Greece has always been among Europe’s top travel destinations. The country boasts ideal weather almost all year and is known for its dynamic history. Greece is composed of a mountainous mainland and more islands than anyone could count. Explore the various Greece vacation packages available and enjoy the amazing sunny beaches, stunning landscapes, countless cultural sites, and delicious cuisine renowned all over the world. As one of the oldest civilisations, there are a lot of stories and fascinating facts. Here are the 10 most interesting ones.
- The Parthenon, now considered among the world’s greatest monuments, was originally built as a temple to honour the goddess Athena in 438 BC. The temple was actually used as a treasury and later was converted to a church during the 5th century. The Ottoman Empire later ruled and finally converted it to a mosque in the 1460s.
- Greece is the sunniest country in Europe and among the sunniest on the planet, enjoying an average of about 250 days of sunshine a year.
- Greece is the third largest producer of olives in the world. There are olive trees planted all over the country, with some trees from the 13th century and still producing olives today.
- There are over 100 archaeological museums in Greece, more than any country in the world, for history buffs to enjoy the vast Greek history.
- The Olympics started in Greece 2,700 years ago, but the games have changed over the years. In 776 BC, when the first Olympics took place, it consisted of just one event that was a short 200 meter sprint. The winners were rewarded with olive wreaths, some money, and jars filled with olive oil and celery sticks.
- There are more than 4,000 traditional dances that come from different regions of Greece. Folk dancing in Greece is an important part of their culture and it is as popular today as it was in ancient times. Their love for dance was first introduced to the world in the movie Zorba the Greek, starring Anthony Quinn.
- Greece is the only country in the world whose tourist population doubles its own every year.
- Greek is the oldest written language still being widely used today. With nearly five thousand years of continuous use, Greek is considered among the most influential languages worldwide with Latin, English, and Spanish.
- Greece is the top producer of Feta cheese, yogurt, sea sponges, marble, and olive oil worldwide.
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- The Greeks don’t refer to their country as Greece, but rather Hellas or Ellada and its official name is actually the Hellenic Republic. The English word Greece is derived from the Latin word Graecia, which was used by the Romans and means “The land of the Greeks.”
By Amal Ahmed