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35 fun things Greece is known for

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What are the things Greece is known for? Find out what an interesting and exciting country Greece is in this article outlining 35 fun things Greece is known for. Ready to learn more? Read on…

What Makes Greece A Must-Visit Country?

35 fun things Greece is known for

Greece is known as the ultimate holiday destination for achieving a perfect tan. Surrounded by rings of exotic islands, its contributions to medicine, theatre, and mathematics are unmatched. 

Greece is the originator of numerous traditions now practiced in Western civilisation. It is filled with ancient archeological structures that leave you enthralled throughout your trip.

The list of things Greece is known for has a lot more to offer than just sandy beaches. It is a world of historical monuments you would not want to miss while planning your vacation.

So before you book your ticket, enrich your journey by learning these amazing facts about Greece. Here are 35 fun things Greece is known for.

1) Democracy

One of the things Greece is known for is its invention of democracy. Because of the Greeks, you can select and participate in governance today. The political system was invented around the 5th century BC when an Athenian assembly of 6000 men voted on persistent issues.

Back then, democracy was direct, where all citizens (male Athenians) were eligible to vote on bills and government. This was a significant cultural change that influenced the mindset of people about politics. For voting, ancient Greeks gathered at a place called Pnyx in Athens. It is a prominent tourist spot to this day.

2) Olympic Games

35 fun things Greece is known for

Things Greece is known for include its contribution to global institutions by the introduction of the Olympic games. The game was invented in 776 BC to honor the mighty Zeus, apart from various myths associated with its origin, making this a noteworthy sports tourism destination.

People throughout Greece used to travel for days just to watch this game. Despite its religious importance, Emperor Theodosius banned the Olympics in 393 AD. The modern Olympic games were then revived in Athens in 1986, held in Panathenaic Stadium. Unlike today, women were not allowed to participate in the event.

3) Greek Philosophy

35 fun things Greece is known for

At some point around the 6th Century BC, the quest for the meaning of life began. Greece is known as the birthplace of western philosophy as major ancient philosophers like Socrates emerged. 

His method of asking questions was directed more toward morality and existentialism, which proved very influential. Other philosophers like Aristotle and Plato also appeared and made multiple contributions to this field.

4) Delicious Seafood

Since the deep blue oceans surround Greece, things Greece is known for also include its freshest fish meals. If you are a foodie who loves to try delicious meals every now and then, you will have a great experience trying all these yummy meals.

Amongst other dishes, some mouth-watering greek seafood meals include shrimp saganaki, deep-fried calamari, and taramasalata.

5) The Greek Pantheon and Mythology

Greece is known for its ancient Greek gods and mythology. The country is filled with massive, sprawling temples, which indicates the Greeks’ devotion to their religion. Research suggests that the 12 Olympian Gods were established around myths and legends.

Greeks used mythology to shed life on numerous customs, institutions, and practices of ancient times. Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey stories from the 18th century are the earliest known sources of Greek mythology.

6) Countless Islands

35 fun things Greece is known for

The tremendous number of islands is amongst the things Greece is known for. Sources suggest that the number exceeds 6000, with around 170 inhabited.

Greece is a paradise of sandy beaches and sparkling water. The most oversized island is Crete, followed by Evia as the second biggest. Many Greek islands, like the Cyclades, Sporades, and the Dodecanese, are grouped together, so you can easily stay on one island and catch a ferry to another.

The Cyclades is the most famous spot for activities like island hopping. These islands are easily accessible from Piraeus port in Athens. You can always check a map before island hopping to ensure your visit to Ithaca, Lesbos, Zakynthos and Santorini on the way.

7) Science

Thales of Miletus, the pre-Socratic philosopher, is called the father of western science. He effectively started scientific thoughts by using natural explanations for natural phenomena.

Thales was the first person to introduce hypotheses and general principles. He developed and presented several scientific and mathematical concepts, such as the Thales theorem. This was based on the theory that a triangle drawn inside a semi-circle will always be right-angled.

8) Medicine

The Greek physician Hippocrates is known for his theories behind western medicine. He introduced the idea of illness as a condition perceived due to other physical elements rather than a punishment sent by God. He laid down the principles for a physician’s ethics. The Hippocratic oath, which is still taken today, is based upon his principles.

9) Santorini

35 fun things Greece is known for

Santorini, one of the things Greece is known for, has a special place amongst all the other Greek Islands. It is famous for the mesmerizing sunset views from Oia, the north-side village of this island. To make the most out of this spot, it is always better to visit the place in the off-season.

Santorini is surrounded by blue-domed churches and white-washed walls. It is a chic spot to capture beautiful pictures.

10) Meteora Monasteries

Amongst the best UNESCO sites, Meteora Monasteries is one of the most exciting places in Europe. It is an extraordinary landscape located on the mainland of Greece. The view comprises six ancient monasteries beautifully placed on the cliffs.

The area is located a few hours north of Athen and has impressive views. It is a must-visit spot for all tourists.

11) Greek Theatre

Things Greece is known for include its unique style of theatre. It is the place of origin for tragedy and comedy. The term ‘Deux ex machina’ comes directly from Greek tragedies, Latin for ‘God from the machine.’ It is built upon the concept in tragedies where a God would appear to describe an approach for an overwhelming problem. The character of God would then vanish into thin air through a machine called ‘Deus ex machina.’

12) Olives and Olive oil

35 fun things Greece is known for

There are a few foods to eat in Greece that should be on your list when you visit, and olives are right at the top! Greece is popular for the production of the best olives in the world. They are a typical appetizer in Greek restaurants and are commonly available everywhere in Greece.

Of the famous things Greece is known for include its special Kalamata Olive. All types of olives offer a unique taste, and their extra virgin oil is envied worldwide. This is why the country is the most significant contributor of olives in the national market, making it an essential part of the economy.

13) Olympus Mountain

Mount Olympus is held in high regard in Greek Mythology. With a height of 2917 meters, it is the home of the 12 Olympian Greek Gods. This is the tallest mountain in Greece. It is located near the Aegean Sea, south of Thessaloniki.

If you love adventures, then hiking this soaring mountain must be on your bucket list. The entire process takes two days and is considered one of the most memorable hikes by visitors.

14) Ouzo

Greece is known for its distinctive range of beverages. One of them is Ouzo, an alcoholic beverage famous as a well-known spirit. It has an anise flavor and gets cloudy with ice cubes. Ouzo is supposed to be drunk slowly with your side meal. It relaxes your mind and allows you to enjoy yourself after a tiring day.

Ouzo should not be taken like shots, as this could harm your health and result in headaches.

15) Meze

35 fun things Greece is known for

Meze is a complimentary snack that paves a perfect way to explore Greek cuisine. It is often served with strong beverages like Metaxa or Ouzo. It comprises a small piece of bread with java or tzatziki and sometimes grilled vegetables. It differs from place to place but is typically a tiny bite of one of the appetizers on the main menu.

17) Greek Language

You will be surprised to know that many words in the English dictionary are obtained from the Greek Language. Some of these words are history, philosophy, and psychology. The first Greek language was revealed in the epics of Homer, the Iliad, and the Odyssey.

By the Roman era, the language turned into Koine Greek which was the official language till the Byzantine times. The language changed again in 1830, transforming into modern Greek. This is what is spoken by the people of Greece today.

18) LightHouses

Lighthouses are one of the things Greece is known for. Greeks were the first ones to use light to navigate ships after sunset. The first ever built lighthouse was the ‘Lighthouse of Alexandria.’ It was the tallest structure of the Hellenistic period and is the basis of lighthouse designs till today.

19) Feta Cheese

Greece is known for the production of its globally famous Feta cheese. It is made of sheep or goat’s milk and has a creamy, salty taste.

Feta cheese comes in different variations in terms of its velvety texture and saltiness. It is an evident component of many sweet and savory dishes. Apart from its luxurious taste, it is an excellent source of calcium and nutrients.

20) Greek Marathon

35 fun things Greece is known for

Things Greece is known for include Marathon, a 42-kilometer-long race on foot. It is one of the highlights of the famous Olympics Games. This race was initiated in the 1986 Olympics Games of Athens. If you like the Marathon race, you do not need to wait every four years to see it. Hundreds of marathons are held all around the world each year nowadays.

21) The Knossos Palace

Knossos is a renowned palace that covers an area of 150,000 square feet. It rose to power when an influential civilization ruled it over 2500 years ago. This civilization consisted of many heroes, mythological creatures, and mysterious cultural aspects unknown to this day.

The incredible murals and pottery of this palace are still well preserved. Visitors are often amazed by its peculiar culture and unique heritage.

22) Greek Coffee

35 fun things Greece is known for

Things Greece is known for comprising of its traditional methods of coffee. The coffee, boiled and served steaming hot, is quite popular in the country. Drinking coffee with a friend is a typical ritual in Greece. It indicates the start of long hours of chit-chat.

In Greece, you can also find other cold or iced coffee, such as the expresso or the freddo cappuccino.

23) Vikos Gorge

Situated in the Zagori Region of northern Greece, Vikos Gorge is known for its depth of 1000 meters. It is located in the Vikos Aoos National Park on the mountain ranges of Pindos.

Vikos gorge is home to thousands of species of plants that reflect its beauty. It is 20 km long and starts from the villages of Koukouli and Monodendri. It is recommended to take an organized hiking grip to marvel at the ancient sites of this impressive gorge.

24) Filoxenia

Filoxenia is an English article that reflects Greeks hospitality. It means loving the visitor or foreigners. In Ancient Greece, the concept of Filoxenia was quite prominent, and Zeus was considered the protector of outsiders. Visitors were considered sacred, and everyone was responsible for hosting them.

If you ever ask Greeks what is their country famous for? They would often respond by mentioning the word ‘Floxenia.’

25) Sirtaki Dance

The traditional sirtaki dance is one of the things Greece is known for. It was performed by a famous Mexican actor on screen. The movie was based on Zorba the Greek, a famous book by the author Nikos Kazantzakis. The book was made into an interesting film in 1964 when it became known for its Sirtaki dance in the closing scene.

If you are a fan of Greece, you might already be familiar with its composition of slow and fast steps. They represent a combination of two Greek dances, Hasapiko, and Hasaposerviko.

26) Greek Orthodox Church

35 fun things Greece is known for

Greek Orthodox church is amongst the inspiring sites of the Meteora Monasteries. Since more than 80% of the Greek population is Orthodox, they firmly believe in the Holy Trinity.

You will find the monks of Greek Orthodox only cladded in black. Their priests are not allowed to give holy communion to anyone but them. Greek Orthodox have their unique church interiors and spend their religious life differently than the Christians.

27) Smashing Plate Tradition

Greek weddings are known for their weird plate-smashing tradition. Plates are smashed on floors as an expression of joy and prayers to ward off evil spirits.

Not only is this a sound waste of money, but the tradition has also proved quite harmful. This is why smashing plates in Greek tavernas and nightclubs is illegal. Don’t forget to witness this uncanny Greek tradition while visiting Greece.

28) Retsina

Amongst the list of things Greece is known for comes Retsina, a white wine. It is made out of pine resin and has a distinctive smell.

Tourists often give mixed reviews about this beverage, which make it worth a try if you visit Greece. Retsina has been a part of Greek drinking culture for years and is loved by the locals.

29) Acropolis

One of the most sacred places of Athen, Acropolis is a herd of temples. It is also home to numerous statues that honor the Greek pantheon.

Amongst all the temples, Parthenon and Erechtheion are the best-reserved ones. It is believed that the Goddess Athena gave an olive tree as a gift to Athenians, which is why they named the city after her. If you visit Acropolis, you can still see the ancient olive tree from there.

30) Europe’s Oldest Capital

Athen in Greece was founded around 5000 years ago. This makes it the oldest capital in Europe. It is a must-visit place for all those who love Greek fusion.

31) Greek Salad

35 fun things Greece is known for

Things Greece is known for also include its world-famous salad. It’s a profound component of numerous hotel menus.

Greek salad is a perfect blend of olives, tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese, and white onions. If you want to try something similar, you can also go for the Cretan Salad, ‘Dakos.’ It includes fresh bread as an additional component and tastes delicious!

32) Greek Cartography

Ancient Greeks were blessed with brilliant cartography and map-making skills. Anaximander was the first Greek cartographer who used longitude and latitude to draw maps. His maps represented the regions of Europe, Ethiopia, and the Nile and the Pillars of Hercules in the west.

33) Tower of Winds

Greece is known for its first-ever clock tower, constructed near the Acropolis. The tower of winds consisted of eight sundials and a water clock. Its purpose was to communicate the right time of delivery to the merchants. The tower can still be found in Plaka today.

34) Sanctuary of Delphi

One of the things Greece is known for is its breathtaking landmarks. The Sanctuary of Delphi is a UNESCO world heritage site situated on the Mount of Parnassos. It’s an awestruck view of a coastal plain on one side and Phokis Valley on the other.

This sanctuary once fell under the domain of a Priestess who disappeared to channel her prophecies about Apollo.

35) Affordable Destination

Greece offers one of the cheapest accommodations in Europe. It is pretty affordable to stay and eat in the mainland regions of Greece. If you plan a budget trip, you can also visit some of the Greek islands. However, famous tourist spots like Santorini are bound to empty your wallets much more quickly.

Despite being small, Greece is a country of rich culture and history. Its visit is incomplete without an understanding of its traditions and modern-day lifestyle. Greece is a wonderful place that promises an unforgettable experience and lifelong memories to its visitors.

Things Greece Is Known For: To Conclude

As you can see, there are a wide variety of things Greece is known for, from coffee to the Olympic Games to some of Europes best beaches. If you enjoyed this article about the things Greece is known for, I am sure you will love these too:

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