You might not originally think it, but there is a huge difference between traveling and taking a vacation. On vacation, most people like to have things done for them – staying in hotels, eating at the tourist-focused restaurants, lounging on the private beach. Which is all completely fine, of course. After all, the vast majority of us work hard all year round, and a little bit of relaxation at a beautiful resort is usually very welcomed by the time summer rolls around! However, this type of holiday isn’t for everyone, and many people who have been bitten by the travel bug much prefer to experience their break differently. This means living like a local – fully immersing them in the local culture and embracing everything that comes with it. When this is a noticeable culture different from your own, this can be especially rewarding. Take Greek culture, for example.
Few nations are as in touch with their customs and traditions as the Greeks are. Known for being friendly and hospitable people, the inhabitants of Greece certainly have a culture to be proud of – and if you’re heading there yourself, it can be fun to learn as much about it as you can. The Greek lifestyle is both laid back and animated depending on the environment, so you can guarantee that you’ll never be short of surprises. Here are a few things you might want to do on your travels around Greece, to embrace the culture and truly live like a local.
In much of the Western world, cafe culture extends as far as grabbing your usual Starbucks order to-go on your way to work. In Greece, however, locals enjoy long hours spent at their local coffee shop with friends, catching up and playing cards. The most typical venues where you will see this kind of meeting is the traditional Greek kafenion, where specialties such as frappes are served. Take a look at a recommendation list such as https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/mar/10/greece-coastal-cafes-tavernas-readers-travel-tips to get an idea of where you might like to while away a few hours. Visit and take your time – you don’t need to rush off, after all, so just sit back and enjoy it.
It’s undeniable that Greece has one of the most stunning and diverse landscapes on the planet. White sandy beaches and clifftops might be the typical first thing most people think of when Greece comes to mind, but in fact, there is a lot more to the country and its islands than just that. There’s no end of monuments and attractions in Athens but many of the dreamy beaches are found on the islands scattered in the Aegean and Ionian seas – you can use a site like www.villasingreece.co.uk to find a place to stay overlooking the ocean if you want to be greeted with a sea view every morning.
The Greeks are a nation of people very proud of where they come from, and of all the intricate historical events that made them an independent country. It’s little wonder – Greece has a rich and diverse history stretching right from the Bronze Age, through to the Roman Period and right up to the Ottoman period. For this reason, there are plenty of amazing archaeological sites, Unesco Heritage sites and ancient monuments to visit so that you can get a real insight into Ancient Greece.
Traveling to Greece wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some of the incredible food and drink the country has to offer. Traditional Greek food is fresh and light, and of course, very flavorsome. You may be familiar with the notion of Greek meze, which is a little like Spanish tapas. Meze is typically served as a selection of appetizers and includes petite dishes such as fried squid, meatballs, and feta cheese. If you do fancy something a little more filling, however, it would be a crime not to try perhaps the most famous Greek dish of all: the moussaka. Sure, you may have eaten a moussaka in your home country, but the rich mix of herbs and spices found in native Greece guarantee a much more exciting, authentic flavor. Although not as highly regarded for wine as, say, countries like Italy and France, Greece still produces some top quality wines, especially the dry whites from the island of Santorini. But if you want to sample the true beverage of Greece, you’ll have to try your hand at the national drink: Ouzo. This strong, aniseed-flavoured spirit is generally drank alongside meze, but you can have it with ice or water if the neat version is too much for you!