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Most of the time, the Greek word “philoxenia" is translated simply as “hospitality”. But philoxenia (literally meaning “love of the foreign”) is much more than a warm welcome; it is a complex code of conduct with roots that stretch back to antiquity, shaped by myths and religious beliefs–at once both an expression of pride and humility. In the 20th century, Greek philoxenia became a key attraction of the country alongside its famed sun and sea, laying the groundwork for its budding tourism industry. Today, with the latest generation of travelers seeking authentic experiences as much as beautiful locations, it's as important as ever.
In our print issue Greece Is Philoxenia 2019-2020, we analyze every aspect of this concept, charting its history from distant Homer to the “golden age of tourism” of the 1960s. We consider philoxenia through the eyes of an anthropologist, and through those of great Greek poets. Author Victoria Hislop recounts her own experiences of philoxenia on her adopted Crete. And we explore manifestations of philoxenia as diverse as the country itself: on cosmopolitan Mykonos and on spiritual Mount Athos; in cosy guesthouses and at cutting-edge luxury resorts; on guided explorations of Greece’s incredible nature; and in delicious dishes at their best when shared with new friends.