GREECE

The southernmost country in Europe, Greece also holds the title for longest coastline in Europe, due in no small part to its roughly 1500 islands. Ancient and modern Greece are yours to uncover, whether by wandering ruins half-covered in wildflowers, island-hopping in the Aegean Sea, or contemplating philosophy over meze and ouzo.
BASICS /// Flag: ūüá¨ūüá∑ // Capital: Athens // Currency: Euro // Languages: Greek

 


ITINERARIES

Capital city which brings together ancient and modern Greece.
DO
Acropolis Museum: After you visit the Acropolis, make sure to stop in at this beautiful, modern and informative museum for priceless ancient treasures. The roof cafe has lovely views of the Acropolis.
Benaki Museum Pireos St Annexe: Take a break from antiquities to check out this museum's interesting contemporary art and design exhibitions.
EAT
Tzitzikas & Mermigas: Delicious Greek small plates in a setting that looks like a welcoming general store. The fried cheese with honey and bacon is highly recommended - I still have dreams about it.


CULTURE FILE

The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
The first and second oldest existing pieces of Western literature, these ancient epic poems detail the battles of the Trojan War and the travels of Odysseus on his way home thereafter.
Symposium by Plato
An ancient philosophical text about the purpose and nature of love.
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
This comedy depicts an ancient "battle of the sexes" that results after Lysistrata convinces women to withhold sex from their husbands and lovers in order to force the men to negotiate to end the Pelopponnesian War.
Antigone by Sophocles
An ancient tragedy1which centers on Antigone, who arranges a proper burial for her rebel brother despite the king's decree that he shall not have one, and in the process, raises issues of justice, morality and civil disobedience.
Poetry by Odysseas Elytis
Elytis won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1979 for his romantic modernist poetry, which, as the committee put it, "against the background of Greek tradition, depicts with sensuous strength and intellectual clear-sightedness modern man's struggle for freedom and creativeness."
Austerity Measures: The New Greek Poetry ed. by Karen Van Dyck
This collection surveys the landscape of modern Greek poetry, which has seen a boom in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Stelios Kazantzidis
This superstar singer was a leading practitioner of la√Įk√≥, or Greek folk music.
Tzatziki
Sauce made from strained yogurt combined with cucumbers, garlic and other spices and often used as a dip with pita or grilled meats.
Dolmades
Tender vine/grape/cabbage leaves stuffed with a mix of rice and herbs.
Moussaka
A layered dish made from eggplant, minced meat and tomatoes and topped with cheese.
Feta, halloumi
Cheeses made from sheep milk (in the case of feta) or a mix of sheep and goat milk (in the case of halloumi). While feta can be a bit more crumbly and often shows up in salads, halloumi is a harder cheese and is frequently grilled or fried.
Spanakopita
Phyllo pastry filled with spinach, feta, onions and spices.
Taramasalata
A dipping sauce made from fish roe, olive oil, and lemon juice.
Gyro, souvlaki
Meats often available as street food and served in pita sandwiches accompanied by various toppings (veggies, tzatziki, etc). Note gyro and souvlaki refer to different ways of cooking the meat - gyro meats come from a vertically rotating rotisserie spit, while souvlaki meats are cooked on skewers.
Xtapodi
Octopus - try it fresh and grilled!
Galaktoboureko
A dessert made from layers of crispy golden phyllo pastry filled with custard.
Ouzo
An apertif with an anise2flavor.