonderful cuisine and thrill-seeking activities.
The roots of Western culture are in Greece. Step into the ring where Olympians first competed. Climb steps hewn out of stone to Meteora’s monasteries, perched atop towering rocks. Contemplate the oracle’s insights from the grandeur of Delphi, take in a starlit drama at an ancient outdoor theatre and be stunned by massive marble sculptures dredged up from the Aegean. But then you’ll encounter bold modern art, the melancholic throb of rembetika (blues songs) and artisans creating new work from traditional techniques. Greece has endless cultural pursuits and a calendar bursting with festivals, holidays and exhibits.
Whether you’re a serious adrenalin junkie or dedicated beach bum, Greece delivers. Days melt from one to the next under wide open skies and a sea speckled with islands fringed with the white-sand, pine-tree shade beaches of your dreams. Wander along cobbled Byzantine footpaths, hike up volcanoes, watch for dolphins and sea turtles, and cycle through lush forests. Meander through olive groves, idyllic villages and petrified forests. Thrill seekers will discover world-class kitesurfing, wreck diving, and rock-climbing locations with dizzying views. Or simply hop on a boat and set sail into the glittering blue beyond.
The core ingredients of Greek cooking are often found in the chef’s garden. Feta and olive oil are universal across the country, but unique regional produce and cooking styles make travelling here a culinary adventure. Taste herbs and mountain greens you’ve never heard of, mussels steamed in ouzo, bread baked with olives, and fish straight from the sea. Taste-test crumbling feta, honeyed soft cheeses and sharp, hard rounds. Find Italian influences in risottos and pastas and Turkish spices woven into delicate sweets. A traditional-cooking renaissance has chefs lifting time-honoured recipes to new gourmet heights.
Socialising is more than a pastime in Greece – it’s a way of life. Cafes overflow with youngsters gossiping or older locals in heated debate. Restaurants are filled with long tables for big gatherings and friends amble arm in arm down the street. Squares are the focal point, where life unfolds collectively. Immerse yourself, whether it’s a coffee, a shot of ouzo, a chorus on the bouzouki or a local celebration. Greeks are passionate and live life to the fullest, even at the most difficult times. The result is a country seemingly riddled with challenges, yet full of people loving life.