Lapped by the azure Ionian and Aegean seas, Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization. From art to science and democracy to philosophy, the accomplishments of the ancient Greeks have shaped the foundations of Western civilizations. Meanwhile, both the Greek mainland and its 6,000 islands enchant with their unique beauty, archaeological treasures and the glittering aquamarine seas that surround them.
The Splendor of Athens
"The glory that was Greece" is perhaps best symbolized by the Parthenon atop the Acropolis. This ancient structure overlooks Athens, a city full of history and mythology, worshiped by gods and by people as the center of learning, democracy, and power. Athens is considered the birthplace of Western civilization as it is the home of many scholars and philosophers of the antiquity. The most important civilization of the ancient world flourished here and its symbols can still be seen in some of the world's most recognizable sights.
Santorini, or Thera, is a tiny Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Its crescent shape almost surrounds the crater (caldera) of an ancient volcano. Santorini and its islets are pieces broken off a volcano's rim, forming a multicolored circle around a seemingly bottomless blue lagoon.
Atlantis - the oldest myth of mankind, the story about a prosperous land that disappeared without trace, sunk into the sea by the anger of gods - stands for the dream of the lost paradise.
Crete, the largest island in Greece, is one of the most popular travel and vacation destinations. This southernmost island in Europe has a variety of natural features and historically significant sites.
Palace of Knossos
Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Crete. It is grander, more complex, and more flamboyant than any of the other palaces known to us, and it is located about twenty minutes south of the modern port town of Iraklio.
Out on the dark blue sea there lies a rich and lovely land called Crete that is densly populated and boasts 90 cities... One of the 90 cities is called Knosos and there for nine years, King Minos ruled and enjoyed the friendship of the mighty Zeus.
Homer - Odyssey
5,000 years ago, around 3,000 BC, people living on Crete developed an illustrious civilization which left the longest lasting influence on the character of the island: the Minoan Civilization.
Santorini's arid, rocky soil has always produced excellent grapes, and the local wines are among the finest in Greece. The local wineries are especially proud of their Vinsanto, a wine which is named after the island: vino santo or wine of Santorini, although some believe that the name means "holy wine". Vinsanto is naturally sweet, with an unusual aroma dominated by aging, spices, honey, raisins and the lemon flower. The traditionally sweet taste is intense but balanced with acidity. The island also produces the unique, tiny Santorini tomatoes, white eggplants and the unusually large and zesty capers.
The Good Oil
The pungent smell of wild mountain herbs and the satisfying smell of olive oil are the ones that visitors to the island never forget. Herbs and oil have been a part of life in the eastern Mediterranean since the beginning of civilization, and olive cultivation can be traced back 6,000 years.
Cuisine is one of the highlights of visiting Greece. The Greek Mediterranean cuisine is based on olive oil, feta cheese, seafood and many vegetables and herbs that give the Greek cuisine its unique taste. The Greek climate is ideal for the local produce, including many colorful fruit.