Greece has been a staple on every travellers bucket list for... well... a very long time. I strongly believe there is a 9/10 chance that any travel agency you visit you will find at least one giant picture of Santorini and its iconic blue domed churches. And come on.. admit it... you have fantasised about taking THE Santorini picture at sunset too!
There is no way to write about Greece in an unbiased and concise manner. Not only it is my home, but it's a place that I deeply enjoy spending time in no matter the season and no matter the situation. I find a peace and love here that I haven't experienced in many other places, but most of all I always discover something new, and crave for the next time to be back.
1. There are 1000s of places to explore
If you are visiting for the first time, you are probably aching to visit Mykonos or Santorini. Probably for the reasons mentioned above. In recent years, a few more islands get some spotlight such as Ios, Paros and Milos (yes to those amazing moonlike beaches), but what may not be so obvious is that Greece has almost 6000 islands - that's a lot.
Traveling slowly is not always achievable, but if one world pandemic later we don't learn to appreciate the places and roads less travelled, I don't know what will.
You might be thinking, surely there are lots of places to enjoy but it will not be the same. The truth is, there are so many picturesque little islands, that will give you that amazing Cycladic vibe you are dreaming of (I am talking about white little houses with blue shutters and colourful bougainvilleas).
2. Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe
Without a single exception, every time I talk about skiing in Greece, I get some funny looks! Greece is more than 80% mountainous, with the tallest peak just shy of 3,000 m (or 10,000 ft).
More than that, we enjoy around 250 days of sunshine. That means that coming to Greece during the winter is equal to saying hello to the most amazing crisp and sunny days. Destinations like Arachova, or Crete are some of favourite during the winter months.
3. Greece is home to one of the world's 5 blue zones
If you never heard of this project before, I highly recommend you check it out. Blue zones are a collection of 5 places around the world where people live abnormally long and high quality lives. The research around the how and why that happens is fascinating!
Ikaria, a greek island found in the eastern part of the Aegean is part of this collection, where more than one third of its residents live past 90 years of age. They attribute their longevity to moderate exercise, good food, little stress, a glass of wine and an active sex life!
There is something new to discover in Greece every single time. It's hard to make plans at this time, but once travel continues exploring more islands around Greece is very high on my priority list. One thing is for sure, I will have an extensive question list for the residents of Ikaria!