If you are searching for the country that goes beyond your expectations, perfect for sightseeing, traveling and enjoying the sun then Greece is a perfect choice. The perfect match of historical and modern, ancient and hip, Greece is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Settled at the very end of the south-east of Europe, this country has a very important geographical and strategic position. It stands between the Middle East, Europe and North Africa, simultaneously being bordered with the Aegean Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea in the west, and the Mediterranean Sea in the south. It is the biggest country on the Balkan Peninsula.
Greece represents the unique merge of the incredible sea and beautiful mountains and hills. It is incredible that, during hot summer days, you can enjoy bathing and swimming, and at the same time watching the Olympus covered with snow.
Everything about Greece is interesting, and therefore the name is not an exception. In some languages, the name of this country resembles the word Greece (Grcka-Serbian language), while the original name is Hellas or Ellada. The form Greece was formed from the Latin word Graecia, that Romans once used.
The data about the population of Greece and Greek islands date long back in history. But, the most important and definitely the most interesting part of Greek history is the Hellenic period.
The period between the 12th and 8th century BC is called Homer’s period. We don’t know much about Homer, a blind Greek poet, but his masterpieces Iliad and Odyssey left an enormous trace in both History and Literature of the world. The facts that are listed in these epics are proven to be right.
First schools appear in the 5th century BC. These were private schools. Women had no education. Young boys had teachers paid by their parents. This education was arranged by layers. The first level meant learning how to read, write and count.
During the second phase, boys learned Homer’s verse and how to play on the lyre. A very important part of Greek culture was a sport.
At the age of fifteen, boys went to Gymnasium. Take could choose professional schools and become doctors, mathematicians, poets or craftsmen.
Greek philosophy and culture
Greek civilization is among the oldest in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it has a highly developed culture. Based on the achievements and discoveries of the Old East cultures, Greek culture overpowered most world cultures.
Iliad and Odyssey served for conveying the literacy by oral tradition. They were written by Hesiod in the 8th century BC. In the 7th century, epic literature was slowly replaced with lyrics.
Fables, as a literary genus were formed in the 6th century BC. The most famous writer was Aesop.
When we talk about Greek philosophy, we have to mention Tales (famous mathematician), his followers Anaximander and Anaximander, then, Heraclitus, Socrates, Plato and of course Aristotle.
After enjoying beautiful walks on some of the most beautiful world beaches, swimming, sightseeing and shopping, it’s inevitable to get hungry.
Greek cuisine is among the oldest European cuisines. From the earliest periods of history, the cuisine was very important for Greek people. Good cooks were as appreciated as good philosophers. Even the first Cookbook was written in Greece, in the 4th century BC, during the rule of Alexander the Great.
If there is a people that spends a lot of olive oil then it’s Greek people, they spend the most olive oil per capita, over 25 l a year. You can buy great quality olive oil in every store and supermarket. What’s also great is that people here produce a lot of homemade olive oil of great quality. This isn’t surprising considering it’s a Mediterranean country with lots of olive trees!
The favorite meat of Greeks is lamb, as well as fish and other seafood. It’s a country surrounded by the sea, so this is expected. After lamb and fish, chicken meat is also very popular. Other types of meat are present very little or not at all in Greek cuisine.
An inevitable part of many meals, especially baked, with an important position as an appetizer or even a salad is feta cheese. It’ a cheese made of goat or sheep milk, very soft and incredibly tasty.
Greeks also use a lot of vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, onion and garlic, eggplant, beans, peppers, zucchini, and so on. When it comes to spices, oregano, pepper, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and cinnamon are the most popular.
There are so many dishes you can eat in Greece that won’t taste as good as at any other place in the world. What we have to point out is Gyros-traditional Greek dish made of chicken or pork (rarely lamb) meat, baked on a vertical skewer. It is often served in a tortilla, cut into tiny pieces with the addition of tomato, red onion, French fries, and tzatziki salad. It’s a must to try if you are in Greece; also, Suvlaki, Greek moussaka, Pasticcio, Dolmadakia, Saganaki, and many other dishes.
Whatever you decide to try, we are sure you’ll enjoy, so don’t hesitate!
Sightseeing in Greece
Greek culture is very old, so Greece offers many spectacular sights from different periods of history. One of the places you must see is certainly Parthenon. It’s a temple on the Athens hill Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athens (protector of the city). Along with the hill and the temple, you should visit the Acropolis museum.
If you are already in Athens, make sure to have dinner at Plaka. It’s one of the oldest parts of the city, full of traditional Greek dish. While you eat, you can enjoy the sounds of Greek sirtaki. It is great, hardly explainable by words. This is something you need to live, not to read about!
Thessaloniki is the port and
At the same time the main export center of northern Greece. Here you may find many early-Christian and Byzantium Churches as well as fortresses.
Delfs is the place where, according to the legend, two eagles that Zeus let from the opposite sides of the world met. The famous Apollo’s Oracle and his temple are here, as well as the Athens treasury.
One very special place that you must visit if you ever visit Greece is Meteors. 24 monasteries, built starting from the 14th century, are placed on the tops of unreachable stone spikes. These stones resemble giant rocks with no road or connection to anything. Even when you see these monasteries, you won’t be able to understand how they were built. Even today, four of them are populated by monks. They are full of icons, books, and frescos.
Olympic Games and their beginnings are closely related to Greece. In the northwest part of Peloponnese, Olympia is settled. This refers to the remains of Hera’s and Zeus’s temple, a place where the Olympic Games were held. Here, you can still see the remains of gymnastics hall and stadium from the Roman period.
These are just some of the sights you mustn’t miss if you want to enjoy Greece completely.
The sea, sand, blue sky, what else do you need to feel like you’re in heaven? Besides coastal area covered with beautiful beaches, you can enjoy some of the Greek isles. Some of these isles are among the most exclusive in the entire world.
Corfu is one of seven Ionian isles. It is widely known as the greenest isle with wide wood diffusion. Why is this place so perfect? It has a long history, rich culture, emerald bays, and crystal clear sea. This isle inspired many poets, among all of them Shakespeare as well.
Santorini is a volcanic isle. It is one of the Mediterranean miracles. It is placed on one extinguished volcano and differs from all other isles. It is very specific-there are white houses with blur roofs everywhere.
Rhodes is full of museums, archeological excavations and brilliant architecture. It is under the protection of UNESCO.
Crete is a mountain island, and at the same time the biggest Greek island. It outstands with its beauty, especially palms. Over 800 churches from the 5th and 6th century are settled on this gorgeous island.
Khalkidhiki is a peninsula in the Aegean Sea. It is divided into three smaller peninsulas (one of them called Holly Mountain-very important for Orthodox people because of great number of old and important monasteries). This is one of the places people most often come when they want to spend holiday in Greece, so don’t miss it.
It sometimes feels like it’s impossible to find the right words to describe this beautiful country. Like in a dream, there is everything. You can enjoy modern joined with the old, beautiful beaches and yet perfect hills, culture, philosophy, but yet vivid night life and music and good food. This country has it all. If you have never been there, use the first chance you get and enjoy!