Greece

Officially called the Hellenic Republic, the mainland and islands of Greece lie at the juncture of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Its strategic position and the legacy of ancient Greece, the Byzantine Empire and nearly 400 years of Ottoman rule have shaped a long, colourful history of noteworthy contributions to civilisation as we know it today. Greece is usually regarded as the birthplace of the first major democracy, the Olympic Games; western philosophy, literature and drama; political science and major scientific and mathematic principles.

A member of the European Union since 1981, modern Greece is a highly developed nation noted for its tourism, popular for its clean beaches and numerous archaeological and historical sites. With more than a thousand islands to explore, Greece offers visitors both history and hedonism in equal measure. Blessed with a natural beauty, all the islands possess the necessary attractions that contribute to a memorable stay. Mykonos, with its cosmopolitan character; Santorini, with the most romantic sunsets in the world and Crete, with its spirit of revelry constitute just a few examples of the famed Greek paradises.

This is a land of majestic mountains and sun-dappled seascapes where stunning historical sites like the Acropolis in Athens and Palace of Knossos in Crete vie for attention with Byzantine monasteries, mediaeval churches, crumbling mosques, Turkish mansions and towering castles left behind by invaders who came later. A day spent lazing on pristine beaches like Psarrou beach in Mykonos, Tsambika beach in Rhodes, Kamari beach in Santorini and Vai beach in Crete or exploring stunning museums can be interrupted for a taste of the famed local cuisine at fabulous restaurants. After sunset, theatre under the stars at Peloponnese and Athens rivals the famous nightlife on Mykonos, Rhodes and Corfu. Tourists with adventure in mind will be pleasantly surprised by a wealth of opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, water sports, horse riding, mountaineering and the unusual activity of spelunking or cave exploration. In the winter, between December and April, Greece’s slopes offer ski enthusiasts the enviable attractions of stellar views, endless sun and excellent après ski options.