Ancient Greece Meets Modern Fun
Ancient Greece is fascinating to all ages; we delight in either the real Sparta 300 warriors, the mythical gods and goddesses or the philosopher Socrates. Plus we learn so much about our current culture by understanding the basics, the roots, of our western civilization. For any subject whether art, literature, democracy, medicine; it had its early development in Greece.
So why not justify a Greek island odyssey by calling it an educational field trip.
Sure, if you have a family their eyes will roll at such an idea. Until the teenagers see a video of the wild beach bars; the pre-teens hear about sailing and windsurfing; the younger ones learn about endless sandy beaches and warm sea water. The shoppers will roll their eyes in delight at the streets full of boutiques in every quaint town. In Greece all of these come with an aura of antiquity.
Yes, you can experience ancient history by visiting three thousand year old ruins just a stone’s throw from your beach umbrellas and iced drinks.
Of course most trips to Greece start at Athens, its capital city. I consider it a crime against humanity to visit there without seeing the Parthenon on the Acropolis. It is mind boggling to learn the sophisticated concepts that the architect worked into this masterpiece. Beyond Athens it is easy to journey to Delphi, Corinth and Olympia. These are the homes of the ancient oracle, a hand dug canal and the original home of the Olympics. Each of these major sites has ruins of ancient structures along with some reconstruction and explanatory exhibits in English and other languages. The modern towns nearby have many choices of accommodations and restaurants as well as other attractions to fill your leisure time.
Then it is on to the Greek islands where the idea of “something for everyone” really comes into its own. Mykonos is famous for its glitzy nightlife and anything goes nude beaches, but it is also the jumping off place for the formerly sacred island of Delos, the birth place of the gods Apollo and Artemis. Santorini is the island where probably 80% of the beautiful photos of Greece are taken. Yet only a small portion of its cruise ship hordes visit Akroteri. This is a town buried in volcano ash that is much older than Pompei—very educational.
Between these two tourist meccas is the ferry hub of Paros. Its combination of a true Greek experience and many sandy beaches make it a favourite of experienced island hoppers. Your relaxing days will be filled with activities, either at a family water park or trying the extreme sport of kite boarding. Keep in mind that you will need plentiful exercise due to the countless restaurants and traditional tavernas serving up authentic Mediterranean cuisine. You won’t want to forget to visit some antiquities while there. The island’s location made it hub of ancient civilization as well. There are structures from the Minoan and Mycenaean periods that are many centuries older than Athens.
Recent travelers to Greece are not affected by the turmoil of the country’s financial crisis. In the regional towns and islands the recovery is well on its way. The local Greek people are making genuine efforts to be sure visitors have their “best holiday ever”. This is the year to learn about the birth place of western civilization while enjoying the best Greek food you have ever tasted—made from local ingredients and savored in the cool sea breezes.