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  • Making Haste Slowly: Give yourself time to sit in a seaside taverna and watch the fishing boats come and go. If you visit Greece in the spring, take the time to smell the flowers; the fields are covered with poppies, daisies, and other blooms. Even in Athens, you'll see hardy species growing through the cracks in concrete sidewalks -- or better yet, visit Athens's Ancient Agora, which will be carpeted with a dazzling variety of wildflowers.
  • Island-Hopping in the Cyclades: Though the Cyclades are bound by unmistakable family resemblance, each island has a unique personality. Distances between islands are small, making travel by ferry logistically straightforward (at least in principle). Whether you are traveling in the off season, when you do not need hotel reservations, or in high season, when hotel reservations are a must, we suggest that you prepare to be flexible -- which is a tactful way of preparing you for the unexpected in island boat schedules!
  • Leaving the Beaten Path: Leave the main routes and major attractions behind, and make your own discoveries of landscape, villages, or activities. For instance, seek out a church or monastery such as Moni Ayios Nikolaos outside Metsovo -- you may be rewarded by a moving encounter with the church and its caretaker. When you visit the Cycladic Islands, consider a base on Tinos or Siros. Both are popular with Greeks but attract hardly any foreigners.
  • Exploring the Naturalists' Greece: There is a Greece beyond the columns and cafes -- a land of rugged terrain and wildflowers and birds and other natural phenomena. Sign up for a special tour, or go it alone with one of the several beautifully illustrated handbooks available, such as Oleg Polunin's Flowers of Greece and the Balkans (Oxford University Press) or Paul Sterry's Birds of the Mediterranean (Yale University Press). And don't forget your binoculars!
  • Sunrise, Sunset, Siesta: Get up a little earlier than usual to see the sun rise (preferably from the Aegean, illuminating the islands). Then watch it sink over the mountains (anywhere in Greece, but try not to miss the sunsets that change the Ionian Sea from the deepest blue to a fiery red). And, in between Sunrise and Sunset, don't forget to have a siesta -- most Greeks do, especially in the summer

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.