Most people think they know Greece. Perhaps they've read about ancient Greek battles in school and think of chariots and oracles when they hear the word Greece. Perhaps they read the world financial news and think of economic collapse when they think of Greece. Or maybe they've seen calendar photos of the picturesque coastline in their Boston office and Greece makes them think of beach vacations. Which is the real Greece? To find out, you should visit! We'll give you a bit of an overview here.
As you have probably learned in school, Greece is a very old country. Democracy was born in Greece, as were the Olympic Games and the story structures that are still used in Western plays, books, and television shows. The difference between your King West condos and Greece will be staggering at first, because it will seem like almost every building or natural feature is old enough and significant enough to be declared a national monument. Some of the must-visit features include 17 UNESCO world heritage sites. Find out more about other world heritage sites here
The calendar photos have also managed to capture some of the beauty of the Greek coast, especially the Greek islands. Greece has borders on three seas - the Mediterranean, the Ionian, and the Aegean, all of which boast warm waters, calm seas, and sparkling colors that contrast with the bleached housing built not of dark materials like granite but of light ones to mitigate the heat of the summers, which are very hot that close to the equator.
Despite its long history, Greece is a very modern country. It is a member of the European Union and shares a currency with the rest of Europe. The people there have high average incomes and much of their GDP comes from the service sector, which is geared toward tourism. So your visiting ruins and art galleries and historic sites is helping to support the Greek economy. Other large portions of the economy are made up of agriculture, industry, and shipping.
So where in Greece should you visit? Even the airport will seem stunningly beautiful compared to your chiropractor's office, but some of the most popular tourist destinations include the historic capital of Athens, the party town of Thessaloniki, and the island of Santorini, which was rated the world's best island by Travel and Leisure magazine in 2011. Greece is a smallish country, so you can take in several places during a two week stay.