The first traces of a city-state on Crete date back to the
Neolithic Period, beginning in 6,000 B.C. Minoan and Mycenaean Kingdoms were followed by
the Dorian invasions and the Dark Ages.
It is nearly impossible to comprehend the magnificently eclectic and
robust concoction that has become today's Grecian society without exploring the region
From BC 500 to 146, Greece enjoyed its most prosperous and
well-known Classical and Hellenistic Periods during which Plato, Socrates and Democracy
thrived and the Parthenon and Acropolis were built in Athens.
Roman annexation followed and can be seen in the transitional art and
architecture, along with the blending of mythologies. Greece was overrun by Byzantines and
Turks throughout the modern era and a cultural revival and War of Independence, in 1821,
sparked the reunification and appreciation of Greek culture that is still miraculously
Aside from major attractions like the Parthenon, Greece provides a
plethora of other sites and activities unique to the nation's cultural heritage. For a
spiritual experience, visit the town of Meteora
in the northern Thessaly region. These spectacular cliff-top monasteries were originally
reached by curiously placed ladders and ropes. Today people can reach the sky-high
pinnacles by climbing the etched stone stairs or by the growing popular sport of rock
You can also get close to the gods, as the Greeks put it, by visiting
the archaeological wonder at Delphi, considered to be the centre of the known world by
Nafplio, the former capital of Greece, is also a wondrous and
enlightening adventure. Centuries of history decorate and surround the city.
Close by is the ancient Mycenae civilisation and the famous theatre at
There are nearly 1,400 Greek islands to explore.
Much of Grecian history is based upon the maritime and merchant
centres of the seven island clusters. Homer's Iliad and Odyssey venture through beaches
and ports you can visit today.
Crete and Santorini, with its volcanic caldera, are by far the most
Make a stop on the notorious party island of Mykonos, part of the
Cyclades Greek Islands, to party, dance and drink in a fashion that would make Dionysus
proud. Relax in the lush greenery and white sand of the Ionian Islands, which emanate a
more European feel.
Every island region has something unique and intriguing to offer, so
don't be afraid to leave this part of your itinerary open for exploration!
Greece is bursting at the seams with history, culture, food and
Every corner of this ancient nation is abundant with
once-in-a-lifetime escapades. This is a trip you do not need to structure too much to feel
completely immersed in Greek life. Although, it is wise to remember that the summer months
of July and August attract hoards of people making accommodations hard to come by and can
also be uncomfortably hot.
Enjoy a more pleasant and relaxed journey in May and June or at the
end of the summer peak season.
By Frank Johnson.
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