The nation of Greece, had philosophy, art, drama, and science at its core from it’s very start. Today, these elements continue in the culture and values of it’s people. Perhaps that is why over 15 million tourists visit the country every year. When on holiday in Greece, a large portion of the attractions are in Athens. Yet the countryside and outlying islands offer as much satisfaction. Here are ten things every astute visitor should see and do in Greece for a fuller experience.

1. The Acropolis, the most recognized emblem of the Greek nation, makes sense as the first stop on anyone’s route. It’s like a courtesy call you wherein you first pay respect to the king before exploring his country. During the day, you’ll stand in awe of the splendour and intricacy of the Parthenon. At night, you can catch a audio and light show retelling of Olympus legends.

2. Helicopter sightseeing tour of Athens. You’ll get picked up at your hotel, then flown low over the major spots. A tour takes about 30 minutes, flying everyday of the week during daylight hours. It offers a distinctive view of Athens landmarks and vantage points, making it a photographer’s dream; remember to bring your camera.

3. See ancient Agora. The ruins of Agora lie in the valley below the Acropolis. Here Plato and Socrates taught, and deliberated their philosophies 2,500 years ago. The Temple of Hephaestos, imposing and well-preserved, stands on a low hill on the western side of the site. Even some of the shrubs and trees in the area are as old as the ruins themselves.

4. Catch a Hellenic National League football game. Also known as soccer, football for the rest of the world, and an entire religion unto itself. Fans can get rowdy, not hesitating to storm the field when displeased with results. Despite the unchecked monkey business, it is one of a kind experience, comparable to a frenzied rock concert where both performers and fans compete for your attention and sport begats passion.

5. A visit to the National Archaeological Museum. Included in the museum’s collection is Schliemann’s Agamemnon, so called because it is believed to be the king’s death mask dating back to the 16th century B.C. (The Trojan War didn’t actually occur until 4 centuries later, which means the mask can’t be Agamemnon’s at all.) Nonetheless, crowds keep coming to see relics from ancient civilizations in what’s known as one of the world’s greatest museums.

6. Volunteering. There are charitable organizations in need of various skills and talent to facilitate projects in Greece, like the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Protection Society, for instance. The society monitors the sea turtles natural habitat and overall welfare. The group oversees around 400 volunteers from around the world each summer who help these creatures through their nesting period. There are many other opportunities in carpentry and painting, teaching, social and medical work, or simply general clerical work at organizations offices.

7. Hiking in the Vindos Gorge. This gorge located in Northern Greece is the deepest canyon in world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. After descending to it’s bottom, you will find plants and trees unique to the region. While it can get quite hot and humid, it gradually becomes cooler as you descend. as the cliffs provide shelter from direct sunlight.

8. Run in the Athens Marathon. If you are in Greece during the month of November, you can sign up for the Athens Marathon. It follows the route taken in the Athens Olympics marathon race. Ask yourself, how many people can claim they ran with the gods in Greece?

9. Hit the beaches at Crete. Long a popular retreat for vacationing Germans and Brits, Crete’s nightlife reminds you of something seen in a Fellini film. With its white-washed houses and sheltered naturist beaches, guests quickly shift into holiday mode, further induced by the Mediterranean breeze filling the island.

10. Go to the Rockwave Festival. Every summer, this 3-day music festival features bands and artists performing on three separate stages. Each stage corresponds to a musical genre: the red stage is for metal, the green stage offers rock, and the blue stage serves up dance music. After immersing yourself in history and antiquities, this event pulls you back to some of the latest styles in musical entertainment.