Re-imagining the Greek Odyssey
Exploration and Greece have been inextricably linked since the dawn of civilization. Those first tales of daring and discovery still echo down the ages; Theseus and the Minotaur, the labours of Hercules and of course Homer’s epics, Iliad and the Odyssey, which are the very foundation of Western literature. Discovery is woven into the fabric of Greece and her history, well beyond the narrow confines of mere geography; Classical Greece gave us the great thinkers whose work would eventually become the foundation of modern philosophy and the scientific method, arguably the peak of human endeavour. Archimedes, he who gifted the Greek word ‘eureka’ (I have discovered) to the English lexicon, gave us the Archimedes Screw, to this day still the most efficient method of pumping water. Aristotle, pupil of Plato, teacher of Alexander the Great, was the world’s first scientist and the first man to use formal logic. The quintessential polymath, he is regarded as the last man on Earth to have known everything there was to know about the world in his time; his contribution to humanity is immeasurable. From philosophy, through science, mathematics, art and engineering, discovery coursed through the veins of ancient Greece. Today, she opens her arms to those who want to discover for themselves.
Greece has a vast and rich sea of possibilities from which the prospective traveler can trawl; voyages of discovery for everyone, from all walks of life. Breath-taking archaeological sites and museums abound for those with an appetite for Greece’s incredible history. Tranquil beaches and rustic hideaways aplenty for those souls seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. Adventurists are spoiled for choice with every option imaginable: gorge walking, mountain climbing, base-jumping, white water rafting, horse trekking, skiing, scuba diving and every other conceivable watersport. Yacht and pleasure cruiser lovers are offered every possible option of charter boats to explore the coastline or experience an exhilarating alternative to ferry services for island hopping. Culture hunters will find in Athens and Thessaloniki, the same vibrant array of galleries, theatres and music venues any other European capital city has to offer, while foodies will not be disappointed at the choice of first class eateries around the country, from traditional to contemporary and Michelin Star. And for those on a voyage of self discovery, retreats for yoga, writing, dance, music and art are almost too numerous to count.
The purpose of any one person’s journey to Greece is, of course, a very personal one but with the broad tapestry of travel experiences available in this sun-drenched corner of southern Europe, everyone has, with a little imagination, all the necessary ingredients from which to author their own personal odyssey.