We have a great deal to thank Greece for. The Olympic Games were spawned in the country’s classical era, as were the ideals of democracy and the fundamentals of philosophy, science and mathematics.
Much of this history is still very much on display, though many travellers still consider Greece primarily as a great holiday destination rather than as a cradle of culture. Thankfully, of course, Greece is perfectly adaptable to your personal interests and requirements.
Today the country attracts visitors looking for life-affirming pleasures, such as delicious food and wine, beautiful beaches, guaranteed sunshine, quaint rural villages, a seemingly endless intricate lacework of coastline and delightful little islands, each with its own scenic surprises to explore.
While Greek resorts offer every modern convenience, the whole country oozes with traditional charm, supporting a way of life that sometimes feels like it is caught in a time warp. Black-clad women still labour up steep hills delivering vegetables to island tavernas on panniered donkeys, and bronzed, weather-beaten fishermen talk over their day’s catch, sipping small cups of thick coffee and challenging each other to a game of dominoes or backgammon.
Even at the most exclusive resort available through luxury Travel Managers specialising in Greek holidays, you will still find, not far from all that pampering and modernity, timeless whitewashed buildings clustered on hillsides around narrow pebbled alleys.
The many islands in the Aegean Sea are all easily accessible from Piraeus, the historic harbour of Athens, Greece's capital. Using the ferry or hydrofoil to ‘island-hop’ is one of the many pleasures and freedoms of a holiday in Greece.
Many of the larger islands now have their own airports, with connections to Athens or other major European cities.
Mountainous Crete is the most popular, with its sparkling beaches, spectacular green outcroppings and ancient Minoan sites, as well as the beautiful but hard-going Samaria Gorge Trail. Other popular island destinations include Corfu, with its mythic connotations; Sanatori, for its explosive volcano and nightlife, and Rhodes, once a Wonder of the Ancient World and today a World Heritage Site.
On the mainland, the city of Athens in the south is hectic but essential. The more modern part of the city is located in and around the Syntagma Square, where the Greek parliament is housed, though the majority of visitors head straight for the Parthenon and the Acropolis. Although the Greek capital boasts some wonderful museums, relics of the ancient world are to be found mainly on the Peloponnese Peninsula, south of Corinth, the gateway to a veritable treasure trove of history. Thessaloniki in the north is vibrant and modern, despite its strong touches of Byzantine architecture.
Greece enjoys mild winters and very hot, dry summers. These are refreshingly cooled by breezes known as 'meltemia'.
Snow can fall in mountainous regions in the winter, which is the wettest season (between June and August).
Situated centrally, the average summer temperature in Athens is 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), while the coldest months of January and February average 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit).
Greek is the national language, but English is widely understood.
Greece is a member of the European Union. You may need a Schengen visa (short stay visa) to stay in the country for more than 90 days.
Non-EEA travellers to Greece must hold visible means of financial support to cover their stay in the country. Visitors requiring a visa are also required to have medical insurance, covering them for their full period of stay in Greece.
Please check rules around visa requirements before you travel, as they may change regularly.
Greece is generally considered a safe destination, however there is a background safety risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks and visitors are urged to be vigilant in public places.
For all your high-end, bespoke leisure and corporate travel needs to Greece, contact our Travel Managers on 0203 535 9290 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.
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