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The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet: Yet another delicious reason to travel to Greece. Photo: iStockphoto

News Travels is our new blog series that plucks travel destinations from the headlines.


This week, scientists confirmed what many health-conscious eaters already suspected: A Mediterranean diet rich in fish, fruits, veggies, nuts and olive oil can stave off heart attack and stroke. Turns out a little wine is OK, too. Hungry yet? The findings worked up our appetites for a closer look at the picturesque Greek Islands.

Fear of the Evil Eye is alive and well in many Mediterranean countries, and Greece is no exception. Fortunately, many believe the color blue is protective, which accounts for the many azure painted doorways spotted throughout the islands.

• British and Greek government officials continue to spar over what are known as the Elgin Marbles. But it’s no ancient schoolyard game they’re quarreling over: Crafted from marble from the island of Paros, the collection includes frescoes from the Parthenon and other priceless treasures.

• Many Greeks believe the mythical lost city of Atlantis is in fact the island of Santorini, a major tourist destination best known for its volcano, wine and breathtaking sunsets. Most experts, however, disagree.

• Though windmills are often associated with Holland, the island of Rhodes’ Mandraki harbor features three that date back to medieval times. Their wind-powered gears once ground grains unloaded from merchant ships.

• Inhabitants of the island of Ikaria are some of the healthiest people on earth: They’re two-and-a-half times more likely to reach the age of 90 than Americans.

Greeks light up more than anyone else on earth, with 42 percent admitting to the habit. But over the past few decades, residents of the village of Skotino on the island of Crete have all agreed to go smoke-free. Except for that one guy. No pressure.

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Martina Sheehan

Martina Sheehan

Martina Sheehan is a travel, entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Time Out Chicago, the New York Times and Forbes Travel Guides, among others. Find her at

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