The ancient ruins in Greece


The Ancient history of Greece is known to have had a huge impact on the modern world. The Greeks created the Olympics, the biggest World sporting event of our time. They gave birth to democracy and philosophy, and much of the English dictionary can be traced back to the Greek language. They were at the start of many great things, but the world grew fast and they have been overtaken in the developments of finance, technology and the arts. However, there are definitely some things that the Greeks still do best...


1. Barbecues

I’ve had this debate with plenty of people from many other cultures. But there is no doubt about it, we Greeks do it best. There is nothing like walking into a gorgeous open-roof restaurant and getting your first whiff of a sizzling ‘Souvla’. Souvla is skewered lamb, often marinated in olive oil, salt, and pepper and then slowly cooked over a barbecue. The meat comes out so tender and flavoursome and is one of the most popular dishes amongst Greeks and tourists alike.

A classic greek souvlakia, greek cuisine Photo Credit: Ishai Gonda


2. Weddings

Here are some things you can expect from a Greek wedding. Live traditional music that will ensure people of all ages report to the dancefloor, including your 80 year old grandad. There is never a dull moment, with non-stop live music, dancing, singing and chatter. Food, and lots of it. A huge variety of Greek dishes from Souvlakia, Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), Moussaka (a baked vegetable dish) to fresh Calamari. Culture aside, in Islands like Cyprus and Santorini you will find so many beautiful churches on the coasts, often with stunning beach and mountain views. The scenery provides the perfect backdrop for this romantic occasion.

A lovely wedding in Santorini, Greece


3. Family Gatherings

Greeks are always finding ways to celebrate. Not just for birthdays, or Christmas, or New Years, but for name days, saints days, and many more. Family is very important in Greek culture, so we tend to celebrate it a lot. Even just a general get together will involve everyone bringing a particular dish to add to the table, with grandparents, parents and children hustling and bustling around, chattering loudly and organising food. No matter what hardships we are facing, we will always find a way to celebrate life and come together as a family.

A family feast at Easter.


4. Breaking Plates

Greek people are exceptionally good at breaking plates. This may come across as a very odd tradition for non-Greeks, but it is one that has survived many decades. If you go to a party function, guaranteed at some point in the evening clay plates will be skillfully spun into the air and sent crashing to the floor whilst people, young and old, dance passionately to traditional music. It sounds dangerous, but it's actually very fun!

Smashing plates at Elysee


5. Traditional Dancing

Dance is something that lives around the world and in so many forms. Over 4000 traditional dances have been developed through all the regions of Greece, and even to this day are appreciated by young and old at any Greek function, bringing the community together. If you haven't seen a Greek dance group perform then you are missing out!

Mario Kakkouli dancing the Zimbekiko

Photo Credit: Roberto Zambino


6. Boat Trips

Being a small island surrounded by gorgeous turquoise water has its benefits. There are so many boat trips all around the island which offer an unforgettable holiday, but my favourite has been in Paphos, in Cyprus. The beloved scent of an incredible Greek barbecue fills the air as you sail past mountains and coves before you stop at the famous Laguna Blu bay where I saw the clearest, brightest water I’ve ever seen. With plenty of opportunities to swim in some of the best Mediterranean water, a boat trip trip is a must when visiting Greece.

Boat trip in Paphos, Cyprus

Photo Credit: Andrew Georgiades



7. Holiday Nightlife

Mykonos. Zakinthos. Corfu. Malia. Kos. Ayia Napa in Cyprus. Many of the Greek islands have become well-known in Europe for hosting some of the best party spots over the summer. During the high season expect to find crowds of young people, parading the streets, bar-hopping and night swimming. Mykonos, especially, is famous for its 24hour beach parties!

Beach party in Zante


Okay, so maybe I'm a little biased. But then again, maybe I'm not.

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Enough about me. What does your culture do best?