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Ancient wonders meet timeless beauty in Greece, a country that has influenced Western culture more than any other. The splendour of Greece’s mighty classical civilisation can be seen in the crumbling architectural marvels of Athens, Olympia and Delphi, while the Aegean Sea’s sun-drenched islands enchant travellers with idyllic beaches, awe-inspiring sunsets and charming whitewashed villages.
The unofficial archaeological capital of the world, Athens is a must-visit for anyone with even the slightest interest in history. The city centre is littered with ancient monuments, watched over by one of Europe’s most iconic structures – the mighty Parthenon temple. Just below the Acropolis lies the historic Plaka district, a maze of pedestrian streets lined with white houses and colourful flowers.
Surrounded by leafy trees, the archaeological site of Olympia is one of Greece’s finest. While earthquakes have destroyed many of the structures, the impressive ruins allow visitors to imagine the spectacle of the ancient Olympic Games, which were held here for over 1000 years.
Cycladic architecture meets non-stop partying in Mykonos, one of Greece’s most popular islands. Whitewashed houses, red-roofed churches and fantastic old windmills create an atmosphere of timeless charm while picturesque beaches and vibrant clubs offer plenty of opportunities for round-the-clock fun.
Santorini is the most spectacular of the Greek Islands. With an old volcanic caldera at its centre, Santorini boasts multi-coloured cliffs, world-renowned sunsets and high-end hotels with stunning views over the Aegean Sea.
Straddling the ancient boundary between Europe and Asia Minor, Crete is Greece’s largest island. Its landscape varies from majestic mountains and gorges to flat coastal plateaus dotted with fruit orchards and olive groves. The island is also home to sleepy fishing ports, historic Venetian towns and many remnants of the Bronze-age Minoan civilisation.
Surrounded by jaw-dropping mountain landscapes, Delphi was home to Ancient Greece’s most important spiritual site – the Sanctuary of Apollo. For centuries rulers would come here to consult the high priestess before making major decisions.
Thessaloniki is Greece’s second-largest city, a trendy cultural centre with excellent shopping, restaurants and waterfront cafes. Visitors will adore wandering through the peaceful alleyways of the city’s old town as the magnificent White Tower looms overhead.
The monasteries of Meteora are one of Greece’s most remarkable sights. Perched atop sheer pillars of rock, these World Heritage–listed monasteries offer incredible views over the surrounding countryside.