Greece

lti hotels in Greece

Welcome to Chalkidiki!

The Chalkidiki peninsula located south of Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece and invites you to a comfortable beach holiday. The three fork-shaped headlands of Kassandra, Sithonia, and Athos jut far into the sea. About 500 km of beautiful beaches make up the coastline and are just perfect for your holiday travel.

Wherever you look and everywhere you go, there is sun and sea, turquoise and ultramarine blue in depth. The seemingly endless gently sloping sand and gravel beaches are among the most beautiful in Greece. The hinterland is characterized by densely-wooded hills and mountains, which is why holiday activities such as hiking are becoming increasingly popular. There is also a wide range of cultural activities such as visits to the ancient site of Olynthus with its famous floor mosaics. The upcoming holiday destination of Katerini impresses visitors by the unique beauty of its massive, mighty mountains including the highest mountain in Greece, the mythical Mount Olympus. Long sand and gravel beaches and various shopping and entertainment facilities are also worth visiting.

Surrounding picturesque villages invite you to journeys of discovery and hiking. Sun lovers, individualists, nature and culture enthusiasts all get their money’s worth – Halkidiki offers endless possibilities for every traveller.

Welcome to Crete!
 
Covering 8232 sq km, Crete is Greece’s largest island. From west to east, Crete stretches over approx. 260 km, whereas it only measures between 12 and 62 km between the north and the south. The island is home to approx. 600000 inhabitants. According to Greek mythology, Crete is the birthplace of the European continent. Crete’s landscape is coined by four mountain ranges, of which the Ida mountain range is the highest. The White Mountains are located in the West, the Dikiti massif is in the middle-East, and the Sintia Mountains are located in the Mediterranean island’s far east. The more than 3000 stalactite caves are among Crete’s distinct scenic features.


The Mediterranean’s fifth-largest island boasts of breathtaking historical and cultural sights, and of diverse beauties of nature. Crete is the vacation destination for bathing enthusiasts, friends of nature, hikers, and those interested in culture. Especially the coasts with the beautiful bays, the ragged cliff line, and the inland emphasize the island’s scenic diversity. The vegetation is coined by the Mediterranean climate. Pomegranate trees, olive trees, daffodils, and many other plants can be found here, and will be a source of delight for nature lovers.
Verifiably, Crete has been populated since 6000 BC. The Minoan palaces in Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, and Kato Zakros originate in around 2000 BC; however, most of these palaces were destroyed in 1450 BC by Mycenaean troops. Before Crete became a Roman province, it was the age of the Greek city states (800 – 67 BC). After the Roman rule, the island became part of the Byzantine Empire. In 1204, after the 4th crusade, Crete was affiliated with Venice. When the island was conquered by the Turkish in 1645, Crete became a part of the Ottoman Empire.

 

With help by the European Great Powers, Crete was freed from Turkish rule in 1898 and ultimately became part of the Greek state in 1913.
In light of Crete’s long history and various occupation epochs, one can experience very diverse cultures and remnants of past civilizations on the island. Besides Minoan and Byzantine art, one can also find Venetian architecture and Cretan culture. Among the latter are the Mantinades and the Rizitika, which are emotional, traditional Cretan songs, which are accompanied by the Lyra and the Laouto. In the evening one can watch the locals dance. The most common dances are the Pentozalis, the Chaniotikos, and the Sousta. The traditional folk art is a very special experience, but one should not miss out on the culture and sights from times long gone. Hiking enthusiasts, water sports fans, and sun worshippers will be excited about the manifold sports and leisure time activities on offer.

Rhodes – Where the Gods Go on Vacation

History and myth merge on the Greek island of Rhodes and constitute its special charm till today. A substantial number of cultural monuments bear witness of an eventful past. The UNESCO added the old town of Rhodes together with the Grand Master’s Palace and the mighty city walls to the World Heritage List in 1988. Sun-lovers are drawn to the beautiful beaches of Rhodes. The largest of the Dodecanese islands also enchants visitors with its landscape. While the interior part is marked by high mountains of which some fall away sharply into the Aegean Sea, some green valleys and secluded coves can be discovered between them. On the fourth-largest island of the country visitors can still find and experience the original Greece.

The island’s heyday began as early as in ancient times. Due to its location between Asia Minor and Egypt, Rhodes quickly developed into a commercial center with great sea power. Records about the island exist since the second millennium BC. After Mycenaean Greeks reigned the island from the 15th century BC, the Dorians came to Rhodes in the 11th century BC. They later united the cities of Lalyssos, and Kamiros and founded Rhodes. After the reign of the Romans and the Byzantine Empire, the Knights of St. John occupied the island in the 14th century, but they were later expelled by the Ottomans. After Rhodes was taken over by Italy from the Turks in 1912, it was united with Greece together with its neighbouring islands in 1947.

Rhodes is known for being one of the sunniest regions in Europe, it provides 260 to 270 days of sunshine a year. In Greek mythology, the island of Rhodes was owned by the sun god Helios. He is said to have given the island its name by naming it after his wife Rhode. In the honor of Helios, the Rhodians built the Colossus of Rhodes that is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world today. Pine and cypress forests characterize the green island, and its unique architecture forms a harmonious image of different styles. Apart from traces of Venetian, Arabic, Turkish, Byzantine, and cubic architecture, several remains from the time of the Knights of St. John can still be found today.

People who like to discover more of the unique archipelago of Greece find a good starting point for ”island hopping” in Rhodes as the neighbouring islands like Symi are worth visiting, too.

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