Greece, birthplace of the Olympics, is also a center civilization and knowledge from ancient times. That glorious tradition lives on today in the country’s modern culture. Each year more than fifteen million people vacation in Greece to experience the vibrant cities, the scenic countryside and the sun-soaked islands. If you would like to be one of them, here is a guide to help you discover Greece.
1. Any Greece vacation should begin with a trip to the Acropolis. It is the symbol of the nation so it is only polite of you to stop in and leave your card. At noon, you can stroll around the majestic Parthenon. When the sun goes down, be sure to watch the light show depicting the legends of the Olympic Gods.
2. Explore the ruins of Agora. Travel down the hill where the towering Acropolis stands, and into the valley where the philosophers Socrates and Plato did all their thinking. While there, you can hardly miss the looming temple built for Hephaestos.
3. Take a helicopter trip around Athens. Just hop a copter from your hotel and spend an exhilarating half hour swooping over the city’s major landmarks. Be sure to bring your camera!
4. Take in a match of the Hellenic National league, and finally see what they call ‘football’ and we call ‘soccer’. This is a good chance to take in modern Greek culture and see what people worship, now that the Olympic Gods are out of style.
5. Compete in the marathon that begot all marathons. Or, at least, try the route that the Olympic athletes ran the last time they were in town. Just remember not to drop dead upon finishing.
6. Make your trip to Greece a volunteer vacation. There are a lot of noble causes you can devote yourself to while visiting. Each summer, hundreds of volunteers help the organization monitor the nesting period of Greece’s Sea Turtles. You could also apply your carpentry, teaching or medical skills for good causes.
7. Tour the Greece’s Archaeological Museum. Greece is where history was invented, so of course the artifacts are unparalleled. Be sure to see the Mask of Agamemnon, once believed to be the death mask of the ancient king.
8. Take a hike through the Vindos Gorge. On a hot day, descent into the world’s deepest canyon can be rough going, but you’ll find yourself cooling off the farther down you go. When you get to the bottom, you will find plant species like no others on earth.
9. Sun yourself on the beaches of Crete and experience what other Europeans have known about for decades. The scenery is so beautiful, you can’t help but relax; during the day, that is. Come night, get ready to party at the island’s infamous clubs.
10. Experience the Rockwave Festival of music. For three days, you can have your choice of three stages: heavy metal, rock ‘n roll, or good old fashioned dance music. A great balance to Greece’s otherwise educational attractions.