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Where to go Greece

SANTORINI

One of the premier luxury destinations in the world, Santorini is arguably the most popular Greek island vacation spot for a romantic vacation. The Santorini Caldera, a site of fascinating beauty that developed after a volcanic explosion in the 2 nd millennium BC, will certainly enchant you with its white-washed houses literally hanging from the multi-colored cliffs. The villages of Oia, Fira, Imerovigli and Pirgos provide the ideal setting for an unforgettable Greek islands vacation or honeymoon.

Santorini History:
The volcanic explosion of c. 1450 B.C. that shaped the island is considered by some as the source of the legendary Lost Atlantis. The major remains of that period, at the site named Akrotiri, are known as the "Pompeii of the prehistoric Mediterranean". Ruled by Catholic Italians throughout much of the Middle Ages, Santorini later became a home of Greek shipping magnates, and this diverse history has left a legacy of handsome religious and secular structures, while the volcanic eruption left the sheer cliffs that provide unique vantage points for hotels and restaurants.

Santorini Highlights
Romantic Sunsets
Excellent Cuisine and Local Wine
Excellent Luxury Boutique Resorts
Extraordinary Natural Beauty and Views

CRETE

"Great Island" is the name by which the Greeks have long known Crete, and despite all the other islands of the world that have grabbed the headlines in recent times, Crete continues to deserve this epithet. Crete is in fact one of the world’s premier destinations and that is because Crete is something more that an island: It is a world unto itself. Both its natural history and its human history have produced a distinctive land that has drawing millions of visitors over the years. The spectacular mountain passes and panoramas that stand tall above the summery coastal cities and the beach resorts that rank amongst the best in the world are only some of the unexpected treats that await the visitor to Crete.

Crete History:
Human beings first settled on Crete by about 6500 BC but there seems to have been a new wave of people who arrived about 2600 BC and who would create the culture known as Minoan. Distinguished at first by its ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, tools, and tombs, this Minoan culture by 2000 BC was building ambitious structures; the four main palace complexes are today known as Knossos, Phaestos, Mallia, and Zakros. The Minoans thrived on trade, not conquest; they appear to have maintained a relatively sophisticated society in terms of the role of females; they developed a system of recording their language; and their highly active religious and ritual life seems to have involved youths leaping over the horns of bulls. A visit to the ancient site of Knossos will evoke memories of tales from Greek mythology focused on King Minoas, the Labyrinth, the Minotaur’s lair, and the glory of Theseus, who according to the myth killed the Minotaur.

Crete Highlights
High Cultural Value
Highly Authentic & Intimate
Extraordinary Cuisine
High Archaeological value
High Natural Beauty
Chania may be the best preserved old town in Crete, a magical and romantic maze full of Venetian and Turkish neighborhoods,
countless houses with surprising architectural details, Venetian shipyards, old Turkish baths and the trademark Chania harbor lighthouse.

MYKONOS

In recent years Mykonos has become internationally famed for its beaches and nightlife, and there is no denying that in high season Mykonos "jumps". Mykonos Town rewards the curious with a captivating network of lanes and squares, houses and balconies, churches and museums, and is also the starting point for excursions to the uninhabited islet of Delos. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, Delos was the religious center of the Aegean world between at least 800 BC-AD100. Contemplating the extraordinary remains of ancient Delos rewards a once-in-a-lifetime excursion that complements the more contemporary attractions of Mykonos.

Mykonos History:
Although most people may not go here for the island’s historical associations, Mykonos does have historical interest as it was ruled during the Middle Ages by Italians before setting up as an independent community in 1615, and in the 1820s it took a leading role in Greece's uprising against the Turks. But the site of the most important historical value is the neighboring island of Delos, which had been a religious center for ancient Greeks at least since 1000 BC. By the year 700 BC it was the site of a famous festival in honor of Apollo and Artemis, and after the Athenians defeated the Persians in 480 BC they made Delos the center of the Athenian Confederacy, a maritime league that soon became little more than an Athenian empire.

Mykonos Highlights
Rich nightlife
Extraordinary Beaches
Picturesque Scenery

PATMOS

For some years now, sophisticated travelers have been coming to Patmos to enjoy its fine hotels, restaurants, beaches, and quiet beauty. Its main village, Hora, is one of the most picturesque villages of the Aegean and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while its neighboring tiny islands offer magical spots for a day cruise that will enchant even the most demanding visitor. The Monastery of St. John and the Cave of the Apocalypse are only part of the reason that the island is arguably one of the most spiritual locales in all of Greece. Whether because of its location off the main routes or its preservation of traditional ways of life, Patmos exudes a special serenity that will appeal to people no matter what their spiritual leanings.

Patmos History:
Patmos boasts one of the most resonant histories of all the Greek islands. Under the Romans, it was a place to exile troublesome individuals, and among these was the Apostle John, also known as John the Divine. It was in a cave here, as tradition states, that John dictated his Book of Revelation, and because of this unique Biblical association, a great Monastery was built on the island in 1088 AD, revered and protected across the centuries by Roman Catholics as well as by Orthodox Christians. The Monastery's library and treasury are among the most important in the Christian world, boasting a collection that includes 6th century manuscripts, several pages of the oldest original copy of the Gospel of Mark, an El Greco original, and saintly relics.

Patmos Highlights
High Cultural Value and Spirituality
Extraordinarily Authentic & Intimate
Picturesque Scenery

 

PAROS

Paros combines many of the attributes that travelers seek in the Greek islands. Its multi-faceted appeal is evident from the moment you are greeted by the white cubic buildings typical of the Cycladic natural islands, to the time you settle on one of the lovely beaches or into a fine restaurant, or when you explore the island with its archaeological and historical remains that testify to Greece’s age old culture. Paros’ arguably most impressive site and one of the most famous churches all over the Greek Orthodox world is the beautiful Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani, a cruciform-domed basilica that unites three pre-existing paleochristian churches.

Paros History:
Paros was famous in ancient times for two things: its fine marble, and for having sided with the Persians against Athens (for which it paid dearly!). Occupied in the Middle Ages by the Venetians, who were then replaced by the Turks, Paros joined in the Greeks' struggle for independence in the 1820s. Today it offers a superb mixture of natural attractions - including the marble quarries, an Archaeological museum, and scattered remains and structures from across the centuries that reflect its rich history.

Paros Highlights
Excellent Beaches
Excellent Water Sport Facilities
Picturesque Scenery
High Natural Beauty

RHODES

”The Island of the Sun” is one of the earliest and still favored destinations, offering visitors a wide spectrum of pleasure from fine beaches and fertile countryside, elegant restaurants and traditional tavernas, grand resorts and atmospheric hotels to shops with every possible kind of goods. There can be no denying that the main attraction of the island is the Old Town of Rhodes, the medieval quarter of the capital city, but from the village of the inherently beautiful traditional settlement of Lindos to the forest of the Valley of the Butterflies and the natural beauty of the southern part of the island, Rhodes presents an ideal environment for numerous pleasant days of discovery.

Rhodes History:
As the Eastern Mediterranean began to emerge in ancient times into an area of prosperity based on trade and colonization, Rhodes, situated at a crossroads between East and West, flourished to the extent that it was establishing colonies all around the Mediterranean Sea. By 490 BC, however, Rhodes was subjugated by the Persians and forced to fight against the Athenians in the Battle of Salamis (480 BC); when the Athenians defeated the Persians, Rhodes was effectively forced to become a tributary of Athens. Then, when Athens was in turn defeated by Sparta in 411, the three city-states formed a union and established a new capital at the northern tip of the island, the city of Rhodes, which greatly prospered in the ensuing centuries. The Acropolis of Lindos, one of the most photographed buildings of ancient Greece, and the Palace of the Grand Masters, built by the Knights of Saint John during the Crusades, are two of the most memorable historical sites of the island.

Rhodes Highlights
High Historical Value
High Archaeological Value
High Natural Beauty

SPETSES

If vacation destinations had to be divided between those that offer exotic excitements and those that promise indigenous pleasures, Spetses would be one of the latter. One of the main attractions of Spetses stems from the absence of cars on the island-a rare treat that sets up the stage for a truly relaxing vacation. The island’s genuinely tranquil nature has been attracting sophisticated crowds for decades, so it is hardly a surprise that Spetses has been called “the aristocrat of the Greek islands”. And of course, as it is true so often throughout Greece, much of the appeal comes from the setting: a spectacular view over the water, a busy square, a balcony for the sunset, a front-row seat for the passing scene. These can be enjoyed in many places on Spetses and you are sure to find one to your liking.

Spetses History:
This small island off the north-eastern corner of the Peloponnesos was known as "Pine Island" in ancient Greece and remains a relatively "green" island to this day. Spetses has earned its special role in Greek history by taking the lead in 1821 in rising up against the Turks. In particular, a Spetses woman known as Bouboulina actually commissioned a warship and then commanded it in several naval battles against the Turks. Neoclassical buildings attest to its shipping-based prosperity in the 19th century. Today, many are drawn to this beautiful island that served as the setting for John Fowles' best-selling novel, The Magus.

Spetses Highlights
High Historical Value
Highly Authentic & Intimate
High Natural Beauty

SYROS

Just when you think you know what awaits you on a Greek island - there’s Syros. Although there was a day when it was one of the best known Greek islands, there is no denying that in more recent times it has not starred in the spotlight of international tourism. But the best evidence that Syros deserves to be better known, that it holds pleasures - and surprises - that reward a visit, is that Greeks themselves have long chosen to spend their holidays here. They know of the many attractions of its main city, Ermoupolis, they know of the tasty meals to be sampled here, they know of the fine beaches, they know of the unusual archaeological sites and buildings of architectural interest; they know of the musical and cultural activities, and they certainly know of its casino. Syros, then, may not be a “typical” Greek island but it is one that rewards travelers open to new experiences.

Syros History:
This island enjoys a special role in Greek's long history. Eulogized by Homer for its rich agriculture and herds, it became in modern times one of the chief ports and manufacturing centers of Greece. During the 19th century it so prospered that it hosted an opera house and other ambitious public buildings as well as many fine homes and churches. Another distinction Syros claims is a still strong Roman Catholic presence, stemming from the Italians who ruled it in the Middle Ages. All in all, Syros provides some unexpected glimpses into Greece, a place that combines the bustle of a busy port with the stability of a traditional society.

Syros Highlights
High Cultural Value
Highly Authentic & Intimate

ATHENS

The capital of Greece has recently undergone a major facelift thanks to the 2004 Olympics and has become more visitor-friendly than ever. Not only does it offer several of the world's most significant archaeological sites, structures and museums, it now has a wide selection of restaurants, ranging from basic indigenous food to fine gourmet dining, and a similarly wide selection of shops and goods. Whether visiting the incomparable Acropolis or the new subway system, you will find that Athens rewards your time before setting off for the islands, each of which has been chosen by TrueGreece for offering something distinctive.

Athens History:
When the Greek city-states found themselves threatened by the Persian Empire, it was Athens that took the lead in resisting, first at the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, and then at Salamis in 480 BC. But before Salamis, the Persians had in fact seized and sacked Athens, so it was in the decades after that incident that the Athenians set about building the city that we today know as “classical” Athens. The Acropolis had always been the focal point of Athenian religious life, and under the leadership of Pericles from 458-429 BC the Athenians erected the Parthenon, the great temple visitors admire to this day. Below the Acropolis hill lies the Theater of Dionysus: this is essentially the theater where the plays of Arechylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and others were performed.

Athens Highlights
High Archaeological value
High Cultural Value
Excellent Cuisine

NAFPLION


Strolling through the narrow streets of Nafplion may be one of the most engaging walks a visitor can experience in Greece, and certainly one of the most famous ones among Greeks. So relax, forget about time, and lose yourself among the wonderful neoclassical houses, painted with the beautiful warm, earthy colours, all reflected in the mirror of the deep blue waters of the Argolic Gulf.

Nafplion History:
A prominent city during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829), was chosen by the President of the new nation as the first Greek capital. Very close to this charming city is Mycenae, the locale of several unique remains and artefacts, home of individuals prominent in Greek legend and literature who play such a major role in the Homeric epics and the legends, dramas, and poems that follow over the centuries after the Trojan War (c. 1250 BC). The town of Agamemnon and his family was not to be revealed until 1874, when Heinrich Schliemann started excavations that uncovered the great citadel with its world-famous Lion Gate and the grave circle with its many fascinating finds.

Nafplion Highlights
High Archaeological value
High Natural Beauty
Excellent Cuisine

ARACHOVA

Arachova is a lovely (and lively!) mountain town on Mt. Parnassos, and it was on the rocky slopes of this mountain that far back in time the Greeks established the world-famous oracle of Delphi. Delphi was so influential in ancient Greeks' affairs that they regarded it as the "center of the world", signified by the navel-stone (omphalos) found at the site. Today, Delphi is one of the most spectacular and resonant archaeological locales in the world, and a visit to the site provides a fascinating encounter with a side of ancient Greece different from the Classical image of white-columned temples.

Arachova Highlights
High Archaeological value
High Natural Beauty
Excellent Cuisine

NAFPLION

Strolling through the narrow streets of Nafplion may be one of the most engaging walks a visitor can experience in Greece, and certainly one of the most famous ones among Greeks. So relax, forget about time, and lose yourself among the wonderful neoclassical houses, painted with the beautiful warm, earthy colours, all reflected in the mirror of the deep blue waters of the Argolic Gulf.

Nafplion History:
A prominent city during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829), was chosen by the President of the new nation as the first Greek capital. Very close to this charming city is Mycenae, the locale of several unique remains and artefacts, home of individuals prominent in Greek legend and literature who play such a major role in the Homeric epics and the legends, dramas, and poems that follow over the centuries after the Trojan War (c. 1250 BC). The town of Agamemnon and his family was not to be revealed until 1874, when Heinrich Schliemann started excavations that uncovered the great citadel with its world-famous Lion Gate and the grave circle with its many fascinating finds.

Nafplion Highlights
High Archaeological value
High Natural Beauty
Excellent Cuisine