Greece is a popular place, with naturally unspoiled areas becoming ever more rare. So here are our recommendations for things to do during a holiday in Greece before it's too late...
See Athens and Breathe
Athens is polluted, that's nothing new. By the end of the 1970s, the sculpted columns of the Erechtheion, weakened by pollution, were replaced by copies, and moved to a museum. At the time of the more recent financial crisis, ironically, pollution levels skyrocketed again, with people holding to their ageing fume belching cars and burning wood rather than oil. To avoid the unpleasantness of pollution while visiting the capital, you need to have a few tricks up your sleeve: plan visits early in the morning on very hot days, and avoid the city centre where exhaust fumes seem to collect in your nostrils. Strolling early in the morning or late at night in the city's lively neighbourhoods with their markets, lanes, bars and small squares is still one of the best things to do in Greece.
Swimming on a Deserted Beach in Andros
It's one of the great Greek mysteries: how can the pretty little island of Andros, in the Cyclades and just two hours' by boat from Athens still have empty creeks fringed with white sand and turquoise water, even in the height of summer? Even the journey there feels like a holiday in itself, a mini-cruise bathed in sunshine, salty air and the special light that only Greece seems to possess.
A change in coastal regulations risks damaging the small island of Elafonissos, or 'Deer Island', a remarkable place a few hundred feet off the coast in the Southern Peloponnese. There are barely a thousand inhabitants on this small island of about eight square miles, who are perfectly happy with their island as it is. The pristine, white sandy beaches of this small paradise and its crystal-clear turquoise waters are reminiscent of one of the finest jewels in the Caribbean, and could be sold by the state to private investors and taken over by hotels.
The Temples of Rhodes
Rhodes experienced its first disaster in 226 or 227 BC, when the giant statue (the Colossus) the island was famed for collapsed as the result of an earthquake. Today the contemporary list of potential threats to Rhodes is getting longer and longer. Rising temperatures are likely to rapidly erode the site and alter the island's coastline, and some even fear that the site will be submerged by the sea like a latter-day Atlantis. So, be sure to visit the stadium, ancient theatre and columns of the beautiful temple of Apollo before taking a dip in the water on picture-perfect Tsambika beach, one of the all-time loveliest things to do in Greece.
See Some Greek Fish
Seeing fish that come from Greece, in Greece, is becoming increasingly rare. In ten years, the temperature of the Aegean Sea has risen by one degree. One degree doesn't seem like a lot, but imagine yourself in the water. Water at 19°C makes a real difference compared to water at 20°C. And for the fish who live there, it changes everything. Before, the Saronic Gulf was populated with red mullet, sole, john dory and sea bass with shining silver scales. In season, there were also fish like sea bream, smelt and garfish, as well as larger visitors like sharks and dolphins. But now fish from warmer seas are also making their way there. Every couple of dives you'll come across wrasse, which used to be confined to the east of the Mediterranean. There are also fish coming from other seas, including blue cornetfish, pufferfish, filefish, and even the carnivorous barracuda.