Having exported chaos, drama, tragedy and democracy before most nations stayed up late enough to want souvlaki, Greece boasts an unrivalled legacy. But don't expect a visit there to be a sober study of the ancient world - the Greek propensity for partying dates back to Dionysus.
From smoggy Athens to blindingly bright islands, ancient fragments abound - the belly button of the cosmos at Delphi, fallen columns galore on the sacred island of Delos, frescoed Minoan palaces on Crete and even, quite possibly, the remnants of Atlantis at Santorini.
Greeks are fierce guardians of tradition, but that doesn't mean they don't know how to have fun. In addition, hot sun and limpid seas conspire to make Greece a perfect place to relax. Whether you're supping in a beachside taverna, sipping coffee in a shady plateia or disco-dancing till dawn, chances are the gods already have you ensnared.
Facts for the traveller
Money & Costs
Off the beaten track