Experiencing Two Sides of Greece
By Kathy Smith, Special to GTP Headlines
For decades, Greece has remained one of the ultimate top-tier travel destinations. From its sun-drenched shores and beaches to its majestic mountains, travellers to this seat of ancient classical culture and civilization will have a once in a lifetime experience.
The historical beauty of Greece is enhanced by its status as a modern European country offering luxurious getaways and atmospheric nightlife. To fully experience all that Greece has to offer, create a vacation itinerary that combines both its modern side and it’s ancient past.
Athens is a capital city like no other. The very heart of the ancient Greek Empire, Athens remains unparalleled throughout the European continent. Its landscape is still dominated by millennia-old landmarks and historical sites, but it is also a bustling city that is filled with life and provides the very best of contemporary culture and luxury tourism.
A stay in Athens wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the 5th century B.C. Acropolis with its iconic Parthenon, but Athens has a lot more to offer the modern traveller. A great way to experience the Athens of today is through the ‘this is my Athens programme’ in which locals take visitors around the city. It’s a great opportunity to see the many sides of the city that you may not typically get to see as a tourist, and it’s completely free.
Nearly 17 km away from the centre, lays the perfect place to experience historical Greece in luxurious surroundings. The elegant Mont Parnes Casino and Hotel Resort, which is owned by Regency Entertainment Group, is Greece’s equivalent to the famous MGM Grand entertainment complex. This resort is prominently placed at the peak of Mount Parnitha in the very centre of Athens National Forest, and due to its location, it can only be reached with a special cable chair lift, adding an extra slice of adventure to the time spent here.
To really get the most out of travelling to Greece, a trip to its historical caves is also in order. Incredibly, there are over 8,500 caves scattered throughout the country, many of which have become renowned for their significance in the field of anthropology, such as the Franchthi cave in the Peloponnese. Originally, many of the caves provided refuge for humanity’s early incarnation and others have been important places of worship. Some of the most captivating caves to visit are the Melissani on Kefalonia, the caves at Alistrati and Prosotsani in Macedonia, and the famous cave of Paiania in Attica.
Travelling further afield to the Greek Islands is also highly recommended to get a taste of just how luxurious a destination Greece is. The Islands are a unique combination of golden, sandy beaches, and snow-capped mountain resorts offering skiing, horseback riding, rafting, and mountain biking. Each island is different, however, with its own special atmosphere, and you’ll find the perfect destinations for everything from a romantic getaway to vibrant nightclubbing.
On Parnassos in the towns of Arahova and Livadi, there are a number of boutique hotels and chalets to stay in whilst over on the southwest coast of Crete lies the stunning and unspoiled Elafonissi beach.
Regardless of how long you are planning to stay in Greece, exploring the country will provide an extraordinary opportunity to see and feel things you just won’t experience anywhere else in the world.