Read this ready collection of bookable travel ideas inspired by what you love. From the Parthenon on the Acropolis to Unesco-listed Delphi, discover the things to do, where to stay and the best spots to eat and drink in our definitive guide.
Athens, named after the Greek goddess of wisdom Athena, is one of the world’s oldest cities. From the ancient ruins of the Acropolis to the cracked frescoes of Byzantine churches, the city is a treasure trove of mythological and historical monuments. There is no shortage of modern-day delights either, with colourful street art, sleek eateries and open-air cinemas peppered among the time-honoured sights.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Where to stay
Coco Mat Hotel Athens, in the well-heeled district of Kolonaki, offers all the perks: cloud-like beds, espresso machines and Zealots of Nature toiletries, while suites provide extra living space to lounge in with a good book. In the evenings, plug into Bang & Olufsen speakers while you’re getting ready, then head up to the rooftop garden for fresh Mediterranean fare and views of the historic skyline. It’s worth a look in daylight too – check out the wall murals depicting a donkey in The Thinker pose, a rabbit shooting carrots and a dog riding a dragonfly, all framed by spilling ivy.
From the second you set foot on the polished labyrinthine-style floors of AthensWas to the moment you curl up under your bed’s feather duvet, you’ll be surrounded by luxurious designer furniture and prints of ancient Greek sculptures. There are only 21 rooms, creating that extra boutiquey feel while also ensuring you won’t need to wait (or wait long) for a machine at the gym in the morning. Rinse off after an intense workout in your rain shower, make a frothy coffee using the in-room Nespresso machine and pull up a chair on your balcony. Splash out on the Hellenic Suite for beguiling views of the Acropolis from the plushly furnished veranda.
What to do
Put yourself in the leather sandals of the ancient Greeks on a trip to the Unesco-listed archaeological site of Delphi. No need to rent a car, just hop on a coach tour and be whisked away to the enchanting remains of the Hellenic hilltop sanctuary. Make sure your walking boots are tightly laced as you clamber up stone steps to the overgrown ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo and its weather-beaten sculptures. If you’ve already ticked Delphi off your list, take a tour to the 14th-century monasteries of Meteora or 4th-century BC theatre of Epidaurus.
Explore the cerulean depths of the Mediterranean on a scuba diving experience. Just a three-hour excursion from Athens lies the town of Nea Makri, home to a handful of diving centres. If you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics of scuba diving, then this is the place. An experienced instructor will give you the lowdown on theory and safety measures before you take to the water. During your first dive, you’ll drop slowly down to the shrouded seabed where you can swim among the marine life.
Where to eat
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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