Welcome to the National Gardens of Athens! Right next to busy Syntagma square, this visitor-friendly and historical green space is an oasis of 19thcentury romanticism. Planned in 1836, the Gardens are actually the first park/botanical garden created in the Greek capital.
Greece offers a feeling of being part of a big family. The warmth and intimacy that locals openhandedly offer make you forget you are simply visiting and having your vacation here! Hospitality, security, nature’s beauty and the great Mediterranean diet make Greece a unique and perfect family destination.
It’s renowned for its spectacular train journey, but this historical Peloponnesian destination has so much more to offer than a day on the tracks. From skiing to hiking to caving, Graham Wood explores the region’s sporting options.
That novel – you’ve had it in you for as long as you can remember, or maybe the idea just happened to pop into your head last Wednesday when you got up at 2 a.m. for an unscheduled ice-cream high. Either way, you vowed to yourself that this year’s vacation will be different – you’re devoting your two week summer holiday to writing in Greece! Why?
Those who are visiting Greece for the first time with their motorhome can easily fit into the category of happy-go-lucky holidaymakers. The “don’t miss” spots and attractions are so many and so different from each other that there will be no room for second thoughts. When the options are so varied and tempting, it shouldn’t be hard to decide. The ride seems to be predetermined: you just have to follow the route from one top destination to another.
As a child, I used to visit Greece almost every summer holiday. My mother’s side of the family — numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and my grandmother — would descend on Cape Sounion, where we’d stay in several villas for almost a month. We’d swim and snorkel in the mornings, have long lunches, read during forced siestas, then go out at night to the local tavernas. It was a magical experience and one that has stayed with me all my life.
Holidays can be about more than just relaxation. Travel itself leads to open mindedness, if we go to new and challenging places. However holidays can be the perfect opportunity to learn something new and to cultivate the mind. Every new skill enriches us and makes our lives more enjoyable. Whether it is art, new languages, writing or the skill of thinking and reasoning, each brings a new dimension to our personalities, allows us to get to know ourselves better and ignites our passions. Let’s look at just a few possibilities in Greece:
Highlights of the most important holiday of the year
It is difficult to describe the intense feeling of the Greek Easter. There are socially apparent and publicly displayed alterations of mood (from joyous to sad, from elegiac to ecstatic, from lyrical to plainly enjoying good company and food). There is a 50-day Lent preceding Easter, during the last week of which (the Holy Week) everyday life goes by in tune with the commemoration of the dramatic events described in the Christian scriptures. But that too is varied because of regional customs as well as pre-Christian seasonal ones – celebrating nature’s rebirth and the very date of the Equinox are not accidentally connected with Easter.
At the beginning of the Holy Week, decks of playing cards would be hung from the ceiling of village kafeneia, so as to declare abstinence from entertainment. This might be one of Eastern traditions that is hard to find in modern Crete, but a number of others remain alive –as I was to discover during my week-long journey.
The Greek National Tourism Organisation supports this magnificent, intensely gripping, stylish, clever and visually stunning adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s classic thriller, starring three actors at the top of their game – Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac as well as the premiere that will take place in London at Curzon Mayfair on Tuesday May 13, where all the cast will be present.