The Acropolis in Athens remains the quintessential landmark of Western civilization. Its beauty, history and size won’t fail to impress. And the complementary Acropolis Museum provides a close-up look at the treasures of the site.
You may find the city of Athens itself a surprisingly cutting-edge capital. Beneath all its venerable monuments the city teems with a buzzing energy, creativity, galleries, boutiques, fashionable restaurants, and humble tavernas.
The mighty Bronze-Age Minoan people (Europe’s oldest civilization) had their capital at Knossos on Crete — Greece’s largest island. Having attained an impressively high level of civilization they ruled extensive parts of the Aegean before disappearing mysteriously some 3,000 years ago. The excavated Palace of Knossos is now one of the Mediterranean’s most important archeological sites.
We explore the charming town of Rethymno on Crete with its jumble of Venetian-era buildings sprinkled with exotic touches from the Ottoman period.
The rustic cuisine of Crete is renowned in Greece. Farm-fresh produce, aromatic herbs, straight-from-the-sea seafood, tangy cheese, excellent olive oil, and decent wines are all to be indulged.
Greece’s ancient winemaking tradition is being increasingly celebrated. A stop at a winery on Crete is a pleasant idyll.
Epic clifftop sunsets are a hallmark of romantic, beautiful Santorini — an island shaped by an ancient volcanic eruption, this part of the sea being an immense flooded crater and thus the towering cliffs of the island.
A luxury catamaran excursion for several hours is a delightfully relaxing way to tour Santorini’s caldera and a good way to appreciate the island’s dramatic topography.
Mykonos is Greece’s hedonistic glamor island and a celebrity hideaway — a sort of “St. Tropez meets Ibiza.” While the high season hosts a party-hard collection of visitors our own visit is timed for a more “chill” period. Its main town is a gorgeous whitewashed warren of narrow bougainvillea-bedecked lanes with charming boutiques, cafes, and abundant restaurants.
The sacred island of Delos is the mythical birthplace of twins Apollo and Artemis. A shrine turned sacred treasury and commercial center, Ancient Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important archeological sites in Greece.
A cultural center of Classical Greece and, later, Byzantium, Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands. It boasts a gorgeous waterfront, Venetian-period mansions, pretty isolated beaches, the Cyclades’ highest peak (3,300 feet), and it’s more fertile and green than most of the other Cyclades.