Greece is one country which really does have it all. One of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, it is not only home to some of the oldest and most spectacular historical sites on Earth, but with its warm climate, beautiful scenery and vibrant modern cultural scene, holidaymakers cannot help but be enchanted by this fascinating country.
With such a huge variety of attractions, events and destinations to enjoy, limiting your holiday to a single Greek city seems a shame. As many fans of the country will agree, the only way to truly understand Greece, its way of life, its history and its charm is to travel around. For those wishing to travel around Greece car hire can be a relatively inexpensive, easy and flexible way to see the country. Hiring a car allows you the complete freedom to travel as and when you choose, spending as much time as you want in each location before moving on. It also allows you to travel off the beaten track, giving adventurous travellers the opportunity to discover little-known treasures away from the crowded tourist routes.
For car hire in Greece, perhaps the easiest and most reliable option is to arrange it at the airport. The two main airports on mainland Greece are Athens International Airport (ATH) and Thessalonika International Airport (SKG). For those choosing to fly directly to a Greek island to begin their holiday, it is also possible to arrange car hire at the airports of Rhodes (RHO), Kos (KGS), Corfu (CFU), Mykonos (JMK) or from the two airports on the island of Crete, Chania (CHQ) and Heraklion (HER). There are car ferries which run between the islands and the mainland, allowing travellers to move easily around the country.
Once you have arranged and collected your hire car, the whole of Greece opens up for exploration. No trip would be complete without a visit to at least a couple of the country's most famous historical sites. In the capital city, Athens, make sure you allow time to visit the Acropolis, an incredible archaeological site where visitors can explore the well-preserved remains of Ancient Greek temples. The largest of these is the iconic Parthenon, the image of which is synonymous with the magical heritage of Greece.
Just a short drive from Athens lies another important archaeological site, Delphi, which in Ancient Greece was considered to be the most important oracle of the Greek god Apollo and was home to the 'omphalos' stone, which the Ancient Greeks believed to be the centre of the universe.
Further afield, in the north of the Thessaly region, there are another two historically, culturally and spiritually significant destinations. One is the Olympus National Park, home to Mount Olympus, which is the highest mountain in Greece and is the scene of much Ancient Greek mythology. The other is Meteora, an incredibly unique collection of 24 rock pinnacles, each of which is topped with its own monastery. Exploring these monasteries does involve a little hiking, but the experience of climbing up to these eroded yet still preserved majestic monuments is truly memorable.
Greece also offers plenty of opportunities to relax and unwind. From sunny hilltops inland to the beautiful sandy beaches that line the coast, the Greek countryside is scenic, idyllic and blessed with a pleasant climate almost all year round. Whether you're looking for some quiet time relaxing on a beach or prefer the more exciting water sports, Greece's extensive coastline means there is always somewhere to suit your preferences. Having the flexibility of your own hire car will allow you to discover the quietest and least crowded spots along the way.
The blend of different cultural influences that constitutes Greek cuisine makes for a rich variety of gastronomic delights. The Greeks are proud of their culinary traditions and meals tend to be flavoursome, with emphasis placed on the use of fresh, local produce. Many foods which are considered to be 'Greek' in other parts of the world, such as gyros, souvlaki and tzatziki, are in Greece thought of as fast food and are rarely eaten in the home. For popular and truly Greek specialities, look out for grilled octopus, Greek salad and heartier meals such as moussaka, pastitsio, spetzofai and stifado.
If you're looking for a holiday to remember, Greece really is a fantastic country to consider and the best way to explore it in your own time and at your own pace is by car.
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