Little-known wildlife snippet: around half of western and southern Europe's brown bear population live in northern Greece. Who knew? Well, the guides who'll take you tracking these magnificent beasts through the gorgeous wilderness of the Pindos, alongside other natural stars like wolf and otter. Join them, while learning about admirable local conservation projects like Callisto.
Forget retsina! Greece has made excellent wine for 4,500 years, and today around 300 wineries continue that tradition using a similar number of distinctive local grape varieties such as agiorgitiko and xinomavro (red) and moschofilero and assyrtiko (white). Oenophile hotspots stretch from islands like Santorini to mainland spots like Nemea and Naoussa. Excellent muscat dessert wines come from Samos, Limnos and Rhodes.
Greece has a rich history of philosophical reflection - but rather than knotty problems of existence tackled by the likes of Plato and Socrates, visitors can now gain awareness in far less brow-furrowing ways with writing workshops, blissful yoga workouts and life-coaching in dreamy sunlit locales, reflecting beneath fig and pomegranate trees gazing over mind-expanding views.
The island-dotted National Marine Park of Alonissos (northern Sporades) and Marine National Park of Zakynthos are just two of Greece's beautiful ocean nature parks, havens for endangered monk seals and turtles, plus key reef eco-systems. Back on shore, twitchers should head for brilliant watery avian reserves like the Evros River Delta and Kotychi & Strofylia Wetlands.
6,000 years of history have dotted Greece with wondrous sites wreathed in myth and drama: oracular Delphi; sporting Olympia and the ancient theatre at Epidaurus; Mycenae, city of Agamemnon; Knossos on Crete, home of the minotaur. Add stunning gorge monasteries of Loussios and Meteora, Venetian forts, Ottoman and medieval gems. Plus, of course, the Acropolis, standing proud above Athens.
Greece has beaches for every day of the decade not just year, so picking favourites is crazy. OK, here goes: Psili Amos on Naxos; Egremni on Lefkada, reached by a 347-step descent; Ikaria's Nas backed by a lagoon and ancient temple; the rose-tinted beach on remote Ereikoussa; Agios Dimitrios in the wonderful marine reserve on Alonissos. Enjoy finding your own.
Greece has 1,200-6,000 islands (depending what size you count) - though 'only' 227 are inhabited. Plenty still for sailors to drop in on or just admire gliding by. Pick a cluster to explore: the Argo-Saronic or Sporades near Athens; Cyclades (central Aegean); the North Aegean islands off Turkey; Dodecanese in the southeast; or Ionian, west of the mainland.
With over 4,000km of coast road on the mainland alone plus an interior that's 80 percent mountains, Greece offers plenty for cyclists whether you want to pootle along taking in sea views or go like a bat out of hell down a remote hillside.
Greece has lovely seaside spots to vacation – they're the ones we offer. Sadly, there are also over-developed mass tourist bunkers big on noise pollution (and the other sort) and devoid of any sense of Greekness. In no particular (dis)order, special black marks go to Malia on Crete, Corfu's Kavos and Ipsos, plus Kardamena on Kos.
The Acropolis looms majestically over Athens but it often seems like beautiful icing on a rather grubby cake. Down below much of the Greek capital can feel like a crowded grimy traffic-choked sprawl, while austerity-struck museums have cut hours. And apart from a few wonderful bits near Thesseion metro, the 'famous' Monastiraki flea market is rubbish.
Smashing plates is a tradition corrupted. Once a sign of abundance or passion (lovers broke a plate and each kept half to show their bond) it's now a tourist con. You get offered plates, then get charged for every one smashed. Plus it can be dangerous – shards fly in faces, people get hit by drunken throws. To show approval, yell "Opa!" instead.
We love warmth as much as anyone. But the high summer heat in Greece – particularly on the mainland – can tip you into dehydration or madness as the mercury hits 40°C and then keeps going, putting paid to fun things like hiking or biking (or breathing). In cities, it's even worse as the rays bounce off the concrete.