Athens | Greece

Greece has seen a long and storied history that boasts thousands of years of civilizations who paved the road for those that came after them. What more can you say about a country that is the cradle of western civilization? What more do you need to add to a country’s label other than “Birthplace of Democracy”? 

How about that Greece was also the birthplace of the Olympic Games, political science, western philosophy, western literature and drama. Ancient Athens, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and finally, Greece! The country sure endured a lot to get where it is today, and now it is sharing its culture and history with more people than ever. Greece tourist attractions range from ruins to red beaches, sunshine to seashore, monuments to mealtime. Greece travel rewards the visitor with memories for a lifetime and wishes to return again one day. Choose a Greece vacation spot, or ten Greece vacation spots, and come see why Greece vacations are so special.

For those who appreciate history and architectural ruins, Greece travel is ideal. Athens alone could satisfy the history buff for weeks. From the Acropolis, with its ruins that include the Parthenon, to the ancient Panathenaiko Stadium, history is witnessed, or moreover experienced. Walk through the Athenian Agora, marvel at the ancient Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and wonder what the Temple of Olympiad Zeus must have been like in its time. Greece tourist attractions run wild in Athens, the city is full of them. Throughout the country, in cities like Thessaloniki and the Old Town of Rhodes, the imprints from past civilizations are easily recognized. Take a day trip to Olympia to see where the Olympics began, or visit the Church of the Metamorphisis at Meteora to see the lengths that monks went to hundreds of years ago to preserve their religion and way of life.

For museum buffs, Greece vacations deliver. Athens alone features some of the world’s best museums, including the National Archaeological Museum and the Benaki Museum. The new Acropolis Museum will soon offer an intense study of the objects that exhaustive excavations have unearthed atop the Acropolis. Archaeological museums are spread throughout the islands, from Chania to Rhodes, Paros to Rethymnon. Museums are among the top Greece tourist attractions due to the country’s rich history and devotion to the arts.

Food in Athens
Greece travel rewards the culinary fans as well. At every Greece vacation spot there is a taverna nearby, or a gyro stand and of course the rich smells of fresh baked bread. Greeks take pride in their food, it is a part of their culture. Food is both celebrated in Greece and used as celebration for Greece’s most cherished festivities. Greece vacations allow you to sample the Greek food you’ve come to love at home in its authentic environment. 

Saganaki, grilled lamb, moussaka, fried octopus and a glass of ouzo, and of course baklava. Greece serves up fresh seafood and harvests from the land, taking to the table a fresh array of locally grown vegetables, fruits and herbs. Greek olive oil is considered by many to be the finest in the world, and Greece travel reveals the beautiful rows of Greece’s great olive trees, a gift from the goddess Athena. Enjoy an array of liquors and emerging Greek wines as you enjoy the Greek cuisine.

 Grilled Octopus

 Fried Kalamari

 Horiatiki Salad

List of foods and Descriptions

For adventurers, there is excitement waiting at each and every Greece vacation spot. Ski the mountains of northern Greece and the Peloponnese peninsula, rock climb at Meteora, take a bike tour on the island of Crete. Hikers will experience a hike like no other on the volcanic island of Santorini. You can book a charter and sail the Aegean Sea from one island to another by yacht. Head to the gorges of Greece, like Samoria Gorge on Crete, or those of the mainland mountains and experience rivers, waterfalls and the beautiful natural beauty of Greece. 

  • Sadziki (sahd- zee -key): Yogurt, cucumber and garlic, and salt. Great on fresh Greek bread.
  • Melitzana Salata (mel-its- zan -na sal- ah -ta): Eggplant salad. Like Babaganoush in the middle east. Eaten on bread.
  • Tarama Salata (tah-rah- mah sal- ah -tah): roe of carp. Greek caviar. Don't be afraid to try it. It doesn't taste like you expect. Eaten on bread.
  • Saganaki (saga- nah -ki): fried cheese. Sometimes comes with tomato sauce. I like it plain with lemon.
  • Capari Salata (cap-ah-ri sa- lah -tah): Caper salad. Sifnos specialty. Goes on bread.
  • Tiro Salata (tee-row sa- lah -tah): Cheese salad. Strong sometimes spicy. Spread on bread
  • Olives (ill- yes ): a hundred different varieties. Don't say you don't like olives until you have tried them all. You may find one you can't live without.
  • Casseri(keh- seh -ree) Soft cheese like mozzerela.
  • Keftedes (kef- teh -des): Deep-fried Meatballs. Other areas have their own variety of keftedes. Sifnos has Revithiakeftedes (reh-veeth-ya-kef- teh -des), made from chickpeas. Santorini has Domatokeftedes (tho-mah-toh-kef- teh -des) made from Tomatoes. There are also Tirokeftedes (tee-row-kef- teh -des) made with cheese and psarokeftedes (psah-row-kef-teh-des) made with fish. They are all delicious.
  • Spanakopita (span-ah- koh -pee-tah) Spinach pie
  • Tiropita (tee- row -pee-ta): Cheese pie
  • Kreatopita (kray-ah- toh -pee-tah): Meat pie
  • Choriatiki Salata (hoe-ree-ah-tee-key sa- lah -tah): Village salad or what we in America call a Greek Salad, except here you usually don't get lettuce. It generally consists of Tomatoes(tho- mah -tes),Cucumbers(an- goo -ree), Onions(crem- ee -thya), Feta, Oil( la -thee), vinigear ( ksee -dee) and olives(ill- yes ). Sometimes they leave off the feta so you have to ask for it and they charge you extra. When I order I ask for a hoe-ree-ah-tee-key meh feh-tah, a village salad with feta, just to avoid this. If you want it without any of the above items just tell the waitor: hoe- ris (without) and the name of the item.
  • Lakanika (la- cah -nee-kah): Cabbage salad.
  • Horta ( hoar -ta): Boiled greens. Very healthy and good with lemon, oil and vinigear.
  • Vleeta ( vlee -tah): Cooked and served like horta but different greens. Restaurants will have one or the other.
  • Yigendes ( yee -gen-des): Big beans like lima beans served either with oil and lemon or with tomatoe sauce.
  • Fava( fah -vah): Dip or stew made from yellow split peas that can be eaten with a spoon or with bread.
  • Kolokithikia Vrasta(koh-loh-kee- thak -ya vras- tah ): Boiled zuchinni seasoned with oil, lemon and sometimes vinegar.
  • Patates Tiganites (pa- tah -tes tee-gah-nee- tes ): fried potatoes. Greek french fries blows MacDonalds away. It must be the oil.
  • Patates to Fourno (pa- tah -tes toh for -no): Oven roasted potatoes. My favorite dish.
  • Briam(bree- am ): roast vegetables. Usually contains potatoes, onions, zucchini, eggplant, garlic and tomatoes.
  • Rivithia (reh- vee -thya): Chickpea stew. Araka (ah-rah- kah ): Peas. Cooked with onions and tomatoes.
  • Stifado(stee- fah -doh): Stew made with lots of small onions, tomatoes and either rabbit (kou- nell -ee), lamb(ar- nee ), or octopus(ock-toh- poh -thee).
  • Dolmades (doh- mah -des): Grape-leaves stuffed with rice, onions and sometimes ground beef.
  • Macaronia (mak-ah- ron -ya): Spagetti as we call it. Served with ground beef (meh kee- mah ) or tomatoe sauce ( sal -tsa). If you want to say without meat say ho-ris kray-ahs.
  • Mousaka (moo-sah- kah ): Baked and similar eggplant parmegeon but not as tomato saucy. Contains eggplant, potatoes, onions, ground beef, oil, cinnamin, and a flour, milk and butter topping.
  • Pastitsio(pah- sti -tsyo): Like Lasagna but not as saucy. Layered noodles, meat, tomato sauce and topping similar to mousaka but denser.
  • Anginares (ang-ee- nar -es): Artichokes in lemon and egg sauce with potatoes.

Lamb (arn-nee)Dishes

  • Fricasse (arn- nee free-cah- seh ): Stew made with spinach, lemon, eggs and oil.
  • Psito(psee- toh ) Leg of lamb roasted with potatoes.
  • Sti Carbona(stee- car -bon-ah): charcoal grilled.
  • Pidakia (pie- dye -kya): Ribs grilled.

Chicken (Koh- toh -poo-loh)

  • Psito or To Fourno (toh four -no): Oven Roasted with potatoes or roast.
  • Me Saltsa (meh sal -tsah): In red sauce.
  • Tis skaras(tis ska -ras): On the grill
  • Souvlas ( sou -vlas): Shishkabob
  • Stithos ( stee -thos): Breast
  • Podi ( po -thee): Leg

Grilled Meats

  • Brizoles (bree- zoh -les):Steak
  • Khirini (khe-ree- nee ) Pork
  • Souvlakia (sue- vlak -yah): Shish-cabob
  • Loukanika (lou- con -ee-kah): sausage
  • Kokoretsi(ko-ko- ret -see): Entrails of lamb wrapped up and roasted on a spit.
  • Kontosouvli (konto- sou -vli): Big hunks of pork cooked on a spit.


  • Astako (as-tak- ko ): Lobster. Mediteranean style no claws
  • Garides (ga- ree -des): Shrimp, usually large and grilled
  • Xifia (ksee- fee -ya): Swordfish. Grilled steaks or souvlaki.
  • Barbounia(bar- boon -ya): Red Mullet. Expensive and delicious grilled or fried.
  • Marides(mar- ree -des): Small deep-fried fish that can be eaten whole, heads bones and all.
  • Gopes ( go -pes): Small tasty inexpensive fish served fried or grilled.
  • Soupia(soup- ya ): Cuttle fish. Served grilled or with a red wine-sauce.
  • Midia ( Me -dia): Mussels, Steamed or in a wine sauce.
  • Bakaliaro(bak-ah- lar -oh): Fried codfish served with garlic sauce (skor-da-ya).
  • Galeos (ga- lay -os), shark is also served this way.
  • Octopodi (ock-toh- poh -thee) Octopus. Delicious like filet-minion. Can be served grilled (tis ska -ras) or boiled ( vrah -stah). Excellent with ouzo by the sea.
  • Kalamarikia (kah-la-ma- rike -ya): Squid. Frozen is usually fried in small pieces. Fresh is usually fried whole. Both delicious with lemon.
  • Sardeles (sar- dell -es): Sardines. Can be served fried, or from the can with oil. In Lesvos a special treat is pastes (pas- tess ) which means that the sardines were caught that morning, salted on the boat and served raw that night. With ouzo it can't be beat.
  • Rega( reh -ga): smoked herring in olive oil. Usually an appetizer.
  • Psarosoupa (psar- oh -soup-ah): Fish soup. Potatoes, lemon and egg base, can be ordered with or without fish.


  • Bread is psoh- me .
  • Eggs are av- ga .
  • Omelet is Om-eh- let -ah. Try it with feta or the famous potato omelets(pa-ta-to om-eh-let-ah).
  • Watermellon is kar- poo -zee
  • Honeydew Melon is peh- pon -ee
  • Apple is me -lo
  • Rice pudding is ree- zo -gah-low
  • Yogurt is ya- oar -ti
  • With fruit is me fruit -ta
  • With honey is me meh -lee
  • Wine is Krah- see . Red is Koh -kee-no. White is as -pro. Kee-ma is homemade from the barrel.
  • Patsa (Pat-sa): Tripe soup. Good for hangovers.
  • Glass is po- tee -ree.
  • Caraffe is ka-ra- fa -kee.
  • Bottle is boo- kal -ee.
  • Water is neh- ro .
  • Menu is cat- ah -lo-go.
  • Check is lo-ga-ree-as- mo .
  • Thank-you is ef-ka-ree- sto .

Take a bicycle tour on Crete, or trek down to an isolated beach where you are the only soul around. Greece has some of Europe’s best beaches. Red Beach Santorini, Red Beach Crete, and Paradise Beach on Mykonos are just a few. From isolated coves and flat rock hideaways, to beaches where seaside bars and clubs are jumping well into the next morning. Soak up some sun on Greece’s beaches and see why Greece travel in the summer is so popular. Numerous water sports can be enjoyed at Greece’s beaches, from snorkeling and scuba diving to windsurfing and conventional surfing.

Embrace Greece travel and it will embrace you back. Spend time in a thriving city, or head far off into the Aegean Sea for an island escape. No matter which Greece tourist attractions you choose to go after, or which Greece vacation spot you think fits your needs, Greece vacations offer everything you could ask for when it’s time to break your routine. Just be ready for a warm welcome when you arrive in Greece. The Greek people are open, friendly and sharing. They will offer their country to you and help you to enjoy it the very best you can. You will probably make many new friends on your trip to Greece, which is all the more reason to keep going back.
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