We all know Greece as the sunny island with amazing seafood and stunning ancient architecture. Here, we’ve compiled 11 facts that’ll make you appreciate this collection of 6,000 islands in more ways than one. If you’re interested in booking a trip to Greece, fill out the request form to the right and someone will be in touch with you ASAP to help you plan your trip.

  1. Greece is home to Ikaria, one of the world’s five blue zones where the population lives about a decade longer than their American and western European counterparts. They attribute a plant-based diet, strong social networks, and frequent naps to their longevity. 
  2. Most of the white-marbled statues that Greece is known for were originally colored
  3. The ancient Greeks used to dilute their wine with water, employing a ratio of about one part wine to three parts water. This was a sophisticated tradition meant to prevent excessive alcoholism, a trait the elites considered “barbaric.”  
  4. The Greek islands get around 300 days of sunshine a year, and are in the list of Europe’s top 10 sunniest cities
  5. Santorini is an active volcano. It may be dormant and it may not have erupted since 1950, but it is still technicaly active and it is always closely monitored for other eruptions to come. 
  6. Greece is comprised of more than 6,000 islands, but only 227 of them are populated
  7. 40% of the population lives in Athens and Thessaloniki. Athens’ metropolitan alone is home to a third of the country’s population.  
  8. Greece isn’t really the country’s name. Officially, it’s actually known as the Hellenic Republic. 
  9. The Olympic Games originated in Ancient Greece, but the Olympics haven’t taken place there since 2004 (and in 1986 during its inaugural year).
  10. A female, Athena, is both the patron of the city and the goddess of warfare and strategy. She won the title by gifting the city with an olive tree, a gift that the people preferred over Poseidon’s lesser offering of water. 
  11. The original meaning of the word idiot in Ancient Greek was a “private person, someone who does not participate in community or politics.” Since Greece was the birthplace of democracy, it’s understandable that the ancient Greeks prized community involvement, and might’ve considered a politically indifferent life an uneducated and ignorant one. 

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