GREECE Ultimate Travel Guide 2024 The Land of Myth and Tourism

GREECE Ultimate Travel Guide 2024  The Land of Myth and Tourism

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Greece is among 10 most visited  countries in the world. Last year,   35 million travelers visited the country,  driven by its spectacular historic monuments,   and the warm Aegean Sea. Greece has almost 14,000  kilometers of coastline and 400 award-winning Blue   Flag beaches. That's reason enough to take  a closer look at this beautiful country.  Athens, the capital of Greece, is the definition  of Mediterranean. You'll find it everywhere - in   its cuisine, the beaches, and the natural  settings. It's a city brimming with youth   and energy, where young people stay out until  late into the night, seven days a week. Once the  

epicenter of intellectual and political thought,  Athens in the 6th century BC was all about that   democracy life, letting at least some people  have a say. Fast forward to today, and you can   walk through history with democracy tours that  promise to make the past come alive. Visiting   Athens without climbing to the Acropolis?  Unthinkable! It's not just a climb; it's a   journey through olive groves to the peak where  the Parthenon reigns supreme, watching over the   3-million-people metropolis. Down at the base, the  Acropolis Museum displays old artifacts from the  

site. Here you can learn more about the ancient  Athenian life and art. The nearby Ancient Agora,   once the heart of public life, was where Athenians  engaged in commerce and politics. Shopaholics will   love this area for its amazing flea markets that  provide many unusual souvenirs and treasures. The  

streets are colorful and alive, yet history  is never far away because Ancient and Roman   Agora are both quite close by. While you shouldn't  miss the historical sights, modern Athens also has   plenty to offer. After exploring the ancient  ruins, you can browse boutiques in Kolonaki,   visit galleries in Metaxourgeio, and enjoy local  cuisine in neighborhood tavernas. Thanks to the  

2004 Athens Olympics, the city's got a slick  public transport system. Chances are you’ll be   riding the red or blue Metro lines, touring  central Athens with ease. The summertime in   Athens is sometimes unbearably hot, which makes  sightseeing a sticky affair. Additionally, summer  

sees an increase in the number of visitors. So,  why not give one of the shoulder seasons a shot?  Meteora is surely one of the most recognizable  places in Greece. This UNESCO World Heritage   Site is famous for its ancient monasteries,  standing on top of huge rocks in the Plain of   Thessaly near Kalambaka. The name "Meteora"  translates to "suspended in air," a fitting   description for the monasteries perched on these  giant natural pillars and boulders. Meteora's  

history dates all the way back to the 9th  century, when hermit monks settled in its caves,   leading to the establishment of 24 monasteries by  the 15th century. Today, six of these monasteries   remain. They serve as centers of Orthodox monastic  life and attract tourists with their historical,   spiritual, and natural significance. The  monasteries are full of old paintings,   writings, and religious art. The biggest and  oldest one, the Great Meteoron Monastery, even has   a museum where you can learn about the life of the  monks. Then there's the Holy Trinity Monastery,   which you might have seen in the James Bond movie,  "For Your Eyes Only." It’s got some of the best  

views you can imagine. Tourism in Meteora thrives  due to its landscape and the opportunities for   photography, hiking, and rock climbing. The region  benefits economically from the influx of visitors,   supporting local accommodations, dining, and  guided tours. Getting to Meteora is pretty easy.   You can take a train or a bus from Athens or  Thessaloniki, to Kalambaka. If you're up for a   road trip, driving there is also an option, and  it's a great way to see the Greek countryside.  Delphi is perhaps the most spectacular of all the  ancient sites in Greece. It's perched high on the  

southern slopes of Mount Parnassos, with a view  of the blue waters of the Gulf of Corinth. Pythia,   a priestess who delivered cryptic prophesies, was  the famous Oracle of Delphi, gathering pilgrims   from all across the Mediterranean. Established in  the 8th century B.C., Delphi was recognized as a   UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1972. You can  explore the famous Sanctuary of Apollo here,   but also the huge Archaeological Museum nearby,  with artifacts and statues collected from the   original site. There are even more ruins nearby,  such as the scenic Sanctuary of Athena and the   Kastalian Spring, which are just a short walk  away. The Pythian Games, held in Delphi, were the   second most significant event in ancient Greece  after the Olympics. Being a pan-Hellenic site,  

the sanctuary served as a center of prayer and  discussion for all Greeks rather than being   under the jurisdiction of a single city-state. Skiathos, the star of the Sporades, is apparently   the island everyone decides to crowd into every  summer. Despite being no bigger than a postage   stamp, it magically attracts thousands  of holiday seekers every year. It’s got   everything you’d need for the perfect Greek  holiday - especially if you're young and your   idea of fun includes loud music and staying up  till dawn. Skiathos is covered with vegetation  

and home to over 60 beaches! Its standout  feature is undoubtedly its exotic beaches,   with the best located on the southern side. Among  the most stunning are Koukounaries, Lalaria,   and Banana, with Banana Beach being a favorite  among younger visitors. Beyond the beaches and   nightlife, the island's cultural aspects are  waiting to be explored. A must-see is Bourtzi,   a Venetian fortress that offers spectacular  views of the town and the vast Aegean sea.   Another notable attraction is the residence  of Alexandros Papadiamantis, the famous Greek   writer. Skiathos is accessible either by plane  or ferry from various ports like Volos, Agios   Konstantinos, Evia, and other Sporades islands. Mount Olympus is more than just the highest  

mountain in Greece. It embodies Greek mythology  and attracts adventurers and historians. Located   in northeast Greece, between Thessaly and  Macedonia, it stands at 2,918 meters. Its   height makes it a notable landmark, visible from  afar. Ancient Greeks believed its peak was hidden   by clouds to keep the gods unseen by humans. Mount  Olympus is perfect for hiking and climbing. It  

offers trails for all skill levels and fitness  conditions. The most popular route begins at   the Prionia parking area, leading to the Spilios  Agapitos refuge at 2,100 meters. This is where   many start their summit attempts. The mountain  has lush forests at lower elevations and rocky  

cliffs higher up. It was named a UNESCO Biosphere  Reserve in 1981 for its unique biodiversity and   mythological significance. You can reach  Mount Olympus by road from Thessaloniki,   about 100 kilometers away. The town of  Litochoro serves as the starting point.   From there, various trails lead up the mountain. The island of Corfu is part of the Ionian Islands,   and is very close to the Greek mainland and  Albania. It is indeed a treasure and sets  

itself apart from many other Greek islands. Being  Greece's greenest island, Corfu has a unique flora   due to its heavy rainfall. Evidence of the  island's history is found almost everywhere,   among the old churches, strewn ruins, and a few  museums. Although there are plenty of restaurants   and modern tourist attractions, the area  nevertheless has its rustic, traditional charm.  

This makes it a very cosmopolitan holiday  spot. The island's capital is Corfu Town.   It was controlled by Venetian nobles from 1386  until 1797, and its unusual history sets the   town's urban architecture apart from other Greek  towns. Many of the buildings were reconstructed in   neoclassical style by the British throughout the  19th century. The town's fascinating buildings,   including the medieval fortress, have made  it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of   Greece's greatest beaches may be found  on Corfu, and you should visit Dassia,   Paleokastritsa, Glyfada, Kontokali, and  Kavos beach. Compared to other Greek Islands,  

Corfu is rather large and has its own airport. The  majority of European cities have direct flights to   Corfu. It is also possible to fly to Saranda  in Albania and then take a ferry from there.  Zakynthos, also called Zante in Italian, is  an island in western Greece that is a part of   the Ionian islands group. There's more of an  Italian impact here, because of the island's   history. Italian was widely spoken during the  Venetian era and still is today. The language,   food, and music are all influenced by Italy.  The 7.3 Richter earthquake that struck the  

island and nearby Kefalonia in August 1953 is  the most notable and catastrophic event in the   island's contemporary history. The earthquake  and subsequent ten-day fires destroyed more than   seventy percent of houses. Though significant  growth did not actually begin until the 80s,   Zakynthians, unlike those in Kefalonia, were eager  to transform their tragedy into an opportunity and   hopped onboard the tourism bandwagon shortly after  Corfu did in the 1960s. The capital of the island,   Zakynthos Town, still manages to project  a sort of grandeur and retains a hint of   its previous Italian reputation as "the Venice  of the East". There are only a few commercial   avenues running parallel inland to compete the  nearly continuous row of cafes, restaurants, and   hotels. After navigating the uninteresting main  roads to the east and north of Zakynthos Town,  

which are dotted with business buildings  and small industries, you escape into the   island's gently sloping center plain, a charming  mosaic of shades of green. Vegetable patches,   sunflower fields, vineyards, and untamed clusters  of chestnut trees coexist among the commonplace   olive groves. A visit to Navagio Beach, popularly  known as the shipwreck beach and one of the most   famous beaches in the world, would round out  any vacation to Zakynthos. The water's color   is truly mesmerizing. You have to see it in  person, as pictures just cannot do it justice.  The island of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea, has  always had some strategic maritime importance.  

In due terms, the geographical location was noted  as a very important point of linking trade and   communication routes of the Greek Peninsula with  the western basin of the Mediterranean Sea. So,   during the rule of Venice, Kefalonia culturally  and economically boomed. The Venetians also   constructed castles, promoted new agricultural  activities, and had a big influence on local   architecture and arts. The disastrous earthquake  of 1953 caused the destruction of great historical   parts of the island, after which followed an  extensive rebuilding. The largest town of the  

island is Argostoli. Its main square, Plateia  Valianou, is a popular spot where people like   to hang out, more so during the evenings. And  there is, of course, the De Bosset Bridge, which   is actually the longest stone bridge over the sea  in the whole wide world. Visitors are attracted to  

the island by its pure beaches. Myrtos Beach is  one of the most famous and beautiful beaches in   the world. History lovers can explore the ancient  Acropolis of Sami and the medieval Castle of Saint   George. Mount Ainos reaches 1,630 meters and  dominates the island's topography. It has been   declared a national park. On its slopes,  you can find a unique species of fir tree.   The island's fame is also due to its caves. The  charming Melissani Cave has an underground lake   taking sunrays and, therefore, glittering with an  ethereal bluish light. The Drogarati Cave, on the  

other hand, is famous for beautiful stalactites  and stalagmites therein. The island has an   airport, the Kefalonia International Airport,  not too far from Argostoli. If you're already in   Greece, you can take a ferry to Kefalonia. There  are ferries from Patras to Sami. You can also take   a ferry from Killini to Poros on the island. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,  

Parga was the seat of the Despotate of  the Morea, and a flourishing Byzantine   stronghold. Because of its strategic position, it  was an important center for political, artistic,   and religious activity that drew intellectuals,  traders, and artists from all over the Empire.   At the top of the hill sits a medieval castle.  Built by the Normans in the fourteenth century, it   was destroyed by the Ottomans and rebuilt by the  Venetians in 1572. Ali Pasha renovated it in 1814.   Walking along Parga's charming streets will bring  you to the castle. Tourkopazaro is a historically   rich and colorful district located in the center  of Parga's Old Town. Great attractions like the  

Olive Oil Museum may be found there, along  with a number of tavernas. Above all, though,   is an appealing mash-up of Venetian, Ottoman, and  modern Greek architecture. The beaches surrounding   Parga have a reputation for having clean water,  which is characteristic for the Ionian Sea. Valtos   is a broad beach that lies on the northern slope  of Parga's hill. There are lots of restaurants,   hotels, and beach bars there. Acheron, one of  the famous rivers of the Underworld from Greek  

mythology, is not quite as dismal and menacing  as the legends would have you believe. It's   a stunningly gorgeous river that winds through  Preveza's rocky landscape, 15 km north of Parga.  Approximately 30 kilometers north of Ioannina  and 40 kilometers from the Albanian border,   you'll find the incredible Vikos Gorge. It sits  in the North Pindus Mountains in the historical  

region of Epirus. If you ask any Greek what  the most beautiful gorge in Greece is, their   first reaction will be "The Vikos". Actually,  it is the second-deepest gorge in the world,   after the Grand Canyon in the United States.  At many places, the walls of Vikos Gorge reach  

heights of 1,040 meters, demonstrating their  remarkable steepness. Beautiful natural landscapes   can be witnessed as the Voidomatis River flows  through the gorge. Hiking is the most popular   activity in the area, aside from climbing and  mountain biking. Along Zagoria's paved trails,  

walking trips are frequently scheduled by several  clubs. Hikers can divide the 12-kilometer canyon   into two or three sections: the climb from  Monodendri north to Vikos, from Vikos to Papingo,   and from Monodendri south to Kipi and its  charming arched stone bridges. But since it's   so simple to get lost, hiking alone may be quite  risky. The Zagori region is home to 44 villages,   also known as the Zagorohoria. It takes seven  hours to drive from Athens to Ioannina. The first   Zagori settlements are about 16 kilometers  away from Ioannina. The gorge also borders  

some of the most popular Greek ski areas. Thessaloniki stands apart from Athens, with its   own sophisticated and, arguably, superior cultural  vibe. Here, Eastern influences shine through,   especially in the cuisine and relaxed lifestyle.  The city has the vibe of a college town, akin to   Boston, yet recognizably Greek. Thessaloniki, the  capital of Macedonia and Greece's second-largest  

city, was founded in the year 316 B.C. by  Kassandros. He named it after his wife,   Thessaloniki, who was Alexander the Great's  half-sister. It ranked as the Byzantine Empire’s   second most vital city after Constantinople, and  has some splendid Byzantine art and architecture.   In 1913, Thessaloniki became part of modern  Greece. The devastating fire of 1917 left   70,000 homeless. Rebuilt in the 1920s, it's  now a city full of life. Wide avenues, parks,  

and squares enhance its charm. Tree-lined streets  lead to commercial areas with attractive shop   fronts. Thessaloniki is proud of its numerous  Byzantine monuments and churches, some of which   are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  Notable sites you shouldn't miss are the city’s   walls, the Rotunda of Galerius, and the Arch  of Galerius. The city's most famous landmark,   the White Tower, houses a museum and offers great  city views from its top. There aren't many ancient   ruins within Thessaloniki, but you'll be able  to find just enough Byzantine and Roman sites   to keep a history-minded visitor occupied for  days. The city hosts the famous Thessaloniki  

Film Festival in October and November. Its  women are known as the most stylish in Greece,   and the city's high-fashion scene competes with  that of Athens. If you enjoy shopping for clothes,   shoes, and jewelry, you'll love it here!  Also, if you like to explore the top beaches   of Halkidiki and the stunning spots in Greece's  Macedonia region, it's a great place to start!  The peninsula of Halkidiki is the most visited  region in Northern Greece. Its fame is due to   its magnificent beaches, which have smooth  sand and crystal-clear blue waters. Halkidiki   consists of three smaller peninsulas that are  often referred to as "legs". The first one,   Kassandra, is the busiest and has a lot of  cosmopolitan tourist resorts. Sithonia is  

more calm and appreciated by campers, while the  third is an exclusive Orthodox monastic community   called Mount Athos. You might want to take a boat  cruise from Ouranoupolis to Mount Athos. The boat   travels along the coast so that visitors may  see the stunning monasteries from the water,   as public access to the Athos peninsula is  prohibited. The critics will tell you that   the public sites in this region are worthless,  that archaeologists have trampled over them,   developers have brutalized them, and tourists  from the Balkans are overwhelming them. Even   if the locals haven't figured out how to promote  them, Halkidiki does have genuine attractions and   it's pretty easy to get there and drive around.  Just one example: Here is the birthplace of   Aristotle. You can see his hometown Stagira,  or just relax in the ancient town of Nikiti  

and sip some fresh coffee while staring at Mount  Itamos' pine trees. Excellent beaches, several of   which have earned the Blue Flag, and a number  of quiet bays can also be found in Halkidiki.  Northern Greece has some very beautiful towns,  and Kavala is certainly one of them. This seaside  

city, which rises out of the water like an  amphitheater, is home to over 50,000 people,   and is divided between the Nea Poli and  the Palia Poli. Built upon the ruins of   the ancient Neopolis, the population of the city  almost doubled in 1922 as a result of the Greek   population exchange with Turkey. Kavala has two  ports, the old and the new one, where fishing   boats, ferries, sailboats, and cruise ships all  anchor depending on the season. The majestic   16th-century aqueduct and the charming, historic  Turkish districts with a Byzantine castle are   absolutely worth investigating. Walking along  the seaside promenade with its terraces and   the fishing harbor will also be enjoyable. Even  the beaches of Kalamitsa and Rapsani are easily   and quickly accessible on foot. The Philippi  ancient city and theater are around 15 kilometers  

from Kavala, and are well worth a visit. Milos is a captivating island that stands   out among the Cyclades for several reasons.  It's situated roughly halfway between Athens   and Crete. Known for its horseshoe shape, Milos is  the southwesternmost island in the Cyclades group,   with a coastline that stretches over  120 kilometers. It's celebrated for its  

incredible variety of beaches, each with its own  character. Sarakiniko, with its moon-like surface   and clear waters, is a photographer's dream.  The unique geological formations, shaped by   volcanic activity, create a surreal landscape  that feels otherworldly. The island's natural   beauty extends beyond its beaches, with its rugged  landscapes, hot springs, and villages that dot the   coastline. The history of Milos is as interesting  as its landscapes. It was on this island that the   famous Venus de Milo, now a treasured artifact in  the Louvre Museum, was discovered. The island's  

archaeological sites, such as the ancient theatre  and catacombs, offer a look into its past. Milos's   history is not just confined to museums and sites;  it is a living part of the island's identity,   influencing local traditions, architecture, and  even the food. The heart and soul of Milos lie in   its villages. Plaka, the island's capital, is  a mix of narrow streets and white houses. The   traditional architecture, friendly tavernas,  and breathtaking sunset views from the castle   make it the perfect place to experience the  island's slow-paced and welcoming culture. The   local cuisine, with its focus on fresh seafood,  local cheeses, and traditional Greek dishes,   offers a feast for the senses. Milos is easily  accessible by sea, with regular ferry connections   from Piraeus, the port of Athens, and other  Cycladic islands. The island also has a small  

airport, with flights to and from Athens. Santorini, officially known as Thira, is a   famous island in the southern Aegean Sea, and part  of the Cyclades island group. It's actually one   of the most popular travel destinations in Greece.  Around 1650 BC, a massive volcanic eruption caused   the center of what was once a single island, to  collapse and sink beneath the sea. It is rumored   that this island was the original location  of the legendary lost city of Atlantis, which   vanished beneath the ocean long ago. Santorini  now has two populated islands and several smaller  

islets. The majority of visitors find themselves  on Thira, the largest island of the archipelago,   which hosts Santorini’s main towns - Fira and Oia.  When visiting Santorini, your first stop should   be its beaches, where the unique black and red  sands create unforgettable sights. Next, explore  

the well-preserved ruins of Ancient Akrotiri, or  hike to Ancient Thera to witness the remnants of   three ancient empires. Santorini is famous for its  stunning views, particularly from the cliff-top   towns of Fira and Oia. These towns overlook  the caldera, a sea-filled volcanic crater,   providing incredible sunsets that are among the  world's best. The island also stands out for its   unique Cycladic architecture - white buildings  with bright blue domes that sharply contrast with   the deep blue of the Aegean Sea. This picturesque  setting frequently appears on postcards and   travel magazines. Santorini is known to be on the  pricier side among Greek islands. Accommodations,   especially with caldera views, are costly. Dining  out, particularly in tourist-heavy areas like Fira  

and Oia, can also be expensive. To save some  money, you should consider staying in less   touristy areas like Perissa or Kamari, where  hotels can be cheaper, and eat where the locals   do. Tavernas off the main paths offer delicious  food at lower prices. Santorini has its airport,   with daily flights from Athens and seasonal  flights from various international destinations. 

The island of Paros is a good halfway point  between Mykonos and Santorini. Luckily,   Paros is one of the few Cyclades islands that has  managed to hold onto its authenticity and ancient   identity. Because the main harbor is too tiny for  cruise ships, which must anchor out in the bay,   there aren't many cruise ships that visit this  location. Paros's beaches and tiny villages are  

its most prominent attraction. It has a little bit  of everything that makes a Greek island perfect:   blue-domed churches, white buildings, sun-kissed  beaches and charming fishing harbors with taverna   tables around them. You may experience the Greek  island lifestyle you've always imagined while   driving around the island. Paros is also praised  for its beaches. Kolymbithres beach sits in the  

huge Naoussa Bay, and is unquestionably the most  popular in all of Paros. The towns of Parikia and   Naoussa are brimming with wonderful stores and  boutiques that are perfect places to purchase   traditional arts and crafts, including famous  marble crafts. One of the best marbles in the   world is said to come from Paros. You might  want to consider staying close to Naoussa   if you enjoy a lively social environment and  occasional small parties. Alternatively, stay   in Piso Livadi if you want the peace and quiet  of a small town and don't mind a short drive. 

Naxos is arguably the most interesting and varied  island in the Cyclades. Its central location   makes it simple and quick to reach the majority  of other Cycladic islands. Furthermore, there are   plenty of options for inland excursions because  it is the largest island in the archipelago. Naxos   has long been able to overlook the tourism  industry because of its strong agricultural   foundation, but this is starting to change. An  airport has opened, and the number of visitors has  

increased significantly during the past 20 years.  Every day, small boats leave for Delos, Mykonos,   and Santorini from the port of Naxos. It feels  like the pace here is much slower. The people   walking through the harbor to go about their daily  business give the impression that there is no rush   during the day. The beaches feel untouched and the  waters are clean. The west coast of Naxos is home   to some of the island's greatest beaches. The most  remote, peaceful, and unique beaches on the island  

are Mikri Vigla Beach, Hawaii Beach, and Aliko  Beach. They are just perfect for windsurfers.  If you're looking for a wild party scene,  world-class restaurants, trendy stores,   and a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere, there is  no better place than Mykonos. Rich people and   numerous celebrities visit this Greek island!  Despite being a popular honeymoon destination,   young folks seeking a good time often make up the  summer crowds. If you decide to stay in Mykonos   Town, the ferry port, stores, and restaurants are  all easily accessible on foot. With a view of the   ocean, five imposing and recognizable windmills  can be seen on the western side of Mykonos   Town. The windmills, which date back to the 16th  century, were formerly used to mill grain. There  

are a lot of stunning beaches in Mykonos that  you must see. Just stay away from the incredibly   crowded ones in the south, such as Psarou,  Paradise, Super Paradise, and similar ones,   and visit the more charming ones that are less  known to the visitors. There's a reason Mykonos   is called the "island of the winds." It's exposed  to strong northern winds because of its location,  

particularly in the summer. Mykonos is a rather  small island, measuring 15 kilometers in length.   You should rent an ATV or scooter for the  duration of your visit, regardless of where   you stay. You may go on beautiful day tours to  several beaches on the island. It's not actually   that far to get somewhere. In Mykonos, there  seem to be no traffic laws or road regulations.   Thus, if you're going to rent a car, be prepared! It can be challenging to pick where to travel,   when there are so many Greek islands available.  However, Rhodes, Greece's fourth-largest island,   has the longest summer of all the islands, an  incredible cultural heritage, and a fascinating   history. Located just 15 kilometers off the  Turkish coast, this Dodecanese island has a   little something for everyone. The main town of  the island, Rhodes Town, has some beautiful Art  

Deco buildings next to ancient ruins. The town,  once home to the legendary statue "Colossus of   Rhodes", is a cultural puzzle whose various layers  of history may be assembled through the Byzantine,   Ottoman, and Italian architectural styles. The Old  Town is home to the island's greatest monuments,   and welcomes millions of tourists each year! It's  one of Europe's best-preserved medieval towns and   a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The attractions  you shouldn't miss are the Venetian Castle, the   Street of the Knights and the Palace of the Grand  Master. It's great to arrive by ferry or ship,   as you will be dropped off within five minutes'  walk from the Old Town. The trip from the airport  

to Rhodes Old Town takes around thirty minutes.  Rhodes has numerous archeological sites scattered   throughout. There is a wide-ranging network  of castles built by the Knights of St John,   that were used as lookout points. The  best preserved is Kastéllo Kritinías,   whose remains provide amazing views of the  Dodecanese islands as far as Hálki. Prasoníssi,   at the southern tip of the island, is  one of Europe's best places to windsurf,   with a sandspit at the meeting point of  the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Expert   windsurfers and kitesurfers are drawn to  the Aegean side's head-high waves, while   beginners can enjoy the calmer Mediterranean side. Epidaurus is situated in the northeastern part of  

Peloponnese, near the Saronic Gulf. The closest  town is Ligourio, which is about a 15-minute drive   away. The site is famed for its ancient theater.  This theater, built in the 4th century BC,   is a masterpiece of classical Greek architecture.  It was designed by Polykleitos the Younger. The   theater is known for its symmetry and beauty.  Remarkably, it can seat up to 14,000 people.  

Its acoustics are so precise that spectators can  hear a match being struck at the center stage from   the highest tier. The history of Epidaurus is  closely tied to its role as a healing center.   The sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus was one  of the most important healing centers in the   ancient world. However, the rise of Christianity  and the eventual banning of pagan practices led   to the decline of the sanctuary. The site was  abandoned, and it was not until the 19th century   that it was rediscovered and excavated. Nafplio was the first capital of the newly   formed Greek state from 1823 to 1834. It is one  of the most beautiful towns in the Argolis region   of the eastern Peloponnese and one of the most  romantic cities in all of Greece. The town's  

architecture is a fusion of several styles,  influenced by Frankish, Venetian, and Turkish   rulers. Important ancient buildings and memorials  may be seen in the Italianate Syntagma Square,   which is located right in the center of  the city. There is the Municipal Gallery,   the Archaeological Museum, which houses valuable  prehistoric items, and two Turkish mosques,   just to name a few. Standing proudly at 216  meters above sea level, you'll find the Palamidi   Castle. However, there are 999 stairs carved  into the rock that must be climbed in order   to get there. Nafplio is where many Athenians  spend their weekends; it has chaotic traffic,   apartment complexes, and an overall sense of  anarchy, much like an Athens suburb. Yet, Nafplio  

is a fantastic destination, particularly during  the off-season when it's cool enough to explore,   the crowds of tourists have disappeared, and  all you want to do is shop, eat, and chill.  Greece is famous for its magnificent islands, and  the island of Hydra stands out as a gem in the   Saronic Gulf. Hydra's notable lack of motorized  vehicles sets it apart. Instead of the typical   cars, scooters, and buses found elsewhere, the  island maintains a quiet atmosphere with donkeys,   mules, and walking as the main modes of  transport. This not only maintains its  

old-world appeal but also shields its environment  from pollution. The population here is rather   small, with only 2000 permanent residents. The  architecture of Hydra is also very special. The   island has some well-preserved stone mansions and  buildings from the 18th century. These historical   buildings reflect the island's past wealth and  importance as a maritime power during the Greek   War of Independence. Hydra’s strict building  regulations have ensured that its traditional  

architectural style remains intact. Since the  1950s, the island has been a favored destination   for writers, painters, and musicians. It  has hosted famous figures like Leonard Cohen   and Henry Miller, who have contributed to its  reputation. Today, Hydra continues to celebrate  

this artistic heritage with numerous galleries  and festivals. The easiest way to reach Hydra   is to take a ferry from Piraeus. High-speed  ferries can reach the island in about 2 hours.  Mycenae is another famous archeological site  in Peloponnese. It stands as a monumental site   in both Greek history and mythology. Mycenae is  primarily known as one of the major centers of   Greek civilization during the Late Bronze Age. The  city is famous for its massive "Cyclopean" walls,   so named because later Greeks believed that only  the Cyclops could have moved the enormous stones.  

The Lion Gate, the main entrance to the city,  remains one of the most iconic monuments of   Mycenaean architecture. Mycenae's influence  is also evident in Homer's epics, where it   is described as the kingdom of the legendary King  Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War.   Mycenae was burnt around 468 BC by the Argives  and never regained its former prominence. Today,   the site is accessible for visitors, and you can  drive from Athens to Mycenae in about two hours. 

Greece is not only about beaches and ancient  sites. It's also home to several underappreciated   cities spread out across its land. Take  Patras, the third-biggest city in Greece   at the northwestern corner of the Peloponnese.  Thanks to its university, a large percentage   of the population here are students. Patras is  Greece’s most important sea link with the rest   of Europe. Ferries to Italy and the Ionian  islands depart from the local port. There  

are two districts that make up the city. The upper  town, at the base of the castle, is the old town,   home to numerous neo-classical homes as well as a  number of great cafes and restaurants. The castle   has been transformed into a park, with a panoramic  view of both the Ionian Sea and the entire city.   Built on the remains of the ancient acropolis,  it was constructed in the sixth century by the   Roman emperor Justinian. The lower city has many  historic mansions and a shopping district. It   also has the second largest archeological  museum in Greece. There is an airport in  

Patras. Originally a military airport, Araxos  has steadily evolved into a commercial airport,   and hosts summertime flights to and from Europe. The city of Kalamata enjoys a prime spot in the   Messenia region, right at the base of the  Taygetos Mountains and along the Gulf of   Messenia in the southern part of Peloponnese. It  was first mentioned under its current name in the   10th century, though its origins likely reach  much further into the Bronze Age. The city’s   historic district invites exploration with its  stone buildings, the ancient Kalamata Castle,   and several historic churches. The Church of the  Holy Apostles is an important landmark where the   Greek War of Independence was officially started  on March 23rd, 1821. The city’s waterfront is  

lined with cafes and restaurants, and nearby  beaches like Kalogria are great for relaxation   and water sports. The region is famous for  its olive groves, and Kalamata olives are   recognized worldwide for their unique flavor  and quality. The city also has a developing   manufacturing sector and is a center for goods  and services in the southern Peloponnese. 

Positioned on Mount Taygetos near modern Sparta,  Mystras is a tourist magnet in the southern   part of Peloponnese. The Franks founded it in the  13th century. It later became a vital Byzantine   stronghold and flourished, particularly during the  Despotate of Morea. It was a center for culture   and governance. Even after Constantinople's fall,  Mystras remained influential. It was among the   last to fall to the Ottomans. Its schools were  crucial to the revival of Greek and Roman studies,   impacting the Renaissance in Western Europe.  Scholars from Mystras helped spark this revival  

when they moved to Italy after 1460. Now a UNESCO  World Heritage site, Mystras is famed for its   architecture. The upper town's Despots' Palace,  though ruins, reveals the area's administrative   past. The Monastery of Pantanassa and Church  of Agios Demetrios are famous for their art. 

What is your favorite travel destination  in Greece? Let us know in the comments. If   you loved this video, hit the like button and  subscribe for more journeys around the world.

2024-05-17 22:56

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