CELEBRATE GREECE, LTR’s May showcase ( May 1-30 ) alludes that GREECE is a destination worth discovering. As the birthplace of Western Democracy, philosophy, literature, political science, theatre arts & drama, it’s considered the cradle of Western civilization. It presently enjoys 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, among the most in Europe. It’s also a favored destination for travelers world-wide. Last year it totaled 28 million visitors and is counted as one of the most visited countries in Europe. In 2010 Lonely Planet ranked Greece’s northern tier and the city of Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest, as the world’s fifth-best party town. And Santorini, one of the country’s major resort islands was recently voted ” The World’s Best Island” by Travel & Leisure magazine.
GREECE has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world measuring nearly 8,500 miles. It shares its borders with Albania, Macedonia, Turkey and Bulgaria. It is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe,Asia, and Africa. It is made up of nine geographic regions including Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese Islands, Thessaly, Epirius, the Aegean Islands including Dodocanese and Cyclades,Thrace,Crete, and the Ionanian Islands. It sits between the Ioanian Sea, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.The Capital is Athens. The population is 11 million.The country also includes a myriad of islands, really 6,000, in fact, of which only 227 are inhabited. It also enjoys the largest economy in the Balkans and is the 15th largest in the European Union.Nearly 20% of its GNP is devoted to Tourism. GREECE is also know for Theatre Arts, Cinema and its Mediterranean diet. Most popular dishes include moussaka, pastitsio, fasolada, spanakopita, souvlaki, grilled octopus, a variety of cheeses including feta and dolmades, and various dips like tzatziki, and olive oil, the country’s main food product for export. Meze, an assembly of small appetizing dishes is regularly ordered.
GREECE stands tall on the cinematic stage as well.The industry was started in 1896. In 1907 The Asty Films Company was founded with a series of “long Films.” The Palme d’Or citation has been repeatedly offered to a number of GREEK film directors over the years. Costa-Gavis, Elia Kazan, John Cassavetes and Alexander Payne have been the most noted in the post WWII years. Zorba the Greek starring American film star Anthony Quinn is perhaps its most famous.
The Greek Orthodox Church has been a unifying influence in GREECE for the last 2000 years. It celebrates the major Christian feast days throughout the year including Easter, Christmas and the so-called “Patron Saint” days.According to GREEK law every Sunday is a holiday in GREECE. Beyond these, the Patras Carnival, the Athens Festival and dozens of wine festivals are the most popular.
In sum, GREECE is worth a re-discovering .If it’s your first time, then discovery is the mode for you. WWW.Visit Greece.com