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Greek diving features on island postage stamps

- by Dabs Banner

Visitors to the Greek Islands can enjoy a new issue of postage stamps that celebrate some of the country's main tourism highlights.

The Hellenic Post (ELTA) has issued two commemorative series of stamps inspired by land and sea.

One set of stamps features the popular tourist pastime of scuba diving while the other celebrates some of its volcano islands, popular targets for day trip boats.

The set called 'Diving Tourism' features colourful scenes of shipwrecks and underwater finds including a recent find of amphorae full of wine from the Classical era found off the Sporades islands.

Another features the world renowned 1st century Antikythera shipwreck. The vessel, which dates from 70-60BC, was first identified by Greek sponge divers more than 100 years ago.

Four giant marble horses were discovered on the wreck, near the southwestern Aegean island of Antikythera, and are thought to be part of a complex of statues that once made up a warrior in a chariot

In total, divers salvaged 36 marble statues of mythological heroes and gods, a life-sized bronze statue and scores of luxury items.

its greatest treasure is the remains of an ancient geared 'computer' that was believed to have once been used to calculate the positions of astronomical objects.

The recent lifting of restrictions on scuba diving has brought about a boom indiving in Greek waters.

Diving is now allowed in all Greek seas, except where specific prohibitions apply and there are plenty of ancient wrecks to explore in the coastal waters of many Greek islands.

Clear water, teeming marine life, impressive caves and ancient shipwrecks now attract thousands of scuba divers to Greek waters annually. Many Greek island scuba dive centres now offer diving lessons and yacht-based diving tours.

The second set of postage stamps, titled 'Volcanoes of Greece', features vividly colourful images of island volcanoes, including those of the Cycladic islands of Milos, Nisyros and Santorini.

Santorini, also called Fira, is one of the most popular holiday island in Greece and was created by a massive volcanic eruption hundreds of years ago.

The offshore islets of Santorini are still active and the fumes that rise offshore gives the island some of the most spectacular sunsets in the Mediterranean.

Cruise ships bring in visitors by the thousand to take in the island's romantic sunset skies and to enjoy Santorini's vibrant club scene in clifftop villages around the caldera.