Chania, Crete – a beauty in Greece

I remember hearing about Chania and Crete as a child in Brazil. At our family reunions, my uncle Christos – who was born there and became part of the family when he married my aunt Maria – would tell us about Crete and Greece, and we children were always fascinated by his stories. Everything about him – the unpronounceable last name, the thick accent – … Continue reading Chania, Crete – a beauty in Greece

Knossos, Crete – the first Europeans

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and – according to people who know the country well – the finest. Crete has history, culture, traditions, a rich cuisine and some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. A land of myth and imagination – where mythology and history are so intertwined it’s hard to tell them apart – Crete is Greece in a nutshell.  … Continue reading Knossos, Crete – the first Europeans

Santorini is for lovers

One of the world’s greatest sights and a favorite destination for romantic couples, the iconic Greek island of Santorini is an easy 45-minute flight from Athens. Direct flights from other European cities are also available, but I opted for a three-hour boat ride from Mykonos instead, to continue my Greek-island hopping. It was a good choice; arriving in Santorini on the top deck of a … Continue reading Santorini is for lovers

Mykonos, Greece: where the party never stops

There’s no denying that the Greek islands Mykonos and Santorini attract international jet-setters like honey attracts flies. But these days they seem to attract everybody else, too. Are they crowded? You bet. Part of the Cyclades group of islands in the Aegean Sea, on the eastern corner of the Mediterranean, both islands are endowed with a striking beauty that is distinct from anything else. But … Continue reading Mykonos, Greece: where the party never stops

Meteora Monasteries, Greece – high in the sky, almost in heaven

What’s most impressive about the Meteora Orthodox Monasteries – a UNESCO World Heritage site in a remote corner of Greece – is that they were built atop impossibly high stone pinnacles, at a time when no machines were available.  Some even attribute their existence to divine intervention. But whatever made them possible, I can’t think of better examples of how determination trumps logic, of how … Continue reading Meteora Monasteries, Greece – high in the sky, almost in heaven

The Oracle of Delphi – how stoned priestesses ruled the Greeks

To some people, the word oracle probably brings to mind the giant software company of Silicon Valley. But the inspiration for the name – the Oracle of Delphi, in Greece – is much older than that. Delphi and the Temple of Apollo – the former being the most important oracle in all antiquity, the latter one of the 12 Olympian gods of Greek mythology – … Continue reading The Oracle of Delphi – how stoned priestesses ruled the Greeks

Athens, where it all started

I’ve often heard people say that ‘Athens is an ugly city, don’t bother with it, go straight to the Greek islands’. I’m glad I didn’t listen – I found Athens beautiful, exciting, culturally rich and full of layers.  Of course there’s no account for taste – different people seek out different things while traveling. But how could one not be awestruck by the Acropolis –  the citadel … Continue reading Athens, where it all started