Greece is a typical Southern European destination. Hot summers and mild winters make this country a year-round attractive destination, but of course summer is the time when most beaches, tourist spots and ancient sites will be overloaded with tourists. Greece is popular with families and the LGBT community, with retirees and thrill-seekers, with honeymooners, party people and celebrities. Cruise ships love the fact that many destinations are conveniently close to ports and that Greece offers more than 1,200 islands to choose from.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation. People inhabited the area since the beginning of time, but the current culture as we know it today is dated from 4,400 years ago. Many civilisations have fought over this region over the centuries, including the Greeks themselves, so this, together with the culture blossoming of the classic period, forms the basis of countless ancient sites that can still be visited today. Greeks count an impressive 18 UNESCO heritage sites their own, including of course the Acropolis of Athens, Delphi and Ancient Olympia.
Popular travel destinations in Greece include the big cities such as Athens (the capital city) with its cruise port of Piraeus, ancient sites such as Olympia, Meteora (where Byzantine monasteries are perched on high monolithic cliffs), and Delphi, holiday and party islands such as the Ionian islands (including Corfu and Zakynthos Island with the famous Navagio Bay), and the typical picture-perfect Cyclades like Santorini and Mykonos where you will find the famous white-washed houses and blue-domed Orthodox churches.
Greek food needs to have a dedicated paragraph in this write-up. Heavily influenced by other Mediterranean cuisines, Greek food is a rich and varied culinary experience, so very different from what you would get at a Greek restaurant anywhere in the world. Vegetables, herbs and salad are as much part of the traditional Greek diet as are seafood and fish, chicken and lamb. Greeks like to keep it simple with dips and bread (tsatsiki, for example), olives and feta cheese. Olive oil is a serious affair in this country, with retailers offering you little shot glasses to sample your preferred flavour. Greek wine is legendary thanks to the warm climate, and a night out without a glass of ouzo or raki is simply unheard of. For breakfast, try spanakopita (spinach pie) which you can wash down with a traditional strong and thick Greek coffee.