The amazing land called Greece: every time you go there, there is something new to explore, new corners you have never noticed before, some breath taking landscapes that catch your eyes.
One thing you can be sure about: there will always be something able to surprise you.
The beauty of its people, the warm atmosphere, the amazing Greek hospitality, not to mention the weather and the food; I mean, it is very hard to find some reasons to not love Greece.
It seems like it was yesterday that I was walking in Athens when suddenly I saw the Acropolis in all its beauty. Majestic. It seems that it takes care of the whole city of Athens, of the whole country. When I close my eyes I still see the super dish of Greek salad in front of me. And what about the taste of the sea you feel walking through the downtown of Kalamata, a jewel located in the south of the country?
It looks like some kind of magical planet.
It is so nice that I need to spread my love for it in some way.
That is exactly why today we are going to see some interesting facts about Greece that will probably make you fall in love even more with this country: some curiosities regarding geographical aspects, food recipes, celebrations and sports, you may have not known about this fantastic country on Earth.
6 sensational facts about Greece
*1 Thousands of islands
In love with islands? Well you can start to consider to plan and organize your next holidays in Greece. Take a sit and let your heart dream with your mind and heart: could you believe that in Greece there are more than 6,000 islands and islets spread out the Ionian and Aegean Seas? Yes, exactly like this.
It is not a mistake even if the first time I have heard it, I could barely believe it. As one would expect, you are able to enjoy amazing sceneries: sandy beaches with sand-dunes and pebble ones are waiting to welcome you in some postcard landscapes.
From the sunny seaside of Corfu (located in front of Saranda, a wonderful city in the south of Albania – if you want to know more about Saranda check here), through Hydra, Zakynthos and Kos, not to mention the Cyclades (Ios, Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini, just to give you an example) to Crete, Patmos and Rhodes, the only thing you have to do it is decide where to start and visit them.
And you can be sure, it does not matter from where you will start to do it: you will love each one of them.
*2 Super amazing cuisine
Talking about the food I should spend like some weeks of my life just writing the power and specialty of it. I love trying as many different recipes as I can, to be delighted by new dishes and combinations of flavors. If you want to dream while eating, then you should go and spend some time in Greece.
Greek people cook with a lot of passion, with their hearts: you can feel the love when you are trying several recipes. You can start with some fresh-caught seafood just to enjoy the freshness. Or maybe a Souvlaki. And what about having an amazing Moussaka for lunch? You will find it in each tavern you are going to have lunch in: a powerful mix of layered eggplants and spiced meat topped with a creamy béchamel. Greece is also the land of Tzatziki (creamy cucumber yogurt, a very popular meze), one of the best sauces I have ever tried. What about a super Greek salad? Let your body dream with this super cool tomato salad with feta cheese, cucumber, Kalamata olives and onion, dressed with the wondrous olive oil.
Olive oil, ever heard about this wonder? I am going to talk about it a bit more below, since it deserves a special position in the list.
Time to try a dessert, right? I simply love Melomakarona (soft cookies dipped in a honey syrup and covered with walnuts).
*3 Olive Oil. To try, to enjoy, to dream: it is a lifestyle
I love olive oil and this is not a secret anymore.
I use to drink it more than water and this is why I can consider myself more than addicted to it. And if I am like this, the “fault” is also of the extra virgin olive oil I tried many times in Greece: its quality is absolutely incredible and its taste too.
One of the best olive oils come from Kalamata olives (Kalamata is a lovely city in the southern part of Greece), that can be considered as one of the best quality of olives in the world: you can eat them and they are also used to produce olive oil.
It is impossible to go to Greece and to not try olive oil. They use to cook and dress many dishes with it and I am very glad about it, since I do love it.
During my recent tour to Megara (a cozy city 30 kilometers away from Athens) I had also the chance of visiting an olive oil factory and I got some secrets about its production.
I strong recommend it, it is part of their culture and amazing experience for your palate. Do it, you will not regret it. 101%.
*4 Sunny weather
Outside of the window it looks like it is still cold and you are dreaming about planning some weekend abroad soon? Here you may find a great option for you. Could you believe that in Greece there is an average of 250 sunny days per year? Basically the sun is always with you. This means you do not need to wait until the summer to get there and enjoy such a warm atmosphere; I was in Greece in April and the weather was incredibly warm; another time I was there in December and besides being cold at nighttime, well during the day it seemed almost spring time, since I got a lot of sun all the period long.
Sun is not shy in Greece: it always find a way to overcome the clouds and give to you plenty rays of light. Greek power.
*5 Name-day celebration: such an amazing tradition
If you are used to celebrate only your birthday during the whole year, well you should know that in Greece it will be much more than it: they are well known for their celebrations and traditions. From now on you will start to take a look into the calendar and check out when it is your name-day. In Greece they use to celebrate the name-days even more than the birthdays, so it is like you are going to get celebrated at least twice per year.
Getting excited and want to know the most popular ones? Take a look in here (day/month):
1/1 Vassilis, 7/1 Ioannis, Ioanna, 23/4 Giorgos, Georgia, 21/5 Konstantinos, Konstantina, Eleni, 15/8 Panagiotis, Maria, Despina, 26/10 Dimitris, Dimitra, 25/11 Katerina, 30/11 Andreas, 6/12 Nikos, 9/12 Anna (thank you dear Olia).
Is not amazing? It is much more.
And it is just wonderful to see how much they care about it. Each year I got used to receive from my lovely Greek friends wishes during my name-day.
If you wonder how could they remember all names and dates, well they use a special calendar, called “εορτολόγιο”, that indicates day by day who are the festive ones. Super efficient, is not it?
*6 Olympic Games were born in here
Are you a sport lover? If you are then you have just got one more reason to love Greece. Did you know that first Olympic Games were held in Olympia since 776 B.C.? The Olympics also had a religious function since they were held in honor of Zeus, the king of the Gods, and this tradition was kept until 393 A.C.. Then, they were stopped until the 6th April of 1896, when Pierre de Coubertin decided to reintroduce them. And from that moment, each four years they are organized in some different countries of the world. Amazing. So, if you feel like you are ready to run, if you feel in love with sports, if you like Olympic games and cannot wait to watch the next edition of them, now you know that a piece of your heart belongs to Greece.
And these are just a few reasons to go and discover Greece.
I think it is time to go and explore this sunny country on Earth!
And what about learning some Greek words before your trip?
Of course, here you go!
- Hello – Gia
- Yes / No – Ne / Oxi
- Thank you – Efharisto
- You are welcome – Parakalo
- Excuse me – Sygnomi
- Good morning – Kalimera
- Good evening – Kalispera
- Good night – Kalinichta
Greece basic information
- Name: Greece (Ελλάδα)
- Continent: Europe
- Location: Southern Europe, Balkan peninsula, UTC +2 (EET)
- Country code: +30
- Currency: Euro
- Capital city: Athens
- Main airports: Athens, Thessaloniki