The first things that come to mind when you think about this marvelous country are bright summers, dreamlike beaches, amazing colors of the sea expanse, the heady scents of oleanders, lavender, rosemary, olives, smells of gyros and souvlaki, and an irresistible, enticing taste of ouzo in the early morning in tavernas on the beach, with soft sounds of sirtaki. For everyone there is a piece of sea, sand, sky, history, and pleasure in many ways. Use a little imagination, and there comes magic. Regardless of these notions of sea, sun, and summer, this seaboard country nevertheless has a mountain landscape, as most of the land is mountainous. The backbone of the country is the Pindus mountain range, which sits along the west coast of Greece and continues onto the mountains on Crete and Peloponnese. There are two national parks – the Pindus National Park, characterized by a thick pine forest, mountain peaks with over 2000m altitude spread out over rocky cliffs, and mountain lakes in the most unusual places. And the other one – the Vikos-Aoos National Park, in whose center are the Vikos Gorge and the Aoos Gorge, as well as mystical mountain Tymfi, located between these two gorges. The mountain is fascinating for its beautiful villages, such as Zagori, Papingo, Monodendri, Metsovo. The Rhodope Mountains, one of the oldest mountain massif in the Balkans, are also partially in this beautiful country. Those who love conquering mysterious mountains peaks, and love intact natural wonders and forgotten paths – they will assure you that Greece is the country of forests, magical canyons, coves, valleys, caves, the unexplored and mystical places… On the Path of Gods When describing this country, it usually starts with epithets and the prefix most – the most magical, the most wonderful, the most enchanting. That is not unusual, considering that gods, when creating the world, chose right this part of the Earth for their habitat, making Greece the most divine land. Gods, nature, and people all created this country. According to the legend, it was ruled by mythical creatures, who built their gilded palaces at the top of the mountain, buried in clouds and touching the sky. Such is the divine Mount Olympus, the home of Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, Poseidon, among others. Mystical, untameable, magical, with divine marvels like insurmountable cliffs in unusual canyons, fast rivers, lakes in the most unexpected places, petrified villages set deep into the hills. According to the legends, Alexander the Great brought sacrifices to the Gods of Olympus before conquering the world. Mount Olympus, the magical mountain of unexplored wonders, is a paradise for those who love the mystical, unexplored, and unusual, a must-visit destination for tourists, especially for the adventurers. It was from Olympus that Zeus threw fire and lightning. He himself was born on the beautiful island of Crete, far away in the hills in a hidden Dictaean Cave. Crete has must-visit archaeological sites of global importance – the Knossos Palace, the seat of the Grand Priest Minos where Minoan culture and civilization flourished, with the famous labyrinth and legends of the Minotaur, as well as Theseus and Ariadne…. There is also the Lasithi Plateau with windmills, and sprawling villages with little churches and local tavernas. There, you can listen to stories about making the best and the most natural olive oil in the world, the best honey, the best wine, the best cheese especially, as well as lamb made in Cretan clay dishes which are crafted in an ancient traditional way. Legends are everywhere around you and the kind hosts will always remind you of that. A place that gives a special charm to this country is Mount Athos – one of the most significant historical regions in the world. It is located on Athos, which forms the Chalkidiki Peninsula together with Sithonia in the middle and Kassandra at the front. Mount Athos is the most valuable group of Orthodox monasteries, which together constitute a monk republic. Among them is the incredibly significant Hilandar monastery, the most sacred Serbian entity. It was established by the Greek monk George Chelandarios, and reconstructed by Saint Symeon and his son Saint Sava. Hilandar is the most significant site of the Serbian culture and spirituality and is protected by UNESCO. If Olympus was made by gods, then Meteora was made by gods, people and nature! It is a geological miracle, with its floating rocks and a singular desire by ascetics to get closer to God, first of all spiritually, but also physically as much as possible. When we speak about this fantastic country we can’t fail to mention the gorgeous Peloponnese – the land of Homer and Odyssey, rich in monuments and archaeological discoveries, ancient Olimpia, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Sparta…. It boasts attractions like unique villages, byzanthine churches and incredible fortresses, natural wonders such as lakes, mountains, rivers, valleys, as well as the towns Patras, Corinth, and Nafplio, which is the first capital of modern Greece and its most beautiful city. Greece has one of the most rugged coastlines, characterized by beautiful islands, peninsulas, bays, caves. It is hard to say which islands are the most beautiful. Is it the Ionian Islands – Corfu, Lefkada, Ithaca, Kefalonia, Zakynthos with its magical beaches, the Cyclades islands – Santorini, Mykonos, Ios, Milos, the Dodecanese Islands – Kos, Rhodes, Karpathos? Or the Aegean Islands – Skiathos, Skopelos, Thassos? Each of them is charming in its own way, with unique nature, culture, history, and mythology. The only things they have in common are good food and kind hosts. This magical country is exceptional because of its mythology, culture, religion – motifs unique in the world, which carry more significance than seas, sun, or sandy beaches. It was created by people in order to appease the gods and justify their existence. Thus, many civilizations were formed on Greek land: Minoan – after the legendary King Minos; Cycladic; Mycenaen – after the city Mycenae; Trojan in the Troy territory. Ancient Greece is considered the cradle of western civilization that influenced the western world. The ancient Greeks are credited with discoveries in the fields of philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, literature, and democracy and freedom of speech especially. The Hellenic Republic evokes an unbelievable number of ideas, depending on where you are traveling to, your imagination, and desire for a unique experience.
Hellenic Republic – Greece is the biggest country in the Balkans. It is nested at the utmost southeast of Europe, in the south of the Balkan Peninsula, at the crossroads between Europe, Near East, and North Africa. Aegean Sea from the east, Ionian Sea from the west, and Mediterranean Sea from the south all awash its rugged coastline and numerous islands. Greece is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and has a remarkably rich history – having been a suitable place for the development of many cultures, which in turn marked stadiums of Greece’s own development and existence.