Off the Turkish coast lies the largest island in the Dodecanese – Rhodes – which is popular with wine lovers and sports enthusiasts alike. The administrative center is Rhodes Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its inhabited old town, the Grand Master’s Palace and the old town walls. In the west of the island, which is much visited by tourists, you can visit numerous sights and destinations. The sailing and surfing schools up to the southern tip are popular, as well as the Valley of the Butterflies to the northwest and Mount Filerimos with an acropolis and the ruins of ancient Ialysos, from which you have a beautiful view of the northern tip.
Ravines and caves
Greece is home to countless canyons and caves to explore. Most are in Crete such as the Samaria Gorge – the largest gorge in Europe. 20 show caves alone are open to guided tours, the largest of which is Perama in the northwest of the country. The guided hiking trail through the stalactite cave is 1100m long. Another well-known cave, Theopetra Cave, is located in the Meteora rocks. It is home to the oldest man-made structure in the world, a stone wall that was built 23,000 years ago and partially closes the entrance.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Greece, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
In the Thessaly plain, on the edge of the Pindus mountain range, rise 24 monastic rocks. Byzantine monks built this second most important group of monasteries after Athos 600 years ago on the Meteora rocks, which are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Six monasteries, most of which can only be reached on foot, are open to the public. Here wall paintings and Byzantine frescoes can be admired. You can also get an insight into the monastery life of the past.
At an altitude of 2033 m, the “holy mountain” Athos is located on the eastern finger of the Halkidiki peninsula and is home to 2262 monks. The orthodox monastic republic governs largely autonomously. There is a boat connection from Ouranopolis to the approximately 20 monasteries that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage and are famous for their icon painting. Only male pilgrims are allowed to enter the peninsula.
Festivals and events
Despite austerity measures, the long tradition of the festivities in Greece was able to assert itself. In addition to numerous local folk festivals that have cultural or religious origins, there are also many festivals that take place over longer periods of time. The Athens & Epidaurus Festival takes place between June and September at various locations and features art, theater and music. More information is available at www.greekfestival.gr. Other well-known events are the German-Greek reading festival on Crete or the music festival in Kallithea with electronic-alternative music.
Greece with children
The Greeks are very child-friendly people. Children are always and everywhere welcome and take part in all activities until late in the evening. In any case, your luggage should include bathing shoes, good sunscreen and mosquito repellent for the evening hours. Child discounts are generally granted up to the age of 12. One of the largest water parks can be found near Thessaloniki in Halkidiki. The tourist centers offer many attractions. In every larger town there is a Luna Park with play facilities for children. Beaches, especially in smaller bays, are particularly suitable for children because the water is mostly flat.
The island of love, Kithira, lies 14 nautical miles off the southern tip of the Peloponnese and offers holidaymakers wide beaches, Byzantine churches, stalactite caves and small lakes. One of the easternmost islands is Thássos, known for its fishing and historical sites. Here, too, there are numerous beautiful beaches such as Makriamos, Chrissi Amoudiá and Pefkári. On Skiathos, the visitor is rewarded with an indescribable view after a beautiful hike from the port, via the monastery Evangelistra to the Kastro. In addition, Skiathos offers a choice of almost 60 beaches.
The best known of the numerous city fortresses of ancient Greece is the Acropolis in Athens. Consisting of three temples in total, the most famous is the Parthenon Temple, which towers high above Athens and offers a beautiful view of the city. The current excavations have been impressively integrated into the architecture of the new museum. You should allow enough time for your visit, as it closes in the afternoon on weekends. Tickets are currently also valid for other sights around the Acropolis.
Near the city of Corinth, the Corinth Canal was dug by human hands 75 meters deep into the stone rock. As a 26 meter wide waterway, it connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf and is the most expensive canal in the world. As a tourist attraction, the view from the canal bridge is as impressive as looking up the cliffs when navigating the passage by boat.