With all this talk of Greece's economic woes, it's about time we remembered that this country has some truly unique travel experiences to offer. From astounding classical history epitomised in the capital, Athens, to idyllic island getaways, Greece is a haven of travel diversity.
In a limited period of time it will be impossible to get to grips with each of the different corners of this fragmented country (it boasts over 1400 islands), but you can certainly squeeze in a great deal of contrasting experiences by opting for a spot of island-hopping!
Athens, capital city and main hub of the ancient classical world, is located near the southern tip of the country and is therefore the perfect starting platform for your island adventure. Before you sail away into the sunset, however, it would be foolish to miss out on the incredible historic sights that Athens has to offer.
Right up there with the ancient marvels of the world is the Parthenon, a regal columned temple that rises up from the sacred Acropolis in the centre of the city. After an afternoon perusing the plethora of museums, temples and ruins of the city head to one of the many tavernas for a well-earned meze platter (think Greek tapas) or a hearty Greek salad.
Mykonos, one of the Cyclades Islands, has a reputation for being one of Greece's party islands, and thousands of visitors flock here every year to make the most of its impressive beaches and nightlife. Although many of the clubs and bars are undoubtedly geared towards party-goers, there is still plenty on offer for those seeking a more tranquil stay.
If you fall into the latter category stick to the old part of town and seek out the quieter beaches to the southeast end of the island. A popular savoury snack that can be found in bakeries and restaurants alike is the Mykonian cheese pie, perfect for lining your stomach before hitting the tipple of choice - Ouzo!
A change of pace
Moving onto Ios, about 60km south of Mykonos, where the seasoned clubber can continue the non-stop partying should he wish to. The more peaceful visitor will be pleased to know that the island is becoming increasingly popular with other crowds as well, earning a name for itself as a top spot for watersports and safe beaches.
The main village, Hora, is a picturesque cluster of small whitewashed houses, and not a car in sight! All tastes are catered for here, with restaurants offering traditional Greek food, Thai, a few British classics, and a good dose of Italian cuisine. Good quality, fresh seafood is also served up in many establishments at reasonable prices.
The great outdoors
Further south still we come to Santorini, a crescent-shaped island where the emphasis is much more on relaxation and appreciation of its natural assets; volcanic remains, dramatic cliff-side settlements and famously beautiful sunsets. The island's culinary creations tend to incorporate local produce, such as fava beans, tomatoes and capers . Oh and if you enjoyed those cheese pies back in Mykonos be sure to pick up Santorini's variation - a cheese and honey pie!
About the Author: "Tommy Girl Travels" is a 22-year-old graduate who loves to travel. She has a degree in French and Spanish and spent the last four months improving her German skills in Cologne, after having fallen for a dashing young German man during a semester studying on an island in the Indian Ocean. Read her blog Tommy Girl Travels, and also on Pocket Village.
If you're ready to get your Greek on, take a look through our range of trips. There's bound to be one that draws you in!
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