It is easy to stereotype Greece as a necklace of islands adorning the Aegean and for many of us these have been the destination of cheap sunshine holidays. By contrast, mainland Greece remains largely unexplored and unknown. Whilst many of us are able to name the principle sights: the Parthenon, Mycenea, Olympia, Delphi, Corinth, perhaps few of us are able to place them on the map, let alone have actually been there.
But even without the archaeology and history, mainland Greece is perhaps one of the most joyous destinations in Europe for the traveller. Traversing the mountainous interiors of Epirus or the Peloponnese, or journeying through evergreen Arcadia inspires the feeling of being transported back to a remote utopia. Indeed, arriving in the fairytale lands of Mystras or Meteora, we can easily be convinced this is true. Whilst on arriving in Thessaloniki, we are captivated by the vibrancy of the people and the resonance of history.
And then there is the food – plentiful and flavoursome, authentic and healthy, washed down with the local wine, Greek cuisine is the perfect holiday diet.