Beautiful Beaches and Historical Sites in Greece

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1 best Greece BeachesGreece is widely known for its hot dry summers, beaches and crystal clear waters. The country features the eleventh longest coastline in the world with the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Ionian Sea to the west and the Aegean Sea to the east. The calm, peaceful sea stretches along the coastline of around 16,000 kilometers and provides the perfect opportunity to soak up the sun during a well-deserved holiday. Most of the beaches where people come together to swim are considered safe. The country is also home to 1,400 islands and can be grouped into the Argo-Saronic Islands, the North Aegean Islands and the Sporades.
Greece consists of nine geographic regions including Aegean Islands, Ionian Islands, Thrace, Crete, Macedonia, Epirus, Peloponnese, Central Greece and Thessaly. Almost eighty percent of the country consists of mountains. The Meteora rock pillars are well-known and Greek Orthodox monasteries can be seen on top of these high cliffs.

Meteora Monastery

Meteora Monastery

The Holy Monastery of Saint Stephan and Monastery Roussanou are inhabited by nuns. The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron, founded by Saint Athanasius, is the largest and oldest of the Meteora monasteries. The monastery is located at the edge of a vertical cliff and offers breathtaking views.
After climbing the stairs to the Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron Monastery you can witness the glorious structure of the building. Inside of the monastery, the icons belong to different eras. You can visit the museum which was the eating area of the monks with a thirty-two meter dining table and other priceless treasures. You should also visit the courtyard with its amazing view over Mount Koziakos and the Pineios River.
The spectacular Vikos Gorge is part of the Vikos-Apos National Park in the Pindus mountain range in the Zagori region.
Vikos Gorge

Vikos Gorge

The gorge stretches from the villages of Monodendri and Koukouli to the village of Vikos. You can challenge the exciting hiking trail from Monodendri where it descends into the gorge and you can experience the beauty of the springs of Voidomatis River, from where the trail will lead you out of the gorge to the village of Papingo or Vikos. Vikos is located on the south side of the gorge. You will reach the eighteenth century stone bridge near Kipi if you hike south through the gorge from Monodendri.
Best Party Town – Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki in the Macedonia region was ranked by Lonely Planet as the world’s fifth best party town around the world. The city was compared to other cities such as Montreal and Dubai. The city offers a wide variety of nightlife, such as clubs where you can experience Greek music and dancing, bars and jazz clubs. The beach bars are popular during summer.
Ladadika is the nightlife district, offering many restaurants, taverns, bars and nightclubs. Areas where most of the city’s nightlife is located also include Aristotle Square and Nikis Avenue. Nikis Avenue is along the central seafront and is usually crowded during all hours of the day and night. Some of the bars offer magnificent views of the ocean. Aristotle Square is located in the center of the city and is home to some of the most popular bars and cafes.
4 Thessaloniki White TowerDue to Thessaloniki’s rich history, the city houses museums presenting different eras in history. The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Andronikou Street 6, is home to exhibits from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age and houses some of the important ancient Macedonian artifacts.
The award-winning Museum of Byzantine Culture is the city’s most famous museum and showcases the Byzantine past. Other museums include Museum at the White Tower – famous landmark at the waterfront, Atatürk House, Museum at Aghios Demetrios, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Olympic Museum and Folklore and Ethnological Museum of Macedonia and Thrace at Vassilisis Olgas Street 68.
Proxenou Koromila Avenue and Tsimiski Street are the city’s famous shopping streets, featuring some high end department stores and boutiques. Egnatia Street offers cheaper clothing stores.
Explore Athens – The Capital of Greece
Acropolis

Acropolis

The beautiful Mount Ymettos, Mount Pendeli and Mount Pamitha surround the City of Athens to the west, north and east. From the mountains and the hills inside Athens you can get spectacular views of the Saronic Gulf to the south and the city itself. Acropolis is the most prominent of the hills inside the city. Acropolis dates back to the Late Bronze Age and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The ancient fortified town of Athens is a famous landmark in Greece and a symbol of democracy.
The Panathinaiko Stadium is a must see. The entire horseshoe-shaped stadium is built with white marble and housed the first Olympic Games in 1896. The Kerameikos is an ancient cemetery and is home to the Dipylon Gate. You can admire the guards in their unusual uniforms and walking style at the Parliament building.
Athens offers many galleries and museums, including the National Archaeological Museum near Omonia, the New Acropolis Museum by the Acropolis, the Benaki and Museum of Cycladic Art in Kolonaki, the Agora Museum near Monastiraki, and the Kanellopoulos and Folk Art Museums in Plaka. The National Art Gallery at Michalakopoulou Street is one of the city’s main art institutions.
Stoa of Attalos

Stoa of Attalos

The Stoa of Attalos is a covered walkway in the Agora of Athens, built between 159 BC and 138 BC and named after King Attalos II of Pergamon. The spacious colonnades provided shelter for thousands of people, protecting them from wind and rain in winter and from the sun in summer. King Attalos II gave the building to the Athenians as a gift. The Stoa is approximately 116 meters long and had forty-two shops. The Museum of the ancient Agora is housed in the Stoa of Attalos which was reconstructed between 1952 and 1956. Most of the exhibits are connected with the Athenian Democracy.
The Parthenon is a surviving building of the Classical Greece and is well-known almost everywhere in the world. Parthenon is a peripteral Octastyle Doric temple with Ionic architectural features on the Athenian Acropolis and was dedicated to the goddess Athena.
The Parthenon

The Parthenon

The Parthenon is undoubtedly the finest example of Greek architecture with its more than ten meters height. One of the most characteristic features in the architecture is the Ionic frieze around the exterior walls of the inside structure. Joan Breton Connelly’s interpretation of the frieze is based on Greek mythology, saying that the scenes depict the sacrifice of Pandora, daughter of Erechtheus, to Athens. Athena demanded the sacrifice to save the city from Eumolpus, king of Eleusis, who planned an attack on Athens. The east pediment of the temple narrates the birth of Athena and the west pediment depicted the contest between Athena and Poseidon during their competition for honor.
You can enjoy hours of relaxation in the beautiful Garden of Athens which is located in the center of Athens. The garden offers colorful flowers, ancient ruins, luxuriant vegetation, a small zoo and duck ponds. Athens’ largest zoo is the Attica Zoological Park, a private zoo located in the suburb of Spata.
Theater was born in Greece and Athens is home to more than 145 theatrical stages, including the ancient Herodes Atticus Theater. Ensure to visit the Athens Concert Hall for performances by world-famous artists.
Beautiful Street in Athens

Beautiful Street in Athens

Athens is well-known for its exciting nightlife. Plaka and Monastiraki are two historic neighborhoods famous for bars and dance clubs. The area at the foot of the Strefi Hill is also popular and home to many clubs and bars.
Omonoia Square is the oldest square in the city and focuses on the celebration of sporting victories. Syntagma Square, adjacent to the Greek Parliament, is the largest square and boasts a long pedestrian road with an array of shopping centers and fashion shops.
Other Tourist Attractions in Greece
Some of the major tourist attractions are located on the Greek islands, including the historic center Chora, the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian that can be found on the island of Patmos.
Santorini

Santorini

Santorini is one of the great natural wonders of the world with its spectacular seascape and landscape. Tourists from all over the world come here to view the legendary sunsets, beautiful countryside, vineyards, tiny churches and authentic villages. Santorini has some of the most beautiful beaches, including White Beach, Perivolos, Monolithos, Pori, Baxedes, Agios Georgios and the nude beach Vlychada. The island is also one of the top destinations for wedding celebrations. The town of Oia is known for its sunsets and Pyrgos for its picturesque streets and monastery. Megalochori is a small village and is home to charming white churches and at Aktotiri you can visit the archeological site of Aktotiri.
The famous Tunnel of Eupalinos, the remains of Pythagoreion and the Temple of Hera is located on Corfu. Ensure to visit the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus or the Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns.
Greek Cuisine
Greek cuisine incorporates fresh ingredients into a variety of local dishes and is characteristic of the healthy Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is added to most of the dishes and bread and wine are always served at the dinner table. Local dishes include souvlaki, moussaka, fasolada, stifado, Greek salad and spanakopita. Many Greek recipes include thyme, basil, oregano, bay laurel leaves and fennel seed. Cinnamon and cloves are often used in stews.
The traditional fast foods in Greece are souvlaki (grilled meat on a skewer), Gyros (chicken or roast pork wrapped in pita), tzatziki (chopped cucumbers, olive oil, strained yoghurt and garlic) and skordhalia (garlic mashed potato dip and cod).
The most famous Greek liquor is ouzo. Ouzo is an anise-flavored spirit, which turns milky when mixed with water. Kafetéries can be found all over Greece and serve as popular hangouts for younger Greeks. Most kafetéries provide outdoor tables and serve beverages and snacks.
Great Travel Guides and Books about Greece
10 map_of_GreeceFor more information about Greece, you can discover the best Greece Travel Guides in Amazon Best Sellers and find the most popular travel guides. Great books and travel guides about Greece include Lonely Planet Greece Travel Guide by Korina Miller, Lonely Planet Greek Islands by Korina Miller and DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Greece Athens by Marc S. Dubin.
Visa Requirements for Greece
Visas are not required by citizens of Member-States of the Schengen Agreement. Citizens of the majority of the countries that are not Member-States of the Schengen Agreement require a visa to enter Greece and the E.U. Visitors from these countries can obtain further information from the Hellenic Embassies or Consulates in their countries, or even from their travel agencies.

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