Fun things to do in Greece

  • Heraklion's working old harbour
    Heraklion's working old harbour
    by BlueLlama
  • Archaeological ruins opposite Eretria's Museum
    Archaeological ruins opposite Eretria's...
    by greekcypriot
  • Aliveri streets
    Aliveri streets
    by mindcrime

Most Viewed Things to Do in Greece

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    Olympia

    by mindcrime Written Dec 25, 2014

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    We decided to return to Olympia after many years, last time I was there was back in the early 80s! March 2014 and we drove along Arcadia through the Tripolis Pyrgos highway, it’s not the safest in the world but pretty picturesque and had the chance to stop and check some villages on the way (Vytina and Lagadia) but the rain was coming here and there. We knew we would had the first day for Olympia while the second day we would tour around.

    We stayed at a house of a relative at Pelopion, a small village just 3km north of Olympia which turned out a good base anyway as we also had the chance to visit Pyrgos (the capital of Ileia prefecture but didn’t like it), the port of Katakolon (where cruises arrive at hundreds of tourists head for Olympia), Zaharo, Krestena, Panagia Kremasti Monastery (outside Lanthi village) and the third day (on way back to Athens) Amaliada, Gastouni, Ancient Ilida and ended up to Patras before we return to Athens from there.

    But this review is for Olympia, a small rather boring town of Olympia with business focusing on tourism of course, we had a coffee break early in the morning but also tried some souvlaki later in the evening. There are some options for eating and accommodation but most people just come in hordes/tour groups from the cruises that stop at Katakolon) and the reason for their coming is the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia. This was the place where the Olympic Games were held every 4 years from 776BC and continued for 12 centuries until 393AD when emperor Theodosius banned them as a pagan custom, don’t forget that at the beginning the Olympics were linked to religious festivals, usually dedicated to Zeus to whom the biggest temple was standing at the center of the Ancient Town.

    I suggest to visit first the Archaeological Museum of Olympia (buy the combo ticket for 9euros that includes entrance to the ruins too) a rather small museum but has a significant portion of important items, you’ll be glad having seen them when you visit the ruins afterwards. We spent lot of time in the museum that was renovated for the Olympic Games of 2004, they organized the exhibits in much better way, they added nice lighting and gave extra space for specific items (eg. the lovely Hermes of Praxiteles has its own room now)

    Then you can walk to the ruins but have in mind a guide will be very usefull as they tend to give extra information, highlighting the background of the era explaining culture and religious beliefs of Ancient Greece and the symbolism of the games etc But each monumnet has a small info board with basic information and sometimes illustration with sketches etc. In any case the highlight for most visitors is the original running track where most people try it out (come on, it’s just 192meters) Most people go there during summer when the heat is in high level and there’s no sun protection on the archaeological site so bring hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water with you.

    Olympia archaeological museum of Olympia Hermes of Praxiteles Kronion Thermae the ancient stadium of Olympia
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    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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    Igumenitsa

    by mindcrime Written Nov 23, 2014

    Igumenitsa is located in NW part of Greece and is the capital of Thesprotia prefecture. It’s not special as expected from a port town and actually although the ferries bring life to the city and they also bring thousands of people that just use the city as a transit spot to Italy or some greek islands on the Ionian Sea (mainly Corfu but also Paxi, Kefalonia).

    Most times I go there I hardly check the city because we are on our way to get on a ferry. The first time for me was in 1990 when I took the ferry to Kefalonia, in 2010 the one for Corfu and in 2014 the ferry to Ancona. Other ports in Italy that are connected with Igumenitsa are Venice, Trieste, Bari, Brindizi, Ravenna. There are many ticket agents in Igumenitsa but is highly recommended to book online your ticket (especially if you have a car with you) and then just receive your boarding pass at the ticket office at the port before your departure like we did (better be there at least 90’ in advance).

    The last time we were there while we were waiting to board on the ferry to Ancona we had a few moments with the dog at the port that was playing with a ball for 30 minutes non stop, I cant recall any human we talked to that evening, ok maybe the cops that asked to check the car but we didn’t really had any chat with them :)

    The area has been inhabited since Paleolithic Age while in Ancient Era was known as Titani which was part of Thesprotis Kingdom (4th century BC) and had long fortress wall, two temples and a theater but the city destroyed by the romans in 167BC. It was known as Resadiye during the Ottoman occupation of Greece but also as Porto delle Gomenizze as it was a popular anchorage for Turks etc It got liberated in 1913 after the Balkan Wars, known as Grava but renamed as Igumenitsa in 1938. The small fishing village actually developed after WWII (it was destroyed by Nazis during the war) when many Albanian residents expelled to Albania because they collaborated with the Nazis. Igumenitsa was always a bit isolated in that part of Greece and for many years a ghost town as its port hardly got a ferry daily from Italy (back in the 80s most of them were coming into Preveza’s port) but in the 90s the traffic shifted to Igumenitsa and along with Yugoslavia war that stopped the road connection from there the port of Igumenitsa became extremely busy and turned the city into a bit ugly city of course. But now with the new port more and more passengers use its port (which now serves more than Patras’ or Herakleio in Crete, second only to Piraeus of course). What’s more Igumenitsa stands at the western edge of Egnatia, the modern highway that runs through north Greece.

    Its port is always busy with some ferry ready to sail but if you have some time you may want to check the new archaeological museum (north part of town opposite the university buildings). For those who will use it as a base you can visit near by beaches, 3km away you can swim at the sandy beach of Drepani and Makrigiali or you can drive to Syvota town (30km south of Igumenitsa)

    ferry at Igumenitsa port dog outside the ticket offices

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    prefecture of Larissa

    by mindcrime Written Nov 23, 2014

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    The truth is I never visited the Prefecture of Larissa properly, it was always the region that we passed through on our way to north Greece, especially by train. For me it was always a vast plain with agricultural fields that suffers from heatwaves during the summer months. But the prefecture has lots of interesting spots that worth to be checked and it’s easily accessible by car (national highway 1), bus (numerous buses from south to north) but also the main railway line between Athens and Thessaloniki.

    Larissa city is the most interesting town and also the capital of the prefecture with about 200,000 inhabitants and a lovely café scene in the city center along the pedestrian streets where locals and university students gather. I spent 5 hours in the city and I managed to check the fortress hill (where the acropolis was in the ancient era) with some ruins, a park with monuments and the famous cathedral of Agios Achileios which is the patron saint of Larisa) but also walked around around the compact city center not only at the pedestrian streets but took some photos from some of the main squares. In Larissa you can also check the well preserved ancient greek theatre, the roman theatre but also the Folklore Museum, the Municipal art gallery, the Alcazar park that lies next to Pineios river but also some archeological exhibitions. The small archaeological museum is houses in the New Mosque (opposite Mplana square), the biggest collection is now at Diahroniko museum (at Mezourlou hill, periphery road Athens-Trikala) where you can check the numerous exhibits from the prefecture from ancient to byzantine era.

    Apart from the capital I have to mention (and hope to visit some day for proper photos) the historical and beautiful Ampelakia village (overlooking the valley of Tempi), Vale of Tempe in north part, Agia (check the small archaeological museum but also Agios Antonios church and Agios Georgios church for the wooden temple), the monastery of Agios Panteleimon (16th century) on the way to Melivia, Farsala town for the archeological exhibition (in ancient Farsala Julius Caesar triumphed against Pompeius), Agiokampos for the 12km sandy beach, Stomio (49km NE of Larissa) for the monastery of Kimisis Theotoku (8th century), Elassona for monastery of Panagia Olympiotissa (12th century), Tsaritsani that house some old mansions from 17th and 18th centuries and many churches.
    Although most part of the prefecture is a plain there are some interesting mountain paths at Kissavos and Ossa. Check also Rapsani village (for the old church or Agioi Theodoroi and Metamorfosi) and Pirgetos village(36km from Larissa) where Marinos Antypas was killed by ciflik landlords (he was one of the protomartyrs against the ciflik system).

    The region was inhabited since middle Paleolithic Age while in Neolithic Age Pelasgians came and started cultivate the land. Bronze Age brought development of the region but its Mycenaean Age when Lapiths participated in the famous Trojan War. During Byzantine era the prefecture (as the rest of Thessaly) occupied by Samuel and then the Normans. During 13th century was part of Epirus Despotate. And then of course the Ottomans came and the region was liberated in 1881.

    The prefecture is famous for the agriculture production of course but also for some struggles that we always learnt in history books, especially the resistance of farmers against the Chiflik system (a semi feudal system) that couldn’t stand the on going worsened working conditions and were protesting for agricultural reformation and redestribution of the land. One of the major events in the prefecture of Larissa took place at Kileler (29km SE of Larissa) in 1910 when farmers tried to travel to Larissa for the mass protest but the didn’t have tickets and the local militia opened fire killing two of the farmers and wounded many others. 7 years late a law regarding land redistribution finally came.

    ancient greek theatre of Larissa Agios Achileios cathedral city of Larissa fountain at Laou square (Larissa) central square of Larissa

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    Fthiotida

    by mindcrime Written Nov 22, 2014

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    Fthiotida is 4th largest prefecture in Greece (4,440 sq km) located in Central Greece hugging Maliakos(Malian) Gulf opposite Evia island. It has about 160,000 inhabitants(most of them living in Lamia which is the capital of the prefecture)

    Of course Lamia is the city I have visited most of the times there because I have many good friends that live there. I have some blur memories from the 90s when we focused on the rock bars :) but later I visited the museums and other attractions eg.the castle and its archaeological museum that houses several finds from the general area of Fthiotida (that was inhabited since the Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC). The name of Fthiotida dates back to ancient times but the most important figure goes back to pre-ancient era melting with mythology, this is the area where Achilles had his kingdom. If you visit Lamia check the four central squares and the famous statues, the cathedral at Eleftherias square and finally try the meat taverns at Laou square.

    Back in the 80s we drove many times to Arkitsa to take the ferry to North Evia while years later I took the ferry to Skiathos from Agios Konstantinos which is still the main port for those who visit Sporades islands. I also remember during the 80s many relatives of mine visiting Kamena Vourla, a town popular for its hot springs that supposed to be a great value for people’s health because the waters are rich in naturals minerals, salts and radon, no surprise my old aunts and grandmother went there to cure their rheumatic, arthritic or vascular diseases. I never visited the springs of Ypati but it’s on my list because it houses a Byzantine Museum. Near Ypati you can also visit the monastery of Panagia Agathonos.

    Back in 2010 I visited Gorgopotamos, a village that is famous for some tasty pies, olives and cherries but also a nice place to have lunch in its taverns or walk around the nice paths near the waters. Of course most people (including me) come here for the historical bridge Gorgopotamos that is known as the spot of a major sabotage act during WWII.

    Thermopyles is another famous spot not for its hot springs only but mainly for the famous battle of King Leonidas with his 300 Spartans fought against Persians. Stop there for some photo of the monument on your way north from Athens to Fthiotida.

    Although there are several mountain ranges in Fthiotida it’s famous for the valley of Spercheios river (the biggest in Fthiotida, 80km long), an area that produces top quality olive oil in about 70 olive oil mills. Other trees provide apples, walnuts, chestnuts and almonds.

    But the main agricultural products are cereals, potatoes, vineyards and legumes while in the past it was very common to see cotton and tobacco fields. In 2014 we stayed with a friend at Avlaki (a village just outside Lamia) and had the chance to taste daily vegetables from his garden and some excellent olive oil. We also did small tours around, for coffee at Stylida (ancient town of Falara) that houses the commercial port of Fthiotida but we spent most of the time up on the hill overlooking the town. Finally some summers we visited the beaches near by, Agia Marina, Agios Ioannis are some of them but usually they fail to impress. The meat tavern at Ahinos was great though :)

    Lamia Stylida Gorgopotamos bridge quiet street in Lamia Agia Marina

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    Samos - Vathy

    by iandsmith Written Jul 26, 2014

    Finally we’re on board and off to Samos where we can get a flight back to Athens. Samos is one of the closest islands to Turkey and the boat thrums its way across the waters, rippling in the morning breeze beneath a dun coloured sky.
    We trickled in to Samos via Vathy, the port town, along with the drizzle that left puddles on the concrete dock as I dragged most of the luggage to where we knew not. It was in the back of our minds that we could walk to our digs; surely they were somewhere in front of us.
    Sadly, they weren't so our stop at Vathy, the second largest town in Samos, was brief but interesting.
    On the way over to our digs our helpful taxi driver stopped at a view point so we could get these shots.

    Vathy panorama Another view of Vathy
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    Monolithos

    by iandsmith Written Jul 25, 2014

    Our destination however, was Monolithos; yet another Venetian castle from the 15th C, situated on a dramatic rock hundreds of feet above the beach of Fourni below with Mount Akrymytis as a backdrop. Its evocative crumbling walls draw a steady trickle of tourists and the miniscule church of Saint Panteleimon sits like a beacon in the middle, its Greek flag at times horizontal in the blustery wind that was present during our visit. There’s also another church ruin that would be declared off limits in Australia, so precarious the brickwork and hazardous the location right on the edge. I revelled in it and Lorraine came most of the way as well, the constant clicking of shutters reflecting the awesomeness of the location.
    Then it was down the awkward steps and off to the nearby village of Stelies for some refreshment and more panoramic views before returning back to Nina.

    The old walls aren't all solid The later church Looking across to Mount Akrymytis Mount Akrymytis Looking over the ruins of the ancient church
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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Kameiros

    by iandsmith Written Jul 24, 2014

    Day two saw us off down the opposite, and much less touristy, side of Rhodes, cruising along beside a sea bathed in a gloomy pewter mist, after passing through the inappropriately-named Paradisi where crumbling architecture and graffiti hold sway.
    Lorraine had a surprise for me and we turned up to Kameiros, an archaeological site she’d found in our guide book. Dating from at least from the Mycenaean period it features a well that could hold 600 cubic metres of water, enough for 400 people, and a temple built by the Dorian Greeks to Athena Kameiros and all destroyed by an earthquake in 226 B.C. and a further one around 100 years later.
    Like most Greek sites it was first explored by someone else, mostly in the 19th C by an amazing British diplomat named Biliotti who was born in Italy. During the two World Wars the Italians worked again on it and the site one of the best for me because you could clearly see the street layout and its relationship to the agora, bathhouse and temples.

    An overview of Kameiros At the temple section Chilling out at the top
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    • Architecture

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    Santorini

    by solopes Updated Jul 4, 2014

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    If I had to elect a single island to see, Santorini would be the one.

    It has everything, but the walk on the volcano, the swim in thermal water, facing Thira at the edge of the cliffs, and the mules up and down to the harbour are memorable.

    Don't miss!

    Santorini - Greece
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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Beaches

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    Lindos - 17 years on

    by iandsmith Written Jun 1, 2014

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    We arrived at Lindos after about the 15th coach had parked and squeezed into a dodgy carparking spot and set off down the hill to this beautiful traffic-free village. What a contrast to my previous trip 17 years ago when I had arrived on the first week in March. There were no tourists, no lounges on the beach, nothing was open; I’d walked up to the Acropolis as the keeper was closing up and no amount of begging would convince him to let an Aussie tourist in. Thus it was that I went around to the cliffs and scaled the wall, albeit very bug eyed as I saw below me the consequences of an ill placed foot but I got to see the temple that the Italians had part restored during their tenure between the two World Wars.
    Today we traipsed the twisting alleys, being brushed aside several times by the donkeys, with tourists aboard, heading for the castle and noting a man running around with oversize dustpan and broom cleaning up their after-dinner secretions. We found some humour in the fact that the donkeys were stabled at a disused bank building; something about certain types of deposits was mentioned.
    We branched out from the hordes and stumbled fortuitously on a gorgeous restaurant with million dollar views across the bay; turns out Melenos is the number one rated restaurant in Lindos. For over an hour we relaxed, being attended to by responsive, immaculately attired waiters and wondered what the rest of the poor people were doing as we took in the rippling hues across the bay. We viewed with interest as our waiter brought out a special table just to fillet our fish on, doing the job with practised care in front of us before retiring to some other corner.
    It was all so sublime until we rejoined the throng, eventually departing and returning to Charaki, for Lorraine had indicated we could climb to the castle ruins.

    The donkey bank Melenos, what's not to like The back streets Unlimited shopping Lindos looks pretty from any angle
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    Ioannina

    by mindcrime Written May 26, 2014

    Ioannina city is located in NorthWest part of Greece, built at the western side of Pamvotida lake opposite Mitsikeli mountain.

    It has about 130.000 inhabitants and because of the university houses 18,000 students that give mood to the nightlife with many cafes, pubs and taverns full of people all the time. I travel there oftern, the city has a lot to offer to the visitor, especially the castle (that is like an open air museum on its one with some museums but also a regular old town with people living there anyway, you can also find some small hotels inside the castle), the museums of the city, the central square of Ioannina, at the heart of the modern city at Averof street where many jewelery shops and buy unique silver items, the city is famous for the traditional handmade products of this material, the cozy promenade at Molos where you can walk by the lake, the old houses and the mosque are some of the reasons that I like this picturesque city but also the small island in the middle of the lake (take the boat there, lot of local restaurants but also nice architecture, museums, monasteries and a lovely stroll around the island).

    The local food is great especially if you like meat but the vegetarians will find interesting plates like the famous pies of any kind (yes, they have meat pies also…).

    The sweets are also great similar to the Turkish sweets (baklavas etc). Try some at Diethnes opposite the main square or down near Molos at Kolonasios. And above all the famous local tsipuro, a strong alcohol similar to raki from crete or ouzo but much more stronger. Don’t forget that the locals drink it always with food and good company so beware :) Winters are really cold here, the Ioannina has the highest of amount of rain in Greece so yes, bring an umbrella. :)

    Lot of people use Ioannina as a base for exploring the prefecture of Ioannina, Dodoni is great for its ancient theater but also there are many lovely villages, don’t miss some at Zagori villages (Papingo is the most famous but also the most touristic), the well known Metsovo but also some great villages at the south part at Tzoumerka mountains, don’t miss Syrako, Kalarites and Pramanta.

    clock at central square inside the castle lake Pamvotida bank of Greece

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    Pelion peninsula

    by ant1606 Updated May 7, 2014

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    Located east of Volos, the mountainous Pelion peninsula is an interesting place to explore. Public transportation may be available but driving is the best way to move around bend after bend.
    We chose to stay at an excellent guesthouse in Milies. Small historical village perched high up a quiet area and a good hub for day trips to small coastal villages. I haven't seen plenty of sandy beaches but the ups and downs through twisty roads in the wilderness yield great views over bays and coves while going downhill to reach sea level. Typical Mediterranean vegetation and olive groves extending even to the seashore and occasional tended flocks of goats on the road. Drive carefully.

    My GPS track

    - To be continued -

    Potistika beach Near Trikeri
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    Meteora

    by ant1606 Updated May 1, 2014

    Ancient seabed, now exposed and torn by earthquakes and weathering, constitutes the magnificent area of Meteora - meaning "suspended in the air" - near Kalabaka and Kastraki in the region of Thessaly. The complexity of these cliffs and pillars gives extraordinary views from all angles and a loop road from Kalabaka grants enjoyment with no phisycal effort. A certain degree of fitness is otherwise required to visit a handful of Orthodox monasteries perched atop once inaccessibile spots. Temporary ladders and manpowered winches were used to hoist monks, priests and goods up decent heights to the safety of an isolated monastic life. Among the six monasteries, the only one accessible from road level and parking is the easternmost of them, St. Stephen, operated by nuns. The others require to climb staircases of 150 steps each except for the Holy Trinity requiring 270 steps up.
    I visited Varlaam, Great Meteoron, Roussanou, Holy Trinity and St. Stephen. These last two I did through a hiking trail starting from the Bizantyne Church in the northern (old city) part of Kalabaka. This hike is not too demanding - not sure about possible summer heat, I did it in April - and yields gorgeous views by winding through the cliffs. Amazing smells from varied flowers and vegetation.
    Entrance fee to each monastery was 3 Euro per person (as of April 2014) to access finely decorated Bizantyne churches, museums featuring ancient books, artifacts and crafted items. Some private sections within the premises can't obviously be accessed. No short sleeves or short pants/skirts. Ladies wearing pants, although long, must wear a courtesy skirt-like gown at the entrance to be returned upon exit.
    Should I pick and suggest only two among these monasteries I'd recommend Varlaam and Holy Trinity. The former for a combination of content, position and views, the latter for its unique position atop a totally isolated pillar. Spectacular views anyway from any point of the loop road.
    Another hike I took from Kastraki is the trail leading to the Adhrakhti pillar. Not as panoramic as the Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) trail but I was eager to reach the base of this bizarre lonely "finger" standing in the middle of the Meteora complex.

    My GPS track could be of help to explore the area.

    View from Great Meteoron Monastery View of St. Stephen from Holy Trinity Winch Ossuary Portion of Meteora as seen from hotel room
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    Meteora.

    by cachaseiro Written Mar 6, 2014

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    Meteora is a collection of churches and monestaries sitting on the top of very steep cliffs in central Greece.
    They were build between the 9th and 14th century by hermit munks who were fleeing prosecution and decided that life was better up there even if it was very isolated.
    Some of the monestaries are still in use today and you have quite a few nuns living there.
    This is really one of the most spectacular sights of Greece and something that is really a must even if it is a bit out of the way.
    You can enter most monestaries but they all have days that they are open and days they are closed but they make sure that there is always some monestaries open on every day of the week so there should always be some place to enter no matter what day of the week you go.

    James Bond fans should notice that some of the more spectacular scenes from "For your eyes only" was flimed at Meteora.

    Meteora. Meteora. Meteora. Meteora.
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    Patmos

    by solopes Updated Dec 31, 2013

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    Patmos is one of the biggest islands, but, from my previous readings, I knew that some other are more interesting, and, since we had limited time, we had only a general view of the harbour in our way from Santorini to Mikonos.

    Patmos - Greece Patmos - Greece Patmos - Greece
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    Wine Festival

    by StefanosS Written Jul 27, 2013

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    In August, usually on the last week and for two or three consequent weeks, the “Wine Festival” starts, attracting visitors from all over Greece and even worldwide. You can enjoy many Cultural events organized along the Wine Festival, taste a great variety of wines prepared by local producers, and get informed about wine history and the relation of Greece with the vineyard and the wine!

    Annual Wine Festivals celebrate viticulture and usually occur after the harvest of the grapes, which mainly is at the end of September until well into October. In the Old Testament we trace a long tradition, according to which the farmers-producers of any kind of fruits had to offer the first harvested fruits to the Temple and get the priest’s blessing. We trace a similar tradition in Greece, where the first grapes are presented to the church for being blessed on the celebration of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6).

    Some archaeologists place the origin of wine in ancient Egypt, while Greek tradition testimonies that the vine-tree came from the east, possibly Caucasus area. It is believed that wine was introduced in Greece around 4000 BC and there is evidence found on artifacts, that wine was known to the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations. Anyway, the knowledge passed on along the Mediterranean Sea. Greeks introduced grape viticulture to Sicily in south Italy, Etruria and Rome. Although already the Egyptian god Osiris was dedicated to wine, the oldest historically documented wine festivals can be traced back to the Greek celebrations for their wine god Dionysos. Ancient Greeks considered that wine was a gift from the gods, and a quite similar attitude is found in the Old Testament. Ancient Greek wine festivals were celebrated by performing arts and wine drinking.

    Wine was always in the center of Greek culture. Vineyards, grapes and wine drinking festivities were painted on hundreds of ancient Greek artifacts of clay, marble and metal. Until the very day, drinking wine in company is the base of all Wine Festivals. It usually goes along with regional foods and music. The grape and the extraction of mustus to produce wine, have become meaningful parts of mankind's history that is more than an ordinary food or drink. Wine is both rich in flavor and nutrients, and an icon symbolizing virtues, widely used in religion and culture. Although the alcohol content could lead to intoxication, such festivals embody the enlightened spirit of mankind.

    Greeks stored and transported wines in airtight, ceramic vessels called amphorae. They also used a labeling system close to the one we have today. The amphorae had various shapes with two handles, and they were used to signify the city that produced and traded the particular wine. The amphorae, similar in shape and size to designate their origin, had an inscription with the year of production and both handles were used to place the wine-makers stamp on the one and the local ruler's stamp on the other. Also, the storage in amphorae had its benefits because it allowed them to store wine for long periods thus creating brilliant aged vintage wines.

    As time went by and the tradition was handed down from father to son, the methods of wine cultivation and vinification improved. They used herbs and spices to preserve and flavor their wines and made them well known to the ancient world. It is not an exaggeration to say that Greece was back then, what France is today, in wines.

    The decline of wine cultivation started during the end of the Byzantine Empire and grapevines were virtually vanished during the Ottoman Empire, since Muslims do not drink wine. Greeks, being under the Ottoman rule for five centuries, lost their continuity in tradition of wine cultivation. At that time only a few areas in Greece continued producing wine and it was mostly in regions around monasteries. This fact led to a long period of wine culture with minimal standards of taste and quality. Although, “wine festivals” survived as family and friendly gatherings rather than as community celebrations.

    Since Greeks never miss any opportunity for eating and drinking together, along with music and dancing, it is obvious that a “new wine festival” should not be out. “Wine Festivals” were revived and now take place in every corner of Greece, organized locally by local authorities, wine producers cooperatives and cultural organizations. Wine from wooden barrels flows out and is served into decorated jars and glasses in abundance, while the entry ticket is quite low to attract people of low income. These new forms of local festivals soon became very popular and spread all over Greece.

    European Legislation helped to create a system of controlled production, called “Quality Wines Produced in Registered Areas” (V.Q.P.R.D.). Today approximately 20% of Greek production is exported and 90% of it is absorbed by EU member countries, while Greeks all over the world proudly are looking for wine from their own country.

    Greek wine production is quite low, that's why it is not known in the international market. Although, today quality is high to top, and Greek wines have achieved many international awards.

    Please note: Local wine festivals are not always on the same dates. Festivals often change their dates, due to many factors. If you are planning a trip around a particular festival, locally confirm that it is actually happening on the date you know, before you go to join this event.

    .

    ...eating, drinking, dancing !!! Children enjoying the traditional Loading the wine-press. Wine pressing scene, on a ceramic vessel. Traditional dancing in the wine-press.
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Greece Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Greece things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Greece sightseeing.
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