Discovering the Real Greece

By Rosanna Langton on October 31, 2018

I recently returned from an epic sixteen-day adventure capturing Cinemagraphs with @levanterman and SPG Hotels & Resorts in Greece. During the six destination adventure across Southern Greece, we swam in hidden waterfalls in Costa Navarino; relaxed on undisturbed beaches in Mykonos; found the best souvlaki in Athens; visited picturesque villages in Rhodes; got lost hiking in wild Crete and experienced an otherworldly sunset in Santorini. 

Before I arrived, I was most excited at the prospect of exploring the remains of Greece’s legendary ancient civilization, having grown up on bedtime stories taken from Greek mythology. But from our first welcome on Greek soil, it was impossible to ignore that the culture of the ancients is very much alive as the part of a thriving modern-day Greece.

beige brick castle photo

Locals go about their daily lives beside imposing fortresses and historic Medieval Palaces in Rhodes’ Old Town, while in Athens I felt the echoes of the past most strongly: the blend of old and new clearly visible in the sprawling cosmopolitan city that is built in the shadow of the iconic Parthenon.

The modern (by Greek standards!) ceremony of the Changing of the Evzone Guards was one of the trip’s highlights; a living, breathing reminder of Greece’s battle for independence.

Pride in their heritage and passion for their culture led to many good-natured debates with our hosts (usually over a glass of raki) about which area of Greece produces the best wine, the best cheese, the best olive oil… Lucky for us, we were treated to the “best in Greece” at every destination! And those dreamy sandy beaches of Mykonos were definetelly among the hightlights..

white concrete building near body of water

The traditional Cretan Feast conjured up memories of eating with friends and family back home where everyone orders their favourite dish and shares food and stories around the table.

man playing guitar on outdoors collage

My new favourite is fava, a simple split pea puree dish from Santorini that’s fantastic served with freshly-caught squid. The earthy flavours and wonderful fresh seafood is everything that I love about authentic Greek cuisine. That, and all the many independent kafeneios to try!

From delicious culinary experiences and awe-inspiring landscapes, to ancient monuments and streets with stories on every corner, my time exploring Greece ended much too soon. I could gaze at the hypnotic installation at Barbouni beach Restaurant in Costa Navarino for ever!

But it was the people that we met and their wholehearted welcome and enthusiasm that has ensured I’ll be back. It’s no surprise to learn that hospitality originated in Greece!

white and black ship near shore

I’ve barely scratched the surface of everything that Greece has to offer. Until next time…

Discover more at journeygreece.com

Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Athens

Located on Syntagma Square, the multi-awarded 5 star Hotel Grande Bretagne offers an unrivalled perspective of Athens’ mythical history. Providing breathtaking views of the famed Acropolis and Parthenon, the Parliament or lush Lycabettus Hill.

The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, Costa Navarino

The Romanos features extensive grounds with indigenous trees and plants. Spacious terraces, marble exteriors together with contemporary and refined interiors, make The Romanos an ideal choice to experience the authenticity of the environment.

Blue Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Crete

Overlooking cerulean waters and featuring 142 private pools, Blue Palace Resort, elegantly blends Greek culture with outstanding service and grace. Escape to the wild beauty and unrivaled island style of a luxe resort, where time seems to stand still.

The “Martaki” Bracelet Greek Custom

A surprise & delight story by Hotel Grande Bretagne, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Athens, who gifted all their hotel guests with a "Martaki" bracelet on the first day of March!

A Walk in the Forest

At the Tudor Hall Restaurant in Athens, Chef de Cuisine Alexandros Koskinas takes you to a walk in the woods, through his forest-inspired menu.

The journey continues… Ironman 70.3 Greece returns to Costa Navarino on 25th of October 2020 for its 2nd edition. #MakeHistory

Following the successful first-ever Ironman 70.3 Greece, Costa Navarino last year, that brought together 1500 elite athletes and over 3000 spectators and volunteers from 61 countries and offered Greece a prominent place in modern sports history, the second edition of IRONMAN 70.3