Learn about the roots of Western civilization and build a nice tan on a Mediterranean island in this ancient southeastern European nation.
Nowhere is classical civilization more alive than in Greece. Ancient temples stand as if they were recent installations. Enjoy thousands of miles of Mediterranean coastline and hundreds of beautiful islands in one of Europe’s most popular destinations.
Visit Athens to join the millions of tourists who come each year to see some of the most famous buildings of classical antiquity. The city’s most visible landmark is the Acropolis, a complex from around 500 B.C. that stands atop a rocky bluff within the city. Examine the Parthenon, a Greek temple lined on all four sides by marble pillars. Find additional archaeological sites throughout Greece, like the ruins of Delphi at Mount Parnassus, north of Athens.
Despite the mainland’s long and beautiful coastline, the best way to enjoy the sea in Greece is to visit some of the country’s islands. Make a stop at the gorgeous seaside village of Firá on the island of Santorini. With its blue domed roofs and whitewashed houses clinging to the edge of a steep seaside cliff, Firá is one of the most picturesque villages in the world. Explore the island farther to see that it is actually the cone of an active volcano.
With 1000-foot- (300-meter-) tall cliffs surrounding it, Santorini is not a beach site. Head to the resort island of Mykonos to find one of the best beaches in Greece.
Most people associate Greece with classical civilization and the sea. However, don’t miss one of the country’s best attractions: the Meteora Monasteries. Located in the central mountains of the Greek mainland, these monasteries were built at the top of tall rock pillars to protect them from invaders. When you visit, climb the stairs carved into the pillars and look out from the high vantage points of the rocky bluffs over the rocky lands.
Fly into Greece via the Athens International Airport. Take a boat or a plane from the mainland to any of the hundreds of surrounding islands.