Greece is an immensely popular tourist destination and it’s difficult to isolate just one or two attractions. However, if you just have one opportunity for a Greek holiday, then you’ve got to take in both the hugely historic capital city of Athens and at least one of the Greek islands. The best way to experience your Greek adventure is to go with self-catering accommodation and hire an apartment in Athens and a villa on the island of Paxos.
A hugely historic city, Athens exudes a charm that is partly rooted in its past but also owes much to the bustling and passionate nature of the Greek people. You’ll enjoy the lively open street markets and little tavernas and restaurants but the main attraction is the wealth of historic sites that will take the breath away.
Amongst these, the pick of the bunch is a trip up to the Acropolis to see the world-famous Parthenon. It’s best to go early or late in the day, when it’s a little cooler, and you can walk up pedestrian-only avenues which are lined with countless cafes and restaurants. The Parthenon is a temple, dating to 438 BC, and it is considered to be the most important remnant of Classical Greece civilisation. Whilst at the Acropolis, also make sure that you visit the Acropolis Museum which houses a spectacular array of artifacts from the site dating through many different aeons.
The perfect counterpoint to fast-paced Athens is to spend the second part of your holiday on the Ionian island of Paxos, which is one of the less commercial of the Greek island destinations. You can fly to Corfu and then get a hydrofoil to the port of Gaios.
Whilst on Paxos, make sure that you take the opportunity to travel to the Erimitifs cliffs and watch the sun go down from the comfort of the Erimitis Sunset Bar. It’s an open-air restaurant and you can enjoy a lovely Greek meal whilst watching the setting sun leave a track across the dark blue sea.
Another recommended excursion is to take the glass bottomed boat to Andi-Paxos, a tiny island to the south of Paxos. Along the way the boat will be expertly piloted into some amazing caves, where you will momentarily be in total darkness! The captain will explain the legend of Paxos. It’s said that Posiedon (the God of the sea) fell in love with the sea nymph Amphitrite and smote the southern tip of Corfu so that he could create a love nest.
Andi-Paxos is a paradise for those who love spending the day relaxing on beautiful beaches. The beach is covered in large pebbles but there is sand under the shallow lagoon which makes the water a beautiful turquoise colour. The water is also really calm, warm, and buoyant which makes for beautiful swimming and snorkeling conditions!