Greece is the Word!

Greece is the word

We are delighted to announce the latest addition to our tempting menu of destinations …. Greece! We have been fans for a long time, then Alexander Oliver joined the ECT Travel team bringing with him a degree in ancient – mostly Greek – history and even better, a lifelong connection to the country. We asked Alex to tell us more about that family history and share three of his favourite Greek destinations.

 

map greece

 

My grandmother was born in Athens in 1929. She lived under Nazi occupation during World War II and had some pretty fantastic stories about moving guns for the resistance. When the German occupation forces withdrew from Greece in October 1944, she found work in the NAAFI and it was there that she met my grandfather, Robert, a British soldier stationed there. The story is that she fell over and he was there to help her up! Anyway, despite language differences, they fell in love and married in Greece. They settled in England after the war. 

couple portrait wedding

 

I grew up listening to her stories and we went to Greece on holiday pretty much every year. We would stay with family members in the Athenian suburbs and some remote villages and Dad took us on day trips to archaeological sites too. That gave me a real insight into the country. I’ve loved it ever since.  

 

Corfu Greece beach Mediterranean sea

 

Corfu is unique in Greece - never conquered by the Ottomans, it was Venetian for a long time and then became a British playground for many years so there is a colonial sense about it. There’s still a cricket field in the centre of Corfu town and the expat community have established estates with really wonderful gardens. There are lots of thriving garden societies too which you won't find anywhere else in Greece.  

Crete Greece Chania Heraklion

Crete is another favourite island. Highlights are Chania, which is probably the most beautiful town in Crete, The Botanical Gardens of Crete, the breathtaking Samaria Gorge and Knossos, which is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the island and has been called Europe's oldest city. 

The Peloponnese is an area I know well and it’s still pretty undiscovered.  Located just to the west of the Peninsula of Attica (where Athens is), it is held on to the mainland by the Isthmus of Corinth land bridge and has some of the most fantastic scenery you’ll come across in the whole of Greece. Everywhere you look there are mountains crashing into the wine-dark sea. And the food and wine are wonderful!

The Peloponnese Greece mountains Mediterranean sea