My Greece (mainland) Review
As mentioned, I’ve been to Greece twice. Therefore, this post will be about mainland Greece, which I did in 2010 (if you’re looking for something on the Greek Islands, click here). I realize I’ve jumped from 2014 to 2010, but I figured it made more sense to post everything I had to say about Greece at the same time.
So the first time I went to Greece was in 2010, as part of a CEGEP trip (CEGEP is that school thing we do in Québec for two years, which happens after high school and before uni. It cuts a year off of high school and a year off of uni). Although the experience was very educational, as the teacher who brought us is a Greek history expert, well, it wasn’t the Greek Islands. We visited a bunch of archaeological ruins, which were very rich in history, but, you know, once you’ve seen a pile of rocks, you’ve seen em all…
We started off in Athens, then made our way to: the Hosios Loukas Monastery, Delphi (the center of the universe), Olympia, Mystras, Sparta (this, is, Spartaaaa), the beautiful little island of Monemvasia, Nafplion, Corinth, the island of Aegina and then back to Athens. Although I loved some parts of this trip, I would definitely recommend some places over others and to visit less ruins (one or two main sites would have sufficed).
My Greece Recommendations
7. Shopping in Athens
Because I’ve traveled to many European cities, I can say for a fact that Athens has some of the best summer sales in terms of clothing and cheaper prices than other European cities (when I went to Europe in 2014, I went to Zara in Athens and a couple other cities and the prices were cheaper in Athens). My favorite European stores, which we unfortunately don’t have in Montréal are Bershka, Pull & Bear and Stradivarius. Whenever I travel, I always check to see if the place I’m going to has one of these stores (unfortunately, got no photos of this).
6. Hosios Loukas Monastery
The Hosios Loukas Monastery is very beautiful and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It dates from the Byzantine times and is located on the slopes of Mount Helicon (for more, check out the Wikipedia page).
5. Mystras & Pantanassa Monastery
In Mystras, we visited the fortified part of town, which is very high up and has a great view over the surrounding mountains. We also visited the Pantanassa Monastery, which was very beautiful.
4. Plaka (Athens)
Plaka is the name of the old town in Athens, where you can find a bunch of boutiques, restaurants, stores, ruins and of course, tourists. It is a very nice area to walk around, with its cobble stone streets (in certain areas).
3. Parthenon & Acropolis (Athens)
So this is how this works: the Parthenon is an ancient Greek temple that was dedicated to Athena, which you can find atop the Acropolis, which is the name of the hill. The climb up is very slippery (as so many tourists have walked over the stone steps) so be careful! Also, take the time to visit the nearby New Acropolis Museum if you want more information on the Parthenon and Acropolis.
Monemvasia is a beautiful little island located on the southern tip of mainland Greece. If you ever visit this place, take the time to walk around the streets all the way to the top for a great view of the town.
Nafplion was my favorite part of this trip, as it was very beautiful and had this luxurious and Mediterranean feel to it. The buildings, the squares and the streets were all so beautiful; I could have walked around here for days. Unfortunately, my pictures don’t do it justice, but you can take my word for it; Nafplion is a very beautiful coastal city.
UP NEXT: yes my dear foodies, Greek food!!!
*All photos are my own (or taken by someone with my device)