Greece’s tourism industry has become one of the key elements of economic activity within the country. As Europe’s leading tourist destination, Greece attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. Its rich history and ancient culture becomes the main captivating feature for tourists. Furthermore, the beautiful islands, mind-blowing historical sites, extensive coastline and sparkling beaches are also the backbone of the growth of tourism in Greece.
Tourism in Greece: a historical overview
With its late roots in ancient times, tourism in Greece has undergone tremendous changes over the years. Before the rise of Roman rule over the western Mediterranean, the Greeks of Magna Graeca exchanged their culture with the Roman Republic. However, with the annexation of Greece by the Roman emperors, this cultural exchange gained momentum. Tourism in modern Greece began to flourish between 1960 and 1970 when several large-scale construction projects were underway.
What to do in Greece?
Apart from numerous historical sites, Greece also offers a wide range of activities to make your vacation full of adventure. Here are some of the most famous activities not to be missed on your Greece vacation:
- Birdwatching in wetlands: Macedonia, a wetland in northern Greece, is a privileged territory for bird watching. You can discover more than 300 species of migratory and resident birds at Lake Kerkini, situated on the Strymonas River. The best time to see species such as spoonbills, pelicans, ducks, herons, storks, bitterns, grebes and eagles in Kerkini is between April and July.
- Sea kayaking in Ithaca and Kefalonia: With a coastline that stretches for 15,000 km, Greece hosts a variety of water sports to make your vacation an enjoyable one. Sea kayaking is one of them. While on a tour of hope in Ithaca and Kefalonia, you shouldn’t miss the chance to sea kayak in the cool ocean. While kayaking, you will witness breathtaking landscapes and impressive limestone cliffs.
- Sailing in Aegina: Sailing in the deep waters of Greece is another exciting experience for you. It puts you in direct contact with the sun, the wind and the sea. Although it is a challenging sport, you can expect good rewards when you learn to sail. The island of Aegina offers an ideal location for learning to sail. In addition, you can also enjoy adventure sports such as snorkeling and swimming.
- Mountain adventures in Thessaly: Located beneath rugged Mount Olympus, the Thessaly region specializes in giving you a fun-filled experience of adventure sports and outdoor activities. You can try a variety of sports such as mountain biking, hiking, climbing, sea kayaking, and canoeing in this region.
- Windsurfing in Paros: Paros is home to New Golden Beach which hosts the professional Windsurfing Association World Cup. The display of stable meltemi winds during the summers makes it an ideal place for surfing. However, if you are a novice, you may prefer a time when the wind is comparatively less strong.