A life-changing experience. You are in the heart of ancient civilization. Each step you take is a voyage through centuries of time. Probe the past with curiosity and a spirit of exploration. You wander through ancient temples, theatres, stadiums and cities. You are among archaeological monuments constructed two and a half thousand years ago. You are impressed by both their scale and their measure. The Acropolis, Delphi, Knossos, Mycenae, Olympia. Monuments of the Ancient Greek civilisation.
You ponder history, depth and beauty and can feel the presence of the ancient architects and citizens who built and used these places. You comprehend the universal value of these unique structures and feel lucky to have seen them up close. Don’t miss the chance. Visit Greece’s archaeological riches and discover some of the most important ancient sites here.
10 of the most important ancient sites in Greece
1. The Acropolis, Athens: In the heart of modern Athens, the enormous rock of the ancient Acropolis rises straight from the earth. The cornerstone of European civilisation, it is still a marvel, a reminder of what mankind is capable of. Here you’ll finally see with your own eyes the creations of the Golden Age you studied in school: the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheum with its famous Caryatids. Τo get a fuller picture of the glory that was Greece, you’ll also want to visit the other important Athenian monuments: the theatres of Dionysos and Herodes Atticus, the Areopagus, the Pnyx, the Kerameikos ancient cemetery, the Ancient Agora and the Roman Forum, the columns of the temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Gate while exploring the atmospheric old neighbourhoods of Plaka, Philopappos, Monastiraki and Thiseion. The entire history of Ancient Greece lies at your feet.
2. Sounion, Αttica: Attica’s southernmost peninsula, Cape Sounion, is the site of the astonishing temple of Poseidon, completed in 440 BC.
3. Olympia, Peloponnese: Sacred to Zeus, the father of gods and man, where the Οlympic Games were born. At the archaeological site of Olympia stood one of the wonders of the ancient world, the enormous gold and ivory statue of the god by Pheidias.
4. Mycenae, Peloponnese: The most important and wealthiest of the Mycenaen palaces, with its famed Lion Gate and the Cyclopean walls mentioned by Homer.
5. Epidaurus, Peloponnese: Here the great comedies and tragedies are performed by renowned companies and actors in what must be the most beautiful ancient theatre in the world.
6. Delphi, Central Greece: The ‘navel of the Earth’, where the most celebrated oracle of ancient times resided. Here the revered Pythia uttered her predictions, made more portentous by the spectacular setting. The temple of Apollo, the god of light, is the most important monument.
7. Dion, Macedonia: Greece’s most beautiful archaeological park, near Katerini, with ancient sanctuaries, theatres, baths, mosaics and villas.
8. Vergina, Macedonia: The underground museum with the royal grave of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, should be among the current wonders of the world, for its exquisite gold finds, rare paintings and splendid execution.
9. Delos, Cyclades: A World Heritage Monument and the holiest island of antiquity. Dedicated to Apollo, the whole island is an archaeological site.
10. Knossos / Phaistos, Crete: The two most famous Minoan palaces, the first containing King Minos’ labyrinth lies just outside Heraklion. The second, near the south coast, overlooks the Libyan Sea.