In this installment of our guide to Greece we look at places to visit in Greece…
Despite being relatively small, Greece offers numerous places for travelers to visit. While the islands are the most popular tourist destinations, mainland Greece also has much to offer. The country’s five top destinations include the mainland cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, and the islands of Crete, Rhodes and Corfu.
The ancient city of Athens is rich in historic sites, and because of its importance as the country’s capital and largest city it also has many significant museums and galleries. Most of these attractions are in or around the city centre. Athens’ numerous beautiful parks, hills and mountains offer respite from the busy and noisy streets.
Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, is famous for restaurants, bars and nightlife. But its past is also of great interest. The area has been continuously settled for about 3000 years and several sites have been placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The city’s old town has narrow cobbled streets and well preserved historic houses and buildings, including good examples of Turkish architecture. Thessaloniki’s attractive waterfront promenade has panoramic views of the bay and nearby landmarks.
Crete is Greece’s largest island and its landscape varies from forests rich in wildlife, meadows strewn wildflowers and tall mountains to quiet bays, rocky coves and long, sandy beaches. Similarly, highland villages contrast with bustling ports and lively beach resorts. Being Europe’s southernmost island, Crete is sunny for most of the year, and its isolation means much of its flora is unique to the island.
The island of Corfu lies west of the mainland in the Ionian Sea. It has a mild Mediterranean climate and superb beaches, and with more than 2 million olive trees it is very green compared to most other Greek islands. Corfu also has a rich history and breathtaking views of neighboring islands from the top of Mt Pantokrator, which is 1000 meters high.
Inhabited since the Stone Age, the island of Rhodes has a rugged, hilly interior and a rocky coast with many good beaches. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. The north coast has lively nightlife, while the south is quieter, more traditional and rich in historic sites.
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