Greece is a country with numerous contributions to modern civilization, perhaps more than any country. It is the cradle of democracy, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and home to many of the most brilliant philosophers, scientists, writers and artists that the world has ever produced, such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Archimedes, Euclid, Euripedes and Praxiteles. True, most of these contributions may not be tangible. However, those that are can only be seen or best experienced when you visit Greece.
1. Ancient Monuments
The ancient city-state of Athens was one of the most powerful cities of its time and although Athens has changed a lot over the past centuries, it still has ruins of many ancient monuments that are reminders of its glorious age – which are all must-see attractions when you visit Greece. The most popular ones, of course, can be found on the Acropolis, like the Parthenon, the Erectheion, the Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike, while other impressive ones, like the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Temple of Poseidon, the Kerameikos necropolis and the Theatre of Dionysius are scattered throughout the city.
Aside from the ancient monuments in Athens, you will also find equally interesting ones in other cities, like the Temple of Demeter at Naxos, the Temple of Apollo at Gortyna and Delphi and the Knossos Palace in Crete. In fact, wherever you go in Greece, you are sure to see a remarkable archaeological site just nearby.
There are many excellent archaeological museums all over Greece, too, to help you learn more about its ancient history and culture, like the Athens National Archaeological Museum, which is the largest museum in Greece, the Delphi Museum, the Thera Prehistoric Museum and the Heraklion Museum, which contain artifacts, particularly sculptures and statues, from its archaeological sites.
2. Idyllic Beaches
One of the reasons why Greece is considered to be such a romantic destination is because it has a long coastline dotted with idyllic beaches, most of which offer white sand and warm, crystal waters, while some are backed by dramatic cliffs and villas. Many of these are Blue Flag beaches, too, with the best ones found in Kefalonia and Zakynthos, while nudism is acceptable almost everywhere, but most particularly on Banana Beach in Skiathos and Eresos Beach in Lesvos. There are many great diving spots, too, and several sea caves to explore.
Greek food is often described as healthy, so make sure you get your fill when you visit Greece. This is because olives and olive oil are widely used, most of which are grown and produced in Kalamata and Crete. There are many vegetable dishes, too, such as Greek Salad, baked beans and cabbage rolls, although meat dishes like oven-baked lamb, Gyros (roasted meat) and Souvlaki (skewered meat) are also popular. As for desserts, many are made with nuts and honey, the most popular one being Baklava, while wine is the most common drink. In fact, there are some that say wine originated in Greece.
4. Greece by Night
Partying all night is another reason to visit Greece. Indeed, Greece is well-known for its vibrant nightlife, particularly in its capital city, Athens, and in the islands of Mykonos, Skiathos, Corfu and Samos, where the party can go on until seven in the morning. During the summer, most of the parties take place at the seaside, where you can start the evening with a stroll and cap it with watching the glorious sunrise…if you’re still on your feet, that is.
5. Movie Locations in Greece
With its beautiful scenery, it comes as no surprise that film crews and celebrities visit Greece to shoot their movies, and if you’re lucky, you might catch them in the middle of the filming. Don’t be upset if you don’t, though, since there are still many movie locations you can visit like the Aghia Triatha monastery at Meteora where scenes from the Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only’ took place or Skopelos, where some scenes from ‘Mamma Mia!’ were filmed.