Our tour of Greece begins with one of its most recognizable landmarks - the iconic windmills of Mykonos. Windmills used to be a defining feature of the Greek landscape - you could find hundreds of them dotting the various islands. Today, only a handful remain - and the ones in the best condition can be found on the island of Mykonos. Built back in the 16th century, they once harassed the powerful northern wind into grinding wheat. While no longer operational, they still serve as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
We continue to tour the islands - this time, stopping in Crete and visiting its famous ruins of Knossos. Called "Europe's oldest city" - people once settled here as far back as 7000 BCE. The first major palaces were built back in 1900 BCE and became one of the greatest sights in the Mediterranean - it was far more complex and flamboyant than any of the other palaces in the region. Around 1700 BCE, massive earthquakes struck the region - initially destroying the palace. Over the next couple hundred years, the palace was destroyed and rebuilt a number of times, due to volcanoes, more earthquakes, and invaders - and was ultimately abandoned around 1375 BCE. While much of it remains in ruins today - there's still plenty to do and explore, making it another popular tourist destination.
We head to the mainland where we'll visit Greece's most famous landmark - the Parthenon. Part religious temple (dedicated to the goddess Athena) and part treasury - this iconic structure was built between 447 and 432 BCE and stands high over Athens, at the top of its monumental Acropolis. While the structure was in decent condition for many centuries - a Venetian siege back in 1687 caused much of the damage you see today, as nearly 700 cannonballs were launched into its famous columns.
We head further north, into the incredible landscapes of Meteora. Since the early 14th century, the local monks have been building monasteries high up on these steep rocks - there's really no other place like it on Earth. While most would associate Greece with the sea and sunny days - its not uncommon to see snow here, as the mountains will essentially block out gusts from the sea, causing massive temperature swings. No matter what time of the year you visit though - Meteora will still take your breath away.
We head back into the Aegean Sea to visit one of Greece's most beautiful islands - Santorini. A massive volcano blew the top off of this island back in 1646 BCE - drastically changing the look of the island and turning it into one of the most unique destinations in all of the Mediterranean Sea. Today, beautiful white villas flank the steep cliff sides - and the views from the top make for an unforgettable trip.
We head back south - making sure to stop at one of the most stunning ruins in all of Greece, the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion - located just south of Athens. The Ancient Greeks picked the perfect spot to honor their God of the Sea - the views of the ocean from here are absolutely incredible. Built back in 440 BCE, it was never fully completed - but still served as an important place of worship for many decades.
Our last stop is one of Greece's most beautiful and stunning destinations - Navagio Beach, located on the island of Zakynthos in the Ionian Sea. Back in 1980, the freightliner MV Panagiotis crashed into the beach after a night of stormy conditions - and it's been abandoned ever since, giving the beach its famous nickname of "Shipwreck Beach". Between the crystal clear water, pristine sand, and towering limestone cliffs - its a perfect place to spend the day.
Note: To make the Navagio Beach scene, instead of using a cliff mod - I ended up creating my own BAT to get the best result. If anyone is interested in the model and wants to try their hand with it - feel free to PM me
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