Like its flag, Greece is a land of blue and white: myriad islands with azure seas, Mediterranean skies, white-washed chapels, tumbling villages. It is picture-postcard stuff. Santorini’s sea-crater, Mykonos’ windmills and Crete’s palm-beaches are classic holiday images. And there are fifty more islands to choose from…
But there is also another Greece. Venture into the colourful mainland and you’ll find the green of fir forests, the silver of olive groves, the brown of stone villages and frescoed monasteries, the mosaic of spring flowers beneath snowy peaks. Some parts, like the culture-rich Peloponnese, are well-known; others, like the mountains of Epirus, are visited only by hardy hikers, Vlach shepherds and the occasional bear.
Wherever you go, there is that famous hospitality. Even now you will be greeted and invited by strangers wanting nothing more than a friendly chat, the latest football scores or some English practice.
An ancient temple or mythical site is never far away, the pace is relaxed, the food delicious and healthy, and, if you know where you are going, you’ll find some excellent places to stay, many of them newly refurbished after the Olympics.