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 Marriott 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

I grew up with Greek myths as bedtime stories, so couldn’t wait to explore the real legacy of Greece’s legendary ancient civilization. But from our first welcome on Greek soil, it was impossible to ignore that the culture of the ancients is very much alive and a part of thriving, modern 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 is clearly visible in this sprawling cosmopolitan city, 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!

white concrete house surrounded with dried grass

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 which is 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 all destinations at journeygreece.com and read more about the cinemagraph journey through Greece.

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 Westin Resort Costa Navarino

Inspired by old Messinian mansions, the resort’s low-rise villa clusters use natural stone and local design elements to create a motif in perfect harmony with virgin sandy beaches and the pristine hillside landscape.

Santa Marina, a Luxury Collection Resort, Mykonos

Overlooking the Aegean Sea from a private peninsula bordered by sparkling sand and lush gardens Santa Marina, is Mykonos’ most exclusive resort. Beauty and high-end aesthetics are unveiled in your every step, inviting you to an unparalleled summer experience.

Costa Navarino keeps surprising kids and teenagers with exciting new experiences for 2020!

Kids and teenagers take their “place of honor” again this year at The Westin Resort Costa Navarino, while families are offered even more ways to spend quality time together!

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.