After being hit hard by the global recession, a surge in tourism has helped Greece boost its economy over the last year. In fact, the Mediterranean country recently had its first bank surplus since 1948. Now, the Greek government is working to continue its thriving tourism industry by highlighting the nation's stunning beauty, ancient monuments and rich Old-World culture. For those interested in Europe travel, there's no better time to journey to Greece and experience all the country has to offer.
Whether its relaxing in a villa overlooking the Mediterranean or Aegean Sea or delving into the nation's fresh cuisine, Greece is a destination everyone should visit at least once in their life. For starters, visit these popular spots:
As Greece's capital and largest city, Athens is one of the country's premier travel destinations. Its recorded history dates back 3,400 years ago, which means there's no shortage of historical monuments to see. Athens boasts two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Acropolis of Athens, an ancient citadel that includes the Parthenon, and Daphni Monastery, a medieval monastery built in the 11th century. The city's centre has also been converted into a pedestrian-only zone, leading visitors to other famed archeological sites. In addition to its millennium-spanning history, Athens is home to unique architecture, such as the charming whitewashed bougainvilleas of the Anafiotika area, and a growing number of art museums, including the offbeat Benaki Museum, which features contemporary art and design.
Home of the first Olympic games in 8 B.C., Olympia is an ancient sanctuary located in the southern part of Greece on the Peloponnese peninsula. Now, visitors can view the ancient stadium of Olympia - the site of the early Olympic games - and several ornate temples devoted to Greek gods, including the Temple of Zeus. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia, which is home to the famed is the Nike of Paionios, also provides travellers with information on the long history of both the sanctuary and the Olympic Games.
Located in the Aegean Sea on the islands of Santorini and Theraisa is Oia, an idyllic coastal community that offers visitors plenty of scenic landscapes. The entire town is built on the steep slope of a volcano, with the gleaming whitewashed houses, stores and restaurants carved into the volcano's seaward wall. Connected by narrow, winding passageways, many of the structures have painted domes, making Oia one of the most unique towns in the world. Visitors to this breathtaking city may enjoy tasting the rich cuisine or taking a dip in the blue waters of Amoudi Bay.