A ripe tomato dipped in the sea. The musky scent of oregano and sage carried on the breeze. The faint jangle of goat bells. Peach nectar trickling down salty skin. The distant throb of an outboard engine, slipping over the horizon. Moonlight over marble. These are the flavours, smells and sounds of Greece, a land of plenty, simplicity, and infinite variety. It’s easy to believe in myths and heroes here — even in the hot, vibrant mess of modern Athens, a 5,000-year-old city currently reinventing itself as Europe’s capital of creativity. From delicious Sifnos to mystical Patmos and hidden-away Amorgos, each of the Greek Islands is its own, distinct world, with its own passionate followers. But don’t overlook the mainland, where ancient ruins and Byzantine monasteries are hidden among forests, lakes and snowy peaks. As Aristotle said, ‘Adventure is worthwhile’.
Best months to go to Greece
April, May, June, September
Top holiday reading in Greece
Mani, Travels in the Southern Peloponnese by Patrick Leigh Fermor
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens by Sofka Zinovieff