The ancient country of Greece lies to the east of the Italian boot heel and to the west of Turkey, with Serbia and Romania to the north. Ranked in the world’s top twenty tourist destinations, Greece attracts over seventeen million visitors every year. Around 90% of these are from other European countries, although Greece is beginning to see a larger influx of holidaymakers from the US, Asia and Australia. Gavin Manerowski took a trip to Greece to experience some of the oldest remaining historical sites on the planet, and to explore the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle.
The capital city of Greece was named for the goddess Athena, patron of wisdom, courage, justice and heroic endeavour amongst other things. Athens has a long and illustrious history. As the home of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the city has long been referred to as the birthplace of philosophy. The ideas and philosophies these three gentlemen and others recorded are still used as the basis for modern thought. Athens today is a mixture of crumbling ancient architecture, soaring mountains and a vibrant modern nightlife. During the daytime Gavin Manerowski advises soaking up some of the wondrous historical sites, such as the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon. In the evenings Syntagma Square and the surrounding streets forma hub of all night bars and clubs where holidaymakers and locals alike can dance the night away to some of the latest tunes played by a mixture of local and celebrity DJs.
For the vast majority of tourists, of course, the beaches in Greece are the main attraction. Miles and miles of golden sand, sheltered coves, secluded bays and coastal caves surrounded by pebble beaches make up the Greek coastline. Most of the coast is easily and freely accessible, and there are many organised tourist beaches providing opportunities for water-sports and lined with water-front bars and cafes. The region of Santorini is one of the most popular due to its stunning white, red and black sand and volcanic rock formations all framing the crystal clear azure waters of the Aegean Sea. After a relaxing few hours on the beach, a meal in a traditional Taverna or Estiatorio finishes off the day nicely, with traditional, simple Greek cooking with a strong Mediterranean influence.