Greek hospitality has always been second to none, and now its people are even more welcoming, so happy are they to see the tourists who help maintain their livelihoods. Go to Greece now, and you’ll be supporting its people – travel and tourism make up 16.5 percent of the national GDP.
Visiting Greece in 2016 also means some incredible deals can be found as prices come down to attract more people into the country. Prices before the economic crisis were lower in Greece than most of Europe and now, despite VAT increases, the country offers its visitors even better value. And fewer tourists equals crowd-free sightseeing at the big pullers like Knossos, Olympia and Meteora.
So spread the message: Greece is open for business, thank you very much.
The Acropolis in Athens
Athens is the great springboard to Greek adventures, overlooked by the Acropolis, the cradle of Western democracy and a city that has survived far worse than a little financial inconvenience. No visit to Greece would be complete without a couple of days in this gritty yet historic city. There are plenty of bespoke guided tours which take in the Acropolis, smart new Acropolis Museum, Agora and National Archaeological Museum. And no other city in the world has free museums in its metro stations; head for Syntagma to see a cross-section of ancient civilizations behind glass in the station’s ticket hall. The city can be explored by Trikke, Segway, foot and bike; or see it from above by helicopter or from offshore by luxury yacht. Visitors can sample olives and stuffed dolmas in the food markets, dine in tavernas and bar hop in buzzing Plaka.
Santorini in the Cyclades
Perhaps the best-known group of Greek islands, the Cyclades in the Aegean include party-mad Mykonos, with its extravagant nightlife, nudist beaches, cute little villages and landmark windmills; beautiful Santorini, where rugged volcanic terrain meets sophisticated cultural life and expensive art galleries; and UNESCO-listed Delos, in classical times a thriving trading city and now a windswept but awesomely beautiful ruin, accessible only by guided tour from Mykonos.