TOURIST ATTRACTIONS IN GREECE
Great weather, beautiful waters and awash with antiquity, it’s no wonder Greece is the destination of choice for a multitude of holidaymakers every year. And with so much to see it’s hard to know where to begin – which is exactly why we thought we’d lend an overly-charitable helping hand with our sparkling list of the Top 10 tourist attractions in Greece.
Chania Old Town
Lying on the north coast of Crete just west of Heraklion, Chania is Crete’s most charming old town and also one of its most historic areas. Mosques, synagogues and churches exist side by side, and a tumble of photogenic buildings with Roman, Jewish, Moorish, Turkish and Venetian origins cluster around a harbor where life goes on at a leisurely pace. Beyond this ancient core is a thriving modern city and a backdrop of mountains peaks.
The old town has three distinct areas: the Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are each well preserved. Chania’s old port curls within its rampart walls in from a lighthouse that was built by the Venetians in the 16th century and reconstructed in Islamic style a couple of hundred years later.
Athens Numismatic Museum
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Now supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Athens Numismatic Museum first opened in 1834 and has been relocated several times during its lifetime; its present resting place is the Iliou
Melathron (Palace of Iliou), a late 19th century Neo-classical mansion that was once home to German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who discovered Troy. The house, designed by Ernest Ziller in 1881, is as big an attraction as the museum and is surrounded on three sides by manicured gardens full of replicas of classical statues. Inside, a series of grand apartments are filled with highly patterned marble floors, elaborately painted ceilings and wall paintings reflecting Schliemann’s interest in ancient civilizations.
Tucked away on the south coast of Santorini in the next cove to Red Beach, White Beach (Aspri Paralia) is sheltered by soaring chalk-and-grey cliffs and usually accessed by boat from Akrotíri. This minuscule strand is actually composed of coarse black – not white – sand, and liberally peppered with grey and white pebbles as well as massive white volcanic boulders. Underwater caves and rocky formations along the shoreline make the beach an excellent choice for snorkelers.
Thanks to its circlet of overhanging cliffs, White Beach is reasonably isolated and hard to access so is consequently often very quiet, making it a perfect spot for those who love their sunbathing without the crowds. However, there are few facilities except sun beds and parasols for hire, so take water, food and sun tan lotion when visiting.