Greece is a land where marble comes standard issue, circle-dancing and drinking until daybreak are time-tested rites of summer, and the past is inescapable. Tourists flock to hear the whispers of long-dead statesmen and playwrights echoing off the magnificent ruins of ancient civilizations. At the center of Greece’s past and present is Athens. Though hemp-wearing backpackers and fanny pack-laden tourists have replaced the chiton-robed philosophers of the past, Athens maintains its position as a cultural hub of the Mediterranean. After centuries of foreign domination, Athens is now a world-class international capital, where the past and present sit comfortably side-by-side. It is also the gateway to the sun-drenched Cyclades, defined by white and blue stucco buildings, notorious nightlife, and fabulous beaches. Mix some hangovers with all your history by heading to Mykonos and Ios, then check in on Santorini’s world-famous sunsets, Naxos’s peaceful mountain villages, and Delos’s ancient sanctuaries. They’re all just a short ferry ride away. Even with all those thousands of years of history, Greece remains constantly dynamic, and you’ll always find something new to discover in this ancient land.