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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Top 10 things to do in Greece

Western facade of the Parthenon during its res...Image via Wikipedia

Author: Nancy Bukasa

Home to some of the world's greatest philosophers, and perhaps the only place where the sounds of crashing plates echoes among the mirth of people enjoying good food and wine, Greece is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe. Situated at the meeting point between eastern and western countries, Greek culture is an amalgam of diverse traditions. With a coastline that spans to 16000 km and with eighty percent of Greece being covered in Mountains, it offers not only a diverse culture but beautiful landscapes. I hope to show you here what Greece has to offer.

1. Edessa Waterfalls
The Edessa Waterfalls is situated in the Pella Prefecture of Macedonia in Northern Greece, 100km west, northwest of Thessaloniki. What made these waterfalls such an amazing experience was that you could stand underneath one of the waterfalls (the Great Waterfall, Karanos) and literally watch it cascade. The Edessa waterfalls consist in a total of seven, and it is designed in a way that allows tourists and the public alike to gaze over the streaming waters. Nearby local markets sell local produce and interesting souvenirs which you can check out after visiting Edessa.
2. The Macedonian Tomb of Judgement
Another great characteristic of Greece is the archaeological ruins scattered throughout the country, tracing the history from the Palaeolithic Era to the Roman Empire. Known as the largest Macedonian Tomb, the Tomb of Judgement was discovered in 1954 and was restored to its original structure in 1998. This particular tomb marks the conflict between Macedonia and Persia, and for those who are blown away by displays of history, this is definitely a place to go and visit. With it being underground, you will fall for the allusion of entering a different world.
3. Visit the school of Aristotle
The school is located 3km away from Naoussa in a place called "Isboria". This place oozes wisdom. Here you can see where Aristotle taught Alexander in the middle of the 4th Century BC. You can also learn about interesting myths, such as the supposed nymphs who lived among the trees at the school.
4. Acropolis
A visit to Greece would not be a proper visit without going to see Acropolis to cast your eye at the Parthenon. The Parthenon is considered to be one of the most perfect buildings constructed, particularly if we factor in the time period in which it was built. The view of Athens from the part of the building which contains the flag is mesmerizing. For about 50 Euros you can get a tour of the building and the surrounding area.
5. Island of Delos
Not far from Mykanos, the island of Delos offers a serene experience and an opportunity to see more amazing archaeological sites. It is also the birthplace of the mythological characters, Apollo and Artemis. There are two walks one takes a few hours and indulges in the archaeological features the island has to offer, such as the local museum. The other walk is much longer and will take much of the day but will give you a chance to really explore the island.
6. Naoussa Carnival!
If you want to experience some of Greek's culture attending the traditional Naoussa Carnival is a must. The carnival period usually begins before lent, and with colourful street decorations, ‘Boules' masks, and the warmth of the people, attending the carnival will provide a great experience.
7. Saint Nikolas Park
Saint Nikolas Park is a great tourist attraction in Naoussa and I thoroughly enjoyed walking in the midst of this pastoral paradise. It lies at the foot of Mount Vermion where it is believed that Semeli, the mother of God Dionysos lived, and spans across 15 acres. For those who enjoy fishing there is an opportunity to catch your own fish in one of the beautiful rivers and have it cooked for you at the local restaurant.
8. Folklore museum
This museum was set up by the Vlachs (a member of the indigenous population) of Naoussa. Inside are four rooms each containing tools and utensils the people of Naoussa used, as well as clothing and ancient weaponry. This is another great way to explore ancient Greece.
9. Paros Wine Museum
After all the excitement of carnivals and waterfalls, you can unwind with some wine tasting in Naoussa. The museum shows you how the local wine is made and what distinguishes red from white. At the end of the tour you get to enjoy the best bit – tasting a selection of wines!
10. Myrtos Beach
Myrtos Beach is famous for its astounding views and is situated in the region of Pylaros, north-west of Kefalonia. Before descending to the beach you should take some time to enjoy the view from above. Once descending to the beach you can sit on the glorious white sands, with surrounding rocky cliffs and the clear blue sea in front of you, a perfect way to end your stay in Greece.
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About the Author

Nancy Bukasa is completing a Philosophy degree at the University of Nottingham and she now works for Frontier at the London HQ. You can find out more about Volunteer abroad projects or gap year adventures by visiting the Frontier website.

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