From the fascination of ancient Athens to the beaches of Corfu, Crete and Rhodes, Greece and her Islands offer a unique mix of sun, sand and history.

Athens antiquity ©GNTO, D Koilalous

Greece will delight your senses in so many ways as you wander through picture-postcard villages and historical sites, sampling the fresh and unique flavours of Greek cuisine and roam from mountains to beach taking in the breathtaking scenery. In 2009, 425 beaches and eight marinas in Greece were awarded the “Blue Flag” for their cleanliness, good organisation and safety, putting the country in a top-ranking position among other European countries. Half of Greece’s 16,000km coast is found around the thousands of islands and the rest around the mainland. Diversity stretches from small bays and coves to sandy beaches with dunes, pebbly shores and coastal caves.

Mediterranean and daily sea crossings can be made to nearby Turkey. Peaceful resorts can be found on the west coast. RHODES is said to have 300 days of blue skies a year and beyond the madness of resorts like Faliraki, famed for its Greece’s mainland is perfect for holidays with the perfect clubbing scene, there is much to discover on yet another beautiful combination of diving, snorkelling, Greek ruins and charming island. Rhodes has a well-preserved medieval city steeped in churches. Visit ATHENS in the south for a city break and to history with castle’s and fortresses waiting to be explored. explore the surrounding towns and villages or The most popular beaches lie to the west and south of PARGA on the west coast with its picturesque Rhodes City and those in search of a more authentic Cephalonia, harbour, busy nightlife and ferry links to Corfu. Greece, should head south of the island. Or relax on the white sand beaches of enjoyed a surge sole HALKIDIKI in the north and let your in popularity after The IONIAN SEA is home to oneZanteisland group, The Ionian Islands including imagination run free! featuring in the novel (Zakynthos) and Corfu amongst others. Most of Greece’s islands lie in the AEGEAN CORFU is the closest Greek Island to the UK and film Captain SEA and include the popular holiday islands of and is still the most popular for Brits. AllKos and Rhodes (The Dodecanese) and Crete. Corelli’s inclusive and cheap package deals have made CRETE is a very popular island with a mix of Corfu a very attractive holiday destination, although Mandolin. large tourist resorts, peaceful seaside villages and amongst the touristy resorts north and south of Corfu centuries-old cities. Most of the eastern side is a mecca town and along the north coast, romantic beaches and for package tourism, whilst the west has a more rugged coastline traditional villages can still be found all over. and less crowded beaches. ZANTE (ZAKYNTHOS) is the most southerly of the Ionian KOS was one of the first Greek Islands to open up to mass Islands full of pretty villages, quiet beaches and breathtaking tourism, owed mostly to its long sandy coastlines. It has some of scenery. The major beach resorts are along the coastal strip the most interesting archeological sites in the whole north west of Zakynthos Town and Laganas to the south.

Lindos, Rhodes ©GNTO, Nikos Kasseris

Choice Villas & Apartments 2010 35

Fact file
GREEK HONEY is famous all over the world
for its good quality, aroma and outstanding taste. It owes its wide diversity in taste and aroma to the rich Greek flora which comprises a large number of wild flowers. Honey in Greece is mainly flowerhoney from the nectar of fruit and citrus trees (lemon, orange, bigarade trees), thyme honey, with incomparable aroma, and pine honey from conifer trees. The DODECANESE ISLANDS, including Rhodes, Kos and Patmos, are close to Turkey, while the IONIAN ISLANDS have an Italian flavour; one of these is Cephalonia. The GREEK MOUNTAINS are renowned for their diversity, landscapes of singular beauty and unique forests, many of which rank among the oldest natural wooded lands in Europe. Due to the astoundingly rich flora and fauna they support, many of these environments have been designated as National Parks.

Rhodes Town ©GNTO

OLIVE OIL plays a unique role in Greek dietary
habits, being the basis of all recipes of traditional cuisine. Greek olive oil enjoys worldwide distinction for its purity and exceptional taste. You will find it everywhere in glass bottles and cans.

Tourist Office 020 7495 9300 Official language Greek Average summer temperatures (June–August) Athens: 27ºC Corfu: 25ºC Rhodes: 26ºC Santorini: 24ºC Currency Euro Average flying time from UK 31/2 hours

Capital Athens Local time GMT+2 hours Did you know? The highest point in Greece is Mount Olympus, legendary home of Zeus and the other Olympian gods and goddesses. Crete is the biggest of Greece’s islands, followed by the lesser-known island of Evvia or Euboia. The Greek territory comprises 6000 islands and islets scattered in the Aegean and Ionian Sea, of these islands only 227 are inhabited.

SUMMER CINEMAS (open-air) are one of the
Greek people’s most popular forms of entertainment during the spring and summer. They operate in open-air areas (roofs, empty lots, parks etc), are usually surrounded by small natural or artificial gardens and their floor is covered with pebbles. There are summer cinemas in all the Greek cities and many holiday resorts and shows usually start at around 9pm.
Konitsa, Epirus ©GNTO

Athens Herodion Theatre ©GNTO

36 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010

Greece, Greek Islands
38 Choice Villas & Apartments 2010

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