Greece Is Insider’s No. 1 Country To Visit In 2020

In November, we asked our viewers to vote on a country they’d like to visit in 2020. And the winner was… [drum roll] With beautiful beaches,
historic architecture, fresh seafood, and awesome nightlife, it’s no wonder you all voted for Greece. With up to 6,000 islands, the total land area of Greece is comparable in size to England or the state of Alabama. Most of its population
congregates around Athens, the capital, which holds about one-third of Greece’s entire population. Tourists flock to Athens and Crete and in between to the Cyclades, the picture-perfect islands that include Santorini and Mykonos. Greece is bordered by the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Ionian Sea and lies on a spot that
pulls cultural influence from Europe, Asia, and Africa. The country has become increasingly
popular with each year, surpassing 28 million
foreign visitors in 2018. So, for viewers who wish to or plan to visit Greece in 2020, we’re here to help you. We’ve rounded up food to try, places to stay, and things to do. Greece is a beautiful country home to 18 UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Mount Athos and Meteora. But the country has been
stuck in an economic crisis and cycle of sovereign
debt largely brought on by the 2008 global financial crisis. Tourists contribute billions of dollars, and the country makes efforts to improve its infrastructure every year to attract more visitors. So, with that being
said, let’s take a look at our ultimate guide to Greece. With beautiful weather,
Greece has a ton of beaches that vary by preference. Visit Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, where you can explore
an abandoned shipwreck, or experience a wave pool
in a natural hot spot at Seitan Limania in Crete. And because of its rich ancient history, Greece has several sites that
are worth paying a visit. The Parthenon on the
Acropolis is made of marble and holds the famous statue of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. Then there’s Delphi, which
was a popular pilgrimage spot for those looking to receive guidance from the Oracle at Delphi and pay respect to the Greek god Apollo, known for music, healing,
light, and prophecy. You’ll find temples, a stadium, a theater, and ancient ruins. If you prefer mountains over beaches, you can also climb Mount Olympus, a great trip with
different levels to start, depending on your ability. Olympus is home to the Greek gods and the site of Zeus’ throne. But Mount Olympus isn’t Greece’s only scenic mountain range. Greece has a few ski resorts, like Parnassos Ski Centre,
two hours from Athens, where visitors can ski
down Mount Parnassus off of seven different trails. At night, venture into Greek nightlife. The islands are packed with beach bars, drink specials, and nightclubs with DJs. If you’re there during
Greek Orthodox Easter, you’ll experience the most
important holiday in Greece, when festivities last for a whole week, with candlelit processions,
lamb roasts, and fireworks. Greece has one of the
largest coastlines in Europe. It’s only natural that tons of seafood is caught off the coast every day. So when you visit, try
dishes featuring lobster, octopus, fresh mussels, and grilled fish served with oil and lemon. Other must-haves in Greece include olives, which have played an important
role in Greek society for thousands of years. They were used in lamp fuel, in medicine, and for rituals. Olives are a large part of the Greek diet, eaten as a snack or as
olive oil in many dishes. Gyros are the quintessential
Greek street food. Seasoned meat is put in a pita and topped with onions, tomato, lettuce, cucumbers, and a sauce called tzatziki. The dish originates from
Anatolia and the Middle East and was introduced to Greece
following World War II, when people immigrated from those regions. The most popular cheese of Greece, feta, was first recorded in Homer’s “Odyssey” when Cyclops Polyphemus was
transporting sheep’s milk in bags made of animal stomachs. The milk had curdled and
taken the form of feta cheese. It’s been popular ever since, and it’s still made with sheep’s milk, sometimes with goat’s milk added in. Dolmas, or stuffed grape leaves, are filled with meat,
rice, herbs, or pine nuts. They’re often served with
meals or as an appetizer. There are variations of this dish that are made in surrounding regions, making its origins hard to place. For dessert, make sure
to try some baklava, a thin, flaky filo pastry filled with honey and ground nuts. Its exact origins are unclear, with different regions
placing claim on the dessert, but it is known that the desert took on different forms during the Ottoman Empire. It’s now a treat that is often
found at any celebration. When you think of Greek architecture, you probably think of the
famous white and blue houses. Well, thanks to luxury boutique hotels and Airbnb rentals, you can stay in the iconic setting and get the perfect view of Greek sunsets. Andronis Luxury Suites include 29 suites on a cliffside above Santorini’s caldera, each with a private balcony for some of the best views of the sea. And Cavo Tagoo hotel has private pools attached right to your bedroom. Curious why the white walls and blue roofs are so iconic to the Cyclades? Well, when Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas came to power in the 1930s, he ordered that all the buildings be plastered with white lime. Lime was thought to have
antibacterial properties, was inexpensive, and was
good for reflecting sunlight, keeping the buildings
cooler during the summer. The blue comes from a
cleaning agent called loulaki, which was found in most Greek homes. A few drops were mixed with lime, and the blue roof was born. Then, in 1967, the military dictatorship made it a law for all
the islands’ buildings to be blue and white as a way to show
patriotism and unification. Today the law is no longer in place, but many people have
stuck to the tradition. With its Mediterranean climate, Greece enjoys mild
winters and dry summers. It’s mostly sunny all year long, but in northern parts of
Greece, some areas get snow. July and August are packed with tourists, but that also means that
there are more transit options to the remote Greek islands. While there’s not really
a “bad” time to go, most people recommend visiting
between April and October, as it’s warm enough to
swim from May to September. But if you’re on a budget,
you might find better deals from November to March. Great food, abundant
history, scenic landscapes, and beautiful weather come
together to make Greece the ideal destination for 2020.

  1. KoldPhaze

    British citizen who grew up in Greece,left Greece due to shit economy & general lifestyle not to mention the whole Brexit situation.I somewhat miss some parts of Greece & mostly my friends UK is pretty depressing too.

  2. ItZSkiiZ

    i cannot stress enough how when visiting athens most tourists make the mistake of just visiting the city center,it is the most run down place in the whole city and probably has some of the worst quality food that can be found

  3. Diana Ninette D.

    Greece is a bankrupt, corrupt country.
    The islands are…ok. I've been to Kefalonia, Ithaca, Zakynthos, Leukada and Crete.
    Kefalonia is by far the worst place I've ever been to. The people are extremely ill mannered, with no respect for animals and nature. They don't like animals at all. On the island of Kefalonia, I saw dead kittens and dogs on the streets, as if they had been hit and run over by a car.
    The same applies to Crete. You must have heard of the "barrel dogs". They keep those poor animals in chains, in metal barrels with no food and water and no chance of escaping. They're horrible people.
    Overall, there's nothing special there.

  4. TheBrownEyedBrunette

    Greek people are some of the friendliest on the planet. It鈥檚 a beautiful country, with lots of history and is quite affordable to visit as well. 鉁岎煆

  5. Sparkle

    Greece will be the first country for me to visit when I get myself a job after my graduation. There are tons of beautiful historical and touristic sites there and Greek culture and cuisine is beyond awesome.

  6. jean-claude schwartz

    I want to go back to Greece! Greece didn't have things that I eat until tried fried squid in sicily which made me want to come back to Greece.

  7. L. K.

    I went to Olympia, Corinth, Tolo, Nafplio, Delphi, and Athens in 2005 then back to Athens in 2019. I would love to go back and explore some of the islands (Santorini, Mykonos, Crete) next time!

  8. General Geo

    Hiii! So I happen to be Greek and here are some comments:

    1. Don't go for the donkey rides in Santorini. The donkey are treated terribly.
    2. The Statue of Athena does not exist anymore.
    3. Underrated tourist destinations: Thessaloniki (Greece's second largest city with rich history, many museums and awesome food)
    The Ionian Islands (the Islands on the other side of the mainland)
    Nafplion (Greece's former capital)
    Islands like
    Monemvasia (old fort city)

    That's it! Hope you enjoy our country!:)

  9. Bernardo Martinez

    If/When I get married (I鈥檓 only 14) and barring any massive economic crisis/nuclear apocalypse/plague/inhospitable due to climate change I want to honeymoon there.

  10. 螖螒螜螖螒螞螣危 / Daedalus

    Attention tourists
    Greece has many islands, small, big, medium islands..
    Many islands are more beautiful than the famous islands, Mykonos, Santorini etc.
    I advise tourists who don't like overcrowded places to visit smaller and less famous islands which are perfect for families and small kids, quite, safe, beautiful beaches, excellent food and much cheaper than the famous tourist destinations.

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