Top Facts about Greece

boats in the water near Crete,

It pays to get the kids thinking about your upcoming trip! Kids are naturally curious creatures. Any parent can tell you this from experience with the barrage of questions like:

Why is the sky blue?

What do clouds feel like?

Where does the wind go?

When you teach the kids a little about your vacation destination like information on the history, or food, or traditions, you’ll get them thinking! Kids who think are smarter, more wonderful, and more successful all around!! Make YOUR vacation the trip of a lifetime and increase your child’s intelligence. Talk about a win/win!

Scholastic, a leading educational firm in the US has this to say about exploring together,

Shared discovery gives the greatest pleasure. In the classroom, the curious child will want to share her discovery with you. The attention, smile and shared joy you show will provide a powerful reward to the child. This is an important part of the cycle of learning. You will encourage positive exploration with your attentiveness.”

“So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (NOT Mark Twain)

boats in the water near Crete,

Top Facts about Greece – #1 Old Capital

Athens, Greece’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the whole world! The first Athenians lived here around 3000 BC.

Top Facts about Greece – #2 A rose by any other name…

Once upon a time, the King of Athens, Cecrops wanted a patron god for the city and both Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill, and Poseidon, the god of the seas, were interested. So, King Cecrops decided that whoever gave the city the best gift would win the honor. Athena, who was wise after all, gave an olive tree. Poseidon, maybe not so wise? gave water. Water is important for a city, but not so much SALT water! So, Athena was the winner.

Poseidon was a sore loser! He cursed the city that Athens would never have enough water.

Top Facts about Greece – #3 Olive trees

Those olive trees from Athena are pretty awesome! Β Olive trees can live – and produce for literally thousands of years. Yes – thousands. Olives are an important part of the economy as Greece is the 3rd largest producer of olives in the world. Have fun tasting the many varieties.

Top Facts about Greece – #4 Largest Variety of Wildlife in Europe

How is it possible that Greece has the largest variety of wildlife in Europe? Well, Greece has a very diverse geography so lots of different types of animals can find a happy place to live. Mountain tops? Check. Coast line? Check. Islands? Check. Hills? Check. Whatever animals seem to need, Greece has to offer.

Top Facts about Greece – #5 Home of the Gods

The highest point in Greece is Mount Olympus, where, as every Percy Jackson lover knows, is the home of the Gods. If you feel the need to hike up to 9,750 feet and stand where the Gods stood you’ll want to visit the town of Litochoro (The City of the Gods). In Greece you can put your head in the clouds!

Top Facts about Greece – #6 Sunniest Country in Europe

Not only does Greece have oodles of gorgeous beaches but it has the weather to enjoy them! Greece has 250 days of sunshine a year which makes it the sunniest country in Europe.

Top Facts about Greece – #7 Oldest Written Language

The Greek alphabet is really different from ours, so much so that it inspired the saying, “It’s all Greek to me!” Β and it is the oldest written language still in existence. Yes, even older than Chinese.

Top Facts about Greece – #8 Santa Claus

The original Santa Claus was Greek! The historical version of Santa Claus is the story of a Greek bishop who lived in the 4th century. He would secretly leave coins in children’s shoes and because of this generosity became the foundation for the modern Santa Claus.

Top Facts about Greece – #9 Birthday? No big deal

The Greeks don’t celebrate birthdays that much. Instead, the BIG day of celebration for each person is their name day. Each Orthodox Christian saint has a day for celebration and if you are named after that saint, you celebrate that day, too! When is your name day? Those who are not named after a saint celebrate, en masse, on All Saint’s Day which is 8 weeks after Easter.

Top Facts about Greece – #10 Greeks set the bar for heroism

In WWII, the Greek army, though significantly outnumbered, succeeded in the first Allied victory against an Axis Power. In light of such a fierce battle the British prime minister, Winston Churchill, said,

Formerly we said that the Greeks fight like heroes. Now we shall say that heroes fight like Greeks.”

Greece has so much to offer a family on vacation. Enjoy these related posts.

Read before you go! Books about Greece

Get inspired and daydream about Greece

You CAN take the kids on your dream vacation and you should! Vacations benefit the whole family in so many ways – decrease stress, increase your child’s intelligence, and build family bonds that will last a lifetime! Get all the tips you need right here for a fantastic trip!

Keep kids busy on long flights.

How to breeze through security with an infant.

Uchisar Castle near Goreme, First Aid Kit, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Opa! Happy Travels,

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, Disney Made Easy, www.theeducationaltourist.com

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13 Responses

  1. Marcie says:

    I didn’t realize Greece was the sunniest country in Europe! I agree that it’s so important to educate your children about the destinations they are visiting! We did this with our recent trip to Paris with our 3.5yo and I was impressed with how much he remembered! We also taught him how to read a map, which was super helpful!

  2. Yukti says:

    Great facts about Greece and some of them are very unique. Like the Birthdays one that you have to celebrate a Name day means so many birthdays falls on same day. Also Santa Claus is Greek very interesting to know that! Greece is really a beautiful sunny country of Europe.

  3. thetravelleaf says:

    Olives from Greece are the best. As soon as I read about them here, I could remember the amazing smell and taste of them in Athens. Good memory πŸ™‚ And I didn’t know that Greece in the sunniest cuntry in Europe. What a fun fact. But makes sense – it’s pretty much amazing weather all the time.

  4. onlybyland says:

    These are good facts for adults too, I didn’t know many of them. If I take my daughter Greece and she asks me these questions I’ll be well prepared! The original Santa Claus being Greek she’ll be most interested in! I didn’t know it was the sunniest country in Europe either, I’m actually visiting this winter and I hope I get 1 of the 250 sunny days!

  5. One of my favorite expressions is on your page, and it is not Mark Twain? LOL. Many interesting facts about Greece I did not know. Especially that it is the sunniest country in Greece makes me consider relocating, no wonder the land is so dry and brownish in the summer. Santa Claus was Greek? Love it!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      It is not! I was surprised to find that out, but the more research I do on cool sayings from places we visit, the more I realize that quotes are often far older than we realize. I recently found one quote, commonly attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt that was actually from an ancient Greek philosopher! Go figure! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Natalie says:

    I had no idea about the birthday vs. saint’s day celebrations! My name comes from the Latin word for Christmas, so I no saint there–I guess I’d be in there on All Saint’s Day instead! (Which, by the way, I was so confused about since I’m used to it being right after Halloween…until I realized that we were talking about the Greek Orthodox calendar!) Great post–this is the kind of stuff that I love discovering when I travel.

  7. There are some facts here that I had absolutely no clue about! πŸ™‚ Santa Claus is greek!! Whoa. That’s a new one and not celebrating birthdays is amusing as well:) I knew about Athens being one of the oldest and being home to the gods. The oracles of Delhi have always intrigued me as a history buff. I’d love to have greek food (because it has a great vegetarian variety and the OLIVES <3
    Totally agree with you about the curious kids and their brilliance! πŸ™‚ travel is indeed a teacher!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      We just got back from 2 weeks in Greece and I am now ruined for life regarding tomatoes. The tomatoes there are the BEST!!! The food is really good overall.

  8. It is nice when my nephews ask me questions even though they can search the answers on Google. Haha! You have mentioned really cool facts about Greece. The most interesting for me is that they do not celebrate birthdays. I clicked the link “When is your name day”. They have an organized list of nameday celebrations.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Yes, and for my son his name day and his birthday are almost the same! It doesn’t usually work out that way. πŸ™‚

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