Greece has always been on my mind, but I never felt “ready” for it. I will try to explain, in my opinion, you need to know the history, the heritage, the characters, the contribution of the country to the world, before you can go there and truly enjoy your experience. And I always felt that Greece had such an overwhelming past, that it would take me years to go over it. Well, I got engaged to a Greek guy and “had” to get a crash course in history of Greece, with hope to catch up while “one the ground”.
Nevertheless, I had a few months to prepare so, I think I did pretty well:
- Greece, Lovely Planet
- Athens, Eyewitness Travel Guides
- The Greek Island, Eyewitness Travel
- The Oxford Illustrated History of Greece and the Hellenistic World by John Boardman and Jasper Griffin
- The Classical World: An Epic History from Homer to Hadrian by Robin Lane Fox
- Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities by Paul Anthony Cartledge
- The Oracle: Ancient Delphi and the Science Behind Its Lost Secrets by William J. Broad
- Have You Been to Delphi: Tales of the Ancient Oracle for Modern Minds by Roger Lipsey – MUST READ book if you are visiting Delphi
- Byzantium: The Surprising Life Of A Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin
- Greece: The Modern Sequel by John S. Koliopoulos
- From Solon to Socrates. Greek History and Civilization between the 6th and 5th Centuries BC by Victor Ehrenberg
- Delphi. Monuments and Museum by Photios Petsas
- The Acropolis: through its museum by Panos Valavanis
- Holy Meteora. Itinerary by D.Z. Sofianos
- Vergina, wandering through the archeological site by Evangelia Kypraiou and Alexandra Doumas
- Zakynthos. The flower of the Levant by J. Solman
- Saint Dionysios. Patron Saint of Zakynthos by Dinos Komonos
- A Guide to the Benaki Museum by Angelos Delivorrias
We had to spend time with D. family in Athens and Zakynthos, as well as attend his friends’ wedding, so we planned our 3 week Greek vacation with this in mind. Hence, our itinerary included:
- Athens – capital city with its ancient Agoras and The Acropolis
- Thebes and Delphi – have your heard of prophecies of Pythia?
- Thermopylae – the battle of 300 Spartans
- Meteora – suspended in the air monasteries
- Ioannina – tranquil Northern city with rich Muslim culture
- Vergina & Pella – two towns the most intimately connected to Alexander the Great
- Zakynthos Island – to visit D. grandma
- Santorini Island – to personally witness the famous sunsets.
It was plenty to fill in 3 weeks, but I am so looking forward to going back!