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If you want to combine beach relaxation with excursions to cultural monuments of the world significance, Greece is an ideal place for your vacations

Greece is located to the south of the Balkan Peninsula, and also owns hundreds of small islands in the Aegean and the Ionian Seas and the island of Crete (the largest Greek island) in the Mediterranean Sea. Greek landscape is replete with mountains, valleys and natural harbors. Shrubs and wild grasses covering limestone soil, serve as excellent forage for goats and sheep. Shady olive groves and wheat fields surround small villages with neat whitewashed houses. Here, in Greece, the first European civilization appeared. In XXV century BC on the island of Crete flourished so-called Minoan culture. Rich Cretan cities traded with all countries of the Mediterranean. In the fourteenth-thirteenth century BC this state went into decline and was captured by Mycenean tribes. In the X th century BC northern tribes, made a conquest of Greece and founded there independent city-states, among which were Athens and Sparta. In 338 BC Greek states were captured by Alexander the Great, who created in the Middle East the Great Greek Empire. In 146 BC Greece became a part of the Roman Empire. In 1453-m Greece was occupied by the Turks and became a part of the Ottoman Empire. The country gained independence only in 1829, but this was followed by era of political coups and military dictatorships. Modern Democratic Republic of Greece was formed in 1975. Greece is a paradise for tourists of all preferences: it is the best suited both for lovers of beach relaxation and lovers of antiques and classics. Glorious history of ancient Greece is reflected in numerous ruins and monuments, scattered throughout the country. Among the most popular attractions are: the Acropolis, the Parthenon and the Theater of Dionysus, the National Archaeological Museum and the Temple of Poseidon, located in an hour's drive from the center of Athens. The cities of Corinth and Mycenae, located to the south of Peloponnese peninsula, are extremely rich in historical sites of undoubted interest. Mountainous areas of the country are ideal for trekking and Mount Parnassus, located near the city of Delphi, offers excellent opportunities for skiing. In Macedonia, there are many monuments of Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods

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